Alignment to College and Career Ready Standards: Overall Summary

The instructional materials for Journeys Grade 2 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 2 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 2 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
43
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

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Gateway One Details

The Grade 2 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 and Grade 1. 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 2 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
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-
Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 2 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 2 include a combination of anchor texts, paired selections, and close reading texts. 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 1, Lesson 4, students read Diary of a Spider by Doreen Cronin. This text contains an engaging text structure as the story is told from the point-of-view of the spider. The illustrations are filled with humor and important, small details.
  • In Unit 2, Lesson 8, students read Super Storms by Seymour Simon. This text contains photographs of storms and an inset photo of hail. The content rich text provides students with details about various types of storms.
  • In Unit 3, Lesson 11, students read Click, Clack, Moo: Cow that Type by Doreen Cronin. This text contains repetitive humor about fictional cows and has text in typewriter font from the cows.
  • In Unit 4, Lesson 18, students read My Name is Gabriela by Monica Brown. This text tells the story of a Nobel Prize recipient. It contains intricate, detailed illustrations, some of which have text weaved into them.
  • In Unit 5, Lesson 25, students read From Seed to Plant by Gail Gibbons. This text contains content specific illustrations with diagrams of seeds and flowers.
  • In Unit 6, Lesson 26, students read Mysterious Tadpole by Steven Kellogg. This text contains a captivating, unusual character, a tadpole. There are active verbs such as bellowed, confused, and shrieked.

While there is a variety of topics and a range of student interests addressed throughout the year, some texts are not well-crafted and lack engaging aspects for students. Examples include the following:

  • In Unit 1, Lesson 1, students read Henry and Mudge: The First Book by Cynthia Rylant. While this text is easily relatable for Grade 2 students since the story is about a child wanting a pet, the text is shortened. The materials only contain the exposition of the actual story.
  • In Unit 4, Lesson 15, students read a Readers’ Theater script, Safety at Home by Margaret Sweeny. The script is short with a large background with photos of children inserted into the image.
  • In Unit 4, Lesson 17, students read the informational text, “Jackie Robinson” (no author listed). The text does not go into details that would interest students. For example, the text tells students that Jackie Robinson became the first African American to play Major League Baseball, but there are no details about the challenges at that time of entering the sport as an African American player.

Indicator 1b

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 2 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 2 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- 13 informational texts to 17 literary texts.
  • Paired selections- 19 informational to 11 literary texts
  • Read-alouds- 16 informational to 14 literary texts
  • Total: 48 informational to 42 literary texts

In Grade 2, the standards call for students to be reading fables and folktales from diverse cultures. The standards also call for students to be reading different versions of the same story. The materials provide fables/folktales by authors who represent other cultures (Chinese, Ancient Greece, Native American, Mexican) as well as traditional and universal tales such as “Stone Soup” (Unit 6) and “The Lion and the Mouse” (Unit 5). There are not many opportunities for students to compare different versions of the same story such as in Unit 6, students read a Chinese folktale titled “Yeh-Shen” and compare it to a modern version of “Cinderella”. However, it is important to mention that the materials provide paired selections based on the same topic in each lesson for students to compare. The materials also reflect a distribution of genres by including realistic fiction, fantasy, poetry/song, fables/folktales/fairy tales, reader's theater, plays and biographies. The titles below represent a sample of genres reflected in the materials.

  • Henry and Mudge by Cynthia Rylant (realistic fiction)
  • “A Swallow and a Spider” retold by Sheila Higginson (readers’ theater/fable)
  • “How Chipmunk Got His Stripes” by Joseph and James Bruchac (folktale)
  • “Schools around the World” by Margaret C. Hall (informational text)
  • Helen Keller” by Jane Sutcliffe (biography)
  • The Trouble with Signs by Bebe Jaffe (play)
  • “Share the Adventure” by Patricia and Fredrick McKissack (poetry)
  • “Half-Chicken” by Alma Flor Ada (folktale)
  • “The Goat in the Rug” by Charles L Blood and Martin Link (narrative nonfiction)
  • “Two of Everything” by Lily Toy Hong (folktale)

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
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-
Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 2 meet the expectations that shared reading texts have the appropriate level of complexity for the grade according to quantitative analysis, qualitative analysis, and relationship to their associated student task. (There are limited read-aloud texts in Grade 2) For the quantitative measure of complexity, the recommended range for the grade 2-3 band is 450L to 790. The majority of texts used in the materials falls within this range. Several texts that fall above or below the Grade 2 range are used to support student learning or build knowledge around the current topic of study.

Grade 2 materials shift from the expectation of read-alouds to an emphasis on shared and independent reading. The anchor and paired texts begin at readability levels that are more accessible to readers and increase throughout the year. Most Lexile or A.R 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 H-M (280-680L) and move to levels M to O (560-760L) by the end of Unit 6. The vocabulary readers for independent reading also range from a score of 480L to 670L. Anchor texts begin at a low readability level (240L) of the second to third grade Lexile band and advance to higher end of the range (700L). Paired reading passages for shared reading range from 460L to 710L.

Anchor texts and paired readings are also reviewed through 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 1

Guided Reading Leveled Readers: Level H to M, 280L to 600L

Vocabulary Reader: 480L

Anchor Text: “Henry and Mudge” by Cynthia Rylant

  • Readability Level: 240L
  • Qualitative analysis: low range of complexity

Paired Selection: “All in the Family” by Katherine Macklin

  • Readability level: 530L
  • Qualitative analysis: low to middle level of complexity

Unit 3: Lesson 13

Guided Reading Leveled Readers: Level J to N, 480 to 600L

Vocabulary Reader: Level I, 320L

Anchor text: “School around the World” by Margaret C. Hall

  • Readability level: 610L
  • Qualitative analysis: middle range complexity

Paired Selection: “An American School” no author listed

  • Readability level: 630L
  • Qualitative analysis: middle range complexity

Unit 6: Lesson 28

Guided Reading Leveled Readers: Level M to O, 560L to 760L

Vocabulary Reader: Level M, 670L

Anchor Text: “Yeh-Shen” by Gina Sabella

  • Readability level: 630L
  • Qualitative analysis: middle range of complexity

Paired Selection: “Cinderella” by Sheila Sweeny Higginson

  • Readability level: 580L
  • Qualitative analysis: middle to high range 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 2 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).

