Alignment: Overall Summary

The instructional materials for Grade 3 do not meet the expectations of alignment to the standards. The texts included in the materials are not appropriately complex for the grade level and do not build in complexity over the course of the year. Materials do not include questions and tasks aligned to grade-level standards, but rather focus on strategy instruction. Writing instruction in the program focuses on process writing and is not evenly distributed across the year. There is a lack of on-demand writing in the program as well as limited instruction in grammar, conventions, and vocabulary which may impede students’ development of grade-level writing skills. 

Unit materials are devoid of a consistent, systematic, and explicit plan for instruction in and practice of grade level foundational skills. While some practice of foundational skills may occur naturally in the context of the Reading Workshop format, the materials do not include explicit practice of specific skills; instead, the materials rely on small group instruction and individual conferring to address any issues that arise concerning students’ phonics, word analysis, and word recognition skills. Further, the onus of implementing these skills falls to the student as they read texts from the classroom library.

Alignment

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Does Not Meet Expectations

Gateway 1:

Text Quality and Complexity

0
20
37
42
10
37-42
Meets Expectations
21-36
Partially Meets Expectations
0-20
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

|

Not Rated

Not Rated

Gateway 3:

Usability

0
15
23
25
N/A
23-25
Meets Expectations
16-22
Partially Meets Expectations
0-15
Does Not Meet Expectations

Gateway One

Text Quality and 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 Grade 3 Units of Study materials do not meet the expectations for text quality and complexity and alignment to the expectations of the standards. Materials include anchor texts of publishable quality but do not maintain a 50/50 balance between literary and informational text as called for in the standards. Most anchor texts are not appropriately complex for the grade level and their relationship to associated tasks and scaffolds may not build, change, and grow appropriately and adequately over the course of the year in order to support students in meeting grade level expectations. While students may be engaged in daily, independent reading, the volume of variance of choice in the program may not support all readers in achieving grade-level expectations and/or a full year’s growth in reading.

Materials lack a variety of regular, standards-aligned, text-based listening and speaking opportunities. 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. 

Unit materials are devoid of a consistent, systematic, and explicit plan for instruction in and practice of grade level foundational skills. While some practice of foundational skills may occur naturally in the context of the Reading Workshop format, the materials do not include explicit practice of specific skills; instead, the materials rely on small group instruction and individual conferring to address any issues that arise concerning students’ phonics, word analysis, and word recognition skills. Further, the onus of implementing these skills falls to the student as they read texts from the classroom library.

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.

7/18
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-
Criterion Rating Details

The Grade 3 Units of Study materials do not meet the expectations for text quality and complexity and alignment to the expectations of the standards. Materials include anchor texts of publishable quality with engaging content and complex storylines. However, the texts do not reflect a 50/50 balance between literary and informational text as called for in the standards.  

Additionally, the majority of the anchor texts are not at the appropriate level of complexity for the grade level as they are grade-level texts read aloud to students by the teacher, and the associated tasks do not add increased complexity for developing strong literacy skills. Further, the complexity of texts and their relationship to associated tasks and scaffolds may not build, change, and grow appropriately and adequately over the course of the year in order to support students in meeting grade level expectations. While there are opportunities for students to engage in a volume of daily reading, the program lacks sufficient supports to ensure students read a depth and breadth of genres and text types.

Indicator 1a

Anchor texts are of high quality, worthy of careful reading, and consider a range of student interests.

4/4
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-
Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 3 meet the criteria for Indicator 1a. 

The Grade 3 Units of Study materials include anchor texts of publishable quality. There are a variety of books that consider a range of student interests. Grade 3 informational texts are supported with appropriate graphics and text features. Both picture and chapter books are included with complex storylines. The characters and plots of literature texts and the topics of informational texts are engaging to Grade 3 students. 

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, Stone Fox by John Reynolds Gardiner is used as a mentor text. This text includes descriptive language to create mood and illustrate character and setting. The text contains figurative and non-literal language (imagery, similes, metaphor), complex vocabulary, simple and compound sentences with some complex constructions.

  • In Reading Unit 2, the teacher uses Gorillas (Living in the Wild: Primates) by Lori McManus as a mentor text. Text features used in the text greatly enhance the reader’s understanding of the content. Graphics in the text are complex and may be essential to the understanding of the text. Language is conventional and explicit. 

  • In Reading Unit 3, the published text, Because of Winn Dixie by Kate DiCamillo is used as a mentor text. The language used in the text is accessible to students in this grade. Multiple themes and perspectives are included in the text. 

  • In Reading Unit 3, the teacher reads aloud from the chapter book, Make Way for Dyamonde Daniel by Nikki Grimes to demonstrate comparing characters. Vocabulary is appropriate and illustrations are provided to support the content. 

  • In Reading Unit 4, texts about penguins are used as mentor texts for research projects. The Life Cycle of an Emperor Penguin by Bobbie Kalman is used as a model for orienting to a topic and making a plan for research. The text includes graphics and text features. Language is conventional and explicit. 

  • In the Reading If/Then Unit, the teacher reads aloud from The Absent Author by Ron Roy. This book is part of the A to Z Mysteries series. This text is of publishable quality, engaging, and grade level appropriate. This text is part of a series and facilitates interest in an accessible text for future independent reading.

Indicator 1b

Materials reflect the distribution of text types and genres required by the standards at each grade level.

2/4
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-
Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 3 partially meet the criteria for indicator 1b. 

The Grade 3 Units of Study materials do not include a balance of informational and literary texts. The materials reflect a 40/60 balance of informational and literary texts. Each unit focuses on a theme that integrates either informational or literary texts. Units 2 and 4 focus on informational texts, while Units 1, 3, and 5 focus on literary texts. An online PDF of recommended animal books is included for teachers to choose from for their research projects in Unit 4. Teachers are given an example of a biography to use. Materials do not reflect a distribution of text types/genres required by the grade level. Materials do not include poetry, speeches, graphic novels, or memoirs.

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

    • In Reading Unit 1, Indian Shoes by Cynthia Leitich Smith is a literary text. Teachers are also given the option to use Stone Fox, by John Reynolds Gardiner, another literary text. 

    • In Reading Unit 2, Gorillas (Living in the Wild: Primates), by Lori McManus is a nonfiction text. Teachers are also given an example of a biography to use. “The biography of Ezra Jack Keats from the University of Southern Mississippi Website” is included to guide students through answering questions to demonstrate understanding of a text. 

    • In Reading Unit 3, Because of Winn Dixie by Kate Camillo is a literary text. 

    • In Reading Unit 4, The Life Cycle of a Frog, by Bobbie Kalman and Kathryn Smithyman, Frogs and Toads, by Bobbie Kalman and Tammie Everts, and Frogs!, by Elizabeth Carney are all informational texts. The teacher also uses the informational texts, Penguins, by Bobbie Kalman and Frogs and Toads by Bobbie Kalman and Tammy Everts. 

  • Materials do not reflect a 50/50 balance of informational and literary texts.  The materials reflect a 40/60 balance of informational and literary texts. For example: 

    • In Reading Unit 1, there are two anchor texts. Both are literary texts.

    • In Reading Unit 2, there are three anchor texts. All three are informational texts. 

    • In Reading Unit 3, there are three anchor texts. All three are literary texts. 

    • In Reading Unit 4, various texts are recommended. All recommended texts are informational. 

    • In the Reading If/Then Unit, there are two anchor texts. Both are literary texts.

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 3 do not meet the criteria for Indicator 1c. 

The majority anchor texts in the curriculum are not at the appropriate level of complexity for Grade 3, according to quantitative and qualitative analysis and the associated tasks. In Grade 3, anchor texts are read aloud to students, and students do not have an opportunity to read the texts independently. Since students apply the skills learned during the read aloud to their independent reading levels, there is no guarantee that students will be applying the newly learned skills to grade level appropriate complex text. Additionally, the majority of associated tasks are not complex nor aligned to grade-level standards. The materials do not provide a text complexity analysis document for recommended texts. The unit books include a very brief rationale for a few of the recommended demonstration texts but do not include comprehensive information on quantitative or qualitative text complexity.  

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. Due to the low complexity of the associated tasks, the texts are not complex for Grade 3 students. 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 recommended mentor text is Stone Fox, by John Reynolds Gardiner (550L). The teacher reads aloud the text over the course of Unit 1. Students listen to the read aloud, envision, predict, and retell the story.  Due to the low complexity of the associated task, the text is not complex for Grade 3. 

    • In Reading Unit 2, the recommended mentor text is Gorillas, by Lori McManus (910L).  The teacher reads aloud the text, and students listen and determine the main idea, take notes, locate supporting details, summarize the text, notice text features, and determine the author's perspective.  Students do not have an opportunity to read the text independently. 

    • In Reading Unit 3, it is recommended that the teacher read aloud Because of Winn Dixie by Kate DiCamillo (760L).  The Unit 3 guide states this text was chosen to “teach children that their decisions matter.”  The teacher reads the text aloud and demonstrates how to use what is in the text and various strategies to develop theories about characters. Students listen and develop theories about characters in the books they are reading. Students do not have an opportunity to read the text independently. 

