Alignment: Overall Summary

The instructional materials for Grade 4 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 4 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 4 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 4 meet the criteria for Indicator 1a. 

The Grade 4 Units of Study materials include anchor texts of publishable quality. There are a variety of books that consider a range of student interests. Grade 4 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 4 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, The Tiger Rising by Kate DiCamillo is used as a mentor text. The text includes clear language, a straightforward structure, and a variety of sentence lengths. The theme of friendship/relationships is present and relatable to students in Grade 4. 

  • In Reading Unit 2, Everyday Weather by Kathy Furgang is read aloud by the teacher to demonstrate how to preview a text, activate prior knowledge, and scan for text features. Bright, colorful graphics are included to support the information provided in the text. There are a wide variety of text features within the text. 

  • In Reading Unit 3, the text The Revolutionary War by Josh Gregory is read aloud to students. The informational text is engaging and  includes various text features. 

  • In Reading Unit 3, the recommended read aloud text is Liberty! How the Revolutionary War Began by Lucille Recht Penner. The informational text includes visuals that bring the topic to life for students. 

  • In Reading Unit 4, the text, Number the Stars by Lois Lowry is read aloud to students. The text  encompasses universal and multicultural themes and integrates other content areas. 

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 4 partially meet the criteria for Indicator 1b. 

The Grade 4 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 3 focus on informational texts, while Units 1, 4, and 5 focus on literary texts. An online PDF of recommended primary and secondary sources is found in the digital resources. Teachers are given a hybrid text set to guide them through teaching text structure. Materials do not reflect a distribution of text types/genres required by the grade level. No graphic novels or memoirs are included in the materials. 

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

    • In Reading Unit 1, The Tiger Rising by Kate Camillo is a literary text. 

    • In Reading Unit 2, Extreme Weather by Kathy Furlong is an informational text. The teacher is provided two choices of articles to use: “A Summer Scorcher” by Jennifer Marino Walters and “In the Grip of Epic Drought” by Alyssa Goethe. These suggested articles are not found in the digital resources. 

    • In Reading Unit 3, the teacher uses excerpts from The Famous Ride of Paul Revere article from The American Revolution and Constitution and Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s poem, “Paul Revere’s Ride.” The teacher also displays the digital resource, Captain Preston’s Testimony. A PDF of sources can be found in the digital resources. 

    • In Reading Unit 4, Number the Stars by Lois Lowry is a literary text. The author suggests using a literary text, Rose Blanche by Roberto Innocenti. The teacher reads aloud an excerpt from the article, How Did the Danes Fool the Nazis and Their Dogs!

    • In the Reading If/Then Unit, the teacher guides students through an author study, focusing on a series. There is no resource list provided for the author studies, as “students read or reread books by their chosen author.” 

  • 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 is one anchor text. It is a literary text. 

    • In Reading Unit 2, there is one anchor text. It is an informational text. 

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

    • In Reading Unit 4, there are two anchor texts. Both are literary texts. 

    • In the Reading If/Then Unit, there are no specific anchor texts included.

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
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 4 do not meet the criteria for Indicator 1c. 

Most anchor texts in the curriculum are not at the appropriate level of complexity for Grade 4, according to quantitative and qualitative analysis and the associated tasks. In Grade 4, anchor texts are read aloud to students, and students do not have an opportunity to read the texts independently.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. 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 The Tiger Rising by Kate DiCamillo (590L).  The Unit 1 guide states that teachers may make their own decisions about a text to use, although a “great deal of work has been done for them” if they choose to use The Tiger Rising.  Students listen to the text, recall what has been read and do interpretation work.  Students do not have an opportunity to read the text independently. 

    • In Reading Unit 2, students examine Everything Weather by Kathy Furgang (950L) projected for shared reading. The teacher models how to tackle hard, technical parts of a text by reading and pausing often to say what the text is teaching. Students do not have an opportunity to read the text independently. 

    • In Reading Unit 3, teachers are directed to choose two other texts containing a similar subsection on taxes and enlarge them for students to see. A recommendation is to use “Tax the Colonists” from King George: What Was His Problem? by Tim Robinson and Steve Sheinkin (880L) and The Split History of the American Revolution Michael Burgan (930L) . Students do not have an opportunity to read the text independently. 

    • In Reading Unit 4, teachers read Number the Stars by Lois Lowry (670L) before the mini lesson. The Lexile level falls below the recommended lexile band for Grade 4 and does not meet the appropriate quantitative reading level but does have appropriate qualitative features. The emotional content will require students to have contextual knowledge about World War II and the Holocaust.  Students listen to the text, talk about what motivates characters, consider historical influences, determine themes, and notice tone and mood. Students do not have an opportunity to read the text independently. 

    • In Reading Unit 4, the teacher reads aloud Rose Blanche by Roberto Innocenti (600L).  This falls below the recommended Lexile band for the grade level.  Rose Blanche has emotional content which will require students to have background knowledge of World War II before reading. 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 4, Number the Stars is used as a mentor text.  No rationale for educational purposes or placement within the grade level is given for this text.  There is no analysis of the text given in the teacher’s manual or the online component.  

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 4 do not meet the criteria for Indicator 1d. 

The majority of Grade 4 texts are at 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 includes one read-aloud text with a Lexile level of 590L .Considering quantitative, qualitative, and associated student tasks, the Unit 1 text has an overall complexity levels of accessibility. There are no instances of students reading the core anchor text independently.   

