Alignment to College and Career Ready Standards: Overall Summary

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 8 partially met expectations for alignment to the CCSS. The instructional materials partially meet the expectations for Gateway 1 as they feature engaging texts, tasks and questions grounded in evidence, and opportunities for rich reading and literacy growth but inconsistently support speaking and listening. Writing support meets the requirements of the standards, although grammar and conventions lessons and practice are not always connected to the materials at hand in multiple contexts, and culminating tasks are of value but sometimes disconnected to the rich questions and reading that precede them. The instructional materials partially meet the expectations of Gateway 2 as they feature engaging and relevant texts and text sets organized around topics or themes to support students’ growing knowledge deeply but partially support students’ academic vocabulary development and growing integrated skills in literacy. Students are inconsistently asked to integrate their literacy skills (reading, writing, speaking, and listening) into full culminating tasks, and support for students to learn and practice vocabulary to build knowledge as they read texts is minimal. The overall year-long plans and structures for writing and for research instruction are partially present, with inconsistent supports, and there is no year-long plan for independent reading.

See Rating Scale
Understanding Gateways

Alignment

|

Partially Meets Expectations

Gateway 1:

Text Quality

0
17
32
36
30
32-36
Meets Expectations
18-31
Partially Meets Expectations
0-17
Does Not Meet Expectations

Gateway 2:

Building Knowledge

0
15
28
32
18
28-32
Meets Expectations
16-27
Partially Meets Expectations
0-15
Does Not Meet Expectations

Usability

|

Not Rated

Not Rated

Gateway 3:

Usability

0
23
30
34
0
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

Partially Meets Expectations

+
-
Gateway One Details

The Grade 8 materials partially meet the expectations for text quality and complexity and alignment to the standards. Texts are the main focus of the literacy learning, and central texts are of high quality and at the appropriate levels of rigor to support 8th grade students as they grow their literacy skills over the course of the school year. Tasks and questions in writing are grounded in evidence, and instructional materials provide many opportunities for rich reading and literacy growth. The materials inconsistently support speaking and listening opporutnities with limited implementation support and accountability, and students do not have consistent opportunities to model the use of academic vocabulary learned in their texts. Teachers will need to implement separate structures and accountability methods to fully support students in their oral and silent reading. Writing support meets the requirements of the standards, with students practicing multiple modes and genres over the course of the school year, although grammar and conventions lessons and practice are not always connected to the materials at hand in multiple contexts. Culminating tasks are of value but sometimes disconnected to the rich questions and reading that precede them.

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.
19/20
+
-
Criterion Rating Details

The instructional materials for grade 8 fully meet the expectations for text quality and complexity with anchor texts of publishable quality that are well-crafted, content-rich, and engaging for 8th grade students with varying interests. The instructional materials reflect the distribution of text types and genres required by the CCSS and have a balance of informational and literary text as suggested by the standards. The texts are at the appropriate level of complexity for the grade. Texts that "fall outside" the suggested grade band are associated with appropriate reader and task considerations.Texts build in complexity throughout the year and include a grade level's worth of growth. Information is provided in the teacher's edition that indicates how and why texts were chosen and where students may need additional support with more complex texts. Indicator 1f was only partially met as the materials lack opportunities for students to engage in explicit and systematic practice in oral and silent reading across the year, limiting opportunities for identification of and remediation for struggling students.

Indicator 1a

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

The instructional materials for Grade 8 fully meet the expectations for indicator 1a in that Anchor texts are of publishable quality and worthy of especially careful reading, and consider a range of student interests. Anchor texts are well-crafted and content rich, engaging students at the grade level for which they are placed. Students are exposed to themes and topics that are relevant and of interest to their lives. There are a total of six Collections throughout the Student Edition. Each Collection labels anchor texts, which drive each collection and provide a cornerstone for exploring the collection topic and culminating performance task.

Some examples of quality anchor text examples include (but are not limited to):

Collection 1:

  • Short Story: “My Favorite Chaperone” by Jean Davies Okimoto
  • Memoir: “from The Latehomecomer” by Kao Kalia Yang – from Minnesota Public Radio website – “In 2009 The Latehomecomer won two Minnesota Book Awards—for memoir/creative nonfiction, and the Reader's Choice Award. It was the first book to ever win two awards.

Collection 2:

  • Edgar Allan Poe's short story, "The Tell-Tale Heart"
  • Excerpts from Mark Twains' novel, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer
  • Informational text, "What Is the Horror Genre?" provide background knowledge that get students to think deeply and to form or solidify their beliefs about their lives-both currently and in their not-too-distant future.

Collection 3:

  • Autobiography: “from Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave” by Frederick Douglass – a well known historical piece studied in many schools across the country.
  • Historical Fiction: “The Drummer Boy of Shiloh” by Ray Bradbury
  • Ray Bradbury's work has been included in four Best American Short Story collections. He has been

Collection 4:

  • The short story, "Marigolds," by Eugenia Collier
  • "When Do Kids Become Adults?" provides background knowledge that gets students to think deeply and to form or solidify their beliefs about their lives-both currently and in their not-too-distant future.

Collection 5:

  • Drama: The Diary of Anne Frank by Frances Goodrich and Albert Hackett (Pulitzer Prize-winning play)

Indicator 1b

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

The instructional materials for Grade 8 fully meet the expectations for indicator 1b: reflecting the distribution of text types and genres required by standards for grade 8, and therefore fully meet the criteria of indicator 1b. The materials include a mix of informational and literary texts that are aligned to the suggested balance in the CCSS for 8th grade.

Examples of the distribution of text types and genre include personal essay, essay, research study, documentary, autobiography, biography, historical writing, journal entries, arguments, media, literary criticism, pubic service announcements that are informational, and literary short stories, poems, memoir, and novel excerpts. Each Collection includes a balance of different types and genres of texts.

The following are examples of literature found in two Collections within the instructional materials. These are indicative of the program as a whole:

Collection 3, “The Move Toward Freedom,” contains eight texts: three informational texts and two literary texts are located in the Collections Student Edition; two informational and one literary are located in the Close Reader.

Informational:

  • “From “Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave,” autobiography by Frederick Douglass
  • “My Friend Douglass,” historical writing by Russell Freedman
  • “From Harriet Tubman: Conductor on the Underground Railroad,” Biography by Ann Petry
  • “From Bloody Times: The Funeral of Abraham Lincoln and the Manhunt for Jefferson Davis,” history writing by James L. Swanson
  • “Civil War Journal,” journal entries by Louisa May Alcott

Literary:

  • “The Drummer Boy of Shiloh,” historical fiction by Ray Bradbury
  • “A Mystery of Heroism,” short story by Stephen Crane
  • “O Captain! My Captain!” poem by Walt Whitman

Collection 6, “The Value of Work,” contains 12 texts: three informational and four literary texts located in the Collections Student Edition; one informational and four literary located in the Close Reader.

Informational:

  • “One Last Time,” memoir by Gary Soto
  • “The Real McCoy,” biography by Jim Haskins
  • “Teens Need Jobs, Not Just Cash,” argument by Anne Michaud
  • “Teens at Work,” argument from The Record-Journal

Literary texts in all of the collections in the student edition and Close Reader include short stories, poems, historical fiction, dramas, novels, and graphic stories. Some examples include:

  • “Marigolds,” short story, Collection 2, by Eugenia Collier
  • “Powwow at the End of the World,” poem, Collection 1, by Sherman Alexie
  • “The Drummer Boy of Shiloh,” historical fiction, Collection 3, by Ray Bradbury
  • The Diary of Anne Frank, drama, Collection 5, by Frances Goodrich and Albert Hackett
  • “From The Adventures of Tom Sawyer,” novel, Collection 6, by Mark Twain
  • “The Flying Machine,” graphic story, Collection 6, by Bernard Krigstein

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
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials for Grade 8 fully meet the expectations of indicator 1c. Texts have the appropriate level of complexity for the grade according to quantitative and qualitative analysis and relationship to their associated student task. Over the course of the year, students engage with texts that are appropriately rigorous for students according to their quantitative measures, and the majority of texts include qualitative components that make them appropriate for 8th grade students. Some texts do not have a quantitative measure (such as poems and some shorter multimedia texts), but their qualitative features make them strong choices for the program. Texts that "fall outside" the suggested grade band are associated with appropriate reader and task considerations, which makes them useful for instruction.

The materials for Grade 8 include texts that have a quantitative range from the 700's (e.g. "Bonne Annee" at 700 Lexile, "Scary Tales" at 710 Lexile ) and span through the school year to the 900-1000's (e.g. "The Monkey's Paw" at 910 Lexile and excerpt from The Adventures of Tom Sawyer at 1040 Lexile) to texts with a high quantitative measure in the 1200-1400's (e.g. "A Place to Call Home" at 1220 Lexile and "When Do Kids Become Adults?" at 1440 Lexile). The texts have appropriately rigorous qualitative features throughout the materials. Some examples of the texts in the program that represent how the materials meet the expectations of this indicator include the following:

“My Favorite Chaperone” has a quantitative measurement of 830 Lexile, which puts it below the recommended 955-1155 range for 6-8. The qualitative measures of “My Favorite Chaperone” rate it at the middle for Levels of Meaning/Purpose, and the second lowest range for structure, language conventionality, and clarity and knowledge and demand. This is an anchor text but it is the first text in the book, and the practice with close reading and eliciting evidence makes it an appropriate text to begin the school year program.

