Alignment to College and Career Ready Standards: Overall Summary

The instructional materials for Journeys Grade 3 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 3 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. 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 3 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

|

Does Not Meet Expectations

Gateway 1:

Text Quality

0
20
37
42
27
37-42
Meets Expectations
21-36
Partially Meets Expectations
0-20
Does Not Meet Expectations

Gateway 2:

Building Knowledge

0
15
28
32
12
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 3 materials partially meet the expectations for text quality and complexity and alignment to the standards. While some ltexts 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. Writing support meets the requirements of the standards, with students practicing multiple modes and genres over the course of the school year. Writing process materials are present throughout the school year. Grammar and conventions lessons and practice are often not aligned to grade level standards.

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
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Criterion Rating Details

Instructional materials for Grade 3 reviewed partially meet the expectations for anchor texts being of publishable quality and worthy of especially careful reading. Many of the literary texts are published texts which provide opportunities for students to engage in especially careful reading, are on topics of interest to Grade 3 students, and include rich, captivating language. Many informational texts are very short and lack engaging, content-area vocabulary. Texts do meet the expectations for reflecting the distribution of text types and genres required by the standards. Each lesson has a paired set of texts which often include both a literary text and a paired informational text. Texts have the appropriate level of complexity for the grade according to quantitative analysis, qualitative analysis, and relationship to their associated student task and partially meet the expectation of supporting students’ increasing literacy skills over the course of the school year. While the anchor texts and paired selections typically fall within the grade band, the scaffolding of each text for reader and task is similar and comparable for each text regardless of complexity and demands of each text. This may not ensure students are supported to access and comprehend complex grade-level texts independently at the end of the year. Anchor texts and the series of texts connected to them are accompanied by a and rationale and text complexity analysis for educational purpose and placement in the grade level.

Indicator 1a

Anchor texts are of publishable quality and worthy of especially careful reading and consider a range of student interests.
2/4
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 3 partially meet the expectations of indicator 1a. Many of the literary texts are published texts which provide opportunities for students to engage in especially careful reading, are on topics of interest to Grade 3 students, and include rich, captivating language. Most of the informational texts were written for the series and are not works published outside the program, and many of these are brief and lack content-area vocabulary and well-crafted language.

The anchor texts for Grade 3 include texts created by award-winning authors and illustrators, such as Patricia MacLachlan, Peter Reynolds, Susan E. Goodman, and Kathleen Kudlinski and cover topics of interest to Grade 3 students in a variety of genres, including historical fiction, narrative nonfiction, biographies, and science fiction. Some examples of quality texts include but are not limited to:

  • Unit 1, Lesson 1, A Fine, Fine School by Sharon Creech - This is a text that is easily relatable for Grade 3 students since the setting is a school. During this humorous fiction narrative, the principal learns that some important lessons are learned and taught outside the school. The author uses creative word repetition and the illustrations contain fascinating details.
  • Unit 2, Lesson 5, Bat Loves the Night by Nicola Davies - This text is a narrative nonfiction account from an award-winning author and scientific researcher of a mother bat’s nocturnal activities. It includes rich, captivating language such as, “Gliding and fluttering back and forth, she shouts her torch of sounds among the trees.” The text also includes lifelike illustrations, interesting facts about bats at the bottom of each page, related to the vocabulary-laden (e.g., echolocation, nocturnal, batlings) narrative text on the top or middle of each page.
  • Unit 3, Lesson 12, Tops & Bottoms, a Newberry Award winning text by Janet Stevens - This text is a trickster tale that tells the story of a cunning rabbit who tricks a bear into doing all of the work of planting a garden while the rabbit reaps the rewards of the harvest. It includes rich, colorful illustrations, and an engaging storyline.
  • Unit 4, Lesson 16, Judy Moody Saves the World! by Megan McDonald - In this humorous fiction text it is easy to relate to Judy’s frustration with trying to do something that seems like an insurmountable task. This text contains engaging dialogue between relatable characters who are also Grade 3 students.
  • Unit 5, Lesson 21, Sarah, Plain and Tall by Patricia MacLachlan - This historical fiction text has spectacular adjectives such as “slick,” “wild-eyed,” and “smoothest,” and vivid verbs such as “whooped,” “leaned,” and “clattered.”
  • Unit 6, Lesson 26,The Foot Race Across America by Rob Hale - This narrative nonfiction includes engaging elements such as dialogue and photographs from the time period that include photos from the race.

While there are a variety of topics and a range of student interests addressed throughout the year, many texts that have been created for the series are brief and lack engagement for Grade 3 students. Examples include but are not limited to:

  • Unit 3, Lesson 14, Kids and Critters is a very short text with large pictures and a fake announcement which overwhelms the pages limiting what students get to read.
  • In Unit 5, Lesson 23, Moving the U.S. Mail is a short text with short, simple sentences which do not go into the detail that would interest students nor build their comprehension of the work. For example, “Transportation has improved,”“people rushed west,” and “The mail moved faster than ever.”
  • In Unit 6, Lesson 30, Acting Across Generations is a brief text with just six paragraphs, and, while the text is intended to function like a news article, the text lacks a byline. Few academic words are included.

Indicator 1b

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 3 meet the expectations for reflecting the distribution of text types and genres required by the standards. There is a mix between literary and informational text. Each lesson has a paired set of texts which often include both a literary text and a paired informational text.

The anchor literary texts represent a variety of text types and genres including but not limited to humorous fiction, myth, plays, historical fiction, fantasy, realistic fiction, poetry, folktales, fables and legends.

  • The Trial of Cardigan Jones by Tim Egan, fantasy
  • “Baseball Poems”, poetry
  • Bat Loves the Night by Nicola Davies, narrative nonfiction
  • Tops and Bottoms by Janet Stevens, trickster tale
  • Judy Moody Saves the World by Megan McDonald, humorous fiction
  • Sarah, Plain and Tall by Patricia MacLachlan, historical fiction
  • “The Raven: An Inuit Myth”, myth
  • “The Big Clean Up”, play

The anchor informational texts represent a variety of text types and genres including but not limited to technology, science, social studies & biographies. Informational texts include news articles, journal entries, biographies, and photo essays.

  • One Room Schoolhouses, informational text
  • Bridges, informational text
  • Young Thomas Edison by Michael Dooling, biography
  • Aero and Officer Mike by Joan Plummer Russell, informational text
  • Mountains: Surviving on Mt. Everest by Michael Sandler, article

Indicator 1c

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

The materials reviewed for Grade 3 meet the expectation that texts have the appropriate level of complexity for the grade according to quantitative analysis, qualitative analysis, and relationship to their associated student task.

Most texts have the appropriate level of complexity for Grade 3 students. Examples of texts with appropriate text complexity include:

  • Unit 1, Lesson 4: Pop’s Bridge by Eve Bunting
    • Quantitative: 610 Lexile
    • Qualitative: The text has a single level of meaning, but includes two different storylines. The language is familiar with a few idiomatic expressions. The text contains references to unfamiliar experiences.
    • Reader and Task: Suggestions are provided in order to help students in accessing the text. The teacher is directed to have students who are interested in bridges tell what they like about bridges. The teacher can use a Language Support Card. Students can share with a partner what they know about teamwork. The tasks include: comparing and contrasting characters in the story and analyzing the text for story structure.
  • Unit 3, Lesson 11: Technology Wins the Game by Mark Andrews
    • Quantitative: 760 Lexile
    • Qualitative: The purpose of the text is implied. The text has some unfamiliar features as it is a technical text, but the text includes steps. The vocabulary has unfamiliar domain words. Specialized knowledge is needed to understand the text.
    • Reader and Task: Suggestions are provided in order to help students in accessing the text. The teacher is directed to ask students to read the text to learn how technology helps athletes win. The teacher can use a Language Support Card. Students can share with a partner the tools needed to play their favorite sports. The tasks include: determining sequence of events and analyzing the text and graphic features.
  • Unit 5, Lesson 21: Sarah, Plain and Tall by Patricia MacLachlan
    • Quantitative: 480 Lexile
    • Qualitative: The text has multiple levels of meaning. It uses foreshadowing to expand understanding of characters and what their future as a family will look like.The text includes more complex descriptions that may require students to unpack meaning.
    • Reader and Task: Suggestions are provided in order to help students in accessing the text. The teacher is directed to have students who enjoy reading historical fiction to share what they hope to learn from the selection. The teacher can use a Language Support Card. Students can share with a partner the types of activities adults and children do on farms. The tasks include: looking for text evidence for story structure and determining if in agreement with the character’s point-of-view.
  • Unit 6, Lesson 27 The Power of Magnets by Barbara A. Donovan
    • Quantitative: 690 Lexile
    • Qualitative: The text has an explicitly stated purpose or main idea. It uses cause and effect structure to explain scientific information. The headings in the text make clear what material will be covered in each section. The text mixes formal languages with informational tone that appears when the text addresses the reader directly or poses questions. Although readers may have prior experience with magnets, the text provides specialized information about electromagnets.
    • Reader and Task: Suggestions are provided in order to help students in accessing the text. The teacher is directed to ask students to read to find out about magnets and their power. The teacher can use a Language Support Card. The teacher can also remind students about the lesson’s Preview the Topic and have students tell a partner about physical science or magnets. The tasks include: analyzing the text for cause and effect and summarizing the text.
  • Unit 6, Lesson 30 Saving Buster by Barbara A. Donovan
    • Quantitative: 550 Lexile
    • Qualitative: Saving Buster: The text has a single level of meaning with slightly complex theme. It presents events in chronological order summarizing at the start of the story events that took place before the story began. The text uses third-person limited narration. It uses familiar, standard English along with a few idioms. The text deals with a moderately familiar life experience.
    • Reader and Task: Suggestions are provided in order to help students in accessing the text. The teacher is directed to ask students to read to find out how a community comes together to save Buster. The teacher can use a Language Support Card. The teacher can also remind students about the lesson’s Preview the Topic and have students tell a partner one thing they know about working together. The tasks include: analyzing the text for making conclusions and forming questions based on the text.