    • In Reading Unit 3, a second recommended read aloud text is Peter’s Chair, by Ezra Jack Keats (500L).  The Unit 3 guide states this text will be used to introduce the concept of the story mountain, and Peter’s Chair is “simple enough to serve as a model for how stories unfold.”  Students listen and mark the story mountain with the hurdles the character faces. Students do not have an opportunity to read the text independently.

    • In Reading Unit 4,  students listen to Penguins by Bobbie Kalman (790L) with a and Frogs and Toads by Bobbie Kalman and Tammy Everts (640L).  The texts are used to demonstrate how to look across texts for patterns. Students do not have an opportunity to read the text independently.  

  • 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 why texts were chosen. Texts were often measured based on the A–Z reading level metric. 

    • 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. 

    • In Reading Unit 1,  page xiv of the unit book states: “We recommend Stone Fox by John Reynolds Gardiner as the mentor text for this Unit of Study, but of course you may choose another text if you wish.” There is no analysis of the text given in the print or digital teacher resources, so the teacher has no guidance in choosing another text.

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
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 3 do not meet the criteria for Indicator 1d. 

The majority of Grade 3 texts are a variety of quantitative complexity levels; however, the overall complexity does not build across the school year and does not provide opportunities for students to progress towards reading at grade level by the end of the year.  There are repeated readings or references to previously read text throughout the lessons; however, these repeated readings do not generate further understanding with more complex questioning. There are no instances across the year of texts and tasks becoming more complex across the year. Additionally, students do not have opportunities to read the core anchor texts independently. Instead, students are prompted to read at their reading level, which does not guarantee all students have access to reading complex text independently to work towards grade-level reading proficiency. 

  • The complexity of anchor texts students read do not 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 levels from 550L-820L.  Considering quantitative, qualitative, and associated student tasks, Unit 1 texts have overall complexity of accessibility. There are no instances of students reading core anchor texts independently.   

    • In the middle of the year, the Reading Unit 3 texts range in Lexile level from 500L-760L.  Texts are at a complex qualitative complexity.  Considering quantitative, qualitative, and associated student tasks, Unit 3 texts have overall complexity of accessible to moderate. There are no instances of students reading core anchor texts independently.   

    • At the end of the year, the Reading Unit 4 texts range in Lexile level from 490L-910L.  Texts range from complex to very complex qualitative complexity.   Considering quantitative, qualitative, and associated student tasks, Unit 4 texts have overall complexity of accessible to moderate. There are no instances of students reading core anchor texts independently.    

    • In Reading Unit 1, students listen to a shared reading of Stone Fox by John Reynolds Gardiner (550L).  The text is read aloud for four instructional sessions and referenced again for two sessions later in the unit. On Day 1, the teacher reads a portion of the text aloud, and students give themselves a comprehension check.  On Day 2, the teacher discusses how readers can tell when a text signals them to envision and when it signals them to collect information.  On Day 3, students make predictions, while Day 4 moves to making higher level predictions.  Considering quantitative, qualitative, and associated student tasks, the overall complexity is accessible.  

    • In Reading Unit 2, students listen to a shared reading of selected passages from Frog and Toads by Bobbie Kalman and Tammy Everts (640L).  This book is referenced for two sessions. On the first day, the teacher teaches students that “when readers read nonfiction texts, they can become experts and they can teach others what they know. To teach someone, a reader needs to know the main ideas and the supporting details.  It helps to use an explaining voice and gestures and to use a teaching finger to point out illustrations.”  On the second day, students review the sections of the text previously read, and the teacher reminds students that “when you are working to get better with a skill, it helps to take stock of your progress periodically and to set new goals for yourself.  Becoming more skilled as a reader requires that you have very clear goals and plans for reading those goals.” Considering quantitative, qualitative, and associated student tasks, the overall complexity is accessible. 

    • In Reading Unit 3, students listen to a shared reading of Because of Winn Dixie by Kate DiCamillo (760L).  The text is read over 13 sessions.  During these sessions, the teacher reads aloud and demonstrates how to use what is in the text and strategies to develop theories about characters.  Students listen and develop theories about characters in the books they are reading but do not read the shared reading text independently. 

    • In Reading Unit 3, students listen to a shared reading of Make Way for Dyamonde Daniel by Nikki Grimes (620L).  The text is read over four sessions.  The teacher reads aloud and demonstrates comparing characters.  Students do not read the shared reading text independently.

    • In Reading Unit 4, students listen to a shared reading of The LIfe Cycle of a Frog by Bobbie Kalman (910L).  The teacher reads the text aloud and models how to form questions after students talk with their partner about the choices the author made. Students do not read the shared reading text independently.

    • In Reading Unit 4, the teacher reads aloud from Penguins by Bobbie Kalman (790L).  The teacher reads the text aloud and models orientating yourself to a topic to make a plan for research. Students do not read the shared reading text independently. The complexity of this text in the last unit, and associated student tasks do not support growing 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: 

    • There are limited 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. 

    • In “A Guide to the Reading Workshop” Chapter 15, the text states, “This series will have done its job if it not only helps you to teach the unit described herein but also helps you and your colleagues author your own units of study.” Teachers consider goals and content, what students can do and almost do, which texts students need and at which levels, how to support students ongoing reading, multiple plans for progression of the unit, and drafting teaching points, anchor charts, and integrating read-alouds. Since teachers may write their own units and change the texts due to availability, the complexity of the texts may not support growing student proficiency in reading independently.

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 3 partially meet the criteria for Indicator 1e.

The Grade 3 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. Much of the 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 in the form of individual student book logs.  

  • 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. Students also have independent reading time daily in which they read books in their Zone of Proximal Development. 

    • In The Guide to Reading Workshop, page 28, the text states, “In most reading units of study, there is a read-aloud text or two that thread through the sequence of the unit.  You could decide to substitute another book for the suggested read-aloud.”  

    • In The Guide to the Reading Workshop, page 29, the materials recommend that students have bins or baggies for storing their books for independent reading and work time during the Readers Workshop. The materials recommend that students will “generally select a few books at a time, filling their collection with these books, which means that when they finish one book and are ready to start another, they need not head to the library. They can simply turn to the next books without missing a beat.”

    • In The Guide to the Reading Workshop, page 115, the materials indicate that teachers may select texts other than literary works for the Read Aloud.  

    • Each of the four Units of Study included in the materials represents five or more weeks of instruction. During this time, the unit supports students in reading multiple books. Student libraries are not included with the program, but are recommended. There is no specific number of texts indicated that each student should read. Number of texts read varies based on students’ accessibility to the texts provided.  

    • In Reading Unit 2, students are exposed to a variety of texts through the Expository Text Sets. Students also read multiple excerpts from grade-level texts in Sessions 2-17.  This is available as an online component.  

    • In Reading Unit 3, there are no texts assigned for students to engage in reading of texts to become independent readers at the grade level. Texts are suggested/recommended, and students are to choose texts from their classroom libraries if present.  

    • In Reading Unit 4, teachers are given a recommended Animal Book List that will be used for students to self select texts to complete a research project on a variety of animals.  

    • In Reading If/Then, Getting Ready, materials state, “You’ll want to gather some biographies at different levels for students, of course.” The texts are not included in the materials. 

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

    • In The Guide to the Reading Workshop, page 29, the materials  recommend that students have bins or baggies for storing their books for independent reading and work time during the Readers Workshop. The materials recommend that students will “generally select a few books at a time, filling their collection with these books, which means that when they finish one book and are ready to start another, they need not head to the library.  They can simply turn to the next books without missing a beat.”

    • In Reading Unit 2, Session 2, focuses on the teacher providing signs for when a book is, ‘too hard, too easy, just right.”

    • In Reading Unit 4, Overview, page xi, the text states: “Through modeling and coaching, teacher can teach students how to use a range of learning strategies...Successful teachers provide carefully designed ‘scaffolds’ to help student take each step in the learning journey....then you’ll set children up to progress through the similar sequence of work, organizing their own study and learning, and support them in how to go about doing that work.”

    • In Unit 4, “Research Clubs: Elephants, Penguins, and Frogs, Oh My!”, Overview, Bend I, page xi, “Specifically, you’ll teach children to gather texts that relate to the subtopic and read the most basic of them and to preview all the texts to glean and overview of the subtopics contained within the topic.”

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

    • In The Guide to the Reading Workshop, digital resources, Chapter 5, teachers can print a PDF showing the components of a mini-lesson, but there are no time frames listed on the schedule. On page 19, the materials suggest students spend 90 minutes daily in school actually reading.  However, this is a suggestion and is not detailed in a daily literacy block schedule. 

    • In The Guide to the Reading Workshop, pages 87-88, the materials  share information about the reading log students and teachers will use to track independent reading.  The materials state, “It is important as a teacher to have priorities, and for those of us who are responsible for a child’s growth in reading, few things are more important than keeping an eye on the actual amount of reading that a child is doing.  So plan to look at a child’s reading log.  Notice even just the record of the reading that has occurred the day of your conference.”  The materials go on to tell teachers to research patterns in the child’s reading log.  

    • In Reading Unit 1, An Orientation to the Unit, page xi, the teacher provides a rationale to students in using the reading log as a tool for tracking independent reading.  The materials state, “You’ll recruit students to track the volume of reading they do by using reading logs.” 