Grade 2 materials shift from the expectation of read-alouds to an emphasis on shared and independent reading. The anchor texts and paired selections begin at readability levels that are more accessible to early Grade 2 readers and increase throughout the year. Anchor texts and paired selections are reviewed through 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. For the quantitative measure of complexity, the recommended range for the grade 2-3 band is 450L to 790. The majority of texts used in the materials falls within this range. Several texts that fall above or below the Grade 2 range are used to support student learning or build knowledge around the current topic of study.

Each lesson series is outlined based on whole- and small-group instruction. For whole-group lessons, students focus on text-based comprehension of shared reading texts, paired selection, and close reader texts. 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. For the close reader, one day of instruction is allotted for it. 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.

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 H-M (280-680L) and move to levels M to O (560-760L) by the end of Unit 6. The vocabulary readers for independent reading also range from a score of 480L to 670L. Anchor texts begin at a low readability level (240L) of the second to third grade lexile band and advance to higher end of the range (700L). Paired reading passages for shared reading range from 460L to 710L.

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 2 meet the criteria for 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. 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.

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 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 guidance 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: “Talk about Smart Animals” by Donald Logan

Genre: Informational Text

Why This Text?

  • Children will regularly encounter informational text in textbooks and on the internet. This text will expand children’s knowledge of animals and their unique behaviors.

Key Learning Objectives:

  • Learn about some things animals can be trained to do
  • Gain information from headings

Quantitative Measures: 540L/ Level K

Qualitative Measures: Low-Mid Complexity

  • Purpose/Level of Meaning:
    • Density and Complexity: 25% of the texts have a single topic that is clearly explained. .
  • Text Structures:
    • Organization: 25% of the texts have a simple structure with headings that introduce a each subtopic.
  • Language Features:
    • Sentence Structure: 25% of the text contain some complex sentences.
  • Knowledge Demands
    • Subject Matter Knowledge/Prior Knowledge: 75% of the texts contain some specialized content.

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 2 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. 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 guided readers, vocabulary readers, student textbooks, blend-it books, close readers, readers’ notebooks, 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 engaging with 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: Blend-it book, word cards, read-aloud text decodable reader, reader’s notebook

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

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

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

Day 5: Close reader, reader’s notebook, student textbook, 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 food, plants, animals, adventure, travel, family events, life events, space, seasons, weather, pets, music, school, biographies, and sports. 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 2 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 2 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 1, students are asked, “What have you learned about Henry?”
  • In Unit 2, Lesson 9, students are asked, “What a character thinks, says, and does tells us a lot about what the character is like. How do Bear’s actions show you what he is like?”
  • In Unit 3, Lesson 13, students are asked, “Using what you learned on page 444, why might some children wear warmer clothes than children in another part of the world?”
  • In Unit 4, Lesson 19, students are asked, “What does the signmaker do when people thank him? What does this tell you about the signmaker?”
  • In Unit 5, Lesson 25, students are asked, “How does the author let readers know the different parts of a flower? What must happen FIRST before a seed can begin to grow? What sometimes happens when birds eat berries?”
  • In Unit 6, Lesson 28, students are asked, “So far, what do you know about how Yeh-Shen is different from her sister? How does Yeh-Shen respond to not being able to make friends? How does Yeh-Shen feel when she first finds out about her stepmother cooking the fish?

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
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 2 do not meet the expectation for materials containing sets of high-quality sequences of text-dependent 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(s). The question is consistently the same. Students are to compare two texts and tell how they are alike and different. The questions and tasks in the lesson do not build to this question. For example:

  • In Unit 1, Lesson 4, students compare and contrast Spider and Fly in Diary of a Spider and the characters in A Swallow and a Spider. Students are asked, “Spider and Fly in Diary of a Spider are friends. How is this different from how the characters feel about each other in A Swallow and a Spider? Share your thoughts with a partner.” There are no text-based questions during the unit that would lead students to being able to complete this task.
  • In Unit 3, Lesson 12, students are asked, “How are Ah, Music! and There’s a Hole at the Bottom of the Sea alike? How are they different? Think about how the authors use words and rhythm in each selection.” There are no text-based questions during the unit that would lead students to being able to complete this task.
  • In Unit 6, Lesson 28, students are asked, “ Think about Yeh-Shen and Cinderella. How are the stories alike and different? Compare and contrast the characters, the settings, and the events. Discuss your ideas with a partner. Then tell which story you like better and why.” There are no text-based questions during this lesson that ask students to describe the texts. The questions provided would not lead to students being able to complete 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 two Unit texts. There are no text-based questions or tasks that would lead students to answer the question and the question does not demonstrate understanding of the text. Some prompts can be answered without the unit’s texts. The task is connected to the writing skill for the unit. For example:

  • In Unit 2, Lesson 10, students are asked, “Look back at Animals Building Homes and Jellies. Read about coral polyps and jellyfish. Use the text and the pictures to help you think about how these animals are alike and how they are different. Then write an informational paragraph for young scientists. Explain how the animals are alike and how they are different.” There is little usable information in the selected texts that would allow students to complete this writing prompt.
  • In Unit 4, Lesson 20, students are asked, “ Look back at My Name is Gabriela and Heroes Then and Now. Gabriela Mistral and Amelia Earhart took adventures around the same time in history. Imagine you lived at that time and went on an adventure together. Write a story telling about your adventure to share with your classmates. Use information from both texts to help you.” There are no text dependent questions that call attention to the time period. In Heroes Then and Now there are only three sentences that talk about the pilot. There is no mention of the time period. Students can not complete this task with the texts given.
  • In Unit 5, Lesson 25, students are asked, “Look back at Gloria Who Might Be My Best Friend and Half-Chicken. Think about how the author of each story shows that Julian and Half-Chicken are good friends to others. Write a response to literature for your classmates. In your writing, use examples from the two stories to explain what it means to be a good friend.” There are no text-based questions that would students being able to complete this task. Students could also complete this task with little understanding of the chosen texts.

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 2 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.

Some activities do include some guidance for carrying out the activity. Some examples include:

  • In Unit 2, Lesson 8, during the Talk About It activity students are asked to “Think about how people find out about the weather. Why is it important to know when a storm is coming? Talk about your ideas with a group. Take turns speaking, Listen carefully to your partner. Add to his or her ideas. Stay on topic.” The teacher materials instruct the teacher to explain what it means to build on something a partner has shared. Materials also give sentences frames such as “I’d like to add to what you said. Also _________. Another thing I see is _____.”
  • In Unit 3, Lesson 11, the Collaborative Conversation activity states, “Remind children that they have read a story about what happens when there is a disagreement on a farm. Working in groups, have children discuss whether they think the cows and Farmer Brown are happy with the deal that they made. Tell them to refer to the text to support their responses. Remind children to listen carefully, take turns speaking, and to build on the comments of others. Have children use these sentence frames to offer opinions and build on responses. I think_____because. I agree becasue____. I disagree because ______.

