Alignment: Overall Summary

The materials for Grade 4 meet the expectations of alignment. The materials include high quality texts and tasks that support students' development of literacy skills in reading, writing, speaking and listening, and language. The materials are organized to build knowledge of topics and provide opportunities for students to demonstrate integrated skills. While may implementation supports are available, the teacher may need to do extra work to assure lessons are implemented with fidelity.

See Rating Scale
Understanding Gateways

Alignment

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Meets Expectations

Gateway 1:

Text Quality

0
20
37
42
42
37-42
Meets Expectations
21-36
Partially Meets Expectations
0-20
Does Not Meet Expectations

Gateway 2:

Building Knowledge

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

Usability

|

Meets Expectations

Not Rated

Gateway 3:

Usability

0
23
30
34
31
30-34
Meets Expectations
24-29
Partially Meets Expectations
0-23
Does Not Meet Expectations

Gateway One

Text Quality & Complexity and Alignment to Standards Components

Meets Expectations

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Gateway One Details

Wonders 2020 for Grade 4 utilizes high-quality texts including a variety of text types and genres. Text are placed at the appropriate level of complexity for the grade and are accompanied by detailed text complexity analysis information.

The texts support students’ evolving literacy skills with texts that grow in complexity and engage students in a range of reading opportunities.

Materials include questions and tasks that build toward culminating tasks that allow students to demonstrate newly-obtained knowledge and skills through writing and/or speaking activities. Students are supported in evidence-based discussion of texts including expectations for the use of grade-level vocabulary/syntax and appropriate questioning.

Students engage in evidence-based, standards-aligned writing tasks, including both on-demand and process writing. Explicit grammar and conventions instruction is provided with opportunities for students to practice and apply these skills within their writing tasks.

Materials provide questions and connected tasks that include explicit instruction in and practice of phonics, word recognition, and word analysis skills based on a research-based progression. Students also receive consistent instruction and practice to achieve fluency in oral and silent reading.

Criterion 1a - 1f

Texts are worthy of students' time and attention: texts are of quality and are rigorous, meeting the text complexity criteria for each grade. Materials support students' advancing toward independent reading.
20/20
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Criterion Rating Details

Wonders 2020 for Grade 4 includes high-quality anchor texts that encompass a broad array of text types and genres. Texts are placed at the appropriate level of complexity for the grade and are accompanied by a text complexity analysis that describes the quantitative score and qualitative features as well as the reason for the placement of the texts in the unit.

The texts support students’ evolving literacy skills with texts that grow in complexity over the course of the year and engage students in a broad range of reading opportunities to provide both depth and volume of reading practice to achieve grade-level reading proficiency.

Indicator 1a

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

The materials reviewed for Grade 4 meet the criteria for anchor texts being of publishable quality and worthy of especially careful reading and consider a range of student interests.

The anchor texts are of high interest and include rich language and content from across multiple disciplines and cultures. The anchor texts are examined multiple times for multiple purposes and are used to expand topics and essential questions, build vocabulary, and prompt writing. Texts are of high quality, including rich language and engaging content. Accompanying illustrations are of high quality as well, supporting students' understanding and comprehension of the associated text. Examples include, but are not limited to:

  • Unit 1: Earthquakes by Sneed B. Collard III. This engaging, expository text includes features, such as a list of what students should do during an earthquake, photos of earthquake destruction, and diagrams that assist students in comprehending the text. The author has written over 40 science books for kids and uses real scientist interviews as a basis for this text.
  • Unit 2: Spiders! by Nic Bishop. This expository text captures the reader’s attention with colorful, up-close, dramatic photographs that highlight even the smallest, but most unique features of this creature. Photographs include a spider eating its prey, beautifully constructed webs, and incredible body structures. The text also includes text features throughout that draw attention to important details.
  • Unit 3: Remembering Hurricane Katrina (Author Unknown). This realistic fiction story focuses on Hector, a boy who helps others after Hurricane Katrina, making it a relatable story since people are affected by natural disasters yearly. This story contains several vocabulary words, including gingerly and mature. Minus one image of a group of people running during a storm that reminds Hector of Hurricane Katrina, the pictures focus on happy kids receiving toys and Hector driving his car. 
  • Unit 4: Swimming to the Rock and The Moondust Footprint by Mary Atkinson and Bobbi Katz. The Moondust Footprint is a poem about the same event found in the anchor text, The Moon Over Star, so it provides support for understanding the historical content, yet it is a different genre. Both poets are published authors of children’s poetry. Swimming to the Rock includes characters that children will identify with.
  • Unit 5: Mama, I’ll Give You the World by Roni Schotter. This realistic fiction book is a story about a bond between a single, hardworking mother and daughter. Every day after school, Luisa goes to Walter's World of Beauty to watch her mama work-- cutting, coloring, and curling customer's hair. Her mama works hard and hardly ever smiles. On Mama's birthday, she wants to make her smile, like in a photograph she found. Luisa transforms Walter's World of Beauty into the place from the photograph, by decorating it.

Indicator 1b

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

The materials reviewed for Grade 4 meet the criteria for materials reflect the distribution of text types and genres required by the standards at each grade level.

There is a wide array of informational and literary text integrated throughout every unit with a balanced representation of each. Additional supplementary texts (text sets, shared reading, read-alouds) are included, resulting in a wide distribution of genres and text types as required by the standards, including historical fiction, poetry, fables, non-fiction, biographies, digital magazine articles, plays, and historical accounts.

The following are examples of literary text found within the instructional materials:

  • In Unit 1, Week 4, Experts, Incorporated by Sarah Weeks
  • In Unit 2, Week 5, Cricket; Lizard; Firefly; Ants; Snail (Author Unknown)
  • In Unit 3, Week 2, Aguinaldo by Lulu Delacre
  • In Unit 4, Week 5, Sing to Me, The Climb (Author Unknown)
  • In Unit 5, Week 4, Mama, I’ll Give You the World by Roni Schotter
  • In Unit 6, Week 1, Light Through the Ages (Author Unknown)

The following are examples of informational text found within the instructional materials:

  • In Unit 1, Week 5, Kids in Business by Time for Kids
  • In Unit 2, Week 2, Spiders by Nic Bishop
  • In Unit 3, Week 4, Delivering Justice by Jim Haskins
  • In Unit 5, Week 1, Your World Up Close (Author Unknown)

Indicator 1c

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

The materials reviewed for Grade 4 meet the criteria for texts have the appropriate level of complexity for the grade according to quantitative analysis, qualitative analysis, and relationship to their associated student task.

Texts have the appropriate level of complexity for the grade according to quantitative and qualitative analysis and relationship to their associated student task. Anchor texts are placed at the appropriate grade level. Examples include, but are not limited to:

  • In Unit 1, Week 1, A World of Change. This text has a quantitative measure of 790 Lexile. This is within the stretch band of 740-1010 Lexile for Grade 4. This shared reading is an informational text that provides background knowledge about the physical properties of the Earth. Students will need background information gained from reading this text to understand texts coming later in the unit that explain natural disasters and their effects. The Teacher Edition provides think-alouds for teachers to use to support students’ understanding of the complex knowledge demands of the text.
  • In Unit 3, Week 3, Judy’s Appalachia. This text has a quantitative measure of 830 Lexile. This is within the stretch band of 740-1010 Lexile for Grade 4. The structure offers some complexity with subheadings; however, subheadings follow the text sequentially. A timeline is included. The central idea is clear, but the setting may not be familiar to students and they may need some background knowledge about coal mining in West Virginia and the environmental issues connected to it. 
  • In Unit 4, Start Small, Think Big. This text has a quantitative measure of 660 Lexile. This is not within the stretch band of 740-1010 Lexile for Grade 4; however, it is in the Lexile band. This expository piece with a clear central message centers on various entrepreneurs who have begun their own businesses. Text features, such as “stop and check” questions, as well as bolded vocabulary words, help students identify the main ideas. Additional information in text boxes, such as America in the 1930s, helps students contextualize the time period in which these entrepreneurs lived. 

Indicator 1d

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

The materials reviewed for Grade 4 meet the criteria for materials supporting students’ increasing literacy skills over the course of the school year. (Series of texts should be at a variety of complexity levels appropriate for the grade band.)

The texts, both anchor and supporting, mostly fall within the grade-level Lexile band anywhere from 740 - 1010L, and provide students access to increasingly rigorous texts over the course of the school year. The quantitative and qualitative analyses of the series of texts and the scaffolding of each text ensure that students are supported to independently access and comprehend grade-level texts at the end of the year. 

The Genre Study within each unit begins with an Interactive Read- Aloud, which introduces the genre and reading strategy that is the focus of the Genre Study. Students read the Shared Read followed by the Anchor Text which is paired with an additional text selection in order for students to compare and contrast texts. While reading, scaffolds include rereading to find evidence, note-taking in a graphic organizer with text details, and engaging in collaborative conversations about the text. 

  • In Unit 1, Genre Study 1, students read expository texts and practice rereading to gain understanding, while also comparing and contrasting texts and stating the author’s purpose. Examples of texts include:
    • In Week 1, Day 1, the Interactive Read-Aloud is “Avalanche” (unknown author), which includes a teacher think-aloud to help students to see the strategy modeled. The quantitative level is 860, but the qualitative features are slightly complex, with the exception of knowledge demands, which are moderately complex. 
    • In Week 1, Days 1-2, the Shared Read is “A World of Change” (unknown author), which has a Lexile of 790 and is considered somewhat complex. The text provides teachers with an opportunity to have students read and describe the overall structure. 
    • In Weeks 1 and 2, Days 3-6, students engage with the Anchor Text, Earthquakes by Sneed Collard III, which has a Lexile of 870 and is considered moderately to somewhat complex. Students apply the skills they practiced during the Shared Read to this text. 
    • In Week 2, Day 8, students compare and contrast the Paired Text “Weathering the Storm” (unknown author), which has a Lexile of 770L with Earthquakes
  • In Unit 3, Genre Study 1, students study realistic fiction texts and explore visualizing and examining point of view and facts and opinions. Examples of materials used include: 
    • In Week 1, Day 1, the Interactive Read-Aloud is “Books” (unknown author), which is read by the teacher and includes think-alouds to assist students in applying the strategy. The text has a Lexile of 750 and is considered slightly complex, with the exception of structure, which is moderately complex. 
    • In Week 1, Days 1-2, the Shared Read is “Remembering Hurricane Katrina” (unknown author), which has a Lexile of 800 and is mostly considered moderately complex, with language being slightly complex. Students compare and contrast the point of view from the different narrated stories including the difference between first- and third-person narratives. 
    • In Weeks 1 and 2, Days 3-6, students engage with the Anchor Text, Aguinaldo by Lulu Delacre, which has a Lexile of 650 and is considered slightly to moderately complex. While the selection falls outside the Lexile range, the complex vocabulary and sentence structure make this selection challenging. 
    • In Week 2, Day 8, students compare and contrast the Paired Text “Partaking in Public Service” (unknown author), which has a Lexile of 770 with the text Aguinaldo
  • In Unit 6, Genre Study 1, students study narrative nonfiction and practice asking and answering questions about text to deepen their understanding of the content and explore main ideas and details, as well as elements of a myth. Examples include:
    • In Week 1, Day 1, the Interactive Read-Aloud is “Light Through the Ages” (unknown author), which is read by the teacher and includes think-alouds to assist students to see how to apply the strategy. The text has a Lexile of 680 but is considered slightly to moderately complex. 
    • In Week 1, Days 1-2, the Shared Read is “The Great Energy Debate” (unknown author), which has a Lexile of 910 and is slightly to moderately complex. Students pose and respond to specific questions to clarify or follow up on information and make comments that contribute to the discussion and link to the remarks of others. 
    • In Weeks 1 and 2, Days 3-6, the Anchor Text is Energy Island, by Allan Drummond, which has a Lexile of 840 and is considered moderately complex. Teachers use the story to help students with main idea and details and comparing and contrasting. 
    • In Week 2, Day 8, students read the Paired Texts “Of Fire and Water” and “Water vs. Wisdom” (unknown authors) (910L). Students think about how these texts compare with Energy Island. 

Indicator 1e

Anchor texts and series of texts connected to them are accompanied by a text complexity analysis and rationale for purpose and placement in the grade level.
2/2
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-
Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 4 meet the criteria that anchor texts and series of texts connected to them are accompanied by a text complexity analysis and rationale for purpose and placement in the grade level. 

Grade 4 materials contain a text complexity analysis that includes a quantitative measure, a qualitative measure, and a rationale for including the text. The text complexity analysis is accessible through the Teacher Resources tab online and in the Teacher Edition in the Genre Study Overview, as well as through the Access Complex Text (ACT) sections.

Anchor texts and series of texts connected to them are accompanied by a text complexity analysis. A rationale for educational purpose and placement in the grade level is provided and includes correct information about the complexity. Examples include, but are not limited to:

  • In Unit 1, Weeks 1 and 2, students read Earthquakes by Sneed B. Collard III, which has a quantitative measure of 870L. Qualitative measures of complexity provided by the publisher include moderately complex language and knowledge demands and somewhat complex structure and meaning/purpose. The rationale given by the publisher for use of this text is, “Students will build content knowledge about Earth. They will learn that some natural disasters cannot be prevented but people can plan and prepare for them.” 
  • In Unit 2, Weeks 1 and 2, students read “Adaptations at Work” (unknown author), which has a Lexile of 860. According to the text complexity analysis, structure and language are considered slightly complex. The meaning is considered moderately complex  as the animals in the text will be familiar but the characteristics described may be difficult to visualize. The text was chosen to help simplify a complex science concept.
  • In Unit 3, Weeks 3 and 4, students read “Nelson Mandela: Working for Freedom” (unknown author), which has a Lexile of 950. According to the text complexity analysis, the language and structure are slightly complex, while knowledge demands and meaning are moderately complex. The text was chosen to help build background knowledge about the discrimination that black South Africans faced during apartheid. 
  • In Unit 4, Weeks 1 and 2, students read “A World Without Rules” (unknown author), which has a quantitative measure of 830L.  Qualitative measures of complexity provided by the publisher include meaning/purpose and knowledge demands that are described as slightly complex since the main idea is clear and revealed early in the reading and the theme and setting are familiar. The structure and language are moderately complex. The piece transitions quickly from the imaginary to the real world without clear transitions. The language includes domain-specific vocabulary, such as legislation, that not all students may be familiar with. 
  • In Unit 5, Weeks 5 and 6, students read “Rediscovering Our Spanish Beginnings” by Time for Kids, which has a quantitative measure of  940L. Qualitative features are noted as moderately complex. According to the text complexity analysis, the story provides teachers with an opportunity to have students analyze the structure of expository text. 
  • In Unit 6, Weeks 3 and 4, students read “A Surprise Reunion” (no author), which has a quantitative measure of 650L. Qualitative features are noted as language rated as slightly complex since it contains some Native American names, such as Sacagawea, while the remaining elements, meaning/purpose, structure, and knowledge demands, are all rated as moderately complex.

Indicator 1f

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

The materials reviewed for Grade 4 meet the criteria that anchor and supporting texts provide opportunities for students to engage in a broad range of text types and disciplines as well as a volume of reading to achieve grade-level reading proficiency.

Grade 4 materials provide students multiple opportunities to engage in a variety of texts in order to reach grade-level reading proficiency by the end of the year. Each unit contains three genre studies. Within each Genre Study, students engage with a variety of texts to deepen their knowledge of the genre, beginning with an Interactive Read-Aloud and continuing with the Shared Read and Anchor Text.  Each Genre Study includes a Paired Selection that offers the opportunity for students to make cross-text comparisons. The selection may be a different genre from the Anchor Text but relates to the Essential Question. In addition, Leveled Text (Approaching, On, Beyond, ELL) provide students with texts that support the Essential Question, while providing scaffolds for independent reading opportunities. Classroom Library book titles are included for additional independent reading options within each unit and genre.

Instructional materials identify opportunities and supports for students to engage in reading and listening to a variety of texts to become independent readers at the grade level and engage in a volume of reading as they grow toward reading independence. Examples include, but are not limited to:

  • In Unit 2, Genre Study 2, students engage in reading dramas such as: 
    • Interactive Read-Aloud: “A Grasshopper’s Sad Tale” (unknown author) - a monologue
    • Shared Read: “The Ant and the Grasshopper” (unknown author)
    • Anchor Text: Ranita, the Frog Princess by Carmen Agra Deedy
    • Paired Selection: “Pecos Bill and the Bear Lake Monster” (unknown author)
    • Small Group Instruction Text: Saving the Green Bird 
  • In Unit 4, Genre Study 1, students engage in reading narrative nonfiction such as:
    • Interactive Read-Aloud: “Speaking out Against Child Labor” (unknown author)
    • Shared Read: “A World Without Rules” (unknown author)
    • Anchor Text: See How They Run by Susan E. Goodman 
    • Paired Selection: “The Birth of American Democracy” (unknown author) 
    • Small Group Instruction Text: A Day in the Senate by Terry Miller Shannon
  • In Unit 5, Genre Study 1, students engage in reading expository texts including:
    • Interactive Read-Aloud: “Stick like a Gecko” (unknown author)
    • Shared Read: “Your World Up Close” (unknown author)
    • Anchor Text: A Drop of Water by Walter Wick
    • Paired Selection: “The Incredible Shrinking Potion”(unknown author) - a fantasy
    • Small Group Instruction Text: Secrets of the Ice by Rachel Haywandi
  • In Unit 6, Genre Study 2, students engage in reading historical fiction such as:
    • Interactive Read-Aloud: “Reading the Sky” (unknown author)
    • Shared Read: “A Surprise Reunion” (unknown author)
    • Anchor Text: The Game of Silence by Louise Erdrich 
    • Paired Selection: “Native Americans: Yesterday and Today” (unknown author) - expository text
    • Small Group Instruction Text: Maple Sugar Moon by Cheryl Minnema

Criterion 1g - 1n

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

Wonders 2020 for Grade 4 includes text-dependent/specific questions and tasks that build toward integrated, culminating tasks that allow students to demonstrate the knowledge and skills gained through instruction through writing and/or speaking activities. Students are supported in evidence-based discussion of texts through the implementation of protocols to scaffold conversations as students’ oral language skills grow in sophistication. Use of grade-level vocabulary/syntax and appropriate questioning are encouraged during student discussions.

