Alignment to College and Career Ready Standards: Overall Summary

The instructional materials for Journeys Grade 6 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 6 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. The materials do not 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 do not support students' increasing writing skills over the course of the school year nor do they include a progression of focused research projects. The materials for Grade 6 partially do provide a design, including accountability, for how students will regularly engage in a volume of independent reading either in or outside of class.

See Rating Scale
Understanding Gateways

Alignment

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Does Not Meet Expectations

Gateway 1:

Text Quality

0
17
32
36
21
32-36
Meets Expectations
18-31
Partially Meets Expectations
0-17
Does Not Meet Expectations

Gateway 2:

Building Knowledge

0
15
28
32
10
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
33
30-34
Meets Expectations
24-29
Partially Meets Expectations
0-23
Does Not Meet Expectations

Gateway One

Text Quality & Complexity and Alignment to Standards Components

Partially Meets Expectations

+
-
Gateway One Details

The Grade 6 materials partially meet the expectations for text quality and complexity and alignment to the standards. While some texts included in materials are of quality, informational texts are often short and lack engaging, content-area vocabulary. Although anchor texts and paired selection typically fall within the grade band, the scaffolding of the texts and the tasks required of students do not ensure students are supported to access and comprehend grade-level texts independently at the end of the year. 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.
14/20
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-
Criterion Rating Details

Instructional materials 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 6 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 but do not meet the expectation of supporting students’ increasing literacy skills over the course of the school year. Some anchor texts and paired selection typically fall within the grade band, the scaffolding of the texts and the tasks required of students do not ensure students are supported to access and comprehend grade-level texts independently at the end of the 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 6 partially meet the expectations of indicator 1a. Although many texts are excerpts, a good number of the literary texts are published texts which provide opportunities for students to engage in especially careful reading. Some texts are on topics of interest to Grade 6 students, and include rich, captivating language. Most of the informational texts were written for the series and are not works published outside the program. Many of them are brief, and lacking in content-area vocabulary and well-crafted language.

The anchor texts for Grade 6 include texts created by award-winning authors and illustrators, including Andrew Clements, Robert Byrd, Lynne Rae Perkins, and Lois Lowry, and cover topics of interest to Grade 6 students in a variety of genres, including poetry, realistic fiction, biography, and historical fiction. Some examples of quality texts include but are not limited to:

  • Unit 1, Lesson 1, The School Story by Andrew Clements - This excerpt is relatable for students since the setting is a school. The excerpt contains a lot of engaging and conversational dialogue.
  • Unit 2, Lesson 6, The Boy Who Saved Baseball by John H. Ritter - This excerpt is relatable to readers, because it is about playing a sport and being good friends. The text has vibrant verbs such as “growled,” “lingered,” and “descended."
  • Unit 3, Lesson 11, The Great Fire by Jim Murphy - This informational excerpt contains descriptive wording such as “gusting wildly,” “fiercely intense,” and “soggy marshland.” The text is well-crafted and suspenseful.
  • Unit 4, Lesson 16,The Real Vikings: Craftsmen, Traders, and Fearsome Raiders by Melvin Berger and Gilda Berger - This excerpt is an engaging topic for Grade 6 students. The text contains illustrations and photographs to show Viking examples to students. The text contains Tier 3 vocabulary such as “Hedeby,” “wattle-and-daub huts,” and “merils.”
  • Unit 5, Lesson 23, Number the Stars by Lois Lowry - This excerpt is engaging because readers meet the main character in the middle of disagreement with another character. The author uses well-crafted language such as “exasperated,” “glistened,” and “irritated snorts.”

While there are a variety of topics and a range of student interests addressed throughout the year, many of the texts created for the series lack engaging text for Grade 6 students. Examples include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Unit 3, Lesson 11, Fire Friend or Enemy? by Gerardo Benavides is a short text about fire. There are large photos and text features on the first and third pages, but the piece does not contain much text for students to read about fire.
  • Unit 4, Lesson 17, Ancient China Visual Arts (no author cited) is a short informational text about different Chinese dynasties. The text does not go into enough detail to interest students. For example, the text states that burial sites and buildings are excavated, but few details are given on the excavations.
  • Unit 6, Lesson 30, “Storm Chasers” (no author cited) is a short informational text that has an engaging start, but the rest of the text lacks engaging language, description, and photos that connect with the Lesson. For example, on page 68, there is a picture of an opened car door, yet the question from the teacher has nothing to do with a car door.

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 6 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, realistic fiction, short stories, poetry, science fiction, reader’s theater, historical fiction, fantasy, plays, and myths.

  • The School Story by Andrew Clements, realistic fiction
  • “Sporty Poetry,” poetry
  • Airborn by Kenneth Oppel, fantasy
  • The Hero and the Minotaur by Robert Byrd, myth
  • Number the Stars by Lois Lowry, historical fiction

The anchor informational texts represent a variety of text types and genres including, but not limited to, technology, science, social studies and biographies. Informational texts include autobiographies, informational texts, biographies, memoirs, literary nonfiction, newspaper articles, and an opinion essay.

