Alignment to College and Career Ready Standards: Overall Summary

Collections 2017 Grade 9 materials partially meet expectations for alignment. The anchor materials include high-quality texts that are the central focus of lessons, are at the appropriate grade-level text complexity, and are accompanied by quality tasks aligned to the standards of reading, writing, speaking, listening, and language. The materials may need supplementing from the teacher to build knowledge, as connections to themes and in implementing synthesis of skills are inconsistent, and research components are not cohesive. The materials provide some support for academic vocabulary, writing, and independent reading.

See Rating Scale
Understanding Gateways

Alignment

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Partially Meets Expectations

Gateway 1:

Text Quality

0
15
28
32
29
28-32
Meets Expectations
16-27
Partially Meets Expectations
0-15
Does Not Meet Expectations

Gateway 2:

Building Knowledge

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

Usability

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Not Rated

Not Rated

Gateway 3:

Usability

0
23
30
34
0
30-34
Meets Expectations
24-29
Partially Meets Expectations
0-23
Does Not Meet Expectations

Gateway One

Text Quality & Complexity and Alignment to Standards Components

Meets Expectations

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Gateway One Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 9 meet expectations for Gateway 1. Materials meet criteria for text quality and complexity and alignment to the standards with tasks and questions grounded in evidence. The instructional materials also include texts that are worthy of student's time and attention. Tasks and questions are grounded in evidence, and the instructional materials provide many opportunities for rich and rigorous evidence-based discussions and writing about texts. High-quality texts are the central focus of lessons, are at the appropriate grade-level text complexity, and are accompanied by quality tasks aligned to the standards of reading, writing, speaking, listening, and language.

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.
15/16
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Criterion Rating Details

The HMH Collections Grade 9 include texts that are of publishable quality and consider a range of student interests, text types, and genres. Anchor texts have the appropriate level of complexity for the grade according to quantitative analysis, qualitative analysis, and relationship to their associated student task, and are accompanied by information explaining the rationale for placement in the year-long course. While there is opportunity for reading a depth and breadth of materials, there is minimal guidance to support teachers in guiding students to reading beyond the classroom to be able to comprehend materials at the end of the school year.

NOTE: Indicator 1b is non-scored and provides information about text types and genres in the program.

Indicator 1a

Anchor/core texts are of publishable quality and worthy of especially careful reading.
4/4
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Indicator Rating Details

The HMH Collections reviewed for Grade 9 meets the criteria for anchor texts being of publishable quality and worthy of especially careful reading and consider a range of student interests. The materials contain anchor texts written by established and credible published authors or well-known sources. Many of these texts are well-known and would appeal to a range of student interests. Texts are varied and include short stories, poems, memoirs, myths, dramas, speeches, arguments, science writings, historical writings, and media texts.

Anchor texts in the majority of the collections and across the yearlong curriculum are of publishable quality. Examples include, but are not limited to:

  • In Collection 1 there is the short story, “Once Upon a Time,” by Nadine Gordimer, a Nobel Prize winner for literature in 1991. Her works are famous for their opposition to apartheid in South Africa and were banned in her home country prior to the abolition of apartheid in 1994. She specifically comments on the themes of exile and internal strife caused by apartheid within South Africa.
  • In Collection 3 there is the short story, “When Mr. Pirzada Came to Town,” by Jhumpa Lahiri, and a science writing piece, “Monkey See, Monkey Do, Monkey Connect,” by Frans de Waal.
    • “When Mr. Pirzada Came to Town” is from a short story collection, The Interpreter of Maladies, that won the Pulitzer Prize in 2000.
    • Frans de Waal is the director of The Living Links Center at the Yerkes National Primate Research Center in Lawrenceville, Georgia, and author of numerous books.

Anchor texts are well-crafted, content-rich, and include a range of student interests, engaging students at the grade level for which they are placed. Examples include, but are not limited to:

  • Collection 2 contains a wide variety of text types to engage students. There is a speech, an historical writing, a video, a diary entry, a memoir, a graphic novel, and a short story. The content-rich texts focus on the struggle for freedom in different countries - United States, Egypt, Iran, and Argentina - and during different time periods to include a range of students’ interests.
    • “I Have a Dream” Speech by Martin Luther King Jr.
    • from "Nobody Turn Me Around: A People’s History of the 1963 March on Washington” History Writing by Charles Euchner
    • “AMERICA The Story of Us: March on Washington” Video
    • from "Cairo: My City, Our Revolution” Diary by Ahdaf Soueif
    • from Reading Lolita in Tehran Memoir by Azar Nafisi
    • from Persepolis 2 Graphic Novel by Marjane Satrapi
    • “The Censors” Short Story by Luisa Valenzuela

Anchor texts do not require revision or supplements in order to ensure quality. The majority of the texts throughout the Collections in the 9th grade textbook are written by authors of known quality in their respective fields. Examples include, but are not limited to:

  • Anna Quindlen’s “A Quilt of a Country” is found in Collection 1. She was the third woman to win a Pulitzer Prize for commentary in 1992.
  • Yasunari Kawabata’s “The Grasshopper and the Bell Cricket” is included in Collection 3. He won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1968.
  • Wislawa Szymborska’s poem, “The End and the Beginning,” is in Collection 5. She was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1996.

The texts in HMH Collections Grade 9 are of publishable quality and worthy of especially careful reading. They are high-quality texts that will appeal to a wide variety of students and will introduce students to a variety of writing types that they will come in contact with as adult readers. Finally, the texts throughout the collection represent a multitude of cultures and ideas to provide a basis for evaluative thinking on the part of the students.

Indicator 1b

Materials reflect the distribution of text types and genres required by the standards at each grade level.
*Indicator 1b is non-scored (in grades 9-12) and provides information about text types and genres in the program.
0/0
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Indicator Rating Details

The HMH Collections reviewed for Grade 9 meets the criteria for materials reflecting the distribution of text types and genres required by the standards at each grade level. Throughout the collections, students engage with an appropriate distribution of texts and text types for grade 9. Literary texts include short stories, poems, plays, graphic novels, and myths. Informational texts include science writings, historical essays, arguments, memoirs, and foundational texts. Media selections are comprised of graduation speeches, documentaries, and a photo essay.

HMH Collections 2017 Grade 9 materials include the following distribution of text types and genres required by the standards for the grade:

The overall balance of literary and informational texts with which students engage is 45% literary and 55% informational. Text types include short stories, poems, explanatory and expository science texts, multimedia, and plays.

Samples of how the materials distribute these texts over the course of a school year include the following:

  • Collection 1
    • Literary Texts
      • Short Story by Nadine Gordimer “Once Upon a Time”
      • Poem by Alberto Rios “The Vietnam Wall”
    • Informational Texts
      • Argument “A Quilt of a Country” by Anna Quindlan
      • Essay by “Rituals of Memory” by Kimberly M. Blaeser
      • Speech “The Gettysburg Address” by Abraham Lincoln
      • Photo Essay “Views of the Wall”
  • Collection 3
    • Literary Texts
      • Short Story “When Mr. Pirzada Came to Dine” by Jhumpa Lahiri
      • Short Story “The Grasshopper and the Bell Cricket” by Yasunari Kawabata
      • Poem “At Dusk” by Natasha Trethewey
    • Informational Texts
      • Science Writing “Monkey See, Monkey Do, Monkey Connect” by Frans de Waal
      • Informational Text “With Friends Like These . . .” by Dorothy Rowe
      • Public Service Announcement from the Corporation for National and Community Service “Count on Us”
  • Collection 5
    • Literary Texts
      • Short Story “The Leap” by Louise Erdrich
      • Poem “The End and the Beginning” by Wislawa Szymborska
      • Memoir l from Night by Elie Wiesel
    • Informational Texts
      • Argument “Is Survival Selfish?” by Lane Wallace
      • Science Writing “from Deep Survival” by Laurence Gonzales

The HMH Collections reviewed for Grade 9 meets the criteria for materials reflecting the distribution of text types and genres required by the standards at each grade level. Throughout the collections, there are a variety of literary and informational texts that give students experience in reading different types of writing like science essays, plays, poems, short stories, and memoirs.

Indicator 1c

Texts have the appropriate level of complexity for the grade level (according to quantitative analysis and qualitative analysis).
4/4
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Indicator Rating Details

The HMH Collections reviewed for Grade 9 meets the criteria for texts having the appropriate level of complexity for the grade according to quantitative analysis, qualitative analysis, and relationship to their associated student task.