A few anchor texts have text complexity features that are above the Grade 3 text complexity. Examples include:

  • Unit 4, Lesson 20: Life on the Ice by Susan E. Goodman
    • Quantitative: 890 Lexile
    • Qualitative: The purpose of the text is implied, but easy to infer from the context. The text is organized by main ideas and details. There are many unfamiliar domain-specific vocabulary words. To understand the text, specialized knowledge is needed.
    • Reader and Task: Suggestions are provided in order to help students in accessing the text. The teacher is directed to ask students who have visited areas that get a lot of snow to share. The teacher can use a Language Support Card. The teacher can also remind students about the lesson’s Preview the Topic and have students share with a partner what they know about extreme places. The tasks include: analyzing the text for main ideas and details and figuring out literal and nonliteral meanings
  • Unit 5, Lesson 22: The Journey: Stories of Migration by Cynthia Rylant
    • Quantitative: 920 Lexile
    • Qualitative: The purpose of the text is implied, but can be inferred from context. The author uses a compare-and-contrast text structure to present complex science concepts about two migratory animals. The text contains sophisticated descriptions and unfamiliar domain-specific vocabulary. In order to understand the text, students need specialized knowledge.
    • Reader and Task: Suggestions are provided in order to help students in accessing the text. The teacher is directed to ask students who enjoy reading about animals to share what they hope to learn. The teacher can use a Language Support Card and have students share with a partner what they know about animal migration. The tasks include: analyzing the text to compare and contrast whales and locusts and analyze author’s word choice.

Indicator 1d

Materials support students' increasing literacy skills over the course of the school year. (Series of texts should be at a variety of complexity levels appropriate for the grade band.)
2/4
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-
Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 3 partially meet the expectation of supporting students’ increasing literacy skills over the course of the school year. While the anchor texts and paired selections typically fall within the grade band, the scaffolding of each text for reader and task is similar and comparable for each text regardless of complexity and demands of each text. This may not ensure students are supported to access and comprehend complex grade-level texts independently at the end of the year.

As the year progresses, students read texts at a variety of complexity levels. For each text, the routine for reading and analyzing the text is similar and does not change based on text complexity. Examples of the similar and comparable scaffolding for each text regardless of complexity include but are not limited to:

  • In Unit 1, most of the anchor texts have Lexiles ranging from 600-960 with slightly complex qualitative features. Two texts, Destiny’s Gift and Roberto Clemente: Pride of the Pittsburgh Pirates, are above the grade level band, but contain reader and task scaffolding similar to texts with less complexity. For example, in Lesson 1, for A Fine, Fine School, which is less complex than Destiny’s Gift, the teacher is directed to motivate students by asking students to read to find out what makes the school a fine, fine school. To help foster independence, the teacher is directed to have motivated readers read the story together. In Lesson 3, for Destiny’s Gift, the scaffolding of reader and task of a more complex text than A Fine, Fine School, directs the teacher to motivate students by asking students to read to find out what Destiny’s gift is. To help foster independence, the teacher is directed to have motivated readers read the story together. The lesson plans include three days of reading A Fine, Fine Day as well as three days to read a more complex text, Destiny’s Gift. On day 1 of both texts, students complete a guided retelling. On day 2 of the reading of the text, students complete a performance task to state their opinion. On day 3 of the reading of the text, students read the text independently and complete two pages in the Reader’s Notebook.
  • In Unit 5, Lesson 22, students read the most complex anchor text, The Journey: Stories of Migration, in the materials. The text contains very complex text structure (compare-and-contrast text structure to present science concepts about two migratory animals) and very complex language features with sophisticated descriptions of unfamiliar domain-specific vocabulary. For reader and task considerations, the teacher is directed to use similar scaffolding of less complex texts, such as A Fine, Fine Day in Unit 1, Lesson 1. The plans direct the teacher to motivate students by asking students who enjoy reading about animals to share what they hope to learn from the selection. To foster independence, the teacher is directed to have motivated readers read the text together. Three days of reading are allotted to the reading of The Journey: Stories of Migration, which is the same number of days allotted to reading a less complex text. Students complete a guided retelling. On day 2, students state their opinion as part of the performance task. On day 3, students independently read the text and complete two pages of the Reader’s Notebook.

Although texts in Grade 3 increase in complexity, the scaffolding across texts remains constant and the same level of support is recommended across the units, which may not support students' abilities to access increasingly rigorous text over the course of the school year.

Indicator 1e

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 3 meet the expectation that anchor texts and the series of texts connected to them are accompanied by a and rationale and text complexity analysis for educational purpose and placement in the grade level.

The teacher's edition contains Prepare for Complex Text which includes both the rationale and text complexity analysis for educational purpose and placement in the grade level.

  • Why this Text? is provided for each anchor text. This gives the rationale for educational purpose and placement as well as key learning objectives. For example, in Unit 2, lesson 6, for the text Bat Loves the Night by Nicola Davies,the Why this Text? states, “Students regularly encounter narrative nonfiction in textbooks, anthologies, and their own independent reading. This text tells the story of Bat as she hunts for food. The text features, rich domain-specific language to describe Bat’s journey.” The key learning objectives for the text are to analyze sequence of events and understand domain-specific vocabulary.
  • The Text Complexity Rubric explains the text complexity attributes of each whole class text, the Lexile and Guided Reading Levels of the texts, and the places within the lesson that will help the teacher determine if the text is appropriate in terms of reader and task. For example, in Unit 4, lesson 16 students read Judy Moody Saves the World! by Megan McDonald. The Text Complexity Rubric gives the quantitative, qualitative and reader and task measures.
  • Quantitative: 520 Lexile, N Guided Reading Measurement
  • Qualitative:
    • Meaning and Purpose/Density and Complexity:The text has multiple levels of meaning or multiple themes.
    • Text Structure/Organization:The text is organized by chapters and includes some unconventional story structure elements.
    • Language Features/Sentence Structure: The text includes more complex sentence structures.
    • Knowledge Demands/ Life Experiences/Background Knowledge: The text has a fairly complex theme.
  • Reader/Task Considerations: Determine using the professional judgment of the teacher. This varies by individual reader, type of text, and the purpose and complexity of particular tasks. See Reader and Task Considerations on p.T23 for Anchor Text Support.

Reader and Task Considerations on p. T23 give additional support for the text Judy Moody Saves the World!

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 reviewed for Grade 3 meet the expectations of support materials for the core texts to provide opportunities for students to engage in a range and volume of reading to achieve grade level reading proficiency.

Students explore a range of topics including, but not limited to: history, sports, animals, careers, science, native american culture, inventions, agriculture, cooking, natural wonders, heroes, and conservation.

In each lesson, students interact with texts during a teacher read-aloud, anchor text first read, anchor text reread with small group or partner, anchor text independent read with Reader’s Guide, a self-selected text reading, a whole group paired-text read, and an optional second read of paired-text. Leveled readers and vocabulary readers are also provided for small group, differentiated instruction.

Leveled reader lessons are provided for small group instruction. Formative assessment suggestions are given in each lesson for the Vocabulary Reader. Each level of student understanding is provided with strategic scaffolding to support students in acquiring general academic and domain specific vocabulary. Teacher support is also provided for each Vocabulary Reader. For example, in Unit 4, Lesson 17 (page T89), struggling students are directed to read the Vocabulary Reader, Animals Helping People.

At the beginning of each unit in the Teacher Edition, Independent Literacy Center directions provide guidance for the types of activities to use such as independent reading. For example, in Unit 4, Lesson 17, managing independent activities directions can be found on pages T101-T102 in the Teacher Edition. Students are encouraged to use a reading log from the Grab-and-Go! Additional Resources to track progress and thoughts about the book in order to participate in book talks, book reviews, book sharing, partner reading, and discussion circles.

Extended Reading Trade Books are also listed in the materials in Units 2, 4,and 6. The Extended Reading Trade Books include a weekly planner and lessons for extended reading throughout the unit. Grade 3 extended reading texts include: Amos and Bons by William Steig, Boy, Were We Wrong about Dinosaurs! by Kathleen V. Kudlinski, Donavan’s Word Jar by Monalisa DeGross, Jake Drake Know-It-All by Andrew Clements,and Capoeira by George Ancona.

There is also a Reading Adventure Magazine that provides additional texts across a range of topics.