The qualitative measures of “from Anne Frank: The Book, The Life, The Afterlife” rate it at middle for Levels of Meaning/Purpose and Structure, and the second lowest range for Language Conventionality and Clarity and Knowledge Demands. Underneath each title, it listed specifically why it scored where it did on the range: e.g. “some unfamiliar, academic, or domain-specific words.” The descriptors underneath match the piece and give the teacher good information regarding the qualitative score.

The text complexity rubric in the teacher’s edition shows a higher level with certain pieces – e.g. “After Auschwitz” the speech by Elie Wiesel requires more skill to infer the purpose of the speech, and the poem, “There But for the Grace,” requires more of the students to understand the structure as it is a free verse.

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
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The Grade 8 instructional materials fully meet the expectations for indicator 1d. The complexity of texts students read supports students' increasing literacy across the year. In 8th grade, the anchor texts increase in complexity throughout the year, and the the supporting texts and materials include a variety of complexity levels. The complexity levels of texts across the year include a whole grade level's worth of growth, as students are offered access to more rigorous texts (identified by quantitative and qualitative features).

Each Collection builds in rigor over the course of the school year, providing students opportunities to learn and demonstrate literacy skills at grade level by the end of the school year. Series of texts have a variety of complexity levels and are accompanied by tasks that provide opportunity to practice increasingly rigorous skills. "Using the Collection Your Way," found on the first page of the “Plan” section in each collection, provides direction for how to sequence the texts within the collection, but also encourages teachers to structure each collection in his or her own way.

The knowledge, structure, and language used within the texts expand through the Collections. Some examples of this expanding rigor are found in the following examples:

Collection 1: “My Favorite Chaperone” is the first story and anchor text and has a Lexile of 830, which is below the 6-8 scale found in Appendix A of the Common Core State Standards, 955-1155. This is a short story written in first person about the daughter of immigrant parents who wants to attend a school dance. The main focus of the reading is to understand and recognize the elements of plot structure in the story and analyze characterization. During the reading, students are asked to label the exposition, rising action, climax, falling action and resolution of the story. They are also asked to look at dialogue in order to infer characteristics of characters other than the narrator. This is an easy read paired with lower level and higher level skills, which is appropriate for the beginning of the year.

Collection 2: “The Tell-Tale Heart” is the first story and anchor text and has a Lexile of 850, which is below the 6-8 scale. This is a story written in first person about a murder. The main focus of the reading is to analyze point of view and suspense. Students look at the narrator and discuss his reliability. They also look at the language and how that builds the suspense of the story. The students are being asked to look more deeply at point of view, so using a story that is easier to comprehend corresponds with that.

Collection 3: “from Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave” is the first autobiography and anchor text of this collection and has a Lexile of 970, which is toward the low end of the 6-8 scale. This selection focuses on Frederick Douglass learning to read while he was a slave. The main focus of the reading is to figure out the purpose of the autobiography and how the author used the structure of cause and effect. This is the introduction to autobiography for students, so the easy comprehension is appropriate as they study the elements of the text.

Collection 4: “Marigolds” is the first short story and anchor text in this collection and has a Lexile of 1140, which is on the high end of the 6-8 scale. This story is written in first person and takes place during the Great Depression of the 1930’s, so it will require a bit of background knowledge. The main focus of the reading is inferring character motivation and determining the theme. The tasks the students are being asked to do will not require a huge knowledge of the Great Depression, so the more difficult readability is appropriate. This story will also generally occur at the start of the second semester, so the higher level reading along with the middle level skills being required is suitable.

Collection 5: “from Anne Frank: The Book, The Life, The Afterlife” is a literary criticism essay in this collection and has a Lexile of 1410, which is above the 6-8 scale. This article is written in first person and analyzes whether The Diary of a Young Girl is a classic because of Anne’s short life or because of the quality of writing. It cites other works and delves into how she is viewed and her talent as a writer. The main focus of the reading is determining the author’s attitude toward the subject and analyzing how the word choice affects the tone. This text is found toward the end of Collection 5, so it is near the end of the school year. Having a challenging text is appropriate here, and the skills being asked of the students require a holistic comprehension.

Collection 6: “Teens Need Jobs, Not Just Cash” is an argument piece in this collection and has a Lexile of 1310, which is above the 6-8 scale. This article is written in first person, but the topic is of high-interest to students as it discusses teens. The main focus of the reading is to delineate and evaluate an argument. The students need to identify the different aspects of an argument (claim, support and counterarguments), and decide whether the reasons and evidence are relevant to the argument. Evaluation is a higher-level skill, and this text takes place late in the collection, so it will be near the end of the school year. Though the text has a high Lexile, it is high-interest and short. Finding the evidence and reasons will not take much time as there isn’t a lot of text to sift through.

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
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials for grade 8 meet the criterion for indicator 1e: Anchor texts and series of texts connected to them are accompanied by a text complexity analysis and rationale for educational purpose and placement in the grade level. A Text Complexity Rubric is included in the TE for each text, with quantitative measures, qualitative measures and reader / task considerations. Each rubric rates the piece on a sliding scale. The first row is “Qualitative Measures” which shows the Lexile. Underneath that are Qualitative measures, which are on a sliding scale and measure the following:

  • Levels of Meaning/Purpose
  • Structure
  • Language of Conventionality and Clarity
  • Knowledge Demands

Each piece also has a "Why This Text?" for the teacher. For example, from Collection 5 - "The Diary of a Young Girl gives students a rare look at history through a first-person account of someone their own age. It shows students that many of their experiences are common to people their age across time, culture, and circumstance. The diary is also an important cultural document that has had an enormous impact throughout the world." Other collections: C. 2: Examine why the horror genre both terrifies and fascinates. C. 4: Explore the passage from childhood to adulthood.C. 6: Explore the benefits and challenges that are part of being a worker. Additionally, expanding on what sets this text apart from other texts would be beneficial to add.

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.
1/2
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The materials for Grade 8 partially meet the expectations of indicator 1f. Over the course of the school year, students are offered opportunities to read a range and volume of texts including long literary essays, brief excerpts, short informational biographies to longer documentaries, drama and poetry. Rich texts are offered in the student edition and the Close Reader that cover and may extend reading experiences beyond the school year. However, the year long instructional materials do not provide explicit and systematic practice in both oral and silent reading across chapters/units and the whole school year. Materials do not include a mechanism for teachers and/or students to monitor progress toward comprehension of grade level texts by the end of the school year. There are limited opportunities for teachers to identify where students struggle and support those who may not comprehend the texts being studied.

There are general opportunities for students to engage in silent reading but it is rarely explicitly stated in the instructional materials. In the Student Edition, students are directed to reread lines from the text, supporting silent reading. Before each piece, the teacher is instructed to “Have the students read the background information.” When looking at the Close Reader, one could choose to have students read the pieces independently. There are directions before each piece that suggest pieces could be read independently; however, there are discussion questions throughout the Teacher Edition for these texts, which makes the reading appear to be led by the teacher and not independent.

There are limited and inconsistent opportunities for oral reading in the materials, often with limited instructional support. Some examples of oral reading opportunities include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • From Collection 1: “The Powwow at the End of the World” -- question 6, “Explain your choice. Then read part of the poem aloud to express the tone.”
  • Collection 3: “from Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave” includes direction in the Teacher’s Edition under “When Students Struggle:” “Listening to fluently read text and being able to read fluently themselves will help students comprehend the long and fairly complex sentences in Douglass’s text. Project on a whiteboard lines 93-100, in which Douglass explains the impact Sheridan’s book had on him.... Then have students turn to a partner and reread the same lines aloud as you listen, and monitor. Have students take turns partner-reading lines 100-107. Monitor their pacing, intonation, and expression.”From Collection 5: Speaking and Listening: “With a small group, choose a section from the play in which the dialogue provokes a character to make a decision. Consider how each character would sound. Rehearse the lines. Then stage a dramatic reading of the section that communicates clearly the characters thoughts and feelings” (page 354).