  • Knots in My Yo-Yo String by Jerry Spinelli, autobiography
  • “Do Knot Enter” from Math Trek: Adventures in the Math Zone by Ivars Peterson and Nancy Henderson, informational text
  • The Pole! By Matthew Henson, memoir
  • The Great Fire by Jim Murphy, literary nonfiction
  • Onward:A Photobiography by Dolores Johnson, biography
  • Robotics by Helena Domaine, informational text

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 6 partially 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 of the texts in the materials are in the low end of the band for text complexity. Examples of texts with appropriate text complexity include:

  • Unit 1, Lesson 2: Knots in My Yo-Yo String by Jerry Spinelli
    • Quantitative: 960 Lexile
    • Qualitative: The theme in the text is a single level. The genre is familiar, but has shifts in chronology. The language is familiar with some sophisticated descriptions. The text requires specialized knowledge, but has familiar speech patterns.
    • Reader and Task: Suggestions are provided in order to assist students in accessing the text. The teacher is directed to motivate students by asking students who enjoy reading about authors to share with their peers. The teacher can use a Language Support Card to provide additional scaffolding for English language learners and students who need additional instruction. The teacher can also have students refer to the lesson’s Preview the Topic section. The tasks include: determining author’s purpose and analyzing figurative language and point-of-view.
  • Unit 2, Lesson 10: Children of the Midnight Sun: Young Native Voices of Alaska by Tricia Brown
    • Quantitative: 1030 Lexile
    • Qualitative: The text contains multiple levels of meaning. The text has an unconventional structure for comparing and contrasting two cultures. The text uses unfamiliar language and contains experiences which may be unfamiliar to the reader.
    • Reader and Task: Suggestions are provided in order to help students in accessing the text. The teacher is directed to motivate students by asking students who enjoy reading about Native American traditions to share with their peers. The teacher can use a Language Support Card to provide additional scaffolding for English language learners and students who need additional instruction. The teacher can also have students refer to the lesson’s Preview a Topic section. The tasks for students include: compare and contrasting two portraits of Native American children in Alaska, looking for author’s claims and evidence to support the claims, and figuring out author’s purpose.
  • Unit 5, Lesson 22: First to Fly by Peter Busby
    • Quantitative: 980 Lexile
    • Qualitative: The purpose is implied but easy to identify from context. The text uses a chronological sequence and includes somewhat complex science concepts. The text is written from the third-person point of view. The texts uses an increasing number of unfamiliar and domain-specific words as well as more complex sentence structures. The text requires specialized knowledge and includes few cultural references.
    • Reader and Task: Suggestions are provided in order to help students in accessing the text. The teacher is directed to motivate students by asking students who enjoy air travel to share with their peers. The teacher can use a Language Support Card to provide additional scaffolding for English language learners and students who need additional instruction. The teacher can also have students to refer to the lesson’s Preview the Topic section. The tasks include: reading for text evidence and analyzing text structure, personification, and text cohesion.

Several of the anchor texts have text complexity features that do not fully support Grade 6 students according to the demands of the standards. Examples include, but are not limited to the following:

  • In Unit 1, Lesson 1 is The School Story by Andrew Clements. This text is below the complexity level for Grade 6 students with a low Lexile and only slightly complex text features. The Reader and Task Suggestions do not increase the complexity.
    • Quantitative: 750 Lexile
    • Qualitative: The text has a single theme with a sequential plot. It contains a third-person point-of-view, which provides students with a clear view of all the story characters. The text has familiar settings, characters, and language. The text has familiar speech patterns and cultural references.
    • Reader and Task: Suggestions are provided in order to help students in accessing the text. The teacher is directed to motivate students by asking students who enjoy realistic fiction stories to share. The teacher can use a Language Support Card to provide additional scaffolding for English language learners and students who need additional instruction. The teacher can also have students refer to the lesson’s Preview the Topic section. The tasks include analysis of the characters, dialogue, and similes.
  • In Unit 2, Lesson 8 is Science Fiction by David Lubar. This text is below the complexity level for Grade 6 students with a low Lexile and slightly complex text features. The Reader and Task Suggestions do not increase the complexity.
    • Quantitative: 510 Lexile
    • Qualitative: The text has a single theme with a familiar narrative structure. The text contains first-person narration. The language is familiar and descriptive. Readers will be familiar with story experiences, but the theme is moderately complex.
    • Reader and Task: Suggestions are provided in order to help students access the text. The teacher is directed to motivate students by asking students to read to learn how the science and critical thinking are illustrated in the story. The teacher can use a Language Support Card to provide additional scaffolding for English language learners and students who need additional instruction. The teacher can also have students make connections between the events in “Science Fiction” and what they might learn in a science lesson about mold growth. The tasks include: making generalizations about the character, Amanda, analyzing connotation and denotation, and figuring out character motivations.
  • In Unit 3, Lesson 14 is Any Small Goodness by Tony Johnston. This text is below the complexity level for Grade 6 students with a low Lexile and only slightly complex text features. The Reader and Task Suggestions do not increase the complexity.
    • Quantitative: 580 Lexile
    • Qualitative: The text has a single level of meaning and is mainly chronological with occasional flashbacks. The text contains a first-person point-of-view and uses figurative, symbolic language. The text includes situations familiar to most students, but some cultural knowledge would be useful.
    • Reader and Task: Suggestions are provided in order to help students in accessing the text. The teacher is directed to have students think about what they know about community helpers. The teacher can use a Language Support Card to provide additional scaffolding for English language learners and students who need additional instruction. The teacher can remind students of the Preview the Topic section and share experiences they have had with community helpers. The tasks include: figuring out theme or central idea, using text clues to figure out hyperboles, and analyzing author’s word choice.
  • In Unit 6, Lesson 27 is Denali Dog Sled Journal by Terry Miller Shannon. This text is below the complexity level for Grade 6 students with a low Lexile and only slightly complex text features. The Reader and Task Suggestions do not increase the complexity.
    • Quantitative: 800 Lexile
    • Qualitative: The text has a single theme with events presented in chronological order, but references both future and past events. Photographs and a map bring the setting of the journal to life. The text is composed of both simple and complex sentences. The text uses a direct presentation in the first person. The setting of the journal may be unfamiliar, but descriptions and images supplement understanding.
    • 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 realistic fiction share. The teacher can use a Language Support Card to provide additional scaffolding for English language learners and students who need additional instruction. The teacher can remind students the topic of the week is extreme climates and then students share with a partner what they know about extreme climates. The tasks include: making conclusions and generalizations and summarizing.