While there were some activities that provided some guidance, there were others that would need more guidance for students to be successful with the task. Some examples include:

  • Many of the Compare Text activities that are included on Day 4 of the lesson give minimal instruction or guidance for students or teachers. In Unit 3, Lesson 15, the Text to Text question states, “Compare and Contrast: Have children review both selections, recount the main ideas and events, and tell the message of each before beginning their comparisons.”
  • In Unit 3, Lesson 14 the Collaborative Conversation activity states, “Working in groups, have children discuss why they think Helen is still talked about today. Before they begin, explain what it means to negotiate with others. Give children examples of prompts and responses for negotiating. How are our ideas the same? How are they different? Remind children to listen carefully and speak one at a time as they share.” There are not examples of prompt/responses for the teacher to model for the students.

Materials include a Speaking and Listening section in some of the lessons on Day 5. Topics include communicating clearly, listen to compare and contrast, having a conversation, a class discussion, retelling main ideas, and summarizing.

Target vocabulary is introduced in the Teacher Read Aloud, discussed before the anchor text, and then revisited again in Day 3. Lesson activities rarely ask children to use these target words.


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.

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 2 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 students discuss how research starts with a question. The Teacher Edition states, “Using their notes, have children tell partners what they already know about their research question. Remind children to speak audibly and in complete sentences. Have each child write a few sentences. Partners can help each other decide what to write.”
  • In Unit 5, Lesson 21, Day 5 students research an antarctic animal and create a presentation. The Teacher Edition states, “Have groups share their presentations with the class. Tell children who are listening to ask questions or ask for clarification if any points are not clear. The presenters should give their answers in complete sentences.”

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.
2/2
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 2 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 2 call for students to write opinion, informative/explanatory, and narrative pieces in which they are able to introduce, support, and close their topic but using multiple details and transition or signal words. 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 the 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 also 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 narrative writing in the form of crafting true story sentences, descriptive sentences, friendly letters,and true stories. Students complete the unit by writing to this prompt: “Write a paragraph about something that happened to you at school.” Teachers model the difference between true and fictional narrative writing as well as model the writing process from prewriting to drafting, revising and publishing. The Focus Traits are elaboration, development, and organization.

Unit 2 focuses on informative writing in which students focus heavily on building quality informational paragraphs by studying the parts of a paragraph and following the full writing process from prewriting to revision and publishing. One lesson series also focuses on instruction writing. The Focus Traits for this unit are purpose and elaboration. Students practice writing topic sentences and supporting them with details to work toward the culminating performance task of writing instructions to a task they perform often according to the model provided by the teacher. This task takes two weeks to complete and follows the full writing process.

Unit 3 focuses on opinion writing, but at a much higher skill demand than Grade 1. Students begin with writing a persuasive letter, then move to writing opinion and persuasive paragraphs distinguishing between the two. The culminating writing task is a persuasive essay, which is the students’ first exposure to essay writing. Students view models and identify the purpose of paragraphs and how each builds on the other. Student essays are in response to this prompt: “Write an essay to persuade the children at your school to help with a community project.” Focus Traits for this unit are purpose, organization, and elaboration.

Unit 4 returns to narrative writing in which students write fictional narrative paragraphs and then work on friendly letters before culminating with a fictional story. Students identify what elements make a great story and a descriptive paragraph and practice those elements in their own writing. With a focus on a beginning, middle, and an end, students spend the last two weeks of the unit crafting a fictional story for this prompt: “Write a story about a character who does something important or brave.” Like other grades, students can publish their work digitally or through myWriteSmart. Focus Traits for Unit 4 are elaboration, development, and organization.

Unit 5 moves back to informative writing, but this time students will learn the different organizational patterns such as problem-solution and compare-contrast. After crafting several informational paragraphs, students will spend two weeks writing a research report. After practicing using details, students brainstorm topics with a K-W-L chart to begin research and work daily in building their informational essay. Teachers begin helping students recognize how to write in their own words and not use direct information from other texts. After peer reviews, students publish a final draft. The Focus Trait for the lessons are elaboration and evidence.


Unit 6 returns to opinion writing as students craft story-response poems, opinion paragraphs, story responses, and finally, a response essay. Students share the responsibility of writing a book report using graphic organizers and supporting reasons. Students also view and write opinion paragraphs that respond with opposing viewpoints. This prepares students for their final essay response to this text-based prompt: “Write an essay about whether you think having a pot that made two of everything was good for the Haktaks.” The Focus Traits for Unit 6 are elaboration, organization, and evidence.

Indicator 1l

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 2 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 2 call for students to write opinion, informative/explanatory, and narrative pieces in which they are able to introduce, support, and close their topic but using multiple details and transition or signal words. 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 practicing how to write paragraphs, but, by the end of the year, they are expected to compose a full essay. 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 about schools around the world and people who helped their community, students write an essay to persuade the children at their school to help with a community project.

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 write true story sentences, descriptive sentences, friendly letters,and true stories with a focus on the difference between true and fictional narrative writing.

Unit 2 (informative writing) Students build informational paragraphs by studying the parts of a quality paragraph. Students also work through the entire writing process to write instructions for a task they perform often.

Unit 3 (opinion writing) Students write a persuasive letter, opinion, and persuasive paragraphs, and a persuasive essay through teacher modeling and extended practice.

Unit 4 (narrative writing) Students write fictional narrative paragraphs, friendly letters, and a fictional story focusing on creating a beginning, middle, and end.

Unit 5 (informative writing) Students learn and practice different organizational patterns such as problem-solution and compare-contrast. They write informational paragraphs then a research report.

Unit 6 (opinion writing) Students craft story-response poems, a book report, opinion paragraphs, story responses, and finally, a text-based response essay.

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 2 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 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 composing an informational paragraph. The focus traits are revising and editing.
  • Lesson 7, the writing focus is composing an informational paragraph. The focus traits are revising and editing.
  • Lesson 8, the writing focus is composing an informational paragraph. The focus trait is revising and editing.
  • Lesson 9, the writing focus is creating instructions. The focus trait is prewriting.
  • Lesson 10, the writing focus is creating instructions. The focus trait is revising and proofreading.

At the end of the unit, students publish instructions on how to complete a task.

