Alignment: Overall Summary

The instructional materials for Grade 5 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

+
-
Gateway One Details

The Grade 5 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 5 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 5 meet the criteria for Indicator 1a.

The Grade 5 Units of Study materials include anchor texts of publishable quality. There are a variety of books that consider a range of student interests. Grade 5 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 5 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 teacher uses Home of the Brave by Katherine Applegate to ask students to find the evidence to tell of Kek’s life before moving. The text allows students to broaden their knowledge base and personal perspectives on a variety of topics (an immigrant’s journey) at various levels of depth/meaning that lead to the development of a well-rounded individual.

  • In Reading Unit 2, the recommended read aloud is When Lunch Fights Back: Wickedly Clever Animal Defenses by Rebecca Johnson. The text allows readers to understand the biological, social, and physical world. The text can be examined for multiple purposes. 

  • In Reading Unit 3, teacher guidance recommends use of a list of favorite trade books to gather or order texts for this unit. In Bend 1, Getting Ready guidance includes, “We suggest Kim Severson’s New York Times article, “A School Fight Over Chocolate Milk.” 

  • In Reading Unit 4, the suggested read aloud, The Thief of Always by Clive Barker could be used as a grade-level text that gauges students’ interests. Series of books are recommended, such as the first three books of Dragon Slayers’ Academy or the first two volumes of The Spiderwick Chronicles.

  • In Reading Unit 4, the teacher reads Fly Away Home by Eve Bunting. The classic text is engaging and is worthy of reading multiple times.

Indicator 1b

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

2/4
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 5 partially meet the criteria for Indicator 1b. 

The Grade 5 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. Unit 4 does offer the opportunity for a blend of literary and informational texts during conferring and small group work during session 11, guiding students on reviewing nonfiction reading skills. 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. In the digital resources teachers have access to a PDF entitled Short Texts, Poems, and Other Compilations to Support Bend III of Interpretation Book Clubs, Grade 5. Materials do not reflect a distribution of text types/genres required by the grade level. No speeches, 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, Home of the Brave by Katherine Applegate is a literary text. The teacher reads aloud excerpts from the literary text Fly Away Home by Eve Bunting. A digital resource Short Texts, Poems, and Other Compilations to Support Bend III of Interpretation Book Clubs, Grade 5 is used to guide students through finding themes within short texts and poems. 

    • In Reading Unit 2, the teacher uses the article, Lessons from the Deep adapted from a text by Anna Gratz Cockerille. The teacher also reads aloud from the informational text, When Lunch Fights Back by Rebecca L Johnson.

    • In Reading Unit 3, the informational texts, A School Fight Over Chocolate Milk by Kim Severson and Schools Ban Chocolate Milk; Kids Just Stop Drinking Milk Altogether by Rachel Nuwer are recommended for use. 

    • In Reading Unit 4, The Thief of Always by Clive Barker and The Paper Bag Princess by Robert Munsch are literary texts. The poem Jabberwocky by Lewis Carroll is used.

    • In the Reading If/Then Unit, the Jaqueline Woodson poems All the Places to Love, The Other Side, and Each Kindness are read. 

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

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

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

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

    • In Reading Unit 4, there are three anchor texts. All three are literary texts. 

    • In the Reading If/Then Unit, poems are used as anchor texts. 

Indicator 1c

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

0/4
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 5 do not meet the criteria for Indicator 1c.

Most anchor texts in the curriculum are not at the appropriate level of complexity for Grade 5, according to quantitative and qualitative analysis and the associated tasks. In Grade 5, anchor texts are read aloud to students, and students do not have an opportunity to read the texts independently. Since students apply the skills learned during the read aloud to their independent reading levels, there is no guarantee that students will be applying the newly learned skills to grade level appropriate complex text. Additionally, the majority of associated tasks are not complex nor aligned to grade-level standards. The materials do not provide a text complexity analysis document for recommended texts. The unit books include a very brief rationale for a few of the recommended demonstration texts but do not include comprehensive information on quantitative or qualitative text complexity.  

Core/Anchor texts do not have the appropriate level of complexity for the grade according to documented quantitative analysis, qualitative analysis, and relationship to their associated student task. 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 2, the teacher reads When Lunch Fights Back:  Wickedly Clever Animal Defenses by Rebecca L. Johnson (920L).  The teacher reads the text aloud, and students summarize the text. Students do not have an opportunity to read the text independently. 

    • In Reading Unit 4, a recommended mentor text is The Paper Bag Princess by Robert Munsch (740L).  The teacher reads aloud, and students note setting, consider who has the power, and practice thinking metaphorically. Students do not have an opportunity to read the text independently.  

    • In Reading Unit 4, the teacher reads aloud Mufaro’s Beautiful Daughters:  An African Tale by John Steptoe (790L).  Students listen, identify figurative language, and interpret elements of fantasy to better understand the real world.  Students do not have an opportunity to read the text independently. 