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.)
0/4
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-
Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 6 do not meet the expectation of supporting students’ increasing literacy skills over the course of the school year. Although anchor texts and paired selection typically fall within the grade band, the scaffolding of the texts and the tasks required of students do not ensure students are supported to access and comprehend grade-level texts independently at the end of the year. There is minimal guidance for the teacher to support students as they prepare to transition into more rigorous texts at the end of the school year.

Examples of the complexity levels falling outside the grade band and thus not supporting access for students to access grade-level texts independently at the end of the year include, but are not limited to:

  • Unit 2 contains ten texts (five anchor and five paired selections). Half of the texts are below the text complexity requirements of the standards. For example, in Lesson 8, students read Science Fiction, which has a Lexile of 510 and moderately complex qualitative features. The paired selection has a Lexile of 740 and mainly moderately complex qualitative features. With this low text complexity unit, students will not have opportunities to grow their literacy skills to prepare for Grade 7.
  • In Unit 1, Lesson 2, there are two texts for the lesson, Knots in My Yo-Yo String (960 Lexile) and “Sporty Poetry” (NP). The qualitative rubric for Knots In My Yo-Yo String states shifts in chronology are used in the text; however, there are not any questions which leverage this feature. Additionally, the comparing of texts compares two poems which could provide for a rich dialogue; however, those features of the poems are not analyzed. Instead the poems are contrasted by topic (Which poem is about not giving up? and How does each poem tell about a sporting event?).
  • Additionally, in Unit 1, Lesson 1, students read The School Story, which has a Lexile of 750 and slightly to moderately complex qualitative features. On day one, students read the text and think through the text. On day two, students read and analyze the text. On day three, students independently read the text and complete two pages in the Reader’s Notebook. In Unit 3, Lesson 11, students read The Great Fire, which has a Lexile of 1020 and very complex to exceedingly complex qualitative features. This is one of the most complex texts in the materials. On day one, students read the text and think through the text. On day two, students read and analyze the text. On day three, students independently read the text and complete two pages in the Reader’s Notebook. These two texts have very different text complexities, yet the same amount of time is dedicated to reading each text. The reader and task considerations are similar. For The School Story, the teacher is directed to motivate students by asking students who enjoy reading realistic fiction to share what they hope to learn from the selection. For The Great Fire, the teacher is directed to motivate students by having them share what they hope to learn from the selection.

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
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-
Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 6 meet the expectation that anchor texts and the series of texts connected to them are accompanied by a text complexity analysis and rationale for educational purpose and placement in the grade level.

The Teacher Edition contains Prepare for Complex Text which includes both the text complexity analysis and rationale 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 1, Lesson 5, for the text The Myers Family by Leonard S. Marcus the Why this Text? states, “Students encounter biographies in literature anthologies, textbooks, and in books they choose for independent reading. This text explores the lives of acclaimed author Walter Myers and his son, Christopher Myers, a renowned illustrator. The text includes descriptive biographical information.” The key learning objectives are to distinguish between fact and opinion, identify the author’s purpose for writing, and analyze the significance of biographical events.
  • 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.

An example of how this is prepared for teachers is found in Unit 4, Lesson 18 students read The Hero and the Minotaur by Robert Byrd and the Text Complexity Rubric gives the quantitative, qualitative, and reader and task measures.

  • Quantitative: 990 Lexile, W Guided Reading Measurement
  • Qualitative:
    • Meaning and Purpose/Density and Complexity: The text has multiple levels of meaning.
    • Text Structure/Organization: The text follows a familiar narrative structure with a well-developed problem and resolution.
    • Text Structure/Narration: The text is narrated in the third person and has a credible voice.
    • Language Features/Sentence Structure: The text contains longer, descriptive sentences.
    • Language Features/Vocabulary: The text contains literary language that may require use of context clues.
    • Knowledge Demands/ Subject Matter Knowledge/Prior Knowledge: Readers may not be familiar with some story concepts.
  • 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 page T167 for Anchor Text Support.

Reader and Task Considerations on page T167 give additional support for the text The Hero and the Minotaur.

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 6 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: sports, books, animals, Ancient China, Ancient Egypt, volcanoes, science, history, nature, World War II, Civil Rights, and robots.

In each lesson, students interact with text 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 given for each Vocabulary Reader, for example in Unit 1, Lesson 21 (page T212), struggling students are directed to read the Vocabulary Reader Lights, Camera, Action!

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 19, managing independent activities directions can be found on pages T230-T231 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 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. These texts include a weekly planner and lessons for extended reading throughout the unit. Grade 6 extended reading texts include: Freedom Walkers by Russell Freedman, A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle, Esperanza Rising by Pam Munoz Ryan, Brian’s Winter by Gary Paulsen, and Tracking Trash by Loree Griffin Burns.

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 6 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 6 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:

  • In Unit 1, Lesson 4, students are asked, “How do you think Martin feels about Mrs. DeSalvio? What evidence from the text supports your answer? Martin is a bit afraid of Mrs. DeSalvio. I can tell because he edges away from her on the bench.”
  • In Unit 2, Lesson 10, students are asked, “How does the information in these two paragraphs contribute to the ideas in the text? It shows the Haidas’ continuing connections to nature and their traditional way of life.”
  • In Unit 5, Lesson 25, students are asked, “How has Dr. Sneed’s attitude about sharing his top-secret project changed throughout the play? Support your answer with evidence. At first, he says it’s impossible to tell Dr. aWatkins and Dr. Garcia about his project, and then he is embarrassed when Same shoes up. But at the end, he shows he doesn’t care what they think when he shrugs and smiles.”