    • In the middle of the year, the Reading Unit 3 texts range in Lexile level from 780L to 930L.  Considering quantitative, qualitative, and associated student tasks, Unit 3 texts have overall complexity levels 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 read aloud text Lexile level is 670L. Considering quantitative, qualitative, and associated student tasks, Unit 4 texts have overall complexity levels of accessibility. There are no instances of students reading core anchor texts independently.   

    • In Reading Unit 1, students listen to a shared reading of The Tiger Rising by Kate DiCamillo (590L).  The text is read over 18 lessons.  On Day 1, the teacher talks about rereading and using brain power and strategies to pay extra attention to what is being read.  Day 3 focuses on retelling of what has been read.  The instructional focus of Day 5 is on using images, moods, and sounds to make movies as reading occurs. Day 6 includes a focus on character traits and starts several days of a focus on characters.  Students do not read the shared reading text independently.

    • In Reading Unit 2, students listen to a shared reading of Everything Weather by Kathy Furgang (950L).  The focus of Day 1 is on how nonfiction texts are read differently.  On day 2, the teacher uses the text to talk about how to preview a nonfiction text.  Day 3 is focused on text organization.  Students do not read the shared reading text independently.

    • In Reading Unit 3, students listen to a shared reading of Bringing History to Life - The Revolutionary War by Josh Gregory (780L).  Day 1 focuses on how readers of science texts read differently than readers of history text.  Readers of history pay attention to who, where, and when when reading.  Students do not read the shared reading text independently.

    • In Reading Unit 4, students listen to a shared reading of Number the Stars by Lois Lowry (670L) throughout 15 days of the unit.  The teacher reads portions of the text aloud and demonstrates thinking about what motivates characters, considering historical influences, determining theme, and noticing tone and mood. 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
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 4 partially meet the criteria for Indicator 1e.

The Grade 4 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 specific 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 5 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 vary based on students’ accessibility to the texts provided  

    • After 10 mini-lessons within a unit, students are required to apply skills learned throughout theri mini-lessons and turn to their ongoing independent reading work.  This may look differently for different students.  Some students are in book clubs, others work in pairs, and some students are working independently.  Students self-select books that are available in their classroom libraries.  Books are not included in the curriculum, but suggestions are made for the creation of libraries to be purchased.  

    • Grade-level library collections and individual shelves on a variety of texts are also suggested to accompany the Units of Study materials.  They are not provided with the program and are left to the teacher’s discretion.  

    • In Reading Unit 1, Session 3, the materials suggest teachers get more books by borrowing from school and town libraries, bringing books from home, saving book club bonus points to buy new books or have a bake sale to earn money to buy good books. Teachers may also make a list of most wanted books and ask for donations. 

    • In Reading Unit 3, Session 14, teacher guidance states, “Most of them will probably work with a partner on a topic of choice, and you may need to do some behind-the-scenes manipulation to be sure that students who struggle as readers work with a topic for which you have an abundance of more accessible resources.”

    • In Reading If/Then,the teacher is told to “Create packets of poems and poetry compilations for various groups.” The teacher is reminded to keep the reading level of each student group in mind when selecting poems. 

  • 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 1, Session 3, the materials suggest the following for “Getting more new books.” These are listed: Borrow from school and town libraries. Bring in books from home. Save up bonus points to buy new books. Have a bake sale to earn money to buy good books. Make a list of the “Most Wanted” books, then ask for donations.” Since teachers have to take these actions so students have independent reading books, the volume of books available to students in a first year teacher’s classroom could be much smaller than that of a veteran teacher who has had years to build a collection of books.

    • In Reading Unit 4, Session 14, the materials state, “If your classroom has Internet access, you could show students how to navigate to two Web resources, such as Wikipedia or the American Library Association’s history website for kids.” It is uncertain what volume of reading will occur when a student has to search for the texts.

    • In Reading If/Then, the teacher is instructed to, “Create packets of poems and poetry compilations for various groups.” The materials continue on with the suggestion “You’ll want to keep the reading level of each group in mind when you pick poems…” Several poets’ names are suggested, including, Jon Sciezka, Roald Dahl, Sharon Creech, Joseph Bruchac, Lewis Carroll, Ogden Nash, Shel Silverstein, however, no poems are included to use in compiling these packets. Therefore, the volume of reading will depend upon the time the teacher puts into finding poems, copying poems, and the resources available within that school. 

  • 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 ninety-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 text goes on to tell teachers to research patterns in the child’s reading log.  

    • In Reading Unit 1, Session 2,  an independent reading log is introduced and woven throughout the unit for students to track their own reading. This resource is accessible in digital resources. 

    • In Reading Unit 1, Session 2, the teacher tells students,  “Will you jot down the page number on which you have started reading today? In the share, I’ll give you the logs so you can log the amount of reading you do in a day.”

    • In Reading Unit, Session 2, the teacher asks the students to continue their reading of nonfiction for homework and once complete to have the student to, “create two ways to represent your reading work in your reader’s notebook.” The student is to have what they completed ready to share in school the next session.

    • In Reading, Unit 1,  Session 6, the teacher tells students, “Here’s what you should know about these partnerships-I’ve paired you with someone I think can help you change as a reader and get stronger.”

    • In Reading Unit 2,  Session 16, the teacher prepares students to complete their homework assignment.  The materials state, “Tonight, if you have access to the Internet, will you search for materials that you can learn from? Search also in the books you have on hand about weather to see if there are sections that may relate to your new research direction.” 