Examples of texts with appropriate text complexity include, but are not limited to:

  • In Collection 1 “A Quilt of a Country” Argument by Anna Quindlen
    • Quantitative - 1260 Lexile
    • Qualitative - The “Levels of Meaning/Purpose” in this story is rated at the mid-low level. Although it is implied that there is more than one purpose, it is easily identified from the context. The “Structure” of the story is in the mid-high range because the organization of the main ideas and details is complex but mostly explicit. “Language Conventionality and Clarity” is in the mid-low level due to some unfamiliar or domain-specific words. “Knowledge Demands” is mid-high because students will need knowledge of specific events of discrimination in America’s history.
    • Reader and Task - Suggestions are provided in order to assist students in accessing the text in the “Zoom In On” feature: “Ask small groups to discuss the forces that bring people together and those that tear them apart. Remind students that this selection is an argument. As they read, suggest students take notes when they disagree with the author” (HMH, 9th Grade, Collection 1, “A Quilt of a Country” 3C). The tasks include analyze and evaluate an author’s claim and delineate and evaluate an argument.
  • In Collection 3, “Monkey See, Monkey Do, Monkey Connect” Science Writing by Frans de Waal
    • Quantitative - 1160 Lexile
    • Qualitative - The “Levels of Meaning/Purpose” in this story is rated at the mid-low level. There is a single level of complex meaning. The “Structure” of the story is in the mid-low range because the organization of the main ideas and details is complex but clearly stated and mostly sequential. “Language Conventionality and Clarity” is in the mid-high level because there is an increased number of unfamiliar and domain-specific words. “Knowledge Demands” is mid-low because students will read about slightly complex science concepts.
    • Reader and Task - Suggestions are provided in order to assist students in accessing the text in the “Zoom In On” feature. The teacher encourages students to write down unfamiliar words or domain-specific words they find. Some examples are given: laughter contagion, yawn contagion and herd instinct. This section also singles out the lines 84-102 in the text that may be confusing to students. The teacher can separate the students into small groups to read the lines and discuss specific questions; for example, “How does the ‘ghost box’ work?” The tasks include determine technical meanings and analyze and evaluate author’s claims.
  • In Collection 5, “The Leap,” Short Story by Louise Erdrich
    • Quantitative - 1260 Lexile
    • Qualitative - The “Levels of Meaning/Purpose” in this story is rated at the mid-low level because there are multiple themes. The “Structure” of the story is in the mid-high range because there are chronology shifts with the use of flashback and flashforward. “Language Conventionality and Clarity” is in the mid-high level because of figurative language. “Knowledge Demands” is mid-low because it has a moderately complex theme.
    • Reader and Task - Suggestions are provided in order to assist students in accessing the text in the “Zoom In On” feature. For a pre-reading activity, the teacher has the students discuss circus performances and describe the following words: Arabian horses, contortionists, and trapeze acts. This section also singles out the lines 74-100 because students may have trouble visualizing what is described. The teacher can have one student read the selection out loud and two other students pantomime what is being described. The tasks during reading include support inferences about theme and analyzing the author’s choices of flashback and tension.

Indicator 1d

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

The HMH Collections materials for Grade 9 meets the expectations for materials supporting students’ increasing literacy skills over the course of the school year. Anchor texts and paired selections typically fall within the grade band; if a text is above or below the grade band, the qualitative measurements or reader tasks support students’ growth in literacy skills. The scaffolding of the texts and the tasks required of students generally ensure students are supported to access and comprehend grade-level texts independently at the end of the year.

The following Lexile ranges are found in the six collections:

Collection 1: 1170-1390
Collection 2: 990-1200
Collection 3: 1060-1170
Collection 4: 940-1020
Collection 5: 440-1260
Collection 6: 1030-1170

Examples of the complexity levels falling inside the grade band with sufficient scaffolding and appropriate tasks that support students in accessing grade-level texts independently at the end of the year include, but are not limited to:

  • In Collection 3, which is toward the middle of the school year, students read a short story by Jhumpa Lahiri, “When Mr. Pirzada Came to Dine,” with a Lexile of 1170, which is in the middle of the grade band. The qualitative measures rate this as mid-high for levels of meaning and knowledge, and mid-low for structure and language. The reader task aids students in understanding the text by focusing on analyzing characters and theme and supporting inferences about theme.
  • In Collection 4, students read Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare, which does not have a Lexile rating. The qualitative measures put this at a mid-high for levels of meaning, structure and language, and at high for knowledge demands. This is found in the latter half of the year and has reader tasks that support students understanding. Students analyze author’s choices with parallel plots and analyze character motivations.
  • In Collection 5, students read the short story, “The Leap,” by Louise Erdrich with a Lexile of 1260. This is toward the end of collection 5 and on the higher end of the grade band. The qualitative measures place this at a mid-low for levels of meaning and knowledge demands, and a mid-high for structure and language. The reader task is appropriate in that it asks students to analyze the author’s choices of flashback and tension and support inferences about theme.

Examples of the complexity levels falling outside the grade band with sufficient scaffolding and appropriate tasks that support students in accessing grade-level texts independently at the end of the year include, but are not limited to:

  • In Collection 1, the second text in the collection is a short story, “Once Upon a Time,” by Nadine Gordimer with a Lexile of 1390, which is above the grade band. The qualitative measures say this is mid-low for levels of meaning, mid-high for structure and high for language and knowledge demands. The reader task is appropriate for this high-level text in that students are supporting their inferences about theme and analyzing the author’s choices with structure and language.
  • Also in Collection 1, there is an essay by Kimberly M. Blaeser, “Rituals of Memory,” with a Lexile of 1380, which is above the grade band. The qualitative measures put this at mid-low for levels of meaning, mid-high for structure and knowledge demands, and high for language. The reader task for this text is appropriate because it helps students work through the high level language and mid-high structure by focusing on analyzing language and determining central idea.
  • Collection 5 contains an excerpt from the memoir, Night, by Elie Wiesel with a Lexile of 440, which is below the grade band. The qualitative measures put this at a mid-high for levels of meaning and knowledge demands, and mid-low for structure and language. Although this is not a complex text, the reader task is more advanced. Students are analyzing the author’s purpose, rhetoric, and the impact of word choice on tone.

Throughout the school year, students are given access to texts at a variety of complexity levels. The materials support students’ increasing literacy skills by choosing texts that balance quantitative and qualitative levels with the reader task.

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 HMH Collections reviewed for Grade 9 meets the criteria that 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.

The Teacher’s Edition contains “Plan” pages before each 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 Collection 4 for Romeo and Juliet, the “Why This Text?” states: “Variations on the story of Romeo and Juliet abound, epitomizing as it does the passionate intensity of young love. In this lesson, students are introduced to the beauty of the language, the timelessness of the characters and theme, and the complexities of the plot in Shakespeare’s enduring classic” (177A).
  • The Text Complexity Rubric explains the text complexity attributes of each whole class text, the Lexile, 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 Collection 6 on page 433A-433C in “The Real Reasons We Explore Space” an argument by Michael Griffin. Text Complexity Rubric gives the quantitative, qualitative, and reader and task measures.
    • Quantitative - 1170 Lexile
    • Qualitative - includes a low, mid-low, mid-high and high scale for each of the following measurements. Under the heading are two columns: on the right states the objective and on the left is a “Zoom In On” feature which gives teachers an activity to complete the objective:
      • Levels of Meaning/Purpose - scored “low” on the scale
        • Objective - “To teach analyzing analogies to understand ideas and meaning in a text, see Determine Meaning and Analyze Ideas.”
        • Zoom In On - teachers define analogy for the students and then have students “reread the author’s conclusion and analyze the ideas it contains”.
      • Structure - scored “low” on the scale
        • Objective - to delineate and evaluate an argument. Teachers are referred to multiple pages to facilitate students’ understanding of this goal.
        • Zoom In On - Review the elements of an argument: evidence, logic, and emotional appeals. Then put students in groups and use questions provided to discuss the use of logic and emotion in the text.
      • Language Conventionality and Clarity - scored “mid-high” on the scale
        • Objective - teach unfamiliar vocabulary in context, analyze rhetorical language, support students in understanding synonyms and antonyms, and guide students in understanding transition words and phrases.
        • Zoom In On - The teacher goes over the critical reading vocabulary word, contemplate, before reading the text. The teacher reads aloud the paragraph that contains the word and models how to figure out the meaning using context clues (like antonyms and synonyms). Then, students get into small groups to do the same for the words vital, harmful, and followership.
      • Knowledge Demands - scored “mid-high” on the scale
        • Objective - “Support English Learners in understanding the author’s background.”
        • Zoom In On - The teacher is given additional information about the author. For example, “The author has a Ph.D. in aerospace engineering. Aerospace engineers design and manage the building of spacecraft, aircraft, missiles, and defense systems.”
    • Suggested Reader and Task Considerations:
      • On the right are things the teacher should consider before reading: “Will students have any difficulty with the vocabulary used in the essay? Will students be interested in the way ideas are presented within the essay?”
      • Zoom In On is on the left - This labels the goal, “Supporting Comprehension,” and then shares an activity students can complete to reach the goal. “Have students highlight or note any unfamiliar words and phrases as they read. Pair English learners with more experienced English speakers to define highlighted words and phrases. Have them use reference works to confirm meanings.

Indicator 1f

Anchor and supporting texts provide opportunities for students to engage in a range and volume of reading to achieve grade level reading proficiency.
1/2
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Indicator Rating Details

The HMH Collections reviewed for Grade 9 partially meets the criteria that anchor text(s), including support materials, provide opportunities for students to engage in a range and volume of reading to achieve grade level reading proficiency. While students read a variety of texts, it is unclear how students are supported towards reading proficiency. Instructions within the Teacher’s Edition do not explain how the entirety of a text is to be read: silently, by the teacher, or aloud as a whole class. General instructions are given in the teacher's edition before each text that tell the teacher to have students use the "As You Read" feature to guide their reading. An example is found in Collection 5 before "Deep Survival": “As You Read: Direct students to use the As You Read directions to focus their reading” (325). How each text is read is left up to the teacher with little guidance from the program. Students may never read the texts within the collections independently.

