Alignment to College and Career Ready Standards: Overall Summary

The instructional materials for Journeys Grade 1 do not meet expectations for alignment. While the materials partially meet expectations for Gateway 1, they do not meet expectations for Gateway 2.

The Grade 1 materials partially meet the expectations for text quality and complexity and alignment to the standards. While some literary texts included in materials are of quality, informational texts are often short and lack engaging, content-area vocabulary. Though there are text dependent questions to accompany each anchor and supporting text, students are seldom asked to draw their own conclusions or inferences. Culminating tasks are present, but often are not supported by the unit texts. Grammar and conventions lessons and practice are often not aligned to grade level standards. Texts are organized around a theme with some topic organization, but the materials do not consistently support building students' knowledge of topics or themes over the course of a school year. The materials contain few sets of questions and tasks that require students to analyze the language, key ideas, details, craft, and structure of individual texts. The materials do contain some sets of text-dependent questions and tasks; however, the questions and tasks do not require students to analyze the integration of knowledge and ideas across both individual and multiple texts, and said culminating tasks do not promote the building of students’ knowledge of the theme/topic. The year-long vocabulary plan does not ensure that students will interact with and build key academic vocabulary words across texts throughout the year. Materials partially support students' increasing writing skills over the course of the school year and do they include some progression of focused research projects. The materials for Grade 1 partially do provide a design, including accountability, for how students will regularly engage in a volume of independent reading either in or outside of class.

See Rating Scale
Understanding Gateways

Alignment

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Does Not Meet Expectations

Gateway 1:

Text Quality

0
27
52
58
45
52-58
Meets Expectations
28-51
Partially Meets Expectations
0-27
Does Not Meet Expectations

Gateway 2:

Building Knowledge

0
15
28
32
14
28-32
Meets Expectations
16-27
Partially Meets Expectations
0-15
Does Not Meet Expectations

Usability

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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 1 materials partially meet the expectations for text quality and complexity and alignment to the standards. Many texts included in materials are of quality, and include rich language, engaging illustrations and images, and well-crafted elements. Some texts, however, lack complexity and do not require students to think critically, thus limiting opportunities for rich conversation about the text.Texts are organized around a theme with some topic organization, but the materials do not consistently support building students' knowledge of topics or themes over the course of a school year.

Text dependent questions to accompany each anchor and supporting text and require students to return to the texts, however, these texts and questions do not support the culminating tasks required each week. The materials contain few sets of questions and tasks that require students to analyze the language, key ideas, details, craft, and structure of individual texts. The materials do contain some sets of text-dependent questions and tasks; however, the questions and tasks do not require students to analyze the integration of knowledge and ideas across both individual and multiple texts, and said culminating tasks do not promote the building of students’ knowledge of the theme/topic.

Grammar and conventions lessons and practice are mostly aligned to grade level standards, however there several weeks devoted review of standards aligned to Kindergarten. The year-long vocabulary plan focuses on weekly lessons, but does not ensure that students will interact with and build key academic vocabulary words across texts throughout the year.

Materials partially support students' increasing writing skills over the course of the school year; however, there is limited support for teachers to facilitate focused research projects with their students. The materials for Grade 1 partially do provide a design, including accountability, for how students will regularly engage in a volume of independent reading either in or outside of class, however, there is limited support to aid teachers in supporting students in making appropriate text choices.

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.
16/20

Indicator 1a

Anchor texts (including read-aloud texts in K-2 and shared reading texts in Grade 2 used to build knowledge and vocabulary) are of publishable quality and worthy of especially careful reading/listening and consider a range of student interests.
2/4
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 1 partially meet the expectations for anchor texts (including read aloud texts in K-2 and shared reading texts in Grade 2 used to build knowledge and vocabulary) are of publishable quality and worthy of especially careful reading/listening and consider a range of student interests. The texts for Grade 1 include a combination of anchor texts, paired selections, and 11 big books. Texts contain rich language, engaging illustrations and images, and well-crafted elements which address a wide range of student interests. Examples of quality texts include:

  • In Unit 3, Lesson 15, the shared text is Animal Groups by James Bruchac. The text contains bright photographs with accurate captions. There are labeled diagrams of animals.
  • In Unit 4, Lesson 16, the shared text is Let’s Go to the Moon! by Stephen R. Swinburne. The text contains engaging space related photographs. There are engaging elements such as headings, a caption, and two-page photos.
  • In Unit 5, Lesson 23, the shared text is Whistle for Willie by Ezra Jack Keats. The text contains a relatable topic for young children, which is learning how to whistle. The illustrations are vibrant with bright colors and patterns.
  • In Unit 5, Lesson 24, the shared text is A Tree is a Plant by Clyde Robert Bulla. This text contains figurative language such as “The bark covers the branches and the trunk like a coat.” The illustrations have a variety of colors, and the illustrations contain details about the importance of roots.
  • In Unit 6, Lesson 26, the shared text is The Dot by Peter H. Reynolds. The text contains exciting action verbs such as splashed, glued, and framed. The illustrations contain minimal color in the beginning, but the illustrations become illuminated by bright colors as the story progresses.

However, some texts are not of publishable quality. Some texts do not require the students to read or think critically. Since these texts do not require critical thinking, students may struggle to engage in rich conversation about the text. For example:

  • In Unit 1, Lesson 1, the shared text is straightforward text called What is a Pal? By Nina Crews. The text contains nine short sentences with few descriptive words.
  • In Unit 1, Lesson 3, the shared text is an adapted version of Curious George at School by Margret and H.A. Rey. The text contains only a few words from the original text and simplified, less descriptive sentences than the original.
  • In Unit 2, Lesson 9, the shared text Dr. Seuss by Helen Lester contains non-descriptive wording and sentences with many state-of-being verbs. While the photographs are of a quality, the text contains simplified wording to describe the photos.
  • In Unit 4, Lesson 18, the shared text, Where Does Food Come From? by Shelley Rotner and Gary Goss, is not well-crafted. The text lacks descriptive words and engaging verbs. The topic sentences repeat a similar frame, but it is not a predictable structure.

Indicator 1b

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 1 fully meet the expectations for reflecting the distribution of text types and genres required by the standards. The Common Core State Standards recommend that there be a 50-50 balance between informational and literary texts in Grades K-2. The Journeys literacy materials for Grade 1 are divided into anchor texts, read-alouds, and paired selections. Though the read-alouds are more heavily weighted toward literary selections, the balance is achieved by working across all three categories. It is also important to note that many of the literary selections support the topics covered by informational texts. This balance is represented in the list below:

  • Anchor texts- 14 informational texts to 16 literary texts.
  • Paired selections- 19 informational to 11 literary texts
  • Read-alouds- 8 informational to 22 literary
  • Total: 41 informational to 49 literary

The standards in Grade 1 call for students to be reading stories, poetry, and a wide range of texts. The materials reflect a distribution of genres by including realistic fiction, fantasy, poetry/song, fables/folktales/fairy tales, reader's theater, and biographies. The titles below represent a sample of genres reflected in the materials.

  • “The Storm” by Raul Colon (realistic fiction)
  • “Gus Takes the Train” by Russell Benanti (fantasy)
  • “Back to School” Big Book (informational text)
  • “Jack and the Wolf” by Anonymous (fable)
  • “Dr. Seuss” by Helen Lester (biography)
  • “Seasons” by Pat Cummings (informational text)
  • “The Garden” from Frog and Toad Together by Arnold Lobel (fantasy)
  • “The Ugly Duckling” by Anonymous (folktale)
  • “Pet Snake” by Rebecca Kai Dotlich (poetry)
  • “The Wind and the Sun” (readers’ theater)

Indicator 1c

Texts (including read-aloud texts and some shared reading texts used to build knowledge and vocabulary) have the appropriate level of complexity for the grade level according to quantitative analysis, qualitative analysis, and a relationship to their associated student task. Read-aloud texts at K-2 are above the complexity levels of what most students can read independently.
4/4
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 1 meet the expectations that the read aloud texts have the appropriate level of complexity for the grade according to quantitative analysis, qualitative analysis, and relationship to their associated student task. Identifying text complexity ranges for K-1 is less specific than upper grades based on the different purposes for literacy instruction: guided reading, shared reading, read-alouds, and independent reading practice.

Many of the read-aloud texts are at a higher lexile level usually recommended for grades 2-3, but the shared reading texts begin at readability levels that are more accessible to readers and increase throughout the year. Most Lexile and Guided Reading levels for these tests are provided by the publisher. The teacher materials also provide a “Why This Text?” section that explains why the selected text is useful for reader’s learning and task performance. Teacher materials also outline planned scaffolding to ensure that these texts are accessible for students. For guided reading materials and the vocabulary readers, the quantitative information according to leveled readers is also provided. In Unit 1, guided readers begin at level B or C (60L) and move to levels F to K (370L) by the end of Unit 6. The vocabulary readers for independent reading also range from a score of 20L to 420L. Texts for teacher read-alouds begin at a low readability level (190L) of the second to third grade lexile band and advance to higher end of the range (420L) of Unit 6. Shared reading passages identified as paired selections begin with a score of 320L and end with a 480L.

Texts for read-alouds and shared reading are also reviewed with a qualitative analysis based on criteria as outlined in Appendix A in the CCSS: purpose/levels of meaning, text structures, language features, and knowledge demands. Like the quantitative progression, the texts used at the beginning of Unit 1, fell into the lowest level of qualitative complexity but by Unit 6 the texts scored middle to high on each of the categories of the qualitative complexity analysis.

The evidence listed below exemplifies the quantitative and qualitative complexity across the year.

Unit 1: Lesson 3

Guided Reading Leveled Readers: Level B to I, 60L to 280

Vocabulary Reader: 20L

Anchor Text: Curious George at School

  • Readability Level: 10L
  • Qualitative analysis: low range of complexity

Paired Selection: “School Long Ago” by Stephen Schaffer

  • Readability level: 430L
  • Qualitative analysis: low to middle level of complexity

Unit 3: Lesson 11

Guided Reading Leveled Readers: Level D to L, 360 L to 520L

Vocabulary Reader: Level D, 20L

Anchor text: “At Home in the Ocean” by by Rozanne Lanczak Williams

  • Readability level: 400L
  • Qualitative analysis: low to middle range complexity

Paired Selection: “Water” no author listed

  • Readability level: 460L
  • Qualitative analysis: low to middle range complexity

Unit 6: Lesson 28

Guided Reading Leveled Readers: Level F to K, 340L to 370L

Vocabulary Reader: Level F, 440L

read-aloud text: “The Kite” by Arnold Lobel

  • Readability level: 420L
  • Qualitative analysis: middle range complexity

Paired Selection: “Measuring Weather” no author listed

  • Readability level: 480L
  • Qualitative analysis: middle range of complexity

Indicator 1d

Materials support students' literacy skills (comprehension) over the course of the school year through increasingly complex text to develop independence of grade level skills (leveled readers and series of texts should be at a variety of complexity levels).
2/4
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-
Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 1 partially meet the expectations for materials supporting students’ literacy skills (understanding and comprehension) over the course of the school year through increasingly complex text to develop independence of grade level skills (Leveled readers and series of texts should be at a variety of complexity levels). While the texts (read-aloud Big Books and shared reading) increase in complexity across the school year, the scaffolding of each Big Book and shared reading text for reader and task is similar and comparable for each text, regardless of the complexity and demands of each text. This may not ensure students are supported to access complex grade-level texts.