    • In Reading Unit 1, Session 2, students are asked to record in their independent reading log for homework.  The title of the homework is, “Establishing Good Reading Habits” and provides the rationale as to why the student will record their reading.

    • In Reading Unit 1, Building a Reading Life, Session 6, the teacher reminds students to read their independent reading book and keep in mind their self selected fluency goal.  Students are reminded to update their reading log and use post it notes to mark spots in the book to share.  The teacher tells students that tomorrow, they will talk with their partner about their books.  The volume of reading and the variety of texts students will read is not included.  

    • In Reading Unit 3, Session 7, directions are provided for students to use their reading notebook to jot their notes while reading that they will later discuss with their book club.  In the text box, there are steps the teacher can follow to guide the students in why they need to use their reading notebook.  

    • In Reading Unit 3, Session 13, the teacher tells students that when they read tonight for homework, they should switch their focus.  Students should think  about what lessons the secondary characters are learning instead of the lessons the main characters are learning.  There is not a clear expectation for how long students will read.  The routine is that students will read at home and then come to school to discuss their reading with their book clubs.  

    • In Reading Unit 4, Session 2, students are asked to read for at least 30minutes for homework.  Students should track their reading with notes to be ready to share in class. 

    • In Reading Unit 4, Session 7, the teacher prepares students to complete their independent reading for homework.  The text states, “Read tonight for thirty minutes….Don’t forget your independent book and your log!”

Criterion 1f - 1m

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

3/16
+
-
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 3 do not meet the criteria for Indicator 1f. 

The majority of questions and tasks do not require students to engage directly with the text. Questions and tasks tend to draw the students outside of the text or allow students to make generalizations. Questions and tasks are modeled by the teacher during a read aloud or displayed as excerpts using a suggested text or texts selected by the teacher. Students work in pairs to develop answers to questions and are often given the information during the mini lesson, rather than discovering it themselves while reading independently. During independent reading, students apply strategies using any number of texts in their reading bins gathered by the teacher. Since these books vary, there are no text-dependent or text-specific questions connected to the anchor text students that provide opportunities for students to independently answer questions and demonstrate understanding of the text. 

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

    • In Reading Unit 1, Session 10, the teacher tells students, “Expert predictors draw on their knowledge of characters in other books to infer what a character in a current book is feeling, which can lead to stronger, more developed predictions.” The teacher asks students, “What type of character do you think this is? Do you know other characters like this? Does this knowledge of other characters (or other texts) help you predict how this character will act?” These questions are strategy-based and not standards-based. 

    • In Reading Unit 2, Session 3, the text suggests teachers make copies of The Weird and Wonderful Octopus by Anna Gratz. After reading the text aloud, the teacher says, “See if you can retell this in a boxes-and-bullets way.” The teacher listens a bit and says, “Many of you said that you thought this line-’The octopus has a body unlike any other animal’-is a main idea.” If that is the main idea, “What would the bullets be?” Students turn and talk. After this guided practice, the teacher sends students off to work in their independent reading books. “As you read today, be sure to note the main ideas and the supporting details. When your text turns to another main idea, record that main idea on a Post-it and stick it right into the text.” Since independent reading occurs at the students’ reading level, there is no guarantee that students are applying grade-level standards to their reading. 

    • In Reading Unit 3, Session 14, the teacher says, “I gathered you here because you are ready to peek inside the author’s brain to get a sense of why the author might have made the decisions that she did. Here is a list of questions that will help you do this work.” The teacher asks, “Hmm…why did Ezra Jack Keats choose to introduce Peter’s mother by having her say these words? What might have been his reason for doing this?”

    • In Reading Unit 4, Session 10, the teacher reads aloud a section from Frogs and Toads: Similar but Different and asks students questions about text structure. For example, “How is this text structured? What are some keywords that clue readers to this kind of text structure?” 

  • Teacher materials provide limited support for planning and implementation of text-based questions and tasks.  Examples include, but are not limited to, the following:

    • 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. 

    • In Unit 2, Start with Assessment section, the author states, “To support these goals, you’ll want to give a performance assessment before you begin the unit.” It does not state where to access the performance assessment, however after exploring the digital resources, a pre and post assessment can be found within the digital resources. Both the pre and post assessments ask students to read three texts. The pre assessment is about motor racing, and the post assessment is about roller coasters. Both pre and post assessments are created using four questions. Questions 1 and 3 focus on summarizing, question 2 focuses on synthesizing and question 4 asks students to share information they have learned from the text. While these questions do need a text for students to access, they are broad in nature, not requiring the specific mentioned texts. 

    • In Reading The Guide to the Reading Workshop Intermediate Grades, teachers are given suggested implementation guidance to draw upon when conferring and leading strategy lessons. Conferences and strategy lessons are described as, “opportunities for new teaching, and often teaching will not relate to the mini- lesson as much as it relates to a student’s ongoing direction as a reader, to the skills with which the child is and is not yet proficient, and to the work that the texts that reader is working with ask of a reader.” Instead of the materials narrowing the focus for text-based questions and tasks per complex grade-level text during small group and conferring work, they prompt teachers to draw upon the following when conferring:

      • “Previous conferences and small group work, as recorded in your records”

      • “The genre and the work that the particular genre ask them to do”

      • “Patterns in the reader’s behaviors and responses to the text, as evidenced in running records”

      • “The band of text complexity within which the reader is working (or the readers are working)...”

      • “The child’s readerly life…”

      • “The child’s thinking and writing about reading…”

Indicator 1g

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

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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 3 do not meet the criteria for Indicator 1g. 

Materials do not include protocols for evidence based discussion across the whole year’s scope and sequence of instructional materials. While teacher materials provide opportunities for whole group conversations, research club discussion questions, talking about skills and strategy use, and some text-dependent questions, they do not provide frequent opportunities and protocols for evidence-based discussions. Protocols are not varied across the year and do not include teacher modeling. The majority of discussions occur either with the whole class or in a turn and talk. Teacher guidance includes limited facilitation, monitoring, and instructional supports. Due to the narrative structure of lesson plans, materials lack specific guidance for scaffolding students during the whole group and partner speaking and listening activities. The teacher guides student discussions through questioning but there is a lack of modeled answers. Teacher guidance includes limited facilitation, monitoring and instructional supports. Due to the narrative structure of lesson plans, materials lack specific guidance for scaffolding students during the whole group and partner speaking and listening activities. 

  • Materials do not provide varied protocols for evidence-based discussions across the whole year’s scope of instructional materials. 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:  

    • In A Guide to the Reading Workshop: Intermediate Grades an introduction of the instructional scope and sequence is explained. One of the “Eight essentials of reading instruction woven into Reader’s Workshop,” explains that “learners need opportunities to talk in response to texts.” Students are taught to discuss their thinking “under, between and around texts.” It is unclear if evidence from the text is to be used during these discussions or if the discussions will center around strategies taught during the mini lesson.

    • In A Guide to The Reading Workshop: Intermediate Grades online resources, teachers can access printable PDFs to support speaking and listening. Prompts are provided for teachers to use to support students' engagement in conversations. For example, Partners Let Their Conversations Grow lists sentence starters and prompts to guide students on how to talk with a partner. An example of a prompt is, “The important thing about this is_________.” Lesson plans do not indicate when to use these supports.  

    • In A Guide to the Reading Workshop, Intermediate Grades, teachers have specific suggestions to, “making the read-aloud more interactive.” Read alouds are the essential “passing of the baton” where strategies are modeled and that knowledge, or strategies is duplicated and transferred to students. A suggestion for teachers is, “to pass the baton to children, you’ll go from pausing to think aloud yourself to becoming adept at saying, ‘Stop and think’ and then leaving a pool of silence, or saying ‘What are you thinking? Turn and talk’ sending children into partnership conversations.” Teachers provide other suggestions to promote classroom thinking such as, “stop and jot”, “stop and summarize,” and “make a movie in your mind of what will happen next.” There are no specific protocols for students to pull from on a consistent basis across the curriculum for speaking and listening.

  • 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 - Intermediate 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 noticabint 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 tend to read independently for most of the reading workshop, but in the last few minutes, they compare notes, raise and pursue questions, and learn to see the text through each other’s perspectives.  For something like half the year, readers work in small groups - inquiry groups or book clubs - so their talk can encompass not only a partner, but also other voices and other psectives.  The classroom community engages in extended conversations around texts that are read aloud.”  

    • In The Guide to the Reading Workshop - Intermediate Grades, Chapter 4, partnerships and groups are discussed in detail, including the types of talking/sharing done during this time. Examples include students reading a part of a passage and talking about the emotions in the passage before re-reading with more feeling; partner rereads jottings and discuss for “as long as they can” about the ideas sparked by the reader’s thoughts; share challenging words and determine how to pronounce the words and the meaning of the words.  

    • In Reading Unit 1, Session 15, the text states “Do not give children a lot of time for any of these turn-and-talks ---just thirty seconds or so. As they talk, lean in and listen to a few partnerships so you can find a student that you can call on whose response will move your teaching along, not derail it. Don’t spend time analyzing these deeply. Instead, move through them at a quick clip. Remember, each extra minute of your mini lesson is at the expense of more reading time for kids. Make a note to check in with students who need extra practice during independent reading time.” There is no specific protocol for students to use during this turn and talk for speaking and listening.