    • In Reading Unit 3, Overview, page xii, the materials state, “Most of them will probably work with a partner on a topic of choice, and you may need to do some behind-the-scenes manipulation to be sure that students who struggle as readers work with a topic for which you have an abundance of more accessible resources.”

    • In Reading Unit 4,  Session 11, the text box gives directions for the teacher to guide the students to use sheets that will be inserted into their reading journal. The images relate to the book they are reading on their own.

Criterion 1f - 1m

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

3/16
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-
Criterion Rating Details

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

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

Indicator 1f

Most questions, tasks, and assignments are text-specific and/or text-dependent, requiring students to engage with the text directly (drawing on textual evidence to support both what is explicit as well as valid inferences from the text).

0/2
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 4 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 8, the teacher says to students, “Now think back over the parts of the story you’ve read so far. What --- or who --- is getting in the way of your character’s desire? What obstacle or challenge is preventing your character from getting this big thing he or she wants?”

    • In Reading Unit 2, Session 12, the teacher projects pages 18 and 19 of Everything Weather by Kathy Furgang. The teacher reads a chunk of text aloud and then asks, “What is this part teaching?” The teacher models with the sections entitled “Rising Up” and “Hanging Out” before saying, “Readers, I’m going to read aloud the next chunk of text. When your brain starts feeling like jelly, hold up your hand in a ‘stop’ motion, so I know it is time for us to stop and think, ‘What is this part teaching?’” The teacher reads aloud the section “Chilling Out.” Then students add notes about what that part is teaching. While this is a chunking strategy, it is not aligned to standards. 

    • In Reading Unit 4, Session 4, the teacher reads aloud a scene from Number the Stars by Lois Lowry. After reading, the teacher asks, “What do you notice about Kristi’s response? How is it different from Mrs. Rosen’s? Why the difference?” Students talk in pairs, and the teacher listens in on their conversations as they understand how characters’ ages, religions, roles, and knowledge of world events influences their actions. 

  • Teacher materials do not provide 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 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.

0/2
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 4 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. 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 are then giving 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 A 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 2, Session 6, students are encouraged to “look in and around new vocabulary words, [so that they can] figure out their meaning.” To determine the meaning of words students should break the word into word parts (root words, suffixes and prefixes) to determine meaning of each and use cueing systems such as relying on picture cues, determining what is happening in the text (and if it is a positive or negative experience) and/or determining the part of speech for the word. The focus is on determining the meaning of words, but not for discussion or to develop a greater understanding or context of the text.There is not a focus on conversations that encourage or directly teach for evidence based discussion where there is modeling during speaking and listening opportunities.

    • In Reading Unit 4, Session 2, students keep track of story elements as they read. Students are encouraged to “tack up important information they need to know on mental bulletin boards.” When sharing, students are encouraged to listen to others, “like gold”. Students are instructed to “look around the room and notice how others are participating...then encourage them to look and act like engaged, caring readers.” Students then talk in their book clubs. This is an inconsistent listening and speaking practice that is not practiced throughout all of the units, and it is not based on using evidence from the text but rather a sharing of thoughts about the text.

    • In Reading Unit 4, Session 5, students work with their research clubs to reread a passage from Number the Stars and notice how it seems like this passage is “written in bold.” After reading, students, “‘Stop and talk.’  Then all of you, talk about what this passage—like the one before it—is really about.’”  There is no specific protocol for students to use during research clubs 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 4 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 13, students participate in a whole class discussion. Materials state: “Readers, will you restate what I have just said---starting again with your claim” (and I pointed to the top of the template) “and restating the first bit of evidence, then move on to the second bit of evidence, saying, ‘Another example of Sistine not being a good friend to Rob happens when…”

    • In Reading Unit 3, Session 5,  students participate in a whole class discussion. Materials state: “I called on Jose, who pointed out, “It says that a guy named Greenville felt that the colonists owed England the money so he taxed them. It then said that Parliament knew it would spark protests, but the king liked the idea of taxing the colonists.”

    • In Reading Unit 4, Session 8, students observe a fishbowl conversation to notice what makes it productive. Then, students identify how to have powerful conversations. These include, “Listen to the conversation like it’s gold. Be aware of any member who has gone unheard. Invite him or her in. Together look closely at one artifact.” Then students practice having productive conversations with their historical fiction book clubs. This is the only guidance provided to the teacher pertaining to the fishbowl activity. 

  • 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 1, Session 4, the teacher asks students to “synthesize the text, to take it in, to connect different parts of the text, so they can then reflect on what the text actually contains and means.”  The teacher models how to retell a story using the read aloud, The Tiger Rising by Kate Dicamillo. Students engage in partner work to retell chapters. Next, the teacher “offers an example of a synthesis retelling of the most recent chapter read aloud.”  An anchor chart labeled “From Retelling Toward Summarizing” is provided for students, with sentence starters to support their conversations such as, “In the past, But this time, and This is most likely going to cause.” 

    • In Reading Unit 4, Session 9, students use “transitional phrases to synthesize and teach” their peers about the research their team is conducting. Students are prompted to search for the main idea and supporting details within their group text and find key words. During the share portion, students are prompted to “talk more about the topic, adding on, connecting to what they learned.”

    • In Reading Unit 4, Session 14, students are guided to notice details from the text and make generalizations based on the evidence. Students use their notes from Number the Stars to think about the different perspectives in the story. Partners listen to each other and compare ideas, and then share a few out with the class.