Read-aloud texts and shared reading texts are measured for qualitative complexity based on criteria as outlined in Appendix A in the CCSS: purpose/levels of meaning, text structures, language features, and knowledge demands. Like the quantitative progression, the texts used at the beginning of Unit 1, are in the lowest level of qualitative complexity, but by Unit 6 the texts scored middle to high on each of the categories of the qualitative complexity analysis. Texts for teacher read-alouds begin at a low readability level (190L) of the Grade 2-3 Lexile band and advance to higher end of the range (420) of Unit 6. Shared reading passages identified as paired selections begin with a score of 320L and end with a 480L. For guided reading materials and the vocabulary readers, the quantitative information according to leveled readers is also provided. In Unit 1, guided readers begin at level B or C (60L) and move to levels F to K (370L) by the end of Unit 6. The vocabulary readers for independent reading also range from a score of 20L to 420L.

As recommended, many read-aloud texts (Big Books and Teacher Read-Aloud in Day 1) are at a higher Lexile level usually recommended for grades 2-3. Texts for read-alouds begin at the low range of the Grade 2-3 Lexile band and advance to higher end of the range or even into the lower Grade 5 level by the end of Unit 6. All students only have access to the most complex texts in the materials for a limited time. The Teacher-Read is one component of the Day 1 Lesson. Big Books are not in every lesson. The Big Book, A Huge Hog is a Big Pig, in Lesson 20 is suggested for Day 1 of the Weekly Planner. Opportunities to revisit the Big Book are suggested, but not required. Students may only hear the Big Book, a complex text, once.

Each lesson series is outlined based on whole- and small-group instruction. For whole-group lessons, students focus on text-based comprehension of the big books, shared reading texts, and paired selections. For shared reading texts, two days of instruction are dedicated to each text. For the paired selection, one day of instruction is allotted for each text. Although texts increase in complexity, the scaffolding across texts is similar and the same amount of time for support is recommended across the units. For small-group, leveled readers are provided to support student comprehension of whole-group lesson content and build student literacy skills. The materials also provide foundational skills, independent reading suggestions, word study, and intervention materials for each lesson series to support student literacy.

Overall from unit 1 to 6, the quantitative and qualitative aspect of texts grow in complexity although at times less complex texts are used to support student understanding and reading practice.

Indicator 1e

Anchor texts (including read-aloud texts in K-2) and series of texts connected to them are accompanied by a text complexity analysis.
2/2
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-
Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 1 meet the criteria for for anchor texts (including read-aloud texts in K-2) and series of texts connected to them are accompanied by a text complexity analysis. Texts are identified as having an appropriate level of complexity for the grade according to quantitative analysis, qualitative analysis, and relationship to their associated student task. Identifying text complexity ranges for K-1 is not specified due to the foundational skill-building focus of literacy instruction: guided reading, shared reading, read-alouds, and independent reading practice.

Each lesson series is preceded by a “Prepare for Complex Text” page in the Teacher Edition that offers quantitative and qualitative information for anchor texts and paired selections.. Anchor texts and paired selections are scored for readability by a quantitative Lexile measure as well as a guided reading level. For accompanying guided reading materials and the vocabulary readers, the quantitative information according to leveled readers or DRA scores is provided.

The teacher materials also provide a “Why This Text?” section that explains why the selected text is relevant for the reader’s learning. Teacher materials also select key features and academic language focus for the anchor texts and paired selections that adhere to the qualitative or quantitative complexities in the text and offer suggestions for reader support and tasks. The bottom row of the “Prepare for Complex Text” page provides reader and task considerations that offers a generic statement about teacher judgement and directs teachers to a section in the Teacher Edition for information on breaking down anchor texts.

Texts for read-alouds and shared reading are also reviewed with a qualitative analysis based on criteria as outlined in Appendix A in the CCSS: purpose/levels of meaning, text structures, language features, and knowledge demands. Below is an example from the “Prepare for Complex Text” page:

Unit 3: “Let’s Go to the Moon” by Stephen Swinburne

Genre: Informational Text

Why This Text?

  • Children will regularly encounter informational text in textbooks, one the internet, and through other media. This text gives information about something observable in nature, the Moon. It provides a close-up look at the surface of the Moon with photographs taken by the astronauts who went there.

Key Learning Objectives:

  • Identify main idea and supporting details
  • Discuss the author’s reason for writing the text, and identify details that support that purpose
  • Identify reasons the author gives for points about the topic

Quantitative Measures: 440L/ Level H

Qualitative Measures: Low-Mid Complexity

  • Purpose/Level of Meaning:
    • Density and Complexity: 2/4 The text has a single topic that is clearly explained. The topic may be new to children.
  • Text Structures:
    • Organization: 2/4 The text is organized into sections that each provide details that support the main idea.
    • Use of Images: 2/4 The text is supported by actual paragraphs of Moon missions. Children use essential information in the photos along with the text to understand the information.
  • Language Features:
    • Vocabulary: 2/4 The text includes academic and domain-specific vocabulary that will be unfamiliar to some children.
    • Sentence Structure: 2/4 The text has longer sentences with complex patterns.
  • Knowledge Demands
    • Subject Matter Knowledge/Prior Knowledge: 3/4 Specialized science content about space travel and the Moon will be unfamiliar to many children.

Reader/Task Considerations:

Determine using the professional judgement of the teacher. This varies by individual reader, type of text, and purpose and complexity of particular texts. See Reader and Task Considerations for some suggestions for Anchor Text support.

Indicator 1f

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

The instructional materials for Grade 1 meet the expectations for providing opportunities for students to engage in a range and volume of reading to achieve grade level reading over the course of the school year. Though some of the big books used are below the complexity level recommended, they provide knowledge-building opportunities for some of the lesson series. There are many opportunities for students to practice with different texts in and out of the topics being studied at the time. The core materials contain read-alouds, anchor texts, and paired reading selections. Supporting materials include big books, guided readers, vocabulary readers, student textbooks, blend-it books, close readers, decodable readers, trade books, high-frequency word cards, and biliteracy resources in Spanish which offer students access to multiple texts daily for shared, guided, and independent reading. Materials also provide a Common Core ELA Exemplar Text Resource that provide teachers close reading support, pacing, and tasks for texts found in the K-1 CCSS Exemplar texts. These are texts offered beyond the curriculum for extended shared or independent reading practice.

Each lesson series follows a general format in which students engage in reading, re-reading, or having access to multiple texts each day. The typical lesson series for all 30 lessons features multiple texts and resources centered around the current topic. Guided and vocabulary readers are also used throughout the entire lesson series. The Audio Hub in Teacher Resources provides audio versions of the big books and texts in the student books.

For example, a week of instruction may include:

Day 1: Big/blend-it book, read-aloud text, decodable reader, vocabulary reader, word cards

Day 2: Anchor text, decodable reader, student textbook, word cards

Day 3: Paired selection, decodable reader, cold read, student textbook

Day 4: Reread anchor text, decodable reader, student textbook, word cards

Day 5: Close reader, reader’s notebook, word cards

Each lesson also includes interactive literacy visuals and projectables to aid in literacy development. While maintaining a close balance between informational and literary texts, the materials also provide students a range of genres such as illustrative texts, narratives, realistic fiction, fantasy, poetry/song, fables/folktales, fairy tales, reader’s theater, and biographies. Texts are organized by topics such as friends, animals, real-life situations, sports, school, weather/seasons, adventures, life lessons, music, biographies, space, food, and plants. Students are also exposed to multicultural characters and texts.

Materials provide suggestions for teachers that give attention to oral reading skills and offer ways for teachers explicitly teach foundational skills. Differentiation options are provided which includes extra reading materials, audio recordings, and fluency practice.

Criterion 1g - 1n

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 1 meet the expectations of questions, tasks, and assignments being text-based and 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). Students are asked text-based questions throughout the daily lessons. These questions are included in the teacher read-aloud, big book reads, and the paired selection read.

The instructional materials do not meet the expectation for materials containing sets of high-quality sequences of text-based questions and activities that build to a culminating task which integrates skills to demonstrate understanding (as appropriate may be drawing, dictating, writing, speaking, or a combination). The questions largely focus only on text relationships (to text, to self and, to world), and do not build toward a culminating task to demonstrate mastery of skills. The culminating task is repeated throughout the year and asks students to compare two texts.

There are some opportunities and protocols within the materials for evidence-based discussions (small group, peer-to-peer, whole class) that encourage the modeling and use of academic vocabulary and syntax. While there are occasions for students to work in pairs, small groups, and as a large group, there is little guidance as to discussion protocols to help the teacher guide students as they learn reciprocal communication skills.

There is partial support for relevant follow-up questions and support to bolster students’ listening and speaking opportunities related to what they are reading (or read aloud) and researching (shared projects). Students practice listening comprehension during the weekly read-aloud and are asked follow-up questions about the reading. Students read and respond to questions during the reading of big books in whole class discussion and partner talk, though protocols and follow-up questions are limited.

The materials include a mix of on-demand and process writing and short, focused projects incorporating digital resources where necessary to meet the requirements of the Common Core standards which call for students to combine drawing, dictating, and writing to be able to compose complete sentences or short pieces in which they state an opinion, explain a topic, or write about a single event.

There are some opportunities for evidence-based writing to support recall of information, opinions with reasons, and relevant information appropriate for the grade level provided in the materials. Writing prompts and tasks are only occasionally connected to texts and minimal guidance and scaffolding is available for both teacher and student.

Daily, student receive 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 the context.

Indicator 1g

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 1 meet the expectations of questions, tasks, and assignments being text-based and 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).Students are asked text-based questions throughout the daily lessons. These questions are included in the teacher read-aloud, anchor text, and the paired selection read.

The following are examples of text-based questions:

  • In Unit 1, Lesson 3, students are asked, “What are some ways the author makes George seem like a person?”
  • In Unit 2, Lesson 9, students are asked, “The texts says, ‘Ted was a funny man.’ Look at the picture of Ted on page 113. Describe how it shows that he is funny.”
  • In Unit 3, Lesson 13, students are asked, “The selection says ‘We play a lot.’ Why can the children ‘play a lot’?”
  • In Unit 4, Lesson 16, students are asked, “What is the most important idea this selection is about? What text evidence in the words and pictures helps you know?”
  • In Unit 5, Lesson 23, students are asked, “Read this sentence about Peter from the story. ‘So instead he began to turn himself. Around-around and around he whirled…’ What is another way to describe what Peter did? Why does Peter turn round and round?”
  • In Unit 5, Lesson 25, students are asked, “Which words does the narrator use to talk about himself? How do the kids know a new family will soon live in the house?”
  • In Unit 6, Lesson 30, students are asked, “Which detail BEST shows you that Mia hates to lose? Which detail BEST shows that Lovdy is a good goalie?How do you know that Mia is mad?”
  • In Unit 6, Lesson 30, students are asked, “Look at the pictures and think about the words. What makes Mia happy? What reasons does the author give for why Mia likes soccer? What does Garrett say and do when Mia doesn’t make a goal? What does this tell you about Garrett?”