Students engage in a mix of evidence-based writing tasks, including both on-demand and process writing, that incorporate the writing types called for in the standards. Explicit grammar and conventions instruction is provided with opportunities for students to practice and apply these skills within their writing tasks.

Indicator 1g

Most questions, tasks, and assignments are text-dependent, requiring students to engage with the text directly (drawing on textual evidence to support both what is explicit as well as valid inferences from the text).
2/2
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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 4 meet the criteria that most questions, tasks, and assignments are text-dependent/specific, 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). 

Grade 4 materials provide opportunities for students to engage with the text by answering text-dependent and text-specific questions. Each lesson includes questions and tasks that require students to answer text-dependent questions both via discussions and in writing. Students answer both explicit and implicit questions requiring evidence from the text. 

Materials include questions, tasks, and assignments that are text-dependent over the course of a school year. Examples include, but are not limited to:

  • In Unit 1, Week 1, students engage in the shared reading of “The Talent Show” (unknown author), and are asked text-specific questions such as, “What does Maura’s grandmother say to encourage Maura to speak up for herself?”
  • In Unit 2, Week 3, students read Ranita, the Frog Princess by Carmen Agra Deedy, and answer questions such as, “Do you think Felipe takes promises seriously? Use text evidence to support your answer. What does Ranita say that suggests she is honorable and keeps her promises?” 
  • In Unit 3, Week 1, students read “Remembering Hurricane Katrina” (unknown author), and are asked to write how the author shows the impact of Hurricane Katrina on Hector. Students are also prompted to underline the sentence that tells them that Hector is thinking about an event that happened in the past. 
  • In Unit 4, Week 4, after reading The Moon Over Star by Dianna Hutts Aston, students are asked to “Think about the story so far. What can you tell about Mae from her actions, words, and thoughts? Use details from the story.” and “Reread page 294. How does the author describe Gramps’s reaction to Gran’s hollering? How does it compare to the children’s reaction?”
  • In Unit 5, Week 1, students read A Drop of Water by Walter Wick and are asked questions such as, “How does the author use photographs to help explain  complex ideas? What happens to the drops inside the glass? How does humidity help keep the water drops inside the glass from disappearing?” 
  • In Unit 6, Week 5, students read the poem, “Birdfoot’s Grandpa” by Joseph Bruchac, and answer questions such as, “How does the poet's use of imagery make readers care about what happens to the toads?”

Indicator 1h

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

The materials reviewed for Grade 4 meet the criteria for sets of high-quality sequences of text-dependent/specific questions and tasks build to a culminating task that integrates skills (may be writing, speaking, or a combination).

Culminating tasks provide opportunities throughout the program for students to show what they know and are able to do. At the end of each Genre Study, students are required to make connections across texts and analyze a photograph to demonstrate their knowledge of the essential question of the unit. Students first discuss the prompt with a partner, then they find text evidence, and finally demonstrate their knowledge on an independent writing task. 

Culminating tasks of quality are evident across a year’s worth of material. Tasks are supported with coherent sequences of text-dependent questions and tasks. Examples include, but are not limited to:

  • In Unit 1, Week 3, students read Experts Incorporated by Sarah Weeks, and answer questions with partners such as, “How does the author use dialogue to make the characters seem like people you might know in real life? How does the author help you understand how Rodney feels as he tries to think of an idea?” Students also discuss with a partner the dialogue on page 25 to determine if the author does a good job using realistic dialogue between Rodney and his friends.  Students then record examples of realistic dialogue on a chart with evidence explaining why it is effective. These text-dependent questions and tasks build to a culminating task of responding in writing to the prompt, “How does the author use dialogue to help you understand how Rodney feels as he struggles and then comes up with an idea?”
  • In Unit 2, Weeks 1 and 2, students think about the texts they read in the unit and what they have learned about the adaptations that have helped animals survive. Then students analyze a photograph and discuss how the photograph shows how the seahorse survives. After discussing it, students write their response. 
  • In Unit 4, Week 5, students read and discuss the poems “Sing to Me” and “The Climb” and then respond to the writing prompt, “How do the poets use imagery to help you picture the different ways people can be successful?” Questions and tasks that lead up to the successful completion of this culminating writing prompt include: “Underline a word in stanza 4 with a negative connotation. What does it mean? Draw a box around the stanza that shows the message of the poem. Circle the words the poet repeats in stanza 6. What effect does the repetition have? What image does the poet use to describe the narrator’s brother? Find the key details and list them in the graphic organizer. Use the details to determine the theme of the poem.”
  • In Unit 5, Week 5, students read Rediscovering Our Spanish Beginnings by Time For Kids, and discuss with a partner, citing evidence on a chart, about how the author uses text features to help them understand Spanish beginnings. Students write how the author’s use of text features helps them. Next, students answer, “How does the author use sidebars to connect the past and present?” They discuss with a partner and record information in a web on how the sidebars add to their understanding. Students then write how the sidebars help them understand the connection between the past and present. These text-dependent questions, discussions, and written responses build to the culminating task, “How does the author’s use of text features help you understand how history has shaped America’s culture?”

Indicator 1i

Materials provide frequent opportunities and protocols for evidencebased discussions that encourage the modeling and use of academic vocabulary and syntax. (May be small group and all-class.)
2/2
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-
Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 4 meet the criteria for materials provide frequent opportunities and protocols for evidence-based discussions (small groups, peer-to-peer, whole class) that encourage the modeling and use of academic vocabulary and syntax.

Throughout the program, students have opportunities for evidence-based discussions in whole group discussions, small groups, and peer-to-peer conversations. Multiple opportunities for discussions are presented throughout the program including Think-Alouds, Talk About It, and Collaborative Conversations. 

Examples of protocols used in the program for evidence-based discussions include:

  • In Unit 1, Week 1, students discuss the essential question found in the students’ Reading Writing Companion in pairs or groups. There is a Collaborative Conversations protocol called Listen Carefully that is used for this discussion. 
  • In Unit 2, Week 3, students participate in a Collaborative Conversation. The directions for the teacher are to “Listen carefully as students engage in partner, small group, and whole group discussions and encourage them to follow discussion rules by listening carefully to speakers. Remind students to always look at the person who is speaking, respect others by not interrupting them, and repeat peers’ ideas to check understanding.”
  • In Unit 3, Week 3, when reading Delivering Justice: W.W. and the Fight for Civil Rights by Jim Haskins, students reread pages 210-211 and discuss how the black community of Savannah organized together.  A teacher Think-Aloud is provided to model how to answer the question.  

The program also includes support for teachers and students on the various evidence-based discussions used throughout the program. This includes: 

  • In the Instructional Routines Handbook, there is a routine for the teacher to encourage students to have discussions. A side note provides support for teachers to recognize when students are struggling during the discussions and support for how to help the students get the discussion back on track. 
  • Classroom Videos are provided for the teacher and students to watch model teachers and classrooms. In the video entitled Collaborative Conversations, the teacher in the video demonstrates conversational skills for students. In addition, the Instructional Routines Handbook provides a checklist for students and the routine for teachers. 
  • The Instructional Routines Handbook provides step-by-step instructions for teachers on how to support student discussions. For example, on page 22, the teacher is prompted to use a small group to role play and model for the rest of the class in preparation for discussions.  It also provides sentence frames that can be used to support students’ use of academic vocabulary and syntax. For example, “Can you point to text evidence that shows ...?
  • The Teacher Resource Book includes a Speaking Checklist on page 97 and a Listening Checklist on page 98 to guide students when they are sharing ideas, presenting projects, and working with a group.

Indicator 1j

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

The materials reviewed for Grade 4 meet the criteria for materials supporting students’ listening and speaking about what they are reading and researching (including presentation opportunities) with relevant follow-up questions and supports. 

The materials provide opportunities for students to partake in listening and speaking activities about what they are reading through responding to evidence-based questions prompted by the teacher, as well as whole group and partner share. Collaborative conversations are encouraged throughout each unit. Students also have opportunities to discuss what they are researching. Examples include:

  • In Unit 1, Week 3, after reading The Talent Show (unknown author), students work in pairs to predict how Maura will solve a future problem. Students reread and are told to focus on how Maura handled problems in the past and the most recent problem.  
  • In Unit 2, Weeks 3 and 4, students engage in the shared reading of “The Ant and the Grasshopper” (unknown author), and during the reading, students meet with a partner to orally summarize what they have read so far. 
  • In Unit 3, Weeks 1 and 2, students read “Partaking in Public Service” (unknown author), and work in pairs to discuss any additional facts or opinions in the article. 
  • In Unit 4, Weeks 3 and 4, students read “A Telephone Mixup” (unknown author). Students work with a partner to discuss a detail from the story that reveals the point of view. Then students work together to write a paragraph detailing the point of view. 
  • In Unit 5, Weeks 1 and 2, students read “Your World Up Close” (unknown author), and the teacher asks the whole class, “What have magnified images allowed scientists to see?” Students  discuss with a partner why it might be useful to see these kinds of things in greater detail. 
  • In Unit 6, Week 1, students work in pairs to read “The Great Energy Debate” (unknown author), and write questions about unfamiliar concepts, such as energy resources, debating, and vocabulary. Pairs then reread to find answers to their questions and they share their questions with the class.

Indicator 1k

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

The materials reviewed for Grade 4 meet the criteria for 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. 

Grade 4 materials provide opportunities for students to write daily. Throughout each unit students engage in a variety of writing tasks. On-demand writing includes note-taking, graphic organizers, quick-writes, and answering questions about texts while reading and after reading. Process writing includes essays and a variety of projects. Students also have the opportunity to revise and edit their work in each unit.

Students engage in on-demand writing throughout the year, during and after reading texts. Students often respond while reading to support comprehension or after reading to demonstrate comprehension. Examples of on-demand writing found throughout the program include:

  • In Unit 1, Week 1, while reading “A World of Change” (unknown author), students “explain how the Grand Canyon was formed” in writing. 
  • In Unit 3, Week 1, students answer the question, “How does the author sequence the events of the story to help you understand how Hurricane Katrina affected Hector?” after reading “Remembering Hurricane Katrina” (unknown author), in their Reading Writing Companion. 
  • In Unit 5, Week 1, after reading “Your World Up Close” (unknown author), students answer the question, “How does the author’s use of text structure and text features help you understand how electron microscopes help scientists?”
  • In Unit 6, Week 3, while reading “A Surprise Reunion” (unknown author), students respond to the question, “How can Camealwait help Lewis and Clark?” 

Process writing occurs in each Genre Study. Students examine a model text before brainstorming, drafting, editing, revising, and publishing their written pieces. Examples found throughout the program include: 

  • In Unit 1, Genre Study 3, students learn about opinion writing and write an opinion essay about the amount of time students should get for recess. Before beginning, students study exemplar opinion essays and then use the writing process to complete this writing task. 
  • In Unit 3, Genre Study 1, students write a realistic fiction narrative essay. In Weeks 1 and 2, students make a plan and draft their realistic fiction narrative essay. In Weeks 3 and 4, students revise, edit, and publish their realistic fiction essay. 
  • In Unit 4, Genre Study 1, students pre-write, draft, revise, and edit a narrative nonfiction essay on an historical figure who contributed to state government. 
  • In Unit 6, Genre Study 1, students write a research report about a person who has worked hard to meet their goals. Students spend time planning and organizing ideas by using notes and a graphic organizer. They then draft, revise, and edit their research report. Students also publish and present their report.

Indicator 1l

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

The materials reviewed for Grade 4 meet the criteria for materials providing opportunities for students to address different text types of writing that reflect the distribution required by the standards. 

Grade 4 materials provide opportunities for students to engage in a variety of writing types addressed in the standards over the course of the year. In each Genre Study, students complete either a narrative, opinion or expository writing assignment. Students study model texts, conduct a brainstorming process, and then write their own story or essay. Students have the opportunity to engage in narrative, expository, and opinion writing throughout the year.

Examples of narrative writing found throughout the school year include:

  • In Unit 2, Genre Study 3, students write a lyric poem about an animal, insect, or plant that they feel strongly about. 
  • In Unit 3, Genre Study 1, students write a realistic fiction narrative about a character who is nervous about trying something new.

Examples of opinion writing found throughout the school year include:

  • In Unit 1, Genre Study 3, students learn about opinion writing and write an opinion essay about the amount of time students should get for recess. 
  • In Unit 3, Genre Study 3, students write an opinion essay about how much time students should be allowed to spend on screens. 

Examples of expository writing found throughout the school year include: 

  • In Unit 4, Genre Study 1, students pre-write, draft, revise, and edit a narrative nonfiction essay on an historical figure who contributed to state government. Students use a cause-effect essay structure.
  • In Unit 5, Genre Study 1,  students write an explanatory essay about an object that they would like to see up close and learn more about. 
  • In Unit 6, Genre Study 1, students pre-write, draft, revise, and edit a narrative nonfiction essay about ways to save a natural resource.

Indicator 1m

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

The materials reviewed for Grade 4 meet the criteria for materials include frequent opportunities for evidence-based writing to support careful analyses, well-defended claims, and clear information.

Materials provide students with opportunities to engage in evidenced-based writing opportunities throughout the program, including within the Reading Writing Companion. In shared reading, students answer questions in writing while reading and are prompted to underline or circle evidence. After the anchor text, students answer a prompt in writing by using their notes and graphic organizer that were completed throughout the two week read of the text. 

Materials provide frequent opportunities across the school year for students to learn, practice, and apply evidence-based writing. Writing opportunities are focused around students’ analyses and claims developed from reading closely and working with the texts. Examples include, but are not limited to:

  • In Unit 1, Week 3, students read Experts Incorporated by Helen Recorvits, and then answer questions in writing, such as “How does the author use dialogue to make the characters seem like real people? How does the author build tension when Rodney tries to think of what to write about?” 
  • In Unit 2, Week 1, after reading Spiders by Nic Bishop and “Animal Adaptations” (unknown author), students write an expository essay that compares and contrasts two animals and their adaptations, using evidence from the two texts.
  • In Unit 3, Week 1, during shared reading, students read “Remembering Hurricane Katrina” (unknown author), and after reading are asked to answer the question, “How does the author sequence the events of the story to help you understand how Hurricane Katrina affected Hector?”
  • In Unit 4, Week 3, students read The Moon Over Star by Dianna Hutts Ashton, and then answer the question, “How does the author use a historical setting to develop the plot of the story?” Students record their evidence in their Reading Writing Companion and must cite details from the text to support their ideas. 
  • In Unit 5, Week 1, students read the article “Your World Up Close” (unknown author), and then explain in writing how fruit decays over time after circling key details in the text. 
  • In Unit 6, Week 1, students read Energy Island by Allan Drummond, and respond to the prompt, “How does the author organize the text to tell you about wind energy and the people of Energy Island?”
  • Students record text evidence that shows the organization and then respond to the prompt in their Reading Writing Companion.

Indicator 1n

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

The materials reviewed for Grade 4 meet the criteria for materials include explicit instruction of the grammar and conventions standards for grade level as applied in increasingly sophisticated contexts, with opportunities for application both in and out of context. 

Instructional materials provide opportunities for the teacher to explicitly teach each grammar objective and provide guided practice. Materials also include multiple opportunities for students to  independently practice each new skill. The grammar focus is connected to the independent writing tasks. In addition to the grammar focus, each week of each unit includes a spelling focus, which provides opportunities for students to practice the conventional spellings of words with common spelling patterns and irregular spelling patterns. Students have opportunities over the course of the year to apply newly learned skills both in and out of context.

Materials include explicit instruction of grammar and conventions standards for the grade level. Examples include, but are not limited to:

  • Students have opportunities to use relative pronouns (who, whose, whom, which, that) and relative adverbs (where, when, why).
    • In Unit 4, Week 1, Day 1, during the Grammar portion of the lesson, the teacher explains, "A pronoun is a word that takes the place of one or more nouns. A personal pronoun refers to a person or thing. I, he, she, it, and you are personal pronouns. A relative pronoun, such as that, which, who, whom, or whose, is used at the beginning of a dependent clause. An indefinite pronoun does not name a specific person or thing." Partners use page 463 of the online Grammar Handbook and have the opportunity to practice in the Practice Book page 181 or online activity. 
    • In Unit 6, Week 1, Day 2, during the Grammar portion of the lesson, the teacher explains that adverbs that tell "when" include soon, often, usually, and never. Adverbs such as up, down, here, and there tell "where". Adverbs that end in -ly tell "how". Relative adverbs (where, when, and why) begin adjective clauses. Adjective clauses modify nouns. Students complete Practice Book page 302.
  • Students have opportunities to form and use the progressive (e.g., I was walking; I am walking; I will be walking) verb tenses.
    • In Unit 3, Week 2, Day 6, during the Grammar portion of the lesson, the teacher explains, "A verb has three basic tenses: present, past, and future. A present-tense verb shows that an action is happening now or over and over. To make the present progressive form, use am, are, or is and the -ing form of a main verb. A present-tense verb must agree with the subject of a sentence." Students have the opportunity to practice in the Practice Book page 133 or online activity.
  • Students have opportunities to use modal auxiliaries (e.g., can, may, must) to convey various conditions.
    • In Unit 3, Week 3, Day 2, the teacher explains that the verbs have, has, had, is, am, are, was, were, and will are helping verbs. They can show present, past, and future tense. Special helping verbs such as can, may, or must do not show tense. Students then complete Practice Book page 146.
  • Students have opportunities to order adjectives within sentences according to conventional patterns (e.g., a small red bag rather than a red small bag).
    • In Unit 5, Week 1, Day 1, during the Grammar portion of the lesson, the teacher explains, "An adjective is a word that describes a noun or a pronoun. Adjectives usually come before the nouns they describe. An adjective may also follow a linking verb. Adjectives are usually placed in the following order: opinion, size, age, and color." Students practice in the Practice Book page 241 or online activity.
  • Students have opportunities to form and use prepositional phrases.
    •  In Unit 6, Week 4, Day 7, during the Grammar portion of the lesson, the teacher reviews how prepositions function in a sentence and students list as many prepositions as they can. The teacher then explains that a prepositional phrase is a group of words that includes a preposition, the object of the preposition, and any words in between. Students complete Practice Book page 338.
  • Students have opportunities to produce complete sentences, recognizing and correcting inappropriate fragments and run-ons.
    • In Unit 1, Week 1, Day 1, during the Grammar portion of the lesson, the teacher says, "A sentence is a group of words that shows a complete thought. A sentence fragment is a group of words that does not show a complete thought. Every sentence begins with a capital letter and ends with a punctuation mark." Students then complete Practice Book page 1 or online activity.
  • Students have opportunities to correctly use frequently confused words (e.g., to, too, two; there, their).
    • In Unit 4, Week 4, Day 8, during the Grammar portion of the lesson, the teacher explains that a possessive noun should have an apostrophe, but that a possessive pronoun and a stand-alone possessive pronoun should not have an apostrophe. The contraction it’s means “it is” or “it has.” The possessive pronoun its shows ownership. The teacher explains that a possessive pronoun must agree in number and gender with the noun it replaces. Students are referred to Grammar Handbook pages 465 and 478 and practice in Practice Book page 219 or online activity.
    • In Unit 4, Week 5, Day 1, during the Grammar portion of the lesson, the teacher states,  "Homophones are words that sound alike but have different spellings and meanings. Some pronouns are also homophones." The students practice in Practice Book page 229 or online activity.
  • Students have opportunities to use correct capitalization.
    • In Unit 2, Week 1, Day 1, during the Grammar portion of the lesson, the teacher says,  "A common noun names any person, place, or thing. A proper noun names a specific person, place, or organization. Proper nouns always begin with capital letters. If a proper noun has more than one word, each important word begins with a capital letter." Students have an additional opportunity to practice in the Practice Book page 61 or online activity.
  • Students have opportunities to use commas and quotation marks to mark direct speech and quotations from a text.
    • In Unit 4, Week 3, Day 3, during the Grammar portion of the lesson, the teacher explains that we use quotation marks before and after someone’s exact words and we begin a quotation with a capital letter. Commas and periods always appear inside closing quotation marks. We place a question mark or an exclamation mark inside closing quotation marks if it is part of the quotation. We place a question mark or an exclamation mark outside closing quotation marks if it is not part of the quotation. Students are referred to Grammar Handbook pages 479 and 480 and can practice in the Practice Book page 207 or online activity.
    • In Unit 6, Week 4, Day 8, during the Grammar portion of the lesson, the teacher reviews using quotations and explains to students that they should use quotation marks before and after someone’s exact words, and also before and after the titles of short works, such as songs, poems, and articles. Students then complete Practice Book page 339 or online activity.
  • Students have opportunities to use a comma before a coordinating conjunction in a compound sentence.
    • In Unit 1, Week 3, Day 2, during the Grammar portion of the lesson, the teacher reviews simple and compound sentences and has students explain how they are different. The teacher then introduces conjunctions and explains to students that the independent clauses in compound sentences are usually joined by a coordinating conjunction and that some coordinating conjunctions used to connect clauses are and, but, or, for, nor, and yet. Students complete Practice Book page 26.
  • Students have opportunities to spell grade-appropriate words correctly, consulting references as needed.
    • In Unit 3, Week 4, Day 7, during the Edit and Proofread portion of the lesson, the teacher explains to the students that once they have finished their drafts, they can improve them by editing and proofreading. The teacher says, "When you edit you can use an online or print thesaurus to help you choose more specific language. You also might rewrite dialogue to make it sound more realistic and natural. Proofreading is different from editing. When you proofread, you correct grammar, usage, punctuation, and spelling." The teacher encourages students to use a dictionary to look up the meanings or spellings of words and points out that they cannot rely on an electronic spell check function to catch all mistakes. A spell checker cannot identify a word that is correctly spelled but used incorrectly, such as using they’re for their, to for too, and so on.
  • Students have opportunities to choose words and phrases to convey ideas precisely.
    • In Unit 5, Week 6, Day 1, during the Revise portion of the lesson, students revise their drafts, focusing on their conclusions. The teacher guides them to rework their conclusions by adding, deleting, combining, and/or rearranging ideas to make them stronger.  The teacher reminds students to check that their ideas and details are arranged in a logical order and that the dates they use are in the correct order so that their ideas are clear to the reader. The teacher reminds students of transition words, such as however, next, as a result, and finally. The teacher guides students to brainstorm other transition words and phrases that would be applicable for this assignment.
  • Students have opportunities to choose punctuation for effect.
    • In Unit 1, Week 1, Day 1, during the Grammar portion of the lesson, the teacher reviews sentences and has students explain how sentences and sentence fragments differ. The teacher explains that different types of sentences serve different purposes: "A statement tells something. A question asks something. A command tells someone to do something. An exclamation expresses surprise, excitement, or strong feeling." Students then complete Practice Book page 2.

Criterion 1o - 1q

Materials in reading, writing, speaking, listening, and language targeted to support foundational reading development are aligned to the standards.
6/6
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Criterion Rating Details

Wonders 2020 for Grade 4 includes materials, questions and connected tasks that include explicit instruction in and practice of phonics, word recognition, and word analysis skills based on a research-based progression. Students also receive consistent instruction and practice to achieve fluency in oral and silent reading.

Indicator 1o

Materials, questions, and tasks address grade-level CCSS for foundational skills by providing explicit instruction and assessment in phonics and word recognition that demonstrate a research-based progression.
2/2
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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 4 meet the criteria for materials, questions, and tasks address grade-level CCSS for foundational skills by providing explicit instruction and assessment in phonics and word recognition that demonstrate a research-based progression. 

Grade 4 materials provides explicit phonics instruction in the whole group spelling opportunities, as well as, reinforced in the small group differentiated instruction. The instruction follows a scope and sequence of reviewing past presented skills, such as long and short vowel patterns and inflectional endings, and builds upon that base, introducing prefixes, suffixes and multisyllabic word patterns. Weekly Spelling tests are given the fifth day of each weekly sequence to determine students’ proficiency in spelling words with these spelling patterns. Students also have the opportunity to decode these words within context during Shared Read and the reading of their Anthology text for the week. There are pre/post assessments for spelling weekly in addition to progress monitoring tools such as a phonics survey, spelling inventory, and fluency assessment to assess knowledge and application of word recognition skills.

Materials contain explicit instruction of irregularly spelled words, syllabication patterns, and word recognition consistently over the course of the year. Examples include, but are not limited to:

  • Students have opportunities to use combined knowledge of all letter-sound correspondences, syllabication patterns, and morphology (e.g., roots and affixes) to read accurately unfamiliar multi-syllabic words in context and out of context.
    • In Unit 2, Week 1, Day 1, during Spelling, the teacher displays the spelling words and reads them aloud, drawing out each syllable and emphasizing the prefix. The teacher points out the spelling patterns in unlock and overact and draws a line between the prefix and root: un/lock, over/act. The teacher explains that a prefix can have multiple syllables and points out that many single-syllable prefixes have a short-vowel sound. The teacher demonstrates sorting the spelling words by pattern under keywords recall, unlock, premix, subway, indirect, imperfect, illegal, overact, and supersize. The teacher sorts a few words and points out that prefixes never appear at the ends of words.  The students cut apart the Spelling Word Cards available online and initial the back of each card. Students read the words aloud with partners and do an open sort. Students record the sorts in their writer’s notebooks. On Day 3, students read Spiders! as the Anchor Text, which includes words with prefixes, such as unusual, injects, and recyclable. 
    • In Unit 5, Week 1, Day 1, during Spelling, the teacher displays the spelling words and reads them aloud, drawing out the vowel sound in each closed syllable. The teacher points out the spelling patterns in summer and member and draws a line between the syllables: mem/ber, sum/mer. The teacher says each syllable; points out that a closed syllable always begins and ends in consonants and has a short-vowel sound. The teacher demonstrates sorting the spelling words by pattern under key words blanket and blossom. Students cut apart the Spelling Word Cards available online and initial the back of each card. Students read the words aloud with a partner and the partners do an open sort. Students record the sort in their writer’s notebooks. During Shared Read, students work in partners to reread Your World Up Close, which includes multi-syllabic words with closed syllables, such as magnify and Bentley.
    • In Unit 6, Week 4, Day 6, during Spelling, the teacher displays the spelling words and reads them aloud, drawing out the suffixes in each. The teacher points out the suffix in wireless and draws a line between the suffix and base word: wire/less. The teacher says each syllable and points out that some words use more than one suffix. (hopefully: -ful, -ly) The teacher demonstrates sorting the spelling words by suffix under the key words sunny, barely, tasteless, handful, and fitness. Students cut apart the Spelling Word Cards BLM in the Online Resource Book and initial the back. Students read the words aloud with a partner and do an open sort. Students record the sort in their writer’s notebook. On day 7, students read and reread “Native Americans: Yesterday and Today,” which includes the following words: commonly, originally, and economically.

Multiple assessment opportunities are provided over the course of the year to inform instructional adjustments of phonics and word recognition to help students make progress toward mastery. Examples include, but are not limited to:

  • In Placement and Diagnostic Assessment, page xvii, the materials explain that beyond the initial placement of students into the appropriate Wonders level of materials, students need to be tested periodically to determine whether they are progressing on a grade-level or faster pace. The program suggests that teachers administer these progress monitoring or benchmark tests on a regular schedule throughout the year: fall, winter, and spring, or over a regular period of time, such as every four to six weeks. A chart is provided for general testing scheduling guide.
  • Each week, in each unit, the students have a pretest and post-test of the week’s spelling words. For example, in Unit 4, Week 3, the students participate in a pretest for words with  /ü/, /u̇/, and /ū/ using Dictation Sentences.

Materials contain explicit instruction of word solving approaches (graphophonic and syntactic) to decode unfamiliar words. Examples include, but are not limited to:

  • In Unit 4, Week 4, Day 1, during Spelling, the teacher displays the spelling words, reads them aloud, drawing out the diphthongs /oi/ and /ou/. The teacher points out the spelling pattern in the word tower. The teacher draws a line between the syllables: tow/er. The teacher demonstrates sorting the spelling words by pattern under the key words noise, annoy, pound, and gown. The teacher uses the Dictation Sentences from Day 5 to give the Pretest. Students read the words aloud with a partner. Partners do an open sort and then record the sort in their writer’s notebook.
  • In Unit 5, Week 3, Day 1, during Spelling, the teacher displays the spelling words and reads them aloud, drawing out the vowel team sounds in each word. The teacher points out the spelling patterns in beneath and sleeve. The teacher segments the words sound by sound, attaching a spelling to each sound. The teacher shows how the -ea and -ee vowel teams can both make the same long -e sound. The teacher demonstrates sorting the spelling words by pattern under key words brain, repeat, boast, discount, speed and baboon. Students read the words aloud with a partner. Partners do an open sort and then record the sort in their writer’s notebook.

Indicator 1p

Materials, lessons, and questions provide instruction in and practice of word analysis skills in a research-based progression in connected text and tasks.
2/2
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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 4 meet the criteria for materials, lessons, and questions provide instruction in and practice of word analysis skills in a research-based progression in connected text and tasks.

Grade 4 materials provide opportunities throughout the course of the year for students to learn, practice, and apply word analysis skills in connected texts and tasks. Throughout each unit, there is a five-day sequence which begins with explicit instruction of the Spelling and Phonics pattern, as well as a pretest. Additional practice includes Practice Book pages for review. Materials also include opportunities for teachers to assess students’ acquisition of word analysis skills through the use of both formal and informal assessments, such as weekly pre- and post-tests, Progress Monitoring, and Running Records. Teachers can make decisions about students based on these formal and informal assessments throughout the week. 

Multiple and varied opportunities are 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. Examples include, but are not limited to:

  • In Unit 1, Week 5, Day 1, during the Vocabulary part of the lesson, the teacher reminds students that a suffix is a word part added to the end of a word to change its meaning. Students can use the suffix and their knowledge of the root word to help define an unfamiliar word. 
  • In Unit 4, Week 2, Day 6, during Spelling, the teacher displays the spelling words and reads them aloud, emphasizing inflectional endings. The teacher points out the spelling patterns in easily and silliest and writes the words easy and silly, modeling how the i replaces the y. The teacher points out that -ier and -iest make words into adjectives, while -ily can make words into adverbs and demonstrates sorting the spelling words by pattern under key words funnier, replied, easily, families, and silliest. The teacher sorts a few words and points out that the -ies ending on a noun usually signals a plural. Students cut apart the Spelling Word Cards in the Online Resource Book and initial the back of each card. Students read the words aloud with a partner. Partners do an open sort and record the sort in their writer’s notebook. Differentiated spelling lists are provided for the Approaching Level, On Level, and Beyond Level. 
  • In Unit 6, Week 2, Day 8, during the Expand Vocabulary part of the lesson, the teacher reminds students that knowing Latin and Greek prefixes can help them understand unfamiliar words. The teacher displays On Level Differentiated Genre Passage "Energy from the Sea." The teacher reads the second paragraph and models figuring out the meaning of hydropower. Pairs find clues for geothermal, preview, and disbelief. Partners can confirm meanings in a print or online dictionary. Students complete Practice Book page 324.

Materials include word analysis assessment to monitor student learning of word analysis skills. Examples include, but are not limited to:

  • Materials include both formal and informal assessments that the teacher can use to place students in differentiated groups based on their performance.
    • Progress Monitoring: tests reading comprehension, vocabulary strategies; grades 1-6; given at the end of each genre study instruction period.
    • Unit Assessments: tests comprehension skills, vocabulary strategies, literary elements, text features, grammar, mechanics and usage, writing; grades K-6; given at the end of each unit of instruction .
    • Benchmark Assessments: tests reading comprehension, vocabulary strategies, literary elements, text features, grammar, mechanics and usage, writing; grades K-6; given at the middle and the end of the school year.
  • In Unit 2, Week 1, Day 1, during the Spelling part of the lesson, the teacher displays the spelling words. Teacher reads them aloud, drawing out each syllable and emphasizing the prefix. Teacher points out the spelling patterns in unlock and overact and draws a line between the prefix and root: un/lock, over/act. The teacher explains that a prefix can have multiple syllables and points out that many single-syllable prefixes have a short-vowel sound. The teacher demonstrates sorting the spelling words by pattern under keywords recall, unlock, premix, subway, indirect, imperfect, illegal, overact, and supersize. The teacher then uses the Dictation Sentences from Day 5 to give the Pretest. 
  • In Unit 4, Week 2, Day 6, the teacher uses the Dictation Sentences from Day 10 to give the Pretest. The teacher says the underlined word, reads the sentence, and repeats the word. Students write the words check and correct their spelling. On Day 10, the teacher uses the Dictation Sentences for the post-test. Students list misspelled words in their word study notebooks. The teacher looks for students’ use of these words in their writing. Page 202 of the Practice Book can be used for review. In this activity, students add inflectional endings to create new verb forms and tenses.

Indicator 1q

Instructional opportunities are frequently built into the materials for students to practice and achieve reading fluency in oral and silent reading, that is, to read on-level prose and poetry with accuracy, rate appropriate to the text, and expression.
2/2
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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 4 meet the criteria for instructional opportunities are frequently built into the materials for students to practice and achieve reading fluency in oral and silent reading, that is, to read on-level prose and poetry with accuracy, rate appropriate to the text, and expression.

Instructional materials provide opportunities for students to read grade-level text with purpose and understanding. In each unit and each five-day sequence of lessons, students read and reread grade level text in the Literature Anthology and the Shared Read lesson. Students take notes, make text comparisons, and have discussions with peers. Students practice reading grade level text with appropriate expression, accuracy, and rate during whole group fluency lessons that can be found on the fifth week of the unit on the fifth day of instruction. There are multiple opportunities for students to be assessed for fluent reading, which is provided on the fifth day of each five-day sequence. Instructional adjustments are provided to teachers based on student results.  In the Placement and Diagnostic Assessment resource, the year-long chart indicates three fluency assessment options throughout the year: Oral Reading Fluency, Informal Reading Inventory, and Running Records.

Multiple 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. Examples include, but are not limited to:

  • Students have opportunities to read grade-level text with purpose and understanding.
    • In Unit 1, Week 5, Day 1, during Shared Reading, the teacher has students think about the Essential Question, skim and scan to preview the text, and set a purpose for reading. The teacher explains that as they read, students should use the left column of page 58 of the Reading/Writing Companion to note their purpose for reading, interesting words they find, and key details they identify.
    • In Unit 3, Week 2, Day 7, during Literature Anthology, students reread for purpose. Students read and reread Partaking in Public Service, take notes, and think about the Essential Question, "In what ways can you help your community?" Students think about how this text compares with Aguinaldo. Students discuss how these texts are similar and different.
    • In Unit 5, Week 3, Day 1, students read for purpose. Before students begin, they think about the Essential Question and what they know about showing family and friends that they care. The teacher skims and scans to preview the text and illustrations to predict what will happen in the story. The teacher explains that as students read, they should use the left column of page 34 to note predictions and questions they have, interesting words they find, and key details they identify.

Materials support reading or prose and poetry with attention to rate, accuracy, and expression, as well as direction for students to apply reading skills when productive struggle is necessary. Examples include, but are not limited to:

  • Students have opportunities to read grade-level prose and poetry orally with accuracy, appropriate rate, and expression on successive readings.
    • In Unit 1, Week 5, Day 4, during Fluency, the teacher explains to students that reading aloud with phrasing and rate is especially important with argumentative texts and that a writer’s claim and the evidence that supports the claim should be clearly understood. To make sure listeners understand the claim and evidence, readers must read carefully so they don’t read too fast or too slow. Readers should also pay attention to commas and other punctuation marks to help them phrase, or group, the information and ideas together. The teacher models by reading aloud the excerpt from Hearts and Soles on Reading/Writing Companion page 77 and models accurate phrasing and rate, following punctuation cues for phrasing, and emphasizing important words. Groups read the same passage aloud, mimicking the teacher’s careful phrasing and rate. The teacher listens for the same qualities in their readings. Partners take turns reading aloud pages 59–60 in the Reading/Writing Companion. The teacher circulates and offers feedback on students’ accuracy and phrasing, and students evaluate their own fluency.
    • In Unit 3, Week 5, Day 5, during Fluency, the teacher explains to students that reading with accuracy and rate is particularly important with argumentative text. “A writer’s claim and the evidence that supports that claim can be clearly understood when you read carefully and know what each word means.” The teacher discusses how to check the pronunciation of unfamiliar words so they can be read with accuracy and how to choose a reading rate that fits the material and the audience. The teacher models by reading aloud the excerpt from Food Fight on Reading/Writing Companion page 60 and models reading the material once to make sure each word is pronounced correctly, then reads a second time with a comfortable, steady rate. The teacher reads carefully and at a comfortable rate, modeling the correct pronunciation of each word. Groups chorally read the same passage, mimicking careful pronunciation and rate. The teacher listens for the same qualities in their reading. Partners read aloud other sections from page 60. The teacher circulates and offers feedback on students’ accuracy and rate, and has students evaluate their own fluency.
    • In Unit 6, Week 5, Day 5, during Whole Group Fluency, the teacher reminds students that reading aloud with accuracy and phrasing is especially important with poetry. The teacher says be sure to phrase the words so they sound natural and interesting. The teacher models reading aloud the excerpt from the poem on Reading/Writing Companion page 175 at a moderate rate. The teacher has each pair read the entire poem aloud, using punctuation to guide their phrasing. The teacher circulates and offers feedback on students’ accuracy and phrasing, and students evaluate their own fluency.