Criterion 1g - 1n

Materials provide opportunities for rich and rigorous evidence-based discussions and writing about texts to build strong literacy skills.
11/16
+
-
Criterion Rating Details

The majority of questions are text dependent and most are text-specific, as they draw the reader back into the text and focus on central ideas and key details of the text, rather than superficial or peripheral aspects. The culminating tasks are always performance tasks that incorporate reading, writing, and speaking, however there is little support for the writing and speaking skills necessary to complete the tasks. The materials provide some opportunities for evidence-based discussions, use of modeling, and incorporation of academic vocabulary and syntax, although implementation in the classroom is not explicitly supported with guidance for misunderstandings or with accountability. There is minimal support for students who misunderstand the use of vocabulary and syntax. Speaking and listening work assigned requires students to marshal evidence from texts and sources, but support is minimal at times and there are few directions for implementation in the classroom. Materials include a mix of both on-demand and process writing; however, there is not enough to cover a year’s worth of instruction. Instructional materials provide multiple opportunities across the school year for students to learn, practice, and apply different genres/modes of writing that reflect the distribution required by the Grade 8 standards. The materials provide frequent opportunities across the school year for students to learn, practice, and apply writing using evidence. Materials include some explicit instruction of grammar and convention standards, however, this instruction is not provided in a sequence of increasingly sophisticated contexts over the course of the year. The textbook does contain instruction for the language skills identified in the Common Core State Standards for ELA Language Standards Grade 8; however, the guidance for instruction is minimal. Grammar and convention instruction is not provided in a sequence of increasingly sophisticated contexts over the course of the year.

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
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials for Grade 8 fully meet the expectations of indicator 1g. The majority of questions are text dependent. Most questions are text-specific. Most questions draw the reader back into the text and support students’ literacy growth over the course of the school year. The vast majority of tasks focus on central ideas and key details of the text, rather than superficial or peripheral aspects. Reading and writing (and speaking and listening) are done in a cohesive learning environment. Students read and reread to write and discuss. Students refer to how the textbooks' authors write as they write. In the student and teacher edition, each set of 6-7 questions all start with the global statement "support your responses with evidence from the text,” which is italicized and highlighted. In addition, most questions draw the reader back to the text with references to lines from the text. "In lines 126-136...", "Reread lines 295-337", "Review lines 333-357", "Name a detail from the story that...", etc. This is consistent throughout the anthology.

  • The directions at the top of the set of questions say, “Cite Text evidence,” which is italicized and highlighted. This is a global emphasis/reminder.
  • Some questions have specific lines referenced such as, “Review lines 38-65.”
  • Students are not asked to think about their feelings or opinions.
  • In the Close Reader supplemental book, phrases such as "cite text evidence" or "continue to cite text evidence" "support your answer with explicit textual evidence" directions to "circle" and "underline" information in the text are often used.

Below are some examples of text-dependent questions and discussions at the end of selections:

Collection 2

  • “What does the author’s grandma mean in lines 8-9 when she says, ‘Hold it, let me leave the room, lightning’s going to strike’?” (page 103).
  • “Collaborative Discussion: ‘The Tell-Tale Heart’ is a well-known classic. With a partner, discuss what makes the story - and its narrator - so thought provoking. Cite specific evidence from the text to support your ideas (page 94).

Collection 3:

  • “Reread lines 175-183. Describe Jefferson Davis’s behavior. What does his conduct reveal about his character?” (page 196).
  • “Collaborative Discussion: What did you find most interesting about Harriet Tubman? With a partner, discuss the characteristics that surprised or impressed you. Cite specific evidence from the text to support your ideas” (page 162).

Collection 4

  • “In lines 8-9, Collier writes that an abstract painting ‘does not present things as they are, but rather as they feel.’ What can you infer about the narrator’s childhood experiences based on her description of her home town?” (page 226).
  • “Evaluate the argument made in ‘Better Training for New Drivers.’ Does the author provide sufficient relevant evidence to support his claim? Explain why or why not” (HMH 8th Grade, Collection 4, 244).
  • “Collaborative Discussion: Both speakers address the idea of a lack of communication between parents and children. With a partner, discuss what might be the cause of this lack of communication. Cite specific evidence from the texts to support your ideas” (page 231).

Collection 5:

  • “Reread lines 241-291 in Act Two. What does this part of the dialogue reveal about each of the Van Daans?” (page 354).
  • “Read over lines 48-80. What is Anne’s view of the tensions between herself and her family? Consider how Anne’s living conditions might contribute to her frustrations” (page367).
  • “Collaborative Discussion: Mr. Frank read this from Anne’s diary: ‘In spite of everything, I still believe that people are really good at heart.’ With a partner, discuss examples from the play that demonstrate that Anne really believed this to be true” (page 352).

Collection 6

  • “Examine lines 75-85. Identify statements that show how Soto feels about the work he’s doing. What change has occurred in his attitude since he first arrived at the farm?” (page 416).
  • “In lines 5-10, why does the author of ‘Teens at Work’ provide statistics about teen unemployment?” (page425).
  • “Collaborative Discussion: How do you think Gary Soto’s experiences working in the fields influenced his attitudes toward work? With a partner, discuss how those early work experiences might affect him as a writer. Cite specific evidence from the text to support your ideas” (page 414)

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).
1/2
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials for Grade 8 partially meet the expectations of indicator 1h. The culminating tasks are always performance tasks which incorporate reading, writing, and speaking. Students draw on their reading and analysis of the collection's selections as well as additional research and the close reading skills gathered while working through each collection. The questions also direct students back to elements of the texts and expand upon them. In each collection, the introduction page tells students what their end performance task(s) will be. The disconnect is in the number of these culminating task where students are using the writing process to complete the task. There is no support in the anthology for student writing. To complete a performance task, students draw on their reading and analysis of the collection's selections as well as additional research. However, the skills identified in the "analyzing the text" section after each piece support students in close reading skills, but do not fully support students performance on the culminating performance task which is most often a writing project.

Throughout 8th grade, the students will complete the following performance tasks:

  • Deliver a persuasive speech
  • Write three literary analysis essays
  • Create a visual presentation
  • Produce a multimedia campaign
  • Write an expository essay
  • Write a short story
  • Write an argument

To complete a performance task, students draw on their reading and analysis of the Collection's selections as well as additional research. However, the skills identified in the "analyzing the text" section after each piece do not necessarily lead to the culminating performance task of a writing project.

The following is a breakdown of how each collection connects the performance tasks to the texts:

Collection 1

  • Performance task A is to write an expository essay in which the students will have to conduct research in order to write an expository essay on the best ways for people from other countries to adjust to living in the United States. The elements discussed during and after each informational piece are determining central idea and details, using a glossary, citing evidence, and analyzing nonfiction elements. These support Performance Task A as they are elements of a research expository essay.
  • Performance task B asks students to write a personal narrative, and the prompt specifically mentions the anchor texts from the collection: “Like the characters in ‘My Favorite Chaperone’ and The Latehomecomer, many people struggle to adjust to new situations or to fit in with different groups. Think about a time when you faced that type of challenge. Using the excerpt from The Latehomecomer as a model, write a personal narrative about your own experience.” The elements covered during the reading of the memoir are analyzing the meaning of words and phrases (imagery and figurative language) and understanding what is included in a memoir. This supports Performance Task B, as students are specifically told to “Brainstorm Images” and include imagery.

Collection 2

  • Performance task A is to deliver a persuasive speech on whether or not “ . . . a classic of the horror genre, ‘The Tell-Tale Heart,’ is appropriate for your age group to read” (page 133). The elements discussed during and after the informational piece,“Scary Tales,” are determining the author’s viewpoint and analyzing the meanings of words and phrases (more specifically style). Within the teaching of these two elements, counterarguments, opinions, details, reasons, word choice, imagery, syntax and figurative language are discussed. These will assist the students in completing performance task A; however, there is no model persuasive speech in this collection to which the students can refer.
  • Performance task B has students write a literary analysis essay that focuses on “ . . .setting, events, and details that make the work both believable and entertaining” (page, 137). Students need to refer to the “ . . .criteria for horror explained in ‘What is the Horror Genre?’ by Sharon A. Russell to support [their] analysis” (page , 137). The elements discussed during and after the reading of the model literary analysis essay in the collection, “What is the Horror Genre,” are analyzing text - literary criticism and summarizing text. These skills support performance task B.

Collection 3:

  • Performance task A is to create a visual presentation that “ . . . will highlight the work of four or more abolitionists . . . [by] combining text with a poster or multimedia, [students] will create a visual presentation that gives viewers access to the words and deeds that made these heroes worth celebrating” (page 203). There are no model visual presentations in this collections, and the elements discussed during and after the reading of the informational pieces are analyzing text - autobiography, using context clues, analyzing structure - author’s craft, analyzing text - biography, and analyzing structure - compare and contrast. None of these elements will help students in completing this performance task.
  • Performance task B is to write a literary analysis essay in which they “ . . . offer an interpretation of the story’s [The Drummer Boy of Shiloh] symbolism” (page 207). There is not a model literary analysis essay in this collection, but this is the second literary analysis essay students will have completed. The elements discussed during and after the reading of “The Drummer Boy of Shiloh” are analyzing stories - historical fiction and determining the meaning of words and phrases. More specifically, students focus on setting, mood, imagery, symbol and allusion. The symbol is addressed in two specific questions in the teacher’s edition on pages 170 and 172. The teacher focusing on the symbol in the story will help the students complete this performance task.