Indicator 1h

Materials contain sets of high-quality sequences of text-based questions with activities that build to a culminating task which integrates skills to demonstrate understanding (as appropriate, may be drawing, dictating, writing, speaking, or a combination).
0/2
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-
Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 1 do not meet the expectation for materials containing sets of high-quality sequences of text-based questions and activities that build to a culminating task which integrates skills to demonstrate understanding (as appropriate may be drawing, dictating, writing, speaking, or a combination).

At the end of each lesson, students are asked to compare texts. Students answer three questions: Text-to-Text, Text-to-Self, and Text-to-World. Only the Text-to-Text question refers back to the lesson’s text. The question is consistently the same. Students are to compare two texts and tell how the texts are alike and different. The lesson’s questions and tasks do not build to this question. For example:

  • In Unit 1, Lesson 4, students are asked to compare feelings. Students are asked, “How do Lucia and the mice feel about their neighborhoods? How do you know?” There are no text-based questions that would lead a student to answer these questions.
  • In Unit 3, Lesson 15, students are asked to compare information. Students are asked, “Think about both selections. How are they alike and different? What information do you learn in each selection?” There are not text-based questions that build to this prompt.
  • In Unit 6, Lesson 29, students are asked to write a poem. Students are asked, “Write a poem about Fly Guy like one of the poems in Busy Bugs. Use words that tell how things look, sound, smell, taste, or feel.” Students could not complete this task with the information that they are given. There are no text-based questions or tasks that would prepare them for this task.

At the end of the unit, students are asked to complete a Performance Task, which is a written response. Most tasks are connected to one Unit text. There are no text-based questions or tasks that would lead students to answer the question and the question does not require students to demonstrate understanding of the text. The task is connected to the writing skill for the unit. For example:

  • In Unit 2, Lesson 10, students are asked,“Look at A Musical Day. Who is having fun? Pick a boy or girl from the story whom you would like to describe. Then write a description to explain to classmates what this person is like.” There are no questions included during the text’s lesson that have students describe any characters in the text. Students do practice descriptive writing during the unit.
  • In Unit 4, Lesson 20, students are asked, “Look at The Big Trip. Do you like this story? Think about how you feel about it. Write a book report to tell classmates your opinion of The Big Trip.” There are no questions during the unit that ask a student’s opinion of the story. Students do not practice opinion writing during the unit.
  • In Unit 5, Lesson 25, students are asked, “Look at Garden Good Guys and Amazing Animals. Then write a story to share with classmates. Use animals from both texts as your characters.” There are no text-based questions during the unit that would lead students to being able to complete this task.

Indicator 1i

Materials provide frequent opportunities and protocols for evidence-based discussions (small group, peer-to-peer, whole class) that encourage the modeling and use of academic vocabulary and syntax.
1/2
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-
Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 1 partially meet the criteria for providing frequent opportunities and protocols for evidence-based discussions (small group, peer-to-peer, whole class) that encourage the modeling and use of academic vocabulary and syntax. While there are opportunities for students to work in pairs, small groups, and as a large group, there is little guidance as to discussion protocols.

In the Teacher Read Aloud, there is a Classroom Collaboration component that encourages students to discuss the selection to which they have just listened. In Unit 2, Lesson 8, the Classroom Collaboration activity states, “Have children participate in small group discussions about ‘The Neighbors’. Remind children of classroom rules for discussions, such as listening with care when someone else is speaking. Remind them to speak one at a time. Have children ask and answer questions that will help them understand the story they heard. Tell them to build the conversation by responding to each other’s comments and staying on topic.” There is little guidance to support students hosting a successful discussion.

Text selections have a Text X-Ray in the Prepare for Complex Texts section that offers some guidance for teachers concerning key ideas and academic language, but it specified as English Language Support and may be overlooked by the teacher when seeking supports for students who are native English speakers.

The selection vocabulary for the anchor text is listed and defined. It is introduced and discussed before the reading of the selection and little guidance is given. An example is Unit 3, Lesson 15, “Tell children that they may hear some words they might not know as they read “Animal Groups” by James Bruchac. Write the selection vocabulary words on the board and read them with children. Share the explanations with them.” They are again asked to interact with these selection words on Day 3, however, the directions state, “Review with children the selection vocabulary words on page T426. Call on children to explain how the words were used in ‘Animal Homes.’” Students are then asked to make connections by having the teacher ask questions like, “Think about what you know about tadpoles. What happens to their tails when they grow up?’ There are no other suggestions or guidance given about how students should interact with the words. It is not specifically stated for the children to refer back to the text for help or to find answers.

Speaking and Listening activities are listed in some of the lessons on Day 5 of the unit. Topics discussed are asking and answering questions, comparing and contrasting informational texts, discussing sensory words and feelings, giving clear descriptions, and speaking about a topic. These all tie back to the texts and ask students to reference the texts. Some sentence frames are given during the teacher discussions, but little guidance is given once the children are placed in pairs or small groups. There is not enough guidance provided to ensure students could discuss the readings using evidence from the texts.

Indicator 1j

Materials support students' listening and speaking about what they are reading (or read aloud) and researching (shared projects) with relevant follow-up questions and supports.
1/2
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-
Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 1 partially meet expectations for supporting students’ listening and speaking about what they are reading (or read aloud) and researching (shared projects) with relevant follow-up questions and supports.

Students practice listening comprehension during the weekly read-aloud. Students are asked follow-up questions during the read-aloud. Students read and respond to questions during the reading of big books in whole class discussion and partner talk.

On Day 5 of each week in the Extend the Topic section there is a Speaking and Listening or a Research and Media Literacy activity. Directions for this are minimal and do not give examples or provide extra scaffolding where it may be needed. There is limited instruction to support students mastering listening and speaking skills. For example:

  • In Unit 1, Lesson 6, Day 5 ask and answer questions about stories. Students then take turns giving clues while classmates guess animals. Teachers are directed to, “Encourage children to think about what the animal looks like, its habitat, and what it eats when thinking of clues to describe it.”
  • In Unit 5, Lesson 22, Day 5 students are write a fact sheet about an animal. Students work in groups to research animals using appropriate print and online reference sources. Students then draw and present their findings to the class. The direction given states, “In groups, have each child share his or her Fact Sheet. The other group members should ask questions about anything they do not understand. Coach the speakers to answer the questions.”

While the activities offer opportunities to speak with and listen to one another about what they are reading and researching, there is little support for the teacher to guide them as they build these skills in young students.

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.
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 1 meet the expectation of materials, including a mix of on-demand and process writing and short, focused projects incorporating digital resources where necessary. The Common Core standards for Grade 1 call for students to write short opinion, informative/explanatory, and narrative pieces in which they are able to introduce, support, and close their topic. Each weekly lesson provides students the opportunity to meet these standards by moving from shared writing to guided writing and culminating with an independent writing task. Students perform tasks such as responses to literature, drawing and writing about the topic, literacy centers, a writer’s handbook, and a reader’s notebook. Lessons provide Teach/Model sections for students to engage with the teacher in learning or reviewing the writing process before working independently or with a group. Students also use their Reader’s Notebook and Writer’s Handbook frequently to complete lesson-aligned and text-based writing tasks. Rubrics for the major writing tasks are included as well.

The Writer’s Handbook provides instructional materials to teach the writing process and traits and structured response sheets for students. The Teacher’s Guide for the Writer’s Handbook also offers instructional support and strategies that follow a gradual release of responsibility (I Do/We Do/You Do/Evaluate) pattern. The lessons typically end with students sharing their work with a peer or the class for the evaluation portion which is equivalent to a revision/editing process. Most writing lessons have a Focus Trait included as well. The handbook also provides information for students on using the computer and performing research. In addition to the handbook, lessons are accompanied by projectables that offer further models/examples and texts for student writing.

Lessons are accompanied by a digital platform called myWriteSmart in which students can play game-like writing activities and answer prompts provided or constructed by the teacher. The writing is published to the teacher’s dashboard to be reviewed/scored.

The following are examples of the writing expectations to build independence across the units.

Unit 1 focuses on a review of Kindergarten with narrative writing in the form of writing labels, captions, and sentences. This unit focuses heavily on teaching/modeling the writing process from prewriting to drafting, revising and publishing. The Focus Traits are proofreading and elaboration. Since the emphasis is on modeling the process the major performance task for the unit follows the entire writing process as a class: “Work with your teacher to write a class story about something fun your class did together.” This can be published digitally.

Unit 2 focuses on informative writing in which students review building descriptive sentences, then work on writing poetry, thank-you notes, and a piece of descriptive writing following the full writing process from prewriting to revision and publishing. The topic for one of the unit’s lesson series is simply “Writing” in which students read texts about writing. The Focus Traits for this unit are elaboration, organization, and evidence. Students work toward the culminating performance task of writing a description of the main character in A Cupcake Party by using graphic organizers to prepare for writing descriptive sentences and short paragraphs.

Unit 3 also focuses on informative writing with students writing informative sentences, instructions, and finally an explanatory report. The Focus Traits are evidence, organization, and proofreading, which students also practice during grammar lessons. Students complete the full writing process about topics they have studied such as marine life, seasons, and citizenship. The unit culminates with a research task in which students engage in research to collect evidence, using graphic organizers, to complete a research report on a chosen animal. Students spend ample time proofreading and revising their pieces and publish them digitally.

Unit 4 returns to narrative writing in which students write about themselves, compose a friendly letter, and publish a personal narrative. After practicing with modeling and on-demand writing about personal experiences, students spend two weeks working through the full writing process to complete this prompt: “Write a personal narrative about something special or unusual that you did or saw.” The Focus Traits for this unit are purpose, conventions, and organization, and students spend time on word choice to be more descriptive.

Unit 5 continues with narrative writing, but this time students will practice crafting story sentences based on texts they are reading then develop a fictional story that is not personal. In addition to a focus on dialogue, the Focus Trait for Unit 5 is development, which includes character development. Students work as a class and then individually to practice writing a variety of narratives before moving more extensively throughout the writing process to “write a story about a character who has had a big change in his or her life” and then publish a final draft digitally.

Unit 6 focuses on opinion writing as students craft opinion sentences based on their readings and personal experiences. Each lesson series helps students learn how to use details or reasons to support their opinions as well select words that show feelings. After viewing models from the teacher and other students, students finish the year by publishing an opinion paragraph in response to a prompt from their reading: “Is Fly Guy a good pet? Write an opinion paragraph that tells why or why not.” The Focus Traits for this unit are conventions, evidence, and organization.