    • In Reading Unit 2,  Session 3, students review the boxes-and-bullets notes they have taken about a nonfiction text. As they talk with a partner, they read off their notes and tell everything they know about that topic or subtopic, using their notes to grow their conversation. 

    • In Reading Unit 2, Session 16, after the teacher reads a snippet from Cactus Hotel, the teacher asks, “‘Who is the main character of the main subject?’ Quick, tell your partner.” There is no specific protocol for students to use during this partner work for speaking and listening.

    • In Reading Unit 4, Session 8, students pair up and decide who will be the reader and who will be the listener. Students pick out a passage from one of the books they have been reading with their research club and get ready to read it aloud to their partner. There is an anchor chart to support students in using their voices to “pop out key words, show when they move to a new topic, story tell, and to help listeners create a mental model.”  There is no specific protocol for students to use during this partner work for speaking and listening.

Indicator 1h

Materials support students’ listening and speaking about what they are reading and researching (including presentation opportunities) with relevant follow-up questions and evidence.

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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 3 partially meet the criteria for Indicator 1h. 

Over the course of the school year, students have frequent opportunities to engage in a range of speaking and listening activities related to what they are reading; however, the majority of discussions do not require students to use evidence from the text(s) they are reading. Students participate in whole-class and peer discussions as part of partner work, research clubs, and inquiry lessons. Materials include anchor charts that provide prompts for students during listening and speaking activities.   

  • Students have limited opportunities over the school year to demonstrate what they are reading through varied speaking and listening opportunities. Examples include, but are not limited to, the following:

    • In Reading Unit 1, Session 10, students meet with partners. Materials state, “After a moment, I asked children to meet with their partner and another partnership at their table – and to look across each other’s predictions. ‘Look for one prediction that seems to be especially effective. Remember to use your copies of the “Envisioning/Predicting” strand of the learning progression.’ After the children selected one of their foursome’s predictions, I suggested they talk about what worked well in it.” 

    • In Reading Unit 3,  Session 9, students meet with book clubs. Materials state,  “When most of the club mates had given me the thumbs-up signal, I said, ‘Now, talk with your club about why the character is in the story. What role might this character play in the main character’s journey?’ I motioned to the chart with the list of character roles written on it.”

    • In Reading Unit 4, Session 12, students are prompted to turn and talk with their partners about the choices an author made in the texts that they are reading.

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

    • In Reading Unit 2, Session 15, students are taught that “Readers seek out unifying ideas behind the texts they read.” In the connection section of the session, the teacher prompts students with the following questions about biography readers: “How is this person famous? and “What is the timeline of events leading up to the accomplishment or disaster?”  In the teaching point, the teacher prompts students with the question, “What did the main subject learn?” 

    • In Reading Unit 4, Session 11, readers find evidence of words and phrases that signal a cause-and-effect text structure. They talk with their partner about the words and phrases in the text that clue the type of structure. Students review the four text structures they now know, and then they research in their nonfiction texts. The teacher guidance suggests that the teacher might have students work in partners to study “Today and Tomorrow” and “Giant Chicks” side by side and to identify which one is cause and effect and which is problem. 

Indicator 1i

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

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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 3 partially meet the criteria for Indicator 1i. 

Materials include process writing; however, materials include limited opportunities for on-demand writing. Additionally, on-demand writing opportunities are not text-based. Students complete narrative, informational, and opinion writing in units which focus on a specific type of process writing. Opportunities exist for students to revise and edit their process writing during Link and Conferring, small-group work, and mini-lessons with teacher guidance. Throughout each unit, students have many opportunities to revisit their work and revise their writing for content and volume, but there are no direct opportunities for students to edit their work for syntax, spelling, etc. Writing checklists for each genre support students during revising and editing. 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: 

    • In Writing Unit 1, Session 2, the teacher tells students the following: “So right now, get ready! In a second, we’re going to start writing, and we are all going to write and write and write. We’ll write so much that our hands will hurt. If you finish writing one of your stories, go up to your list and grab another and keep going. You’ll absolutely get to the bottom of the page and turn to the next one.”

    • In Writing Unit 4, Session 1, students “write long about their topics, filling pages with all they know.” Students write an on-demand informational piece on their expert topic. 

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

    • In Writing Unit 2, Session 1, students are asked to “think of information writers as teachers,” and are told that “information writers organize information as they write…” Students work in pairs to teach each other about their topics and subtopics. While students are not writing during this period, they are “writing aloud” or “writing in-the-air.” Students use this time to “do the big planning and teaching [of] their topics.” The teacher coaches students in highlighting the subtopics within their topics, because in the following lesson, they will be focusing on planning subtopics. The initial phase of process writing is brainstorming. This session allows for students to begin brainstorming aloud, their topics and subtopics, setting them up to write about those chosen topics and subtopics for the remainder of the unit.

    • In Writing Unit 3, Session 12, the teacher says, “Writers, in a minute you will turn and talk to a partner about what makes for a powerful and persuasive speech. Right now take a minute and think about what parts of the speech made you feel a strong emotion or want to take action or start nodding and agreeing with the speaker.” The teacher sends students off to “revise their speeches, keeping in mind all the strategies they have learned so far for revising their writing and for making powerful and effective speeches.”

    • In Writing Unit 3, Session 17, the teacher says, “Today I want to teach you that there are several strategies opinion writers rely on to help them create introductions that draw their readers into their text. These strategies include asking questions, telling a surprising fact, and giving background information. But opinion writers also make sure they introduce their text with a clear, focused thesis.” The teacher creates an opportunity for students “to try creating a succinct thesis for the class piece.” Students use the same process to create a succinct thesis for their own opinion writing. 

    • In Writing Unit 4, Session 3, the teacher helps students “embellish the steps of the small moment story they’ll be telling.” Students tell a story to a partner, including specific actions and dialogue. The class drafts a lead for a sample story. Students retell and extend the story, building off of the class-created lead. Students use this process as a model to create their own storytelling. Students work in pairs to “story tell or act out other opening scenes to their partners.” The teacher sends students off to join others and draft. 

  • Opportunities for students to revise and edit are provided. Examples include, but are not limited to, the following: 

    • In Writing Unit 1, Session 10, the teacher says, “Writers, you really revised this story! You reread it, found the heart of it, made a movie in your mind, and added more detail to the part where readers should really sit up and take note. That’s what writers do all the time when they revise! You can do that every time you have a really deserving draft in front of you. I can’t wait to see how you stretch out the heart of the story to revise---if you decide you need to do that!” The teacher tells students, “Okay, writers, get going.”

    • In Writing Unit 2, Session 6, students study a mentor text to notice how the author elaborates. After they uncover ways to elaborate, students return to their writing and revise by elaborating, adding a paragraph, not just a word.

    • In Writing Unit 2, Session 12, students use the information writing checklist to identify how to improve their writing. Students revise their information writing using the checklist to support their work. 

    • In Writing Unit 2, Session 17, students work with their favorite draft and revise their fairy tales to publish. The teacher models and coaches students to find the “story’s heart” and think about what kind of magic might be added. The teacher coaches students to find “ the biggest trouble in the story” and think about how they can “revise by adding meaningful magic.”

    • In Writing Unit 4, Session 9, students make revisions as they, “draft, using other author’s writing as mentor texts.” Students are taught “front-end revisions are more economical and powerful than back-end revisions.” Students work in pairs to read each other’s writing, taking information from their partner’s writing to give them more ideas or how to revise or upgrade their own writing. The teacher models this process using their own writing of a Cinderella story as an example. 

    • In Writing Unit 4, Session 12, students edit for sentence variety. After the teacher models with a few sentences from Little Red Riding Hood, students return to their fairy tale, rereading, talking with a partner, and editing sentences to make them sound “smoother and fancier.” 

  • Materials include digital resources where appropriate. For example: 

    • 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.

    • In Writing Unit 3, Session 12, the online resources include a checklist, “To Write a True Story: Monitoring my Process.” The checklist provides the student a list to use with monitoring their own progress on their writing.

    • In Writing Unit 3, Session 17, the online resources include a Narrative Writing Checklist for Grades 3 and 4, which provides the student a self-assessment tool to identify goals in their writing at the third and fourth grades.

    • In Writing Unit 3, Session 19, the online resources include an editing checklist. This document provides a student with a self-assessment or check to make sure they include the steps for editing based on this curriculum.

    • In Writing Unit 4, Session 1, the online digital resources provide teachers with several examples of fairy tale adaptations, along with sample student notebook entries. The online examples are teacher resources that would be used to support student development as an insight to what is the type of work that students should be producing and are not for student use. Students use paper/print materials. Students are encouraged to think about “how you will fit the whole story into just the pages of your story-planning booklet”...then to “touch each page, thinking about what you’ll tell on each page.” Students are not directed to use online resources for writing or researching throughout the unit.

Indicator 1j

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

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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 3 partially meet the criteria for Indicator 1j.

The Grade 3 materials provide multiple opportunities across the school year for students to learn, practice, and apply different genres/modes/types of writing. In Grade 3, there are four core units addressing narrative, opinion, and informative writing. However, the genres are not distributed throughout the school year as the students will only practice each for a few weeks at a time. Materials include the following writing opportunities: two personal narratives, one research-based informative/explanatory book, two opinion pieces, and two fairy tales (one adapted and one original). The If...Then...Curriculum guidance states that modes of writing and writing opportunities may or may not be on grade level or address grade-level standards. Additionally, the materials do not indicate how many sessions to teach in a week. There are some text connections a teacher can utilize; however, since anchor texts are suggested, teachers may use what is available and students can choose texts or reread previous texts. 