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

  • Lesson 16, the writing focus is a narrative story paragraph. The focus traits are revising and editing.
  • Lesson 17, the writing focus is a narrative story paragraph. The focus traits are revising and editing.
  • Lesson 18, the writing focus is a narrative story paragraph. The focus traits are revising and editing.
  • Lesson 19, the writing focus is a narrative fictional story. The focus trait is prewriting.
  • Lesson 20, the writing focus is a narrative fictional story. The focus traits are proofreading and revising.

At the end of the unit, students publish a fictional story about a dog who is on a journey.

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

  • Lesson 26, the writing focus is composing a response poem. The focus traits are revising and editing.
  • Lesson 27, the writing focus is composing an opinion paragraph. The focus traits are revising and editing.
  • Lesson 28, the writing focus is composing a response paragraph. The focus trait is revising and editing.
  • Lesson 29, the writing focus is composing a response essay. The focus trait is prewriting.
  • Lesson 30, the writing focus is composing writing a response essay. The focus traits are revising, editing, and publishing.

At the end of the unit, students publish opinion essay to respond to whether or not they think having a pot that made two of everything was good or bad for the Haktaks.

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 3, Lesson 12, students are writing opinion statements. The teacher is directed to display a projectable provided with the materials and discuss how Han applied these skills: he included his opinion in the beginning. Though his writing he how he felt about the subject, gave reasons in the middle that connected to the opinion with linking words, and wrote a conclusion that repeats his opinion in different words. Students are then directed to work on their opinion paragraph. The prompt is “Write a paragraph that gives your opinion about something you like.”

At the end of each unit is also a performance task that is connected to unit text. This task is connected to the writing focus for each unit.

Indicator 1n

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 2 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 2 as well as reviewing some Grade 1 standards (e.g., types of sentences, nouns, singular and plural nouns).

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 on 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. Materials also focus heavily 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: Complete sentences (subjects/predicates); alphabetical order, using a glossary; sentence types (commands, statements, and questions); multiple meaning words; nouns (singular//plural); punctuation; words ending with -ed and -ing
    • Lesson 2, students practice using commas in the greetings and closings of letters during narrative writing.
    • Lesson 5, students are told to use a dictionary to check and correct spelling mistakes.
  • Unit 2: Plurals (irregular and ending with -es); prefix r-e/un-); proper nouns; homophones; action verbs; subjects; compound words; verbs ending with -s/-es (subject/verb agreement); synonyms; past and future tense; suffix -er/-est
    • Lesson 6, students are taught collective nouns.
    • Lesson 6, students are taught irregular plural nouns.
    • Lesson 10, students practice putting apostrophes into words to form contractions.
  • Unit 3: Simple/compound sentences; building interesting compound sentences, prefix pre-/-mis-; idioms; quotation marks; using a dictionary; suffix -ly; capitalization (days/months/holidays); abbreviations (months/days); root words
    • Lesson 11, students are taught compound sentences.
    • Lesson 14, students are taught proper nouns such as months of the year and holidays.
  • Unit 4: Pronouns (subjective/objective); homographs; subjects/verbs; antonyms; be verbs (past/present); suffix -ly; commas (dates/places/series); word choice (shades of meaning); prefix over-
    • Lesson 16, students are taught reflexive pronouns.
  • Unit 5: Adjectives (look/taste/smell/numbers); dictionary usage; adjectives with -er/-est; idioms; irregular verbs (have/do/run/hide/sit/tell/give/go/see); punctuation; antonyms
    • Lesson 23, students are taught irregular verbs.
    • Lesson 23, students practice writing words with suffixes.
  • Unit 6: Contractions (with pronouns/using not); multiple meaning words; adverbs (how/when); word choice; identifying adjectives vs. adverbs; possessive nouns/pronouns; antonyms; root words
    • Lesson 27, students are taught adverbs.

Criterion 1o - 1t

Materials in reading, writing, speaking, listening, and language targeted to support foundational reading development are aligned to the standards.
16/22
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Criterion Rating Details

The instructional materials for Grade 2 partially 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. Opportunities to learn and practice grade level phonics are limited, and the first two Units are devoted to prior grade-level phonics skills. Some essential skills (e.g., prefixes and suffixes) are limited to a single unit or lesson.

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.
2/4
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials for Grade 2 partially 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.

The progression of phonics is cohesive, but the instructional materials contain two units with reviewing previous grade level standards with Unit 1 and Unit 2 as a review of previous grade level standards. The phonics lessons progress from decoding words with long and short vowels to reading words with additional common vowel teams with Unit 5 dedicated to suffixes and prefixes.

There are in-depth phonemic awareness/phonics lessons during four days of each lesson. Unit 1 and Unit 2 phonics lessons review previous grade level standards. For example:

  • In Unit 1, Lesson 1, Day 1 and 2, the phonics lesson is relearning to decode words with short a and short i. In Day 3, the phonics lesson is decoding words with the CVC pattern.
  • In Unit 1, Lesson 2, the phonics lesson is relearning to decoding words with short o, u, and e. In Day 3, the phonics lesson is decoding words with the CVC pattern than contain short o, u, e.
  • In Unit 1, Lesson 3, the phonics lesson is words with long a and long i. In Day 3, students are taught how to read words with sounds for c.
  • In Unit 1, Lesson 4, the phonics lesson is relearning long vowels o, u, e. In Day 3, students are taught how to read words with sounds for g.
  • In Unit 1, Lesson 5, the phonics lesson is decoding words with consonant blends r, l, s. Day 3 is a cumulative review of phonics skills learned in Unit 1. Students participate in a word sort of CVCe words.
  • In Unit 2, Lesson 7, the phonics lesson is words with double consonants and ck. In Grade 1, Unit 2, Lesson 6, students were taught double final consonants and ck.
  • In Unit 2, Lesson 8, consonant digraphs (th, sh, wh, ch, tch, ph) are taught and common consonant digraphs are a Grade 1 standard.
  • In Unit 2, Lesson 9, students relearn inflectional endings (-ed, -ing). Inflectional endings are a Grade 1 standard.

To practice distinguishing long and short vowels, the instructional materials explicitly teach short vowels in separate lessons from long vowels, so students have few opportunities practicing distinguishing long vowels from short vowels.

In materials contain opportunities for students to learn additional common vowel teams.

  • In Unit 3, Lesson 12, the phonics lesson is about words with ai and ay. “This is the word aim. The letters ai are a vowel team. Together, they can stand for the long a sound.” Students practice reading words with ai and ay.
  • In Unit 4, Lesson 17, the phonics lesson is about word with long i (i, igh, ie, y). “Ice cream begins with the long i sound. The letters i, ie, igh, or y can stand for the long sound at the beginning, middle, or end of a word.” Students practice reading words with i, ie, igh, y.
  • In Unit 6, Lesson 29, students learn to read words with oo like in book. “The vowel sound /oo/ is in the middle of cook. The sound /oo/ in the middle of a word is often spelled oo.” Students practice reading words with oo.