Indicator 1l

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 1 meet the expectation for Indicator 1l because materials provide opportunities for students to address different text types of writing (year long) that reflect the distribution required by the standards. The Common Core standards for Grade 1 call for students to write short opinion, informative/explanatory, and narrative pieces in which they are able to introduce, support, and close their topic. Each lesson consists of a daily writing component with a process of shared, guided, and independent practice in a mode of writing. Students begin the year reviewing how to write complete sentences, but, by the end of the year, they are expected to compose full paragraphs in all three text types. The distribution of the types of weekly writing tasks are fairly balanced with two units (10 lessons) per type of writing: narrative, informative, and opinion. Rubrics for all three types of writing tasks are included as well.

The majority of the weekly writing tasks are not text dependent; however, they are connected to the topics studied in the read-alouds and big books. The shared and guided practice tasks are generally more text-dependent as students engage with what they are reading. For example, after reading and working with multiple texts about characters who deal with changes, students then develop a character who faces a big change and write their own story.

The Common Core Writing Handbook contains 60 additional writing mini lessons for teachers to use. Note: this is a supplemental resource and is not part of the Teacher Edition’s weekly planning. There are 20 mini lessons of each type of writing.

The following are examples of the writing expectations to build independence across the units.

Unit 1 (narrative writing) Students revisit writing labels, captions, and sentences as well as walk through the entire writing process with practice in proofreading.

Unit 2 (informative writing) Students descriptive sentences and write poetry, thank-you notes, and descriptive writing following the full writing process from prewriting to revision and publishing.

Unit 3 (informative writing) Students write informative sentences, instructions, and an explanatory report which requires that students perform research and collect evidence with graphic organizers before writing and publishing.

Unit 4 (narrative writing) Students write about themselves, compose a friendly letter, and publish a personal narrative with a focus on word choice and conventions.

Unit 5 (narrative writing) Students craft story sentences, develop characters, and write a fictional story. This is a shift since much of their writing has been personal.

Unit 6 (opinion writing) Students practice writing opinion sentences, select details/reasons, and publish an opinion paragraph based on a text-dependent prompt.

Indicator 1m

Materials include regular opportunities for evidence-based writing to support recall of information, opinions with reasons, and relevant information appropriate for the grade level.
1/2
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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 1 partially meet the criteria for including regular opportunities for evidence-based writing to support recall of information, opinions with reasons, and relevant information appropriate for the grade level. Writing prompts and tasks are not frequently connected to the texts. The Teacher Edition provides minimal guidance and scaffolding for both teacher and student.

In Unit 2, the writing focus is informative writing. Each lesson of the unit had a writing focus:

  • Lesson 6, the writing focus is sentences that describe.The focus trait is revising and proofreading.
  • Lesson 7, the writing focus is informative poetry. The focus trait is revising and proofreading.
  • Lesson 8, the writing focus is composing a thank-you note. The focus trait is revising and proofreading.
  • Lesson 9, the writing focus is composing a description. The focus trait is prewriting.
  • Lesson 10, the writing focus is composing a description. The focus trait is revising and proofreading.

At the end of the unit, students publish a description of the Cat in the Hat.

In Unit 4, the writing focus is narrative writing. Each lesson of the unit had a writing focus:

  • Lesson 16, the writing focus is narrative sentences about yourself. The focus trait is revising and proofreading.
  • Lesson 17, the writing focus is narrative sentences about yourself. The focus trait is revising and proofreading.
  • Lesson 18, the writing focus is a narrative friendly letter. The focus trait is revising and proofreading.
  • Lesson 19, the writing focus is composing personal narrative. The focus trait is prewriting.
  • Lesson 20, the writing focus is composing personal narrative. The focus trait is proofreading and revising.

At the end of the unit, students publish a narrative about something special or unusual that they did or saw.

In Unit 6, the writing focus is opinion writing. Each lesson of the unit had a writing focus:

  • Lesson 26, the writing focus is composing opinion sentences. The focus trait is revising and proofreading.
  • Lesson 27, the writing focus is composing opinion sentences. The focus trait is revising and proofreading.
  • Lesson 28, the writing focus is composing opinion sentences. The focus trait is revising and proofreading.
  • Lesson 29, the writing focus is composing opinion sentences. The focus trait is prewriting.
  • Lesson 30, the writing focus is composing opinion sentences. The focus trait is organization.

At the end of the unit, students publish an opinion paragraph to answer the question, “Is Fly Guy a Good Pet?”



Most writing lessons do not connect to texts and are not evidence-based. There is little guidance for the teacher to show how to use evidence from texts in student writing. For example, in Unit 6, Lesson 26, students are writing opinion pieces. The teacher is directed to display an example draft provided with the materials and explain that a first grader named Jill wrote this draft. The teacher is directed to review the difference between fact and opinion with the students. The teacher is directed to explain that revising is when writers change words to make their voice stronger. The teacher is told to use the Talk About It questions to analyze the draft and to have children suggest revisions. The teacher is directed to model revising the draft. Include a closing sentence that provides a good ending.

At the end of each unit is also a performance task that is connected to unit text. This performance task is a writing but does not always correlate to the unit writing focus. For example in Unit 4, Lesson 20, students write a book report that states an opinion. The writing focus for Unit 4 is narrative writing.

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 reviewed for Grade 1 meet expectations for 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 the context. Each unit has a daily direct instruction lesson specifically titled “Grammar.” Each week focuses on specific grammar skills and conventions as well as language features such as figurative language. The lessons meet the requirements of the language standards for Grade 1 as well as reviewing Kindergarten standards.

Each day explicit grammar instruction takes place, and students practice the skill in context with the texts/writing types used in class as well as complete tasks in the Reader’s Notebook and Writer’s Handbook. There are also supporting materials labeled Projectables that teachers can click right from the digital Teacher Edition that provide examples, images, and tasks to practice the grammar lesson. Most of the grammar lessons extend across several days and may be reviewed in later units. Students also focus on revising sample and peer writing drafts that incorporate conventions and language skills they are learning.

The following grammar and convention topics covered in each unit:

  • Unit 1: Nouns; word categories; possessives; action verbs; punctuation, adjectives for shape, color, and number; synonyms
    • Lesson 1, the teacher reviews nouns that name people, animals, places, and things.
    • Lesson 3, students are reminded to use periods at the end of sentences when drafting narrative writing.
  • Unit 2: Building complete sentences; action verbs; commas; commas; adjectives; word categories; plurals; antonyms/synonyms; articles
    • Lesson 6, students practice their best handwriting using ball-and-stick and continuous stroke handwriting models.
    • Lesson 6, students practice writing and spelling words with common spelling patterns.
    • Lesson 7, students are taught to use commas in a series.
    • Lesson 8, students learn how to produce and expand sentences during Language Detective.
    • Lesson 10, students learn articles.
  • Unit 3: Proper nouns; titles; adjectives; commands; punctuation; homophone; verb tense; subject/verb
    • Lesson 11, students are taught proper nouns and learn to capitalize proper nouns.
    • Lesson 13, students are taught subjects and verbs.
    • Lesson 15, students learn prepositional phrases as part of Language Detective.
  • Unit 4: Question words; punctuation, suffixes; Compound sentences; capital letters (holidays, months, days); commas in dates; synonyms; past/present/future l verb tenses
    • Lesson 17, students are taught compound sentences.
    • Lesson 19, students are taught future tense.
  • Unit 5: Pronouns (possessive, indefinite, naming self); prefix -re; dialogue; dictionary/thesaurus usage; multiple meaning words; contractions; commas; synonyms
    • Lesson 21, students are taught subject pronouns.
  • Unit 6: exclamations; idioms; sentence types; using because; compound sentences; adjectives for taste, smell, sound, and texture; homographs; adverbs (where, when, how, how much); prefix -un; comparative adjectives; suffix -ly
    • Lesson 29, students are taught adjectives.

Criterion 1o - 1t

Materials in reading, writing, speaking, listening, and language targeted to support foundational reading development are aligned to the standards.
18/22
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Criterion Rating Details

The instructional materials, questions, and tasks directly teach foundational skills to build reading acquisition by providing systematic and explicit instruction in the alphabetic principle, letter-sound relationships, phonemic awareness, and phonological awareness (K-1), and phonics (K-2) that demonstrate a transparent and research-based progression. Additionally, they provide explicit instruction to address the acquisition of print concepts, including alphabetic knowledge, directionality, and function (K-1), structures and features of text (1-2). Instructional opportunities are frequently built into the materials for students to practice and gain decoding automaticity and sight-based recognition of high frequency words. This includes reading fluency in oral reading beginning in mid-Grade 1 and through Grade 2.

Materials, questions, and tasks do not fully support systematic and explicit instruction in and practice of word recognition and analysis skills in a research-based progression in connected text and tasks. While students have opportunities to utilize word recognition and analysis in connected text and isolated text during reading, students have limited opportunities to practice phonics and word recognition in writing situations.

Assessment occurs regularly across the year at frequent intervals to determine student mastery and inform meaningful differentiation of foundational skills, and there is a clear and specific protocol as to how students performing below standard on these assessments will be supported.

The materials feature high-quality lessons and activities that allow for some differentiation of foundational skills. The program’s Response to Intervention component provides directions and guidance to the teacher as to how to support students at the various levels with foundational skills, although differentiated lessons for students who are at grade level or above grade level in foundational skills are minimal.

Indicator 1o

Materials, questions, and tasks directly teach foundational skills to build reading acquisition by providing systematic and explicit instruction in the alphabetic principle, letter-sound relations, phonemic awareness, phonological awareness (K-1), and phonics (K-2) that demonstrate a transparent and research-based progression with opportunities for application both in and out of context.
4/4
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials for Grade 1 meet the expectations that the materials, questions, and tasks directly teach foundational skills to build reading acquisition by providing systematic and explicit instruction in the alphabetic principle, letter-sound relationships, phonemic awareness, and phonological awareness (K-1), and phonics (K-2) that demonstrate a transparent and research-based progression.

Phonemic awareness is taught in all Grade 1 Units. Phonemic awareness is practiced in the Opening Routines of each day. For example:

  • In Unit 1, Lessons 1-4, students practice isolating the initial sound in single-syllable words over the course of the week.
  • In Unit 1, Lesson 5, students practice isolating the final sound in single-syllable words.
  • In Unit 2, Lessons 6-10, students practice segmenting single-syllable words into phonemes. In Lesson 5, students are segmenting CVC words and by Lesson 10, students are segmenting longer words (mint/mitt) and compare the number of sounds.
  • In Unit 3, Lessons 11-14, students practice blending and segmenting phonemes. In Lesson 11, the teacher states: “I’m going to say the sounds in a word and blend them. Then you say the word. I’ll do the first one. Listen/b/ /a/ /th/. What is the word? bath.”
  • In Unit 4, Lessons 16-19, students practice substituting medial phonemes in single-syllable words.
  • In Unit 5, Lessons 21-25, students practice substituting vowel sounds and diphthongs.
  • In Unit 6, Lesson 26, students practice substituting short vowel sounds for long vowel sounds.
  • In Unit 6, Lesson 27-30, students practice segmenting 2 syllables.