Criterion 1g - 1n

Materials provide opportunities for rich and rigorous evidence-based discussions and writing about texts to build strong literacy skills.
7/16
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Criterion Rating Details

The materials for Grade 3 partially meet the expectations that students will have opportunities for rich, rigorous discussions and writing tasks that are evidence based. Though there are text dependent questions to accompany each anchor and supporting text, students are seldom asked to draw their own conclusions or inferences. Inferences are often given with students having to find evidence to support the already stated inference. The text dependent questions provided are not adequate to support students' mastering of this skill. Some performance tasks can be completed by students without the use of the units texts, while other tasks cannot be completed with the information provided in the assigned texts. There are not high-quality sequences of text-dependent questions and activities that build to the performance task. Opportunities for discussion are provided but are often not evidence-based and do not encourage the modeling and use of academic vocabulary and syntax. Materials partially meet expectations for supporting students’ listening and speaking about what they are reading and researching and meet the expectation of materials including a mix of on-demand and process writing and short, focused projects incorporating digital resources where necessary. Materials address different text types of writing that reflect the distribution required by the standards. There are some opportunities that engage students in practicing argument/opinion, informative/explanatory, and narrative writing, however, the writing tasks do not increase in rigor over the course of the year. Lessons and assessment items aligned to grammar and conventions standards often address below grade-level standards. Lesson and assessment items also address above grade-level standards.

Indicator 1g

Most questions, tasks, and assignments are text-dependent, requiring students to engage with the text directly (drawing on textual evidence to support both what is explicit as well as valid inferences from the text).
1/2
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 3 partially meet the expectations for text dependent questions, tasks, and assignments requiring students to engage directly with the text and to draw on textual evidence to support what is explicit as well as valid inferences. Though there are text dependent questions to accompany each anchor and supporting text, students are seldom asked to draw their own conclusions or inferences. Inferences are often given with students having to find evidence to support the already stated inference. The text dependent questions provided are not adequate to support students mastering of this skill.

Students are asked text-dependent questions throughout the daily lessons. These questions are included in the Teacher Read Aloud, Read the Anchor Text, Guided Retelling, Dig Deeper second read of the anchor text, Your Turn discussion, Independent Reading Reader’s Guide, Connect to the Topic, Compare Texts, and Small Group Instruction. Answering text-dependent questions is modeled throughout instruction.

Examples of text-dependent questions found throughout the units include but are not limited to:

  • In Unit 1, Lesson 2 students are asked, “What conclusion can you draw about Sequoyah's beliefs about written language? A written language is very important because it allows people to send messages over long distances, to keep records of trades, and to pass down their history and culture.”
  • In Unit 2, Lesson 9 students are asked, “How does Baachan feel about Jiichan going on his rounds? She is worried that it might be too much for him, but she realizes it is important to him. How do you know this? Baachan shows she is reluctant when she says, “I don’t know” and “I suppose.” But then she offers to make candies for his rounds.”

Examples of text-dependent questions found that illustrate how inferences are often given with students having to find evidence to support the already stated inference include but are not limited to:

  • In Unit 3, Lesson 15 students are asked, “Which sentence from the story shows that, at first, Ramona doesn’t care if dinner turns out badly? “It would serve them right if it tasted awful.” Why does Beezus decide that she and her sister should try to cook a good meal? She realizes that they will have to eat whatever they cook.”
  • In Unit 4, Lesson 20 students discuss the sun, “Think about why the sun is important to the scientists in Life on the Ice and to the people in The Raven. In a small group, use text evidence to discuss and explain your ideas. Listen carefully to each other. Ask questions if you are not sure about something.”
  • In Unit 5, Lesson 21 students are asked, “How does the illustration on page 219 help you to understand the mood at the dinner table? Everyone is smiling and enjoying being together, even Sal. Papa is taking another helping of Sarah’s stew. Everyone looks interested as Sarah talks.”
  • In Unit 6, Lesson 29 students are asked, “What details support the idea that a spelling bee champion must be hardworking and able to handle pressure? A spelling bee champion has to win several smaller spelling bees before getting to the national spelling bee. He or she has to practice each day and learn how to spell words most adults don’t even know in front of large groups of people.”

Examples of text-dependent tasks and assignments found throughout the units include but are not limited to:

  • In Unit 2, Lesson 10 students reread Young Thomas Edison independently and complete the Reader’s Notebook task exploring Thomas Edison’s early life by looking at objects as a tour guide for a museum. Students explain why each of the items has been placed in the museum using information from the text.
  • In Unit 4, Lesson 18 students are asked to have a classroom conversation. “Have students continue the discussion of A Tree Is Growing by explaining their answer to the three questions. Remind students to explicitly draw from the text, as well as the text and graphic features, when explaining their own ideas about the first two questions. See Interactive Lesson:Speaking Constructively.” The three questions are: Why is it difficult to tell the age of a tree in the tropical rain forest? Why do some trees look dead in the winter? What is really happening to these trees? What kinds of trees grow where you live? What do you know about those trees?
  • In Unit 5, Lesson 22 students reread The Journey:Stories of Migration independently and complete the Reader’s Notebook task of conducting an interview with Locust and Whale answering questions such as: What makes you migrate? What do you do on your migration that is similar to what locusts do? When spring comes, why do you migrate again?

There are also “Text to Self” and “Text to World” questions that are not always text-dependent but relate to the theme or topic of the text being read. An example is found in Unit 3, lesson 15 after reading the text Imagine a Recipe, students are asked to perform a short skit that shows what happened when they made something in the kitchen. Students are also asked to use the internet to find a recipe for a food from another country. Students are to copy the ingredients and directions, print out a picture, and put the recipe in a class cookbook.

Indicator 1h

Sets of high-quality sequences of text-dependent questions and tasks build to a culminating task that integrates skills (may be writing, speaking, or a combination).
0/2
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 3 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. The culminating task for each unit comes in the form of a performance task that is introduced at the beginning of the unit. All performance tasks are grounded in writing tasks, although there is a presentation piece at the end of each task in which students may choose a way to share their essay with their classmates. The task directions state which texts students should use, and not all texts work with the tasks. Some tasks can be completed by students without the use of the units texts, while other tasks cannot be completed using only the information provided in the assigned texts.

An example of a performance task that can be completed without the use of the unit’s texts can be found in Unit 1: Good Citizens. The performance task is introduced at the beginning of the unit as, “At the end of this unit, you will think about two of the texts you have read. Then you will write a story about making a difference in your community.”

  • Unit 1’s performance task topic is, “In Roberto Clemente: Pride of the Pittsburgh Pirates, you read a biography about Roberto Clemente and the things he did that made him a hero. In ‘Kids Making a Difference,’ you read an informational text about how kids help serve their communities. Look back at the texts. Find examples of how Roberto Clemente and the kids helped serve a community. Then choose one of those examples to write a story about making a difference in your community.”
    • The first text that is connected to the performance task, Roberto Clemente: Pride of the Pittsburgh Pirates, is an anchor text. The majority of questions do not build to the culminating task. The text is about a Puerto Rican baseball player who plays for Pittsburgh and has to overcome being different. There is one paragraph that mentions how he helped his community when he brought supplies to them after an earthquake. Students answer two questions that are connected to making a difference in the community. These questions are:
      • “Clemente plans to bring supplies to earthquake victims on New Year’s Eve. What does that tell you about him?”
      • “What does the author mean when he writes that ‘Roberto’s spirit is still growing’?”
      • “What details help clarify his meaning?”
    • The second text that is connected to the performance task, “Making a Difference”, is not an anchor text and is not read until Day 4 of the week. Students do not reread the text. There is one text-dependent question in the lesson, “How does the map on page 115 help you understand the information in ‘Texas Kids Help Out’?” Students then answer a text to text question, “Think about the ways people help others in ‘Destiny’s Gift’ and ‘Kids Making a Difference’. Do children and adults help in different ways? What reasons do people have for helping?” These questions will not build students’ knowledge and ability to complete the culminating performance task at the end of the unit.

Students could write a story about making a difference in their community without reading the unit texts. Roberto Clemente brings supplies to earthquake victims to help his community, but this is only mentioned briefly at the end of the story. The informational text does mention ways to help a community, but it is mostly about people who painted murals. The text is three paragraphs long and does not provide many examples. Students would only have a few examples of helping a community to choose from and did not need to read the unit texts to be able to complete the task.

An example of a performance task that doesn't require use of the unit’s texts can be found in Unit 4, Natural Wonders. The performance task is introduced at the beginning of the unit as, “At the end of this unit, you will think about two of the texts you have read. Then you will write an opinion essay about the importance of scientific research.”

  • Unit 4’s topic is: “In The Albertosaurus Mystery, you read about scientists who study dinosaur fossils. Then in Life on the Ice, you read about scientists who conduct research in the icy climates of the Arctic and Antarctica. What kind of research do you think is more important to future generations? Do you think that studying fossils will provide valuable information about Earth to people in the future? Or do you think it is more important to study the clues about Earth’s climate hidden deep in ice? Write an opinion essay to persuade your readers to support one of these types of research.”
    • The first text that is connected to the performance task, Albertosaurus Mystery, is an anchor text. This text is about the life and discoveries of the scientist Philip Currie. The text does discuss finding fossils but does not provide why it would be important to research fossils. There are no text-dependent questions to build students knowledge or ability to form an opinion about if studying fossils would be important to the future.
    • The second text that is connected to the performance task, Life on Ice, is also an anchor text. This text is about how scientists live in places such as Antarctica. The text provides minimal information on climate research in icy climates. The text mentions studying the snow and ice to measure air pollution, study ice ages, and look for meteorites. Studying the climate has three sentences in the text. There are no text-dependent questions that build a student’s knowledge about climate research or their ability to complete the culminating task.