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

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

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

    • In Reading Unit 1, the teacher reads Home of the Brave by Katherine Applegate. The teacher’s manual does not include a text analysis or rationale for educational placement. They are not provided in the print or digital materials. 

Indicator 1d

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

0/4
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-
Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 5 do not meet the criteria for Indicator 1d. 

The majority of Grade 5 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 text has a NP Lexile level.   Considering quantitative, qualitative, and associated student tasks, the Unit 1 text has an overall complexity level of accessibility. There are no instances of students reading core anchor texts independently.   

    • In the middle of the year, the Reading Unit 3 texts range in Lexile levels from 820L to 960L. Some texts also have NP ratings. Considering quantitative, qualitative, and associated student tasks, Unit 3 texts have overall complexity levels of moderate. There are no instances of students reading core anchor texts independently.   

    • At the end of the year, the Reading Unit 4 texts range in Lexile levels from 580L to 840L.  Texts range from accessible to complex qualitative complexity.  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 read aloud of Home of the Brave by Katherine Applegate (NP).  The text is read aloud over 19 sessions, with other read aloud texts included during this time. Students do not read the shared reading text independently. 

    • In Reading Unit 2, students listen to a read aloud of When Lunch Fights Back:  Wickedly Clever Animal Defenses by Rebecca Johnson (920L).  On Day 1, the teacher uses the text to orient students to complex nonfiction text.  Students do not read the shared reading text independently.

    • In Reading Unit 4, students listen to read alouds of The Paper Bag Princess by Robert Munsch (740L), The Thief of Always by Clive Barker (740L), and Mufaro’s Beautiful Daughters by John Steptoe (790L) throughout the course of the unit.  When reading The Paper Bag Princess, the teacher reads aloud and demonstrates noting the setting, considering who has the power, and thinking metaphorically.  When reading The Thief of Always, the teacher reads aloud and demonstrates how to learn with the main character, and students turn and talk to summarize what was read. When reading Mufaro’s Beautiful Daughters, the teacher reads aloud, defines allegory and metaphor and interprets elements of fantasy to better understand the real world. 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 5 partially meet the criteria for Indicator 1e.

The Grade 5 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 materials state, “In most reading units of study, there is a read-aloud text or two that thread through the sequence of the unit.  You could decide to substitute another book for the suggested read-aloud.”  

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

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

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

    • After 10 mini-lessons within a unit, students are required to apply skills learned throughout their 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 If/Then, Getting Ready, the teacher is told to  “Gather texts on westward expansion. It is impossible to overstate the value of engaging your students by making sure they have materials to read that feel interesting and exciting and that they can read well. You’ll need to look at the texts you have and assess your needs. You may find that you have many titles available, and you really just need to spruce things up a bit.” 

  • 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 6, the teacher talks to students about their homework.  The text states “...the volume of reading you do each day is also very important. We can’t get better at something if we don't do much of it, right? So tonight, as always, keep an eye on the amount of time you spend reading and the number of pages read. One rule of thumb that can be helpful is this: for every ten minute spent reading, you should get through eight pages of text.” While this addresses pacing, it does not ensure students engage in a volume of reading to become independent readers at grade level.

    • In Reading Unit 3, Session 14, the teacher talks to students about their homework.  The materials state: “Readers, tonight be sure to read and enjoy your fiction book. But also be sure to do everything you need to do to come in tomorrow ready to debate.” It is unclear the volume of reading that students engage in.

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

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

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

    • In Reading Unit 1, Session 4, the materials state, “As with all small-group teaching, you’ll want to give this group a chance to apply this teaching to their independent reading books and to receive a bit of your personalized coaching before you send them off.”

    • In Reading Unit 1,  Session 1, students write about their independent books and how they will make entries in their reader’s notebook.

    • In Reading Unit 1, Session 2, in the online resources, a reading log is provided as a tool for students to record their independent reading.

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

    • In Reading Unit 3, Session 14, the teacher prepares students for their homework assignment.  The materials state, “Readers, tonight be sure to read and enjoy your fiction book. But also be sure to do everything you need to do to come in tomorrow ready to debate.” It is unclear the volume of reading that students engage in.

    • In Reading Unit 4, Session 6, the teacher prepares students for their homework assignment.  The materials state,  “Tonight, make plans with your club members and set homework for each member...It’s really important that you become the kind of learner who pushes forward yourself, not waiting for someone to tell you what to do. Show off your independence tonight.” Procedures for independent reading are not clearly stated. Students set their own plans. 