The Instructional Overview found at the beginning of each collection clearly identifies the diversity of texts students will be reading within each collection. Below is an example showing the range and volume that can be found from three different collections at this grade level:

  • Collection 1: argument, short story, essay, speech, photo essay, and a poem
  • Collection 3: short stories, science writing, informational text, poem, and a public service announcement
  • Collection 6: epic poem, travel writing, argument, and a poem

Each collection contains a feature titled Digital Resources for Independent Reading that precedes the Performance Tasks at the end of each collection. This feature suggests digital resources students can use to find out more about the theme or topic of the collection. However, little support is provided and not all suggested tasks may support proficiency. The following is an example of this:

  • Collection 1 suggests student read “Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard” by Thomas Gray and “Christmas Storms and Sunshine” by Elizabeth Cleghorn Gaskell. “As students read the poems, ask them to think about the collection theme” (1 36b). How does each poem provide an insight into finding common ground?” There is no way to assess how students gain independence with this reading.

This page also includes a Creating an Independent Reading Program. This feature suggests ways for teachers to help students increase independent reading by building a classroom library and creating library rules. However, no system is provided for monitoring students use of the techniques suggested here. Additionally, a teacher may choose to skip this activity.

Criterion 1g - 1n

Materials provide opportunities for rich and rigorous evidence-based discussions and writing about texts to build strong literacy skills.
14/16
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Criterion Rating Details

The HMH Collections for Grade 9 meets the criteria that most questions, tasks, and assignments are text dependent/specific, requiring students to engage with the text directly, and are followed by culminating tasks. The materials partially meet the criteria for frequent opportunities and protocols for evidence-based discussions that encourage use of academic vocabulary and connection to what is being read.The materials provide opportunities for students to practice writing different types in both on-demand and process settings, with an appropriate emphasis on text-based writing, and grammar and mechanics instruction is clearly organized to support development of these skills over the course of the school year.

Indicator 1g

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

The HMH Collections reviewed for Grade 9 meets the criteria that most questions, tasks, and assignments are text dependent/specific, 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; this may include work with mentor texts as well).

The majority of the questions within the textbook require students to go back to the text to support their interpretations and build their knowledge from the literal to the inferential. The materials also provide support for planning and implementing by including teacher instructions for when to ask the question, how to introduce it, and possible student answers. Within each Collection, each text contains questions to be asked during the reading and questions that will be completed after the reading. During the reading, each question has a bold heading that states the purpose, the question, and an example student answer. Examples of questions a teacher asks while reading include, but are not limited to:

  • “Point out that lines 46-48 provide a transition from the narrator’s autobiographical story to a fictional one about a family. The narrator uses these lines to help her readers understand how she came to imagine the story of the family. Ask students how the shift in structure from an autobiographical tale to a ‘bedtime story’ affects the reader” (12).
  • “Ask students to reread deWaal’s statement in lines- : ‘The new level requires that one pay better attention to what others do and absorb how they do it.’ What implications do this statement and the subsequent examples suggest?” ( 127).
  • “Ask students to reread lines 114-123 and identify the inference that Gonzales makes abour Byron Kerns. Discuss what details support that inference” ( 328).
  • “Make sure students understand that Odysseus fought for ten years in the Trojan War; he has spent ten more years trying to get home. “Ask students what details in lines 17-25 reveal about Odysseus’ feelings” (372).

In addition to the questions during the reading, there is a section after the text labeled, “Analyzing the Text.” This section contains the same general instructions in all Collections that say, “Cite Text Evidence: Support your responses with evidence from the selection.” There are three to six questions in this segment. Each question is preceded by a skill in bold followed by the question; possible students answers are found on the left-hand side of the teacher’s edition. Examples of questions at the end of the text from the “Analyzing the Text” Section include, but are not limited to:

  • “Evaluate: In lines 58, 136, and 194, the phrase ‘wise old witch’ is used to describe the husband’s mother. Explain how the wise old witch can be interpreted to symbolize the government of South Africa” ( 18).
  • “Compare: Reread lines 107-152 in the poem. How does the scene compare to Act V, Scene 3, lines 74-120, of Romeo and Juliet?” (288).
  • “Interpret: How does the order in which Odysseus reveals himself to his friends and loved ones build suspense? Explain” (418).

The HMH Collections also comes with a consumable workbook called The Close Reader. This contains directions before the reading and a short response question at the end. Each question during the reading has the heading “REREAD”; it is preceded by instructions labeled with the “READ” heading. The “READ” label gives the students instructions for what to look for while reading. The “REREAD” section asks students to answer a short answer question based on what they focused on during “READ.” Examples of questions from the Close Reader DURING Reading include, but are not limited to:

  • In Collection 2, students read a speech by Robert F. Kennedy, “A Eulogy for Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.” (HMH, 9th Grade, Collection 2 Close Reader, “A Eulogy for Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.” (72b-72e).
    • READ asks students to read lines 1-13 and begin to collect and cite text evidence by doing the following:
      • “Underline examples of repetition and parallelism” (72d).
      • “In the margin, note what questions Kennedy poses” (72d).
    • In the REREAD section, students are asked:
      • “Reread lines 6-13. How does Kennedy use parallelism to emphasize the potential for American society to become more divided?” (72d).
  • In Collection 3, students read a short story, “And of Clay We are Created” by Isabel Allende (HMH, 9th Grade, Collection 3 Close Reader, “And of Clay Are We Created” 122B-122K).
    • READ asks students to read lines 1-30 and begin to cite and collect text evidence by doing the following:
      • “Circle the image that opens the story” (122c).
      • “In the margin, explain what the author foreshadows will happen to Carle (lines 1-11)” (122c).
      • “Underline the text describing the consequences of the eruption” (122c).
    • In the REREAD section, students are asked:
      • “Reread lines 1-11. How does the narrator describe Carle? Make an inference about his character based on this and the description of the devastation in lines 20-30. Cite text evidence in your response” (122d).

There are short answer questions at the end of the reading have the heading, “SHORT RESPONSE” and the instructions “Cite Text Evidence.” Examples of questions from the Close Reader AFTER Reading include, but are not limited to:

  • SHORT RESPONSE: “Think about Marlene’s relationship with her father and what it reveals about the story’s theme. Review your reading notes. Be sure to cite text evidence to explain your response” (20h).
  • SHORT RESPONSE: “How does Kennedy’s use of rhetoric advance his argument? How does his use of parallelism help speak to a racially divided audience? Cite evidence from the text in your response” (72e).
  • SHORT RESPONSE: “What is the theme of this story? Review your reading notes and cite text evidence to support your answer” (35-42).

The instructional materials include questions, tasks and assignments that are text-dependent/specific and consistently support students’ literacy growth over the course of the school year. The teacher materials provide complete support for planning and implementation of text-dependent questions, tasks and assignments by including information to share before the question and possible student answers.

Indicator 1h

Materials contain sets of sequences of text-dependent/ text-specific questions with activities that build to a culminating task which integrates skills to demonstrate understanding
2/2
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 9 meet the criteria for having sets of high-quality sequences of text-dependent/specific questions and tasks that build to a culminating task that integrates skills (may be writing, speaking, or a combination).

The materials contain varied culminating tasks of quality across a year’s worth of material, for students to demonstrate what they know and are able to do in speaking and/or writing. Over the course of the year, students present a speech, create a group multimedia presentation, participate in a panel discussion, and write three analytical essays, two arguments, and a fictional narrative throughout the six collections. There are text-dependent questions and tasks throughout the unit that connect to the culminating tasks.

The culminating tasks are found at the end of each collection. These tasks are rich and require students to demonstrate what they know through speaking and/or writing. Below is a representative list of the performance tasks found in the 9th grade edition:

Collection 1 - Present a Speech; Write an Analytical Essay
Collection 2 - Write an Argument
Collection 3 - Write a Fictional Narrative; Create a Group Multimedia Presentation
Collection 4 - Write an Analytical Essay
Collection 5 - Write an Argument; Participate in a Panel Discussion
Collection 6 - Research and Write an Analytical Essay

An example of a performance task that uses the unit’s text-dependent and text-specific questions to build to a culminating task which integrates skills to demonstrate understanding is in Collection 4: Sweet Sorrow.

  • The performance task states, “This collection explores the many facets of love -- joy, pain, passion, and conflict, to name just a few. Look back at the anchor text, Romeo and Juliet, and at the other texts in the collection. Consider the attributes or characteristics of love that are represented in each text. Synthesize your ideas by writing an analytical essay” (301).

Questions with possible student answers throughout the text selections are written to help students gather information that will help them write their essay.

  • For example, one of the support questions from the teacher's edition in “from Love’s Vocabulary” by Diane Ackerman on page 163 states, “cite text evidence...identify the central idea Ackerman presents at the very beginning of the essay. (‘Love is the great intangible’ [line 1]). How does she support this idea? (She calls love a ‘dream state’ and in lines 7-8 uses contradictory adjectives to describe love’s moods, showing it is not easily defined: ‘Frantic and serene, vigilant and calm, wrung-out and fortified, explosive and sedate.’)” ( 163). This clearly is setting up students to think about and define love.
  • At the end of this selection in the collection, the Analyzing the Text questions center around what Ackerman is saying about love and lead the students through the process of analyzing Ackerman’s analysis of love. For example, question 1 asks, “Ackerman begins by stating that ‘Love is the great intangible.’ What does she mean by the statement?” ( 170).
  • In the poem, “Pyramus and Thisbe,” on page 287, the textbook directs teachers to “Ask students to reread lines 129-137. What overarching theme relates to Thisbe’s exclamation, ‘your love has killed you’? (The line emphasizes the power of love, which is one of the poem’s themes)."

Another example of a Collection’s Performance Task utilizing text questions to build to the culminating Performance Task is in Collection 6: Heroes and Quests.

  • The performance task states, “Review the journeys taken in three texts in this collection, including the Odyssey. What compels characters or real people to set off on a journey -- physical, mental, or spiritual -- and what do they learn Synthesize your ideas in an analytical essay. Use evidence from the texts and from additional sources to support your conclusions.”