Prefixes and suffixes are taught in Unit 5 and reviewed in Unit 6.

  • In Unit 5, Lesson 22, students learn -er and -est on the end of base words. “The base word is big. I can add -er to the base word big to compare two people or things. When a base word has one short vowel followed by a single consonant, I double the consonant before I add the ending.” Students practice reading word with the suffixes.
  • In Unit 5, Lesson 24, students are taught 5 prefixes in one lesson: re-, un-, over-, pre-, mis-. Prefixes are only explicitly taught in this lesson during the entire year.
  • In Unit 6, students learn -y, -ly, and -ful during a cumulative review. “Write the suffixes -y, -ly, and -ful on the board. Below the suffixes, write the following words: rain, slow, quick, care, loose, new, thank, storm. Have children make words by adding a suffix to a base word.”

Opportunities to learn and practice grade level phonics are limited. Units 1 and Unit 2 focus on prior grade level phonics skills. Five prefixes are explicitly taught during one lesson and suffixes are taught in one unit.

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 2 meet the expectations 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).

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

  • In Unit 1, Lesson 1, during the second read of Henry and Mudge, students work with the teacher to complete a graphic organizer about sequence of events “Remind them that clue words in the story such as first, next, then, and least can help them follow the sequence of events.”
  • In Unit 1, Lesson 3, students learn about text structure during Language Detective. “Remind children that texts are organized into parts.” Students practice using for example in a new sentence.
  • In Unit 1, Lesson 4, students learn cause and effect. The lesson includes teaching students about because, so, since. Students complete a cause and effect chart for Diary of a Spider.
  • In Unit 2, Lesson 8 during the second read of Super Storms, students are taught about cause and effect. “Tell children that sometimes one event leads to another. One event can make or cause another event to happen.”
  • In Unit 3, Lesson 13, during the second read of Schools Around the World, taught about main idea and details. “Point out that informational text has topics, main ideas, and supporting details.”
  • In Unit 4, Lesson 16, during the second read of Mr. Tanen’s Tie Trouble, students learn about how stories are structured. “Remind children that the plot is the story’s events. Most plots will involve a problem that the characters must solve.” Students complete a story map.
  • In Unit 5, Lesson 23, during the second read of The Goat in the Rug, students describe the sequence of events that Geraldine (character in the story) has explained thus far.
  • In Unit 6, Lesson 26, during the second read of The Mysterious Tadpole, students complete a graphic organizer for story structure. “Then have them use the words and pictures to retell the plot, focusing on the problem and solution in the story.”

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

  • In Unit 2, Lesson 6 during the second read of Animals Building Homes, use a graphic organizer to select text and graphic features from pages 202 and 203. Students also learn about boldface print. In the small group options for Differentiate Comprehension, there are lessons about text and graphic features.
  • In Unit 3, Lesson 12, the target skill is text and graphic features. Students document in a chart the text or graphic feature, the page number, and the purpose. In the Reteaching Options, there is a lesson on text and graphic features.
  • In Unit 4, Lesson 19, the target skill is text and graphic features. Students learn that pictures are a kind of graphic feature. “As you read The Signmaker’s Assistant, look carefully at the signs in the pictures. They can help you figure out what is happening in the story.”
  • In Unit 5, Lesson 25, the target skill is text and graphic features. Students learn that labels are an example of a text feature. Students document in a chart the text or graphic feature, the page number, and the purpose.

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 2 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 3, the Words to Know (sing, do, they, find, funny, no) 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 9, Day 2 of the Opening Routines, the teacher points to a High-Frequency Word Card with draw and states: “Say the word. Spell the word. Write the word. Check the word.” The teacher practices this routine with five other high-frequency words. Students play the Stomping Game to practice the words.
  • In Unit 3, Lesson 12, Day 1 of the Opening Routines, the teacher points to the Words to Know on the Focus Wall and reviews the high-frequency words: been, brown, know, never, off, own, very. The teacher uses Instructional Routine 10 and the High-Frequency Cards.
  • In Unit 4, Lesson 16, there are 8 Words to Know (high-frequency words): think, bring, before, light, because, carry, show, around. Students pronounce the word, learn the word in context, and practice the word using the Vocabulary in Context Cards.
  • In Unit 5, Lesson 25, Day 5 of the Opening Routines, the teacher points to a High-Frequency Card: myself, buy, city, family, party, please, school, seven, country, soil, kinds, earth, almost, ready, covers, warms. Students say the word, spell the word, write the word, or check the word. Students play Find the Letter Game.
  • In Unit 6, Lesson 27, Day 3 of the Opening Routines, the teacher points to a High-Frequency Card for the following words: happy, always, different, enough, high, near, once, stories. Students say the word, spell the word, write the word, or check the word. Students play Word-O to practice the words.

The materials contain opportunities for Grade 2 students to gain oral reading fluency.

  • In Unit 1, Lesson 5, fluency instruction is about accuracy: self-correct. During the reading of the decodable reader, the teacher models fluency and self-correction. “Have children follow along as you read page 111 aloud, skipping the word can. Tell children if something doesn’t make sense while you are reading, stop and reread to find the mistake. Lead children in reading the page chorally with fluency and accuracy.” 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 5, students practice reading words from Projectable 5.5. Then students read aloud Gus Takes the Train?
  • In Unit 3, Lesson 14, fluency instruction is about expression. During the reading of the decodable reader, the teacher models fluency and expression. “Have children follow along as you read page 90 aloud, using expression to show how interesting the facts are. Remind children that they can change their voices to go up or down to express different feelings about what they are reading. Lead children in reading the page chorally with fluency and with appropriate expression.” 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 3, Lesson 14, students practice reading words from Projectable 14.5. Then students read The Big Race.
  • In Unit 5, Lesson 25, fluency instruction is about the use of punctuation. During the reading of the decodable reader, the teacher models fluency and the use of punctuation. “Read aloud page 131 as children follow along. Point out how you stopped briefly when you came to the end mark in each sentence. Lead children in reading the page chorally with fluency, paying attention to end marks.” There are directions for students to reread the decodable reader, Down on the Farm, three or four times and to practice accurately at an appropriate rate and with expression.
  • In Unit 6, Lesson 28, fluency instruction is about phrasing. During the reading of the decodable reader, the teacher models fluency and phrasing. “Read aloud page 67 as children follow along. Point out that you read groups of words together, pausing when you come to a comma or end of a sentence. Lead children in reading the page chorally with fluency and proper phrasing.” There are directions for students to reread the decodable reader, Sally Jane and Beth Ann, three or four times and to practice accurately at an appropriate rate and with expression.