Collection 4

  • Performance task B asks students to create a multimedia campaign to present their response to the question, “When do kids become adults?”. The campaign will “ . . . include an editorial along with messages in one or two other mediums” (page 273). The model pieces for this assignment is “When Do Kids Become Adults,” which are arguments from “Room for Debate” in the New York Times, and “Persuading Viewers through Ads,” which looks at public service announcements. Students will also pull content from the articles that discuss teen driving. The elements discussed during and after the reading/viewing of the arguments and public service announcements are tracing and evaluating an argument, and analyzing ideas in media. More specifically, for “When Do Kids Become Adults,” students are asked to identify the claim, evidence, and counterarguments; then they need to evaluate whether the evidence is relevant and if opposing views were addressed. For the public service announcements, students will look at the target audience, purpose, persuasive techniques, visual elements, sound elements and evaluate which techniques are more appealing. Students will use these skills to help them complete performance task B.

Collection 5:

  • The one performance task for this collection asks students to write an expository essay “. . . about the living conditions in the Annex, using details from The Diary of Anne Frank, other texts in the collection and additional research” (page 389). There is not a model expository essay in this collection. The elements discussed during and after the reading of The Diary of Anne Frank are analyzing drama, characters and language. When analyzing drama, students are looking at stage directions, dialogue, structure (acts and scenes). For characters, students are inferring character traits and motivations based on actions. For language, students are discussing hyperbole, denotation vs. connotation, idioms,puns, analogies, irony, similes, metaphors, situational irony, and dramatic irony. Setting is discussed briefly while reading the play, but students will have to go back and look for specific examples to complete this task; also, there is no model essay or discussion of the format of an expository essay during this collection, so teachers will have to supplement material.

Collection 6

  • Performance task A is for students to write a “ . . . .realistic short story about a character who is working at an enjoyable job, or who has found a way to avoid doing work” (HMH 8th Grade, Collection 6, 437). There is a model short story in the Close Reader, and the selection from The Adventures of Tom Sawyer can also be used as a model. The elements discussed during and after the reading of the model pieces are analyzing point of view and determining the meaning of words and phrases. For point of view, students look at the narrator and whether the story is first or third person; they also discuss how an omniscient narrator can create dramatic irony. For words and phrases, the students look at the style and how word choice, sentence structure, imagery, and tone all contribute to the style. Students have studied the format of the short story in previous collections, so that is familiar to them. The elements specifically discussed with the short stories in Collection 5 will not necessarily help them in writing their own short story, although it is connected through content.
  • Performance task B is to write an argument “ . . . that justifies your views about whether it is important for teenagers to gain work experience during their school years. You will use evidence from the texts in the collection to support your position” (page, 441). There are two argument essays modeled in this collection, “Teens Need Jobs, Not Just Cash” and “Teens at Work.” The skill discussed during and after the reading of these texts is delineating and evaluating an argument. Specifically, students need to identify the claim, support, and counterarguments and evaluate the reasons and evidence given. These skills will help them complete the performance task B.

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.)
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials for Grade 8 partially meet the requirements of indicator i. The materials provide some opportunities for evidence-based discussions and some use of modeling and incorporation of academic vocabulary and syntax, although implementation in the classroom is not explicitly supported with guidance for misunderstandings nor with accountability.

The materials support the use and practice with academic vocabulary, providing frequent and repeated exposure to a limited list of 8th grade appropriate words (multiple words per collection); there is encouraged use of these words in each of the Collaborative Discussions and performance tasks (a sidebar next to the “Plan” section) throughout each collection. The teacher is prompted to pronounce each word aloud so students can hear the correct pronunciation. Practice with these words in context is limited. Protocols to engage students in developing their speaking and listening are minimally provided to support this work. There is minimal support for students who misunderstand the use of vocabulary and syntax.

Below are example of evidence-based discussion opportunities in some Collections. They are sample representations of the materials as a whole:

Collection 1: The introduction to each Collection provides a discussion point focused on vocabulary. For example, page 91 of the 8th grade Teachers Edition states, "... as you discuss the story, incorporate academic vocabulary predict and psychology, crevice and stifle." These words will be related to the stories about to be read and studied. Academic vocabulary in the planning phase does emphasize the need for frequent use of these words through discussion, including having the teacher pronounce the words. However, once engaging with the story, there is no further direction nor support for any student misunderstanding.

Collection 2: There are instructions for the class that include speaking and listening about vocabulary and syntax, but there is minimal support to complete the tasks in class. Students and teachers are reminded to incorporate words into their speaking, but what that should look and sound like is not clear, and specific emphasis on understanding how vocabulary words connect and grow knowledge is not articulated.

  • With the first story "The Tell-Tale -Heart," students are asked to explain how critical vocabulary incorporates with the context of the story. Critical vocabulary discussion points include: conceive, vex, stifle, crevice, audacity, vehemently, derision, and hypocritical. Suggested responses and guidance is not included.
  • Teachers are provided the following guidance to share with students: "As you discuss the story, incorporate the following...academic vocabulary words: predict and psychology." and for a later text, "As you discuss the story, incorporate the following...academic vocabulary words: predict, conventions, technique ." No further support is included. Protocols for speaking and listening are not provided.

Collection 3:

  • pg. 149 - Students engage in an informal discussion about Frederick Douglass's word choice with the instructions to "support...with evidence from the text." No protocols for speaking and listening are provided.
  • Pg. 200 - Students work with partners to discuss the poem “Oh Captain! My Captain!” considering language and word choice, structure, and content. Little guidance and suggested responses for what this discussion should be is present. No protocols for speaking and listening are provided.

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.
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials for Grade 8 partially meet the expectations for indicator 1j. Speaking and listening work assigned requires students to marshal evidence from texts and sources, but support is minimal at times and there are few directions for implementation in the classroom.

The sections and lessons supporting speaking and language standards are present, but lacking directions and support for implementation in the classroom. While some speaking opportunities provide guidance and specific guidance, most are bulleted or listed direction with little to no guidance for how to complete the assignment. Listening components within assignments provided in the Student and Teacher Edition are vague and are missing support and instruction. Direct connections that emphasize using evidence from texts to complete the speaking and listening tasks is minimally applied.

Each Collection begins with a "Connecting Word and Image" discussion which helps set the theme of the activities in which students will be involved. Often, in the culminating performance tasks at the end of each collection, students are directed to either “present [their] essay as a speech to the class” or “post [their] essay as a blog.”

Some speaking and listening components within assignments provided in the student and teacher edition include the following representative examples. In some cases, instruction on classroom implementation is minimal or absent, and in others, there is minimal connection to the texts being studied.

In Collection 1, a performance task has students to create videos of their own personal stories. Directions and extra support are not present. Explicit connections between this task and the texts studied in Collection 1 are minimally underscored, and there is little support for the teacher to help students who have misunderstandings.

Collection 4

  • The performance task on page 174 has students marshal evidence on the Battle of Shiloh, but does not give guidance on how to deliver a speech. There is minimal evidence or modeling to show what kind of evidence will be most effective, and there is minimal guidance about delivering the speech itself.
  • A final speech is presented to students on pg 202 which has students work in small groups to present a choral reading of "O Captain! My Captain!" In addition, the Collaborative Discussion on page 150a of the teacher's guide specifically walks students through what an effective discussion looks like; it goes beyond the turn and talk method. One performance task within the collection is a debate which provides a bulleted list for students to gather evidence and practice.

Collection 5

  • Students work in groups to prepare a deliver a skit as a performance. There is no direction for how to speak in a performance, nor is there explicit connection to the texts studied in the Collection.
  • A performance task where students give an oral presentation based on a visual for the Holocaust does have support for analyzing elements of a speech and persuasive techniques. There is minimal guidance on how to ensure evidence is used effectively in the speech.

Some speaking and listening opportunities do provide instruction and support (rubrics and extra guidance) for students to practice skills, although the connections to evidence in text is not consistently emphasized. Some examples of this include the following:

Collection 3

  • Students participate in a speaking debate accompanied by bulleted directions for viewpoint, evidence, counterarguments and practice. Pg 104a in the Teacher's Guide gives specifics for conducting a debate. There is also and a speaking activity performance task discussion on pg 130 of the teacher's guide. The directions, pages 133-135, provide students with guidance on how to organize ideas, write a draft, revise and practice the speech, and finally present.

Collection 6

  • There are two performance tasks within the collection: a presentation on page 416 and an oral report on page 425. The oral report provides additional guidance on page 426a in "maintaining eye contact while speaking clearly with adequate volume." Performance Task B is to write an argument. one of the final options is to choose to present it in an oral report or debate with someone who has taken an apposing position. pg 443.

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.
1/2
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials for Grade 8 partially meet the expectations for indicator 1k. Materials include a mix of both on-demand and process writing; however, there is not enough to cover a year’s worth of instruction. The on-demand is only found in the Performance Assessment booklet. Although the longer writing pieces contain the instruction to have students revise and/or edit, the shorter writing pieces do not. The longer writing pieces contain rubrics, but the shorter pieces do not.