Questions and possible student answers throughout the text selections are written to support students in developing ideas about setting off on a journey and collecting evidence to support those ideas for the essay.

  • In the anchor text from the Odyssey one of the questions on page 376 says, “Ask students what they learn from the dialogue between Odysseus and his crew.” (The crew members are uneasy and want to leave, taking what they need for their continued voyage. Odysseus refuses, driven by a desire to learn more about the Cyclops and what he might give them.) This question will help students to consider the different types of journeys and how they affect characters.
  • In the text, “The Cruelest Journey” on page 422, the text gives some background for teachers to share with students and the teacher instructions state to “have students identify the text that shows how Salak feels at the beginning of her journey. How does she react to being called ‘crazy’?” This question helps students to consider the purpose of a journey and how someone feels setting out on that journey.

Consistently, across texts there are questions suggested in the teacher’s edition that will support students in building understanding and evidence towards the final performance task.

Indicator 1i

Materials provide frequent opportunities and protocols to engage students in speaking and listening activities and discussions (small group, peer-to-peer, whole class) which encourage the modeling and use of academic vocabulary and syntax.
1/2
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Indicator Rating Details

The HMH Collections reviewed for Grade 9 partially meets the criteria for materials providing frequent opportunities and protocols for evidence-based discussions (small groups, peer-to-peer, whole class) that encourage the modeling and use of academic vocabulary and syntax.

The materials provide discussion opportunities and questions throughout the course of the year. The protocols for discussions are found in the “Student Resources” section of the textbook; however, there is no clear emphasis on the application of academic vocabulary, syntax, and language forms to match the purpose of the academic conversations, such as participating in an evaluative discussion. Therefore, students could be involved in conversations with little to no usage of academic language to discuss textual evidence, or structure a purposeful academic discussion.

Representative examples of how HMH Collections provides multiple opportunities, protocols, and questions for evidence based discussions across the whole year’s scope of instructional materials include, but are not limited to:

  • All texts contain questions that are text-dependent and correlate with the text that teachers can use for whole class discussion while reading.
    • “Explain that King’s speech is especially significant because it was made in 1963 on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, one hundred years after Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation. Have students cite the line in which King refers to where he is giving the speech. Ask them what he means by the reference” (49).
  • In the Teacher’s Edition, there are sections labeled, “To Challenge Students . . .” and “When Students Struggle.” The activities described under these headings often contain group discussions or peer-to-peer work.
    • In Collection 3 while reading “The Grasshopper and the Bell Cricket,” the “To Challenge Students” section has students “share their rewritten passages in small groups and compare them with the original lines of the story . . . As a group, draw conclusions about the role of tone in a story” ( 136).
    • Collection 4 illustrates an example of pairs working together in the “When Students Struggle” task: “To develop reading fluency, have pairs read lines 36-52 aloud. Have them alternate paragraphs and, after a first reading, switch the order of reading” (291).
  • After each text in the teacher’s edition of the collections, there is a section titled, “Collaborative Discussion.” This activity asks teachers to have students work in pairs or small groups.
    • “Direct students to work in pairs to discuss how the writer structures his account of the March on Washington. Tell them to look at how he introduces the topic and how he unfolds his analysis, moving from one point to the next. Remind students to use specific passages and examples to support their conclusions. Have pairs compare their results with the rest of the class” (68).

The 9th Grade HMH Collections and support materials do not provide enough grade level appropriate opportunities for evidence-based discussions that encourage the modeling and use of academic vocabulary and syntax. Examples include, but are not limited to:

  • While reading text selections throughout the collection, students encounter text-dependent questions and prompts that require them to use evidence from the text. However, none of these are structured in ways that ensure that students use academic vocabulary or academic syntax. Students are not provided samples or models of evidence-based discussion. In addition, a clear emphasis on use of academic syntax, use of academic vocabulary, or use of protocols are not provided or referenced. Examples include, but are not limited to:
    • Direct students to reread lines 451-464 and identify clues that indicate changes in the two main characters (HMH, 9th Grade, Collection 3 “When Mr. Pirzada Came to Dine” 115).
    • The term herd instinct is first used in line 63. Ask: how does the context of the paragraph provide clues to the meaning of this term? (125).
    • Asks students to tell what they know about Rolf Carle so far. What do they know about the narrator? ( 122).
  • At the end of each reading selection, there is a “Collaborative Discussion” prompt that provides an opportunity for students to discuss. However, students are not directed to use academic syntax, vocabulary, or specific protocols when engaged in these discussions. Examples include, but are not limited to:
    • What conflicts does Mr. Pirzada experience in the story? What conflicts does Lilia face? Who is changed more at the end of the story? Cite textual evidence from the story to support your ideas ( 118).
    • What is de Waal’s claim about how humans are connected? With a partner, discuss the examples he provides in support of his ideas ( 128).
  • Academic vocabulary is identified at the beginning of each collection in the PLAN pages. Collection 5 includes the following academic terms: dimension, external, statistic, sustain, utilize. While reading the anchor text, “from Night,” by Elie Wiesel, students are provided one opportunity to consider and discuss this collection’s targeted academic vocabulary; however no protocols, suggestions on groupings, or modeling are provided in the following prompt from the teacher's edition:
    • “As you discuss the excerpt from Wiesel’s memoir, incorporate the following Collection 5 academic vocabulary words: dimension and sustain. Discuss how the dimension of the Holocaust is hard to comprehend; this small piece of one memoir conveys only a tiny part of the larger horror. Ask students how they think the prisoners were able to sustain themselves - not only physically, but also emotionally and mentally” (309).

Although the materials provide discussion opportunities and questions throughout the course of the year, there is not a clear emphasis on the application of academic vocabulary, syntax, and language forms to match the purpose of the academic conversations. Therefore, it will be very difficult for teachers to implement the standards and assess growth.

Indicator 1j

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

The HMH Collections reviewed for Grade 9 partially meets 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.

Protocols and routines for collaborative discussions and debates can be found in the resource section of the student edition. The “Participating in a Collaborative Discussion” pages includes explanations of how to prepare for a discussion, setting ground rules, moving the discussion forward, and responding to ideas. The “Debating an Issue” section defines the structure of debate, planning the debate, holding the debate and evaluating the debate.

There are no speaking and listening rubrics found in the materials.

There are many opportunities throughout the year for students to practice speaking and listening skills in the small performance tasks, large performance tasks, and before, during and after reading each text; however, little intentional instruction of speaking and listening skills is applied. Examples include, but are not limited to:

  • Performance Task A at the end of Collection 1 is to “Perform a Speech.” The Interactive Lessons “Giving a Presentation: Knowing Your Audience” and “Giving a Presentation: Delivering Your Presentation” are referred to in the sidebar of the student edition. The rubric for this task assesses Ideas and Evidence, Organization and Language; it does not include speaking and listening skills (40).
  • The performance task after “Monkey See, Monkey Do, Monkey Connect” in Collection 3 has students debate in teams. No rubrics are included and the instructions tell students to “Follow the rules for debating found in the Handbook at the end of this book. Be sure to use appropriate eye contact, adequate volume, and clear pronunciation. Afterward, write a brief evaluation of which side presented a stronger case” (130).
  • After Act I in Romeo and Juliet, students work with a partner and read passages aloud. No rubric is included, and neither the protocols and routines from the student resource pages nor the Interactive Lessons are referenced. The only guidelines given to the students say, “Read with feeling to express the emotions that underlie the words” (206).
  • Students participate in a discussion group after reading “The Leap” in Collection 5. No rubric is included, and neither the protocols and routines from the student resource pages nor the Interactive Lessons are referenced. The only instruction regarding speaking and listening to the students tells them to “use your notes to respond to this question” (348).

Although there are opportunities for students to speak and listen during the course of the school year formally and informally, there is little intentional instruction of speaking and listening skills throughout the Collections. In order for students to meet the expectations of the Common Core State Standards, teachers will have to create additional lessons and rubrics for speaking and listening.

Indicator 1k

Materials include a mix of on-demand and process writing grade-appropriate writing (e.g. grade-appropriate revision and editing) and short, focused projects.
2/2
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Indicator Rating Details

The HMH Collections reviewed for Grade 9 meets the criteria for materials including a mix of on-demand and process writing (e.g. multiple drafts, revisions over time) and short, focused projects, incorporating digital resources where appropriate. The materials provide a mix of both on-demand and process writing, and shorter and longer tasks and projects.

Representative examples of the writing tasks and projects are below, including both shorter and longer works as well as on-demand and process writing that are aligned to the standards:

  • In Collection 1, “A Quit of a Country” ends with the performance task “Using what you have learned about how to develop an argument, write and support a claim about a positive aspect of your school or community” ( 8).
    • Students are to follow multiple steps
    • Students are told to revise for unrelated or illogical evidence
    • Students are told to edit for conventions
    • Students are told to use the myWriteSmart program
  • In Collection 3, Performance Task A has students write a fictional narrative. In this writing, students are to create a narrative that shows how we connect to others. This task is clearly an example of a longer process writing as students analyze texts they read in this collection for narrative techniques, have a group discussion of narrative technique analysis, brainstorm narrative ideas with a graphic organizer, organize the structure of the narrative, draft, review with partners, revise and create a finished copy of their writing. In this task, students must do the following:
    • Introduce a setting, narrator, and a main character
    • Include an engaging plot with central conflict
    • Provide a clear sequence of events
    • Use a variety of narrative techniques
    • Include sensory language and descriptive details
    • End with logical and satisfying resolution to the conflict
  • Each Collection also contains smaller writing tasks like letters and journal entries. Examples include, but are not limited to:
    • In Collection 2, after reading “from Nobody Turn Me Around: A People’s History of the 1963 March on Washington” and watching “America The Story of Us: March on Washington,” students write a one-page first-person account imagining that they were in the audience for King’s speech ( 72).
    • In Collection 5 after reading the poem, “The End and the Beginning,” students choose two examples of imagery and write a brief explanation of the “figurative meaning of each image” ( 354).
  • The Performance Assessment booklet contains four units of on-demand writing - argumentative, informative, literary analysis and mixed practice. Within each unit, students complete the following:
    • Analyze the Model - students read two texts and analyze a student model essay.
    • Practice the Task - students read two to four texts, complete prewriting activities and write the essay.
    • Perform the Task - students read two to four texts, complete prewriting activities and write the essay.