Criterion 1f - 1m

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

3/16
+
-
Criterion Rating Details

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

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

Indicator 1f

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

0/2
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 5 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 2, Session 7, students study and consider the structure of texts. After the teacher reads aloud and models, students work in partners to read pages 42 and 43 from When Lunch Fights Back by Rebecca L. Johnson. The teacher is encouraged to “coach in and voice over with tips.” It is suggested that one tip is, “Don’t just label the text structure! Look for signal words that clued you into the text structure and mark those words somehow.” Then the teacher sends readers off to “continue to read and to notice anything interesting or unusual related to structure as they read today.” Students work in their independent reading books. No questions are asked in this lesson on text structure.The task does ask students to go back in the text and look for signal words to help them identify the structure.

    • In Reading Unit 2, Session 17, students listen as the teacher reads aloud two chunks of texts on the same subtopic, and students are guided to notice how they portray the topic in similar and different ways. The teacher also models noticing the author's craft. The teacher encourages readers to uncover contradictions when researching and reading. 

    • In Reading Unit 3, Session 6, students are tasked with understanding that “readers shift from taking information to reflecting on that information to grow new ideas.” This is meant to support students in conducting research. The teacher begins the teaching period by thinking aloud with a read-aloud text, an article from the New York Times by Kim Severson. The reading task is for students to “listen” to the text and “ push yourself to have some thoughts.” The teacher reads two sentences of the suggested text, pauses and states, “I’m already having a thought in response to this. Are you?” No text-dependent questions are present in the lesson. 

  • 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 note

    • 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 related 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
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-
Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 5 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 A 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 3, students compare what they found about “how main idea works across pages of the read-aloud text.” Partners talk together and then each partnership joins another set of partners, and all four discuss what they found in their text around the big question, “How does main idea work in this text?” There is no specific protocol for students to use during this partner work for speaking and listening.

    • In Reading Unit 4, Session 3, students are taught to tackle more complicated books.  They use charts, timelines, and other graphic organizers to help track and analyze multiple problems and plotlines. Students read a transcript of a club conversation, “that demonstrates the many problems that arise in complex stories.”  They also analyze a sample chart that the club creates that tracks problems that arise in the text. The chart is to promote conversation among the group. The strategy focus for this lesson is to “keep track of multiple problems” and “learn alongside the main character.” There is no protocol to prompt group discussions or modeling of a discussion protocol. Although students are pulling evidence from the text, they are not using the evidence to prompt evidence based discussions. Sample of the conversation includes :“Jose: At least Mordred’s happy, because he has gold now. “ “Michael: Nah, Mordred will always want more gold. You can tell. He’s greedy, and greedy people are never satisfied.”  “Jose: Snap! These folks have a lot of problems.”

    • In Reading Unit 4, Session 12, during the conferring and small group work, students focus on “using language of the literature when having club conversations.” The suggestion is for teachers to “coach” students “towards using more sophisticated, text specific language in their conversations.” The materials suggest the teacher point out specific instances where students referred back to the text to find a word/words directly from the text. Essentially, students begin to “develop a specific language that reflects the books they’ve read.” Teachers are also given a suggested list of topics for conversational vocabulary to coach the students. 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.

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 5 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 2, the materials state, “After a few minutes, I said, “Partners, I know you aren’t finished, but will you talk above all about the differences between not-so-great writing about reading and great writing about reading? The bigger question I am asking is this: what does great writing about reading look like? For example, how could any of us write really, really well about those first pages of Home of the Brave?”

    • In Reading Unit 2, “Session 2, students preview a chapter in a shared text together to revise their hypothesis as needed “based on clues in the structure and content of the text. Suggested questions that focus on what students are reading include: “Does that make sense?” when referring to the title of a book and what it might suggest as the main idea and “What does this part seem to be about?” when referring to a section read in the text after reading a section. The follow up to this reading is for students to identify the features in the text and ask, “ What does this whole part seem to be about?”

    • In Reading Unit 2, “Session 11, the materials state,  “You might ask students to gather together in topic groups and share the main ideas they’ve already generated. As students share, encourage them to look for trends in main ideas across the group. You may want to end with a symphony share, where you serve as the director, signaling students that they should share a main idea they’ve developed. Marvel at the sound of so many main ideas filling the room!”

  • 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 3, Session 3, students argue for and against chocolate milk in schools. The teacher tells students, “You will have one minute to lay out your case, then you will switch so that your opponent has a minute to present his or her position. Listen very carefully to your opponent, because after each of you finishes, you will say what you think was the best piece of evidence he or she gave.”

    • In Reading Unit 4, Session 14, students study a painting called The Maiden and the Unicorn with a partner. Partners discuss details from the painting. They discuss what the unicorns might represent. Then, they practice identifying the symbols of the pond and the fish in The Thief of Always and discuss what they might represent.

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 5 partially meet the criteria for Indicator 1i. 

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

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

    • In Writing Unit 1, Session 1, students jot turning-point stories. “These might be first times, last times, or they might be times they realized something important. Then take one of those moments and write the whole story, fast and furious.” This on-demand task is not text-based. 