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 4 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 2, Session 3, after studying a mentor text, students talk about what works in the model writing. Then, students engage in freewriting, using the “Qualities of Good Freewriting” anchor chart to guide their writing their ideas about the exemplar text. After the on-demand informational writing, students share and discuss if their on-demand, freewriting yielded new ideas. 

  • 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 11, the teacher “demonstrates that you choose a logical way to sequence materials within a single category.” The teacher models putting pieces of evidence in order in different ways-- chronological and least to most powerful. The teacher sends students off to order their evidence. 

    • In Writing Unit 3, Session 5, the teacher explains the importance of detail in history writing by “telling about a well-known history writer who values details and citing a few of the ones she’s used in her writing.” The teacher asks students to listen for details as an information text excerpt is read aloud. Students discuss ideas the details sparked. The teacher says, “Writer’s right now will you take a second to reread the last bit of writing you did yesterday and note how many details you have included? When you find a place that needs more details, start it so you know to go back and flesh it out later.” The class debriefs, emphasizing the importance of detail. The teacher sends students off and reminds them “that details matter, while cautioning them that searching for details can consume a lot of time, and they also need to keep deadlines in mind.” Students return to their informational writing. 

    • In Writing Unit 4, Session 6, students work on a literary essay. In the previous session, students added mini-stories to advance their point in their essay. In Session 6, students cite textual evidence, and add that to their literary essays. As students choose quotes to add, they use the “How to Write a Literary Essay” anchor chart. Students are instructed to evaluate evidence for their claim and use transitional phrases for introducing quotes. In Session 7, students finish firming up their evidence, and in Session 8, students put it all together and construct their first draft of their literary essay. In other lessons students revise and raise the quality of the literary essays. 

    • In Writing Unit 4, Session 20, students celebrate the literary essays they create with the classroom community. The teacher and students reflect on the “growth in [student’s] abilities to write about texts across the last few weeks…” The culmination of work throughout this 4-5 week unit creates a literary class anthology where all student’s work is combined, sorted and shared. Students read each other’s work, cite specific parts of it for “book talk”, and then share their thoughts about the author’s (peer) work “reading bits of the essays aloud to support their thinking.” The culmination of work includes several sessions of process writing where students consistently come back to their literary essays and continually build upon their writing.

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

    • In Writing Unit 1, Session 7, the teacher says, “You see, when you help each other revise your leads, you are really thinking, ‘If this keeps on going and becomes a whole story, what problems might the story encounter?” Students return to their drafts. 

    • In Writing Unit 1, Session 11, the teacher says, “I want to teach you that when you revise it really helps to reread with glasses.” I put on a pair of glasses for effect. Then, pulling the glasses off, I said, “You don’t really need to wear glasses to be a writer. But you do need to put on special lenses, lenses that allow you to reread your writing with one particular question or concern in mind.” The teacher sends students off to “reread their own writing through a specially chosen lens and remind them to do this throughout their lives.” 

    • In Writing Unit 2, Session 14, students revise their opinion writing using the Opinion Writing Checklist for Grades 4 and 5. Then students write a second draft of their essays, staying focused on the goals they set for themselves. For homework, students revise their drafts from the unit so far so that they are at least fourth or fifth grade level according to the criteria on the Opinion Writing Checklist. 

    • In Writing Unit 2, Session 15, students edit their work for run-on sentences and sentence fragments. Students work during this session to fix their spelling, punctuation, and grammar “so others can read their work and grasp the intended meaning.” The lesson directions are written as more suggestive than directive using language such as “we suggest you begin with a connection…”, “you might ask students to think of one way that they already know to edit work…” and, “you might jot two or three items you heard mentioned…” The materials suggest teachers, “can model editing some of your own writing or an anonymous student’s writing (riddled with a variety of sentence fragments and run-on sentences, of course).” 

    • In Writing Unit 3, Session 21, the teacher meets with students who are “lagging far behind” to help them create a list of what needs to be finished. When meeting with students, the teacher reminds students of the “most important qualities of informational writing.” It is suggested that the teacher keep the information writing checklist in hand as a reminder of the goals it outlines. The mid workshop teaching point directs teachers to model “revising by taking away.” The teacher asks students if there is anything they can take away as they add new ideas to their writing? Students return to their drafts. 

  • 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 4, Session 7, students are tasked with using lists as a means to support claims in their writing. Digital resources that are available for this session include the “How to Write a Literary Essay” anchor chart and sample student writing where the student attempts multiple times to use lists in different ways and places within their essay. There is also a suggested, optional website given to play a “snippet” of the “Sounds of Music” soundtrack to reinforce the teaching point that “like songs or poems, are written from both the ear and the heart...How can I bring together a surprising combination of items so that the whole list makes an effect on the reader?” The digital materials support students in seeing relevant examples to support their writing.

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 4 partially meet the criteria for Indicator 1j. 

The Grade 4 materials provide multiple opportunities across the school year for students to learn, practice, and apply different genres/modes/types of writing. In Grade 4, 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 realistic fiction narratives, one personal and one persuasive essay, one research-based historical informative/explanatory book, one literary essay, and one compare-and-contrast essay. The If...Then...Curriculum guidance states 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 2, Session 16, students are introduced to the process of turning their personal essays into persuasive opinions that consider a specific audience. This session is the first session to help students “take steps away from their personal opinions, which cannot truly be proven on the basis of evidence, to persuasive writing, in which the relevancy, sufficiency and validity of the evidence is critical.” The teacher models how to turn their personal opinions into a persuasive one, debriefing and pointing out the replicable steps students will be tasked to complete. 