The progression of phonics is cohesive with Unit 1 as a review of Kindergarten standards. The phonics lessons progress from decoding and reading one syllable words in the beginning of year to decoding and reading two syllables words during the second part of the year. Long vowel sounds are taught in Units 3 and Unit 4. Inflectional endings are mainly taught in Unit 6, but there are a few lessons in Units 1 and 3.

There are in-depth phonemic awareness/phonics lessons during four days of each lesson. Unit 1 phonics lessons begin with review of Kindergarten standards. For example:

  • In Unit 1, Lesson 1, Day 1, the phonics lesson is to review words with short a and the letters n and d. In Day 3, students learn words with p and f such as pig, pat, fat.
  • In Unit 1, Lesson 2, Day 1, the phonics lesson is to review words with short i, and the following letters: r, h, /z/, s.

In Unit 2, the lessons start to introduce Grade 2 standards such as reading one syllable words. For example:

  • In Lesson 6, the phonemic awareness/phonics lesson reviews words with short a while teaching double final consonants and ck as part of one syllable words.

In Unit 3, the lessons introduce the final -e and common vowel conventions for getting the long vowel sounds.

  • In Unit 3, Lesson 14, students are taught words with long a (CVCe). “Write and read made. Cover the e. Read mad, pointing out the short a sound. Uncover the e and point out the a-consonant-e pattern. Have children read made. Repeat with the words pane and tape.
  • In Unit 4, Lesson 17, students are taught long e. Students learn that e, ee, ea, e_e, and _y makes a long e sound. The teacher models bean with letter cards and has students practice reading words with long e.

There are explicit lessons in Unit 4, Unit 5, and Unit 6 that teach students how to decode two-syllable words.

  • In Unit 4, Lesson 20, how to read compound words is taught. The teacher introduces separate words (snow & man) with picture cards and then the teacher puts the two words together to get snowman. Students read separate words and then the compound word.
  • In Unit 5, Lesson 23, students are syllable pattern CVC in words such as sunset and insect. The teacher guides students to identify the two vowel sounds they hear.
  • In Unit 6, Lesson 27, students are taught words that end in -le. “I’ll say a word and clap its syllables. Listen: table. Table has two syllables, ta-ble.” Students practice reading syllables words with -le.

In Unit 3 and 6, inflectional endings are taught.

  • In Unit 3, Lesson 13 during Vocabulary Strategies, students are taught to read words with -ed, -ing, -s. The teacher discusses the definition of base word and explains how -ed and -s change the word. Students use clues to help them choose the correct word ending.
  • In Unit 6, Lesson 26, in phonemic awareness/phonics, students are taught base words with -ed and -ing. “I’ll say some words and clap their syllables. Listen: bike. Bike has one syllable. Now listen: biking. Biking has two syllables, bike and -ing.” Students practice blending selected words.

Many grade level phonics skills are taught in Unit 6. If a teacher does not make it to Unit 6, Grade 1 students will not have learned all the phonics standards recommended by the standards.

Indicator 1p

Materials, questions, and tasks provide explicit instruction for and regular practice to address the acqusition of print concepts, including alphabetic knowledge, directionality, and function (K-1), structures and features of text (1-2).
2/2
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials for Grade 1 meet the expectations that materials, questions, and tasks provide explicit instruction for and regular practice to address the acquisition of print concepts, including alphabetic knowledge, directionality, and function (K-1), structures and features of text (1-2).

Lessons include opportunities for students to learn print concepts, but lessons are not multisensory. Students learn to recognize the distinguishing features of a sentence in the materials. For example:

  • In Unit 2, Lesson 6, during the reading of the big book, My Five Senses by Aliki, the teacher is directed to stop and point out punctuation at the ends of sentences. The teacher models how to pause after periods and other punctuation marks.
  • In Unit 2, Lesson 9, Day 2 of the Opening Routines, the teacher has students identify the capital letter that starts each sentence and the period that is at the end.
  • In Unit 4, Lesson 16 in the grammar lesson, the teacher is to display Projectable 16.3 and reviews the definition of a question. In Guided Practice/Apply, students are provided question frames and have to point out the capital letter and question mark.
  • In Unit 5, Lesson 21, Day 4 of the Opening Routines, students help the teacher make a sentence from six words. Students point out features of a sentence: “the capital letter in the first word and the end mark.”

In the instructional materials contain frequent opportunities to identify text structures. For example:

  • In Unit 1, Lesson 1, during the second read of What is a Pal?, students work with the teacher to complete a graphic organizer about main idea and key details.
  • In Unit 1, Lesson 3, during the second read of Curious George at School, students learn about sequences of events. Students fill in a flow chart to show the important events.
  • In Unit 2, Lesson 7, during Speaking and Listening, students compare and contrast texts. “Point out to the class that comparing and contrasting two selections is a good way to understand them both better.”
  • In Unit 2, Lesson 8, during Read and Comprehend, students learn more about sequence of events. The teacher uses a graphic organizer to explain first, next, and last.
  • In Unit 3, Lesson 13, students learn cause and effect. Students complete a cause and effect chart for Seasons.
  • In Unit 3, Lesson 14, students practice retelling a story, The Big Race and include describing plot (problem and solution).
  • In Unit 4, students practice retelling a story, Little Rabbit’s Tale and include describing plot (problem and solution).
  • In Unit 5, Lesson 24, after the first read of A Tree is a Plant, students are guided through a retelling of the story which includes identifying the main topic, the sequence of events, and key details as students summarize the selection.
  • In Unit 6, Lesson 28, during Speaking and Listening, students compare and contrast texts. “Tell children that they will compare and contrast two Frog and Toad stories: The Kite and The Garden. Remind them that telling how stories are alike and different is a good way to understand them both better.”

The materials have opportunities for students to learn text features. For example:

  • In Unit 1, Lesson 4, during the second read of Lucia’s Neighborhood, students are taught about text features and graphic features. Students identify text features and the purpose of the features.
  • In Unit 2, Lesson 9, during the second read of Dr. Seuss, students are taught about text features, graphic features, and captions. Students identify features and the purpose of the features
  • In Unit 3, Lesson 15, during the second read of Animal Groups, students are reminded that authors can use special features, such as headings and labels. Students identify headings and labels in the text.

Indicator 1q

Instructional opportunities are frequently built into the materials for students to practice and gain decoding automaticity and sight-based recognition of high frequency words. This includes reading fluency in oral reading beginning in mid-Grade 1 and through Grade 2.
4/4
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials for Grade 1 meet the expectations that instructional opportunities are frequently built into the materials for students to practice and gain decoding automaticity and sight-based recognition of high frequency words. This includes reading fluency in oral reading beginning in mid-Grade 1 and through Grade 2.

Irregularly spelled words and high-frequency words are addressed in Words to Know or Opening Routines. For example:

  • In Unit 1, Lesson 1, the Words to Know (and, you, be, play, help, with) are high-frequency words from Kindergarten. Students pronounce the word, learn the word in context, and practice the word using the Vocabulary in Context Cards.
  • In Unit 2, Lesson 6, Day 1 of the Opening Routines, the teacher points to the Words to Know on the Focus Wall (away, call, come, every, hear, said). Using the Instructional Routine 10, students practice the words. Most of these words were taught in Kindergarten.
  • In Unit 3, Lesson 11, Day 3 of the Opening Routines, the teacher points to a High-Frequency Word Card: far, blue, cold, little, live, their, water, where. Students say the word, spell the word, write the word, and check the word. Students play the Roof Game.
  • In Unit 4, Lesson 19, there are 8 Words to Know (high-frequency words): work, great, talk, paper, were, soon, laugh, done. Students pronounce the word, learn the word in context, and practice the word using the Vocabulary in Context Cards.
  • In Unit 5, Lesson 22, Day 5 of the Opening Routines, the teacher points to a High-Frequency Card: until, baby, begins, eight, follow, learning, years, young. Students say the word, spell the word, write the word, or check the word. Students play Find the Letter Game.
  • In Unit 6, Lesson 28, Day 2 of the Opening Routines, the teacher points to a High-Frequency Card for the following words: cried, across, ball, head, heard, large, second, should. Students say the word, spell the word, write the word, or check the word. Students play the Flashlight Game.

Students also practice the high-frequency words with activities from the Reader’s Notebook. For example:

  • In Unit 4, Lesson 20 of the Reader’s Notebook, students identify high-frequency words that correlate with a question. “Which word goes with less: more or use?”
  • In Unit 6, Lesson 26 of the Reader’s Notebook, students identify high-frequency works in the context of a sentence. “A (even, teacher) helps you learn.”

The materials contain opportunities for Grade 1 students to gain oral reading fluency.

  • In Unit 1, Lesson 1, fluency instruction is about accuracy: word recognition. During the reading of the decodable reader, the teacher models fluency and accuracy. “As children follow along, read aloud page 10, substituting pat for sat. Ask if what you read made sense and why not. Tell children that you misread the word sat, so you will reread it correctly. Lead children in reading the page chorally.” There are directions for students to reread the decodable reader three or four times and to practice reading words correctly. Also in Unit 1, Lesson 1, students practice reading words from Projectable 1.5. The words are all decodable. Then students read aloud What is a Pal?
  • In Unit 2, Lesson 10, fluency instruction is about stress. During the reading of the decodable reader, the teacher models fluency and stress. “Have children follow along as you read page 116 aloud, stressing the word fun. Tell children if a word in a sentence is important, you show it is important by stressing it when you read. Lead children in reading the page chorally, reading fluently and stressing important words.” There are directions for students to reread the decodable reader three or four times and to practice reading accurately at an appropriate rate and with expression. Also in Unit 2, Lesson 10, students practice reading words from Projectable 10.5. Then students read A Cupcake Party.
  • In Unit 4, Lesson 17, fluency instruction is about phrasing. During the reading of the decodable reader, the teacher models fluency and phrasing. “Have children follow along as you read aloud page 51. Tell them that when you read, you group words together to sound as if someone is talking. Lead children in reading the page chorally with fluency and with appropriate phrasing.” There are directions for students to reread the decodable reader three or four times and to practice accurately at an appropriate rate and with expression. Also in Unit 4, Lesson 17, students practice reading end marks to help them group words from Projectable 17.5. Then students read The Big Trip.
  • In Unit 6, Lesson 27, fluency instruction is about intonation. During the reading of the decodable reader, the teacher models fluency and intonation. “Have children follow along as you read aloud page 53. Read the sentences without changing your voice when you come to the exclamation point.” There are directions for students to reread the decodable reader three or four times and to practice accurately at an appropriate rate and with expression. Also in Unit 6, Lesson 27, students practice reading sentences and figure out the feeling being expressed from Projectable 27.5. Then students read What Can You Do?.

Grade 1 students have opportunities to gain decoding automaticity, especially when students read Projectable resources and decodables. Students practice reading many high-frequency words, although some of the high-frequency words are repeated from Kindergarten.