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 the following examples:

  • In Unit 3, Lesson 12, students are asked, “Why is Matt 'best suited' for the job of attempting the rescue? What text evidences supports this? Matt says that he knows the captain chose him for the job because he weighs less than any other crewman, and weight will be a factor in the rescue. He is also the only crew member who isn't afraid of hanging out the bottom of an airship. He also feels that the captain trusts him to do a good job.”
  • In Unit 4, Lesson 18, students are asked, “Why is the paragraph that tells about Talus guarding the entrance important to the story? If Theseus has to get past Talus in order to enter the island, he is going to have to get past Talus if he wants to escape the island.”
  • In Unit 6, students are asked, “What text clues show what “keen observational skills” are? Justin says he needs Tia to be his eyes. Tia is saying she is good at studying things to figure them out. Students are also asked How does this phrase help you understand the story? It shows why Justin wants Tia to come to the farm: not just to help her with her science project, but because he thinks she can figure out what’s going on.”

Examples of text-dependent tasks and assignments found throughout the units:

  • In Unit 1, Lesson 3, students are asked to use a graphic organizer to keep track of the sequence of events of the text “The Making of a Book.”
  • In Unit 3, Lesson 11, students write a paragraph to describe how the author introduces Sullivan after reading “The Great Fire” using evidence from the text.
  • In Unit 6, Lesson 26, students design a poster after reading “Space Trash” to advertise about a conference being held to discuss the issue of space trash.

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 such as in Unit 1, Lesson 5 when students are asked to draw a picture and write a story about a food they do not like after reading “The Myers Family.” Students also research careers that use artistic talents.

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 6 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. 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. Not all unit texts are required to complete each performance task. The task directions indicate which texts students should use. Some tasks can be completed by students without the use of the unit texts, while other tasks cannot be completed using only 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: Cultural Connections. The performance task is introduced at the beginning of the unit as, “At the end of this unit, you will think about the texts that you have read. Then you will write a narrative that uses information and ideas from at least two of the texts in the unit.”

  • Unit 1’s performance task topic is, “In ‘The Making of a Book’ you read about the many tasks involved in the publishing process, from writing through manufacturing. The selection “History of the Book” discusses ways that people have recorded written words from ancient times to present. It includes a timeline showing when specific forms of publishing were introduced. Instructions include, "Reread these two texts and look for important details about how books are created and published. Think about the great influence that writing and books have had on the world’s cultures. Now, write a narrative about someone involved in the book industry, such as an author, artist, printer or bookseller. Your setting can be in the past, present, or future. Use ideas from 'The Making of a Book' and 'History of the Book' in your narrative.” Both texts attached to this performance task are in Lesson 3.
    • “The Making of a Book” is an informational anchor text that describes the jobs found in bookmaking.
    • The selection “History of the Book” is an informational supporting text. This short informational piece gives a brief history of how books have evolved through history.

There are no text-dependent questions or tasks that would build to students' understanding about choosing a character and writing a narrative. Little knowledge is gained from the texts and text-dependent questions that would build to the performance task. Students could write the narrative without the use of the texts.

An example of a performance task that doesn't require use of the unit’s texts can be found in Unit 2, Finding Your Voice. The performance task is introduced at the beginning of the unit as, “At the end of this unit, you will think about the texts that you have read. Then you will write an opinion essay that expresses and supports an opinion.”

Unit 4’s topic is: “In this unit you’ve read texts that express a variety of ideas and a variety of voices. In your opinion, which selection was best? Which was least successful? Review all the texts and choose two: the one that you think is best and the one that you think is the worst in the unit. Reread these selections and find text evidence, such as quotes and details, that supports your opinion. Then write an opinion essay that expresses your claim and persuades others to agree with your viewpoint.” Students could not complete the opinion writing using only the text that are provided. Students are asked to give persuasive reasons for their opinion using details and examples from the text. There are no questions or tasks that would help students develop criteria for best and least successful. The texts, text-dependent questions, and tasks provided do not give enough information to complete this task.

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.)
1/2
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 6 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 and protocols 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 texts and supporting texts provide text-based questions and sample answers for discussion, but do not give protocols or directions for conducting the discussions.

Examples of evidence-based discussions and modeling include but are not limited to the following. Note the questions do not come with comprehensive support /protocols for the teacher to build students' skills through these discussion activities.

Unit 1, Lesson 3, Your Turn, Classroom Conversation

  • Students are directed to, “Continue your discussion of ‘The Making of a Book’ by explaining your answers to these questions: Based on the selection, why do you think people save and collect old books? It takes people, machines, and time to make books. How has the computer affected the book-publishing process? In what ways must people collaborate or work together, to make a book?”

Unit 2, Lesson 10, Compare Texts, Text to Text

  • Teachers are directed to, “Have students write a list of details for each text that shows how the author tells about Native American traditions and culture. Ask students to note similarities and differences between the texts based on their lists of evidence.”

Unit 4, Lesson 10, Think Aloud

  • The teacher models discussion by stating, “ I want to know more about how a myth is different from other stories. From the illustrations, I know that myths have characters and settings that are not realistic. I’ll read this myth to look for ways the characters differ from realistic fiction.”

Unit 6, Lesson 26, Speaking and Listening

  • Teachers are directed to, “ Have each student read aloud his or her folktale to the group. Then have the group hold a discussion in which students make connections between ‘How the Milky Way Came to Be’ and the different folktales they shared. Tell them to compare and contrast the folktales and the cultures from with they came. Display and discuss the Tips for Listening.”

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

Unit 1, Lesson 1, Talk About It

  • Students are directed to discuss, “What do you know about publishing a book? What would you like to know about this form of expression? Share your ideas with your classmates. Listen carefully to what others say and support their ideas with your own. What did you learn from others?”

Unit 3, Lesson 14, Think-Pair-Share

  • Students are directed to, “Think about a time when you helped someone. Where were you? Whom did you help? How did you help? Share your story with a partner. Then, discuss how your stories are alike and different.”