Students could not complete the opinion writing using only the texts that are provided. Students are asked to give persuasive reasons for their opinion using details and examples from the text. The texts, text-dependent questions, and unit tasks provided do not give enough information to complete this task. Students would have to rely on prior knowledge or go to additional texts to complete the task. Guidance for teachers to support all students through these exercises is limited.

Indicator 1i

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 3 partially meet the criteria for providing frequent opportunities and protocols for evidence-based discussions that encourage the modeling and use of academic vocabulary and syntax. Opportunities for discussion are provided but are often not evidence-based and do not encourage the modeling and use of academic vocabulary and syntax. There is not a year-long approach available to developing skills over the course of they year. There is minimal teacher direction given to support teachers in conducting evidence-based discussions that model the use of academic vocabulary and syntax.

There are both evidence-based and non evidence-based discussions and modeling throughout materials. The anchor text and supporting texts provide text-based questions and sample answers for discussion, but do not give protocol or direction for conducting the discussions. Academic vocabulary is introduced at the beginning of each lesson through Vocabulary in Context Cards. Students participate in Talk About Over activities with the cards. These words are highlighted in the lessons texts and are also revisited in the Vocabulary Reader.

Examples of evidence-based discussions and modeling include but are not limited to:

Unit 1, Lesson 2, Teacher Think Aloud

  • The teacher models discussion by stating, “From the beginning, Ms. Brown thought Cardigan stole her pie even though other people were there when it disappeared. I can infer that she is quick to judge people she doesn't know.”

Unit 3, Lesson 12, Collaborative Conversation

  • Students are directed to, “Continue your discussion of Tops and Bottoms by using text evidence to explain your answers to these questions: What type of character is Bear? What type of character is Hare? How does the author let you know that Hare intends to trick Bear? Do you think Bear deserves to be tricked? Why or why not?”

Unit 5, Lesson 25, Teacher Think Aloud

  • The teacher models discussion by stating, “Informational texts give facts about a topic. I see a photograph of a mountain on pages 346 and 347, and there are headings throughout the text. The headings tell me what each section is about. I think this selection is an informational text.”

Unit 6, Lesson 26, Compare Texts, Text to Text

  • Students are directed to, “Have students use details from the texts in this lesson to support their responses to the following questions: What problems do The Foot Race Across America and Paca and the Beetle explore? In what way do Andy, Beetle, and the speaker of “Fast Track” have the same goal?”

Examples of discussions and modeling that are not evidence-based and do not encourage the modeling and use of academic vocabulary and syntax are:

Unit 1, Lesson 2, Talk About It

  • Teachers are directed to, “Read the collaborative discussion prompt with students. Remind students to follow discussion rules as they share their knowledge of courtroom trials. Students are asked to discuss, “What do you know about courtroom trials? What would you like to know? Share your ideas with your classmates. What did you learn from others? Listen carefully, ask questions, and take turns speaking.”

Unit 2, Lesson 8, Day 5 Speaking and Listening lesson

  • Students practice telling a story. Students are directed to work individually to write a story using descriptive words and phrases to add effect to their story. Students then organize in small groups where students take turns to tell their stories and ask each other questions.

Unit 3, Lesson 11, Talk about It

  • Teachers are directed to, “Read the collaborative discussion prompt with students. Remind students to follow discussion rules as they use their drawings to describe sports equipment to a partner. Students are asked to discuss, “Think about a sport you play or watch. What types of equipment do the players use? Sketch your ideas. Include a caption explaining the equipment’s purpose. Share your ideas with your classmates.”

Unit 5, Lesson 23, Day 5 Speaking and Listening lesson

  • Students discuss how to recount an experience and review speaking and listening tips such as “Choose interesting facts and descriptive details to accurately recount your experience. Use words, such as first, next, last, after, and before to help listeners understand the order of events. Speak clearly and at an understandable pace. Be prepared to answer questions about your experience.” Students then share an interesting experience they have had and answer questions about this experience.

Interactive Listening and Speaking Lessons for discussion are also provided. These lessons are not evidence-based and do not connect to texts. Sentence starters are provided for English Language Learners.

Indicator 1j

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

The materials reviewed for Grade 3 partially meet expectations for supporting students’ listening and speaking about what they are reading and researching (including presentation opportunities) with relevant follow-up questions and evidence.

Protocols and routines for speaking and listening are presented in the Interactive Lessons. These lessons include rules for a good discussion, speaking constructively, listening and responding, giving a presentation, and using media in a presentation. These protocols are not located in the Student Edition.

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 the anchor texts and supporting text in whole class discussion and partner talk.

Each lesson includes teacher think alouds and a Speaking and Listening lesson on Day 5. The Speaking and Listening lessons do not always connect to the text or texts being read, do not always support what students are reading and researching, and do not always include relevant follow-up questions. There is limited instruction to support students mastering these presentation skills. For example:

  • In Unit 3, Lesson 11, day 5 students are asked to discuss information presented quantitatively. Students are directed to break into small groups to conduct a short research project. The direction given states, “Ask each group to consider what they would like to know about a sport. Then have them choose a topic related to sports that they would like to research. Explain to students that the topic should be one for which they can find information through charts or graphs.”
  • In Unit 5, Lesson 22, day 5 students select a poem or story that they have read to create an audio recording. Students are to page through selections in their student book or choose from the class library. Students then practice, create an audio recording, and share with the class.

Indicator 1k

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 3 partially meet the expectation of materials including a mix of on-demand and process writing and short, focused projects incorporating digital resources where necessary.

Students write on demand after each anchor text during the Write to Reading. This provides a limited amount of practice with on-demand writing prompts.. These prompts are short text-based writing prompts with little direction for the students and/or teacher.

  • In Unit 4, Lesson 17, students are asked to respond to the prompt, “Phillip Currie found Barnum Brown’s bone bed after the rest of the team had gone back to camp. What do you think might have happened if Philip had returned with the rest of his team? Would he have found the bone bed? Use text evidence to support your answer.” There is a Writing Tip box for students: “As you write, check that you use the correct verb tense to tell about action that happened in the past.” There is an additional support box on one page of the teacher’s edition for teachers to use during instruction to help students answer the prompt and an Interactive Lesson link is provided.

Students focus on one mode of writing across each unit. These modes include narratives, informational essays, and opinions. After each lesson, there is a writing lesson which includes a model writing. During the last two weeks of a unit, students follow the steps of the writing process through publishing. There is a limited amount of practice with the writing mode when students are working through the lessons. In the first lessons, students do not write, but rather read about writing and look at model writings. The first time students are writing independently is during the end of unit performance task. This provides limited practice of process writing.

  • In Unit 2: Look and Listen, the mode of writing taught is an opinion essay. In lessons 6-9, students are reading examples of a response paragraph, an opinion piece, a multiple paragraph response, and then a prewrite for a response to literature. After the final lesson of the unit, lesson 10, the students go through the entire writing process for the opinion essay unit performance task.

Indicator 1l

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

The materials reviewed for Grade 3 meet the expectations for providing opportunities for students to address different text types of writing that reflect the distribution required by the standards. Students focus on one type of writing per unit. Students study model writings, write, revise, and edit a writing in the last two weeks of the unit, and then complete a writing performance task.

Process writing text types found within each unit:

  • Unit 1, Personal Narrative
  • Unit 2, Opinion (Response to Literature)
  • Unit 3, Explanatory Essay
  • Unit 4, Persuasive Essay
  • Unit 5, Fictional Narrative
  • Unit 6, Research Report

On demand prompts and quick writes include opportunities for students to address different types of writing. A Writing Traits Scoring Rubric for each mode of writing guides is available for teachers. Writing Resources are provided such as the Common Core Writing Handbook, graphic organizers, proofreading marks, a proofreading checklist, reproducible writing rubrics, and writing conference forms. Interactive Lessons provide digital practice. There are also Interactive Whiteboard Lessons that could supplement print instruction in opinion, informative, and narrative writing modes.

Indicator 1m

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 3 partially meet the expectations of materials providing frequent opportunities for evidence-based writing to support careful analyses, well-defended claims, and clear information. Most tasks are independent of the main selection texts, and they do not build over the course of the year. Performance Task writings can often be answered without the use of the texts or cannot be answered with the information provided by the texts. There are some opportunities that engage students in practicing argument/opinion, informative/explanatory, and narrative writing; however, the writing tasks do not increase in rigor over the course of the year.

Examples of writing that does not require students to use evidence from the text include but are not limited to:

  • In Unit 1, Lesson 2, “Prompt: Write a dialogue in which two characters make a plan for an empty lot in their community” (Projectable 2.7).
  • In Unit 6, Lesson 28, “Prompt: Write a paragraph explaining how to do an activity you enjoy” (Projectable 28.6).

Additional instructional supports are needed for teachers to guide students’ understanding of developing ideas, building components of structured writing, and integrating evidence from texts and other sources. Students are asked to use text evidence, but there is little guidance to the teacher on how to teach students to use text evidence. Most questions are preceded by or followed by the prompt “Cite Text Evidence,” however, students are not instructed on how to find or cite evidence from the text. Students are provided with a writing tip that is sometimes related to the text evidence and other times, the tip is related to grammar or other writing aspects.