Materials 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). Examples include, but are not limited to:

  • Students have opportunities to use context to confirm or self-correct word recognition and understanding, rereading as necessary. 
    • In Unit 1, Week 1, Day 2, during Introduce the Genre, the teacher reads the text aloud to students and previews the comprehension strategy, Reread, by using the Think-Alouds on page T23. The teacher displays the online Think-Aloud Master 4: When I read _____, I had to reread . . . to reinforce how to use the Reread strategy to understand content.

Assessment materials provide teachers and students with information of students’ current fluency skills and provide teachers with instructional adjustments to help students make progress toward mastery of fluency. Examples include, but are not limited to:

  • Both formal and informal assessments are provided that the teacher can use to place students in differentiated groups based on their performance. 
    • Placement and Diagnostic Assessments: tests oral reading fluency, Grades 1-6; given at the beginning, middle, and end of the school year.
    • Fluency Assessments: tests oral reading fluency, Grades K-6; given at the beginning, middle, and end of the school year or more frequently if below the 50th percentile.
    • Running Records: tests oral reading fluency; Grades K-6; given at the beginning, middle, and end of the school year or more frequently if skill is weak.
  • In the Placement and Diagnostic Assessment book, the year-long assessment chart, shows the following assessments for Fluency for grade 4: Oral Reading Fluency to be administered the beginning, middle, and end of the Year, Running Records to be administered every three to four weeks, and the Informal Reading Inventory to be administered the beginning, middle, and end of the Year. In the Teacher Resource, Placement and Diagnostic Assessment, page xiv and xv, the materials explain how to group students based on student results for the Grade 4-6 Placement Assessments: Oral Reading Fluency Assessment Reading Comprehension Tests Phonics Survey Subtests (if applicable). IF STUDENTS SCORE in the 50th percentile or higher on the Oral Reading Fluency Assessment AND 80% correct or higher on the Reading Comprehension Tests, begin instruction with Wonders On Level materials. Use Beyond Level materials for students who score high on placement assessments and easily complete On Level assignments. IF STUDENTS SCORE below the 50th percentile on the Oral Reading Fluency Assessment OR 60% to 79% correct on the Reading Comprehension Tests, begin instruction with Wonders Approaching Level materials. IF STUDENTS SCORE below the 50th percentile on the Oral Reading Fluency Assessment AND 60% to 79% correct on the Reading Comprehension Tests, begin instruction with Wonders Approaching Level materials. Administer the Phonics Survey Subtests for further leveling clarification/confirmation. IF STUDENTS SCORE below 60% correct on the majority of the Phonics Survey Subtests, students require focused, intensive instruction. Place students in Wonders Approaching Level materials and engage students using appropriate decoding lessons from intervention materials. IF STUDENTS SCORE below 60% correct on the Reading Comprehension Tests, students require focused, intensive instruction. Place students in Wonders Approaching Level materials and use intervention materials based on placement tests results.

Gateway Two

Building Knowledge with Texts, Vocabulary, and Tasks

Meets Expectations

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Gateway Two Details

Texts are organized around genres studies focused on an essential question and topic. Sequences of questions and tasks support students as they analyze both content and craft within and across texts. Questions and tasks invite students to demonstrate their knowledge of a topic through integrated (writing and speaking) tasks, including focused research topics. Cohesive, year-long plans support both grade-level writing and vocabulary acquisition. The materials encourage and support a volume of independent reading, both in and out of class.

Criterion 2a - 2h

Materials build knowledge through integrated reading, writing, speaking, listening, and language.
32/32

Indicator 2a

Texts are organized around a topic/topics (or, for grades 6-8, topics and/or themes) to build students' ability to read and comprehend complex texts independently and proficiently.
4/4
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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 4 meet the criteria that texts are organized around a topic/topics to build students’ ability to read and comprehend complex texts independently and proficiently. 

Grade 4 materials provide opportunities for students to engage with texts organized into genre studies. Each genre study is a collection of texts that are organized around an essential question and topic. The instructional framework for reading the texts begins with students listening to a read-aloud about the topic to build background knowledge. Then students participate in a shared reading of the topic. Next students complete a close read with an anchor text on the topic. Students also read more about the topic in a paired selection to the anchor text. Differentiated texts for small group instruction are related to the genre study topic as well. There are also suggested books to put in the classroom library that align to the topic. 

Texts are connected by an appropriate topic. Examples include:

  • In Unit 1, Genre Study 1, the essential question is, “How do people respond to natural disasters?” Some of the texts that support the understanding of the essential question and the topic of natural disasters include:
    • “Avalanche!” (unknown author), an interactive read-aloud about a natural disaster that occurs in different regions
    • Earthquakes by Sneed B. Collard III, an expository text, which is the anchor text about how science helps people prepare for earthquakes
    • “A World of Change” (unknown author), an expository text for shared reading about the changes on Earth’s surface
    • “Weathering the Storm” (unknown author), an expository text in the literature anthology
    • Leveled Readers, “Changing Landscapes”
    • Books for independent reading include Volcanoes by Anne Schreiber and Natural Disasters through Infographics  by Nadia Higgins
  • In Unit 3, Genre Study 2, the essential question is, “How can one person make a difference?” Students read about people who fought injustice, pollution, and discrimination. Texts that students read include:
    • Nelson Mandela: Working for Freedom (unknown author): an interactive read-aloud about the world leader who fought for equal rights and freedom
    • “Judy’s Appalachia” (unknown author), a shared reading biography about some of the environmental issues connected to coal mining in West Virginia
    • Delivering Justice by Jim Haskins, this anchor text is a biography about the fight for Civil Rights
    • Keeping Freedom in the Family by Nora Daniel Day, an autobiography in the literature anthology
    • Leveled Readers, “Jacob Riis: Champion of the Poor”
    • Books for Independent Reading include Who was Nelson Mandela? by  Meg Belviso and John Lewis in the Lead:  A Story of the Civil Rights Movement by Jim Haskins
  • In Unit 6, Genre Study 1, students read narrative nonfiction texts to answer the essential question, “How have our energy resources changed over the years?” Students read about renewable and nonrenewable energy resources. Texts in this unit used to build knowledge include:
    • “Light Through the Ages” (unknown author), an interactive read-aloud about Thomas Edison
    • “The Great Energy Debate” (unknown author), a shared reading text about different energy sources
    • Energy Island by Allan Drummond, a narrative nonfiction anchor text about the Island of Samso and their model of renewable energy
    • “Of Fire and Water” (unknown author), a narrative nonfiction in the literature anthology 
    • Leveled Readers: “Planet Power”
    • Books for Independent Reading include Wind Power by Tea Benduhn and Green City by Allan Drummond.

Indicator 2b

Materials contain sets of coherently sequenced questions and tasks that require students to analyze the language, key ideas, details, craft, and structure of individual texts.
4/4
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 4 meet  the criteria that materials contain sets of coherently sequenced questions and tasks that require students to analyze the language, key ideas, details, craft, and structure of individual texts.

Grade 4 materials provide opportunities for students to analyze text through questioning. Students analyze texts by reading them several times. Questions begin with key ideas and details in the first read and author’s craft when rereading. 

For most texts, students are asked to analyze language and/or author’s word choice. Examples include, but are not limited to:

  • In Unit 1, Week 2, after reading “Weathering the Storm” (unknown author), students answer the question, “How does the author use sensory details?” Students are prompted to list three words or phrases that the author uses to show the sequence of events. 
  • In Unit 3, Week 1, students read Aguinaldo by Lulu Delacre. Students are instructed to reread the first sentence in the sixth paragraph on page 188 and answer the question, “When Marilia says she feels ‘light and warm and peaceful,’ how is the word warm being used?” 
  • In Unit 4, Week 4, after reading Moon Over Star by Dianna Hutts Aston, students answer the question, “What is the picture the author is creating with her words? How does her use of figurative language help you visualize the summer night?” 

For most texts, students analyze key ideas and details. Examples include, but are not limited to:

  • In Unit 1, Week 3, after reading, “The Talent Show” (unknown author), students write how the author introduces the problem during the rising action of the story. Students draw a box around the evidence that tells what Maura’s grandmother says to encourage her to speak up for herself. 
  • In Unit 3, Week 3, after reading Delivering Justice by Jim Haskins, students respond to the question, “ What is the first example of how Westley helped black people in Savannah?”
  • In Unit 4, Genre Study 1, students read See How they Run by Susan E. Goodman, and are asked questions such as, “Who were the voters in Ancient Greece? How did people become citizens?” 
  • In Unit 6, Week 3, after reading “A Surprise Reunion” (unknown author), students are asked, “What details does the author include to help you understand how Chief Cameahait feels about his little sister? How does the author communicate the message that family is important?”

For most texts, students analyze author’s craft and tone. Examples include, but are not limited to:

  • In Unit 1, Week 3, students read Experts Incorporated by Sarah Weeks, and students are asked, “What happens when Lucas asks Rodney what he picked to be when he grew up? Think about the whole story. Why does the author put this event at the beginning of the story?” 
  • In Unit 3, Week 3, after reading Judy’s Appalachia (unknown author), students answer the question, “How do you know the author is using cause-and-effect in paragraph 1?”
  • In Unit 5, Week 1, students read “Your World Up Close (unknown author), and answer questions such as, “How does the author use photographs and captions to support and add to the information in the text? How does the author’s use of text structure and text features help you understand how electron microscopes help scientists?”

Indicator 2c

Materials contain a coherently sequenced set of text-dependent questions and tasks that require students to analyze the integration of knowledge and ideas across both individual and multiple texts.
4/4
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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 4 meet the criteria that materials contain a coherently sequenced set of high-quality text-dependent questions and tasks that require students to analyze the integration of knowledge and ideas within individual texts as well as across multiple texts.

Grade 4 materials provide opportunities for students to engage with texts and text-dependent questions that help build knowledge. All lessons include text-dependent questions and tasks that require students to analyze the integration of knowledge. 

Sets of questions and tasks support students’ analysis of knowledge and ideas across the year. Examples include, but are not limited to:

  • In Unit 2, Week 1, students read Animal Adaptations and answer a series of questions, including, “What physical adaptations do skunks have? How does this adaptation help them? What behavioral adaptation do some birds have? How does this adaptation help them?”
  • In Unit 3, Genre Study 2, students read Delivery Justice: W.W. Law and the Fight for Civil Rights by Jim Haskins, and are asked questions, such as, “Why couldn’t Westley eat at the Levy’s lunch counter? Why wouldn’t schools in Savannah hire Westly?”
  • In Unit 4, Genre Study 1, students read “A World without Rules” and answer questions, such as, “What would the effect be if we had no rules? What happens when there are no traffic laws? What happens when no one takes care of the playground? How does a government change a law?” 
  • In Unit 6, Genre Study 1, students read, Energy Island by Allan Drummond, and are asked questions to build knowledge, such as, “What are some examples of renewable energy? Why are the people of Samso against Soren Hermansen’s ideas for energy independence? What might happen if Soren Hermansen is able to convince them to become energy independent?” 

 Students also have an opportunity to analyze knowledge across multiple texts at the end of each unit. Examples include, but are not limited to: 

  • In Unit 1, Week 2, students read The Masters of Disaster Blast Earthquakes and “Weathering the Storm” and are asked, “How does the photography show how rescue workers respond after a natural disaster? How does it compare to what you read in The Masters of Disasters Blast Earthquakes and ‘Weathering the Storm?’” 
  • In Unit 4, Genre Study 2, students are asked to think about all of the texts in the unit and write about how the people in those texts made a difference. 
  • In Unit 5, Week 1, students read the anchor text, A Drop of Water by Walter Wick, with the paired selection “The Incredible Shrinking Potion” (unknown author), and are asked questions that integrate knowledge and ideas across both texts including, “How do the photographer and the authors of the texts help you understand what you can discover when you look at things closely?” 
  • In Unit 6, Genre Study 1, students are asked to demonstrate their understanding of natural resources across multiple texts by answering the question, “How does the artist focus your attention on the resources in the painting? How is this similar to the way that the authors of Energy Island, ‘Of Fire and Water’, and ‘Fueling and Future’ help you understand the importance of natural resources?”

Indicator 2d

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

The materials reviewed for Grade 4 meet the criteria that the questions and tasks support students’ ability to complete culminating tasks in which they demonstrate their knowledge of a topic (or, for grades 6-8, a theme) through integrated skills (e.g. combination of reading, writing, speaking, listening).

Instructional materials provide students opportunities to complete culminating tasks that are related to the text they are reading. Culminating tasks integrate reading, writing, speaking, and listening skills and provide opportunities for students to show their knowledge of a topic. 

Culminating tasks are provided and they are multifaceted, requiring students to demonstrate mastery of several different standards and strands at the grade level. Examples include, but are not limited to:

  • In Unit 1, Week 5, students demonstrate comprehension and knowledge of the topic and texts in the unit by answering the Essential Question, “How can starting a business help others?” Students discuss their responses to the Essential Question with a partner while referring to their previous answers in their Reading Writing Companion.  Students write a final response that requires them to synthesize the knowledge built around how starting a business can help others. Students use what they discussed, read, and wrote in order to successfully complete this task. 
  • In Unit 3, Weeks 3 and 4, students complete the unit by first talking about the Essential Question, “How can one person make a difference?” Students use their notes and annotations from the unit to complete a class chart that answers this question. Then students answer the question, “How did the people in those selections make a difference?” after discussing the various texts, as well as a new poem, “Paul Revere” by Henry Wadsworth, with a partner. Students then share their responses in groups. 
  • In Unit 5, Week 5, students demonstrate comprehension and knowledge of the topics through the lens of the Essential Question, “How can learning about the past help you understand the present?” Throughout the unit, the students read various texts to answer the question, discuss the texts with a partner, and write about them in their Reading Writing Companion. At the end of the unit, students write about how the past helps us understand the present. 
  • In Unit 6, Weeks 1 and 2, students finish the unit by first reading through their notes, annotations, and responses from the two weeks and adding information to the Essential Question, “How have our energy resources changed over the years?” Then students work with a partner and analyze a painting and talk about the natural resources in the painting and how they are used. They refer to their notes on the chart and write how the authors in the unit plus the artist of the painting help them understand how important natural resources are. Students share their written responses in groups and discuss each response. This culminating task requires students to utilize their reading, writing, speaking, and listening skills. 

Indicator 2e

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

The materials reviewed for Grade 4 meet the criteria that materials include a cohesive, year-long plan for students to interact with and build key academic vocabulary words in and across texts. 

Grade 4 materials provide students the opportunity to interact with and build key academic vocabulary words in and across texts. Students interact with vocabulary through practice exercises, reading in context, word families, and affixes. Students also keep track of their vocabulary words in Build Your Word List in their Writing Notebook. Students complete vocabulary tasks in the Reading Writing Companion and are assessed at the end of each unit on the vocabulary strategy. Guidance is provided to teachers in the form of videos, articles, and a handbook. Many different academic vocabulary and other vocabulary words are introduced during the week. Materials provide a vocabulary development component in the Tier 2 Intervention booklet.

Examples include, but are not limited to:

  • In the resource, Instructional Routine Handbook, page 77, teachers are guided through a four-step routine that can be used throughout the year to introduce vocabulary. 
    • Step 1: Introduce (Explain the vocabulary routine.) 
      • The teacher explains, “Today we will learn new vocabulary words. I will say a vocabulary word, define it, and use it in a sentence. Then, I will ask you to use the word in a sentence. The more we practice using the new words, the better readers and writers we will be.”
    • Step 2: Model (I Do): Define/Example/Ask
      • The teacher explains, “I am going to say the vocabulary word so you can hear the correct pronunciation. Then I am going to define it and use it in a sentence.”
    • Step 3: Guided Practice (We Do): Students are given opportunities to use and apply words.
      • The teacher describes different situations and students decide if the vocabulary word is an example of the situation. 
    • Step 4: Independent Practice (You Do): 
      • “Individual turns allow you an opportunity to assess each student’s skill level and provide additional practice for those students who need it. Near the end of each week, students should write sentences in their word study notebooks using the words.”

Materials provide teacher guidance outlining a cohesive year-long program that builds students’ academic vocabulary. Students engage in vocabulary instruction and application each day of the unit. The vocabulary words are related to the Essential Question, which helps students build knowledge. Students complete vocabulary tasks before reading, while reading, and after reading. Examples include, but are not limited to:

  • In Unit 1, Week 1, students read “A World of Change”” (unknown author) and the target vocabulary words are highlighted within the text. Some of these words include alter, collapse, and substantial. Students talk with a partner about each of these words after reading the text and answer questions that show their own understanding of the word. 
  • In Unit 3, Week 3, Day 1, students read “Judy’s Appalachia” (unknown author). Words in context are introduced and instruction for using synonyms and antonyms to determine meaning is provided. The teacher models with the word  supported found in the text, and then the students practice with the words method, dangerous, and preserve
  • In Unit 5, Week 1, Day 1, the Essential Question is “How do people respond to natural disasters?” and students connect to the target vocabulary in the Reading Writing Companion. The target vocabulary words students encounter are alter, collapse, crisis, destruction, hazard, seer, substantial, and unpredictable
  • In Unit 6, Week 1, students read “The Great Energy Debate” (unknown author). Words in context are introduced and instruction for using Greek and Latin prefixes to determine meaning is provided. Students work with partners to use Greek and Latin prefixes to define words such as preplan, nonrenewable, and hypercritical, which are all found in the text. Students also talk with partners about words such as coincidence, that are in the text. The students talk about the sentence that contains the word in the text and then answer the question, “What kind of coincidence have you experienced?”.

Indicator 2f

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

The materials reviewed for Grade 4 meet the criteria that materials include a cohesive, year-long plan to support students' increasing writing skills over the course of the school year, building students' writing ability to demonstrate proficiency at grade level at the end of the school year.