Unit 5, Lesson 24, Compare Text, Text to Self

  • Teacher are directed to, “Ask students the following questions to help them brainstorm ideas: What are some times when you received help? Who helped you? How did receiving help make you feel better? Take notes on the board during the discussion and then have students choose one memory to write about. Suggest that they use a Word Web to gather specific details about their memory to use in their paragraph.”

Unit 6, Lesson 28, Speaking and Listening

  • Students participate in a debate about a problem in nature. Students choose a problem, brainstorm solutions, divide into two teams, and debate. The information from the debate comes solely from students' prior knowledge.

Interactive Listening and Speaking Lessons are also provided. These lessons are not consistently connected 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 6 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 five. 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 in mastering these presentation skills. For example:

  • In Unit 3, Lesson 14, Day 5, students are asked to participate in a debate. Students are directed to select a two-sided issue to debate based on the text or its overall themes, such as whether Coach Tree is only coaching for the money. Students are divided into two groups and assigned a side in the debate.
  • In Unit 5, Lesson 18, Day 5, students are told that they will create, write, and tell their own pourquoi tales, describing how and why an everyday object came to be. Students will choose a common object that can be displayed during tehir presentation. Students are told they can use diverse formats. The Teacher Edition states, " Lead studetns in a discussion about how to present their tale in diverse formats: a written story accompanied by visuals, a concrete objec, and and audio recording of the tale. Allow time for studetns to prepare written copies of their pourqui tale for each audience member, visuals, and an audio recording of the story."

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 6 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. These prompts are short text-based writing prompts with little direction for the students and/or teacher. While the implementation of these writing prompts are systematic, guidance for the teacher to support students as they build skills is limited. There is little explicit instruction for the students and teachers to ensure the interrelated nature of writing assignments with reading.

  • In Unit 3, Lesson 11, students are asked to respond to the prompt: “Author Jim Murphy introduces Daniel Sullivan with an anecdote. An anecdote is a short account of some event. Write a paragraph to describe how the author introduces Sullivan. What do you learn about Sullivan from this anecdote? Include text evidence that supports your response.” There is an additional support box on one page of the Teacher 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 arguments. 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. Within the first lessons, students do not produce written work, 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.

  • For example, in Unit 5: Taking Risks, the mode of writing taught is an argument writing. Students read examples of writing an opinion essay, problem-solution essay, and a persuasive letter. After the last lesson of the unit, they then prewrite, draft, revise, edit, and publish an argument essay. The performance task for the unit is to write an argument essay.

Indicator 1l

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

The materials reviewed for Grade 6 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, Fictional narrative
  • Unit 2, Argumentative Essay
  • Unit 3, Informational Essay
  • Unit 4, Research Report
  • Unit 5, Argumentative Essay
  • Unit 6, Personal Narrative

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.
1/2
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 6 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 can not be answered with the information provided by the texts. There are some experiences 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 5, Lesson 22, “First to Fly”, students craft an argumentative essay, which is directly aligned to the grade level standard. However, students respond to the prompt “Traffic congestion is a huge problem in today’s cities. Propose an invention that would take the place of cars. Support your solution with reasons and evidence.”
  • In Unit 5, Lesson 23, “Number the Stars”, students write a letter persuading a director to film “Number the Stars.”

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 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 6 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 6 grammar and conventions standards often address below grade-level standards. From the beginning of the year, students encounter below-level language 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, on day one, students identify the subjects and predicates of sentences, on day 2 students review complete subjects and complete predicates, on day 3 students review fragments and run-on sentences, on days 4 and 5 students continue to identify and correct fragments and run-on sentences. Standards-Based Weekly Test, Lesson 1, questions 8 and 9, require students to identify run-on sentences and sentence fragments. (L.2.1f)
  • In Unit 2, Lesson 8, students are provided the definition of coordinating conjunctions and compound sentences. Standards-Based Weekly Test Lesson 8, question 9, requires students to choose sentences that best corrects the compound sentence by replacing the word or with the word but. (L.3.1h)
  • In Unit 3, Lesson 11, students learn the definition of pronoun, subject pronoun, object pronoun, antecedent, and vague pronoun. Students name the correct subject and object pronouns to complete a sentence. Standards-Based Weekly Test Lesson 11, questions 8 and 9, require students to find the sentence with a subject or object pronoun grammar usage error. (L.3.1f)
  • In Unit 5, Lesson 21, students define progressive verb tenses. Students change verbs to past progressive, past perfect progressive, present progressive, and future progressive verb tense. Standards-Based Weekly Test Lesson 21, questions 8 and 9, require students to find the sentence with a verb tense error. (L.4.1b)
  • In Unit 6, Lesson 27, students address writing with direct and indirect quotations. Standards-Based Weekly Test, Lesson 27, questions 8 and 9, require students to identify which sentence is written correctly using quotations in dialogue. (L.3.2c)

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

  • In Unit 4, Lesson 19, students review commas, parentheses, and dashes. Standards-Based Weekly Test Lesson 11, questions 8 and 9, require students to find errors in punctuation that include parentheses. (L.6.2a)
  • In Unit 5, Lesson 22, students review personification. Standards-Based Weekly Test Lesson 22, question 2 requires students to match underline phrases with their meaning. Each of the phrases is a personification. (L.6.5a)

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.

Gateway Two

Building Knowledge with Texts, Vocabulary, and Tasks

Does Not Meet Expectations

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Gateway Two Details

Materials reviewed for Grade 6 do not meet the expectations of building knowledge with texts, vocabulary, and tasks. Texts are sometimes organized around a theme. Materials contain sets of questions and tasks that sometimes, but not always, require students to analyze the language, key ideas, details, craft, and structure of individual texts. 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. Materials include do not support Grade 6 students in building writing nor research skills over the course of the school year. 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. To fully meet the demands of building knowledge and growing students' skills, teachers will have to supplement with other materials and planning tools.