On-Demand

Productive writing is found in the “Performance Assessment” booklet, which is consumable. The tasks in this book are step by step culminating projects where students read multiple sources on the same topics, review models and respond by writing one of each over the span of the year: argumentative, informative or literary analysis essay.

The on-demand portion of the book is found in Unit 4: Mixed Practice. These are research simulations. Students write an argumentative, informative and literary analysis essay in a timed situation. The directions before each say, “There are two parts to most formal writing tests. Both parts of the tests are timed, so it’s important to use your limited time wisely” (HMH Collections Performance Assessment 8th).

Process Writing

Process writing occurs in both the textbook and the Performance Assessment booklet. The shorter writing pieces are found after each text in the main textbook in the “Performance Task” box. The longer writing pieces are found at the end of each collection in the textbook and in the Performance Assessment booklet.

The shorter writing pieces have very little direction for the students and/or teacher. There are few rubrics, graphic organizers or other supplemental material to help the teacher guide the student through the multiple processes of writing.

Below is an example of directions for a small process writing from page 402:

  • Write an analysis that explains how the theme - the lesson or message - of this selection is developed through the character of Tom Sawyer.
    • Work with a partner to create a character chart for Tom. In the left column, list his qualities. In the right column, list the passages from the text that demonstrate each quality.
    • Next, determine the theme of the selection, drawing on the narrator’s description of the lesson Tom learns.
    • When you are ready, begin your analysis by stating the theme. Then, describe how the theme is developed in relation to Tom’s thoughts, feelings, speech, and actions.

Extended writing pieces occur at the end of the collection and provide about four pages of directions for the student, one of which is the rubric. The directions for writing are broken down into four steps: plan, produce, revise and present. Each step takes up approximately half of a page of the student edition; the plan step is the exception as those directions usually cover an entire page. The teacher’s edition has a small paragraph for each step that has the teacher remind or explain something to the student about that step in the process. Below is an example from Collection 4, page 269-271.

  • Plan:
    • Analyze the Story: Reread “Marigolds” to review the lesson or theme that stands out for you.
    • Take notes about evidence from the text that reveals the story’s theme. List some ways that the story’s theme connects to modern trends or to the experiences of modern teens
    • Consider Your Purpose and Audience - Think about who will read or listen to your analysis and what you want them to understand. Keep this in mind as you prepare to write.
    • Develop and draft your central idea.
    • Decide what theme you will discuss, and identify evidence from the story that reveals the theme and supports your thoughts.
    • Create a graphic organizer like this one to help you plan your writing (there is a visual of a graphic organizer below this).
  • Produce:
    • Write Your Literary Analysis - Review your notes and the information in your chart as you being your draft. [There are four bullets beneath this give students further instruction on what to include in the draft]
  • Revise:
    • Review Your Draft - Use the chart on the following page [rubric] to evaluate your draft. Work with a partner to determine if you have explained your ideas clearly. [There are four bullets below this for things to consider as students are editing]
  • Present:
    • Create a Finished Copy - Finalize your analysis and choose a way to share it with your audience. [There are three bullets under this for students to consider]

Extended process writing is also found in the Performance Assessment booklet in Units 1, 2, and 3. Directions for the writing in this booklet walks the students through a close reading of two texts. After reading, step one has the students answer multiple choice questions that will help them in writing the essay. In step two, students answer “Prose Constructed-Response” questions to get them thinking about the topic. Step three includes a graphic organizer to help the students finalize their plan for their essay. Step four is a bulleted list for students to think about while they draft their essay. Step five is a revision checklist so students can self-evaluate their writing. Step six is a revision checklist for a peer to edit their paper. The last step is for students to turn in the final draft of their essay.

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 instructional materials for Grade 8 fully meet the criteria for indicator 1l. Materials provide multiple opportunities across the school year for students to learn, practice, and apply different genres/modes of writing that reflect the distribution required by the standards. Students are writing literary and expository essays, poems, analysis, a play, an argumentative speech argumentative, and narrative and informative pieces. Students are also required to do short research projects and gather evidence from multiple sources. The instructional materials include opportunities for students to write in all modes required by the Common Core Standards for grade 8: argumentative, narrative, and informative.

Where appropriate, writing opportunities are connected to texts and/or text sets (either as prompts, models, anchors, or supports). The Performance Assessment consumable booklets provide anchors and models prior to students writing on their own. The mini and culminating performance tasks are all modeled through the texts they read.

Examples of different writing opportunities in the materials include:

  • Shorter Process Writing:
    • Collection 1 - summary, explanation, report
    • Collection 2 - profile, report
    • Collection 3 - literary analysis, speech, research, character sketch
    • Collection 4 - essay, comparison, opinion
    • Collection 5 - character sketch, performance, two analysis papers
    • Collection 6 - analysis, oral report, compare and contrast
  • Longer Process Writing
    • Collection 1 - expository essay and personal narrative
    • Collection 2 - persuasive speech, literary analysis
    • Collection 3 - create a visual presentation and write a literary analysis
    • Collection 4 - literary analysis and multimedia campaign
    • Collection 5 - expository essay
    • Collection 6 - short story and argument

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 instructional materials for Grade 8 fully meet the expectations of indicator 1m. Materials provide frequent opportunities across the school year for students to learn, practice, and apply writing using evidence. Writing opportunities are focused around student analyses and claims developed from reading closely and working with sources. Materials provide opportunities that build students’ writing skills over the course of the school year.

Students are consistently prompted back to models and texts for evidence when writing. Materials include frequent opportunities for evidence-based writing to support careful analyses, well-defended claims, and clear information. Students are frequently asked to prove their claims with evidence from the text, from "Analyzing the Text" questions all the way up to Performance Tasks.

Some examples include:

  • Collection 2: students write a literary analysis essay about one of the fictional horror stories in the collection and must use the criteria for horror explained in “What is the Horror Genre” by Sharon A. Russell from the collection.
  • Collection 3: students write a literary analysis essay that discusses the symbolism in “The Drummer Boy of Shiloh,” which is found in the collection.
  • Collection 5: students write an expository essay “ . . . about the living conditions in the Annex, using details from The Diary of Anne Frank . . .

Overall:

  • Materials provide frequent opportunities across the school year for students to learn, practice, and apply writing using evidence.
  • Writing opportunities are focused around student analyses and claims developed from reading closely and working with sources
  • Materials provide opportunities that build students’ writing skills over the course of the school year.

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.
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials for Grade 8 partially meet the expectations of indicator 1n. Materials include some explicit instruction of grammar and convention standards, however, this instruction is not provided in a sequence of increasingly sophisticated contexts over the course of the year. There are opportunities for students to demonstrate some application of skills in context, but they are infrequent.

While there are pages dedicated to the grammar standards for this grade level, and definitions/examples are provided along with practice sentences, the Student Edition does not provide explicit instruction on how to execute the skill. After each piece in the Collection, there is a “Critical Vocabulary, Vocabulary Strategy, and Language Conventions” section. The skills practiced go along with the piece that students just read. While these sections use sentences from the selection as examples, this language practice is still done out of context.

The textbook does contain instruction for the language skills identified in the Common Core State Standards for ELA Language Standards Grade 8; however, the guidance for instruction is minimal. There are times when the grammar is taught in context, but the connection is weak. The skills taught out of context are also glossed over in a very general way.

Grammar and convention instruction is not provided in a sequence of increasingly sophisticated contexts over the course of the year.

The following are the list of language and style skills covered in all of the collections:

  • Collection 1: Imperative Mood; Participles; Active and Passive Voice
  • Collection 2: Using Dashes; Subject-Verb Agreement; Subjunctive Mood; Commas
  • Collection 3: Conditional Mood; Indicative Mood; Gerunds
  • Collection 4: Infinitives; Words Ending in y; Shifts in Voice and Mood
  • Collection 5: Use Ellipses
  • Collection 6: Interrogative Mood; Semicolons and Run-ons

These skills match the skills listed in the Common Core State Standards for Language Grade 8 under L1, L2, and L3.

Representative examples of how the materials instruct in grammar and conventions include (but are not limited to) the following:

Collection 1 - pg.40 – “Language Conventions: Participles” paired with “Bonne Annee” -

  • A definition of what students are working on is included - “A verb usually shows action. A verbal is a word that is formed from a verb but is used as a noun, an adjective, or an adverb. A participle is one kind of verbal. A participle is a verb form that is used as an adjective, which modifies a noun. Writers use participles to help create vivid descriptions.”
  • Then there are four examples, one each for present participle, past participle, participle before the noun, and participle after the noun
  • Then students are given five sentences in the Practice and Apply section: “Read these sentences from ‘Bonne Annee.’ Identify each participle and the noun that it modifies.
    • The view from beneath the bridge is somewhat different: reluctant refugees with an aching love of their forsaken homeland.
    • Despite the searing example of my elders, I am not even sure what it means to love a country.
    • The Haitian sun has made the cross-Atlantic journey to shine on her dispossessed children.
    • It meets a response, “I-TA-LIA,” twice as loud but destined to be replaced by an even louder HA-I-TI, followed by IT-A-LIA and again HA-I-TI in a spiraling crescendo.
    • At the same time, the unheralded Haitian defenders have held.