      • In Up the Ladder: Accessing Grades 3-6 Opinion, Session 7, students learn from example reviews, noticing how they hook readers, state bold opinions, give reasons and examples, and get readers to agree and take action. After the inquiry portion of this lesson, writers work independently writing reviews of movies, T.V. shows, apps, restaurants, toys, video games, or whatever they choose. At the end of the lesson, students engage in a gallery walk to see their classmates’ opinion writing.

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

      • In Writing Unit 3, Session 16, students explore writing about an event, such as the Boston Massacre, from a different perspective. Students rewrite their historical reports from a new perspective. After considering multiple perspectives, students revise their research reports, keeping specific details about the period in history the same. 

    • Students have opportunities to engage in narrative writing.

      • In Writing Unit 1, Session 6, students transfer the story arc they worked on in previous sessions to write a scene to add to their story. They use the “How to Write a Fiction Story” anchor chart and their plan to guide them as they write this narrative piece.

      • In Writing Unit 2, Session 4, students are taught to extend their ideas through “having conversations with themselves as they wrote and [use] elaboration prompts to grow their ideas.” Students also work in pairs practicing using elaboration prompts orally before they begin to add to their writing pieces “putting the writing-in-the-air...onto the page.” Students use the strategy or elaboration prompts and partner share to engage in narrative writing. 

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

    • In Writing Unit 3, Session 10, it is suggested that the teacher read an excerpt from The Revolutionary War by Josh Gregory or another expository text. Students practice taking notes and putting information into their own words. Students practice asking, “Why?” and saying, “This reminds me of…” when researching and writing about their topic. They use their notes to synthesize the information they are getting from multiple texts. 

    • In Writing Unit 4, Session 1, students learn that “reading with an attentiveness to detail can spark ideas and that writing can be a vehicle for developing those ideas.” The teacher models/demonstrates this by rereading “a snippet of the touchstone text [Fox] [to] highlight the fact that you pause to attend closely to what’s in the text saying or writing what you notice.” Throughout this session students had a writing opportunity connected to a suggested text.

    • In Writing Unit 4, Session 4, the teacher says, “We’ve been studying Fox together, so it makes sense that we practice this work off that text first, and then you can do this on your own with the short text you have been studying.”

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 4 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, “The Arc of Story,” there are 21 lessons.  No lessons in this unit provide students opportunities to practice and apply writing using evidence.

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

    • In Writing, Unit 3, “Bringing History to LIfe,” there are 23 lessons. Two lessons in this unit provide students opportunities to practice and apply writing using evidence.

    • In Writing, Unit 4, “The Literary Essay,” there are 20 lessons. Five lessons in this unit provide students opportunities to practice and apply writing using evidence. 

  • 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 3, the teacher says, “Point to the part of the text you are discussing. Reread it. Then I should hear a bunch of you trying to name what the writer is doing in that part.” In this part of the lesson, the teacher is coaching the students through dialogue about what has been identified in the text as what the writer was doing. At the end of the lesson, the class refers to the chart, “Qualities of Good Freewriting.” This opportunity does not require students to use textual evidence. 

    • In Writing, Unit 2,  Session 11, the teacher says, “Writers, share your thoughts about how to order your evidence with your partner. Discuss which way of ordering feels more right for your evidence and why.” In this part of the lesson, students are working on a narrative about somebody important in their life and using evidence that they know about the individual and not textual evidence. 

    • In Writing ,Unit 4, Session 13, students work to “find evidence to support their claims by studying the choices authors make in their texts.” The teacher explains that, “essayists use not only what a text says, but how the text says it as evidence to support their claims.” The teacher uses a suggested mentor text, Fox, or “the text you have been using in demonstrations,” to point out the craftsmanship and the author’s use of literary devices for students to highlight their own writing. When returning to the text, the teacher asks students, “What literary language did the author use? And, “how does this show what the text is really about?” While the materials outline for the teacher to use evidence to support claims by the study author’s craft and choices, students are not specifically tasked to do the same. After the mini lesson, students are told, “You’ll spend time rereading your drafts thinking ‘what does my draft need?’ You might find that you need to collect evidence by adding micro-stories, quotes, lists...so don’t forget to work on the transition that glues evidence together.  You might find entirely different work needs to be done. You have a lot to do, so let’s get right to work.” There is no direct transference of skills from the lesson to independent work.

    • In Reading, Unit 1, Session 8, the teacher reads aloud the lead from Pecan Pie Baby by Jacqueline Woodson. The class discusses how the lead is linked to the main tension in the story. Then the teacher reads aloud a second text, Fireflies! by Julie Brinckloe. Students are asked, “What has Brinkckloe done that we can learn from?” Students talk with partners. Then students return to their realistic fiction stories and revise their leads. This sequence of the teacher reading aloud, the students analyzing and discussing what the author did, and then transferring or applying the moves to their writing is found repeatedly. However, it does not provide students with opportunities to work with evidence from texts and sources. 