Grade 4 materials provide students the opportunity to write and respond to texts throughout the year. Within each unit, teachers prepare students for a specific writing task at the end of four weeks. Students read texts in the same genre as the writing task. In addition, throughout the unit they take notes and respond to questions by analyzing texts in the Reading Writing Companion and in the Writer’s Notebook. As students progress through the units, they are asked to write longer pieces with more complex prompts that meet grade-specific standards as they work through the steps of the writing process. 

Materials include writing instruction aligned to the standards for the grade level, and writing instruction spans the whole school year. Writing instruction supports students’ growth in writing skills over the course of the school year. Examples include, but are not limited to:

  • In Unit 3, students read realistic fiction texts and write a realistic fiction narrative at the end of the four weeks. Students write in their Reading Writing Companion while reading in response to questions and tasks, such as taking notes, identifying the point of view, visualizing and flashback. Examples that support their development as writers include: 
    • In Week 1, Day 1, students read “Remembering Hurricane Katrina” (unknown author) and respond to questions such as, “How does the author show the impact Hurricane Katrina had on Hector? How does the author sequence the events in the story to help you understand how Hurricane Katrina affected Hector?” 
    • In Week 1, Day 3, students read Aguinaldo by Lulu Delacre, and record text clues about how the character was feeling about going on the field trip and how the author uses dialogue to show the relationship between characters. Students also respond to the prompt, “How does the author help you understand how Marilia has changed from the beginning of the story to the end?” 
    • In Week 1, Day 5, students are told they will be writing a short realistic fiction narrative. They analyze an expert model and respond about how the author introduces the selection and what the setting of the beginning of the story is in their Reading Writing Companion. 
    • In Week 1, Days 6 and 7, students write and record ideas about an activity someone would be nervous doing the first time. They are provided with sentence starters such as “My story will start with…”, The middle of my story will be about….” and I will end my story with…” Instruction is then provided on determining the purpose and audience and planning. Students plan their draft using a graphic organizer and a rubric.
    • In Week 2, Days 8 and 9, students develop their draft.  Students are reminded to use their flow chart to put their events in the correct order and use dialogue to move events along and to make it more realistic.
    • In Week 3, Day 5, instruction is provided on writing sensory details. Students reread parts of the model text and then discuss it with partners.  Students have an opportunity to revise their drafts before publishing and sharing. 
  • In Unit 6, students read narrative nonfiction texts and write a narrative nonfiction at the end of the four weeks. Students write in their Reading Writing Companion while reading in response to questions and tasks. Examples of this include:
    • In Week 1, Day 1, students read, “The Great Energy Debate(unknown author) and write how the author shows that the narrator will be ready for the debate. Students also answer, “How does the author organize the information about renewable and nonrenewable energy sources?” 
    • In Week 1, Day 3, students read, Energy Island by Allan Drummond, and discuss what the author describes as ordinary and how the author’s use of the phrase ‘hold onto your hats’ is important to the idea for Samso’s energy independence. They then work with a partner and discuss how the island of Samso has changed and respond to the prompt “How does the author organize the text and use text features to tell you about wind energy and the people of Energy Island?” 
    • In Week 1, Day 5, students are told they will be writing a narrative nonfiction Students analyze an expert model and write about how the author presents information in the form of a story. 
    • On Week 1, Days 6-7, students brainstorm and record a list of natural resources they use often and are then given the prompt to write a narrative nonfiction essay explaining what they could do to conserve natural resources. Students plan their draft using a graphic organizer and rubric.
    • On Week 2, Days 8 and 9, students develop their draft and are reminded to use their sample paragraph, include a fact, example, or statistic from a reputable source that supports the main idea. This has been taught in previous units. 
    • On Week 3, Day 5, instruction is provided on linking words and students have an opportunity to revise their drafts based on this instruction. 

Instructional materials include well-designed lesson plans, models, and protocols for teachers to implement and monitor students’ writing development. Students write every day in their writer’s notebooks.  Students respond to prompts, check their writing during independent time and make necessary revisions, write pieces they choose themselves, use freewriting and mapping to generate ideas, and write responses to reading to deepen their understanding. A digital writer’s notebook is offered as well.  Students can access student models and instructional videos. Teachers are encouraged to review and give feedback at any time. Examples include, but are not limited to:

  • In Unit 3, examples include:
    • Students discuss their completed charts and written responses with partners or small groups. 
    • In Week 4, Day 7, students complete a peer review with a four-step routine. Sentence starters are provided to assist students such as “I enjoyed the beginning of your draft.”  The routine includes:
      • Listen carefully as the writer reads his or her work aloud.
      • Begin by telling what you liked about the reading. 
      • Ask a question that will help the writer think more about the writing.
      • Give suggestions that will make the writing stronger.
    • In Week 4, Days 8-10, an editing checklist is provided so students can improve their writing. Rubrics are also provided. 
  • In Unit 6, similar supports are provided; however, the writing prompts and tasks are longer. Examples include: 
    • Supports are provided such as discussing with partners or small groups their completed charts and written responses.
    • In Week 4, Day 7, students complete a peer review with a four-step routine. The routine is slightly different than the one used in Unit 3. 
      • Avoid distracting the writer as he or she reads aloud.
      • Begin by telling what you liked about the writing. 
      • Ask a question about something you did not understand.
      • Give a suggestion that will help clear up confusing details.
    • In Week 4, Days 8-10, an editing checklist and rubric is provided. 

Indicator 2g

Materials include a progression of focused research projects to encourage students to develop knowledge in a given area by confronting and analyzing different aspects of a topic using multiple texts and source materials.
4/4
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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 4 meet the criteria that 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.

Grade 4 materials provide students opportunities to complete research projects over the course of a Genre Study that enrich the knowledge and understanding of the Genre Study topic, the genre structure itself, and the Essential Question. In addition to regular research projects, students can use the interactive online inquiry space during small group time to further support the growth of research skills. Teachers and students follow the research roadmap for guidance on how to apply the five-step research process to each research project. For each project, there is also a research skill that is explicitly taught through modeling and guided practice. 

Research projects are sequenced across a school year to include a progression of research skills appropriate for the grade level. Materials support teachers in employing projects that develop students’ knowledge on a topic via provided resources. The Instructional Routines Handbook states that the Research and Inquiry Lessons have a suggested outline to use for projects throughout each unit/Genre Study.  This routine includes:

1. Set Research Goals: Introduce the project and clearly identify the research focus and end product. During this time, students may generate inquiry questions, assign roles to group members, and/or create a research plan.

 2. Identify Sources: Brainstorm and identify reliable sources, such as texts read in class, digital media, print sources, and interviews with experts. 

3. Find and Record Information: Guide students as they search for relevant information from their sources. Ensure they take notes from various sources, find answers to their inquiry questions, and record information so they can cite their sources. 

4. Organize: Help students review and analyze the information they have gathered. They should identify the most useful information by annotating or highlighting their notes, using a graphic organizer to sort and clarify categories of related information, and identifying any areas where they need further information.

 5. Synthesize and Present: Guide students to synthesize their information and create the research product. Then have them plan how to best present their work and they may include audio and/or visual displays to enhance presentations. Before presenting, students check that key ideas are included in the presentation and they rehearse the presentation.

Specific examples of research projects throughout the year as well as the skills taught include, but are not limited to:

  • In Unit 1, Genre Study 3, students learn how to identify and use primary and secondary sources for a research project. Students research an entrepreneur from their state and produce a biographical sketch of that person. Students must include a bibliography in their final project. 
  • In Unit 2, Genre Study 1, after direct instruction and guided instruction, students work with a partner or a small group to research the life cycle of a cricket and a beetle. The five-step research process is provided for the teacher to guide students through the research project. Students set research goals and identify sources. Then students find and record information and organize it. Finally, students synthesize and present their research. 
  • In Unit 4, Genre Study 3, students interview a community helper. Before beginning, students learn about skimming and scanning, persuasive language, and conducting an interview. Students contact a person and conduct an interview and share their plans with a peer. The five-step research process is provided for the teacher to guide students through the process. 
  • In Unit 6, Genre Study 2, students conduct research about Native American groups in their state. Students work in pairs or groups to create an encyclopedia entry that includes a map of the region, showing where a specific Native American group lives. Students research the group’s traditions, why the group settled in the specific area, and how long the group has been living there. Students work on this for two weeks.

Indicator 2h

Materials provide a design, including accountability, for how students will regularly engage in a volume of independent reading either in or outside of class.
4/4
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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 4 meet the criteria that materials provide a design, including accountability, for how students will regularly engage in a volume of independent reading either in or outside of class.

Grade 4 materials provide opportunities for students to read independently in and out of class. The materials include accountability in the form of independent reading responses and a reading log. In addition, there are also steps for an independent reading routine that provides guidance for teachers. There are many opportunities for independent reading to occur throughout the day. The publisher suggests that students spend 30 - 40 minutes total of independent reading a day, and this includes both whole class texts, as well as independent book choices during small group time. There is a bibliography provided in each unit and genre study for independent reading book choices that align to the topic and/or genre that students are reading in whole group lessons. In addition, there is a School-To-Home letter each week that provides information for families on children reading at home.

In the Instructional Routine Handbook, an independent reading routine is provided for students to follow while the teacher works with groups or confers with individuals. The steps in the routine include:

    • "Select a book that interests you.
    • Read the book each day during independent reading time.
    • Think about what you are reading.
    • Record what you have read at the end of each independent reading session.
    • Share your opinion of the book when you are done.
    • Complete a reading log by recording the date, title, text type, opinion, number of pages, number of minutes read, whether the text was complex, too easy, or just right, and if the student is still reading, finishing or abandoning the book."

An additional Independent Reading Routine is provided that provides additional information for independent reading that can occur during whole group time. The steps in the routine include:

    • "Select a book that interests you.
    • Check the book to make sure it is the one you want to read (teachers should teach students the five finger rule to help students determine if the book is just right).
    • Read the book each day during Independent Reading time. Use the skills and strategies that you have been working on.
    • Think about what you are reading. Use Thinking Codes to record your thoughts or write about them in your writer’s notebook.
    • Record what you have read at the end of each independent reading session. There are many suggestions for keeping students accountable for their independent reading in the Additional Strategies section of the Instructional Handbook. Using a Reading Log is just one way suggested by the publisher. 
    • Share your opinion of the book when you are done. Tell a friend, write a review, make a poster, or ask a teacher for ideas.
    • Begin again! Time to pick a new book!"

There is also a tracking system in the Teacher Resource Book that provides reading response forms for various genres, such as nonfiction and poetry.  Students also can respond in their Writing Notebook without using this form. 

Gateway Three

Usability

Meets Expectations

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Gateway Three Details

Materials design supports appropriate lesson structure and pacing and can be completed within a school year with a pace that allows for maximum understanding. Units provide adequate review and practice resources, including clearly defined and labeled materials and activities. Visual design enhances learning and does not provide unnecessary distractions. Most lessons, questions, tasks, and assessment items note the standards alignment however some ancillary resources do not indicate a standards alignment.

The Teacher Edition provides support for successful implementation including clear explanations and examples as well as information on literacy concepts included in the materials and defines the instructional approaches of the program and the research-based strategies included. There is not a clear explanation of the role of specific ELA standards within the program. Materials include support for stakeholder communications.

The program systematically and regularly assesses student progress, though materials include limited denotations of the standards being assessed. Routines and guidance for assessment are present, including support for interpreting assessment data and determine next steps for instruction. The materials provide accountability measures to support students as they engage in independent reading self-selected texts.

The program provides strategies and support for all learners, including English language learners, students with disabilities, and students who are performing above grade level. A variety of grouping strategies are provided

Digital materials can be used on multiple platforms and browsers. Technology is used appropriately to support student learning and foregrounds supports that provide a deeper understanding of the texts and text evidence they encounter in lessons. Opportunities for personalization/customization and teacher to student and student to student collaboration are available digitally, including customization for local use.

Criterion 3a - 3e

Materials are well designed and take into account effective lesson structure and pacing.
7/8
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-
Criterion Rating Details

Materials design supports appropriate lesson structure and pacing. The program can be completed within the confines of a typical school year and the pace allows for maximum student understanding. The units provide adequate review and practice resources, including clearly defined and labeled materials and activities. The visual design of the materials enhances learning and does not provide unnecessary distractions. Most lessons, questions, tasks, and assessment items note the standards alignment however some ancillary resources do not indicate a standards alignment.

Indicator 3a

Materials are well-designed and take into account effective lesson structure and pacing.
2/2
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 4 meet the criteria that materials are well-designed and take into account effective lesson structure and pacing. 

Materials are designed to immerse students in all areas of the standards and provide explicit lesson structure with embedded teacher direction, as well as recommendations for supporting all learners. Each unit contains three genre studies and a Unit Overview, which supports the teacher as they plan for instruction. Each unit instructs the teacher throughout each lesson on its implementation before, during, and after the readings and activities, while providing recommendations for scaffolded support. At the beginning of each unit, there is a Unit Introduction followed by a weekly overview that maps out the daily content being covered. Pacing for each lesson is appropriately allocated. Each individual lesson follows the same structure. For example, for each Genre Study, the lesson cycle begins with key features, a Reading workshop that includes an essential question, academic vocabulary, a comprehension section that states strategies and skills, and a phonics and fluency section. There is also a red check mark notation that lets the teacher know that a particular skill will be tested. 

The Instructional Routines Handbook states, “In Wonders, the routines follow the same sequence of steps every time and slowly transfer the responsibility of the task to the students.” Routines effectively organize instruction, help set clear expectations for students, help teachers scaffold instruction, minimize instructional time and teacher talk, and maximize student participation. Many of the instructional routines are included in the online Model Lessons Video Library.

For each new text, students engage with an interactive read-aloud, then a shared read, and then independently with an anchor text. Lessons, questions, and prompts are sequenced so that the students interact with the text in increasingly more sophisticated ways, moving from a more literal first reading to grasp the meaning of the text, followed by a reread with questions about craft and structure, and finally synthesis and evaluation of ideas and information when reading the Anchor Text with a Paired Text. The questions and prompts are tied to the standards. Students write and collaborate using their Reading Writing Companion while reading texts. Discussion routines and writing routines are regularly employed throughout each lesson. For example:

  • In Unit 3, Genre Study 1, Essential Question: “What can learning about different cultures teach us?”
    • Interactive Read-Aloud: Foods for Thought
      • Observe the teacher Think-Aloud the skill of summarizing. “I will summarize this section to help me understand. Taylor’s Greek grandmother made dolmade. Maybe it is a Greek food..”(T23)
    • Shared Read: A Reluctant Traveler
      • Students answer questions about key ideas and details about different cultures. (T24)
    • Anchor Text: They Don’t Mean It!
      •  "Reread the third paragraph on page 185. Identify at least two actions or events that show you this story is realistic fiction." (T43C)

Paired Text: Where Did That Come From?

“How do Frances Frost and the authors of They Don’t Mean It! and Where Did That Come From? help you understand their messages about other cultures?” Students respond in the Reading/Writing Companion page 22.

  • Units and lessons include structures and resources for both whole group and small group differentiated literacy instruction. The lessons and supports for small groups link to the whole group lessons. Leveled Readers and Differentiated Genre Passages are provided at four levels (Approaching, On Level, Beyond, English Language Learners) and students practice applying the skills they used with the Shared and Anchor Text. An example includes: 
    • In Unit 3: Beyond Level Text: Potluck or Potlatch? (Lexile 800) Read: "Read paragraph 4 on page B1. What does Alex do when Wakiash greets him with a big smile and a high-five?" (T88) Reread: "How does the author help you understand how Alex is feeling when he gives Wakiash the brownies?" (T89) Integrate: “Have pairs explore the connections between Potluck or Potlatch? and A Reluctant Traveler on pages 2–5 of the Reading Writing Companion as they respond to this question: 'How do the authors help you understand what learning about a different culture can teach you?'” (T89) 

The pacing of individual lessons is appropriate. Examples include, but are not limited to:

  • In the “Plan” tab under weekly planner, there are time limits suggested that help the teacher plan for that specific section. There are buttons on the right side that give the standards for the day and the objectives, when the teacher clicks on them. There are also time designations next to the headings of the sections of the lesson in the Teacher Edition. For example, In Unit 1, Week 5, Day 1, the following time guidelines are provided for whole-group instruction:
    • Listening Comprehension: 10 minutes
    • Shared Read: No time guideline given
    • Vocabulary in context: 10 minutes
    • Vocabulary (suffixes): 10 minutes
    • Grammar: no time given
    • Spelling: no time given

Indicator 3b

The teacher and student can reasonably complete the content within a regular school year, and the pacing allows for maximum student understanding.
2/2
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 4 meet the criteria that the teacher and student can reasonably complete the content within a regular school year, and the pacing allows for maximum student understanding.

Grade 4 materials include six units. Each unit includes three genre studies. Each unit is designed to take six weeks to complete with approximately 180 instructional days The sixth week provides time for review, extension, and assessment opportunities. 

 Examples include, but are not limited to:

  • In Unit 1:
    • Genre Study 1: Expository Text: Weeks 1 & 2
    • Genre Study 2: Realistic Fiction Weeks 3 & 4
    • Genre Study 3: Argumentative Text: Week 5
    • Week 6: Opportunities for students to review, to extend the learning, and to assess the skills taught in Unit 1.
  • In the Teacher Edition there are is a “core” option in the lesson plans that helps teachers and students focus on the standards that have to be covered by the end of the year, and this pathway ensures that the standards will be covered. The “optional” pathway includes other standards that can be covered if time allows. There is a video that teachers can view that explains the Core Pathway option. The teacher types “core pathway” into the search bar and clicks on the “Using the Core Pathway” video.

Indicator 3c

The student resources include ample review and practice resources, clear directions, and explanation, and correct labeling of reference aids (e.g., visuals, maps, etc.).
2/2
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 4 meet the criteria that the student resources include ample review and practice resources, clear directions, and explanation, and correct labeling of reference aids (e.g., visuals, maps, etc.)

Grade 4 materials provide students with opportunities to review and practice in and with the Reading Writing Companion, note takers, leveled readers, anchor text, paired text, graphic organizers, model texts, writing rubrics, check-lists, student practice worksheets, and additional student reads and library suggested titles, book titles, reading responses and student learning goals and rubrics.