Indicator 1l

Materials provide opportunities for students to address different types/modes/genres of writing that reflect the distribution required by the standards. Writing opportunities incorporate digital resources/multimodal literacy materials where appropriate. Opportunities may include blended writing styles that reflect the distribution required by the standards.
2/2
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Indicator Rating Details

The HMH Collections reviewed for Grade 9 meets the criteria for materials providing opportunities for students to address different text types of writing that reflect the distribution required by the standards. Materials provide multiple opportunities across the school year for students to write in different genres that reflect the distribution required by the standards. The students write argument, informative, and narrative texts. Writing opportunities occur within collections in which students write shorter process pieces following each text, and a larger process piece in the Performance Tasks at the end of each collection. The Performance Assessment Practice booklet provides students with multiple opportunities to both observe students samples and write their own examples of two modes of writing: argumentative and informative. There is ample opportunity for practice over the course of the year and all the writing is clearly connected to text(s), even within the Performance Assessment Practice booklet.

Examples of different writing opportunities in the materials include, but are not limited to:

  • Arguments
  • Analytical Essays
  • Analyses
  • Letters
  • Journals
  • Narratives
  • Comparison Essays
  • Reflections
  • Editorials
  • Research Essays

While the program does provide opportunities for the students to write to the requirements of the standards, the only support for teachers or students to monitor their progress is if teachers use the myWriteSource digital resource. Within the textbook, neither teachers nor students are provided with rubrics, checklists, exemplars, or model texts for the smaller performance tasks at the end of each text. The culminating Performance Tasks offer a little more support by adding a brief excerpt of a mentor text from the collection, a student checklist, and a rubric. However, the only way to truly monitor progress in writing skills is using the myWriteSource resource. With writing assignments in this database, students can ask questions with the “Raise Hand’ feature at any time. They can also request that their teacher look over their work before the final submission. Teachers can send items back with comments to be revised if they did not meet the expectations.

The HMH Collections does give students ample opportunity to practice writing in multiple genres. The support materials in the textbook are lacking, but if the digital myWriteSource is used, teachers can support and monitor students through the writing process.

Indicator 1m

Materials include frequent opportunities for evidence-based writing to support sophisticated analysis, argumentation, and synthesis.
2/2
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Indicator Rating Details

The HMH Collections reviewed for Grade 9 meets the criteria for materials including frequent opportunities for research-based and evidence-based writing to support analysis, argument, synthesis and/or evaluation of information, supports, claims.

The materials reviewed for Grade 9 meet the criteria for materials including frequent opportunities for research-based and evidence-based writing to support analysis, argument, synthesis and/or evaluation of information, supports, and claims. Throughout the collections there are a number of opportunities for students to write requiring them to either go back into the text to pull evidence or to conduct research to find evidence to support their analysis, claim, or other points within their writing, including referencing text as a basis for narrative writing. Examples include, but are not limited to:

  • The Close Reader Selections require students to go back into the text numerous times to respond to questions and each text ends with a short writing response, one to two paragraphs asking students to cite text evidence to support their answer.
    • In Collection 1 in response to Clinton’s speech, students are asked: “Do you think Clinton’s speech was effective in showing support for the American people during this tragedy? How does this use of language and parallelism help advance his purpose? Explain, citing text evidence in your response” (32e).
  • Performance tasks at the end of Collections ask students to go back into the text and to specifically use the anchor text and at least two other texts in the collection to answer the prompt provided.
    • In Collection 4 the performance task has students write an analytical essay. “Look back at the anchor text, Romeo and Juliet, and at the other texts in the collection. Consider the attributes or characteristics of love that are represented in each text. Synthesize your ideas by writing an analytical essay” (301).
  • Performance Tasks at the end of Collections require students to either go back into the selection itself or to do some outside research for the writing assignment.
    • In Collection 2, the Performance Task asks students to write an argumentative essay where they develop a claim whether or not freedom is universal or must be demanded by the people. “Choose three texts from this collection, including the anchor text, ‘I Have a Dream,’ and identify how each writer addresses the struggle for freedom in his or her society. Then, write an argument in which you cite evidence from all three texts to support your claim” ( 97).
    • Collection 5 Performance Task A asks students to write an argumentative essay in which they write a claim that asserts whether or not it is necessary to be selfish in order to survive. “Based on the evidence from at least three selections, would you say that survival requires selfishness? Synthesize your ideas by writing an argument in support of your position” (355).

The materials reviewed for Grade 9 meet the criteria for materials including frequent opportunities for research-based and evidence-based writing. The writing requires students to mine evidence from the texts to support a claim, and it meets the grade level demands of the Common Core State Standards.

Indicator 1n

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

The HMH Collections reviewed for Grade 9 meets the criteria that materials include instruction of the grammar and conventions/language standards for grade level as applied in increasingly sophisticated contexts, with opportunities for application context.

Conventions and grammar are taught in two places: before the readings on the Plan pages under the “Language Conventionality and Clarity” section in the qualitative text complexity rubric and after the readings in a feature called Language Conventions. The Plan pages “Language Conventionality and Clarity” defines the grammatical term and then states a group of lines from the text in which it is found within the reading. The “Language and Style” section after the text again defines the grammatical term and references specific lines from the text that illustrate the term. Within this feature, there is a brief opportunity for students to learn and practice the function of language defined by the grammatical term under the “Practice and Apply” heading. Here they either look back at the performance task they wrote for the text to find examples of the function of language in their own writing, or they need to revise their writing to include the function of language. Occasionally in this section, students have to write a new paragraph in which they use the function of language.

Below are examples of targeted grammar and conventions from each collection:

  • Collection 1: noun clauses, prepositional phrases, parallel structure
  • Collection 2: repetition and parallelism, noun phrases, rhetorical questions, colons, and semicolons
  • Collection 3: adverbial clauses, colons, verb phrases, adjective and adverb phrases
  • Collection 4: synonyms, puns, and context clues
  • Collection 5: tone, indefinite pronouns, colons, semicolons, and relative clauses
  • Collection 6: absolute phrases, sentence length, transitions

Below are representative examples of grammar instruction in the “Language Conventionality and Clarity” and “Language and Style” sections:

  • In Collection 4 on the Plan page 141C for “With Friends Like These . . .,” the “Language Conventionality and Clarity” section focuses on prepositional phrases. The teacher explains that “what [students] modify can help [them] understand long sentences.” Then the teacher has students brainstorm a list of prepositions; an example list is given. After, the teacher shows a sentence from the text and works with the students to “highlight the prepositions, underline the prepositional phrases, and circle the modified words.” After doing this together, the teacher has the students work in partners to do the same strategy for three more sentences from the text.
  • In Collection 2, after the text “from Reading Lolita in Tehran,” the “Language and Style” section on page 88 focuses on rhetorical questions. The first section defines rhetorical questions, shows an example from the text and explains the effect of the question: “By using a rhetorical question instead of a statement, Nafisi invites the reader to think carefully about the scene described . . .” Other examples from the text are then shared in a chart with the rhetorical question on the left and the meaning on the right. After the examples, students are expected to complete the “Practice and Apply,” which states: “Think of an injustice that you have observed or read about. Write a brief paragraph describing and reflecting on the injustice. Use rhetorical questions, as Nafisi does, to convey meaning and for dramatic effect.”

The HMH Collections for 9th grade includes instruction of grammar and conventions in context throughout all six collections. All conventions and language standards required by the Common Core are covered, and students apply them to the texts and their own writing.

Gateway Two

Building Knowledge with Texts, Vocabulary, and Tasks

Does Not Meet Expectations

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Gateway Two Details

Materials reviewed for Grade 9 do not meet the criteria of Gateway 2. Materials do not meet the criteria 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. Materials include a consistent approach for students to regularly interact with word relationships and build academic and figurative language in context.Materials partially meet the criteria that materials contain a year long, cohesive plan of writing instruction and tasks which support students in building and communicating substantive understanding of topics and texts include do not support 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.

Criterion 2a - 2h

14/32

Indicator 2a

Texts are organized around a topic/topics or themes to build students' knowledge and their ability to comprehend and analyze complex texts proficiently.
2/4
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Indicator Rating Details

The HMH Collections reviewed for Grade 9 partially meets the expectations of indicator 2a. The Collections include texts that are organized around general common themes; however, the organization of the texts within the collections and across the textbook do not clearly guide students in building knowledge.