Grade 2 students have opportunities to gain decoding automaticity especially when students read Projective resources and decodables. Students practice reading many high-frequency words, although some of the high-frequency words are repeated from previous grade levels.

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 2 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 1, Lesson 2, students are learning the following high-frequency words: bring, children, comes, do, family, like, make, those, use, with. When students read the decodable story, The Funny Hot Contest by Lissie Stuart, students read those words. By Unit 5, Lesson 21, students read a decodable story called Time to Move by Mae Meriva, which contains across, behind, house, how, move, nothing, one, out, took, voice.

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

  • In Unit 1, Lesson 2 of the Reader’s Notebook, students identify high-frequency words that fit in cloze sentences.
  • In Unit 3, Lesson 15 of the Reader’s Notebook, student identify high-frequency works in the context of a sentence. “Will it (fly, long) away when it sees her?”

Students practice reading Vocabulary in Context with a specially designated set of cards which are a mix of high-frequency words, irregularly spelled words, and vocabulary to help with the anchor text. Students practice reading these words in the anchor text. After reading the Vocabulary in Context Cards in Unit 2, Lesson 10, students see and read the words (millions, choices, drift, simple, weaker, wrapped, disgusting, decide) in the anchor text, Jellies by Twig C. George. Another example is students read the following highlighted words in the Vocabulary in Context Cards: received, account, budget, disappointed, chuckled, staring, repeated, fund in Unit 4, Lesson 16. In the anchor text, Mr. Tanen’s Tie Trouble by Maryann Cocca-Leffler, students see, read, and hear the same words in context. There is a decodable reader in Unit 4, Lesson 16 for students to practice the phonics skill (base words and endings). The Vocabulary from the week is not included in the decodable though.

The decodable texts are designed to help students practice the phonics and word recognition focus for the week. For example:

  • Unit 1, Lesson 3, the phonics lesson is about reading short vowels, which is a review for Grade 2 students. In Mice Can Race by Tatianna Rom, students practice read sentences such as: “Cal and Cid are in the same grade.”
  • Unit 6, Lesson 30, students practice reading words with final stable syllable -le. In Polly Poodle by Karen Torkelson, students read sentences such as: “Polly sold apples, candles, bubble bath, basketballs, waffle makers, maple fudge, milk bottles, teapots, and much more.”

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 based in the weekly phonics focus in isolated sentences.

  • Unit 1, Lesson 3 of the Reader’s Notebook, students select a word from the word bank and write in a cloze sentence: “Here is a ____.”
  • Unit 3, Lesson 15 of the Reader’s Notebook, students select which compound word best completes each sentence. For example: “The ___ melted on my nose.”

Opportunities to use word recognition and analysis skills in connected writing are limited. During the writing lessons, the directions are not detailed or specific as to how the teacher should guide students to use grade level phonics and word recognition to write words in the writing lessons. During the weekly modeling of writing, teachers are not directed to have students help with spelling-sound correspondence of common vowel teams or words with prefixes or suffixes or help spell irregularly spelled words. Furthermore, the teacher does not model phonics and word recognition as the teacher models the writing. In Unit 1, Lesson 6 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 2 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 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.

While the Diagnostic Assessment is intended more for assessing Kindergarten and Grade 1 students, the teacher can use 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 emerging understanding: “letter-sound fluency activities, oral language activities, playing 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 Assessment focuses on 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 2 student is below the goal in Oral Reading Fluency, then administer the Diagnostic Assessment: Oral Reading Fluency (identify student needs) and administer the corresponding lessons in HMH Decoding Power, choosing from Sessions 2.1A (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 who are on track, and students who excel. For example:

  • In Unit 1, Lesson 4, 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 T380. See also Intervention Lesson 4, pages S33. If children are on track, then use the Vocabulary in Context Cards and differentiate Vocabulary Reader, Along Came a Spider..., for On-Level Readers, page T380. If children excel, then differentiate Vocabulary Reader, Along Came a Spider..., page T381.”
  • In Unit 3, Lesson 12, the Formative Assessment box contains corrective feedback for: “When a child mispronounces a letter-sound, highlight that letter, restate its sound, have the children repeat the sound, and then guide them to blend the word.” Further directions state: “Go to pages T176-177 for additional phonics support.” On pages T176-177, there are the small group options for Differentiate Phonics.
  • In Unit 5, Lesson 22, 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.” Further directions state: “Go to pages T184-185 for additional phonics support.” On pages T184-185, there is the small group for Differentiate Phonics.

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 2 partially meets expectations 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 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 1, Lesson 4, for readers who struggle, there is a gradual release lesson on words with long vowels (o, u, e). In I Do It, the teacher points out rose from the Decodable Reader. Through the use of Letter Cards, the teacher models the VCe pattern. In We Do It, students blend sounds to read 8 words which contain VCe. In You Do It, students make words from the letter cards to correspond to Picture Cards which have VCe words. For English Language Learners, the teacher is to use Letter Cards h, o, m, e and point to the letters and name the sounds. Then the teacher blends the sounds. The teacher does the name process for rude and Pete. 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 1 Lesson 4 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 1 Lesson 4 Word Study. If children have time after completing the blue activity, have them reread the Decodable Reader selection A Bed of Roses or another book of their choice independently.”
  • In Unit 4, Lesson 17, for students struggling to learn words with long i (i, igh, ie, y). In I Do It, the teacher shows Letter Cards of long i words. In We Do It, the students read 8 cards which have long i. In You Do It, students create words with long i using Letter Cards. For English Language Learners, the lesson starts with the word find on the board and the teacher points out the letter i in the word. The teacher points out the letter i in might, pie, spy. For ELL students at the different stages, there are different lessons and tasks. For the students on level, the small group lesson is: “See Literacy Centers--Units 4, Lesson 17 Word Study. If children have time after completing the purple activity, have them try moving on to the blue activity.” For the students who are advanced, the small group lesson is: “See Literacy Centers--Unit 4 Lesson 17. If children have time after completing the blue activity, have them reread Decodable Reader Bright Lights or another book independently.”