Criterion 2a - 2h

10/32

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 6 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 or topic 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 4: Tales from the Past
    • Week 1: Fact and Legend
    • Week 2: Ancient China
    • Week 3: Myths
    • Week 4: Ancient Egypt
    • Week 5: Volcanoes

Each unit has a designated theme, but the lesson topics and texts do not always support the theme. The theme of Unit 5 is "Taking Risks". Lesson 22 (Flight), lesson 23 (World War II), and lesson 24 (Civil Rights) include texts which support the theme such as First to Fly: How Wilbur and Orville Wright Invented the Airplane by Peter Busby (lesson 22), Number the Stars by Lois Lowry (lesson 23), and Harriet Tubman: Conductor of the Underground Railroad by Ann Petry (lesson 24). The lesson topics and texts for lesson 21: Working Together and lesson 25: Robots do not consistently support the theme. For example, in lesson 25, the essential question is: How do robots solve problems? This essential question connects to the topic of the week (robots), but is loosely connected to the theme (taking risks). Over the course of the week, students build knowledge about robots and have access to learning 10 vocabulary words. During the Teacher Read Aloud, the teacher reads a passage which contains ten target vocabulary words: uncanny, ultimate, literally, data, inaccessible, interaction, domestic, sensors, artificial, stimulus. On Day 1, students learn those ten 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, World of Robots by Jennifer Schultz, 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.

Prior to reading the anchor text, Robotics by Helena Domaine, the teacher helps preview the topic for students, which provides students with background knowledge about the topic of robots. During the reading of Robotics, students write a cite evidence and summarize the main idea of the text. After reading the text, students use dates and signal words to figure out sequence of events. During the second reading, students look for clues to figure out domain specific words. As a performance task, students write an opinion paragraph about the following question: Do you think the current widespread use of robots to do work for people is a change for the better? During the independent reading of the anchor text, students complete Reader’s Notebook lesson 25, which requires students to use evidence from the text to document engineering challenges.

Students read a paired text called Dr. Sneed’s Best Friend by Nick James. Some of the target vocabulary is in the text such as artificial and sensors. Students participate in Text to Text, Text to Self, and Text to World activities after reading the paired selection. For example, students can select a robot from Robotics and write a short play scene

The weekly writing is about organization and planning an argument. On Day 2 of writing, the teacher models how Helena Domaine wrote strong, precise words, so students use precise, strong words in their argument like the author did for Robotics. While the teacher models with the topic of robotics for writing an argument, students do not have to use the topic or texts in their own writing.

The previous week is not about robotics. The topic is the civil rights, which has different vocabulary and builds knowledge about a new topic. Since only one week is spent on robotics, students do not build in-depth vocabulary and knowledge.

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.
2/4
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Indicator Rating Details

Materials reviewed for Grade 6 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 sets of questions and tasks, but they do not consistently 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.

Each unit includes sets of questions and tasks that require students analyze texts.

  • In Unit 1, students will answer questions and tasks that ask students to analyze items including but not limited to, characters, dialogue, author’s purpose, figurative language, literary text structure, and informational text structure.
  • In Unit 2, students will answer questions and tasks that ask students to analyze items including but not limited to, theme, metaphors, text and graphic features, literary and informational text structure, conclusions and generalizations, connotation and denotations, and arguments and claims.
  • In Unit 3, students will answer questions and tasks that ask students to analyze items including but not limited to, arguments and claims, figurative language, literary and informational text structure, point of view, connotation, theme, author’s word choice, visualization, style and tone, and text features.
  • In Unit 4, students will answer questions and tasks that ask students to analyze items including but not limited to, author’s purpose, main idea and details, setting, author’s word choice, analyze historical characters, style and tone, and key events.
  • In Unit 5, students will answer questions and tasks that ask students to analyze items including but not limited to, character motivation, point of view, conclusions and generalizations, figurative language, author’s purpose, variations of English, main ideas, and key details.
  • In Unit 6, students will answer questions and tasks that ask students to analyze items including but not limited to, main idea, key details,conclusions and generalizations, character analysis, persuasive language, and text and graphic features.

There are questions and tasks that ask students to analyze the language, key details, craft, and structure of texts, but they do not go to the necessary depth nor do they increase in rigor over the course of the instructional year. 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 5, the teacher edition states, “Ask: What is the author’s perspective on Walter and Christopher’s relationship? Then ask: What words and phrases in the text let you know the author’s perspective on Walter Dean Myers and his son?” (page T327)
  • In Unit 2, lesson 7, the teacher edition states, “Paying attention to how the author uses each section of the text to introduce and develop ideas helps the reader understand how each section fits into the overall structure of the text.” Students are then directed to, “Use these pages to learn about Text and Graphic Features, Text Structure, and Figurative Language.”
  • In Unit 4, lesson 16, the teacher edition states,“Guide students to identify text evidence that describes the houses of the poorer and wealthier residents of Hedeby and record them in their Venn Diagram.” (page T23)
In Unit 5, lesson 24, the teacher edition states,“Guide students in understanding that the author likely included nonstandard English to reflect the dialect used by Harriet Tubman and her brothers.” Also, “Guide students to find examples of nonstandard English. Ask: What words or phrases that don’t follow grammar rules do you see in Harriet’s words and those of her brothers?” (page T247)

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 6 do not meet the expectations of indicator 2c. 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 4, Lesson 16, students are asked, “How might the Vikings’ raiding of far-away places have led others to have a one-sided view of them?” The sample answer provided is: “Everything the people in places like England knew about the Vikings probably came from being attacked. They never saw how the vikings who didn't raid towns and villages lived back home.” 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 3, Lesson 12, the prompt is to guide students to analyze the phrase “arms sang with pain”. The only instruction provided is to “remind students that personification is a type of figurative language in which a nonhuman thing is described as having human characteristics or qualities.” Another example can be found in Unit 5, Lesson 23. The prompt is to guide students to look for details that show how Annemarie reacts to being stopped by the Germans. The only instruction provided is to remind students that good readers pay attention to how characters respond to story events to better understand the characters. This means looking at what they do and say, how they feel, and what say or feel about them. Additionally, in this example, the limited instruction does not does not align to the standard. 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.