Student materials include ample review and practice resources. Examples include, but are not limited to:

  • In Unit 5, Week 1, students practice and review interpreting photographs and captions throughout the week while reading the shared read and the anchor text. While reading the shared read, Your World Up Close, in the Reading Writing Companion, students engage in various tasks and questions about the author’s use of photos and captions. Questions include, “How does the author use photographs and captions to support and add to the information in the text?” Students interpret photos and captions while reading the anchor text, A Drop of Water, in the Literature Anthology. The Teacher Edition includes questions and tasks for the teacher to practice this skill. For example, the teacher says, “Look at the photographs on pages 362–363. Turn to a partner and discuss what the photographs show. How do they relate to the title?” On Day 3, the Teacher Resource Book provides : 
    • Decodable passages (16-20 titles per unit)
    • Spelling word cards
    • Student Reader Responses
    • Book Talk
    • Speaking and Listening Checklist
  • The Practice Book includes materials for students to practice weekly skills (organized by unit) in grammar, phonics, spelling, vocabulary, and handwriting. 
  • Shared Read Writing Frames ELL: Each unit includes a shared read writing frame organized by genre. 
  • Graphic Organizers for reading and writing include a fact and opinion organizer, character traits web, action and judgement, sequence of events, and cause/effect.

Student materials include clear directions and explanations, and reference aids are correctly labeled. Examples include, but are not limited to:

  • In Unit 1, Week 5, Day 1, the Practice Book has clear directions and explanations. The top of page 49 explains the terms run-on sentence and comma splice and provides examples of each. It also explains how to fix a run-on sentence by using examples. The directions after these explanations are clear and state, “Correct each run-on sentence and comma splice by separating it into two sentences or combining the clauses correctly.”

Indicator 3d

Materials include publisher-produced alignment documentation of the standards addressed by specific questions, tasks, and assessment items.
1/2
+
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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 4 partially meet the criteria that materials include publisher-produced alignment documentation of the standards addressed by specific questions, tasks, and assessment items.

Grade 4 materials provides Common Core State Standards alignment documentation in the Teacher Edition under “Plan: Weekly Standard.” Standards are noted for each lesson and are linked to the lesson. The Assessment and Data tab in the online materials lists several printable resources; however, under the Standards tabs, it indicates “no standards associated with this resource.” 

Alignment documentation is provided for all questions, tasks, and assessment items. Examples include, but are not limited to:

  • The Online Teacher Edition Resources include a Plan tab, which links to weekly standards. This resource includes the weekly standards that are being taught, including the lesson in which each standard can be found. Standards include Grade Level 4, Language, Reading Foundational, Reading Informational, Speaking and Listening and Writing. In Unit 1, Week 1, there is a list of all related standards with lesson links. 
  • In Unit 1, Week 1, standards alignment links for the lessons include: L.4.2a: "Use correct capitalization." (2 lessons). RF.4.4 "Read with sufficient accuracy and fluency to support comprehension." (2 lessons). RI.4.3 "Explain events, procedures, ideas, or concepts in a historical, scientific, or technical text, including what happened and why, based on specific information in the text." (6 lessons). W.4.7 "Conduct short research projects that build knowledge through investigation of different aspects of a topic." (1 lesson).
  • In Unit 5, Week 5, Day 3, the standards aligned with Rediscovering Our Spanish Beginnings by Time for Kids, are RI.4.1, RI.4.3, RI.4.5, W.4.9, and L.4.5b.

Indicator 3e

The visual design (whether in print or digital) is not distracting or chaotic, but supports students in engaging thoughtfully with the subject.
0/0
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 4 meet the criteria that the visual design (whether in print or digital) is not distracting or chaotic, but supports students in engaging thoughtfully with the subject.

Grade 4 materials contain many visual aids to support student learning, including graphic organizers, response sheets, and real images that accompany the text related to the content in each unit. Illustrations and clip art in the Reading Writing Companion are uncomplicated and appealing to the eye. The design of the materials is simple and visualizing appealing to students. The font, margins, and spacing provided for student work areas are also appropriate. 

The materials include, but are not limited to:

  • Videos that introduce each topic around the essential question for each week, in addition to introducing vocabulary, building background, visuals for introducing the essential question, with graphic organizers so that they can be projected to use with students. Whatever student materials are used are also available digitally. Essential questions are also accompanied by a photograph with the purpose of student-generated ideas and thoughts around the weekly topic.
  • Key routines that are to be used throughout the year are clearly marked and placed within the materials for ease of use. They include:
    • Collaborative Conversation
    • Close Reading
    • Vocabulary
    • Response
    • Fluency
    • Mini-lesson
    • Rubric
    • Checklist
    • Differentiation options
    • Grouping strategies
    • Fluency
  • The Teacher Edition pages are color-coded by lesson type. Additional color codes signal types of questions/tasks. For example:
    • Questions that are to be answered/discussed after the first read are color-coded red. (Key Ideas/Details)
    • Questions that are to be answered/discussed after the second read are color-coded green. (Author’s craft and structure)
    • Questions that are to be answered/discussed that are color-coded blue, ask what the text means as a whole and requires answering cross-text comparison questions.
    • Color coding is also used in the small-group/ELL instruction sections. Approaching (orange), on-level (blue), beyond (green), and ELL (purple).
    • Analytical Writing opportunities have a clearly labeled box next to those assignments.
  • Access Complex Text is also clearly marked throughout the Teacher Edition with color-coded initials ACT for easier references.

Criterion 3f - 3j

Materials support teacher learning and understanding of the Standards.
7/8
+
-
Criterion Rating Details

The Teacher Edition included with the materials provide good annotations and suggestions for successful implementation. The Teacher Edition provides clear explanations and examples to support the teacher, including explanations and additional information to deepen the teacher’s understanding of literacy concepts included in the materials as well as to define the instructional approaches of the program and the research-based strategies included. While pieces of the program provide documentation of their alignment to the standards, there is not a clear explanation of the role of specific ELA standards within the program. Materials include strategies for informing and involving stakeholders, including families, of the student’s progress and ways to support their learning at home.

Indicator 3f

Materials contain a teacher's edition with ample and useful annotations and suggestions on how to present the content in the student edition and in the ancillary materials. Where applicable, materials include teacher guidance for the use of embedded technology to support and enhance student learning.
2/2
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 4 meet the criteria that materials contain a Teacher Edition with ample and useful annotations and suggestions on how to present the content in the Student Edition and in the ancillary materials. Where applicable, materials include teacher guidance for the use of embedded technology to support and enhance student learning.

The Teacher Edition is accessible in an interactive format online and in PDF files and  provides ample and useful annotations and suggestions on how to present the content in the Student Edition and ancillary materials. The digital Teacher Edition is organized by units, weeks, and days. The Teacher Edition PDF files are grouped by genre studies. Online files needed for presentation, as well as student materials and ancillary materials, are easily accessible in the interactive online Teacher Edition. The Teacher Edition provides direct quotes for the teacher to use in think-alouds and student explanations. Suggestions for implementation and correct answers for student questions and tasks are also found there.

Examples include, but are not limited to:

  • In Unit 1, Genre Study 1, Teacher Edition, the teacher can use the Data Dashboard to filter class, group, and/or individual student data to guide group placement decisions. It provides recommendations to enhance learning for gifted and talented students and provides extra support for students needing remediation. For example, the materials state:
    • "Display the online Student Learning Goals for this Genre Study. Tell students they will read how natural disasters can cause a crisis, a difficult and dangerous situation. Explain that through expository text, students will analyze how people respond to natural disasters, and they will be able to talk and write about those responses.
    • Read aloud the Essential Question in the Reading Writing Companion on the page opposite page 1.
    • Discuss the photograph of the helicopter responding to a fire with students. Focus on how people respond to natural disasters.
    • Have partners continue the discussion by sharing what they have learned about responding to natural disasters. They can complete the concept web, generating additional related words and phrases. 
    • To help students develop oral language and build vocabulary, use Newcomer Cards 5-9 and the accompanying materials in the Newcomer Teacher’s Guide. For thematic connection, use Newcomer Card 15 and the accompanying materials." 
  • In Unit 1, Weeks 1-2, Teacher Edition, the teacher tells students that an avalanche is a natural event that can be dangerous. The teacher will be reading aloud a passage about how avalanches form and ways that people take action to prevent and control them. As students listen, ask them to think about how the passage answers the Essential Question. 
  • In Unit 5, Week 1, Day 1, Teacher Edition. Whole Group, the lesson includes links to digital items needed for the lesson presentation, including a note-taking web and a Build Knowledge Video about the essential question, “What can you discover when you look closely at something?” Classroom material files are easily accessible at the top of the lesson plan including a student task sheet used to practice sequencing. The lesson includes suggestions for implementation and correct answers to student questions and tasks. The Teacher Edition prompts the teacher to read aloud the essential question. It prompts the teacher to display Student Learning Goals and provides follow-up questions for students to discuss,“If you had the chance, what would you look at up close? What would you hope to discover?”

Indicator 3g

Materials contain a teacher's edition that contains full, adult-level explanations and examples of the more advanced literacy concepts so that teachers can improve their own knowledge of the subject, as necessary.
2/2
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 4 meet the criteria that materials contain a Teacher Edition that contains full, adult-level explanations and examples of the more advanced literacy concepts so that teachers can improve their own knowledge of the subject, as necessary.

The materials provide clear explanations and examples for the teacher to support his/her content knowledge and pedagogy. Additionally, assessment concepts are defined in adult terms in the Assessment Handbook, and the Smart Start section of the Unit Overviews provide information to deepen the teacher’s understanding of literacy concepts. 

  • In Unit 1, Week 1, Day 1, compare-and-contrast text structure is the literacy concept taught in the whole group lesson. The Teacher Edition provides an explanation for the student and teacher. “Explain that text structure is a way that authors organize a text. Compare-and-contrast is one kind of text structure. It shows how things are alike and different. When you compare, you tell how things are alike. When you contrast, you tell how things are different. An author may use signal words such as same, both, and like to signal comparisons. An author may use signal words such as neither, however, unlike, or instead to signal contrasts.”
  • In Unit 1, Genre Study 1, Start Smart, teachers may access an overview of the instructional lessons in Wonders: Author Insights about research-based best practices, Social-Emotional Learning, Habits of Learning, and Classroom Culture, Instructional Routines, Teach It Your Way, and Placement and Diagnostic Assessment.
  • The Assessment Handbook states, “Informal reading inventory (IRI) is a method of assessing students’ independent, instructional, and frustration reading levels in which a student reads graded text and answers comprehension questions. Both oral and silent reading can be assessed.”
  • The Smart Start Section provided in the Teacher Edition further explains literacy concepts in adult language. For example, page S6 of the Smart Start Section states the following about genre to deepen teacher’s understanding, “Focusing on genre teaches students to use the appropriate strategies to unlock a text. Treat informational text as arguments and analyze the nature of the author’s assertions, logical reasoning, and/or evidence. For narrative text, evaluate the structural elements and analyze the author’s use of words and phrases.”
  • Under the Professional Development tab in Resources, there is a Basics, Digital Quick Start, and Smart Start online component for teachers that explains the aspects of the program. 
    • Wonders Basics
    • Start here for an overview of Wonders. 
    • Curriculum Design­
    • Structure and Resources­
    • Classroom Set-Up
    • Teacher Materials­
    • Get to Know Your Students

Indicator 3h

Materials contain a teacher's edition that explains the role of the specific ELA/literacy standards in the context of the overall curriculum.
1/2
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-
Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 4 partially meet the criteria that materials contain a Teacher Edition that explains the role of the specific ELA/literacy standards in the context of the overall program. The criteria requires that the visual design (whether in print or digital) is not distracting or chaotic, but supports students in engaging thoughtfully with the subject.

Materials provides references to the standards and lists and where to locate the standards within the program; however, the role of the specific standards in ELA are not provided in the context of the overall program. Standards are addressed in the Weekly Standards section with links to corresponding lessons. A Research Base Alignment is also provided and details a summary of key research and demonstration of program alignment to the standards. 

Examples include, but are not limited to: 

  • In Unit 1, Weeks 1-2, student outcomes are stated at the beginning of the lesson plan for the week; however, evidence was not found that explicitly states the role of the standards in the overall program. 
  • In Unit 3, the Overview provides a Key Skills Trace section on page T2, which explains where literacy skills are introduced, reviewed, and assessed. For example, context clues are introduced in Unit 3: Genre Study 1, are reviewed in Unit 4: Genre Studies 2, 3, and Unit 6: Genre Study 2, and are assessed in Unit 3, Unit 4, and Unit 6. Additionally, the Unit 3 Overview has a list of each unit’s writing types in relationship to other units. “WRITING PROCESS Unit 1: Personal Narrative, Opinion Essay; Unit 2: Comparison Essay, Lyric Poem; Unit 3: Realistic Fiction, Opinion Essay; Unit 4: Narrative Nonfiction, Narrative Poem; Unit 5: Explanatory Essay, Expository Essay; Unit 6: Narrative Nonfiction, Free Verse.”

Indicator 3i

Materials contain explanations of the instructional approaches of the program and identification of the research-based strategies.
2/2
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 4 meet the criteria that materials contain an explanation of the instructional approaches of the program and identification of the research-based strategies.

A detailed User Guide that discusses the research behind a balanced literacy approach, guided reading instruction, vocabulary and foundational skills, social-emotional learning, and writing is included in the materials. The User Guide includes research and descriptions of the instructional/educational approaches implemented in the program. The Instructional Routines Handbook explains more about the research behind the program and models evidence-based routines for collaborative conversations, word work, reading, writing and grammar, and research and inquiry. This handbook also explains the educational approaches and routines for English Language Learners. 

Examples include, but are not limited to:

  • In the Professional Development section of the online materials, Research-Based Alignment resource, there is a chart demonstrating the alignment of the Wonders 2020 program to research-based comprehension practices. This alignment resource provides a thorough explanation and annotation of the research supporting the following literacy components: text comprehension, speaking and listening, phonological awareness, phonics and word recognition, fluency, vocabulary and language, conventions of English, writing, and social- emotional learning. 
  • In the Instructional Routines Handbook, routines and instructional approaches that align with the research-based literacy practices are described. For example, an explanation and instructional approach to teaching fluency is provided on pages 129 and 130. “In Wonders, echo reading, choral reading, cloze reading, and structured partner reading are effective practice techniques.” The fluency routine found on page 130 includes the steps, Explain, Model, Guided Practice, and Practice. Each step of the routine is thoroughly explained. For example, the Model step is explained as, “Model fluency by reading aloud using appropriate accuracy, rate, and expression. First, select a passage from a text. Then select an aspect of fluency to model, such as intonation. When we read aloud with natural expression, we show which words go together by pausing, raising and lowering our voices, and emphasizing certain words and sounds. Today, I am going to read a passage from your Student Book. Listen to me read. Notice how fast or slow I am speaking, note any time I stop, make facial expressions, or raise or lower my voice. For example, if I read a question, I will raise my voice at the end. Read the passage. Point out the places where you read with expression. Note the phrases or sentences in which you raised or lowered your voice to emphasize or de-emphasize certain words or sounds. Also point out where you paused to show which words go together.”
  • In the Instructional Routines Handbook, Use of Anchor Charts, the materials state, “Another way you can make learning visible for your students is by creating anchor charts. According to Wonders author Kathy Bumgardner, when anchor charts are created with students, they are a valuable classroom resource to refer back to as they encounter other texts and learning scenarios. Anchor charts are classroom resources created by you and your students. They provide visible cues to scaffold instruction and make instructions clear. The information on anchor charts supports lessons that you teach and then remind students of what they learned. In Wonders, students in Grades K–6 help create and add to anchor charts that focus on the Essential Question, genre features, comprehension skills and strategies, vocabulary strategies, and writing. Anchor charts help students keep track of what they are learning.”

Indicator 3j

Materials contain strategies for informing all stakeholders, including students, parents, or caregivers about the ELA/literacy program and suggestions for how they can help support student progress and achievement.
0/0
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 4 meet the criteria that materials contain strategies for informing all stakeholders, including students, parents or caregivers about the ELA/literacy program and suggestions for how they can help support student progress and achievement.

The materials provide a Take Home Letter each week that reinforces main lesson objectives and demonstrates vocabulary and knowledge content. The letter includes the weekly concept and essential question. A checklist is provided for students and families to put a check next to any learning goals they complete. A word workout that includes word activities for families and students to do at home is provided. A comprehension passage is also included each week and has a specific area of focus. The weekly spelling list is coupled with fun activities for families to help practice spelling words. In the Wonders ConnectEd Student Edition, leveled readers and games are provided to support students at home.

Examples include, but are not limited to:

  • In Unit 2, page xi states, “Weekly school-to-home family communication letters, ready to send in multiple languages, encourage parents to log on and share resources with their children, including listening to audio summaries of all main selections so they can ask questions. This deepens the connection between community and classroom, supporting social emotional development. This helps ensure that each and every child comes to school engaged, motivated, and eager to learn!” 
  • In Unit 5, Week 1, learning begins with the following introduction:
    • “Dear Family Member: For these next two weeks our class will study the expository genre. We will focus on what we can discover when we look at things very closely. We will also discuss how water changes from one state to another. Here are some resources that you can use with your child to help reinforce the skills we’ll be practicing.” The letter goes on to explain the student’s weekly learning goals and suggests that parents work on the sequencing practice sheet also sent home to determine the missing middle of each exercise.

Criterion 3k - 3n

Materials offer teachers resources and tools to collect ongoing data about student progress on the Standards.
7/8
+
-
Criterion Rating Details

The program systematically and regularly provides opportunities for teachers to assess student progress, though materials include limited denotations of the standards being assessed both formatively and summatively. These opportunities are provided via routines and guidance that helps teachers assess students when appropriate.

Adequate guidance is provided to support teachers as they interpret assessment data and determine next steps for instruction.

The materials provide accountability measures to support students as they engage in independent reading self-selected texts.

Indicator 3k

Materials regularly and systematically offer assessment opportunities that genuinely measure student progress.
2/2
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 4 meet the criteria that materials regularly and systematically offer assessment opportunities that genuinely measure student progress.

The materials provide ongoing opportunities for assessing students’ knowledge and skills. The Reading Writing Companion is used for students to record quick writes, summaries, answers to questions, and opportunities to collaborate about the standards/skills being taught. The teacher can use this to assess student progress. Wonders also offers a formal assessment at the end of the two-week Genre Study to assess student knowledge.