Thematic organizations over the course of the school year focus on types of interactions among people and groups. These themes are broad and may need teacher support to grow knowledge about a more focused component or topics within the theme itself. Collection themes are:

  • Collection 1: “Finding Common Ground” includes selections about different cultures
  • Collection 2: “The Struggle for Freedom” includes selections about people striving to make change in systems
  • Collection 3: “The Bonds Between Us” includes selections about exploring what links people to other humans, pets, and communities
  • Collection 4: “Sweet Sorrow” includes selections about a look at the universal themes of love and duty
  • Collection 5: “A Matter of Life or Death” includes selections about how humans endure in the face of adversity
  • Collection 6: “Heroes and Quests” includes selections examining the heroic tales of classical mythology and modern heroism, such as exploring space travel.

An example of how the texts within a collection are intended to respond to the theme is found in Collection 2: “The Struggle for Freedom.” Selections may have a common thematic thread but students may need extra support to understand the explicit and implicit connections among the text sets. Selections from Collection 2 include (but are not limited to):

  • “I Have a Dream,” speech by Martin Luther King, Jr.
  • AMERICA The Story of Us: March on Washington, video
  • from Cairo: My City, Our Revolution, diary excerpt by Ahdaf Soueif
  • “The Censors,” short story by Luisa Valenzuela

Collection 6 “Heroes and Quests” includes fiction and nonfiction texts showing human perseverance through the world. However, connection activities across texts do not consistently guide students to understand how the texts together promote the theme. Sample texts include, but are not limited to:

  • Many excerpts from The Odyssey, epic poem by Homer
  • “The Real Reasons We Explore Space,” an argument essay by Michael Griffin
  • “The Journey,” a poem by Mary Oliver

About half of the organization of the texts within the collections and across the textbook do not clearly guide students in developing their ability to read and comprehend texts proficiently.

Examples of how the texts within the student textbook do not clearly guide students in developing their ability to read and comprehend texts proficiently can be found in the following:

Indicator 2b

Materials contain sets of coherently sequenced higher order thinking questions and tasks that require students to analyze the language (words/phrases), key ideas, details, craft, and structure of individual texts in order to make meaning and build understanding of texts and topics.
2/4
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Indicator Rating Details

The HMH Collections reviewed for Grade 9 partially meets the criteria that materials contain sets of coherently sequenced higher order thinking questions and tasks that require students to analyze the language (words/phrases), key ideas, details, craft, and structure of individual texts in order to make meaning and build understanding of texts and topics. 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 collection includes sets of questions and tasks that require students analyze texts.

  • In Collection 1, students will answer questions and tasks that ask students to analyze items including, but not limited to, author’s claim, theme, text structure, central idea, rhetorical devices, and comparing the representation of a subject in two different mediums.
  • In Collection 2, students will answer questions and tasks that ask students to analyze items including, but not limited to, rhetoric, connections between ideas and events, word choice, tone, point of view, and author’s choices.
  • In Collection 3, students will answer questions and tasks that ask students to analyze items including, but not limited to, character, theme, author’s claim, vocabulary in context, point of view, word choice, tone, informational text structure, figurative language, and purpose.
  • In Collection 4, students will answer questions and tasks that ask students to analyze items including, but not limited to, character motivations, parallel plots, source material, point of view, and transforming source material into a new expression.
  • In Collection 5, students will answer questions and tasks that ask students to analyze items including, but not limited to, author’s purpose, rhetoric, word choice, tone, argument, central idea, summary, author’s choices, theme, and figurative language.
  • In Collection 6, students will answer questions and tasks that ask students to analyze items including, but not limited to, elements of an epic poem, central idea, argument, and figurative language.

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. Examples include, but are not limited to:

  • Figurative language is intentionally taught in Collections 3, 5 and 6. There are text-dependent questions and tasks during and after the reading that focus on figurative language; however, they do not increase in rigor from Collection 3 to Collection 6. The questions require the same depth of knowledge and are not scaffolded. Collection 3 and Collection 5 have students analyze the same devices - imagery, word choice and their affect on tone. Collection 5 focuses a bit more on the connotation of words, but is essentially asking students to show mastery of the same skill - how imagery and word choice affect the tone of a poem. Collection 6 still focuses on levels of meaning, but this time asks students to interpret personification, metaphors, and extended metaphors. Also, teachers will be unable to tell from the tasks in the textbook whether individual students have mastered the concepts because there are no specific guidelines or rubrics provided, and much of the work is done in large or small groups or with partners.

The HMH Collections for 9th grade does contain sets of questions and tasks that require students to analyze the language (words/phrases), key ideas, details, craft, and structure of individual texts in order to make meaning of texts and topic. However, these questions and tasks are not scaffolded in a such a way that build knowledge throughout the year. Also, the rigor does not increase and it is unclear how a teacher will assess whether or not a student has mastered a concept.

Indicator 2c

Materials contain a coherently sequenced set of text-dependent and text-specific questions and tasks that require students to build knowledge and integrate ideas across both individual and multiple texts.
2/4
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Indicator Rating Details

The HMH Collections reviewed for Grade 9 partially meets the criteria that materials contain a coherently sequenced set of text-dependent and text-specific questions and tasks that require students to build knowledge and integrate ideas across both individual and multiple texts.The collections are organized around themes. Most of the large performance tasks at the end of each collection require students to integrate ideas across both individual and multiple texts; however, there are some that do so at a minimal level. The materials do contain some sets of text-dependent questions and tasks that require students to analyze the integration of knowledge and ideas across both individual and multiple texts; however, the materials do not provide consistent clear guidance for teachers in supporting students’ skills. Additionally, many of the questions and tasks are at the explicit level.

Below are representative examples of how the materials do contain some sets of text-dependent questions and tasks that require students to analyze the integration of knowledge and ideas across both individual and multiple texts; however, they do not provide consistent clear guidance for teachers in supporting students’ skills and 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-dependent questions appear in the student edition in the “Analyzing the Text” section found after the text and during the reading of the teacher’s edition. There are typically four to six questions in the “Analyzing the Text” section after 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 Collection 5, after “The End and the Beginning,” the prompt states, “Notice how the speaker repeats the word ‘someone’ throughout the poem. What statement about war is she making by using an indefinite pronoun rather than referring to a specific person?” (354). Earlier in the reading, the teacher’s edition has students identify an example of repetition and parallelism, asks students "what ideas the poet suggests are of similar or equal importance,” and finally asks students “how these acts contrast with the poet’s refrain of ‘someone has to . . .’” The only instruction provided is to “Point out that repetition is the use of a word or phrase again and again. Parallelism is the repetition of the same grammatical structure to show that two or more ideas are similar or equally important. Explain that repetition and parallelism may be used together.” This instruction is found only in the teacher’s edition and is given verbally, so, when students present their knowledge at the end of the text, they have no access to the instruction.
  • Another example can be found in Collection 2, after an excerpt from Reading Lolita in Tehran and from Persepolis 2. The prompt states, “How is the rhetoric that both authors use effective in conveying their points of view? Explain with evidence from the texts” (86). The only instruction for this is provided verbally during the reading of Reading Lolita in Tehran in the Teacher’s Edition. It states: “Explain that authors use rhetoric, or persuasive and effective language, to advance or support their point of view.” Again, the students cannot access this instruction because it is found only in the teacher’s edition. Therefore, even though the lessons include text-dependent questions, the lack of instruction will not prepare students to demonstrate mastery of integrating knowledge and ideas.
  • Within each collection, there are texts paired so students can analyze the connections. For example, in Collection 2, students connect the ideas and events in a history writing and a video. First, students read “Nobody Turn Me Around” by Charles Euchner. During the reading, the teacher edition contains sidebar text-dependent questions that focus on analyzing ideas and events, impact of word choice, and determining point of view; students' only access to these is if the teacher verbally asks the questions. Then students watch a video by History, “AMERICA The Story of Us: March on Washington,” and are instructed to “identify similarities and differences between the history text and the video. Write down any questions you generate as you watch the video” (71). This is the only instruction given to the students to help them compare and contrast multiple mediums. After viewing, there are prompts in the sidebar of the teacher’s edition to incite students’ thinking, but students only access to these is if the teacher verbally asks the questions. There are three text-dependent questions in the “Analyzing Text and Media” section of the student edition, but, as shown above, the support and guidance to show students how to do the skill of comparing media is minimal.

Representative examples of how many of the questions and tasks are at the lower end of depth of knowledge include, but are not limited to:

  • Many pages have a “cite textual evidence” label; however, the sample answers often do not specifically cite the evidence and are at the explicit level.
    • For example, in Collection 1, after “The Gettysburg Address,” students are asked to draw conclusions: “What is the theme, or underlying message, of the Gettysburg Address? Are those themes still important today? Explain the underlying message and the American ideals the speech upholds” (30). The sample answer provided is: “The theme of the speech is that the ideals upon which the nation was created are worth preserving. It supports the ideals of freedom, democracy and equality, not only for the United States, but also for all nations built on the same pattern.” Textual evidence is not cited in this answer.
    • In Collection 3, after “At Dusk,” students are asked to interpret the following: “The speaker talks about the cat not hearing meanings of our words ‘nor how they sometimes fall short’ (line 8). What might this mean?” (150). The sample answer provided is: “The speaker might be referring to the difficulties that people sometimes have in communicating with each other” (150). Textual evidence is not cited.
    • After The Odyssey in Collection 6, students are asked to compare Penelope’s struggles with those of Odysseus. “What idea traits do both characters possess?” (418). The sample answer is: “Both characters endure extreme hardship, although Penelope’s struggles are more mental than physical. Both characters possess the ideal traits of heroes: strength, intelligence, courage, honor, loyalty, and devotion” (418). Textual evidence is not cited.