    • In Unit 4, Session 2, students draft letters to the school principal arguing whether or not schools should serve chocolate milk. Students use the “A Position Statement Often Goes Like This” chart and the “How to Write an Argument” anchor chart to support their on-demand writings.

  • 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 1, Session 15, the teacher says, “Writers, after trying this myself I’m realizing two things. One is, I’ll have to escalate---that means build up---parts of my story. I’ll have to build from the part where Luka runs off to the part where he gets hit. The second thing---I’ll have to be careful to not make the first bit of the problem so bad that it can’t get worse. I’ll have to think across the parts, like a writer, as I’m drafting.” The teacher reminds students of the time frame for their writing and for their options for the day and then sends students off to work. 

    • In Writing Unit 2, Session 1, students learn that “research writers organize the information that they know about their topic, which helps them to write about their topic.” The unit is designed to support students in writing research-based informational history reports. Students begin this unit by writing a flash-draft report of all that they already know, in this instance, “The Westward Expansion.” The work from this session is “meant to contextualize work students will do in the latter half of this unit on a focused topic.” This session is one part of a 4-5 week unit that adds layers of process writing for research reports.

    • In Writing Unit 2, Session 12, students move from the research phase to drafting their research reports. In Sessions 13-17, students revise for structure, increase cohesion, text features, examine multiple points of view, and revise to improve their introductions and conclusions. In Session 18, writers revise and finalize their drafts. 

    • In Writing Unit 3, Session 8, the teacher talks to students about ways to “lift the level of first draft writing.” Specifically, the teacher talks about writers needing to feel an emotion toward a subject. The teacher “sets students up to use the boxes and bullets format to take notes. Students set goals for their writing, using their checklists as a guide. After setting goals, students begin 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, “Writers, right now, will you show your partner what you wrote yesterday and today, and will you talk about whether you are getting better at writing narratives, and about the things you still need to work on? It would be helpful to show them the choices you made about meaning, about what your story is really about, and how today’s new draft highlights that meaning.” The teacher sends students off to “rehearse their stories by storytelling them first.” Students should then begin drafting. 

    • In Writing Unit 4, Session 5, students revise their letter to add more evidence. Students talk with partners and use the “Body Paragraphs Often Go Like This” anchor chart and its sentence stems. The teacher uses a chart and circulates, coaching in to help students revise their writing for elaboration, selecting the strongest evidence, organization, adding transitional words and phrases, aligning evidence to the claim, and reducing off-topic or personal thinking. 

    • In Writing Unit 4, Session 10, students are taught that “writers often plan for and rehearse the entirety of a draft, and then choose a tricky place to focus on as they work.” It is also noted in this session that it helps, “to show students that it is helpful to plan one’s writing in similar ways, anticipating how the process of writing will go, watching for trouble spots as one makes this mental movie of the work that is to come.” The teacher models how to add evidence to your writing using examples that students read in other people’s writing and where, if necessary, to include direct quotes to support their claims. Students are then paired for peer tutoring for support with making revisions to their writing. During the small group work and conferring, the teacher focuses on “front end revisions” as opposed to “back end revisions,” to support students that are struggling with volume and fluency in their writing. During whole group and small group instruction, students have the opportunity to revise their work for volume and content. 

    • In Writing If/Then, Session 5, students use a checklist to get ready for the first draft of their literary essays. By the end of this lesson, students have the opportunity to create a “flash draft.” The checklist allows students to plan out their writing and “rehearse” out loud with a partner. Students organize a “clear and predictable” structure before they begin writing. Students then “flash-draft, writing fast and furious down pages of loose-leaf paper outside of their notebooks, so they draft a majority of their essay in one single session of independent writing.” 

  • 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 2, Session 3, online resources include a link to a six-page pdf list of links to online resources for research on Westward Expansion.

    • In Writing Unit 2, Session 11, students are exposed to the use of primary source documents as being important for research writing. Students first observe a primary source document, Letter from Irish immigrant Mary Ann Rowe by William Swain and photographs of immigrants at the pier on Ellis Island. The photograph of the original letter, mentioned in the print materials, is not available, only the rewritten version of the letter. These documents are provided in the digital materials as well as a list of four websites that can possibly house primary source materials. 

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 5 partially meet the criteria for Indicator 1j. 

The Grade 5 materials provide multiple opportunities across the school year for students to learn, practice, and apply different genres/modes/types of writing. In Grade 5, 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 text type opportunities: two personal narratives, one research report, one research article, two memoirs, one argument essay, and one persuasive letter. There is an additional and optional fifth unit from the If...Then...Curriculum in which students may write two literary essays. The If...Then...Curriculum guidance states that modes of writing and writing opportunities may or may not be on grade level or address grade-level standards. Additionally, the materials do not indicate how many sessions to teach in a week. There are some text connections a teacher can utilize; however, since anchor texts are suggested, teachers may use what is available and students can choose texts or reread previous texts. 