Indicator 1r

Materials, questions, and tasks provide systematic and explicit instruction in and practice of word recognition and analysis skills in a research-based progression in connected text and tasks.
2/4
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials for Grade 1 partially meet the expectations materials, questions, and tasks provide systematic and explicit instruction in and practice of word recognition and analysis skills in a research-based progression in connected text and tasks. While students have opportunities to utilize word recognition and analysis in connected text and tasks during reading, students have limited opportunities to practice phonics and word recognition in writing situations.

Students practice reading high-frequency words in connected text when students read from the Student Book and read the decodable story. For example, in Unit 2, Lesson 10, during that week, students have been learning the high-frequency word give. When students read the decodable story, Flint and Scamp by Joe Capalletti, students read the high-frequency word two times in context. Students also experience other high-frequency words in Flint and Scamp that they learned in earlier lessons such as in (Lesson 2), an (Lesson 6), and will (Lesson 7). By Unit 5, Lesson 24, students read a decodable story called Moon News by James Frank. The text contains high-frequency words such as that (Lesson 11), like (Lesson 15), way (Lesson 18), show (Lesson 19), and look (Lesson 23).

Students practice reading Vocabulary in Context Cards. These cards provide students the opportunity to read Words to Know, which are high-frequency words and irregularly spelled words in context. After reading the Vocabulary in Context Cards in Unit 1, Lesson 2, students see and read the words in the anchor text, The Storm by Raul Colon. Another example is students read the following highlighted words in the Vocabulary in Context Cards: eat, put, give small, one, take in Unit 2, Lesson 10. In the anchor text, students see and hear the same words: give on page 150, put, small, one on page 151, take on page 153, eat on page 156. Students also read three of those words in the decodable reader, The Lost Cat by Jane Nicholas.

The decodable texts are designed to help students practice the phonics and word recognition focus for the week. The decodables also contain some high-frequency words. For example:

  • In Unit 3, Lesson 14, the phonics lesson is about long a in CVCe words. Students practice reading the long a in CVCe words in the decodable reader, Dave and the Whale by Andrew Hathaway. Students read sentences as: “Dave did not get his pals to make waves.” Students also practice five high-frequency words in the decodable: five, four, three, two, watch.
  • In Unit 6, Lesson 27, students practice reading words with inflectional endings in the decodable reader, The Three Races by Madeleine Jeffries. Students read words such as faster, speedier, bigger, and nicer. Students also read two irregularly spelled words in the text: enough, happy.

Students also practice reading words in context when they participate in Small Group reading with Leveled Readers. The Leveled Readers contain high-frequency words.

Opportunities to use word recognition and analysis skills in writing are found in tasks such as writing situations. For example, in the Reader’s Notebook, students can practice writing the Words to Know in tasks.

  • Unit 1, Lesson 4 of the Reader’s Notebook, students repeatedly write one of six words (all, does, here, me, my, who) in four sentences.
  • Unit 3, Lesson 14 of the Reader’s Notebook, students select which high-frequency word best completes each sentence. For example: “Can you (watch/into) my fish for me?”

Opportunities to use word recognition and analysis skills in connected writing are limited. During the shared writing lessons, the directions are not detailed or specific as to how the teacher should guide dictation at the Grade 1 level. Teachers are not directed to have students help with spelling-sound correspondence or help spell irregularly spelled words. For example in Unit 1, Lesson 2 during shared writing, the directions simply state: “Have children write or dictate captions for the pictures they chose by completing this sentence frame: This is ______.” In Unit 5, Lesson 23 during independent writing, the Proofreading Checklist includes “Did I spell each word correctly?” but during the drafting stage, students are not reminded to use spelling-sound correspondences to help them write words.

Indicator 1s

Materials support ongoing and frequent assessment to determine student mastery and inform meantingful differentiantion of foundational skills, including a clear and specific protocol as to how students performing below standard on these assessments will be supported.
4/4
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials for Grade 1 meet the expectations that the materials support ongoing and frequent assessment to determine student mastery and inform meaningful differentiation of foundational skills, including a clear and specific protocol as to how students performing below standard on these assessments will be supported.

The materials contain Intervention Assessments: Screening Assessment, which assess letter naming fluency, phoneme segmentation, nonsense words, high-frequency words, word identification, and oral reading fluency. The Administering and Scoring section provides directions to the teacher for how to conduct the Screening Assessment and helps the teacher interpret the results.

From the Screening Assessment, the teacher is directed to use the Diagnostic Assessments. Diagnostic Assessments further assess print concepts, letter-sound fluency, and phonological awareness inventory (words in a sentence, blend syllables, segment syllables, delete syllables, recognize rhyming words, produce rhyming words, categorize rhyming words, blend onset and rime, segment onset and rime, isolate initial sound, isolate final sound, isolate medial sounds, identify phonemes, categorize phonemes, blend phonemes, segment phonemes, delete phonemes, add phonemes, substitute phonemes). Once the Diagnostic Assessments are scored, the teacher can use the results to decide if a student would benefit from additional instruction in particular foundational skills. The directions to the teacher about the additional instruction are not clear as to how to provide additional instruction. For example, after administering the Letter-Sounds Fluency, the directions state: “Students who score below this require additional in letter-sound relationships.” A chart of suggestions contains the following suggestion for students with minimal understanding: “letter-sound identification activities, letter-sound fluency activities, oral language activities, language experience or diction activities.” The suggestions are broad.

There are Progress-Monitoring Assessments, which should be used every two weeks. Progress-Monitoring Assessments include high-frequency words, decodable words, and reading sentences, and oral reading fluency. Based on the results, a teacher could adjust instruction. The guidelines suggest: “For improving rate, provide texts at a student’s independent reading level for repeated or coached readings.”

In Recommendations for Data-Driven Instruction, the following steps are suggested: identify student needs, teacher to the need, scaffold the core, monitor progress, and if necessary, problem-solve with colleagues. For a more detailed explanation, if a teacher provides the Screening Assessment and the Grade 1 student is below the goal in Phoneme Segmentation, then administer the Diagnostic Assessment: Phonological Awareness (identify student needs) and administer the corresponding lessons in HMH Decoding Power, choosing from Sessions K.32-K.55 (teach the need).

Each unit contains formative assessment of foundational skills as part of RtI, which provides suggestions for what do for students struggling, students are on track, and students who excel. For example:

  • In Unit 1, Lesson 5, the Formative Assessment box contains: “Are children able to understand and use the Word to Know? If children struggle, then use the Vocabulary in Context Card and the Struggling Readers activity, page T370. See also Intervention Lesson 4, pages S32-S41. If children are on track, then use the Vocabulary in Context Card and the On Level activity, page T370. If children excel, then use the Advanced activity, page T371.”
  • In Unit 3, Lesson 13, the Formative Assessment box contains corrective feedback for: “When a child mispronounces a letter-sound, highlight that letter, restate its sound, have children repeat the sound, and then guide them to blend the word.” Further directions state: “Go to page T286 for additional phonics support.” On page T286, there are the small group options for Differentiate Phonics and Words to Know.
  • In Unit 6, Lesson 28, the Formative assessment box contains corrective feedback for: “When a child mispronounces a word, point to the word and say it. Call attention to the element that was mispronounced, say the sound, and then guide children to read the word.”

There are multiple assessments in the materials which provide teachers with information about students' current skills/levels in foundational skills. The materials provide teachers with instructional options to help students make progress toward master in foundational skills.

Indicator 1t

Materials, questions, and tasks provide high-quality lessons and activities that allow for differentiation of foundational skills.
2/4
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials for Grade 1 partially meets that expectation that materials, questions, and tasks provide high-quality lessons and activities that allow for differentiation of foundational skills. The instructional materials contain an Response to Intervention component, which provides directions and guidance to the teacher as to how to support students at the various levels with foundational skills, although differentiated lessons for students who are at grade level or above grade level in foundational skills are minimal.

The small group lessons for phonemic awareness/phonics and fluency do not provide detailed, differentiated plans for every group of learners. While the options provide detailed lessons for struggling readers and English Language Learners, the lessons for student performing on grade level or above are sometimes limited. For example:

  • In Unit 2, Lesson 9, for readers who struggle, there is a gradual release lesson on words with short /e/ and blends with s. In I Do It, the teacher displays a Picture Card of sled and emphasizes blending the /s/ and /l/. Through the use of Letter Cards, the teacher models blending the letters and sounds. In We Do It, students blend 8 words starting with s. In You Do It, students use the Letter Cards to make words with short /e/ and s blends. For English Language Learners, the lesson includes the week’s Words to Know, Vocabulary in Context Cards and students look for the words in the big book, Dr. Seuss. For ELL students at the different stages (Emerging, Expanding, Bridging), there are different lessons and tasks. For the students on level, the small group lesson is: “See Literacy Centers--Unit 2 Lesson 9 Word Study. If children have time after completing the purple activity, have them try moving on to the blue activity.” For students who are advanced, the small group lesson is: “See Literacy Centers--Unit 2 Lesson 9 Word Study. If children have time after completing the blue activity, have them reread the Decodable Reader selection Step Up!.”
  • In Unit 5, Lesson 25, for students struggling to learn the vowel digraphs of ou and ow, there is a gradual release lesson with formative assessment. In I Do It, the teacher shows Picture Cards of words with ou and ow. In We Do It, the students read 8 cards which have ou and ow words. In You Do It, students create words with ou and ow using Letter Cards. For English Language Learners, the lesson includes the week’s Words to Know, Vocabulary in Context Cards, and then students look for the word in the big book, The New Friend. For ELL students at the different stages, there are different lessons and tasks. For the students on level, the small group lesson is: “Have partners show each other the Vocabulary in Context Cards for this week’s words and use each word shown on a card in an oral sentence.” For the students who are advanced, the small group lesson is: “Have partners use the Vocabulary in Context Cards for this week’s words to give clues about each word for the other to guess. Ask them to write each word they guess correctly.”

For some small group options, there is only differentiation for the struggling readers. For example:

  • In Unit 1, Lesson 4, Differentiate Phonics and Fluency, for students struggling to learn the words with k, v, and j, there is a gradual release lesson with formative assessment. Students look at picture cards while the teacher uses Instructional Routine Card 2 which helps the model how to blend. In We Do It, students practice reading words with k. In You Do It, students take turns making words with the Letter cards including words with k, v, and j.

For small group options for fluency, there is not much differentiation. The small group options only contains an All Levels lesson plan. For example:

  • In Unit 3, Lesson 11, the fluency small group plan is for phrasing: punctuation (comma). The teacher models reading a sentence (the same sentence for every group) with phrasing. Then the teacher is directed to select three sentences from each Leveled Reader, and the teacher has students help read the sentences with correct phrasing. In You Do It, students write the other sentences and practice phrasing.
  • In Unit 5, Lesson 21, the fluency small group lesson plan is phrasing: natural phrases. The teacher models natural phrases with a sentence (the same sentence for every group) and then is directed to select two sentences from the Leveled Reader. The students choral read the sentences. In You Do It, students are to read two pages from a Leveled Reader.

