This report is for a supplementary foundational skills program intended for use alongside a comprehensive core English Language Arts program.
The Fundations Kindergarten, Grade 1, and Grade 2 materials reviewed partially meet the criteria for alignment to standards and research-based practices for foundational skills instruction. The instructional materials use a synthetic approach to phonics. Materials include a scope and sequence that clearly delineates an intentional sequence in which phonics skills are to be taught, with a clear explanation for the order of the sequence; however, the materials include a general scope and sequence with few details for phonological awareness. Materials provide limited instructional support for general concepts of print. Materials provide limited phonological awareness modeling, practice, and review before phonics instruction begins. Materials partially meet the criteria that materials emphasize phonics instruction through systematic and repeated modeling. There are frequent opportunities for students to decode and encode words, including common and newly-taught sound and spelling patterns and to review previously taught grade-level phonics. Materials include limited systematic instruction of high-frequency words and practice opportunities of high-frequency words to develop automaticity. Students have opportunities to read and write high-frequency words in tasks (sentences); however, students are not given opportunities to read sentences independently or without prior teacher modeling. Materials include some instructional opportunities for systematic, evidence-based, explicit instruction in fluency. Explicit instruction addresses expression and phrasing, but does not model for students how to read with appropriate rate and accuracy. Materials do not provide opportunities for students to practice using confirmation or self-correction of errors. Decodable texts are limited and do not consistently align to the program’s scope and sequence for phonics and high-frequency words. The teacher reads the sentences, passages, or Chart Stories, and students echo read.
The ELA foundational skills rubric contains only two gateways: Alignment to Standards and Research-Based Practices for Foundational Skills Instruction (Gateway 1) and Implementation, Support Materials & Assessment (Gateway 2). The structural pieces that we normally review as a part of Gateway 3 (e.g. differentiation) in our comprehensive reviews are critical to the success of a program, and are, therefore, interspersed and combined with other indicators in Gateway 2.