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

  • In Unit 5, Lesson 24, Differentiate Phonics and Fluency, for students struggling to learn the words with silent consonants, there is a gradual release lesson with formative assessment. In I Do It, the teacher uses a Decodable Reader to model how to read silent letters. In We Do It, students are shown pictures of words that contain silent letters, and students write the spelling of words. In You Do It, students use Letter Cards to build words that contain silent letters.

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 rate. The teacher models reading a sentence (the same sentence for every group) with an appropriate rate. Then the teacher is directed to select two sentences from each Leveled Reader: Lessons About Lightning, A Snowy Day, The Wind, What is in the Wind? and the teacher has students help read the sentences rate. In You Do It, students read a page from the Leveled Reader at an appropriate rate.
  • In Unit 6, Lesson 26, the fluency small group lesson plan is accuracy: connected text. The teacher models reading the sentences (the same sentences for every group) with halting to group words together. In We Do It, the teacher and students work to read sentences with accuracy. In You Do It, students are to read a page with accuracy from the Leveled Reader with a partner.

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

  • In Unit 1, Lesson 5, there is a reteach lesson for phonics, which helps students with r, l, sf. In I do It, the teacher displays Picture Cards and Word Cards for dress, globe, and nest. The teacher pronounces each word and emphasizes the consonant sounds. In We Do It, students write words that have consonant blends. In You Do It, students work together to read The Stop and Spend Sale.
  • In Unit 3, Lesson 12, there is a reteach lesson for phonics, which helps students with vowel digraphs (ai, ay). In I Do It, the teacher displays a Sound/Spelling Card for acorn. The teacher models blending the vowel digraphs in pail, wait, pay, and tray. In We Do It, students practice blending vowel graphs with the teacher. In You Do It, the students work in partners to read The Waiting Game.

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

  • In Unit 3, Lesson 11, the Response to Intervention box contains information to the teacher as to how to differentiate for a child who mispronounces a word with endings -s, -es. “When a child mispronounces a word, point to the word and say it. Call attention to the element that was mispronounced, say it, and then guide children to read 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. Make note of errors and review those words during the next lesson.”
  • In Unit 6, Lesson 29, the Response to Intervention box contains information to the teacher as to how to differentiate for students not pronouncing longer words with long vowels (a, i). “When a child mispronounces a letter-sound, highlight that letter, restate its sound, have children repeat the sound, and then guide 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.”

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 2 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 2 materials are organized by broad, universal themes such as “Animal Traits.” Each weekly lesson is centered around a knowledge-building topic that supports the unit theme. Like Kindergarten, most of the texts are connected to each other to build student knowledge and comprehension; however, the weekly lessons do not connect to each other to build knowledge across the unit. For example, Unit 1 lessons move from animal traits to learning about families and then back to animal traits before learning about being a good neighbor.

In Grade 2 the unit themes/titles do not clearly categorize the lesson topics. Overall, the materials focus mostly on animals, weather, citizenship, social studies topics, folktales, and other science topics. Within most weekly lessons, students read multiple texts related to the lesson topic. The read-alouds, anchor texts, big books, paired selections, fluency charts, vocabulary readers, and guided readers are aligned to the lesson topic in most 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, the Unit 3 theme is “Tell Me About It!” The overall theme of the lesson is supposed to focus on communication but this is not clearly defined across the lessons. Lesson 1 focuses on humorous or real interactions between animals and humans but lesson two jumps to musical instruments. Lesson 3 compares schools around the world but jumps to alternative ways people communicate such as Helen Keller. This occurs again in Unit 5 and 6.

Below is a sample of unit topics and lessons. The Unit 1 lesson, “Animal Traits”, is an example of texts aligned to the topic. The Unit 5 lesson “Life Cycles” is an example of how texts do not center around a topic.

  • Unit 1: Neighborhood Visit
    • Lesson Topics: Animal Traits, Family Time, Animal Traits, Getting Along with Others, Places Around Town
  • Unit 2: Nature Watch
    • Lesson Topics: Animal Homes, Agriculture, Weather, Traditional Tales, Ocean Life
  • Unit 3: Tell Me About It!
    • Lesson Topics: Animal and Human Interactions, Music, School Differences, Special Ways to Communicate, Personal Safety
  • Unit 4: Heroes and Helpers
    • Lesson Topics: Helping Others, Never Give Up, Reading and Writing, Signs, Heroic Contributions
  • Unit 5: Changes, Changes Everywhere
    • Lesson Topics: Animal Development, Following Directions, Visual Arts, Traditional Stories, Life Cycles
  • Unit 6: What a Surprise!
    • Lesson Topics: Life Cycles, Fossils, Traditional Stories, Traditional Stories, Historical Figures

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 Grade1 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 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.

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

Unit 1, Lesson 3: Animal Traits

  • “Think Through the Text” questions - So far what have you learned about owning a pet? What clues from the text and photos tell you this is a dog? Which two groups of pets does the author mention? Why do you think the author used this heading on page 88?
  • “Dig Deeper”/”Analyze the Text”- Use a sentence map to write a paragraph about the author’s purpose of “Dogs.”

Unit 4 , Lesson 18: Reading and Writing

  • “Think Through the Text”questions - Look at the picture of Gabriela Mistral on page 93. What do you think the things around Gabriela stand for? What do you know about Gabriela by the end of page 95? How would you describe her? Which words does the author use to tell about Gabriela’s feelings? What details on page 98 support the main idea that Gabriela loves words? Why does Gabriela think the alphabet is important?
  • “Dig Deeper”/”Analyze the Text”- Students will use a three-column chart to record details from the text about Gabriela’s words, thoughts, and actions to form an opinion about the main character.

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.
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Indicator Rating Details

Materials reviewed for Grade 2 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 on a Writer’s Handbook to practice writing about the topics they are studying, but these tasks are not text-based until later units. In Unit 6, students compose a response paragraph and essay in which they share their feelings toward a story or character, but this is not guided by a text-based or knowledge-building prompt.

The Teacher Edition also contains a text box for most readings labeled Cross-Curricular Connection. These are typically discussion starters that extend 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 building are generally not text-based in the Grade 2 materials.

Unit 4, Lesson 18: Reading and Writing

  • Essential Question: Why are reading and writing important?
  • Summarize/Analyze the text: How do the illustrations on page 100-101 seem like what happens in real school? Use the Retelling Cards to guide children to summarize the story.
  • Think-Write-Pair-Share- How do you feel about reading and writing poetry? Make a list of words that describe your feelings.
  • Cross-curricular Connection: Ask children why they think Gabriela’s contribution to literature is important?
  • Shared Writing: Write a paragraph that describes a place, an animal, or a thing.
  • Write about Reading: How would you describe Gabriela? Write a paragraph telling what she is like.
  • Text to text: Look at the poems you just read. Which do you think Gabriela would like the best? Give a few reasons using text evidence from, My Name is Gabriela.
  • Independent Writing task: Students revise and rewrite the paragraph they composed in guided writing that describes a place, an animal, or a thing.