Collection 2 - pg. 132- “Language Conventions: Using Commas” paired with “What is the Horror Genre?”

  • An explanation of what students are working on is included - “A writer’s use of punctuation not only helps readers understand the writer’s message, but also signals how the writer wants the text to be read. In your writing, you can use commas to signal a break or a pause to the reader.” The explanation goes on for three more sentences.
  • Then there are two example sentences from the “What is the Horror Genre?”: “Look at these examples from ‘What is the Horror Genre?’ ‘So, she does end up dead in the basement, a victim of the vampire . . . Read the two sentences out loud, noticing where you pause.” The explanation continues for four more sentences.
  • After that examples, there is a chart with examples of why a comma is used.
  • Then, there are five practice sentences in the Practice and Apply section. These sentences are not from the story - “Rewrite the sentences, inserting the needed punctuation. If you get stuck, try reading the sentence out loud.”
    • Yes I absolutely love horror stories.
    • You know of course that the main purpose of horror stories is to inspire fear and dread.
    • If Frankenstein is frightening he is also sympathetic.
    • The long movie was terrifying so much so that several times I just closed my eyes and blocked my eyes.
    • Writing a horror story a big dream of mine will take a lot of thought and hard work.

Gateway Two

Building Knowledge with Texts, Vocabulary, and Tasks

Partially Meets Expectations

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Gateway Two Details

The instructional materials for Grade 8 partially meet the expectations of Gateway 2: Building Knowledge with Texts, Vocabulary, and Tasks. Students have lots of possible opportunities to engage with texts and text sets that are organized around themes and topics to build knowledge, and are consistently working in and across text to analyze components. There are missed opportunities as academic vocabulary and close reading practice are not fully supported or implemented without teacher supplementing. Students are inconsistently asked to integrate their literacy skills (reading, writing, speaking, and listening) into full culminating tasks. Frequently, culminating tasks focus on only one skill or do not require students to incorporate the text itself to complete the task. Other tasks have connections that are weak and/or missing instructional supports for the teacher to attend to misunderstandings. Much academic vocabulary practice is disconnected from the texts and text sets, although in some instances there are opportunities for students to focus in on author’s choices of words and structures. The overall year-long plans and structures for writing and for research instruction are partially present, with inconsistent supports for implementation and accountability. The writing instruction, while it does have key components, does not support students’ increasing skills over the year. Research skills are not taught in a progression of focused projects over the course of the school year. Overall, the materials partially build knowledge through integration of reading, writing, speaking, listening, and language activities as they learn about topics and themes. To wholly ensure students’ growing literacy skills, the teacher will need to provide supplementary support and more focused attention on building strong academic vocabulary. There is no year-long independent reading plan.

Criterion 2a - 2h

18/32

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.
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials for Grade 8 fully meet the expectations of indicator 2a. Anchor texts are organized around appropriate topic(s) and/or themes to build students’ ability to read and comprehend complex texts independently and proficiently at grade level.

Collection 1 is organized with the theme of “Culture and Belonging.” Many texts in this collection focus on the topic of immigration to the United States. Samples from the text selections include:

• “My Favorite Chaperone”
• “Bonne Annee”
• “A Place to Call Home”
• “What to Bring”
• “The Latehomecome,”
• “New Immigrants Share Their Stories.”

However, three texts : “Golden Glass,” “Museum Indians,” and “Powwow at the End of the World” connect through the theme of culture.

Collection 2's theme is clear through its titling: “The Thrill of Horror," in which students examine scary texts but also study the genre of horror writing. Samples from the text selections include:

  • A commentary for why scary tales are okay for younger kids.
  • The short story, “The Monkey’s Paw”
  • A film of The Monkey’s Paw
  • A poem, “Frankenstein”
  • An essay of literary criticism, “What is the Horror Genre?’ and an essay, “Man-Made Monsters.”

Collection 3's theme is “The Move Toward Freedom." All pieces focus on the topic of the American Civil War. Each text covers a more specific subtopic within the overall theme and topic to build students' knowledge. Texts included focus on literary, literary nonfiction, and informational pieces about Frederick Douglass, Harriet Tubman, the Battle of Shiloh, soldiers’ stories, the death of Abraham Lincoln, and the hunt for Jefferson Davis.

Collection 4: Theme: “Approaching Adulthood." The topic focus for the texts are all about adolescence. Some sample texts from this collection include:

• “The Whistle," a short story about an adolescent living within a large family.
• “Identity” and “Hard on the Gas," two poems about growing up.
• “Much Too Young to Works So Hard," an historical article that discusses child labor.
• "Is 16 Too Young to Drive a Car?” and “Fatal Car Crashes Drop for 16-year-olds, Rise in Older Teens,” two articles about teen driving.

Collection 5 : This collection is organized around the topic "Anne Frank's Legacy," which builds students knowledge of World War II as well as Anne Frank's legacy in history. Samples from the text selections include:

• "The Diary of Anne Frank," a dramatization for which students can act out roles.
• From The Diary of a Young Girl , a first person account from Anne herself.
• From "Anne Frank: The Book, The Life, The Afterlife," a literary criticism about the diary and how it relates to Anne and her legacy.
• "After Auschwitz," a speech on the effects of a concentration camp.
• "There But for the Grace" a poem that discusses the role of chance in life, acutely related to Anne Frank and those who suffered similar fates.

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.
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials for Grade 8 partially meet the expectations of indicator 2b. Materials contain sets of questions and tasks, but they inconsistently require students to analyze the language, key ideas, details, craft, and structure of individual texts in a coherent sequence related to the standards. Over the course of the year, instructional materials and identified elements stay consistent and do not grow in rigor from early in the year (considering smaller components) to being more embedded in student work at the end of the year. There are limited rubrics and scoring guides for students to work with the specifics of text components as they grow their understanding of topic and theme. Focus on academic vocabulary is inconsistent, with more attention and time placed on literary terms and the functions of those words rather than building students' knowledge.

At the beginning of each text, there is a “Why this Text?” box which includes a lesson focus for that text. Underneath this box, is the “Key Learning Objective.” Each text has guided discussions in the margins of the teacher edition. These discussions focus around two or three key skills. Each text also has a set of analysis questions at the end where students typically answer five to eight questions, each with a specific target. Each set of analysis questions that accompany individual texts start with the global phrase "Cite Text Evidence – Support your responses with evidence from the text."

There is an outline provided that indicates at what point students will practice analyzing different components of the texts. For example, according to these overviews, the following skills will be covered (examples include some but not all indicated components of study):

Collection 1: The student will be able to:

  • Recognize and analyze the elements of a story’s plot and the author’s methods of characterization.
  • Analyze elements of a personal essay, including its purpose, structure, central idea,, and supporting details.
  • Use text features and graphic aids to analyze and understand a nonfiction text.
  • Analyze imagery and figurative language to better understand a memoir.
  • Recognize elements used in a documentary and understand and evaluate the purpose of each one.
  • Use imagery and allusion to make inferences about the deeper meaning of a poem.

Collection 3: The student will be able to:

  • Analyze methods of characterization in biography and analyze the author’s craft.
  • Identify and analyze the key elements of historical fiction and examine how authors create mood in a story.
  • Identify and analyze a compare and contrast organizational pattern in a text and understand the impact of a word’s connotation on meaning.
  • Recognize elegy as a poetic form and understand how extended metaphors can be used to express feelings and ideas.

Collection 5: The student will be able to:

  • Analyze the key elements of a drama, including its structure, characters, dialogue and events.
  • Analyze the elements of a diary entry, and make and support inferences about the text.
  • Determine an author’s point of view in a work of literary criticism and analyze how the author’s word choices impact the tone of the text.
  • Identify persuasive techniques and rhetorical devices in a speech.
  • Analyze the use of sound devices in a poem to understand how they impact meaning.

There are questions and tasks that support students’ understanding of these components, but they are infrequently employed over the course of the school year. Guidance for teachers to support students who exhibit misunderstandings or struggle are minimal. The following examples are representative of questions and tasks that do support students’ development in this area, but are missing instructional supports to assure learning:

  • From Collection 2: “Reread lines 110-119 and identify the allusion, or reference to a well-known work that Mrs. White makes. What does the allusion suggest bout Mrs. White’s view of the paw?” (page 118).
  • From Collection 3: "Reread lines 28-32. What is the effect of the author’s use of the phrase ‘in pursuit of four-footed game’?” (page 164).

Below is specific evidence from the materials that are representative of how the materials partially meet the expectations of this indicator:

“Bonne Annee” lesson focus: the message and structure of an essay that describes the impact of real-world events on the author’s life. Key Learning Objective: “Students will be able to analyze elements of a personal essay, including its purpose, structure, central idea and supporting details.” When the book says “purpose” at the beginning, it’s not clear if it is the purpose of the essay or the author’s purpose for including different sections, e.g., author’s craft. Apparently, when the objective says “its purpose,” it means author’s purpose as well.