Indicator 1n

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 3 do not 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. Lessons and assessment items aligned to Grade 3 grammar and conventions standards often address below grade-level standards. Lesson and assessment items also address above grade-level standards. From the beginning of the year, students encounter both below-level and above-level lessons and assessment items.

Some lessons address below grade-level grammar and conventions standards. Examples include but are not limited to:

  • In Unit 1, Lesson 1, day 4, students correct the end punctuation of several sentences. Standards-Based Weekly Test lesson 1, questions 8-10 require students to use end punctuation for sentences (L.1.2b).
  • In Unit 1, Lesson 4, day 3, students are taught that proper nouns should begin with capital letters. Standards-Based Weekly Test Lesson 4, questions 7 and 8 require students to capitalize names of people (L.1.2a).
  • In Unit 2, Lesson 8, day 1, students work with commas in a series of nouns, and in Unit 2 lesson 8 day 2, students work with commas in a series of verbs. Standards-Based Weekly Test Lesson 8 question 7 is aligned to L.3.2b (Use commas in addresses), but the item requires students to correctly use commas to separate single words in a series (L.1.2c).
  • Articles are included in Unit 2, lesson 16, day 3. The Teacher Edition includes the following direction: “(e)xplain that a, an, and the are a kind of adjective called articles.” Although students are introduced to articles in Grade 1, this topic is treated as if it is a new topic. Standards-Based Weekly Test Lesson 16 question 9 requires students to correctly use articles (L.1.1h).

Some lessons address above grade-level grammar and conventions standards. Examples include but are not limited to:

  • In Unit 1, lesson 1, day 5, students identify whether “sentences” are fragments. Standards-Based Weekly Test Lesson 1, questions 7 and 8 require students to recognize fragments (L.4.1f).
  • In Unit 6, lesson 30, days 1 and 3, students are working with the pronouns “I” and “me.” Standards-Based Weekly Test Lesson 30, question 7 requires students to ensure that pronouns are in the proper case (L.6.1a).

Some assessments and lessons address grade-level grammar and conventions standards. Examples include but are not limited to:

  • In Unit 1, Lesson 3, students create compound sentences. Standards-Based Weekly Test Lesson 3, questions 7-9 require students to produce compound sentences (L.3.1i).
  • Standards-Based Weekly Test Lesson 4, question 9 requires students to capitalize appropriate words in titles (L.3.2a).
  • In Unit 2, Lesson 8, day 3, students use commas in addresses. Standards-Based Weekly Test Lesson 8 question 8 requires students to use commas in addresses (L.3.2b).
  • Unit 2, Lesson 10, day 3, Grammar focuses on pronouns and antecedents. In Reader’s Notebook Volume 1 page 135, students complete each sentence by writing the pronoun that agrees with the underlined antecedent.

Although some attention is given to grade-level grammar and convention standards, materials that are below grade-level and above grade-level are included throughout the year, and as a result, the materials would require significant revision.

Criterion 1o - 1q

Materials in reading, writing, speaking, listening, and language targeted to support foundational reading development are aligned to the standards.
4/6
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Criterion Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 3 partially meet the expectation that materials, questions, and tasks address grade-level CCSS for foundational skills to build comprehension by providing instruction in phonics, word recognition, vocabulary, and reading fluency in a research-based and transparent progression. Materials partially meet the expectation that materials, questions, and tasks guide students to read with purpose and understanding and help them to make frequent connections between acquisition of foundational skills and making meaning from reading. Most practice opportunities to read text that uses the phonics pattern is limited to cloze sentence activities and searching for the pattern in texts. Materials provide instructional opportunities for students to practice and achieve reading fluency in oral and silent reading.

Indicator 1o

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

The materials reviewed for Grade 3 partially meet the expectation that materials, questions, and tasks address grade-level CCSS for foundational skills to build comprehension by providing instruction in phonics, word recognition, vocabulary, and reading fluency in a research-based and transparent progression.

Materials provide review lessons of Grade 2 and Grade 1 phonics standards in Units 1, 2, and 3. If a teacher is unable get to Units 4, 5, and 6, Grade 3 students miss out on consistent grade-level standards for phonics and word recognition standards. For example, in Unit 1, for 5 weeks, phonics lessons include studying words with the following patterns: VCCV, VCe, diphthongs, long o, and long i. These patterns correspond to the spelling of each week. In Unit 2, phonics lessons including studying words with VCV, three-letter clusters, silent letters, and vowel diphthongs. These patterns correspond to the spelling of each week. In Unit 3, the materials contain phonics lessons based on Grade 2 language standards for contractions.

Common prefixes, a Grade 3 Foundational Skills standard, are taught starting in Unit 1, Week 5, during vocabulary instruction. The first prefix taught is mis-. The next common prefixes taught are in Unit 3, Lesson 14 with in- and im-. In Unit 4, Lesson 19 during vocabulary instruction, students learn three prefixes in one week (pre-, re-, and bi-). In Unit 5, Lesson 21, students learn non- during vocabulary instruction. In Unit 5, Lesson 24, students learn re- and un- in the spelling instruction and relearn pre-, re-, and bi- during phonics instruction. In Unit 6, Lesson 29, students learn un- and dis- during vocabulary instruction. A sequence of instruction for teaching prefixes is not consistent and coherent.

Latin suffixes, a Grade 3 standard, are taught starting in Unit 2, Week 6 in vocabulary instruction. Students learn -able and -ible. In Unit 3, Lesson 11, during vocabulary instruction, students are taught three suffixes in one week: -less, -ful, and -ous. In Unit 4, Lesson 17, during vocabulary instruction, students are taught -ly. In Unit 5, Lesson 23, students learn -er and -est and during phonics instruction, students are taught -ful, -y, -ous, -ly, and -er. The spelling during that lesson is focused on -ful, -ly, and -er. In Unit 5, Lesson 25, students are taught -less, -ness, and -able, and the spelling focuses on -less and -ness. In Unit 6, Lesson 26, students are taught -ion during vocabulary instruction, and, during phonics instruction, students are taught -tion, -sion, and -ture as part of syllable instruction. A sequence of instruction for teaching suffixes is not consistent and coherent.

Instruction for decoding multisyllable words begins in Unit 1, Lesson 1 and continues through Unit 3 with below grade level phonics. Other phonics lessons include teaching how to decode syllables such as in Unit 1, Lesson 5, Day 1: “I’ll look at the first syllable. I think the igh will have a long i sound: /f/ /i/ /t/, fight. I’ll look at the second syllable. I decode the syllable: /ar/, er. I put the two syllables together: fighter” (p. T390). Students then practice blending the sounds rather than putting two syllables together. During Daily Phonics, there are some opportunities for students to identify syllables such as in Unit 1, Lesson 2: “Say the following words and have students clap the number of syllables: envelope, valentine, homework, dynamite, and snowflake” (p. T137). Unit 4 emphasizes syllables in the phonics lessons about VCCCV word patterns. In Unit 5, the materials include suffix syllable learning opportunities such as learning how the suffix -ly adds another syllable. In Unit 6, there is an emphasis on common final syllables (-tion, -sion, and -ture) and two syllable decoding (Lesson 28 and Lesson 29).

The materials contain opportunities for students to practice reading aloud grade-level text fluently with accuracy, stress, appropriate pace/rate, expression/intonation, attention to punctuation and appropriate phrasing. Fluency is emphasized daily.

Indicator 1p

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

The materials reviewed for Grade 3 partially meet the expectation that materials, questions, and tasks guide students to read with purpose and understanding and help them to make frequent connections between acquisition of foundational skills and making meaning from reading.

The instructional materials contain directions to the teacher to set the purpose for the reading of each anchor text. For example, in Unit 4, Lesson 19, the teacher sets the purpose: “Tell the students that good readers use what they learn from previewing the selection, what they already know about the genre, and what they want to learn from reading the selection to set a purpose for reading” (p. T305). Then students are to set their own purpose for reading the text. There is a missed opportunity for students to set their own purpose for reading the anchor text without hearing the teacher model setting the purpose.

During vocabulary instruction of each lesson, there is a lesson called Vocabulary in Context, which provides students the opportunity to learn eight vocabulary words in context prior to reading the anchor text.

  • On Day 1, anchor text vocabulary is introduced with the use of Context Cards.The cards contain images of the word and a sentence with the word in it. The teacher provides the definition of each vocabulary word. Students are asked to use the Talk It Over activities on those cards.
  • During the reading of the anchor text, there may be text-dependent questions referring to the vocabulary that was learned in the Vocabulary in Context lesson. For example, in Unit 1, Lesson 4, students are asked about one vocabulary word in the context of the anchor text: “Why would the opening of the bridge cause such excitement?” (p. T308).
  • Day 2 contains Daily Vocabulary Boost, which has students review the anchor text vocabulary words with the Context Cards and students participate in the Talk It Over activity.
  • On Day 3, the teacher reviews the anchor text vocabulary (and some newly added vocabulary words) and then students connect the vocabulary words and their use. Also,during the Daily Vocabulary Boost students are to answer some questions to help them connect vocabulary words from the anchor text.
  • On Day 4, students practice anchor text vocabulary by discussing the vocabulary words based on questions. Also on Day 4, students learn a vocabulary strategy to help students understand some of the weekly vocabulary terms. For example, in Unit 1, Lesson 4, students are taught about Word Families and adding prefixes or suffixes to the anchor text vocabulary. The student practice is for students to create a list of words with affixes and endings from the anchor text and then apply the vocabulary strategy to figure out the meaning of the words.
  • On Day 5, the Opening Routines, students practice a vocabulary strategy. During Daily Vocabulary Boost, students practice reviewing the anchor text vocabulary meanings. Also on Day 5, students are taught domain-specific vocabulary.