  • 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 distributed throughout the school year.  Examples include, but are not limited to, the following:

    • Students have opportunities to engage in opinion writing. 

      • In Writing Unit 3, Session 7, students write persuasive speeches. The teacher says, “Let’s dive into writing, right here and now! Write only on one side of the loose leaf. Shake out your hand so you are ready for writing about four to five loose leaf pages today—and get going!” Students use the “How to Write a Persuasive Speech” anchor chart to support their opinion writing.

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

      • In Writing Unit 2, Session 2, the teacher says, “I’ve put table of contents pages in the center of each of your tables, and I suggest you make a bunch of possible tables of contents. Once you have one that looks possible to you, try saying aloud what you’d write in each of the chapters to make sure you have content for each chapter and that the plan would allow you to write the things you really want to write. You’ll probably want to jot some notes, too, about what sorts of information you’d put into each chapter. I’ve left an example from a student who did that work on your tables as well.”

      • In Writing Unit 2, Session 14, the teacher says, “I expect that some of you will be working on text features today. But I also expect that some of you have other work you planned and need to work on today, instead. However, whenever you write, I want you to remember that you’re writing for your readers, so pay attention to supporting your reader.”

      • In Writing Unit 2, Session 17, students begin to “transfer the skills they’ve learned in this unit to plan and draft for a content-specific information text.” Students make the connection in ELA to social studies by drawing on the “Boxes and Bullets” strategy to plan for two alternative ways to structure a text on a topic from the class’ recent social studies unit. Students choose one topic to explore and share with a partner. Then students begin to, “chunk their topics into parts, organizing the writing they intend to do, using their fingers as a graphic organizer.” Finally students draft their essay, completing the first draft for homework. In this session students have the opportunity to engage in informative writing.

    • Students have opportunities to engage in narrative writing.

      • In Writing Unit 4, Session 3, students learn that “writers story-tell or act out their stories to help as they plan their drafts and as they write their drafts.” In this session students, “pick up their pens, start writing, and write on and on and on, not making deliberate choices or crafting anything, but still writing up a storm with great pleasure.” Students are encouraged to “craft their enactments, pausing to consider whether they have gotten a character’s tone of voice, gesture, or posture just right.” This session allows students to engage in narrative writing by expanding on a small moment story that they will be telling and then drafting.

      • In Writing Unit 4, Session 11, the teacher says, “Writers, let’s give this a try. Would you help me revise this fairy tale by adding comparisons or describing words, or anything else from the chart, to paint a vivid picture?”

  • Limited writing opportunities are connected to texts and/or text sets (either as prompts, models, anchors, or supports). For example:

    • In Writing Unit 1, Session 4, students use Come on, Rain! as a model or mentor text. Students mark places in the text where the author uses descriptive details, dialogue, and actions. 

    • In Writing Unit 4, Session 1, students are introduced to the research question, “What does the author seem to be trying to do when he or she changes some things and not others?” The materials suggest using Little Red Riding Hood or The Three Billy Goats Gruff where the teacher will model story planning, each page focusing on a different aspect of a narrative writing piece.

    • In Writing Unit 4, Session 16, after students finish studying the lines from Jack and the Beanstalk, the teacher says, “You know what I am thinking? You have to try some of this in your own writing! You may either reread and revise some of what you’ve already written or write on your draft. Or both. Either way, you’ll want to look for the places where you’ve told about a character, an object, or a place and add a sentence that shows.”

Indicator 1k

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

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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 3 do not meet the criteria for Indicator 1k. 

Materials do not provide frequent opportunities for students to practice writing using evidence from texts. Very few writing opportunities focus around students’ analyses and claims developed from reading closely and working with sources. Students largely develop claims for writing that do not require them to make evidence-based connections as writing is not connected to the texts students are reading. Some opportunities for students to analyze the structure or examples from the recommended unit texts are provided; however, the teacher does the majority of reading aloud with common grade-level texts. Students practice strategies with their independent reading texts, but monitoring accuracy of their close reading and analysis is unclear. 

  • 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, “Crafting True Stories,” there are 20 lessons. No lessons in this unit provide students opportunities to practice and apply writing using evidence.

    • In Writing, Unit 2, “The Art of Information Writing,” there are 21 lessons.  Three lessons in this unit provide students opportunities to practice and apply writing using evidence.  

    • In Writing, Unit 3, “Changing the World,” students write persuasive speeches, petitions, and editorials. Out of 23 lessons, only three lessons directly address evidence-based writing. 

    • In Writing Unit, 4, Session 3, students write their own fairy tale adaptations. Students recall details from Cinderella and write their own versions of the fairy tale. There is no use of textual evidence applied to their own 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. For example: 

    •  In Writing, Unit 2, Session 6, the teacher says, “Whenever I want to do something as a writer, I find it helps to look at a text I like and to search for instances when the author did whatever I want to do. So I’ve been rereading Deadliest Animals. Melissa Stewart already taught us about a logical sequence for a table of contents, and I knew she could also help me reach new ways to elaborate.” The teacher uses the mentor text to demonstrate how to use elaboration as a strategy in the student’s informational writing. Students do not use text evidence in their writing. 

    • In Writing, Unit 3, Session 7, students brainstorm a list of sources for more information. These include: online, books, asking someone, and taking a survey. In addition, the materials say, “teach writers that observation can be a source of information, then coach to channel students to be more precise and data-based when observing.” Students do not use text evidence in their writing. 

    • In Writing, Unit 4, Session 11, materials state, “Turn and tell your partner what the comparisons are in these sentences. What is the author comparing Cinderella to? What is the author comparing the slipper to?” After a moment, I continued, ‘Adding comparisons is one way writers revise fairy tales to make sure they paint pictures in the minds of their readers. Remember how to write a comparison? You can take something ordinary, like a shoe or a tree, and compare it to something that’s similar in some way.’” In this teaching, the teacher is using the story of Cinderella to guide the students in their own writing; however, students do not use text evidence.  

    • In Reading, Unit 3, Session 2, the teacher “invites partners to share their ideas, reading and pointing to specific places in the text that support these.” Since students are growing ideas about the characters in their independent reading books, the evidence they are using will also be based on their analysis and claims about those books they selected to read independently. Students jot notes on Post-its, and they talk about their ideas about characters. If the teacher has not read all of the independent reading books that students are reading, the accuracy of students’ writing based on text evidence will be difficult to monitor.

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 3 do not meet the criteria for Indicator 1l.

Materials include minimal explicit instruction in grammar and usage standards. The materials do have some lessons and mid-workshop teaching points in the areas of verb tense, subject-verb and pronoun-antecedent agreement, conjunctions, complex sentences, punctuating dialogue, using spelling tools, and choosing words and phrases for effect. While these lessons are present, they are isolated examples of instruction that infrequently occur. There is some evidence that the teacher within the editing process references grammar concepts during mini-lessons before students engage in their writing; however, the materials often do not use standard terminology for referencing grammar skills. For example, the teacher says to make “smoother and fancier” sentences without using the terms simple and compound sentences. The teacher discusses using descriptions to enhance an author’s writing but never says those descriptive words are called adjectives. Some opportunities for grammar and usage instruction are provided in the Up the Ladder resource; however, Up the Ladder provides one lesson per concept to be used for Grades 3-6. Opportunities for student application of the standards that are addressed are limited to instructions to try the strategy in their writing without explicit opportunities for practice. While opportunities to teach grammar and usage standards may occur naturally in the Reading and Writing Workshop context, explicit instruction and explicit opportunities for application are limited, and instruction in many standards is absent. 

Materials do not include explicit instruction of all grammar and usage standards for the grade level. For example: 

  • Materials do not include explicit instruction designed to teach students to explain the function of nouns, pronouns, verbs, adjectives, and adverbs in general and their functions in particular sentences. For example:

  • In Reading, Unit 1, Session 15, during a lesson on using contextual clues to determine a tricky word, the teacher points out that pronouns such as they, it, and she sometimes make it difficult to understand a story. The teacher models the use of context clues to figure out pronouns. Students work together to underline pronouns in a passage. Students use a bookmark when they encounter pronouns that are confusing in a text. 

  •  In Writing, Unit 1, Session 19, the teacher reminds students they should not overuse the pronouns he and she in narratives. There is no explicit explanation related to the function of pronouns in particular sentences.

  • In Writing, Unit 4, Session 16, the teacher conducts a mini-lesson on adding descriptive language while drafting. The teacher shares that writers use bits of description for characters, setting, and objects and that they do it sometimes by writing a telling sentence and then a showing sentence. The teacher shares an example from the text, The Real Princess. The teacher thinks aloud and shares parts of the sentence where the author tells about something and then shows it in writing. Students practice with a partner analyzing an author's descriptions by looking at an example from the text, Jack and the Beanstalk. The teacher encourages students to add a description to their writing.