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 9 partially meet the criteria that materials contain a coherently sequenced set of text-dependent and text-specific questions and tasks that require students to build knowledge and integrate ideas across both individual and multiple texts. As shown, much of the support and guidance for students is found only in the teacher’s edition. Students do not have access to the instruction or questions to initiate thinking when performing the tasks. This will make it difficult for students to complete the tasks and show proficiency.

Indicator 2d

The questions and tasks support students' ability to complete culminating tasks in which they demonstrate their knowledge of a topic through integrated skills (e.g. combination of reading, writing, speaking, listening).
2/4
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Indicator Rating Details

The HMH Collections reviewed for Grade 9 partially meets 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 generally leads to the culminating skill in the last lesson of each unit.

Students complete one to two Performance Tasks at the end of each collection. The Performance Tasks require students to further analyze the selections that have been read in the collection and to synthesize ideas. Students then present their findings in a variety of products, most often as a written piece. The questions and tasks preceding the task sometimes align and support students' understandings and abilities to complete the assignments, but direct connections from the text-dependent questions to the culminating tasks are not always clear, so it does not give the teacher usable knowledge of whether students are capable of completing tasks. Interactive lessons are available to help students understand the procedures and processes for writing, speaking, creating media presentations, and conducting research; however, they are not modeled or directly taught in relationship to the performance tasks. There are also specific grammar lessons that go along with each text which provide students with information to help them to understand and complete the performance tasks. Overall, there is limited support for teachers to discern if students are prepared to proficiently demonstrate their knowledge of a topic or theme through the culminating task.

A representative example of the program partially supporting students in demonstrating knowledge through an integrated culminating writing task includes, but is not limited to the Unit 3 Performance Task B. It directly relates to the collection theme of The Bonds Between Us as students create a multimedia presentation in a group that is about the way people form bonds with others. Students are expected to:

  • Use “technology to share information through text, graphics, images and sound”
  • Integrate “information from a variety of sources and media”
  • Present “information and evidence from texts clearly, concisely and logically”
  • Use “language and structures appropriate for a presentation”

There is limited support for students to proficiently complete the performance task.

  • Writing tasks throughout the unit leading up to the performance task include a letter and a journal entry. Speaking and listening opportunities in the collection leading up to the task include a team debate, a response to literature, a poetry reading, and a public service announcement. Three of the performance tasks that occur after a text support Performance Task B. After “Monkey See, Monkey Do, Monkey Connect,” students are asked to debate perspectives on how humans relate to each other. After “With Friends Like These . . .,” students present their ideas about what creates a lasting friendship. After “Count On Us,” students do a media activity in which they create a public service announcement. Students can refer to the first two when thinking about how people form bonds with others. The other had students practice creating a media piece that had a clear and concise message, logical presentation, emotional hook, critical information, and a call to action. Although students do a media activity, there is no rubric and very few directions: “Use video, audio, or a poster format to produce your PSA. Remember to give your audience specific details and organize your visuals so that the message and call to action is clear” (152). The teacher will have no information for how ready students are to complete a much larger media activity based on these tasks.
  • The directions for Performance Task B specifically tell students to “Reread ‘Monkey See, Monkey Do, Monkey Connect,’ and two other texts from the collection. Use the annotation tools in your eBook to find examples, details, and quotations about how bonds are formed” (HMH, 9th Grade, Collection 3 157). This is the only instruction students receive in supporting their thinking about the texts within the collection and how they relate to their presentation. The teacher’s edition has the following in the sidebar: “Suggest that students review any notes they made while reading the texts, as well as their answers to the Analyzing the Text questions for each selection” (157). There are some text-dependent questions in the “Analyzing the Text” feature after the readings that will support students’ thinking on this task, but they are subtle, and students may not know on which texts to focus for the Culminating Task.
    • For example, the first story in the collection,”When Mr. Pirzada Came to Dine,” reveals a ten-year-old’s perspective on a Bengali man who comes to dinner. At the end of the text, there are questions that ask about the relationship between the narrator and Mr. Pirzada: “Describe the gifts that Mr. Pirzada gives Lillia and how Lillia cares for these gifts” and “What does the pocket watch help Lilia understand about Mr. Pirzada and his situation?” (120).
    • The other text with text-dependent questions that support students’ thinking is “At Dusk:” “The speaker talks about the cat not hearing meanings of our words . . . What might this mean?” and “What connection does the speaker have to the neighbor at this moment?” (150).

Indicator 2e

Materials include a cohesive, consistent approach for students to regularly interact with word relationships and build academic vocabulary/ language in context.
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Indicator Rating Details

The HMH Collections reviewed for Grade 9 partially meets the criteria that materials include a cohesive, year-long plan for students to interact and build key academic vocabulary words in and across texts. Materials include a consistent approach for students to regularly interact with word relationships and build academic and figurative language in context.

This program targets key academic vocabulary words and provides some opportunities for students to practice the words within the contexts of readings, primarily in speaking activities during which students talk about words. However, writing tasks may or may not require the use of these words or be structured in a manner that would require students to use them. Additionally, there is no cohesive plan for the development of academic vocabulary. There are a lot of critical words targeted within the collection, but there is not enough practice for students to acquire a solid understanding. Additionally, groupings of these words are complex and numerous for one group. Vocabulary at this grade level lacks a coherent pattern, and there is no means for teachers to track a student’s usage or acquisition of these words.

The HMH Collections for 9th grade includes vocabulary that is repeated in various contexts, that is essential to understanding the text, and that are high value academic words. Examples include, but are not limited to:

Each Collection starts with an Academic Vocabulary section in the Plan pages. Within this section of the teacher’s edition, teachers are given general instructions on when to have students use these words: “Academic vocabulary can be used in the following instructional contexts - collaborative discussions, analyzing the text questions, selection-level Performance Task, vocabulary instruction, language and style and end-of-collection Performance Task(s)". In the student edition, the instructions say, “Study the words and their definitions in the chart below. You will use these words as you discuss and write about the texts in this collection”. Academic vocabulary includes words like attribute, commit, expose, initiate, and underlie (162).

Each text within the Collections also contains a “Critical Vocabulary” section. This includes vocabulary found in the reading. For example, in Collection 3’s science writing, “Monkey See, Monkey Do, Monkey Connect,” the critical vocabulary focuses on the technical meanings of the following words: empathy, chronization, contagion, cognition, and implication.

Although the Collections contain both academic and critical vocabulary, the opportunities for students to learn, practice, apply, and transfer those words into familiar and new contexts are limited. The support for students to accelerate their learning of the vocabulary with reading, speaking and writing tasks is generic and unclear. Also, the materials do not provide a way for the teacher to assess whether or not students have reached standard in their academic vocabulary growth. Examples include, but are not limited to:

Academic vocabulary is addressed in the following areas of the textbook: the Plan pages at the beginning of a collection, at least once during the reading in the “Applying Academic Vocabulary” section in the teacher’s edition, and in the student resources, “Glossary of Academic Vocabulary.”

The “Applying Academic Vocabulary” includes one to two of the academic vocabulary words found in the Plan pages at the beginning of the collection, and gives the teacher general instructions on how to incorporate some of the collection’s academic vocabulary. For example, in Collection 3’s poem, “At Dusk,” it says, “While discussing ‘At Dusk,’ incorporate the following Collection 3 academic vocabulary words: generate and trace. Ask students what details in the poem generate interest in the cat. Then have them trace the movements of the neighbor, pointing to the lines in the poem that tell them what she is doing” (148). There is no way to assess students’ understanding of these words or to monitor their usage.
The “Glossary of Academic Vocabulary” has all of the academic vocabulary and their definitions.

The Critical Vocabulary for individual texts is found during the reading and in a “Critical Vocabulary” section after the reading.

During the reading, the critical vocabulary is defined to the right of the text. There is also a “Critical Vocabulary” box in the teacher’s edition which has the teacher ask students a question using that word. For example, “exhort: King encourages the crowd to help make his dream of freedom come true. ASK STUDENTS to explain how King exhorts everyone in the crowd to work toward freedom and justice” (67). This has the teacher use the critical vocabulary word in a question, but does not require the students to use the word correctly.

Indicator 2f

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

The HMH Collections reviewed for Grade 9 partially meets the criteria that materials contain a year long, cohesive plan of writing instruction and tasks which support students in building and communicating substantive understanding of topics and texts. 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 do 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 ensure students are prepared for Grade 10 expectations.

The materials contain six collections 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 9 (argumentative, narrative, and informative). After each text is a performance task, and at the end of each collection is a culminating task that asks students to use text evidence from the selections that they have read. Writing spans the entire year, is used frequently, and generally coincides with texts and themes.

Each of the texts contain a performance task; however, not all of the tasks are writing-based. The supports, guidelines and instructions are found in a box on the bottom half of the page. In the cases in which the task is writing-based, students are usually not told the length of the writing and no rubric is included. It is unclear to students and teachers the intention of the assignment; in other words, what writing skill is being assessed and/or taught.

An example is found in Collection 5. After reading, “Deep Survival,” students are told to write an argument. In the student edition, the support, guidelines and instruction for this writing is given in four bullets. Students are not told the length of the writing and no rubric is included. Following is an example bullet: “Make notes about reasons that support your claim. Then, collect evidence that supports your reasons. Consider an opposing claim and list valid counterarguments” (336). The teacher’s edition has an additional paragraph in the sidebar that includes general ways for the teacher to support: “Review the terms claim, reasons, evidence, and counterarguments” (336)

The culminating tasks at the end of each collection have four sections - plan, produce, revise, and present - that cover three pages in the student edition. It is unclear how long a teacher should spend on each of the sections. Plan has students focus on the prompt, sometimes reread a model text from the collection, and organizer their ideas. Produce has students draft their writing and highlights the language and style lessons covered within the collection. Revise asks students to have a partner or group of peers review their draft. Present gives students the option of presenting their writing to the class or to a small group. Materials for students sometimes include graphic organizers as students make an effort to organize their writing. Although the writing spans the year and there are many opportunities, the instruction for the writing is minimal.