While students practice word analysis skills with the anchor text vocabulary and the Day 4 Vocabulary Strategy lesson, opportunities to practice other word analysis skills in text are limited to specific tasks that do not connect with the anchor text or paired text. For example, in Unit 2, Lesson 8, students are taught the phonics pattern kn- and wr-. During Day 1, students practice reading words with the spelling patterns and write a dictated sentence. In Apply, students pick two words to write into a sentence and then students practice writing kn- and wr- words in a cloze activity. On Day 2, the phonics patterns are practiced in the Opening Routines. In Day 3, students practice the patterns with a cloze activity. On Day 4, students use their independent reading text to find words that begin with the pattern. Most practice opportunities to read text that uses the phonics pattern is limited to cloze sentence activities and searching for the pattern in texts.

Indicator 1q

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

The materials reviewed for Grade 3 meet the expectation that instructional opportunities are frequently built into the materials for students to practice and achieve reading fluency in oral and silent reading, that is, to read on-level prose and poetry with accuracy, at a rate appropriate to the text, and with expression.

Students are able to demonstrate and develop fluency with short sections or paragraphs every day. Opportunities to practice reading aloud longer sections of text and to gain fluency stamina are limited.

Each lesson has an overall fluency component and then students practice the fluency component over the week. Fluency components are expression, intonation, adjust rate for purpose, phrasing for punctuation, stress, accuracy and self correction, rate, phrasing for pauses.

The fluency activities included in the text are identified and routine. The routines are the same through each lesson of the units. Fluency practice includes:

  • Teacher models the fluency component for the week with a projectable document after explaining the value of the fluency component. Students practice the fluency component by choral reading the text as a whole class.
  • During the Opening Routines of Day 2, students can read aloud from the anchor text with a partner and students focus on the fluency component of the week.
  • On Day 3, the teacher models the fluency component and students practice the fluency component with a partner using a section of the anchor text.
  • On Day 4 of the Opening Routines, students read aloud with a partner
  • Progress monitoring with fluency tests from Grab n Go resource and if students are below grade level, the teacher is directed to provide additional fluency practice from the Student Book, the Cold Reads, and the Leveled Readers.
  • Students practice fluency by reading the Leveled Readers on Day 3.

The materials contain opportunities for students to practice reading poetry fluently. In Unit 1, Lesson 5, students practice fluency by reading a Jack Prelutsky poem about baseball. In Unit 6, Lesson 29, students practice the fluency component (expression) with a poem called “Spellbound” by Sara Holbrook.

There are lessons about teaching students to use context clues to figure out unknown words. During independent reading time, students are taught self-correction strategies. In Unit 5, Lesson 24, the directions the teacher are: “Have students keep a list of unfamiliar words they find in their independent reading selections. Tell them to sound each word and to use context clues to help them recognize the word or figure out its meaning” (p. T325).

The Test of Silent Contextual Reading Fluency (TOSCRF-2) is in the materials. This test assesses the silent reading ability of students. It is a group-administered test which measures the ability to use syntactic and morphological cues to facilitate comprehension of sentences and passages. The TOSCRF-2 can be used for identification, universal screening, diagnostic assessments, and progress monitoring.

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 3 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 partially cohesive, year-long plan for students to interact with and build key academic vocabulary words across texts throughout the year. 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 some 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

12/32

Indicator 2a

Texts are organized around a topic/topics (or, for grades 6-8, topics and/or themes) to build students' ability to read and comprehend complex texts independently and proficiently.
2/4
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Indicator Rating Details

Materials reviewed for Grade 3 partially meet expectations for texts being organized around a topic/topics to build students’ ability to read and comprehend complex texts independently and proficiently. The instructional materials contain units, which are organized around six separate themes. Within in a theme, each week is about a social studies or science topic or a sub theme related to the unit theme. The theme in each unit is broad, therefore each weekly topic or sub theme does not build consistent vocabulary or knowledge across the weeks. The weekly topics build surface level knowledge, so students will not be able to use that knowledge to comprehend other complex texts especially across the five week long unit. An example of a unit theme and topics/sub themes is:

  • Unit 3 Theme: Lesson Learned (social studies-focused unit)
    • Week 1: Inventions
    • Week 2: Agriculture
    • Week 3: American Indian History
    • Week 4: People and Animals
    • Week 5: Cooking

The theme of Unit 1 is "Good Citizens" The topic of Week 1 is "education." During the Teacher Read Aloud, the teacher reads a passage which contains eight target vocabulary words: fine, principal, proud, strolled, announced, certainly, soared, worried. On Day 1, students learn those eight vocabulary words in the Vocabulary in Context lesson, which includes students reading and pronouncing each word, followed by learning the word in context and then practicing activities based on the Talk It Over activity on the back of the cards. The vocabulary reader for the week, Schools Then and Now, uses the same target vocabulary as do the Leveled Readers. During the reading of the anchor text, students see and hear the same target vocabulary words. In Day 3, students learn enrich vocabulary: involved, observed, courage, suspense.

Prior to reading the anchor text, A Fine, Fine Day by Sharon Creech, the teacher helps preview the topic for students, which provides students with background knowledge. During the reading of A Fine, Fine Day, students learn what makes the school a fine, fine school and must refer to the text to support their responses. After reading the text, students do an oral retelling of the story. In the reread of the text, students analyze the story’s structure and illustrations, while completing a graphic organizer. As a performance task, students think about things they learned outside of school and why each thing is important and write their opinions and reasons. During the independent reading of the anchor text, students complete Reader’s Notebook Lesson 1, which requires students to use the text and illustrations to answer questions about the text.

During Day 4, students read One-Room Schoolhouses (no author listed). Some of the target vocabulary is in the text such as principal, worried, and soared. Students participate in Text to Text, Text to Self, and Text to World activities after reading the paired selection. For example, students compare and contrast the schools in the anchor text and the paired selection. Students compare a fictional school to one-school houses.

The weekly writing uses the anchor text as a model for teaching students about elaboration and planning a descriptive paragraph, but students do not use the text to write about education, the topic for the week.

The following week is no longer about education. The topic is the court system, which has different vocabulary and builds knowledge about a new topic. Since only one week is spent on education, students do not build in-depth vocabulary and knowledge.

For some of the weekly identified topics, the texts do not match the topic fully. For example in Unit 5, the theme is Going Places and in the fourth week (lesson 24), the topic is volcanoes. While the texts share the same target vocabulary (guided, rippled, arrival, twisted, aboard, bay, lava, anchor, spotted, voyage), the texts are not all about volcanoes. For example, the vocabulary reader is entitled Sea Lions by Catherine Godine, which is about sea lions. The anchor text is Dog-of-the-Sea-Waves by James Rumford and is also about a sea lion, yet the overarching topic of the week is volcanoes.

Overall, the Units are theme-based with topics each week. Since the topic changes each week, students do not get a thorough opportunity to build knowledge and vocabulary. Furthermore, the identified weekly topics are not always supported by the texts and target vocabulary.

Indicator 2b

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

Materials reviewed for Grade 3 partially 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. Materials contain few sets of questions and tasks that require students to analyze the language, key ideas, details, craft, and structure of individual texts. Over the course of the year, instructional materials stay consistent and do not grow in rigor across the year.

All questions that require students to analyze the text are included in the Dig Deeper section of each lesson. Although questions are provided, skills are inconsistently scaffolded, so they only sometimes build students’ overall comprehension or understanding of topics. In addition, teachers will often be unable to tell from students’ work whether they mastered concepts of each component.

For example:

  • In Unit 1, Lesson 2, the teacher edition states, “Tell students that authors choose particular words and phrases for a certain effect. By choosing more precise words, an author better shows who the characters are and what they do.” Students then look at a model sentence that is not connected to a text and choose more precise words for big and walked.
  • In Unit 2, Lesson 15, the teacher edition states, “Explain to students that written and spoken language often sound different. Tell them that written language tends to be more formal, or serious and polite, while spoken language tends to be more informal, or more relaxed. Explain that authors often use formal language to describe characters’ actions and thoughts to describe characters’ actions and thoughts and they use informal language when showing what the characters say.” Students then look for examples of informal and formal language in the lesson text.
  • In Unit 4, Lesson 20, the teacher edition states, “Tell students that context can help readers determine whether a word or phrase is being used in a literal or nonliteral way.” Students then use context to review the meaning of words and phrases from the lesson text.
  • In Unit 5, Lesson 24, the teacher edition states,“Explain that to determine the main idea of a section, students should ask themselves, ‘What is this section mostly about?’ or ‘What is the most important idea in this section?’” Students then discuss the main idea of the first section of the lesson text.