Questions in Teacher Edition While Reading: Most of the questions deal with the central idea of the piece and the structure of the essay. Students are asked to cite evidence and infer. There is one question that asks the students to look at the author’s language, specifically the use of repetition. Example Questions while reading:

  • “Have students reread lines 24-38 and identify supporting details the author provides to explain his reference to January first . . . What do these details suggest about the central idea of the paragraph?”
  • •“What is the impact of the repetition of the phrase on the tone of the essay?”
  • “What is the author’s purpose for including the story about Haiti’s appearance in the soccer tournament?”

Analyzing the Text Questions After Reading: Most of the analyzing the text questions deal with purpose, structure and central idea, which lines up with the key focus of the piece. However, some questions ask the students to infer the author’s feelings, and one brings up situational irony, which was not discussed during the reading. Example Questions:

  • “Draw Conclusions In your own words, describe the author’s account of the World Cup soccer match between Italy and Haiti, and explain his reaction to this event.”
  • "Analyze Situational irony is a contrast between what a reader, character, or person expects and what actually happens. What is ironic about the situation the author describes in lines 129-137?”

Another example is found with study of the text "Marigolds":

“Marigolds” lesson focus: thoughts and emotions of characters. Key learning objective: “The student will be able to identify the motivations of characters in a story and determine the factors that help him or her understand the theme of the story."

Questions in Teacher Edition While Reading: Most questions deal with theme and motivation. Students are asked to cite evidence and infer. There are a few questions that ask students to look at the author’s language, specifically the use of metaphor. Example Questions while reading:

  • “Have students reread lines 15-26 to identify details that may relate to the author’s lesson or message. What do the details suggest about the theme?”
  • “How does this comparison affect the tone or feeling of the story?” Note: this question is asking about “tone,” but it seems to be asking about “mood”.
  • “Have students reread lines 78-88 to identify how Joey and his friends feel at this point. How might their feelings move the story forward?”

Analyzing the Text Questions After Reading: Most of the analyzing the text questions deal with character motivation and theme, which lines up with the key focus of the piece. One question brings up symbolism, which was not discussed during the reading.

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 instructional materials for Grade 8 meet the expectations of indicator 2c. Opportunities for students to analyze knowledge and ideas across texts occur in the main texts. The questions and tasks to support students’ analysis of knowledge and ideas is inconsistent as not all questions are written to support the targeted skill, however, the level questions are appropriate for 8th grade students.

In the collections, the text-specific questions are under “Analyzing the Text” questions. There are approximately 5-8 questions after each selection. Questions begin with the skill that is being assessed in bold. The directions at the top of the questions say, “Cite Text evidence,” which is italicized and highlighted. Many of the questions have specific lines referenced – “Review lines 17-31….”

The materials do provide some opportunities for students to study across texts. Following are some representative examples from the program:

  • Collection 4 has two poems, Hanging Fire and Teenagers. "Setting a Purpose" reads: "Both of these poems focus on communication during adolescence. As you read, think about the subject and how it is presented from two different points of view. How is the message in each poem communicated to readers?" The final selection question asks students to tell one way the points of view are similar and one way they are different. The end of selection performance task has students write a comparison, using a venn diagram to plan with a small group.
  • Another pairing of texts, "Is 16 Too Young to Drive a Car?" (page 247) and "Fatal Car Crashes Drop for 16-Year-Olds, Rise in Older Teens" (page 256), give students opportunities to summarize, compare facts, draw conclusions, compare interpretations, evaluate, and then discuss and write an opinion paragraph based on the selection that is more personally convincing.
  • Collection 6 presents three poems on the theme of work: "Chicago" (page 428), "Find Work" (page 431), and "My Mother Enters the Work Force" (page 433). Page 435-436a have students compare and contrast them, ending with a compare and contrast essay. The collection then includes two poems in the Close Reader: "To Be of Use" and "A Story of How a Wall Stands" (page 436d).

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).
2/4
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials for Grade 8 partially meet the expectations of indicator 2d. The questions and tasks partially support students’ ability to complete culminating tasks in which they demonstrate their knowledge of a topic through integrated skills of reading, writing, speaking and listening. Students complete two Performance Tasks at the end of the collection. The Performance Tasks require students to further analyze the selections in the collection and to synthesize ideas about what they have discovered and learned. Students present their new knowledge in a variety of tasks; most often as a written piece. However, there is little to no support within the student or teacher materials for the writing process, and direct connections from the text-dependent questions to the culminating tasks are not always clear.

In some culminating tasks, students have an opportunity to demonstrate new knowledge through integrated skills and are well supported in completing this work. For example:

  • in Collection 3, Performance Task B has students write a literary analysis essay.: “In this activity, you will conduct research (or review your earlier research) to learn how the historical details of the Battle of Shiloh are relevant to the story. Following a small-group discussion about your fresh insights into the story, you will write a literary analysis essay in which you offer an interpretation of the story’s symbolism.”

This task is tied to one of the anchor texts of this collection. The key learning objective listed in the textbook for “The Drummer Boy of Shiloh” is “Students will identify and analyze the key elements of historical fiction and examine how authors create mood in a story.” Symbolism is covered in the Teacher Edition: “Determine Meanings of Words and Phrases (Lines 125-129) Explain that authors sometimes use a symbol . . . to create mood in a story. Ask students to discuss what the pile of leaves and twigs described in lines 125-129 might symbolize.” AND “Determine Meanings of Words and Phrases (Lines 170-176) Explain to students that the emotions that a symbol evokes in the reader affect the reader’s senses of the story’s mood. Ask students to reread lines 170-176 . . . What will Joby and his drum symbolize during battle?” The students are also asked a symbolism question under the Analyze the Text questions: “6. What do the peach blossoms symbolize in the story? Explain how this symbol contributes to the overall mood.”

In the directions for this task, students are directed back to the story to reread it and gain a "sharper understanding of symbols." They are also instructed to have a group discussion about the symbols. This is an explicit and clear instruction to the students to reflect back on their previous learning and work.

However, this explicit and clear connection is not consistent throughout the program. Other tasks have connections that are weak and/or missing instructional supports for the teacher to attend to misunderstandings. Examples include (but are not limited to) the following:

  • In Collection 1, Performance Task B is directly tied to the anchor texts and two of the Close Reader texts. This performance task asks students to write a personal narrative, and the prompt specifically mentions the anchor texts from the collection: “Like the characters in "My Favorite Chaperone" and The Latehomecomer, many people struggle to adjust to new situations or go fit in which different groups. Think about a time when you faced that type of challenge. Using the excerpt from The Latehomecomer as a model, write a personal narrative about your own experience.” However, this is the only explicit instruction students receive to remind them of what was studied while reading The Latehomecomer. The teacher will have to connect the learning the students did about memoirs and figurative language during the class reading and activities to the performance task.

  • In Collection 3, Performance Task A is to create a visual presentation: “In this activity, you will highlight the work of four or more abolitionists by creating an American Abolitionists Hall of Fame. Combining text with a poster or multimedia, you will create a visual presentation that gives viewers access to the words and deeds that made these heroes worth celebrating.” The students will choose two individuals from the selections in the textbook and then use additional sources to identify two more abolitionists. This performance task does not model any style of the anchor texts or other works in this collection, yet it requires students to use the pieces in the textbook as sources for their visual presentation. This performance task will require extra instruction from the teacher.

Although a rubric is included and students are given four criteria at the beginning for what makes a successful visual presentation, students will need guidance in researching and what the biographical sketch should look like. The instructions in the book are very brief: e.g., “Evaluate your materials: Is the source relevant? Does it focus on your topic? Is the source accurate? Is the information supported by what you read in the collection? Does the author of the source have the necessary background and experience to write about this topic.” These questions are listed in three bullets. The teacher will have to look at the skills being covered and decide to which ones he/she will give more time. If the main skill of this performance task is ultimately evaluating materials, then more practice and guidance will be needed.

  • In Collection 5, after reading the drama, "The Diary of Anne Frank", students are asked to do a Character Sketch for the performance task in this collection. This is connected indirectly through the topic and related skill to closely reading additional texts for evidence and analyzing character. Students do not independently practice the skill of a character sketch. The Collection Performance Task is an expository essay. This is a related activity through topic, but students have not practiced writing to this genre with teacher guidance throughout the collection.

Indicator 2e

Materials include a cohesive, year-long plan for students to interact with and build key academic vocabulary words in and across texts.
2/4
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials for Grade 8 partially meet the expectations of indicator 2e. There are academic vocabulary assignments and lessons present, but the materials do not include a cohesive, year-long plan for students to interact with and build key academic vocabulary words in and across texts.