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

    • Students have opportunities to engage in opinion writing. 

      • In Writing Unit 4, Session 11, students learn that “argument writers strengthen their claims by including evidence supporting the opposing viewpoint and then offering a rebuttal.” The teacher models the ways that writers need to think about counterarguments by using their own writing as an example and mentor text to address the “yeah, buts” of their argument. Students are encouraged to use “each other as a sounding board if they need support with envisioning counterclaims.” In this session, students have the opportunity to engage in opinion writing that uses claims and evidence to support an argument.

      • In Up the Ladder, Session 16, students write persuasive speeches after an oral rehearsal. After the oral rehearsal, students debrief and name the moves they made. Then, they begin drafting, remembering to use the “Thought Prompts” anchor chart to help them elaborate more. 

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

      • In Writing Unit 2, Session 1, the teacher says, “That’s right, you will write a whole draft quick, quick, quick tomorrow! Writers sometimes push themselves like this very early on in the process of researching something. Your flash-draft will tell you (and me) what you already know about your topic and about information writing about history. And your flash-draft will also help you figure out the research that you still need to do---which you’ll have lots of time to do, later in the unit.”

      • In Writing Unit 2, Session 13, students examine structures to use when writing informational texts. Students create the questions they want their informational text to answer, sequence the questions, and use this to help them format their writing. Students write an informational/explanatory research report on a focused historical topic.

    • Students have opportunities to engage in narrative writing. 

      • In Writing Unit 1, Session 4, students write a narrative story from the point of view of a character inside the story, using details from inside the story.

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

    • In Writing Unit 1, Session 10, passages from The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis and “Papa Who Wakes Up Tired in the Dark” by Sandra Cisneros are used as models. Students notice how the narrator is imagining possibilities of what could happen in the future or telling about what happened in the past. Then, the teacher reminds them that incorporating scenes from the past or future to highlight the significance of the story is a good strategy to use in their writing. 

    • In Writing Unit 3, Session 1, the teacher says, “As you study these samples, you will probably notice that every memoir contains some storytelling and then some writing about ideas and opinions. For the first twenty minutes of today’s workshop, will you read a memoir from the folder on your table---it might be ‘Eleven’ you reread, or another text---and talk with each other about this question: How does this memoir go? How do memoirs tend to go?”

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 5 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, “Narrative Craft,’ there are 21 lessons.  No lessons in this unit provide students opportunities to practice and apply writing using evidence.

    • In Writing, Unit 2, “The Lens of History,” there are 20 lessons.  Two lessons in this unit provide students opportunities to practice and apply writing using evidence.

    • In Writing, Unit 3, “Shaping Text,” there are 19 lessons.  No lessons in this unit provide students opportunities to practice and apply writing using evidence.

    • In Writing, Unit 4, “The Research-Based Argument Essay,” there are 22 lessons.  Four 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 1, the materials state, “Some of you have been asking whether you can use books tomorrow, and you can, but my suggestion is that you use them tonight---you absolutely can go through books and cull out names, dates, facts, key words. I’d write these words right onto the Post-it notes to jog your memory so that you remember to include the key information that you have learned about each of these subtopics. So if you know there were three waves of the gold rush and you want to record the dates for them---just jot them down and stick them onto your page labeled ‘gold rush.’ And if you want to reference page numbers of particular books so that tomorrow you can go to those specific pages, you can record a few page numbers onto your Post-it notes as well.” “Make sure that you come in tomorrow ready to start drafting your research report. If you forget your Post-it notes, you’ll be writing without that support, so I wouldn’t forget them.” This opportunity is focused on work done at home, and all students may not have access to resources at home to complete this work. 

    • In Writing, Unit 3, Session 4, the teacher reads a chapter from Melanin Sun titled “Alone” by Jacqueline Woodson. Materials state, “This is what I wrote, and you'll notice that I didn’t write about Woodson’s text or even about the same topic. I just let the words of her writing roll over me, and I wrote whatever was on my mind. I wrote practically without thinking, all in a rush, very quickly.” Then the teacher reads another text aloud to students, this time from Patricia MacLachlan’s novel Journey. After the read aloud, the teacher does not give any instructions to students. “The silence after I finished reading was palpable. Students looked up at me, as if to ask, ‘What do you want us to do now?’ but I didn’t want instruction to come between the literature and their writing. I simply picked up my pen, and began writing, scrawling words onto my own page.” Next, students are sent off to write for 45 minutes. The teacher says that “if you feel stuck for ideas or inspiration, reading a piece of literature can help to spur you on. I’ve put some particularly powerful excerpts in folders at your tables if you want them.” Students do not have opportunities to write using evidence after close reading. 