    • In Reading, Unit 3, Session 11, the teacher models how to angle evidence to support ideas. Then students practice by looking at a picture of King George III, thinking from the Patriots’ perspective. Next, students analyze a second image as if they were a Loyalist. Students “head off” to do their research and search for evidence to support their position. During the shared portion of the lesson, students are asked to rank their evidence from strongest to weakest. In Sessions 12 and 13 they rehearse and stage a debate of the Second Continental Congress. Students do not use their evidence to write an argument.

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 4 do not meet the criteria for Indicator 1l.

Materials include minimal explicit instruction in grade-level grammar and usage standards. Some standards are not addressed at all, while others are briefly reviewed with limited to no guided practice. Students are encouraged to look at their writing, find the uses or examples of the identified standard, and make needed revisions or corrections. The materials include one lesson or mid-workshop teaching point in prepositional phrases, correcting run-on sentences, and choosing punctuation for effect. While these lessons are present, they are isolated examples of instruction that infrequently occur. Most units include a lesson that focuses on grammar and usage, but these segments are written not as lessons but as Letters to Teachers. These Letters to Teachers make broad suggestions about areas of grammar and usage that a teacher could address in the lesson but do not provide explicit guidance about which grammar and usage standards to prioritize. 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. When referencing specific grammar skills and concepts, the lessons do not use the standard terminology for specific grammar skills or when modeling how to write based on key grammar concepts and rules. 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 minimal, and instruction in most grammar and usage 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 use relative pronouns (who, whose, whom, which, that) and relative adverbs (where, when, why).

  • Materials do not include explicit instruction designed to teach students to form and use the progressive (e.g., I was walking; I am walking; I will be walking) verb tenses.

  • Materials do not include explicit instruction designed to teach students to use modal auxiliaries (e.g., can, may, must) to convey various conditions.

  • Materials do not include explicit instruction designed to teach students to order adjectives within sentences according to conventional patterns (e.g., a small red bag rather than a red small bag).

  • Materials include minimal explicit instruction designed to teach students to form and use prepositional phrases. For example:

  • In Writing, Unit 1, Session 12, the teacher tells students that writers use prepositional phrases to communicate complicated situations in writing. The teacher defines prepositions and provides examples of common prepositions, then tells students that when writers use a preposition alongside a noun, adjective, or adverb, that creates a prepositional phrase. The teacher reads sentences containing prepositional phrases from Fireflies! by Julie Brinckloe and explains how the prepositional phrases make a smooth sentence that captures a lot of information. The teacher challenges students to add prepositional phrases to their writing. 

  • Materials include minimal explicit instruction designed to teach students to produce complete sentences, recognizing and correcting inappropriate fragments and run-ons. For example: 

  • In Writing, Unit 1, Session 20, the teacher shares an example of a run-on sentence from the teacher’s own writing. The teacher tells students that the sentence has more than one sentence inside it. The teacher models two strategies for correcting the run-on sentence, i.e., using a comma and a coordinating conjunction, and adding end punctuation to divide the sentence into two separate sentences. Students check their own writing for run-on sentences. 

  • In Writing, Unit 2, Session 15, the teacher is to use their own writing and writing samples with sentence errors. The teacher tells students to read their writing and listen for where they finish a complete thought. The teacher tells students to meet with a partner and read aloud their writing listening for run-on sentences and sentence fragments. The teacher adds to the editing checklist Read work aloud to check for fragments and run-on sentences.

  • Materials do not include explicit instruction designed to teach students to correctly use frequently confused words (e.g., to, too, two; there, their).

  • Materials do not include explicit instruction designed to teach students to use correct capitalization. For example:

  • In Writing, Unit 2, Session 15, the teacher reminds students to use a checklist to edit for punctuation and to check for capital letters at the beginning of new sentences, when using proper nouns, or when beginning someone’s title. Explicit instruction is not included. 

  • In Writing, Up the Ladder, Narrative, Session 5, during small group conferring in the mid-workshop teaching component, the teacher shares that writers make sure their writing is readable. The teacher provides students with an editing checklist that includes a criterion to check for capital letters at the beginning of sentences. Students are encouraged to check their writing to ensure the beginning of sentences has capital letters and punctuation.

  • Materials do not include explicit instruction designed to teach students to use commas and quotation marks to mark direct speech and quotations from a text.

  • No evidence found. There are lessons on using quotations but not punctuating them. 

  • Materials include limited explicit instruction designed to teach students to use a comma before a coordinating conjunction in a compound sentence. For example:

  • In Writing, Unit 2, Session 1, the teacher models how to use a coordinating conjunction and a comma when providing examples within thesis statements and essays. Students practice by finishing a shared essay.

  • In Writing, Unit 4, Session 19, the teacher uses a sample text to highlight where commas are placed in the writing and why. The teacher asks, “What effect does the comma or commas have on the reader? What does the comma do?” Together with the students, the teacher makes a chart to be used as a reference for students on how and when to use commas. The chart includes using commas after character’s names, after title and author, after beginning phrases, to glue two sentences together with conjunctions, and listing three or more items in a sentence.

  • Materials include explicit instruction designed to teach students to spell grade-appropriate words correctly, consulting references as needed. For example:

    • In Writing, Unit 1, Session 14, the teacher discusses the importance of editing for paragraphing, punctuation, and spelling. The teacher describes and demonstrates how the students should reread and check spellings. The teacher shares how a writer tries a word they are not sure how to spell several times, seeking outside resources after the student has tried their resources. Students try editing by following the model given by the teacher. Students return to their writing piece to edit. 