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 2 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 an opportunity daily 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 primarily on the writing skill but inconsistently 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 no designated culminating tasks in which students engage with the texts or topics for the lesson.

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

Below are examples of weekly independent writing tasks that do incorporate reading and writing; however, they are not knowledge-developing skills. 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- Places Around Town
    • Performance Task: Reread pages 166-167. Why does Mrs. Fry say she is lucky after reading Rodger’s note? Write a few sentences to tell your opinion.
    • Independent Writing: Students proofread and then publish a final draft of their personal narrative about something that happened to them at school.
    • Unit Performance Task: Students practice the skill of brainstorming to determine what they would want to know about spiders over a period of 5 days from Lesson 4 to 5.
  • Unit 4, Lesson 20, Narrative Writing- Heroic Contributions
    • Guided Writing: Students have been composing a narrative based on this prompt: Write a story about a character who does something important or brave. They will work on building paragraphs to show that stories have a beginning, middle, and an end. 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 2 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 “Target Vocabulary” on the focus wall. There are usually around 8 words in this box. Each weekly pacing guide instructs the teacher to “Introduce Vocabulary” on Day 1, and then “Apply Vocabulary Knowledge” in which they “Review Target Vocabulary” on a following day. During this review day students are also introduced to new words labeled “Enrich” to expand the vocabulary to words that may be utilized the additional text. Students may also “Warm-up with Wordplay” that reviews the weekly and enriching vocabulary words. 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 are not 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 they 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.

This is an example of vocabulary instruction for a weekly lesson.

Unit 4: Lesson 20: Heroic Contributions

  • Day 1: Introduce the Vocabulary: Students view Context Cards (also represented in their student text) for the vocabulary words which are found in the anchor text: gazing, hero, sprang, exercise, sore, studied, depended, overlooked.
  • Day 2: Warm up with Wordplay: Students select two words from a list two describe the main character of Dex: The Heart of a Hero. These are not words from the weekly vocabulary list.
  • Day 3: Apply Vocabulary Knowledge: Students are introduced to new vocabulary words antics, heroics, purpose, fantastic in addition to reviewing the words for the week from Day 1. The examples provided for meaning are connected to the anchor text though these words do not appear in the text itself. Then, students answer questions such as “What types of antics make you laugh?” to utilize the vocabulary out of the context of the texts or topic.
  • Day 4: Vocabulary Strategies: Students warm up by using the new words learned in Day 3 and then practice using the prefix -over. This is a connection to the vocabulary word overlooked.
  • Day 5: Domain Specific Vocabulary: Students discuss, illustrate, and write about the words charity, grant, improve, and figure. It is unclear from where these words are pulled.

As demonstrated, the materials do include a year-long structure for vocabulary, including target vocabulary, domain-specific vocabulary, spelling words, and reading/language arts Tier III terms; however they do not include a cohesive, year-long plan for students to interact with and build key academic vocabulary words across texts, lessons, and units throughout the year.

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 2 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 13, students read several texts about different types of schools across countries but the writing tasks for the week prepare students to write a persuasive paragraph to convince the teacher to take a class on a trip. While the development of opinion writing is cohesive throughout Unit 3, the tasks do not demonstrate student knowledge or understanding of the texts and topics.

Daily lessons include writing tasks that range from crafting quality sentences to writing a persuasive and informational essay. 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 focused on for two units.

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

  • Unit 1, Narrative Writing- crafting true story sentences, descriptive sentences, friendly letters,and true stories
  • Unit 2, Informative Writing- building quality informational paragraphs and instructions
  • Unit 3, Opinion Writing- writing a persuasive letter and paragraphs to craft a persuasive essay
  • Unit 4, Narrative Writing- writing fictional narrative paragraphs, friendly letters, and a fictional story
  • Unit 5, Informative Writing- writing informational paragraphs with organizational patterns to build an informational essay
  • Unit 6, Opinion Writing- writing story-response poems, opinion paragraphs, story responses, and a response essay

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 2 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 do write an informational essay about an animal of their choice using the entire writing process; however, this report is written independently of the unit or lesson topics of visual arts, traditional stories, and life cycles.

Some lessons are accompanied by a “Research and Media Literacy” section usually at the end of the weekly lesson. Grade 2 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 4, an example of a “Research and Media Literacy” task is in Lesson 16 under the topic “Helping Others.” This task requires that the teacher record the students reading Mr. Tanen’s Tie Trouble with expression. The teacher is instructed to use the equipment in the classroom and show students how to turn on the equipment and record themselves. There are no recommended pieces of equipment or software and teachers do not have any guidance as how to record students or monitor their reading. Students are to work on the recordings through the following week while the weekly lesson has already moved to other texts and the topic “Never Give Up.”

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
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Indicator Rating Details

The materials for Grade 2 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 in the form of the Five Finger Rule. The materials direct the teacher to, “Tell children that when they select books for reading, they should make sure the book is not too easy or too difficult. Review the Five Finger Rule for choosing a ‘just right’ book. Choose a book that interests you, and read the first page or two. Put one finger up 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. If no fingers or only one finger go up, this book is too easy for you and you should choose another book. Review with children why it is important not to choose a book that is too easy or too difficult.”

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 1 978-0-5445-4335-5 Copyright: 2017 Houghton Mifflin Harcourt 2017
HMH Journeys Student Edition Book 2 978-0-5445-4337-9 Copyright: 2017 Houghton Mifflin Harcourt 2017
HMH Journeys Teacher's Edition Unit 1 978-0-5445-4354-8 Copyright: 2017 Houghton Mifflin Harcourt 2017
HMH Journeys Teacher's Edition Unit 2 978-0-5445-4355-3 Copyright: 2017 Houghton Mifflin Harcourt 2017
HMH Journeys Teacher's Edition Unit 3 978-0-5445-4356-0 Copyright: 2017 Houghton Mifflin Harcourt 2017
HMH Journeys Teacher's Edition Unit 4 978-0-5445-4357-7 Copyright: 2017 Houghton Mifflin Harcourt 2017
HMH Journeys Teacher's Edition Unit 5 978-0-5445-4358-4 Copyright: 2017 Houghton Mifflin Harcourt 2017
HMH Journeys Teacher's Edition Unit 6 978-0-5445-4359-1 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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