There is a section called Options for Reteaching. This section contains a gradual release separate lessons for phonics. For example:

  • In Unit 1, Lesson 1, there is a reteach lesson for phonics, which helps students with the consonants p and f. In I do It, the teacher reviews words that will be in the Decodable Reader, Fan, Fan, Fan. In We Do It, students look for Pam in the Decodable Reader. In You Do It, students work together to read Fan, Fan, Fan.
  • In Unit 3, Lesson 14, there is a reteach lesson for phonics, which helps students with long a (CVCe). Using Instructional Routine 3 and the week’s Words to Know. In We Do It, students find lane in The Race. In You Do It, the students work in partners to read The Race.

When students are learning high-frequency words, phonemic awareness/phonics, the material contain an Response to Intervention box. For example:

  • In Unit 2, Lesson 7, the Response to Intervention box contains information to the teacher as to how to differentiate for a child who mispronounces a letter-sound. “When a child mispronounces a letter-sound, highlight that letter, restate its sounds, have children repeat the sound, and then guide them to blend the word.” There are steps (correct, model, guide, check) to help the teacher differentiate for the students needing help. The final step is reinforce: “Go back three or four words and have children continue reading.”
  • In Unit 5, Lesson 23, the Response to Intervention box contains information to the teacher as to how to differentiate for students not pronouncing the vowel digraph /oo/. “If a child mispronounces a letter-sound, highlight that letter, restate its sound, have children repeat the sound, and then guide them to blend the sound.” There are steps (correct, model, guide, check) to help the teacher differentiate for the students needing help. The final step is reinforce: “Go back three or four words and have children continue reading.”

Foundational skills guidance and lessons exist for teaching students who are struggling or are English Language Learners, but few lessons are provided in foundational skills for students who are at or above grade level.

Gateway Two

Building Knowledge with Texts, Vocabulary, and Tasks

Does Not Meet Expectations

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Gateway Two Details

The instructional materials for Grade 1 do not meet the expectations of Gateway 2. Some texts are organized around topics. Materials contain few sets of questions and tasks that require students to analyze the language, key ideas, details, craft, and structure of individual texts. The materials do contain some sets of text-dependent questions and tasks; however, the questions and tasks do not require students to analyze the integration of knowledge and ideas across both individual and multiple texts. Culminating tasks do not promote the building of students’ knowledge of the theme/topic. The materials include a year-long plan for students to interact with and build key academic vocabulary words across texts throughout the year, however, it is not cohesive and the vocabulary does not connect across texts. Materials include some writing instruction aligned to the standards and shifts for the grade level, although teachers may need to supplement to ensure students are accessing end-of-year skills. The materials include little focused research skills practice. The materials partially meet the expectations for materials providing a design, including accountability, for how students will regularly engage in a volume of independent reading either in or outside of class.

Criterion 2a - 2h

14/32

Indicator 2a

Texts are organized around a topic/topics to build students knowledge and vocabulary which will over time support and help grow students' ability to comprehend complex texts independently and proficiently.
2/4
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Indicator Rating Details

Materials reviewed for Grade 1 partially meet the expectations that texts are organized around a topic/topics to build students’ knowledge and their ability to read and comprehend complex texts proficiently. The units in Grade 1 materials are organized by broad, universal themes such as “Around the Neighborhood.” Each weekly lesson is centered around a knowledge-building topic that supports the unit theme. Unlike Kindergarten, most of the lesson topics are not connected to each other to build student knowledge and comprehension across the units.

Overall, the materials focus mostly on communications, citizenship, seasons, animals, and growing up. Within each weekly lesson, students should read multiple texts related to the lesson topic, but this not the case in some of the lessons in Grade 1. The read-alouds, anchor texts, big books, paired selections, fluency charts, vocabulary readers, and guided readers are aligned to the lesson topic in many but not all lessons.

Because the unit themes are broad, the lessons cover multiple topics in each unit. However, in several units the lessons are not cohesive and some are not aligned to the overall topic which interferes with student knowledge building. For example, Unit 2 and Unit 3 contain lessons and texts that are not connected. In Unit 3, the theme is “Nature Near and Far” but after several weeks on animals and seasons, the topic shifts to citizenship (following rules) and back to animals. Most weekly lessons are not linked to the next topic to extend student learning. Unit 6 is also lacking a connection. Within the theme of “Three Cheers for Us!” The unit is intended to wrap up the school year but it jumps from making art to weather, insects, and finally teamwork in sports. Though each is a valid lesson for grade 1, the texts are not fully connected within or across lessons for knowledge building.

Below is a sample of unit themes and lesson topics:

  • Unit 1: Around the Neighborhood
    • Lesson Topics: Friendship, Weather, School, Neighborhood, At the Zoo
  • Unit 2: Sharing Time
    • Lesson Topics: Traditional Stories, Animal Communication, Music, Writing, Feelings
  • Unit 3: Nature Near and Far
    • Lesson Topics: Marine Habits, Jungle Animals, Seasons, Citizenship, Animals
  • Unit 4: Exploring Together
    • Lesson Topics: Astronauts, Ways to Travel, Agriculture, History, Feelings
  • Unit 5: Watch Us Grow
    • Lesson Topics: Gardens, Animals, Pets, Life Cycle, Learning About Our Country
  • Unit 6: Three Cheers for Us!
    • Lesson Topics: Visual Arts, Trying Hard, Weather, Insects, Teamwork

Indicator 2b

Materials contain sets of coherently sequenced questions and tasks that require students to analyze the language (words/phrases), key ideas, details, craft, and structure of individual texts in order to make meaning and build understanding of texts and topics.
4/4
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Indicator Rating Details

Materials reviewed for Grade 1 meet the criteria for containing sets of coherently sequenced questions and tasks that require students to analyze the language, key ideas, details, craft, and structure of individual texts. Lessons contain sets of questions and tasks that require students first to comprehend and then analyze the language, key ideas, details, craft, and structure of individual texts. Over the course of the year, instructional materials grow in rigor. Students respond with simple sentences or discussion in the first unit but move to responding with paragraphs throughout the year.

As students engage with texts, they work in a Reader’s Handbook which provides some opportunities throughout the year to record main ideas, details (evidence) or story structures. The Teacher Edition also offers a section on scaffolding for close reading with anchor texts which offers ways to engage with the text through multiple reads. Students also work in a Writer’s Handbook to practice writing about the topics they study but these tasks are not text-dependent .

Each core text (read-alouds, big books, and paired selections) is accompanied by a sections titled “Summarize” and “Think Through the Text” as stopping points for students to discuss what they are reading. “Think through the Text” sections contain questions that focus mostly on details and language in the text but may also ask students to make inferences based on what they read or see in pictures. These questions lead students to either a “Dig Deeper” or “Analyze the Text” section which is indicated by a red square in which students extend their thinking about the text; however, there is not a “Dig Deeper” section for all texts. Most of the “Think Through the Text” questions are answered in whole group discussions as students build more writing capacity. The “Dig Deeper” or “Analyze the Texts” sections incorporate more graphic organizers or written responses. Students work toward writing or discussion tasks connected to the essential question which is not text-dependent.

Examples of text-dependent questions that focus on language, key ideas, details, craft, structure provided in the teacher materials include:

Unit 1, Lesson 3: School

  • “Think Through the Text”questions - What are some ways the author makes George seem like a person? Why do the children think George is funny? What is the main problem in the story? What is the important event that happens on pages 80-81? What clues in the story and the pictures help you understand what the word help means? Write sentences to describe George.
  • “Dig Deeper”/”Analyze the Text”- Using a graphic organizer, students analyze word choice in Curious George at School.

Unit 4 , Lesson 19: History

  • “Think Through the Text”questions - The text tells us that Tomas picks crops with his family all day. What does that tell you about him? How does do you think Tomas fees about his grandfather? How can you tell? What details from the words and pictures tell you when Grandpa and Tomas work? What happens after work? What does Grandpa mean when he says “we can get lots of stories for you Tomas”?
  • “Dig Deeper”/”Analyze the Text”- How do the sentences and the picture help you know the word paper? Where would I look if I wanted to know about Tomas Rivera's childhood. Let’s use our own words to describe the events in the correct order.

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.
0/4
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Indicator Rating Details

Materials reviewed for Grade 1 do not meet the expectations of materials containing a coherently sequenced set of text-based questions and tasks that require students to build knowledge and integrate ideas across both individual and multiple texts. Though the materials contain sets of text-based questions and tasks that lead students through the comprehension and main ideas of the text, these are only provided during the actual reading of the text. There are very few tasks that ask students to demonstrate knowledge gained from a text or across multiple texts. The major prompts and/or tasks are not text-based. Students respond to their readings with more self-to-text connections and devote most of their writing practice about topics and not texts. Although text-based questions are utilized to help students comprehend and analyze a text, any tasks for building knowledge across multiple texts is done typically without reference to the texts.

As students engage with texts, they work in a Reader’s Handbook which provides some opportunities to list evidence from the texts in graphic organizers. They may also draw or write about characters in individual or multiple texts but most writing is based on their personal feelings or response. Students also work in a Writer’s Handbook to practice writing about the topics they are studying but these tasks are not text-based until later units.

The Teacher’s Edition also contains a textbox for most readings labeled Cross-Curricular Connection. These are typically discussion starters that connect what students learned from the text to their own experience or how it is relevant to their community or future learning. Most lessons also provide specified text-to-text, text-to-self, and text-to-world tasks or discussions, but it is not indicated how students are accountable for this information.

This is a representative example of how tasks for knowledge are generally not text-based in the Grade 1 materials.

Unit 3, Lesson 11: Marine Habits

  • Essential Question: What kinds of plants and animals would you find in the ocean?
  • Summarize/Analyze the text: What important information do you learn from the words and photos? Students use “Retelling Cards” to determine the main idea and create an oral summary of the anchor text.
  • Shared Writing: Students work together to write sentences about an animal they select.
  • Write about Reading: Write two facts you learned from in the text At Home in the Ocean. Find text evidence from the words and photos to get ideas.
  • Text to text: Have children decide how a polar bear compares to one of the animals in At Home in the Ocean. Students do not read about a polar bear. They read an informational text about water and how it can freeze. This includes information how the ocean can sometimes have ice in it. There is a picture of a polar bear on an icy shoreline.
  • Independent Writing task: Choose an interesting sea animal. Write sentences that tell facts about the animal.

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).
0/4
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials for Grade 1 do not meet the expectations for providing questions and tasks that support students’ abilities to complete culminating tasks in which they demonstrate their knowledge of a topic or theme through integrated skills e.g combination of reading, writing, speaking and listening. Each lesson series provides an independent writing performance task as a culminating piece for the week. To complete the task, students have a daily opportunity to practice the focus writing skill, share their ideas and pieces with peers, and discuss the topic about which they are writing. The majority of writing tasks focus mostly on the writing skill and rarely integrates the topic studied during the week. Though some lessons feature a performance task in which students discuss or respond to a question about the text they are reading, there are few opportunities for students to engage with the texts or topics for the lesson in a manner that synthesizes what they have learned.