  • In Writing, Unit 4, Session 19, materials reference verb tenses during a mini-lesson on how writers look back at rough drafts to notice patterns where good writing is broken. The teacher is prompted to share writing that is “broken” meaning there are verb tenses misused and have students listen to hear where it does not sound right and edit. During small group conferring, the teacher creates a T-chart of present tense verbs and past tense verbs found in the student’s writing. Students are directed to check their writing for past tense verbs used correctly.

  • Materials do not include explicit instruction designed to teach students to form and use regular and irregular plural nouns.

  • Materials do not include explicit instruction designed to teach students to use abstract nouns (e.g., childhood).

  • Materials do not include explicit instruction designed to teach students to form and use regular and irregular verbs.

  • Materials include limited explicit instruction designed to teach students to form and use the simple (e.g., I walked; I walk; I will walk) verb tenses. For example:

  • In Writing, Unit 3, Session 9, the teacher explains to students that writers shift between writing about the present, past, and future, and those shifts need to be “accompanied by shifts in tense.” The teacher reminds students that verbs are action words and can be written in past, present, or future tense and shares examples. The teacher reads a demonstration text and points out the different verb tenses. Students check their own work and make sure their verbs match tense. 

  • In Writing, Unit 4, Session 19, the teacher presents a small group lesson related to the use of past and present tense verbs for students who have difficulty deciding if a story is currently happening or if it took place in the past. 

  • Materials include limited explicit instruction designed to teach students to ensure subject-verb and pronoun-antecedent agreement.

  • In Writing, Unit 1, Session 19, the teacher reminds students to look at their writing for verb tenses and pronouns during small group conferring. The teacher tells students that writers are careful to match pronoun references with proper nouns since the pronoun always refers to the person mentioned before. The teacher cues students to look at their writing for the proper use of pronouns.

  • In Writing, Unit 2, Session 16, the teacher tells students that pronouns like he, she, they, it, what, and who can sometimes be confusing in writing. The teacher posts the sentences, Cockroaches love to eat a lot of different kinds of food that people like to eat. When they eat this food they often share it with their children. The teacher tells students that the second sentence is confusing, because they could mean either the people or the cockroaches. The teacher models changing they to cockroaches. Students exchange writing pieces with a partner and check each other’s writing for confusing pronouns. 

  • Materials do not include explicit instruction designed to teach students to form and use comparative and superlative adjectives and adverbs, and choose between them depending on what is to be modified.

  • There is no explicit instruction related to the formation and use of comparative and superlative adjectives and adverbs.

  • Materials include minimal explicit instruction designed to teach students to use coordinating and subordinating conjunctions. For example:

  • In Writing, Unit 2, Session 13, during small group conferring, the teacher mentions conjunctions that students already know, e.g., and, for, but, or, nor, so. The teacher explains that subordinate conjunctions are found at the beginning of sentences and provides examples on a chart: After, Because, Before, If, and Even though. Students are encouraged to return to their own writing and find a sentence that “jumps out at you'' as being a sentence you might want to jazz up a bit. When you find it, go ahead and write that sentence down.” Students revise the sentence to use an appropriate conjunction. 

  • Materials include minimal explicit instruction designed to teach students to produce simple, compound, and complex sentences. For example:

  • In Writing, Unit 1, Session 5, the teacher notes a student who includes a long chain of short independent clauses. During conferring, the teacher is directed to design an explicit lesson related to sentence complexity and alternative connectors as a means to lead the student toward mature syntax. 

  • In Writing, Unit 4, Session 12, during a mini-lesson on adding personality and style to writing by editing for sentence variety, the teacher emphasizes that writers edit to smooth out short or choppy sentences. Writers turn those sentences into smoother, more precise, and well-paced sentences. The teacher shares a strategy for students to follow: “First read the writing aloud to find short choppy sentences; then experiment with making those sentences smoother and fancier by adding information at the beginning and ending of a sentence.” Students are encouraged to apply information making smoother and fancier sentences with their writing drafts. During small group time, the teacher assists writers as they construct complex sentences by finding examples of types of sentences. 

  • Materials do not include explicit instruction designed to teach students to capitalize appropriate words in titles.

  • Materials do not include explicit instruction designed to teach students to use commas in addresses.

  • Materials include one instance of explicit instruction designed to teach students to use commas and quotation marks in dialogue.

  • In Writing, Unit 1, Session 16, the teacher tells students they need to use quotation marks to signal “these are the exact words a person said.” The teacher references the lead from Karen Hesse’s Come On, Rain! and asks students to look closely at how the author uses quotation marks. The teacher points out how the author begins with a capital, ends with punctuation, and surrounds both words and punctuation with quotation marks. Students practice adding quotations to their demonstration story. Students make plans to revise and edit their own stories. While working, students are reminded to replace summarized conversations in their writing with dialogue. 

  • Materials do not include explicit instruction designed to teach students to form and use possessives.

  • Materials include limited explicit instruction designed to teach students to use conventional spelling for high-frequency and other studied words and for adding suffixes to base words (e.g., sitting, smiled, cries, happiness). For example:

  • In Writing, Unit 3, Session 5, the teacher demonstrates how to take a few seconds as writers to spell words students know by heart correctly. The teacher deliberately makes errors in an entry to model how to fix the spelling errors. After writing the word, wonderful as onederful, the teacher models recognizing that the word does not look right and tries to write it differently to see which way looks right. The teacher cues students to pay attention to spelling while writing and spell words correctly they know by heart and give the other words their best shot. The teacher encourages students to circle words they think are misspelled and return to them later.

  • In Writing, If/Then, materials repeat a chart at the end of each writing type. The chart states that if students have difficulty with spelling, the teacher is told to tell students that writers work hard at their spelling by: “1. Trying multiple versions of a word in the margin; 2. Picking the one that looks right; 3. Consulting a peer, word wall, or other resources to help.”

  • Materials include limited explicit instruction designed to teach students to use spelling patterns and generalizations (e.g., word families, position-based spellings, syllable patterns, ending rules, meaningful word parts) in writing words.

  • In Writing, Unit 1, Session 6, the teacher points out that during the editing process, students can correct spelling as they go by thinking about what the word “looks like.” The teacher is directed to tell students that it helps to invent ways to remind oneself to spell the words one almost knows by heart correctly. Students brainstorm with the teacher to determine how to fix spelling: “Look at the word wall; close my eyes and try to see the word; ask a friend who is a good speller. During small group work, students break words into syllables to approximate spelling; circle words you think are spelled incorrectly; write the word in different ways and see what looks right.”

  • In Writing, Up the Ladder, Opinion Writing, Session 5, the teacher models hearing and spelling all the chunks in long words. Students practice hearing and spelling all the chunks in long words with the teacher.

  • Materials do not include explicit instruction designed to teach students to consult reference materials, including beginning dictionaries, as needed to check and correct spellings. For example:

  • In Writing, Unit 1, Session 6, the teacher tells students, “It helps to invent ways to remind oneself to spell correctly the words one almost knows by heart.” Students are asked to think about ways they can remind themselves of words they know and to share those ideas. 

  • In Writing, Unit 3, Session 5, the teacher asks students to list the tools they have used today to spell as well as possible. The teacher tells students to add reference tools to their lists, including the dictionary, charts in the room, classmates, and spell check on the computer. The teacher challenges students to use a reference tool for spelling before the end of the Writing Workshop and to talk about the tool they used with a partner. 

  • In Writing, Unit 4, Session 3, the teacher models how to use and develop a 

glossary to locate and spell academic words located to a topic. Students are encouraged to create their own word banks in their notebooks.

  • Materials include explicit instruction designed to teach students to choose words and phrases for effect. For example:

  • In Writing, Unit 3, Session 12, the teacher plays a video clip of a speech that evokes emotion. Students make observations about which parts of the speech were powerful or persuasive. Partners share their observations, and the teacher generates a chart called “Ways We Can Make Our Speeches More Powerful.” The chart includes addressing the audience directly, repeating key phrases, including a personal story, using specific nouns and verbs, and saying the thesis boldly. Students revise their speeches using lessons learned from the speech, 

  • In Writing, Unit 4, Session 11, the teacher displays a chart called “Language Paints a Beautiful Picture” that lists the following strategies: “using describing words, using precise words, using opposites to show differences, using repetition, and making comparisons. The teacher highlights using comparisons and displays the sentences, Cinderella was sweet and gentle and good as gold. At once she arose and fled, nimble as a deer. The glass slipper went on at once, as easily as if it had been made of wax.” Students discuss the comparisons in the sentences. The teacher tells students that using comparisons helps paint a picture in the reader’s mind. The teacher posts the sentence stem, “Little Red Riding Hood wore a cape as red as. . .” Students generate comparisons to complete the sentence. Students revise their own writing by adding comparisons. 

  • Materials do not include explicit instruction designed to teach students to recognize and observe differences between the conventions of spoken and written standard English. 

  • Materials include minimal opportunities for students to demonstrate authentic application of skills in context, including applying grammar and convention skills to writing. 

    • In Writing, Unit 3, Session 22, the teacher reminds students about editing their work and introduces an editing checklist. The ending checklist includes: “ending punctuation for every sentence, capitalization of the first word in every sentence, proper nouns, and important words in titles, made paragraphs to organize writing, checked for and corrected spelling errors, and used quotation marks and commas to show when someone is speaking.” The teacher models using the checklist to edit a piece of shared writing. Students work with partners to use the checklist to edit their writing.