Examples include, but are not limited to:

  • In Unit 3, Week 1, Day 2, Reading Writing Companion, students reread A Community in Confusion on pages 101-102 and identify the causes and effects using the graphic organizer on page 109. 
  • In Unit 4, Assessment Handbook, after reading the passage, Bessie Colemanstudents answer prompts, such as, “Draw a line to match each cause from the passage on the left with its effect on the right.” This connects back to the formative assessment. 
  • In Unit 4, Week, 3, Day 3, Quick Checks, the materials provide many opportunities for teachers to observe students independently practice a strategy or skill taught in whole group instruction.
  • The Quick Check reminds teachers to “observe your students and see if any of them are having difficulty with a skill they have just learned” and to make a determination about any needs students may have for small-group instruction. For example, in the Make Predictions section, students are asked, “What do you think Gramps’s reaction to the moon landing will be? Use text clues to make a prediction.” (Gramps might not get excited about the moon landing because he thinks the space program is a waste of money.)
  • In Anchor Text, Weekly Assessments, five multiple choice comprehension questions that are directly tied to the weekly standards taught and eight questions supporting the grammar skill/standard reviewed for that week are included.
  • The materials indicate that not all assignments need to be formally graded, but “should be treated as a potential source of information about what students know, what they still need to learn, and what their misconceptions or difficulties are. Review assignments, noting both strengths and weaknesses, and present the student with oral or written feedback. Ask students to go over their own assignments in groups, where peers can point out their strengths and weaknesses to each other. Ask students to go over their own work and reflect upon it. This, too, is a skill that needs to be modeled and taught.” 
  • In Classroom Observations, the materials encourage systematic observations including noting topics of interest for reading, how the student works cooperatively, the types of texts that interest them, and other observable reading behaviors. This allows the teacher to help students match with texts that provide appropriate challenge and engagement. 
  • Students use rubrics to self-assess their writing. Teachers can also find suggestions for differentiating the writing instruction at the beginning of each instructional sequence. Included is a variety of digital tools to support instruction, including graphic organizers, student models, draft, revised, and edited, checklists for editing and peer conferencing, and videos for skills, such as taking notes and evaluating sources.

Indicator 3l

The purpose/use of each assessment is clear:
0/0

Indicator 3l.i

Assessments clearly denote which standards are being emphasized.
1/2
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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 4 partially meet the criteria that assessments clearly denote which standards are being emphasized.

The materials provide multiple ways that students are assessed throughout each unit, including formative assessments, comprehension assessments within each unit’s Genre Study, and end of unit assessments (summative). The Assessment Handbook provides formative and informative assessments, screenings, diagnostics, and running records that are all aligned to grade-level standards/skills. For example, weekly assessments, writing and research, essential questions and student learning goals are designed around weekly standards and skills embedded in each unit. The User Guide states that Unit Assessments are aligned to standards; however, there is no evidence to support that any standards are specifically listed in the assessments themselves.

Materials include limited denotations of the standards being assessed in both types of assessments. Examples include, but are not limited to:

  • In the Unit Guide, page 60, the materials explain that the unit assessments are aligned to standards, stating that assessments “ensure valid assessment of student performance and progress, [are] aligned to standards, and [measure] against grade level rigor.”
  • Each unit has weekly Common Core standards present; however, standards were not listed in specific assessments or within the Teacher Edition or teacher’s script for administering assessments.

Indicator 3l.ii

Assessments provide sufficient guidance to teachers for interpreting student performance and suggestions for follow-up.
2/2
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 4 meet the criteria that assessments provide sufficient guidance to teachers for interpreting student performance and suggestions for follow-up.

The materials provide a number of assessments to provide information on student performance. Rubrics and checklists offer teachers insight into student follow-up. The Teacher Edition offers follow-up suggestions on key skills for small group time. The Assessment Handbook offers teachers guidance on drawing conclusions based on what they are seeing in the data to interpret student patterns.

Examples include, but are not limited to:

  • In Unit 2, Genre Study 2, Weeks 3 and 4, Check for Success, teachers are asked, “Use your online rubric to record student progress. Can students identify and use antonyms to figure out unknown words?” Teachers should use the yes/no response to respond accordingly in small group instruction: “If no, Approaching Small Group - Reteach p. T175, ELL Group - Develop p. T200. If yes, On Level - Review p. T182, Beyond Level - Extend p. T188.”
  • Formative assessments, such as Oral Reading Fluency assessments, provide ongoing information about students’ mastery of skills to help the teacher make instructional and small group placement decisions. A screening test will tell the teacher, for example, if a student has a weakness in comprehension. A diagnostic test shows that the student understands what the words mean but has trouble identifying the sequence of events in a story. From this information, the teacher knows that the students needs additional instruction in the comprehension strategy “identify sequence of events.” Teachers should use the information to help form small, flexible groups and to inform instruction.
  • Benchmark Assessments assess skills at mid-year and end-of- year junctures and provide a snapshot of student progress toward goals and can act as a signal of their readiness for the demands of high-stakes testing.
  • Placement and Diagnostic Assessments serve as the initial screening instrument and contain assessments that can be assigned throughout the year to monitor student progress and pinpoint students’ strengths and weaknesses.
  • Student Practice with Data Reporting is an online student assessment that includes five comprehension questions and five vocabulary questions per unit.
  • Running Records allow teachers to compile information and analyze the results of the Running Record. It also allows teachers to note the strategies used when students encounter unknown words and make an error. For example, a student who has an error rate of 1:15 reads with a 93% reading accuracy percentage. 
  • The Assessment Handbook (pages 45-50) provides support for instructional decisions based on assessment. For example, on page 45, instructions include:
    • "Interpret: Look at the data you have collected from various types of assignments or over time. Draw conclusions based on what you are seeing in the data to interpret the patterns you may notice. 
    • Decide: What can you do to meet the student’s learning needs?
    • Check: As you collect ongoing information about student progress, continue to check this information against your interpretation.
    • Modify: Change your instructional decisions if they are not achieving the intended results."
  • Quality rubrics and scoring guides are provided throughout the curriculum. Some include:
    • Reading Portfolio Reflections
    • Reading Portfolio Rubric
    • Reading Observations Checklist
    • Reading Self-Assessment Checklist
  • At the end of each unit, there is a Track Your Progress rubric. On this page in the Reading Writing Companion, students have the chance to think about what they have learned and reflect upon how well they have met the learning objectives. Students also have a chance to reflect in writing about something they want to improve and why. For example, on page 202, the directions state, “Use the rubric to evaluate yourself on the skills you learned in this unit. Write your scores in the boxes below." Students will evaluate themselves on the author's point of view, prefixes, theme, similes, point of view and homographs. Students are to complete the following: “Something that I need to work more on is _____________because _______….”

Indicator 3m

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

The materials reviewed for Grade 4 meet the criteria that materials should include routines and guidance that point out opportunities to monitor student progress.

Throughout the Teacher Edition, the Access Complex Text and Stop and Check sections offer opportunities to monitor student progress. In addition, Screening and Diagnostic assessments, as well as comprehension assessments, offer guidance to inform instructional decisions.

Examples include, but are not limited to:

  • In Unit 2, Genre Study 2, Weeks 3 and 4, Teacher Edition, Access Complex Text, Connection of Ideas, teachers instruct students that when they read complex text, they should try to connect new details with what they have already read. “In this play, the idea of keeping a promise is an idea discussed throughout.” Students are asked, “In the beginning of the play, does Felipe seem to take promises seriously? How do his actions confirm that he is not trustworthy?” On page T141D, there is a Stop and Check section offering teachers a way to monitor if students understand. For example, in the Ask and Answer Questions, students will respond to, "What kind of character is Felipe? Go back to the text to find the answer.” A teacher Think-Aloud is provided to help provide students with assistance if needed.
  • In Unit 3, Week 1, Access Complex Text, Genre, guidance is given for students who may have difficulty identifying the transition between the main story and the flashback. Students reread the second and third paragraphs on page 3 and look for clues that signal a flashback. "Which words tell you the author is going to include a flashback? (reminded me of another storm ten years earlier) How can you tell you are reading a flashback?” (The narrator is thinking about an event that happened when he was nine years old.) Stop and Check headings are found throughout weekly units. For example, Unit 4, Week 3, Day 3, Visualize, “How does the author depict the setting on pages 184 and 185? Visualize Marilia does not want to go on the trip to the nursing home. Which words on page 182 help you visualize Marilia’s desperation?”
  • A screening test will tell the teacher, for example, if a student has a weakness in comprehension. A diagnostic test shows that the student understands what the words mean but has trouble identifying the sequence of events in a story. From this information, the teacher knows that the students needs additional instruction in the comprehension strategy “identify sequence of events.” Teachers should use the information to help form small, flexible groups and to inform instruction.
  • The Informal Reading Inventory (IRI) is an individually-administered diagnostic tool that assesses a student’s reading comprehension and reading accuracy. The IRI measures three reading levels: independent, instructional and frustrational. The independent reading level is the level at which a student reads without help from the teacher. At each grade level, there are two fiction and two non-fiction reading passages. These passages alternate between oral reading and silent reading as the IRI tests for both oral and silent reading comprehension. To assess the student’s comprehension, there are three literal (L) questions, one vocabulary (V) question, and one interpretive (I) question per passage.
  • The Comprehension Tests assess overall reading comprehension and grade-level reading proficiency. Students read a series of passages that get progressively harder and answer accompanying comprehension questions. There is one set of passages and questions for each grade level. If students achieve a score of 80%–90%, they should receive instruction on that grade level. If students receive a score below 80%, the teacher should administer additional assessments to determine specific skill needs. 

Indicator 3n

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

The materials reviewed for Grade 4 meet the criteria that materials indicate how students are accountable for independent reading based on student choice and interest to build stamina, confidence, and motivation.

The materials recommend 30-40 minutes of independent reading daily and offer students a variety of texts, including Anchor text, shared text, Time for Kids, suggested classroom library titles and on-line titles to access. The Instructional Routines Handbook provides an ample amount of opportunities for students to show accountability for their reading, including reading routines, reading logs, response pages, journaling, and conferences.

Examples include, but are not limited to:

  • Wonders offers a variety of texts and places to find texts. They include:
    • Independent Reading selections in the Literature Anthology
    • Differentiated Genre Passages
    • Classroom Library Trade books with online lessons that include activities for students to complete with a partner or in small groups
    • Bonus Leveled Readers
    • Online Leveled Reader Library
    • Online Unit Bibliography to share with students; they can choose books for daily independent reading and then respond in their writer’s notebook.
    • Time for Kids online digital articles
  • The Instructional Routines Handbook provides a number of options for students to show accountability that include, but are not limited to:
    • Teacher/Student Conference Routine:
      • "Make a positive observation about the student’s reading or book choice.
      • Talk about how the reading is going.
      • Ask the student to read aloud for a minute or two. This will help you assess their accuracy, fluency, and comprehension.
      • Highlight a student strength.
      • Suggest a specific goal the student can work on.
      • Record notes from your conference using provided conference forms."
    • Reading Logs: A log to record their daily reading, noting the date, title, pages and/or time read.
    • Peer Conferences: Opportunities to discuss with another student what they are reading. For example, “Share your Independent Reading with your partners. Decide who will share first. When it is your turn to be the speaker, tell your partner the following: Your book title/genre.” Sentence stems, such as “the book I am reading today is…” and “It is …..(genre/text type), are provided.”
    • Journal About Books: Students can take notes in their Writer’s Notebooks as they read. They can write summaries and personal responses, reflect on their strategy use, and make connections to other texts.
    • Thinking Codes: Students can mark their own sticky notes to create a trail of their thinking. Students can then use this record of their thinking as they write journal entries.
  • Perfect Pitch Challenge: Students present a 1–2 minute “pitch” about their book. The goal of this information presentation is to hook the class and entice other students to want to read the book.k.

Criterion 3o - 3r

Materials provide teachers with strategies for meeting the needs of a range of learners so that they demonstrate independent ability with grade-level standards.
10/10
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Criterion Rating Details

The program provides strategies and support to assure all learners in the classroom are able to access grade-level content. This includes targeted support for English language learners, students with disabilities, and students who are performing above grade level. There are also a variety of grouping strategies provided as well as support for the teacher to select and deploy the most effective groupings for various learning scenarios.

Indicator 3o

Materials provide teachers with strategies for meeting the needs of a range of learners so the content is accessible to all learners and supports them in meeting or exceeding the grade-level standards.
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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 4 meet the criteria that materials provide teachers with strategies for meeting the needs of a range of learners so the content is accessible to all learners and supports them in meeting or exceeding the grade-level standards.

The materials include many strategies for teachers to use. Examples of strategies include Teacher think-alouds, modeling, questioning techniques, sentence stems, differentiated leveled passages, and readers organized under the small group instructional routines in the Teacher Edition, including Approaching, On-level, Beyond, and ELL levels.  A shared-read and anchor text provide access to the grade-level text through additional supports including read-alouds, graphic organizers, student collaboration, Access Complex Text strategies, and “spot-light” on language for ELL supports. 

Examples include, but are not limited to:

  • In the Teacher Edition, the Data Dashboard is used to filter class, group, and/or individual student data to guide group placement decisions. It provides recommendations to enhance learning for gifted and talented students and provides extra support for students needing remediation.
  • In Unit 1, Weeks 3 and 4, Small Group, Scaffolded Shared Read, Preview Text Structure, teachers “Point out that understanding text structure makes it easier to comprehend and follow the story in realistic fiction. Briefly explain that most realistic fiction has realistic characters, events, and settings. The story begins with the rising action, which might introduce a problem or conflict and includes the events that lead up to the most exciting part of the story, or climax. The events after the climax are called the falling action, which eventually lead to the resolution, when the problem in the story is solved." In Read and Respond, the teacher reads the text aloud to students. The teacher says to preview the comprehension strategy, Make Predictions, by using the Think-Alouds on page T121. Think-Aloud Clouds Display the online Think-Aloud Master 3: "I predicted because . . . to reinforce what you used to make, confirm, and revise predictions strategy to understand content." In Genre Features, the text directs, "With students, discuss the elements of the Read -Aloud that let them know the text is realistic fiction. Ask them to think about other texts that you have read or they have read independently that were realistic fiction stories.”
  • In Unit 3, Week 1, Day 3, the Teacher Edition provides differentiated instruction small group lessons on vocabulary and comprehension at four different levels: Approaching, On Level, Beyond Level, and English Language Learners. Phonics/Decoding and fluency lessons are also provided for the Approaching Level. Each Genre Study is accompanied by topic-related Leveled Readers and Genre Passages for small group instruction at the four levels, as well as instructional support for each of them in the Teacher Edition. For example:
    • Approaching Level passage: Differentiated passage, as students preview the book, have them identify features of realistic fiction in Playground Buddy. Note Taking, ask students to use a copy of the online Point of View Graphic Organizer 146. On pages 2–4, the materials ask,  "What’s the narrator’s point of view? Use evidence from the text to tell a partner. What’s the narrator’s opinion of Sofia? Use evidence from the text to support your answer." On pages 5–7, students are asked to visualize the scene on the playground and describe it to a partner. On pages 8–9, the materials ask, "What word or phrase helps define wandering on page 9?" Students work with a partner to write a short paragraph describing how they would feel if they were Kim starting a new school and having Sofia help them. They include two details from the story.
    • ELL Interactive Question Response Routine: After each section of text, teachers use the following Interactive Question-Response prompts to provide language support and guide comprehension. Page E1, Paragraphs 1–3, Beginning – "Discuss with a partner: Who are the characters? The characters are_____. What does Vera ask Brad? Vera asks Brad for _________." The teacher reads Brad’s response with students and helps them to restate his response. Intermediate –Discuss with a partner what happened in September. "Vera had asked Brad for____. Which words or phrases tell you? I know this from the words ________." Advanced – "What words tell you that Brad has been giving Vera food for a long time?" Advanced High – "Why does Brad give the apple to Vera?”

Indicator 3p

Materials regularly provide all students, including those who read, write, speak, or listen below grade level, or in a language other than English, with extensive opportunities to work with grade level text and meet or exceed grade-level standards.
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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 4 meet the criteria that materials regularly provide all students, including those who read, write, speak, or listen below grade level, or in a language other than English, with extensive opportunities to work with grade-level text and meet or exceed grade-level standards.

Grade 4 materials provide opportunities for students to access grade-level texts with support in activating prior knowledge through photographs and videos that help supply or initiate recall of background knowledge and collaborative graphic organizers for recording ideas. Organizers allow teachers and students to highlight patterns, critical features, big ideas, and relationships (e.g., use outlines to emphasize important ideas or draw students’ attention to critical features). Materials also guide information processing, visualization, and manipulation (e.g., provide explicit prompts for each step in a sequential process). Instruction is provided for cross-curricular connections students make as they answer the Essential Question through the Connect to Content features. 

Examples include, but are not limited to:

  • In the Newcomers Guide, there are leveled reader resources that the teacher can use as a resource for ELL students.
  • In Unit 1, Weeks 3 and 4, Genre Study 2, Spotlight on Idioms, teachers explain to students that idioms are figurative language and do not have a literal meaning. “Point out the idiom pay off and explain that it means ‘to be rewarded.’ Ask: How did standing up pay off? (Tina and Maura played a game that Maura chose.) Have students use one of the idioms to describe a time when they stood up for themselves or something they did that paid off.”
  • In Unit 1, Weeks 3 and 4, Genre Study 2, English Language Learners Scaffold, teachers use the following scaffolds with Guided Practice to have students learn new expressions:
    • "Beginning: Review with students that idioms are phrases that have a meaning different from the meaning of the words. Reread the fifth paragraph on page 36. Explain that the phrase 'cat got your tongue' is an idiom that describes a person who is not talking. Have partners practice using the idiom: Why aren’t you talking? Cat got your tongue? No, I don’t want to talk. Repeat for 'standing up for myself.'"
    • Intermediate: Review using context clues to figure out the meaning of idioms with students. Read the fifth paragraph on page 36 with them. Help students find context clues for the idiom “cat got your tongue” and discuss the meaning. Ask: Why does Maura’s grandmother use the idiom? Have partners respond: Maura’s grandmother uses the idiom because Maura does not talk. Repeat for “standing up for myself.”
    • Advanced/Advanced High: Discuss with students using context clues to figure out idioms. Have partners read the fifth paragraph on page 36 and find context clues to figure out the meaning. Have partners describe the meaning using the term idiom. Repeat for “standing up for myself.”
    • In Unit 3, Week 1, Day 1, the Essential Question/Topic is “In what ways can you help your community?” The directions state, "Display the online Student Learning Goals for this genre study. Tell students they will read realistic fiction to learn how people show their generosity by helping others in their communities Display the online Student Learning Goals for this genre study. Tell students they will read realistic fiction to learn how people show their generosity by helping others in their communities. Explain that they will analyze characters in realistic fiction and talk and write about how the characters helped people in their community. Read aloud the Essential Question on Reading Writing Companion. Model using the Concept Web to generate words and phrases related to helping the community. Add students’ contributions. Have partners continue the discussion by sharing what they have learned about helping their community. Remind students to make eye contact, and to speak slowly and clearly. They can complete the Concept Web, generating additional related words and phrases. Use the following scaffolds with Ask to have students learn new words and describe ways to help the community. Advanced/Advanced High: Have students describe the photograph to discuss the meanings of generosity and volunteering and give examples. Have partners discuss ways people help the community and respond using the words generosity and volunteering. Use the routine on the Visual Vocabulary Cards to pre-teach ELL Vocabulary: habitat, pressure, and survive. Use the glossary definitions on page 19 to define vocabulary in context. Have students add these words to their glossaries."