In Unit 6, Lesson 30, the prompt is to guide students to analyze the photos and caption at the top of text. The only instruction provided is to “remind students that subheadings, captions, and text in italics are text features. Graphic features include photos, diagrams, and maps. Point out that thinking about how text and graphic features connect to the information in a text helps readers better understand the text’s topic.” Again the limited amount of instruction will not ensure students have mastery of the standards.

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 “Think about ‘The School Story’ and ‘Agent for the Stars.’ In both stories, the characters respond to a challenge. Identify a scene in each story that shows how the characters respond to the challenge. What is one way the characters are similar in their response? What is one way they are different? Use text evidence to support your answer.” In Unit 6, lesson 30, the question is, “Think about ‘Storm Chasers’ and ‘Whiteout! The Great Blizzard of 1888.’ Each text describes extreme weather. How are the descriptions of extreme weather in each text similar and how are they different? What is one conclusion you can draw about extreme weather based on both texts? Use text evidence to support your answer.” 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).
2/4
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials for Grade 6 partially meet expectations for providing questions and tasks that support students’ ability to complete culminating tasks in which they demonstrate their knowledge of a topic or theme through integrated skills. Each unit typically 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 research 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, and they are also told they can conduct additional research. During each lesson within the unit, students also practice writing that leads to the culminating skill in the last lesson of each unit.

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 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 information to help them to understand and complete performance tasks.

Culminating tasks do provide a platform for students to demonstrate some comprehension and knowledge of a topic and/or topics. 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 directly relates to the unit theme of Finding Your Voice. Students write an opinion essay that expresses and supports an opinion. Writing throughout the unit leading up to the event includes writing an opinion paragraph in Lesson 6 and Lesson 9, finding main ideas in Lesson 7, and using a story map that documents the main characters, setting, problem, and solution in Lesson 8. Speaking and listening skills are also present as students are provided options for presenting information such as: (1) read the essay aloud to the class, (2) produce a newspaper with several students’ writings, or (3) present the essay as part of a debate. Speaking and listening options are weak if students are not presenting. Outside research is not required in this piece, but students can use other sources if they choose to do research. Students are to describe which text from the unit is the best and which is the worst and support their opinion with evidence from the text. This performance task may not build students' knowledge of a topic.
  • The Unit 5 Performance task directly relates to the unit theme of Taking Risks. Students compare/contrast three unit anchor texts and then determine which character or person best describes the definition of “brave” as described in one of the anchor texts. The essay will be writing an argument to support their choice. Writing throughout the unit leading up to the event includes writing an opinion piece in Lesson 21 and Lesson 24, writing text evidence to support an argument in Lesson 23, and writing a response in Lesson 25. Interactive lessons are included such as writing arguments and opinion writing, supporting claims, and writing conclusions. Speaking and listening skills are also present as students are provided options for presenting information such as: (1) read your argument to class, (2) post your writing on the school website, or (3) present your argument in a debate. Outside research is not required. This task may not build students' knowledge of the topic.

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 6 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 3, lesson 12 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 encourage 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. For each lesson there are instructions that state:

  • “Read aloud each of the following questions. Have students discuss their answers. Allow several students to respond to each question to provide a variety of possible responses for discussion.” (Unit 3, lesson 12, page T117).

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 2, Lesson 23 students study the vocabulary strategy of determining the meaning of words based on their Latin roots and affixes and are then introduced to the domain-specific vocabulary: bacteria, elements, organic, pressure, and spore.

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. There is limited guidance for teachers to ensure Grade 6 students are able to apply new vocabulary.

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.
0/4
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials for Grade 6 do not 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. 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 comprehensive support and scaffolding to help students reach the depth of writing that is required of these standards. As the year progresses, materials do not support raised expectations for student writing practice. Teachers may need to supplement instruction to assure students are prepared for Grade 7 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 6 (argumentative, 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 argumentative writing; Lessons 6, 7, 9, & 10 all directly relate to writing an argument. 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 8):

  • “Read Student Book p. 246 with the class. Then discuss the revisions made by the student writer, Amy. What evidence does Amy add to support her reason?”
  • “Revising: Have students revise their book reviews using the Writing Checklist on Student Book p. 246.”

In an additional example, in Unit 5, Lesson 25, argument writing is taught 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. The teacher may need to support instruction with extra planning in terms of time and lesson structure.

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

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 6 do not 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. The materials do not include a progression of focused research projects providing students with robust instruction, practice, and application of research skills as they employ grade-level reading, writing, speaking and listening, and language skills. Research skills practice and learning do not follow a clear progression; there is not an overview of research skill progressions. Research topics are often broad. Teachers may need to supplement research work to ensure students are prepared for Grade 7 research activities by the end of Grade 6.

Each Research and Literacy Media section includes a “skill focus” which varies by the lesson. For example, in Unit 4, Lesson 17, the skill focus is to analyze sources. However, the only instruction provided is “Explain that when students conduct research and write reports, they will need to use reliable sources to locate relevant information to answer the inquiry question. Then provide the following scenario: A student is writing a report about the construction of the Great Wall of China. The student found several sources; an encyclopedia entry about the Great Wall, a review of a visit to the Great Wall on a travel website, a website about Ancient China, a book about the Great Wall. Which sources would most likely have the most reliable and relevant information for the report? Have student explain their responses.” The instruction provided will not help students assess the credibility of each source as required by the standards.

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. Only the skills focus changes.