    • In Writing, Unit 2, Session 15, the teacher reminds students to “Check to see if known, high-frequency words are spelled correctly.” Explicit instruction is not included. 

    • In Writing, Unit 2, Session 20, during the mini-lesson, the teacher states that a writer does not allow their work to go out into the world unless it is his/her best. The teacher uses a piece of writing and models looking for misspelled words. The teacher reads and thinks aloud, then stops and highlights words that do not look right. The teacher directs students to look for misspelled words and circle them in their writing and encourages them to use their editing and spelling checklist to proofread and fix the final writing piece.

    • In Writing, Up the Ladder, Opinion, Session 5, the teacher explains that it is important to say and listen to each part of the words. The teacher says you do this by “sk-ska-skating “ across the word and writing the parts you hear. The teacher models the idea by trying to skate across the word gigantic and slowly stretching the sounds to say each part of spelling and writing. Students work with a partner to skate across words to sound out chunks to write and spell. The students practice with the word fantastic. The teacher adds the idea of skating across words to the editing checklist for students to refer to when writing and spelling.

  • Materials include explicit instruction designed to teach students to choose words and phrases to convey ideas precisely. For example:

  • In Reading, Unit 1, Session 10, the teacher demonstrates precise language to describe characters. Partners work to describe a character from a text. Students are encouraged to assess their own prior writing.

  • In Writing, Unit 4, Session 3, during a mini-lesson on elaborating on ideas about a character, the teacher focuses on incorporating thought prompts and textual evidence to enhance writing. The teacher shares a chart “Ways to Push Our Thinking” and includes beginning prompts and phrases writers can use. Some examples include “in other words; that is; the important thing about this is; another example of this is; the reason for this is; this is important because”. Students read and talk about a text passage that uses the phrases and provides text evidence. The teacher encourages students to use prompts to extend their thinking in their own writing.

  • In Writing, Unit 4, Session 10, together with the teacher, students develop “Tips for Developing More Complex Ideas” which include 4 tips: “Writers should understand that things are never just one way; all bad or all good; understand that what things appear to be on the outside is not necessarily what they are on the inside; understand that things change across a story; understand when characters act a certain way the author is trying to show how people act in real life”. The teacher uses a phrase from writing that “the dog is a caring friend”. The teacher and students discuss and add to the phrase to elaborate ideas to make them more complex and real. Students practice with partners and then are encouraged to bring more depth to their writing by adding complex words and ideas.

  • Materials include limited explicit instruction designed to teach students to choose punctuation for effect. For example:

  • In Writing, Unit 1, Session 20, the teacher tells students that “fiction writers don’t just choose to use certain punctuation because it’s the correct way to use it. Writers also use punctuation to affect their readers — to control how readers read and understand stories that the writers write.” The teacher names punctuation students know and reviews how they are used. The teacher demonstrates revising a draft with punctuation in mind. The teacher shows students how writers can use punctuation for clarity and effect. Students are invited to revise a section of the draft for punctuation for effect with the teacher. Students return to their pieces to revise punctuation for effect. 

  • In Writing, Up the Ladder, Narrative, Session 5, during a mini-lesson on how and why authors use punctuation, the teacher creates a chart on why authors use punctuation and uses the headings: types of punctuation; how authors use it; and examples from a text called Short Cut. Together with the teacher, students look for punctuation in the text and identify and discuss how the author used the punctuation and why. Students discuss and analyze the text for punctuation as the teacher listens in and coaches students’ ideas and thinking about punctuation. The completed chart includes how authors use periods, question marks, exclamation marks, and ellipses with examples from the shared text. Students whisper-read their writing, analyze punctuation, and edit or add punctuation as needed.

  • Materials include minimal explicit instruction designed to teach students to differentiate between contexts that call for formal English (e.g., presenting ideas) and situations where informal discourse is appropriate (e.g., small-group discussion). For example:

    • In Reading, Unit 1, Session 12, the teacher explains that debates occur around a provocative idea that can be argued from both sides and how to state claims in formal English. Students participate in a debate protocol in which they generate debatable ideas from books they have been reading.

    • In Reading, Unit 2, Session 11, the teacher coaches research teams to hold collaborative conversations by guiding them to talk about each other’s ideas using prompts to guide the discussion.

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

    • In Writing, Unit 1, Session 14, the teacher shares a piece of student writing that the student has edited. The teacher explains that the student edited the piece of writing several times, each time with a different focus, including spelling, punctuation, and verb tenses. The teacher models editing for verb tense. The teacher gives students a paragraph from the piece of writing that contains different kinds of errors. Students work in partners to edit the paragraph through three lenses, editing for spelling, punctuation, and verb tense. Students work in partners to apply this editing process to their own 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 4 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 1, Session 10, the teacher demonstrates techniques for finding precise language. In the conferring and small group work it suggests that the teacher “convene a small group to support precise language.” Students list synonyms for words such as smart, nice, happy, and sad to use in their descriptions about characters. These words are not repeated in context, nor is there any cohesion or unifying element to vocabulary development. Additionally, since this lesson occurs in small groups, there is no guarantee all students will receive this instruction. 