Indicator 1m

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

0/2
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 3 do not meet the criteria for Indicator 1m. 

Materials lack guidance outlining a cohesive plan for vocabulary development. Vocabulary is not included as part of daily lessons, and materials do not include vocabulary lists for texts. Students are often asked to mimic the language authors use or read words for pronunciation but not for deciphering vocabulary words in context. Vocabulary is not practiced in questions and tasks 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 A Guide to the Reading Workshop - Intermediate Grades, pages 133-137, the authors describe their approach to vocabulary acquisition. Findings from studies by Nagy and Anderson, Beck, Duke and Moses, Stanovich, and Allington are mentioned. The strand of difficulty related to vocabulary as it relates to leveled texts are explained. The difference between a level N book and a level T book are examined in detail. The importance of students using new vocabulary when speaking and writing, and prompts for language and vocabulary are provided on page 137. There is not a cohesive year-long vocabulary development component. 

    • In Reading Unit 2, Session 13, students tackle “hard words that complicate meaning.” The materials suggest that, “if they [students] mostly know what a word means (perhaps understanding the gist of the word or being able to identify a synonym), and comprehension is intact, then research shows it is far better for the reader to read on…” The language of this lesson is suggestive, advising teachers, “you might want to say something like…” or “you could then add…”. There is little guidance in outlining a cohesive year long vocabulary development component. 

    • In Writing Unit 3, Session 12, students revise their speeches to include words that pack an “emotional punch.” There is not a list of words that speech writers use or a list of words that evoke emotion.

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

    • In Reading Unit 3, Session 12, the teacher says, “Take Peter, for example. For the first part of the book he was feeling sad and left out, wasn’t he? But then, at the end bam! Peter was suddenly happy to help his dad paint his old chair for his little sister.” There are not any vocabulary words selected that are repeated in contexts, before texts, in texts, and across multiple texts. 

    • In Reading Unit 4, Session 2, students begin to identify subtopics within their chosen research topics and begin to synthesize information across texts. As students work as partners to sift through suggested available texts, they take note of new information they find to create subtopics. There is no focus on new vocabulary that may contribute to the learning or strategies to support students in figuring out repeated vocabulary across different texts that they are encountering.

  • Attention is not paid to vocabulary essential to understanding the text and to high-value academic words (e.g., words that might appear in other contexts/content areas). For example: 

    • Throughout all units, there are no instances where attention is paid to vocabulary essential to understanding in the text or to high value or academic vocabulary. Texts are suggested and used as models read aloud by the teacher. Students select their own texts to read, and therefore the vocabulary and academic words will vary.

    • In Reading Unit 1, Session 15, the materials state, “Invite children to sing the first verse of ‘The Star Spangled Banner,’ then challenge them to talk about its meaning, highlighting that it’s all too easy to fly past new words, not noticing them.” After they sing, the teacher asks, “What does it mean?” Students turn and talk. Next the teacher shows an anchor chart of “Clues Authors Leave Readers to Solve Tricky Words.” There are four clues: Gist (what’s happening in that part) Synonym (a word that means the same thing) Antonym (a word that means the opposite) Explanation (tells what the word means). Next the teacher models by reading aloud a line from Stone Fox with a tricky word. The materials state, “This is not a race for amateurs. Some of the best dogs in the Northwest will be entering.” The teacher models using clues to determine the meaning of the word amateurs. Students notice the clues for granite and reservation in two more excerpts; however the teacher is prompted to do the majority of thinking. There is no independent practice in a core anchor text for students to apply their new knowledge.

Criterion 1n - 1p

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

0/8
+
-
Criterion Rating Details

Materials lack explicit instruction in and opportunities to practice and apply phonics, word analysis, and word recognition skills. While lessons include some references to these skills, both the Reading and Writing Unit materials are devoid of a consistent, systematic, and explicit plan for instruction of foundational skills. 

While some practice of foundational skills may occur naturally in the context of the Reading Workshop format, the materials do not include explicit practice of specific skills; instead, the materials rely on small group instruction and individual conferring to address any issues that arise concerning students’ phonics, word analysis, and word recognition skills. Further, the onus of implementing these skills falls to the student as they read texts from the classroom library.

Materials include limited instruction and student practice in the area of fluency. 

The teacher administers and uses running record assessment at the beginning of each reading unit to determine the focus of whole class and small group mini-lessons. The materials include a fluency Learning Progression assessment document that outlines a progression of skills in Grades 2-6; however, the fluency skills incorporated in this document focus largely on expression and do not address accuracy or rate.

Minimal opportunities are provided over the course of the year in core materials for students to demonstrate sufficient accuracy and fluency in oral and silent reading.

Indicator 1n

Materials, questions, and tasks address grade-level foundational skills by providing explicit instruction in phonics, word analysis, and word recognition that demonstrate a research-based progression.

0/4
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 3 do not meet the criteria for Indicator 1n.

Materials lack explicit instruction in phonics, word analysis, and word recognition skills. Decoding multisyllabic words is minimally addressed and is addressed using word solving strategies, as opposed to explicit instruction in decoding skills. Although lessons include some references to phonics, word analysis, and word recognition, no consistent, systematic, explicit instruction is included in either the Reading or Writing units. When these skills are addressed in the materials, it is in the context of individual conferring and small group work with students who may struggle with these skills or in the form of a “Letter to Teachers” lesson that gives teachers general instructions to teach a word analysis lesson that meets the needs of their students. While phonics, word analysis, and word recognition concepts that are not explicitly taught may be addressed with individual students during Readers and Writers Workshop, the materials do not provide explicit instruction or assessment of the skills and concepts. The use of running records is recommended to observe and note students’ phonics and word recognition skills and use that information during conferring or small group instruction to support individual student needs. Phonics, word analysis, and word recognition are not directly assessed. Materials include a word-solving Learning Progression assessment document that outlines a progression of skills in Grades 2-6; however, the phonics, word analysis, and word recognition skills incorporated in this document are limited, and the progression relies heavily on meaning-based cueing rather than explicit word analysis. Materials include a suggestion to use an additional program, Words Their Way, to supplement phonics, word analysis, and word recognition skills assessment and instruction. 

Materials do not contain explicit instruction of phonics, word recognition, and word analysis consistently over the course of the year. For example:

  • Materials do not consistently contain explicit instruction designed to teach students to identify and know the meaning of the most common prefixes and derivational suffixes over the course of the year.

  • Materials do not consistently contain explicit instruction designed to teach students to decode words with common Latin suffixes over the course of the year.

  • Materials over the course of the year contain limited explicit instruction designed to teach students to decode multisyllable words. For example:

    • In Reading, Unit 1, Session 14, the teacher models how to read unfamiliar words in connected text. The teacher models with a sentence from a shared text and demonstrates decoding the word handkerchief by chunking the word into parts, then putting it together and checking for meaning. The teacher displays a chart called “Readers Climb the Hurdle of Hard Words by. . .” which contains the strategies Chunking the word and Trying out the different sounds that letters can make. Students silently read a short passage from the shared text and practice applying the strategies to words in the passage. Students keep a log of tricky words.

    • In Reading, Up the Ladder, Session 12, the teacher shows how to decode by breaking multisyllabic words into syllables, identifying a vowel or vowel team, and looking at the consonants around the syllable. 

  • Materials over the course of the year contain minimal explicit instruction designed to teach students to read grade-appropriate irregularly spelled words.

    • In Writing, Unit 1, Session 6, the teacher explains that there are about 36 high-frequency words that students need to read and spell by heart. The teacher provides strategies, including referencing a word wall to check spelling when a student encounters an unknown word. Materials do not include strategies for reading the words.

    • In Writing, Unit 3, Session 5, during conferring and small groups, the teacher helps students who have difficulty reading and spelling high-frequency words to make flashcards. The students use a copy, cover, write, and check routine to help them remember the words. 

  • Tasks and questions are not sequenced to application of grade-level work (e.g., application of prefixes at the end of the unit/year; decoding multi-syllable words). 

  • Minimal assessment opportunities are provided over the course of the year to inform instructional adjustments of phonics, word analysis, and word recognition to help students make progress toward mastery. For example:

    • In Reading, Unit 1, Session 6, the teacher assesses students’ knowledge of high-frequency words. Materials state, “It is worth obtaining Cunningham’s lists of high-frequency words and determining which grade-level list is aligned to most of your children.” 

    • In Reading, Reading Pathways, Chapter 3, materials discuss the importance of conducting regular running records throughout the year. When conducting a running record, it allows the teacher to observe and analyze a student's word recognition abilities. The teacher notes decoding areas of difficulty and perhaps addresses students individually or in small group instruction. This informal assessment opportunity does not directly assess phonics and word recognition skills and does not provide the teacher with information on instructional adjustments. 

    • In Reading, Reading Pathways, Part II, the materials provide a Learning Progression document that includes two progressions for word solving skills. The assessment document describes student behaviors in word solving for each grade, Grades 2-6. The materials indicate that both students and teachers should use the progressions in students’ conferences to identify current levels and set goals for growth. 

Indicator 1o

Materials include opportunities for students to practice and apply grade-level phonics, word analysis, and word recognition skills.