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 3 do not meet the expectations of materials containing 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. 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. The majority of the questions and tasks are at the explicit level. Additionally, the materials do not provide consistent clear guidance for teachers in supporting students’ skills.

While many pages have a “cite textual evidence” label, the sample answers often do not specifically cite the evidence. For example, in Unit 3, Lesson 15, students are asked,“What do you think Ms. Quimby wants Beezus and Ramona to learn from cooking dinner themselves?” The sample answer provided is: “He might want them to learn how much time and hard work it takes to make a meal.” Textual evidence is not cited in this answer.

The materials do not prepare students to demonstrate mastery of integrating knowledge and ideas as an embedded part of their regular work by the end of the year.

Within each lesson, text-specific questions appear in both the “First Read” and “Second Read” sections. There are typically a range of two to four questions with each selection. Most questions and tasks are not accompanied by enough instruction for the students to be successful in answering the questions. For example, in Unit 4, Lesson 18, students are asked to host a collaborative conversation to answer the question, “Reread the first sentence on page 99. What is one need trees have that they usually get less of in the winter?” The only instruction provided is to “Remind students that they have been reading about trees. Working in groups, have students discuss why trees rest in the winter. Tell them to refer to the text to support their responses.” Another example can be found in Unit 2, Lesson 8. The teacher is directed to, “Tell students to practice the Infer/Predict strategy as they read Student book p. 292 silently to themselves. Remind them to use their conclusions about the story so far to make an inference and/or a prediction. Ask several students to point out where they used the strategy to help them make inferences and predictions.” Therefore, even though the lessons include text-specific questions, the lack of instruction will not prepare students to demonstrate mastery of integrating knowledge and ideas.

The materials do contain “Formative Assessment: Text to Text Questions.” These questions are meant to provide teachers with questions spanning multiple texts. However, the questions do not increase in rigor over the course of the year, and they rarely ask students to do more than compare and contrast the stories at the surface level. For example, for Unit 1, lesson 1, the question is “To prompt discussion ask: What subjects did children study? What school supplies did they use? Have students include details from the selections to show how the schools are the same and different.” In Unit 5, Lesson 22, the question is, “Compare and contrast the grasshoppers in the two selections. What problem do the grasshoppers share in both selections? What do they do about this problem? Use text evidence to write a paragraph about how the grasshoppers are alike and different.” As illustrated, the materials do contain “Text to Text Questions,” but they stay at the surface level, without asking students to analyze knowledge and ideas across the texts.

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).
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials for Grade 3 do not meet 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. Students are presented the opportunity to demonstrate their knowledge through culminating tasks that integrate skills. Each unit provides a writing performance task as a culminating project that partially contains the necessary skills for reading, writing, speaking and listening. In some instances, the writing performance task requires components of the research process and the writing process. Speaking and listening skills are also required in some instances.To complete the performance tasks, students draw on their reading and analysis of the anchor selections. They are also told they can conduct additional research. During each lesson within the unit, students practice writing which leads to the culminating skill in the last lesson of each unit. However, the culminating tasks do not promote the building of students’ knowledge of the theme/topic. Instead the task focuses solely on the skills in the end products themselves and sometimes can not be completed with the information provided by the unit texts. There are also instances in which the practiced unit writing will not prepare students to complete the culminating task.

For culminating tasks, the questions and tasks preceding the task sometimes align and support students' understandings and abilities to complete the assignments. In some tasks, the teacher may need to create or obtain other supports to ensure students have the knowledge and tools to complete the tasks. Prior questions that are asked do not give the teacher useable knowledge of whether students are capable of completing the tasks. Interactive lessons are available to help students understand the procedures and processes for writing, speaking, and conducting research. There are also specific grammar lessons that go along with each lesson. These lessons provide students with some information to help them to understand and complete performance tasks, but the lessons provide no additional information for the teacher to determine Grade 3 students’ readiness.

Culminating tasks do provide a platform for students to demonstrate some comprehension and knowledge of a topic and/or topics. Culminating tasks are often only connected to texts that do not provide enough information to complete the task. A representative example in the program partially supporting students in demonstrating knowledge through an integrated culminating writing task is the following:

  • The Unit 2 performance task somewhat relates to the unit theme (Look and Listen) because it is about the telling of stories, but the task mainly connects to the Lesson 10 topic, Inventions. Students are to think about the anchor texts and write an opinion essay that expresses and supports an opinion. Writing throughout the unit that leads to the task includes: writing a response paragraph in Lesson 6, writing an opinion piece in Lesson 7 and writing a response to literature piece in lessons 8-10. Speaking and listening skills are also present as students are given options for presenting information such as: (1) read your opinion essay to your classmates, (2) publish your essay on a school website, or (3) collect essays and bind them together in a book for your classroom library. There is no further direction given to students on presenting their performance task. Outside research is not required in this task, but students can use other sources if they choose to do research. Students are to explain what kind of storytelling they think is best and support their opinion with evidence from the text. This performance task does not build knowledge of a topic.
  • The Unit 5 performance task somewhat relates to the unit theme (Going Places). Students compare and contrast how Grasshopper and Manu show attitude changes throughout the texts. The lessons leading up to the task do not have them write a literary analysis, but rather, students write a fictional narrative. Interactive lessons are included such as writing to sources, writing informational texts, and writing as a process. Speaking and listening skills are also present as students are given options for presenting information such as: (1) read your analysis aloud to your classmates, (2) publish your literary analysis on a school website, or (3) collect essays and bind the literary analyses together in an anthology for the classroom library. There is no further direction provided to students on presenting their tasks. The task does not build student knowledge of a topic. Unit writing lessons do not prepare students to complete the task.

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 3 partially meet the expectations of materials providing guidance for supporting students’ academic vocabulary. The materials include a year-long guide for vocabulary, including target vocabulary, domain-specific vocabulary, spelling words, and reading/language arts Tier III terms. The materials do not include a cohesive, year-long plan for students to interact with and build key academic vocabulary words across texts throughout the year.

Each lesson has a box for “Target Vocabulary” on the focus wall. There are 10 words in this box. Each weekly pacing guide instructs the teacher to “Introduce Vocabulary” on Day 1, “Apply Vocabulary Knowledge” on Day 3, use “Vocabulary Strategies” on Day 4, and use “Domain Specific Vocabulary” on Day 5. The students first hear the words in the teacher read aloud, although no instruction on these words takes place at this point. Vocabulary is introduced with Vocabulary in Context Cards, which introduce the words using sentences, but not within the context of a complete text. While vocabulary words are used across multiple texts within a weekly lesson, there is little use of academic vocabulary across units within a grade level throughout the year.

Examples of resources for vocabulary include:

  • Students' texts include several references to a glossary of academic vocabulary (G1).
  • The Vocabulary in Context Cards are used in every lesson, and give sentences and various activities for students to complete (“Talk About It” and “Think About It”).

For each text, the teacher is directed to discuss the vocabulary with the students from the “Introduce Vocabulary” section. Below is a an example of Unit 4, Lesson 16 vocabulary instructions:

  • “Read and pronounce the word. Read the word once alone and then together.”
  • “Explain the word. Read aloud the explanation under What Does It Mean?”
  • “Discuss vocabulary in context. Together, read aloud the sentence on the front of the card. Helps students explain and use the word in new sentences.”
  • “Engage with the word. Ask and discuss the Think About It question with students.”
  • “Give partners or small groups one or two Vocabulary in Context Cards. Have students complete the Talk It Over activity on the back of each card. Have students complete the activities for all cards during the week.”

On Day 3, students encounter an “Apply Vocabulary Knowledge” section, which encourages use of all of the critical vocabulary words with practice outside of the text content. Students are invited to discuss vocabulary as it relates to a given sentence. Support for these conversations and tasks is minimal. An example of directions given is:

  • “Write the following Related Words on the board. Read each word aloud, and have students repeat after you. Then read the student-friendly explanation for each word. Connect each word’s meaning to the selection Bat Loves the Night by writing the context sentences on the board and reading them aloud” (Unit 2, Lesson 6, page T48).

On Day 4 students are instructed on vocabulary strategies through a teach/model, guided practice, and apply sequenced lesson. On Day 5, students are often introduced to Domain-Specific Vocabulary related to the topic of the week’s text, but outside of the context of the texts. For example in Unit 5, Lesson 23 students study the vocabulary strategy of determining the meaning of words based on their suffixes and are then introduced to the domain-specific vocabulary: postage stamp, correspondent, email, and return address.

As demonstrated, the materials do include a year-long guide 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 throughout the year.

Indicator 2f

Materials support students' increasing writing skills over the course of the school year, building students' writing ability to demonstrate proficiency at grade level at the end of the school year.
2/4
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials for Grade 3 partially meet the expectations for materials supporting students' increasing writing skills over the course of the school year, building writing ability to demonstrate proficiency at grade level at the end of the school year. Materials include writing instruction aligned to the standards for the grade level, and writing instruction spans the whole year. However, materials do not support students' increasing skills over the course of the school year.

While the materials offer prompts and performance tasks, and students practice writing with each lesson, the materials/unit writing tasks do not increase students’ skills throughout the year, nor to they provide support and scaffolding to help students reach the depth of writing that is required of these standards. As the year progresses materials follow the same format and rigor throughout, rather than raising the student expectations.