    • In Reading Unit 2, Session 6, students are taught to “look in and around new vocabulary words, they can often figure out their meaning.” The materials suggest that because of sheer density students won’t be able to learn or master all of the new words they encounter, “therefore they’ll need to learn to think about which are important. They need to learn that the words that are important in nonfiction texts are apt to reappear, and that if the reader pays alert attention to the larger meaning of the text, usually that attentiveness to meaning will allow the reader to intuit the meaning of the unknown word.” The materials then suggest that the teacher teaches broad mental work that occurs when you are attempting to figure out the meaning of unknown words and refer to a set of strategies to “look in” and “look around.” While there is opportunity for some guidance in vocabulary development, there are few examples or opportunities for this or other similar vocabulary practices to occur cohesively across the year.

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

    • In Reading Unit 3, Session 4, students teach their classmates what they have learned about the Revolutionary War by engaging in research. There is not a list of vocabulary related to the Revolutionary War topic or to writing informational texts.

    • In Reading Unit 4, Session 8, students are taught that “Readers open their eyes to new ideas both as they read and in conversation with other readers, and they can use these ideas to make their interpretation more powerful.” In the small group for this session, the materials suggest teaching students to pay attention to tone and mood, opening up opportunities to discuss and describe the language within the text. The materials suggest pulling a book club and “catch up on their thinking.” The materials suggest that teachers listen to students describe a scene in the text where the mood or tone changes, then point it out. “It sounds like you are saying that the scene started out with one kind of tone and then it changed. Is that it?” The teacher gives students words from the text without defining them or further explaining them in context. 

  • 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.

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 4 do not meet the criteria for Indicator 1n.

Materials do not include explicit instruction, application, and assessment of phonics, word analysis, and word recognition skills. Lessons related to irregularly spelled words, syllabication patterns, and word recognition routines are not provided systematically and explicitly over the course of the school year. 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 in the context of reading and writing conferences, the materials do not provide explicit instruction of the skills and concepts. Materials include a suggestion to use an additional program, Words Their Way, to supplement phonics, word analysis, and word recognition skills assessment and instruction. Phonics, word analysis, and word recognition are not directly assessed. There are no specific assessment opportunities related to irregularly spelled words and syllable division principles. The use of running records is recommended to observe and take note of students’ phonics and word recognition skills and use that information during conferring or small group instruction to support individual student needs. 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 do not contain explicit instruction of irregularly spelled words, syllabication patterns, and word recognition consistently over the course of the year. For example:

  • Materials do not contain explicit instruction of letter-sound correspondences, syllabication patterns, and morphology consistently over the course of the year.

  • All 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, Reading Pathways, Chapter 3, materials discuss the importance of conducting regular running records throughout the year. Materials explain that when conducting a running record, it allows the teacher to observe and analyze a student's word recognition abilities. The teacher is prompted to note decoding areas of difficulty and perhaps address 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 4 do not meet the criteria for Indicator 1o.

 Materials lack explicit opportunities for student 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, they 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.

    • In Reading, Up the Ladder Nonfiction, Orientation, materials direct the teacher to gather nonfiction books so that students can apply skills and find “just-right” books to read independently during Reading Workshop. The teacher is encouraged to build or create a classroom library by gathering books, borrowing books from other grades or a library, and to consider using magazines or utilizing e-books. 

  • 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 4 do not meet the criteria for Indicator 1p.

Materials lack frequent instruction and student practice in the area of fluency. The Reading Workshop format does not ensure that students are practicing fluent reading of the grade-level text, and lessons do not offer explicit, repeated instruction in fluency. Students are encouraged to independently apply fluency skills during Reading Workshop with text from the classroom library or poetry that the teacher directs to “go and find” to create poetry packets. Teachers use 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 uses running record data to make instructional decisions related to the whole class and small group mini-lessons. However, there is no systematic instruction 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 3, Session 8, during conferring, the teacher directs students to read with prosody and fluidity while engaging students in a repeated reading activity. The teacher encourages students to adjust their reading based upon the content of the text. Students meet with their team, select a passage, and present an oral reading performance.

  • Materials do not provide support for reading of 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. For example:

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

      • In Reading, Unit 3, Session 8, the teacher is encouraged to have students engage in multiple readings of a text in a purposeful and engaging way. The teacher creates conditions that allow for this by performing selected texts or reading aloud. Students read with prosody and fluidity. 

      • 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 do not support 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).

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

      • No evidence found

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

    • In Reading, Unit 3, Orientation, running records are used to ensure that students are making progress. Guidance for teachers states, “assuming you have taught two units prior to this one, students who are entering this unit reading at benchmark will be reading level R or S texts with approximately 96% accuracy, fluency, and comprehension.”

    • In Reading, Reading Pathways, Chapter 3, 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. 

    • 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 both students and teachers should use the progressions in the context of student conferences to identify current levels and set goals for growth.

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 4 TRADE PK 978‑0‑325‑04748‑5 Heinemann 2013
CALKINS /WRITING PATHWAYS 978‑0‑325‑05730‑9 Heinemann 2014
CALKINS /UNITS READING GR 4 W/TRADE PK 978‑0‑325‑07468‑9 Heinemann 2015
UNITS STUDY READING GR 4 978‑0‑325‑07697‑3 Heinemann 2015
UNITS STUDY READ GR 4 TRADE PK 978‑0‑325‑07727‑7 Heinemann 2015
UNITS WRITING GR 4 W STK NOTES 978‑0‑325‑08951‑5 Heinemann 2016
CALKINS /UNITS WRIT 4 W/TB & STK NOTES 978‑0‑325‑08957‑7 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
STEINBERG /UP LADDER READ NONFICT BUNDLE 978‑0‑325‑11274‑9 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