The end of each weekly lesson builds to an independent writing task that does not always require students to use the knowledge built from their readings. Some can be completed based on their own personal experience or by demonstrating the weekly writing skill.

Below are examples of weekly independent writing tasks. These are found in the Teacher Edition and students complete some of the tasks in their Reader’s Notebook or Writer’s Handbook. The independent writing task is usually built over a series of days, examples include:

  • Unit 1, Lesson 5, Narrative Writing- At the Zoo
    • Research Writing/Unit Performance Task: Review City Zoo with the class. Tell children they are going to write a class report on a zoo animal. This takes place over five days but the writing component does not begin until Day 4 of the weekly lesson.
  • Unit 4, Lesson 19, Narrative Writing- History
    • Guided and Independent Writing: Students will brainstorm topics and details to write about this prompt: Write a personal narrative about something special or unusual that you did or saw. This task does not build knowledge of the topics read and studied, but does integrate the skills of reading and writing.

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 1 partially meet the expectations of materials providing guidance for supporting students’ academic vocabulary. The materials do not include a cohesive, year-long plan for students to interact and build key academic vocabulary words in and across texts. Vocabulary is taught within the context of each weekly lesson as well as within each text read. The unit lessons do not always connect from one week to the next therefore, vocabulary practice across an entire unit is limited to the skills practiced instead of the focus topic for building knowledge. Students spend time practicing for fluency, high-frequency words, and spelling but these are set apart from vocabulary instruction.

Each lesson has a box for “Words to Know” on the Focus Wall. There are usually around 6-8 words in this box and are high-frequency words and not vocabulary from the texts. Each weekly pacing guide instructs the teacher to introduce words from the core text through “Oral Vocabulary” on Day 1, and then “Apply Vocabulary Knowledge” as well as an “Oral Vocabulary Boost” on following days. Students also work with the high-frequency words throughout the week using Context Cards.. Students may also “Warm-up with Wordplay” that reviews the weekly words or engages students in speaking about the topic. On Day 5, students are introduced to “Domain Specific Vocabulary” which adds more to the weekly words found in the texts. In each of these vocabulary tasks, students answer questions or discuss the words in and out of the context of the week’s lesson topic. Though students practice reviewing the words, there are typically not opportunities provided within the writing and reading tasks to intentionally utilize the words. The vocabulary words are highlighted within the texts but generally do not overlap across texts and teachers are not prompted within the text to identify or engage with the highlighted words.

Vocabulary is generally introduced with Context Cards that students can view examples of how the word is used in real-life settings. The cards have images and sentences that offer a definition and example of the word. These are not based in the context of the texts the students will read. Lessons are also accompanied by a Vocabulary Reader that is aligned to the week's topic for most lessons. Each vocabulary reader extends a language skill from the prior text and include tasks in which students practice using language or vocabulary; however, this vocabulary is not typically aligned to the vocabulary pulled from the core texts.

This is an example of vocabulary instruction for a weekly lesson. Though numerous vocabulary words are taught each day there is not a cohesive plan for interacting with and utilizing words across the week or into other lessons. The words are also not grouped or selected for instructional reasons beyond their appearance in a text or use in a discussion.

Unit 4: Lesson 17:Ways to Travel

  • Vocabulary Strategy: Define words
  • High Frequency Words: about, by, car, could, don’t, maybe, sure, there
  • Spelling: Words with long -e
  • Vocabulary Reader: Going to School Level E (focuses on the different modes of transportation for students)
  • Day 1: Oral Vocabulary: Revisit adventure, worried, try, decisions
  • Day 1: Introduce Oral Vocabulary Words from the Read-Aloud Text: shelter, delighted, complain, pleaded, lonely, horizon. Students follow an Oral Vocabulary instructional routine to learn the words. Then, they respond to questions about the text or outside context using the words. For example, “Do you usually brush your teeth in the morning?”
  • Day 1: Introduce Words to Know: about, by, car, could, don’t, maybe, sure, there. Students practice using these words using Context Cards.
  • Day 2: Warm Up with Wordplay: Students discuss how the words drive, sail, and fly are connected.
  • Day 2: Daily Vocabulary Boost: Students review words from the weekly vocabulary list:shelter, delighted, complain, pleaded, lonely, horizon Students also hear four literature words: compare, contrast, dialogue, and quotation marks.
  • Day 3: Warm Up with Wordplay: Students brainstorm words that deal with airplanes.
  • Day 3: Daily Vocabulary Boost: Students review words from the weekly vocabulary list.
  • Day 3: Enrich Vocabulary: Students focus on ambitious, arrive, and soar. Students connect these word meanings to other words like parachute, travel, island, engine, and desert.
  • Day 4: Warm Up with Wordplay: Students list words that rhyme with bean.
  • Day 4: Vocabulary strategies: Define Words- Students learn the meaning of category and characteristics to understand how to define words. Students practice with picture cards putting animals into categories.
  • Day 5: Domain Specific Vocabulary: Students use picture cards to focus on travel terms for animals: railroad, pilot, motion They orally place these words in sentences and then practice making their own sentences.

Indicator 2f

Materials contain a year-long, cohesive plan of writing instruction and tasks which support students in building and communicating substantive understanding of topics and texts.
2/4
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 1 partially meet expectations for materials containing a year long, cohesive plan of writing instruction and tasks which support students in building and communicating substantive understanding of topics and texts. Materials are not built around topics. Materials are organized around writing types to build students’ writing ability to demonstrate proficiency at grade level at the end of the school year. The majority of writing instruction and tasks are not text-specific nor do they require a substantive understanding of topics. For example, in Unit 3, Lesson 12, students read several texts about jungle animals, but the writing tasks for the week prepare students to write instructions about something that they can do well. While the development of Informative Writing is cohesive throughout Unit 2 and 3, the majority of tasks do not demonstrate student knowledge or understanding of the texts and topics.

Daily lessons have a writing task that ranges from building complete sentences to writing narrative, informative, and persuasive paragraphs. The first three days of the lesson typically follow shared and guided writing in which the class composes together. Days four or five of the week focus more on independent writing practice though this is supported by the materials such as the Writer’s Handbook, sentence starters, or group discussion. Each week generally focuses on one type of writing or task and each day builds student capacity to complete the independent task. Each of the three writing types are the focus of two units throughout the year.

The following are examples of the different writing types that build across the unit:.

  • Unit 1, Narrative Writing- reviewing writing labels, captions, and sentences, and proofreading
  • Unit 2, Informative Writing- building descriptive sentences, poetry, thank-you notes, and descriptive writing following the full writing process
  • Unit 3, Informative Writing- writing informative sentences, instructions, and an explanatory report.
  • Unit 4, Narrative Writing- writing about self, composing a friendly letter and a personal narrative
  • Unit 5, Narrative Writing- crafting story sentences based to develop a fictional story that is not personal
  • Unit 6, Opinion Writing- writing opinion sentences to build an opinion paragraph

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 reviewed for Grade 1 partially meet expectations for materials, including a progression of focused shared research and writing projects to encourage students to develop knowledge and understanding of a topic using texts and other source materials. Daily and weekly writing tasks require students to brainstorm events or things that are familiar to them and discuss these with peers. In Unit 5, students write a report after walking through the writing process; however, this report is based on their opinion of a book they read in class and not based on gathering information from sources or texts.

Some lessons are accompanied by a “Research and Media Literacy” section, usually at the end of the weekly lesson. Grade 1 students have some opportunities to practice learning the components necessary to think critically and practice research skills; however, at times these tasks are not related to the writing type, text or topic of the lesson. There is limited guidance for teachers and students on how to conduct these tasks and many times the research must be completed by the teacher using the Internet before students can engage in the work. These tasks may loosely connect to a text or topic, but they are not integrated into the daily routines of student learning and reading.

In Unit 5, an example of a “Research and Media Literacy” task is in Lesson 22 under the topic “Life Cycle.” This task asks students to think what they learned about the life cycle of a an apple tree from their reading. Students then brainstorm a plant or animal to research about the life cycle. The Teacher’s Edition instructs teachers to help students find books or appropriate websites for them to take notes on their research. There are no recommended grade appropriate sources or links provided and students do not have a guided format for gathering the information. At this point in the school year, for Grade 1, this task would be very demanding without heavy scaffolding. The following week students are to write and illustrate what they learned about that plant or animal while the weekly lesson has moved to “Learning About Our Country.”

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.
2/4
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The materials for Grade 1 partially meet the expectations for materials providing a design, including accountability, for how students will regularly engage in a volume of independent reading either in or outside of class.

Students complete independent reading on Day 3 of every lesson. Students are to go back and reread portions of the anchor text and complete pages in their Reader’s Notebook. Students then complete self-selected reading but they do not record their selections or progress as a type of accountability.

Teachers are provided limited instruction on how to support reader independence. The Teacher Edition gives the guidance, “Five Finger Rule, Tell children that when they choose books to read, they should make sure the book is not too easy or too hard. Teach them the Five Finger Rule for choosing a “just right” book.Choose a book that you like, and read the first page or two. Put up one finger for every word you don’t know. If five of your fingers go up while reading, Choose another book.If only two or three fingers go up, you’ve found a “just right” book.”

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: Fri Apr 07 00:00:00 UTC 2017

Report Edition: 2017

Title ISBN Edition Publisher Year
HMH Journeys Student Edition Book 1 978-0-5445-3851-1 Copyright: 2017 Houghton Mifflin Harcourt 2017
HMH Journeys Student Edition Book 2 978-0-5445-4329-4 Copyright: 2017 Houghton Mifflin Harcourt 2017
HMH Journeys Student Edition Book 3 978-0-5445-4330-0 Copyright: 2017 Houghton Mifflin Harcourt 2017
HMH Journeys Student Edition Book 5 978-0-5445-4332-4 Copyright: 2017 Houghton Mifflin Harcourt 2017
HMH Journeys Student Edition Book 6 978-0-5445-4334-8 Copyright: 2017 Houghton Mifflin Harcourt 2017
HMH Journeys Teacher's Edition Unit 1 978-0-5445-4348-5 Copyright: 2017 Houghton Mifflin Harcourt 2017
HMH Journeys Teacher's Edition Unit 2 978-0-5445-4349-2 Copyright: 2017 Houghton Mifflin Harcourt 2017
HMH Journeys Teacher's Edition Unit 3 978-0-5445-4350-8 Copyright: 2017 Houghton Mifflin Harcourt 2017
HMH Journeys Teacher's Edition Unit 4 978-0-5445-4351-5 Copyright: 2017 Houghton Mifflin Harcourt 2017
HMH Journeys Teacher's Edition Unit 5 978-0-5445-4352-2 Copyright: 2017 Houghton Mifflin Harcourt 2017
HMH Journeys Teacher's Edition Unit 6 978-0-5445-4353-9 Copyright: 2017 Houghton Mifflin Harcourt 2017
HMH Journeys Student Edition Book 4 978-0-5445-4398-0 Copyright: 2017 Houghton Mifflin Harcourt 2017

About Publishers Responses

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

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

Educator-Led Review Teams

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

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

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

ELA K-2 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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