0/2
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 3 do not meet the criteria for Indicator 1o.

Materials lack explicit opportunities for students to practice and apply phonics, word analysis, and word recognition skills in connected tasks and texts. The explanation provided in the materials for word solving assessment, practice, and application is primarily found in the teacher resource books that span Grades 3-6. While student practice may occur naturally in the context of the Reading Workshop format, the materials do not include explicit practice of specific skills; instead, the materials rely on small group instruction and individual conferring to address any issues that arise concerning students’ phonics, word analysis, and word recognition skills. Students are encouraged to independently apply foundational skills during Reading Workshop with texts from the classroom library. Because teachers develop their classroom library, the application of foundational skills is not evident in the materials. The teacher administers a running record assessment at the beginning of each reading unit. It is anticipated that the teacher will complete a miscue analysis and determine whether foundational skills are lacking and develop targeted small group lessons and corresponding follow-up activities. 

  • Multiple and varied opportunities are not provided over the course of the year in core materials for students to learn, practice, and apply word analysis skills in connected texts and tasks. For example:

    • In Reading, Up the Ladder Fiction, Orientation, materials state that having and setting up a classroom library is crucial to implementing the Units of Study. The teacher is directed to have a vast classroom library with books at ranges of reading levels. Following a detailed description of the classroom library, materials suggest that if the teacher does not have enough books for students to read to look around the school for some, borrow from the library, or purchase some.

    • In Reading, Unit 1, Session 14, the teacher reviews word-solving strategies, models using word-solving strategies, and creates an anchor chart. Students read a scene from Chapter 6 of Stone Fox independently and with a partner. The teacher directs students to be “on alert for any difficult words” and work through them how the teacher modeled using the strategies from the anchor chart. 

  • Materials do not include tasks and questions that provide opportunities for students to access different foundational skills within the anchor text and supporting texts. 

Indicator 1p

Instructional opportunities are frequently built into the materials for students to practice and achieve reading fluency in order to read with purpose and understanding.

0/2
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 3 do not meet the criteria for Indicator 1p.

Materials include limited instruction and student practice in the area of fluency. Most reading units contain a lesson related to reading with accuracy and expression; however, the Reading Workshop format does not ensure that students practice fluent reading of a grade-level text. The teacher encourages students to independently apply fluency skills during Reading Workshop with a text from the classroom library or poetry that the teacher is directed to “go and find” to create poetry packets. The teacher uses running records to monitor fluency, rate, accuracy, and literal and inferential comprehension skills to determine the text level of the books that should be made available for each student to read. The teacher also uses running record data to make instructional decisions related to the whole class and small group mini-lessons. However, there is no systematic instructional system concerning how fluency, rate, accuracy, and prosody should be achieved. The materials include a fluency Learning Progression assessment document that outlines a progression of skills in Grades 2-6; however, the fluency skills incorporated in this document focus largely on expression and do not address accuracy or rate. 

  • Minimal opportunities are provided over the course of the year in core materials for students to demonstrate sufficient accuracy and fluency in oral and silent reading. For example: 

    • Read grade-level text with purpose and understanding.

      • In Reading, Unit 1, Session 2, the teacher leads a strategy lesson on fluency. The teacher tells students their reading sounds robotic and talks about becoming a stronger reader by making their reading sound like talking. Following teacher modeling of examples and non-examples of fluent reading, students read from their independent reading books and are instructed to read smoothly, like they are talking, and pay attention to punctuation. 

      • In Reading, Unit 1, Session 16, the teacher reminds students to change their speed and read fluently and rhythmically. The teacher models with a shared reading of a familiar song. Students create new, nonsensical pauses, i.e., line breaks, in the song. Students sing according to the failed rhythm. The teacher reminds students that pauses need to be in the right place for the rhythm of a text to work. 

      • In Reading, Unit 4, Session 8, students notice how the narrator in a nonfiction video uses his voice to convey information. Students practice reading aloud like experts with their partners. The teacher encourages students to use the voice in their heads to help with comprehension.

  • Materials do not support reading or prose and poetry with attention to rate, accuracy, and expression, as well as direction for students to apply reading skills when productive struggle is necessary. Materials include limited lessons on reading with expression. No lessons could be found for reading with accuracy and rate. For example: 

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

      • In Reading, Unit 1, Session 6, the teacher asks students to read a passage to a partner with fluency and expression. Students share tips for “making reading aloud the best it can be.” Students read in their independent reading books and think about all the things they know about making reading sound smooth. It is recommended that students use gestures, expressions, and tone of voice to make their reading come alive. Partners practice reading aloud fluently.

      • In Reading, Unit 3, Session 3, the teacher asks students to read marked parts in their book and use their voices to bring the story to life. The teacher is encouraged to help students read the text as a character would be speaking by using prompts like: “Is that really how the character would be saying that? Try reading that part again so that your voice shows that this is a kind person. What does a kind person sound like?” 

      • In Reading, If/Then, Session 6, the teacher asks students to choose a passage of the book they are reading that they would like to reread in an expressive voice. Students read the passage aloud with partners, focusing on reading with expression to help their partner understand what is happening in the passage. The teacher encourages students to reread sentences when necessary to make them sound smooth. Students return to independent reading, focusing on making the reading voice in their heads smooth and expressive like their voices were when reading aloud.

      • In Reading, Up the Ladder, Fiction, Session 8, the teacher talks about reading in a way to bring characters to life and models reading a text aloud. The teacher exaggerates expression and gestures to bring characters to life. Students work in pairs to read parts of their books to bring the text to life. 

  • Materials provide minimal support for students’ fluency development of reading skills (e.g., self-correction of word recognition and/or for understanding, focus on rereading) over the course of the year (to get to the end of the grade-level band). For example:

  • Use context to confirm or self-correct word recognition and understanding, rereading as necessary. 

    • In Reading, If/Then, Session 6, the teacher tells students to go back to certain parts of the text and reread them aloud using their most expressive voice possible. The teacher coaches students to remember if they fumble on a word, they might go back and try reading the whole sentence in the smoothest way possible. During small group work, the teacher is prompted to observe and check in on the students’ reading fluency. The teacher is told to cue students to adjust reading based on end punctuation and get to know characters and how they sound if they see dialogue and go back and reread to sound like people talking. Since this lesson does not occur during core instruction, there is no guarantee that all students will receive this instruction in this lesson. 

  • Assessment materials provide teachers and students with limited information of students’ current fluency skills and provide teachers with instructional adjustments to help students make progress toward mastery of fluency.

    • In Reading, Unit 1, Session 2, the teacher completes a running record and a miscue analysis to determine specific focus areas for group instruction designed to help ensure that all students are making progress toward mastery of fluency. It is expected that each student will be assessed at the beginning of each of the four units. If a student is reading below grade level, i.e., lower than L, more frequent progress monitoring using running records is recommended.

    • In Reading, Unit 1, Session 6, students use the Fluency Narrative Reading Learning Progression document to set goals for reading fluency practice. Students choose an area where they need improvement and practice rereading text aloud, focusing on the chosen strategy.

    • In Reading, Reading Pathways, the materials provide a Learning Progression document that includes two progressions for fluency. The assessment document describes student behaviors in fluency for each grade, Grades 2-6. The materials indicate that the progressions should be used by both students and teachers in the context of students’ conferences to identify current levels and set goals for growth. 

    • In Reading, Reading Pathways, Chapter 3, materials discuss the importance of conducting regular running records throughout the year. Materials state that when conducting a running record, the teacher has an opportunity to observe and analyze a student's fluency rate, tone, and expression abilities. The teacher notes fluency rate and areas of difficulty to address for students individually or in small group instruction.

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)/theme(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)/theme(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 focused research projects to encourage students to develop knowledge in a given area by confronting and analyzing different aspects of a topic using multiple texts and source materials.

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, with specific attention to engaging students in order to guide their 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 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 3 TRADE PK 978‑0‑325‑04747‑8 Heinemann 2013
CALKINS /WRITING PATHWAYS 978‑0‑325‑05730‑9 Heinemann 2014
CALKINS /UNITS READING GR 3 W/TRADE PK 978‑0‑325‑07467‑2 Heinemann 2015
UNITS STUDY READING áGR 3 978‑0‑325‑07696‑6 Heinemann 2015
UNITS STUDY READ GR 3 TRADE PK 978‑0‑325‑07726‑0 Heinemann 2015
MYSTERY TRADE PACK 978‑0‑325‑08891‑4 Heinemann 2016
MYSTERY GR 3 978‑0‑325‑08899‑0 Heinemann 2016
GELLER /MYSTERY GR 3 W/TRADE PK 978‑0‑325‑08900‑3 Heinemann 2016
UNITS WRITING GR 3 W STK NOTES 978‑0‑325‑08950‑8 Heinemann 2016
CALKINS /UNITS WRIT 3 W/TB & STK NOTES 978‑0‑325‑08956‑0 Heinemann 2016
CALKINS /UP THE LADDER WRITING 3-6 978‑0‑325‑09658‑2 Heinemann 2017
CALKINS /LEADING WELL 978‑0‑325‑10922‑0 Heinemann 2018
MASI BREVES /UP THE LADDER READ FICT BUNDLE 978‑0‑325‑11253‑4 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 3-8 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