    • In Reading, Unit 1, Session 6, the teacher suggests three strategies to help students think analytically: Divide into parts. Rank. Compare. Students talk with a partner about what they did to help them develop new ideas. Then students “head off” to their independent reading, making sure to take these analytic ways of thinking with them. Students independently read different books based on their level, so monitoring the accuracy of analysis is dependent upon the teacher’s recalling and having done careful analysis. Students do not write with evidence from texts, rather they jot thoughts or ideas during reading.

    • In If/Then Unit, Session 8, students are taught that, “Essayists develop stronger thesis statements by checking their initial theses against the text, rereading parts of the text to test whether that draft of a thesis actually holds true.” The teacher models with the suggested text, Shells, “with a shared thesis statement in mind, considering whether scenes precisely fit their thesis or whether their thesis has to be revised in light of their rereadings.” The teacher poses the questions, “Does this part of the text go with what I’m claiming about the text?” Students then reread, rethink and revise their thesis statements based off of what was read in the text. In this session, students rely on using evidence from texts to reframe or enhance their thesis statements. However, this unit is not a required part of the curriculum, and it is not a guarantee that all students will receive this instruction.  

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 5 do not meet the criteria for Indicator 1l.

Materials lack explicit instruction in all grade-level grammar and usage standards. Opportunities for student application of grammar and usage standards are limited to opportunities to address issues that arise in their writing in the context of a writing conference. Students are encouraged to look at their writing, find the uses or examples of the identified standard, and make needed revisions/corrections. 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 lacking. There is some evidence that grammar concepts are referenced by the teacher within some lessons during the editing process in mini-lessons before students engage in their writing. 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 certain 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. 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 give explicit guidance about which grammar and usage standards to prioritize. 

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

  • Materials do not include explicit instruction designed to teach students to explain the function of conjunctions, prepositions, and interjections in general and their function in particular sentences.

  • Materials do not include explicit instruction designed to teach students to form and use the perfect (e.g., I had walked; I have walked; I will have walked) verb tenses.

  • Materials do not include explicit instruction designed to teach students to use verb tense to convey various times, sequences, states, and conditions.

  • Materials do not include explicit instruction designed to teach students to recognize and correct inappropriate shifts in verb tense. For example:

  • In Writing, Unit 4, Session 21, the teacher reminds students to use an editing checklist that includes “checked to see that all verbs and subjects agree; and.. verbs are in the right tense (past, present, and future).” There is no subsequent explicit instruction related to recognizing and correcting inappropriate shifts in verb tense included in the minilesson.

  • Materials do not include explicit instruction designed to teach students to use correlative conjunctions (e.g., either/or, neither/nor).

  • Materials include explicit instruction designed to teach students to use punctuation to separate items in a series. For example:

  • In Writing, Unit 1, Session 18, the teacher reviews commas’ use. One comma usage discussed is when things are “stacked together.” An example sentence is used: I saw three, seven, a million mitts piled on the shelves. A second comma usage is discussed during the lesson when the comma means there is one part of, but there is another part coming up. An example sentence is used: There was pink frosting, rainbow candles, and a plastic ballerina with a silver skirt.

  • In Writing, Unit 2, Session 19, the teacher conducts a mini-lesson on ways to use punctuation to help load more information into the sentences they have already written. The teacher explains how writers need to disperse information sensibly across sentences and to use punctuation to hook their extra information to sentences. The teacher shares different ways to attach information into sentences depending on how connected it is to the sentence’s meaning. The teacher provides a chart on how to use parentheses if information is not very connected; dashes if information is a little connected, and commas if information is fairly connected. Students are directed to use appropriate punctuation to help tie information together in their writing.

  • Materials do not include explicit instruction designed to teach students to use a comma to separate an introductory element from the rest of the sentence.

  • In Writing, Unit 3, Session 7, the teacher models the use of a hybrid checklist that combines both the Narrative and Opinion checklists. This includes the use of transitional phrases to connect examples, show the passage of time, or as flashback. Students work in partnership and independently to create their own checklist. 

  • Materials do not include explicit instruction designed to teach students to use a comma to set off the words yes and no (e.g., Yes, thank you), to set off a tag question from the rest of the sentence (e.g., It’s true, isn’t it?), and to indicate direct address (e.g., Is that you, Steve?). For example:

  • Materials include minimal explicit instruction designed to teach students to use underlining, quotation marks, or italics to indicate titles of works. For example:

  • In Writing, Unit 4, Session 4, the teacher demonstrates quotations to indicate the title of works. Students practice ways to reference sources. Students use quotation marks or underlining to indicate titles of works in their writing.

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

  • In Writing, Unit 2, Session 18, students are encouraged to use laptops or their cell phones to spell check a word quickly during a small-group conference. 