Each collection has a box for “Academic Vocabulary” at the beginning stating, “Study the words and their definitions in the chart below. You will use these words as you discuss and write about the texts in this collection.” There are generally five words in this box. As a blanket statement, students are encouraged to practice using these vocabulary words in the following areas within the collection: Collaborative Discussion at the end of each selection, Analyzing the Text questions for each selection, brief performance tasks, and the End-of-Collection Performance Tasks. Once into those sections, there is no explicit instructions for teacher guidance. The teacher and students must remember to include the use of the words in these areas. There is little support for a year-long scope and sequence of skills or a plan to grow and account for growing vocabulary for students. There is little explicit vertical articulation of vocabulary skills or use of academic vocabulary across collections within a grade level throughout the year.

There are suggested lists to draw attention to useful academic vocabulary:

  • Students' texts include several reference pages on vocabulary and spelling (R55-R63), as well as a glossary of the academic vocabulary (page R79) and a glossary of the critical vocabulary (page R80-R82).
  • Page 88, in the Plan section of the Teacher Edition lists academic vocabulary: convention, predict, psychology, summary and technique. Each word is listed with its definition and related forms.

In some instances, students are invited to discuss vocabulary as it relates to the text and/or topic and theme being studied. Support for these conversations and tasks is minimal:

  • The first story "The Tell-Tale-Heart" students are asked to explain how critical vocabulary incorporates with the context of the story. Critical vocabulary discussion points include: conceive, vex, stifle, crevice, audacity, vehemently, derision, and hypocritical.
  • In "Monkey's Paw" students are asked to explain how critical vocabulary incorporates with the context of the story. Critical vocabulary discussion points include: peril, condole, grimace, fate credulity prosaic compensation, and resignation.

Teachers are directed to encourage students to practice vocabulary, and there are some provided prompts to incorporate words, but these are minimal, and there is minimal modeling and support for any misunderstandings:

  • "As you discuss the story, incorporate the following...academic vocabulary words: predict and psychology." (page 91, Teacher Edition).
  • "As you discuss the story, incorporate the following...academic vocabulary words: predict, conventions, technique" (page 106, Teacher Edition).
  • "Performance Task A for Collection 2 has a sidebar in the Plan section stating: "As you share what you learned about creating suspense, be sure to use the academic vocabulary words." It repeats this for Performance Task B.


Indicator 2f

Materials 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.
2/4
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials for Grade 8 partially meet the expectations of indicator 2f. The materials do give students ample opportunity to write in different genres throughout the school year that match the CCSS Writing Standards, but materials in writing include prompts but do not always include year-long plans, models, nor protocols to support students writing. In many lessons, the teacher will have to create rubrics for the smaller writing pieces as well as supplemental material to help students through the writing process. Support for student writing in the Grade 8 materials include using both the anthology and a separate Performance Assessment book. Although both booklets offer multiple writing opportunities materials do not support students’ increasing skills over the course of the school year.

The Performance Assessment booklet offers anchor samples through Analyzing the Model, process drafting and brainstorming through Practicing the Task, and engaging in the full-write process through Performing the Task. This book is where the teacher will find "protocol" and the step-by-step approach for each type of writing. Scope and Sequence for when this will be integrated with the anthology does not exist. The only opportunity for on-demand writing is once in Unit 4 of the Performance Assessment Booklet.

Students are asked for process writing for several Unit Performance Tasks within the anthology but the use of graphic organizers for brainstorming and organizing are rarely provided for the writing within the anthology. Materials provide opportunities for students/teachers to monitor progress in writing skills. Writing opportunities may support students’ developing claims, but are mostly de-contextualized and/or disconnected from texts and sources.

Within the Grade 8 materials, students write: analyses, a character sketch, a compare and contrast essay, comparisons, an editorial, expository essays, informative text, explanations, essays, literary analyses, narratives, opinions, outlines, personal narratives, persuasive speeches, a poster, a profile, reports, short stories and summaries.

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.
2/4
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials for Grade 8 partially meet the expectations of indicator 2g. While students consistently confront and analyze different aspects of a topic using multiple texts and source materials, the materials do not include a progression of focused research projects. No evidence of a year-long plan regarding research skills could be found. Sometimes students are working on one research skill , then they are working on another research skill during a seemingly random Performance Task. There is no evidence of a progression of research done over the course of the year. The one research study example noted on pages 41-49 does not mention research in the TE notes for teachers.

For Grade 8, the standards require that students “gather relevant information from multiple print and digital sources, using search terms effectively; assess the credibility and accuracy of each source, and quote or paraphrase the data and conclusions of others while avoiding plagiarism and following a standards format for citation.” The instruction given in the Collections Grade 8 edition does not explicitly teach students these skills. There are general instructions and assignments that will support the growth of these skills; however, teachers will have to create lesson plans and a lot of supplemental material to teach students how to effectively complete research.


When looking at the Student Resources Index of Skills, page R90, there are four different categories listed under research: “research, conducting, 80, 134, 196, 204, 207, 273, 390, R8; focus of R8; formulating questions 198a, R8; research study, example, 41-49.”

Conducting Research

In Collections 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 there is at least one performance task that requires the students to do research. The directions for how to conduct the research uses a variation of this sentence: “Use both print and digital resources to gather information about . . . .” Then there is a list of three to five bullets that give guidelines for the research: e.g., “use relevant sources. Find books by using keyword or subject searches in the library. Use a search engine or Internet directories to find credible online sources. There are no organizers or supplemental materials to support teaching students HOW to research. In Collection 3, the rubric includes this bullet under Advanced for Ideas and Evidence – “Relevant, reliable research sources are cited appropriately.” There are no organizers or other support materials for how to teach students how to research. So, if teachers are going to use this rubric, they will have to be more explicit with their instruction than what is in the textbook.

In Collection 3, page 196, students are given a small group assignment in which they will “conduct research and write a short report about how Lincoln’s views on slavery and emancipation changed over time.” This whole assignment is described in a small paragraph. There are no organizers or supplemental materials to support teaching students how to research, and no rubric for how this assignment will be graded.

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.
0/4
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Indicator Rating Details

The materials for Grade 8 do not meet the expectations of indicator 2h. There is no evidence of independent reading in this curriculum. The "Close Reader" book is closest to having students read on their own, however there is no explicit instruction. A close connection to reading on their own is the following statement: "Students should read this short story carefully all the way through" (HMH Collections 8th Grade Teacher's Edition 30c).

Materials do not provide a design, including accountability, for how students will regularly engage in a volume of independent reading either in or outside of class.

Gateway Three

Usability

Not Rated

Criterion 3a - 3e

null
0/8

Indicator 3a

Materials are well-designed and take into account effective lesson structure and pacing.
0/2

Indicator 3b

The teacher and student can reasonably complete the content within a regular school year, and the pacing allows for maximum student understanding.
0/2

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.).
0/2

Indicator 3d

Materials include publisher-produced alignment documentation of the standards addressed by specific questions, tasks, and assessment items.
0/2

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

Criterion 3f - 3j

Materials support teacher learning and understanding of the Standards.
0/8

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.
0/2

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.
0/2

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.
0/2

Indicator 3i

Materials contain explanations of the instructional approaches of the program and identification of the research-based strategies.
0/2

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

Criterion 3k - 3n

Materials offer teachers resources and tools to collect ongoing data about student progress on the Standards.
0/8

Indicator 3k

Materials regularly and systematically offer assessment opportunities that genuinely measure student progress.
0/2

Indicator 3l

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

Indicator 3l.i

Assessments clearly denote which standards are being emphasized.
0/2

Indicator 3l.ii

Assessments provide sufficient guidance to teachers for interpreting student performance and suggestions for follow-up.
0/2

Indicator 3m

Materials should include routines and guidance that point out opportunities to monitor student progress.
0/2

Indicator 3n

Materials indicate how students are accountable for independent reading based on student choice and interest to build stamina, confidence, and motivation.
0/0

Criterion 3o - 3v

Materials provide teachers with strategies for meeting the needs of a range of learners so that they demonstrate independent ability with grade-level standards.
0/10

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.
0/2

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.
0/4

Indicator 3q

Materials regularly include extensions and/or more advanced opportunities for students who read, write, speak, or listen above grade level.
0/2

Indicator 3r

Materials provide opportunities for teachers to use a variety of grouping strategies.
0/2

Indicator 3s

0/

Indicator 3s3v

0/

Indicator 3t

0/

Indicator 3u

0/

Indicator 3u.i

0/

Indicator 3u.ii

0/

Indicator 3v

0/

Criterion 3s - 3v

Materials support effective use of technology to enhance student learning. Digital materials are accessible and available in multiple platforms.
0/0

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.
0/0

Indicator 3t

Materials support effective use of technology to enhance student learning, drawing attention to evidence and texts as appropriate.
0/0

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

Indicator 3u.ii

Materials can be easily customized for local use.
0/0

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.).
0/0

Additional Publication Details

Report Published Date: Thu Aug 04 00:00:00 UTC 2016

Report Edition: 2015

Title ISBN Edition Publisher Year
978-0-544-08706-4 0
978-0-544-08906-8 0
978-0-544-09095-8 0
978-0-544-14758-4 0
978-0-544-14768-3 0

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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.

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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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