For example, in Unit 1, Lesson 3, students select a topic, find sources, sequence ideas, add visuals and present. Instruction includes the directions:

  • “Select a Topic: Explain that people conduct research to find the answers to
    questions they are curious about. Have students revisit the publishing process in
    ‘The Making of a Book.’ Then have them choose a product they want to know
    more about and conduct a short research project to explain how it is produced.”
  • “Find Sources: Tell students that good researchers use a variety of sources to find
    answers to their research questions. Pair up students with similar research topics
    to find sources. Explain that technology, such as e-mail, allows people to work
    together even when they are far apart. Tell students to use all resources available to
    them and to share the sources with their partner.”
  • “Add Visuals: Tell students that visuals, such as pictures and diagrams, can help
    explain and clarify complex ideas. Have students find one or more visual that is
    related to their process to include in their research presentation.”
  • “Present: Have students present their research projects, with visuals, to the class.
    Remind them to speak slowly and clearly with good pronunciation, referring to
    note cards as needed to present their ideas in a logical sequence. Tell listeners to
    review the key ideas expressed and demonstrate understanding of the report by
    paraphrasing the information presented.”

In Unit 5, Lesson 24, students select and discuss a topic, develop the topic, gather information, incorporate multimedia and present. Instruction includes the directions:

  • “Discuss the Topic: As a class, review the selection “Harriet Tubman: Conductor on
    the Underground Railroad” as it relates to the civil rights movement. Tell students
    that they will conduct a short research project about the civil rights movement, and
    they will create a timeline that shows the milestones during this time in American
    history. Have students formulate focused research questions that will help them as
    they investigate the milestones that occurred during this period of time.”
  • “Develop the Topic: Explain that before students begin their research, they should
    brainstorm different aspects of the topic to help structure their investigation. Have
    students refer to their research questions as they explore ideas for their timeline.”
  • “Gather Information: Have students gather information from various media sources,
    including encyclopedias, the Internet, DVDs, and print and digital reference sources.
    Provide almanacs or other relevant sources so that students can see examples of
    vertical and horizontal timelines. Remind students of the following key points as they
    research:
    • Assess the credibility of the reference sources.
    • Quote and paraphrase resource information.
    • Provide bibliographic information.”
  • “Incorporate Multimedia: Tell students to add visual displays and multimedia to
    their written timelines, such as photographs or short video clips they can show during
    their presentations. Have small groups collaborate on their timelines, providing
    constructive feedback. Tell students to use the feedback to refocus their inquiries.
    Remind students to paraphrase the conclusions made by the sources they used as they
    revise.”
  • “Present: Have students present their timelines, using the visuals and multimedia to
    enhance their presentation. Remind students to use both the written information on
    the timelines and the visuals to help them clarify the milestones during the civil rights
    movement.”

There are few differences across the year in instruction, except for the skill focus. 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. Much of the instruction is left to students to discern; teachers may need to supplement instruction to ensure students are able to complete assignments.

Indicator 2h

Materials provide a design, including accountability, for how students will regularly engage in a volume of independent reading either in or outside of class.
2/4
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Indicator Rating Details

The materials for Grade 6 partially meet the criteria 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:

  • “Tell students that they will read ‘Airborn’ on their own to analyze how Matt Cruise showed bravery to help save another person’s life. Have students use the Reader’s Guide pages in their Reader’s Notebook, pp. 157-158” (Unit 3, Lesson 12, page T116).
  • “After students have selected a book, have them choose one chapter and analyze how it fits into the overall structure of the story or contributes to the development of the story’s plot. Have students use their Reading Logs to record their progress” (Unit 3, Lesson 12, page T116).
  • “Have students select two or three fiction books and read the book jacket or back
    cover summaries. Tell students to select one book to read based on the summary” (Unit 5, Lesson 23, page T184).
  • “Take a Picture Walk. Have students practice comprehension skills using an
    independent reading book. Tell students that they can take a picture walk through
    a book to get an idea of what the book is about. Then help them choose a ‘just
    right’ fiction book” (Unit 2, Lesson 9, page T258).

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:

  • “Writing in response to texts prompts students to think more deeply about the
    text. Vary the kinds of writing you ask students to do in order to keep them engaged and motivated to write about their independent reading” (Unit 4, Lesson 18, page T155).
  • “School Library. Regular visits to the school library or media center support and enrich the classroom independent reading program” (Unit 5, Lesson 23, page T157).
  • “Build a Classroom Library. A classroom library full of books and other texts and media offers students a rich and accessible reading environment” (Unit 1, Lesson 1, page T7).

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

null
8/8

Indicator 3a

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

Indicator 3b

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

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.).
2/2

Indicator 3d

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

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.
8/8

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.
2/2

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.
2/2

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.
2/2

Indicator 3i

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

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.
7/8

Indicator 3k

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

Indicator 3l

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

Indicator 3l.i

Assessments clearly denote which standards are being emphasized.
1/2

Indicator 3l.ii

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

Indicator 3m

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

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.
10/10

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.
2/2

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.
4/4

Indicator 3q

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

Indicator 3r

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

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 Teacher's Edition Grade 6 Unit 1 978-0-544-84704-0 Houghton Mifflin Harcourt 2017
2017 Journeys Teacher's Edition Grade 6 Unit 2 978-0-544-84705-7 Houghton Mifflin Harcourt 2017
2017 Journeys Teacher's Edition Grade 6 Unit 3 978-0-544-84706-4 Houghton Mifflin Harcourt 2017
2017 Journeys Teacher's Edition Grade 6 Unit 4 978-0-544-84707-1 Houghton Mifflin Harcourt 2017
2017 Journeys Teacher's Edition Grade 6 Unit 5 978-0-544-84708-8 Houghton Mifflin Harcourt 2017
2017 Journeys Teacher's Edition Grade 6 Unit 6 978-0-544-84709-5 Houghton Mifflin Harcourt 2017
2017 Journeys Student Edition Grade 6 Volume 1 978-0-544-84740-8 Houghton Mifflin Harcourt 2017

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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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