  • In Writing, Unit 3, Session 11, the teacher models using a checklist that includes “... the words all seem to be spelled right. They look right, and I have checked the words that I was uncertain of.”

  • In Writing, If/Then, materials repeat a chart at the end of each writing type that states if a student is struggling with spelling, the teacher should remind the student to try the following: Use the word wall; Stretch words out and write down the sounds they hear: Use words they know to help them spell words they don’t know. 

  • In Writing, If/Then, Session 12, students are told that as writers they often study grammar and conventions to make their writing more clear, compelling, and impressive. During small group conferring, students use a checklist to edit their opinion writing that includes spelling words. The checklist includes: “I used what I know about word patterns to spell correctly, and I used references to help me spell words then needed. I made sure to correctly spell words that are important to my topic.”

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

  • Materials include limited explicit instruction designed to teach students to expand, combine, and reduce sentences for meaning, reader/listener interest, and style. For example:

  • In Writing, Unit 1, Session 18, the teacher utilizes a mid workshop teaching to remind students that sometimes writers can “kill” a sentence by loading way too much information on its back. The teacher reads a sentence aloud and talks about how the sentence can be broken up into two sentences. Students are invited to check their own sentences to see if any are “in danger of having their backs broken by carrying too much information.”

  • In Writing, Unit 3, Session 18, the teacher demonstrates how writers can edit by listening to their writing. Students are encouraged to edit their writing to make sure it sounds just right, so it communicates their ideas.

  • Materials do not include explicit instruction designed to teach students to compare and contrast the varieties of English (e.g., dialects, registers) used in stories, dramas, or poems.

  • 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 15, the teacher conducts a mini-lesson on editing that focuses on the power of commas in writing. The teacher asks, “What would the writing be like without it? What message does the mark send to readers about the words? Does the mark change the sound or speed or importance of the words?” Students use the mentor text, Eleven, to analyze how the author uses commas. The teacher and students complete a chart sharing examples of how commas are used in the text, “what does the comma do,” and how to use commas in their writing. Students are then asked to analyze and check for the uses of commas in their writing.

    • In Writing, Unit 3, Session 11, an editing checklist is presented to students. Questions for students to ask themselves as you edit are included: 

      • Does this make sense? Are any words or parts missing?

      • Are all of my sentences complete? Have I checked for run-ons and fragments?

      • Have I used correct capitalization (for names and the beginnings of sentences)?

      • Have I checked to see that all my verbs and subjects agree? Are my verbs in the right tense (past, present, future)?

      • Do the words all seem to be spelled right? Do they look right? Have I checked any I’m uncertain of?

      • Have I checked for frequently confused words? 

      • Have I paragraphed and indented?

Indicator 1m

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

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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 5 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 Writing Unit 3, Session 6, the teacher leads small groups and conferences. “If you have students who could use intensive vocabulary development, you’ll want to consider how to make learning about words as engaging and possible. You might choose to make word games available during choice time or indoor recess, and to offer some word study small-group work, even during the reading workshop, to support students’ engagement in playing with and learning language.” The teacher guidance goes on to suggest “Boggle, Scrabble, Scattergories, Balderdash, Crossword Puzzles, and Word Jumbles—in addition to sites such as Vocabulary.co.il, which offers a variety of fun word games (such as matching English and Latin phrases). This is not a cohesive year-long vocabulary development component. 

    • In Reading Unit 4, Session 12, students are taught that “Specific vocabulary plays an important role in everything they read, especially in fantasy novels [and that students] should use a whole toolkit of vocabulary strategies to figure out the meaning of unfamiliar words.” The materials suggest introducing a poem or other text that is “filled with tricky vocabulary, but still understandable.” Because this is suggestive, there is no way of knowing the quality of text or the complexity of vocabulary selected for modeling. The materials also suggest using “more than one strategy on a segment of the text to decipher unknown words.” There is not a strategic plan for addressing vocabulary development in a cohesive year long plan.

  • Vocabulary is rarely repeated in contexts (before texts, in texts) and across multiple texts. For example: 

    • In Reading Unit 4, Session 15, students are taught that “Fantasy readers gain new insights into the real world by understanding and interpreting the metaphors and allegories that exist in fantasy.” The materials suggest to help students make the connection between fictional literature and the real world by “noticing characters, objects, settings, and creatures that might have multiple meanings.” The materials suggest defining the words metaphor and allegory as ways “for the author to comment on the real worlds, as well as for us, the readers, to decide if we agree or disagree with the author’s take on that situation or issue.” The materials then suggest finding metaphors and allegories in a familiar text and make the connection to the real world: “hmmm...This old woman is treated very disrespectfully by Manyara. It feels a bit like an allegory of how older people are sometimes treated disrespectfully in our own world...it makes me think that John Steptoe is using this as an allegory to tell us that young people would be wise to not dismiss the wisdom of older people.” Specific vocabulary pertaining to the anchor text is not addressed. 