The materials consist of six units, each containing five lessons which incorporate varied types of writing experiences, both on-demand and longer process writing. The materials include opportunities for students to write in all modes required by the CCSS-ELA writing standards for Grade 3 (opinion, narrative, and informative). At the end of each unit is a performance task (with the exception of Unit 6), that incorporates the unit’s weekly writing lessons while asking them to use text evidence from the selections that they have read.

Each of the units contain a writing activity for each of the lessons that lead to a culminating writing project at the end of the unit. Writing spans the entire year, is used frequently, and generally coincides with texts and themes. For example, in Unit 1, students will write a personal narrative paragraph, personal narrative essay, story scene, and fictional narrative in both Lessons 4 & 5. The Unit 2 culminating writing project is an opinion essay, and the daily writing assignments are appropropriate and instruct students in narrative and opinion writing; Lessons 6, 7, 9, & 10 all directly relate to writing an opinion. Each lesson has a five-day plan for writing in which the model and focus are discussed in the first two days, then the plan is discussed on Day 3, generally using a graphic organizer and minimal instruction. On Day 4, students begin their draft, and on Day 5, students revise and edit. Materials for students sometimes include graphic organizers as students make an effort to organize their writing. The last section for revise and edit has minimal instruction such as in (Unit 2, Lesson 9):

  • “Read together Student book p.352 and the exploring list the exploring list made by the student writer, Hector.”
  • “Then read Hector’s opinion chart on Student Book p. 353.”
  • “Ask: How did Hector use his exploring list to write an opinion statement and organize his opinion chart?”

In an additional example, in Unit 5, Lesson 25, students write a fictional narrative and go from analyzing the model to publishing in five days. There is minimal instruction for students and minimal guidance for teachers as they teach these skills to students.

There is an online platform for students to collect their writings with MyWrite Smart and my Notebook as well as a resource called Writing Handbook. Interactive lessons are also included to help students understand the writing process and the modes in which they are asked to write. While those are available, there are no further explanations for teachers on how to use those lessons effectively to support students. Examples of some interactive lessons are:

  • Writing to Sources
  • Writing as a Process: Introduction
  • Writing as a Process: Plan and Draft
  • Writing as a Process: Revise and Edit
  • Writing Narratives: Introduction
  • Writing Narratives: Organize Your Ideas
  • Writing Informative Texts: Use Facts and Examples
  • Writing Opinions: Support Your Argument
  • Writing Opinions: Conclude Your Argument

Therefore, even though the materials include writing instruction aligned to the standards for the grade level, and the writing instruction spans the whole year, they do not support students' increasing skills over the course of the school year. While there are prompts and performance tasks, and students practice writing with each lesson, the materials/unit writing tasks do not increase students’ skills throughout the year, nor do they provide support and scaffolding to help students reach the depth of writing that is required of these standards. In addition, the materials follow the same format and rigor throughout the year, rather than raising the student expectations.

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.
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials for Grade 3 partially meet the expectations of including 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. Some lessons have a Research and Media Literacy section. Grade 3 students have some opportunities to practice learning the components necessary to think critically and practice research skills, although teacher guidance is not comprehensive.

Each Research and Literacy Media section includes a “skill focus” which varies by the lesson. For example, in Unit 1, Lesson 5, the skill focus is to narrow a topic. However, the only instruction provided is: “Tell students that when doing research, it is important to narrow their ideas to one topic. The topic should be broad enough so students will have options for research. Have students refer to the topics they have brainstormed from Lesson 4. Tell them that they will use this material to narrow down a topic.” The instruction provided is not adequate in helping students narrow a topic for research, and teachers may need to supplement with additional planning.

The Research and Media Literacy sections contain similar components with minimal rigor development. The instruction provided at the beginning of the year does not change significantly over the year. For example, in Unit 2, Lesson 9, students pick a topic, generate questions, narrow their brainstorming lists, and gather information to present on a topic. Instruction includes the following directions:

  • “Pick a Topic: Remind students that Kamishibai Man presents the kamishibai style of storytelling. Tell students that storytelling is still a form of entertainment today. Then tell students that they will use this general topic as a starting point and work toward framing a research question. Explain to students that they will have options for research. Ask them to think about what they would like to know about storytelling.”
  • “Gather Information: Explain to students that they will need to do preliminary research to have a better understanding about the topic. Discuss with students how they would go about this, such as using encyclopedias, the Internet, and other sources or by conducting surveys and interviews. Then have them gather information about their topic.”
  • “Refine the Research Question: Explain to students that now that they have some more information about their topic, they should refine their research questions to give them a clear, direct focus. Tell students that this will make it easier to write their research report. Have students share their research questions on an approved classroom blog or wiki page, where they can ask for feedback from classmates. Guide students to use appropriate punctuation and capitalization. Remind them that standard, formal English is required for all school work, even if it is written on a computer.”

In Unit 5, Lesson 24, students choose a topic, research, take notes and cite sources, then write and share their research papers.

  • “Choose a Topic: Remind students that they can generate a research topic from personal interests or by brainstorming with others. Have students write a list of topics that interest them about the islands of Hawaii. Then have them narrow their ideas to one topic. Have students formulate several open-ended questions about their topic and choose their best questions to research.”
  • “Research the Topic: Review for students how to take brief notes when researching information. Have students recall the types of print and digital resources they many use to gather information-- print books, magazines, newspapers, and trusted websites. Then have students conduct research to find answers to their questions. Remind them that they will not have to use all the information they have collected. Instead, suggest that students review each question they used to guide their research and then use only the information that answers that question.”
  • “Write a Research Paper: Have students use their notes and, if possible, a computer to write and publish a research paper. Remind students to introduce the topic and support it with information that consists of facts, definitions, and details gathered from research. Have them include illustrations if they will be useful for the reader in aiding comprehension. Add that students need to provide a concluding statement to remind the reader of the topic and some key facts.”

At the end of each unit are mini-lessons on research. While these mini-lessons do provide a little more depth than the ones in the lessons, there is no direction on when teachers should use the mini-lessons.

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.
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Indicator Rating Details

The materials for Grade 3 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 and record their progress in their reading log. Teachers are provided limited instruction on how to support reader independence. The following examples demonstrate the guidance provided to teachers:

  • “Have students read Bat Loves the Night on their own. Then distribute Reader’s Notebook Volume 1 pages 77-78 and have students complete them independently. Explain that they should respond to the prompts and questions by supporting their responses with ideas or sentence from Bat Loves the Night” (Unit 2, Lesson 6, page T46).
  • “Remind students that they will find reading more enjoyable if they select topics that interest them. Review that a topic is a broad subject area, such as cooking” (Unit 4, Lesson 16, page T51).
  • “Have students open to Reader’s Notebook pp. 172-173. Point out that they will be looking at “The Power of Magnets” in short sections to analyze what the author is communicating. Tell students that when they answer the questions on the page, they should always use evidence from the text to support their responses” (Unit 6, Lesson 27, page T81).

Students also complete independent reading tasks during literacy centers. Listed below are examples of activities involving independent reading. The teacher is provided limited instruction for these tasks:

  • “Schedule a time when students can benefit from a quiet activity, such as just before or after lunch or recess. Try to keep the same time each day” (Unit 1, Lesson 2, page T99).
  • “Teachers and media specialists can work together to select and feature books that might interest students in a particular classroom. Be sure to choose a variety of reading levels and topics, including books that will help students with projects or research related to what they are learning in science or social studies” (Unit 3, Lesson 11, page T7).
  • “ Regular visits to the school library or media center support and enrich the classroom independent reading program” (Unit 5, Lesson 23, page T189).

Independent assignments from the Reader’s Notebook and the Reading Log (found in the “Grab-and-Go) are provided to track independent reading.




Gateway Three

Usability

Not Rated

Criterion 3a - 3e

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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
2017 Journeys Student Edition Volume 1 Grade 3 978-0-544-54338-6 Copyright: 2017 Houghton MIfflin Harcourt 2017
2017 Journeys Student Edition Volume 2 Grade 3 978-0-544-54339-3 Copyright: 2017 Houghton MIfflin Harcourt 2017
2017 Journeys Teacher's Edition Unit 1 Grade 3 978-0-544-54360-7 Copyright: 2017 Houghton MIfflin Harcourt 2017
2017 Journeys Teacher's Edition Unit 2 Grade 3 978-0-544-54362-1 Copyright: 2017 Hougton MIfflin Harcourt 2017
2017 Journeys Teacher's Edition Unit 3 Grade 3 978-0-544-54363-8 Copyright: 2017 Houghton MIfflin Harcourt 2017
2017 Journeys Teacher's Edition Unit 4 Grade 3 978-0-544-54364-5 Copyright: 2017 Houghton MIfflin Harcourt 2017
2017 Journeys Teacher's Edition Unit 5 Grade 3 978-0-544-54365-2 Copyright: 2017 Houghton MIfflin Harcourt 2017
2017 Journeys Teacher's Edition Unit 6 Grade 3 978-0-544-54366-9 Copyright: 2017 Houghton MIfflin Harcourt 2017

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

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ELA 3-8 Rubric and Evidence Guides

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

For ELA, our rubrics evaluate materials based on:

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

  • Building Knowledge with Texts, Vocabulary, and Tasks

  • Instructional Supports and Usability

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

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