Indicator 3q

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

The materials reviewed for Grade 4 meet the criteria that materials regularly include extensions and/or more advanced opportunities for students who read, write, speak, or listen above grade level.

Grade 4 materials provide opportunities for students to interact with text in extension activities including, leveled small groups (advanced), Talented and Gifted recommended lessons, author studies, book talks/chats, research/writing, and independent book titles for student choice reads. 

Examples and teacher directions include, but are not limited to: 

  • In Unit 1, Weeks 3 and 4, Genre Study 2, Advanced/Advanced High, the students discuss how to make a prediction. “Have partners read paragraph 9 on page 35 and the beginning of page 37 to predict how Maura will solve a problem. Have them support their prediction using text clues and have them respond using predict. Have students review how to identify events that tell about a problem and solution. Have partners read the last three paragraphs on page 36 and take notes and describe the event that solves Maura’s problem. Have them describe using the terms problem and solution. Have partners review the parts of a business letter. Then have partners describe a law they want to learn about and generate questions they want to ask. Have partners write a business letter with questions they generated about the law and express their opinion in their letter.”
  • In Unit 2, Week 1, Day 3, Gifted and Talented, students think of a way they could help protect an animal in the text. Students select one animal they have read about and write a checklist of ways people could protect that animal. Students may do additional research or work based on what they already know. Volunteers are invited to share their work with the class.
  • In the Instructional Routines Handbook, Author Study, students form independent study groups and choose an author to study. “Have students choose two pieces of work by the author and read the selections independently. Students should have collaborative conversations about their reading each week in which they can choose a character and compare their traits; compare and contrast themes; compare the author’s purpose; compare text structures; compare poetic devices or the use of figurative language and the effect it has on the mood of a text. Remind students to use text evidence to support their ideas.”
  • In the Instructional Routines Handbook, Support for Advanced Learners, students engage in a variety of independent reading study pages/routines. “Ask students to create a two-three minute movie trailer for their books that provides enough plot details to captivate the viewer without spoiling the end. Students can use video editing software applications to create their trailers." In Book Club Chat, students choose an exciting, interesting, or descriptive passage to read aloud to the group. The passage should reveal something interesting about a situation in the text and/or provide some insight into a main character. In Concept Study, students do a research report on a topic related to their independent reading. Students may choose to study one of the following topics: a specific time-period from a text, a specific concept or idea from a text, a specific person in history, and/or the pros and cons of a controversial subject.

Indicator 3r

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

The materials reviewed for Grade 4 meet the criteria that materials provide opportunities for teachers to use a variety of grouping strategies.

Throughout the materials, there is evidence of support and notations of which grouping strategies should be used and when to implement them in the lesson planning. Lessons indicate where pairs, collaborative conferences, small group or individual groupings are utilized for instruction. Teachers are also provided suggestions for how to group students using the Instructional Routines Handbook, Data Dashboard, Assessment Handbook, student interest, and teacher observation.

Examples include, but are not limited to:

  • In the Teacher Edition, Differentiated Instruction, small group lessons on vocabulary and comprehension are available at four different levels: Approaching, On Level, Beyond Level, and English Language Learners. Phonics/Decoding and fluency lessons are also provided for the Approaching Level. Each Genre Study is also accompanied by topic-related Leveled Readers and Genre Passages for small group instruction at the four levels, as well as instructional support for each of them in the Teacher Edition. Teachers can search the Leveled Reader Database at my.mheducation.com for more leveled titles to use as they teach small groups. The database is searchable by Theme, Keyword, Genre, Skill, Text Feature, Grade Range, Lexile, and Guided Reading Level. 
  • The Assessment Handbook and the Data Dashboard at my.mheducation.com provide more information on assessments that teachers can use to form small groups. The Running Records/Benchmark Books resource provides leveled passages and recording forms for determining students’ guided reading levels. 
  • Teachers can use the Data Dashboard to filter class, group, and/or individual student data to guide group placement decisions. It provides recommendations to enhance learning for gifted and talented students and provides extra support for students needing remediation.
  • Peer Conferences: The materials state, “Provide your students with consistent opportunities to discuss with another student what they are reading. This allows them to exchange ideas about what they are learning and how they are growing as readers. In addition, it offers a valuable chance for you to listen in to students sharing their thinking about their reading with others. Pair two (or three) students. You might want to group students who are reading the same text or texts on the same topic or theme. Rehearse with students what these collaborative conversations should look like and sound like. By using a gradual release of responsibility, you can ensure that students will be focused when they are meeting with a peer to discuss their reading.”
  • In Unit 2, Week 1, Day 3, Collaborative Discussions, students work with partners to discuss the meaning of survive to review the word. “Then have them discuss examples of how animals use adaptations. Students can respond using: Animals use adaptations to ___ survive. You can ask yourself questions about the text and answer them to make sure you understand what you’ve read. The text on page 102 contains a lot of information about silk. Why is spider silk such an important substance for spiders? Discuss with a partner. Help student pairs figure out the meanings of revisit and disappear in Animal Adaptations. Guide partners as they go back into the text and separate prefixes from their base words to help them determine each word’s definition. Discuss how the prefixes helped them work out the meanings. Have students complete pages 104-105. Discuss the answers as a class.”
  • In Unit 2, Week 1, Day 3, Small Group, students preview the title, the table of contents, and the photographs and captions in “Extreme Animals,” and predict what the selection will be about. Partners discuss their predictions and students practice reading with a partner.

Criterion 3s - 3v

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

Digital materials are available for the program and can be used on multiple platforms and browsers. Technology is used appropriately to support student learning and foregrounds supports that provide a deeper understanding of the texts and text evidence they encounter in lessons. Opportunities for personalization/customization and teacher to student and student to student collaboration are available digitally, including customization for local use.

Indicator 3s

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

The materials reviewed for Grade 4 meet the criteria that digital materials (either included as supplementary to a textbook or as part of a digital curriculum) are web-based, compatible with multiple internet browsers (eg. Internet Explorer, Firefox, Google Chrome, etc.), “platform-neutral” (ie., Windows and Apple and are not proprietary to any single platform), follow universal programming style, and allow the use of tablets and mobile devices.

Examples include, but are not limited to:

  • The Wonders materials are accessible online and can be printed for student use. The digital teaching resources are available wherever there is an Internet connection. There is 24/7 access to instructional modules, model classroom videos, author videos, and Digital Help tutorials in the Professional Development section. The program is compatible with multiple Internet browsers, such as Internet Explorer, Safari, and Google Chrome, and is accessible on tablets and mobile devices.

Indicator 3t

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

The materials reviewed for Grade 4 meet the criteria that materials support effective use of technology to enhance student learning, drawing attention to evidence and texts as appropriate.

Grade 4 materials provide interactive games, digital presentations with video and audio, online collaboration tools, and writing tools to enhance student learning. Each unit’s text selections are available to students in their online dashboard. The daily teacher presentation is customizable and projectable  and asks students to interact with text and find evidence when appropriate.

Examples include, but are not limited to:

  • Students can digitally access all resources and activities assigned to them by the teacher. For example, when a student selects “Vocabulary,” they will see a photo or video example of the word along with an example sentence. Students can hear the sentence read aloud to them. Teachers can also upload and add their own digital resources to the lessons.
  • Inquiry Space provides students an opportunity to navigate through the process of completing an informative performance task that results in a research paper and offline presentation. Digital Toolkits in the form of animations, videos, and slide presentations are provided for each phase of the research project.
  • StudySync Blast allows students to respond to text-dependent questions and each other’s posts in 140 characters or less.

Indicator 3u

Materials can be easily customized for individual learners.
0/0

Indicator 3u.i

Digital materials include opportunities for teachers to personalize learning for all students, using adaptive or other technological innovations.
0/0
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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 4 meet the criteria that digital materials include opportunities for teachers to personalize learning for all students, using adaptive or other technological innovations.

Grade 4 materials include technological innovations that allow for teachers to customize weekly lessons for whole group instruction and for individual students. Teachers set the school calendar in the online platform which determines what students access in their online dashboards each day. Teachers can customize beyond that for individual students by assigning specific practice pages and texts at specific reading levels to individual students to access online.

Examples include, but are not limited to:

  • To personalize learning for whole class instruction, teachers can edit the provided Today’s Presentation of the lesson content in numerous ways online. One way is to open the Today's Presentation file from the teacher’s homepage and remove or add resources into the presentation as desired. Another way to personalize the whole group instruction is to set the online calendar as part of the digital materials to the school district’s exact calendar including any non-teaching days. This automatically adjusts the placement of the unit’s daily lessons accordingly and provides the correct Today’s Presentation for whole group as well as provide the correct materials to the students online dashboard. Furthermore, teachers can personalize the daily lessons to their classroom by rearranging the order of the lesson components such as grammar before vocabulary rather than vice versa. When teachers are using the online Weekly Planner, they are able to personalize the contents of daily lessons by dragging and dropping the components throughout the week or removing part of the components. The Today’s Presentation automatically updates to be in the order necessary to present the customized lesson to students. Teachers can also interchange small group lessons and whole group lessons, so that some skills are taught in small groups and some are taught in whole group. Teachers can further personalize the student learning experience by assigning specific practice pages and small group and independent reading text at the desired reading level. These pages are then presented to the students on their own digital dashboard under their individualized login.
  • The Wonders system is set up to automatically load the correct resources for the week in each student’s account. When students select the green TO DO button, they can see and access resources and practice activities the teacher has assigned to them. For example, when students select the blue READ button, they see their reading selections for the week of instruction. In addition to the Shared Read and Anchor texts, each student will see the correct Leveled Reader texts for their tested reading level. Students can login from school or home to access their learning resources. Parents have access to the Student Workspace, including the School-to-Home letters, when the student logs in from home.

Indicator 3u.ii

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

The materials reviewed for Grade 4 meet the criteria that materials can be easily customized for local use.

Grade 4 materials provide “Teach it Your Way” to customize the resource. The resources can be used if the focus of the district’s instructional plan is to include other research-based practices not explicitly offered in the Wonders materials. Teachers and/or the school district can also determine that lessons will follow a Core Pathway option due to time constraints or other needs. Teachers and/or school districts can determine the order of lessons, the number of days used to teach each Genre Study, and what practice materials are available to students online. 

Examples include, but are not limited to:

  • The Wonders “Teach it Your Way” format is referenced in the digital support videos and in the teacher resources entitled Teach It Your Way Daily 5, Teach It Your Way Blending Learning Station Routine, and Teach It Your Way Workshop Reading/Workshop Writing. These resources provide tips and templates to customize the Wonders program to fit these instructional frameworks. 
  • Teachers have the ability to customize their lesson plans by moving and removing lessons or adding their own resources. This is done from the Weekly Planner view of the Resource Library.
  • Teachers can also adjust their plans with the Core Pathway feature. The Core Pathway is an abbreviated version of the curriculum that covers all tested skills but omits some optional lessons. These assists teachers who are having trouble completing the full curriculum within their literacy block. Teachers can automatically activate the Core Pathway by going to the Planner Options button in the middle of the screen. A gear icon in the lesson title can restore individual lessons after activating the Core Pathway. The printed Teacher Edition clearly shows which parts of the lesson plan are “core” and which are “optional”. For example, 
    • In Unit 4, Genre Study 3, Week 5, Day 4

Core;

  • Read and Reread the Paired Selection “Genius” and “Winner” - T239A - T239B
  • Author’s Craft - Character and Plot, T240-T241
  • Writing - Expert Model and Plan, T242-T247

Optional:

      • Grammar - Pronouns and Homophones - T251
      • Grammar - Talk About It, T251
      • Spelling - Variant Vowel /o/, T253
      • Expand Vocabulary - T255
  • The digital lesson planner allows for teachers to customize lesson plans. For example, teachers can drag and drop lessons on the planner to move them forward to another day or use the gear icon to move lessons to the Holding Bin and decide later when to use them. Teachers can also add their own digital resources as well as add their own notes to lessons. In the center of the Weekly Planner, teachers can select the “customize drop-down menu” and then select “Add Note” to insert notes.

Indicator 3v

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

The materials reviewed for Grade 4 meet the criteria that materials include or reference technology that provides opportunities for teachers and/or students to collaborate with each other (e.g., websites, discussion groups, webinars, etc.)

Teachers can create Talk About It discussions for students’ collaboration in the student digital materials. The discussions are found under the Writing and Research tab of the student digital materials.

Examples include, but are not limited to: 

  • In the teacher online materials under the Writing and Research heading, teachers can create Talk About It discussions for students to collaborate online. The directions provided to the teacher online are: “Inspire your students to discuss what they are learning, Post questions or prompts related to weekly lessons for student response. Students can also reply to each other's posts. Create a new topic to begin.”
  • The Online Writer’s Notebook provides opportunities for students to access student models, instructional videos and more to support their writing from planning to drafting. Teachers can access anchor papers and can review and give feedback to students at any time.
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Additional Publication Details

Report Published Date: 11/21/2019

Report Edition: 2020

Title ISBN Edition Publisher Year
Teacher's Edition ? Unit 2 978-0-0768-4849-2 McGraw Hill 2020
Teacher's Edition ? Unit 4 978-0-0768-4850-8 McGraw Hill 2020
Teacher?s Edition ? Unit 6 978-0-0768-4853-9 McGraw Hill 2020
Reading/Writing Companion Package 978-0-0769-0001-5 McGraw Hill 2020
Wonders Teacher Edition Package 978-0-0769-0007-7 McGraw Hill 2020
Teacher?s Edition ? Unit 1 978-0-0790-1690-4 McGraw Hill 2020
Practice Book (BLM) 978-0-0790-1699-7 McGraw Hill 2020
Teacher's Edition ? Unit 3 978-0-0790-1765-9 McGraw Hill 2020
Teacher's Edition ? Unit 5 978-0-0790-1766-6 McGraw Hill 2020
Authentic Literature 978-0-0790-1823-6 McGraw Hill 2020
Reading/Writing Companion Units 3 and 4 978-0-0790-1829-8 McGraw Hill 2020
Reading/ Writing Companion Units 5 and 6 978-0-0790-1832-8 McGraw Hill 2020
Reading/ Writing Companion Units 1 and 2 978-0-0790-1854-0 McGraw Hill 2020

About Publishers Responses

All publishers are invited to provide an orientation to the educator-led team that will be reviewing their materials. The review teams also can ask publishers clarifying questions about their programs throughout the review process.

Once a review is complete, publishers have the opportunity to post a 1,500-word response to the educator report and a 1,500-word document that includes any background information or research on the instructional materials.

Educator-Led Review Teams

Each report found on EdReports.org represents hundreds of hours of work by educator reviewers. Working in teams of 4-5, reviewers use educator-developed review tools, evidence guides, and key documents to thoroughly examine their sets of materials.

After receiving over 25 hours of training on the EdReports.org review tool and process, teams meet weekly over the course of several months to share evidence, come to consensus on scoring, and write the evidence that ultimately is shared on the website.

All team members look at every grade and indicator, ensuring that the entire team considers the program in full. The team lead and calibrator also meet in cross-team PLCs to ensure that the tool is being applied consistently among review teams. Final reports are the result of multiple educators analyzing every page, calibrating all findings, and reaching a unified conclusion.

Rubric Design

The EdReports.org’s rubric supports a sequential review process through three gateways. These gateways reflect the importance of standards alignment to the fundamental design elements of the materials and considers other attributes of high-quality curriculum as recommended by educators.

Advancing Through Gateways

  • Materials must meet or partially meet expectations for the first set of indicators to move along the process. Gateways 1 and 2 focus on questions of alignment. Are the instructional materials aligned to the standards? Are all standards present and treated with appropriate depth and quality required to support student learning?
  • Gateway 3 focuses on the question of usability. Are the instructional materials user-friendly for students and educators? Materials must be well designed to facilitate student learning and enhance a teacher’s ability to differentiate and build knowledge within the classroom. In order to be reviewed and attain a rating for usability (Gateway 3), the instructional materials must first meet expectations for alignment (Gateways 1 and 2).

Key Terms Used throughout Review Rubric and Reports

  • Indicator Specific item that reviewers look for in materials.
  • Criterion Combination of all of the individual indicators for a single focus area.
  • Gateway Organizing feature of the evaluation rubric that combines criteria and prioritizes order for sequential review.
  • Alignment Rating Degree to which materials meet expectations for alignment, including that all standards are present and treated with the appropriate depth to support students in learning the skills and knowledge that they need to be ready for college and career.
  • Usability Degree to which materials are consistent with effective practices for use and design, teacher planning and learning, assessment, and differentiated instruction.

ELA 3-8 Rubric and Evidence Guides

The ELA review rubrics identify the criteria and indicators for high quality instructional materials. The rubrics support a sequential review process that reflect the importance of alignment to the standards then consider other high-quality attributes of curriculum as recommended by educators.

For ELA, our rubrics evaluate materials based on:

  • Text Quality and Complexity, and Alignment to Standards with Tasks Grounded in Evidence

  • Building Knowledge with Texts, Vocabulary, and Tasks

  • Instructional Supports and Usability

The ELA Evidence Guides complement the rubrics by elaborating details for each indicator including the purpose of the indicator, information on how to collect evidence, guiding questions and discussion prompts, and scoring criteria.

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