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

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

    • In Reading Unit 2, Session 6, students are taught to use morphology to tackle “tricky” vocabulary words. The materials suggest beginning this session with an example of how to study the morphology by using the word, indestructible, breaking it into three parts to show students that each part has a specific meaning. Once all parts of the word are loosely defined, the materials suggest the teacher “put those three meaning units together, I have...not able to be destroyed.” Instead of naming a teaching point, the materials suggest that an inquiry question frames the session: “How often does it really pay off to push ourselves to look inside words when they are tricky?” Students break into groups, selecting words that are difficult in a level 5 text about octopus (a topic they read previously at varying levels). Attention is paid to words that students have trouble defining, not necessarily words that impact the essential understanding of the text. There is no attention given to high value words in this session. 

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 5 do not meet the criteria for Indicator 1n.

Materials lack explicit instruction in phonics, word analysis, and word recognition skills. When these skills are addressed in the materials, it is in individual conferring and small group work with students who may struggle with these skills. Guidance for teachers to assist students with phonics skills includes conferring with a primary-grade colleague for tips and offering a few general prompts to coach students on word recognition in context. Based on the Reading and Writing Workshop description provided in Units of Study, the teacher, and individual students may address some phonics and word recognition concepts not explicitly taught in the materials during conferring guided by the student's reading and writing opportunities. Phonics, word analysis, and word recognition skills are not directly assessed. 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. The materials include a word-solving Learning Progression assessment document that outlines a progression of skills in Grades 2-6; however, the phonics, word analysis, and word recognition skills incorporated in this document are limited, and the progression relies heavily on meaning-based cueing rather than explicit word analysis.  Materials include a suggestion to use an additional program, Words Their Way, to supplement phonics, word analysis, and word recognition skills assessment and instruction. 

Materials do not contain explicit instruction of irregularly spelled words, syllabication patterns, and word recognition consistently over the course of the year. For example:

  • Materials do not consistently contain explicit instruction of letter-sound correspondences, syllabication patterns, and morphology consistently over the course of the year. The one example found in the materials is:

    • In Reading Unit 2, Session 6, the teacher models breaking the word indestructible into morphological units in/destruct/ible to determine its meaning. Students write and study the word, looking for prefixes, root words, and suffixes. 

  • 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). For example:

    • No evidence found for grade-level standards.

    • In Writing, Unit 2, Session 5, students are told to use strategies they learned in the fourth grade when they encounter unknown words; however, these strategies are not explained.

  • 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. When conducting a running record, it allows the teacher to observe and analyze a student's word recognition abilities. The teacher would 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 5 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. For example:

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

Materials lack frequent instruction and student practice in the area of fluency. The format of the Reading Workshop 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 from poetry that the teacher is directed to “go and find” to create poetry packets. Teachers use running records to monitor fluency, rate, accuracy as well as literal and inferential comprehension skills to determine the text level of the books that should be made available for each student to read. The teacher also uses running record data to make instructional decisions related to the whole class and small group mini-lessons. However, there is not a 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. 

  • Multiple opportunities are not 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.

      • No evidence found

  • Materials do not support 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. 

      • No evidence was found. 

  • 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). For example:

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

      • No evidence found

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

    • In Reading, Unit 1, Session 2, the teacher asks students how many pages they read in ten minutes. If students did not read seven pages in the 10 minutes, the teacher suggests the student consider whether the text is too difficult or what may be holding the reader back from reading at a faster rate. 

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

    • In Reading, Reading Pathways, the materials provide a Learning Progression document that includes two progressions for fluency. The assessment document describes student behaviors in fluency for each grade, Grades 2-6. The materials indicate that the progressions should be used by both students and teachers in the context of 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 5 TRADE PK 978‑0‑325‑04749‑2 Heinemann 2013
CALKINS /WRITING PATHWAYS 978‑0‑325‑05730‑9 Heinemann 2014
CALKINS /UNITS READING GR 5 W/TRADE PK 978‑0‑325‑07469‑6 Heinemann 2015
UNITS STUDY READING GR 5 978‑0‑325‑07698‑0 Heinemann 2015
UNITS STUDY READ GR 5 TRADE PK 978‑0‑325‑07728‑4 Heinemann 2015
LITERARY ESSAY TRADE PACK 978‑0‑325‑08888‑4 Heinemann 2016
LITERARY ESSAY GR 5 978‑0‑325‑08897‑6 Heinemann 2016
CLEMENTS /LITERARY ESSAY GR 5 W/TRADE PK 978‑0‑325‑08898‑3 Heinemann 2016
UNITS WRITING GR 5 W STK NOTES 978‑0‑325‑08952‑2 Heinemann 2016
CALKINS /UNITS WRIT 5 W/TB & STK NOTES 978‑0‑325‑08958‑4 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