An example is found Collection 1, Performance Task B. Students are to write an analytical essay about the way an individual’s role in society is presented in the texts they have read. This is the first major writing assignment of the school year. Analysis writing is taught over the course of pages 41-43 in the student textbook. 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. Specific examples of minimal guidance for students includes, but is not limited to:

  • On writing a thesis statement: “Once you have analyzed your chosen texts, you will need to develop a thesis statement. A thesis statement states your point of view on a subject. In this case, your thesis will express your ideas about the way an individual’s role in society is presented in the texts you have read” (41).
  • On organizing an essay: “Your essay should include an introduction, a body, and a conclusion: Your introduction should include your thesis statement and the titles and authors of the works you are discussing; The body of your essay should present evidence in support of your thesis. Each paragraph . . . should focus on a main point that supports your thesis; The conclusion summarizes the main points in your essay and includes an original insight” (42).
  • On language: “As you draft your analytical essay, remember that this kind of writing requires formal language and a respectful tone. Essays that analyze texts are expected to be appropriate for an academic context” (42).

The teacher’s edition contains some additional information for this performance task in the sidebar of the pages, but it is very general. Examples include, but are not limited to:

  • To Support the Plan: “Suggest that students review any notes they made while reading the texts they have chosen to write about, as well as their answers to the ‘Analyzing the Text” questions for each selection. Since this performance task depends on careful analysis of each text, remind students to devote their planning time to reviewing and analyzing the texts” (41).
  • To Support Revise: “As students apply the revision chart to their drafts, point out that an effective analysis includes a mix of direct quotations and examples. Suggest that they . . . ask themselves whether a wordy quotation could be replaced by a summarized example, or if a vague example could be replaced by a striking quotation” (43).

Not only is the scaffolding and support minimal within the materials, as the year progresses, materials do not support raised expectations for student writing practice. It is understood that there are higher expectations in student skills and knowledge as the year progresses so the expectations in Collection 6 should be higher than the expectations in Collection 1. There is also an understanding that there will be a clear progression of sophistication and expectations, however, the writing instruction throughout all of the Collections is the same. Examples include, but are not limited to:

  • The rubrics for all culminating tasks at the end of each collection have the same criterion: ideas and evidence, organization and language, and contain minor differences. “Ideas and Evidence” level 4 for the analytical essay found in Collection 1 states: “An eloquent introduction includes the titles and authors of the works; the thesis statement presents a unique idea about the texts” (44). In Collection 6 for the analytical essay, it states: “An eloquent introduction includes the titles and authors of the selections; the thesis statement describes the view of the journey’s presented in the selections” (448).
  • Argument essays are taught in Collection 2 and Collection 5. The guidelines and instructions are basically the same with small differences. In Collection 2, students are given four bullets to guide their thinking when writing their outline; in collection 5, it is a small paragraph. Collection 5 tells the students to “use formal language and a respectful tone” while drafting their essay, and requires at least two “valid reasons” to support the claim. The “Language and Style” for Collection 2 focuses on paraphrasing or summarizing; Collection 5 centers on transition words. These differences do not show a clear progression of sophistication, in fact the Collection 2 skills are more advanced than those taught in Collection 5.

The materials do contain a variety of writing experiences, but sometimes the writing that the book states is being taught does not match the writing the student is actually completing. An example is found in Collection 2.

  • The Performance Task is labeled as an argument essay; however it is asking students to identify how authors from three different texts in the collection address the struggle for freedom in his or her society. The directions tell the students to make a claim, anticipate opposing claims and follow the organization of an argument, but the essential part of an argument is missing - students do not have to choose a position. Although this task directly relates to the theme, the task is asking students to write an analysis essay rather than an argument.

There is an online platform for students to collect their writings with MyWriteSource and my Notebook as well as a Performance Task Reference Guide. 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 Informative Texts
  • Using Textual Evidence
  • Writing Narrative Texts
  • Writing an Argument
  • Writing as a Process

Indicator 2g

Materials include a progression of focused, shared research and writing projects to encourage students to develop and synthesize knowledge and understanding of a topic using texts and other source materials.
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Indicator Rating Details

The HMH Collections reviewed for Grade 9 does 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. 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. Minimal resources are provided to support instruction of research; teachers will need to supplement research work to ensure students are prepared for Grade 10 research activities by the end of Grade 9.

Only three research opportunities are identified in the materials; two of these opportunities appear in Collection 1 and Collection 2, and the third does not appear until the end of the year in Collection 6. The instruction provided in these three lessons does not help students assess the credibility of each source as required by the standards; they do not follow a clear progression, and they contain similar components with minimal rigor development.

  • In Collection 1 after “Views of the Wall” and “The Vietnam Wall,” the research opportunity is found in the Extend & Reteach section, which is only accessible in the teacher’s edition. Teachers are given a paragraph of background information about the Vietnam Wall that they verbally present to the students. Then, students will “Practice and Apply.” The teacher leads the class in brainstorming a list of subjects about the memorial that interests students. Students are then divided into small groups to research one of the brainstormed topics.
    • Teachers are told to “Consider using the Interactive Whiteboard Lesson, ‘How to Conduct an Effect Web Search.’ Schedule at least one day where students have access to the Web for a search for information about their topic. Have students report back to the class their findings” (36a).
  • In Collection 2, after Cairo: My City, Our Revolution, the performance task is a research activity. The instructions in the student edition tell students to “conduct research about a specific event in the revolution. Gather information from multiple sources and remember to cite them following standard format. [Then] write a brief report of your findings and share it with the class. Be sure to include well-chosen, relevant, and sufficient facts in your report” (78). This is the only support in the student edition.
    • The teacher’s edition has an additional lesson in the Extend & Reteach. Teachers are instructed to review the steps of research from the interactive whiteboard lesson with the students - formulate research questions, start your search, analyze your options, and refine your search. The steps each contain a very short description. For example, for step four, refine your search, it states, “You may need to make your search more specific by using search-engine qualifiers such as AND, OR, or NOT along with search terms to get the information you want” (80a). After reviewing, the teacher directs “students to work in small groups to complete the first steps in doing research for the Performance Task” (80a).
  • The third research activity occurs in the culminating task for Collection 6. Students are to research and write an analytical essay, which “smoothly integrates source information that avoids plagiarism, and correctly cites sources." Instruction and support materials for this project span three pages in the student edition. The following are the directions for conducting further research: "Search for additional evidence in print and digital sources to support your thesis statement. Be sure to include source information so that you can accurately cite your sources” (446). The sidebar of the student edition recommends students “complete the following lesson: Conducting Research: Taking Notes” in the interactive lessons. After students draft the essay, there is a Language and Style: Cite Sources section that summarizes parenthetical citation and footnotes. Then it states, “Your teacher will guide you to follow a standard format for citation, such as The Chicago Manual of Style” (447); however, this resource is not included.

There are “Conducting Research” pages found in the Student Resources. These two pages summarize the following: Focus Your Research and Formulate a Question, Locate and Evaluate Sources, and Incorporate and Cite Sources. There is no instruction for how to complete the skill being defined. For example, under “Locate and Evaluate Sources,” primary and secondary sources are explained. It tells students to use “advanced search features” and that “assessing, or evaluating, your sources is an important step in the research process. Your goal is to use sources that are credible, or reliable and trustworthy” (R8). Then there is a brief chart that has criteria for assessing sources: relevance, accuracy and objectivity.

The materials provide minimal opportunities for students to acquire research skills that will allow them to synthesize their knowledge and understanding of topics using the texts from this book and outside sources. They 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.

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 HMH Collections reviewed for Grade 9 partially meets the expectations that materials provide a design, including accountability, for how students will regularly engage in a volume of independent reading either in or outside of class. The only support for Independent Reading is a page at the end of each collection in the teacher’s edition; however, the guidance for teachers is general with minimal support. The independent reading program described on these pages develops slowly over the course of the six collections. Since the program is not fully defined until after Collection 6, it is unclear how students will regularly engage in reading outside of the class.

The Independent Reading page includes digital resources to support independent reading. The following are offered for each collection:

  • An FYI site that offers online articles from magazines and newspapers. It directs teachers to help students choose a few articles to explore the topic that was explored in the connection.
  • Additional Texts Collections suggests other readings.
    • Below are examples offered for Collection 3: “To My Dear and Loving Husband,” “Sonnet 18,” and “On My First Son,” and “Sonnet 43.” Instructions suggest having students pick a music style and rewrite one selection in that style. It is unclear how this task connects or supports independent reading, and there are no ideas on how to acquire these texts.
  • Novelwise helps students find longer works. This resource includes introductory materials, worksheets, graphic organizers, and discussion guides.
  • Nonfiction Connections suggest that teachers encourage students to read speeches, diaries, true-life accounts, newspaper articles, and political cartoons. No other guidance is given.

There is also a feature called Creating an Independent Reading Program. In Collection 1, the library is built and the class creates the rules. Collection 2 has the students choosing a book. Collection 3 discusses how and when students will complete the reading. Collection 4 describes how students can record their reading. Collection 5 explains one-on-one conferencing so teachers can assess students’ comprehension, and Collection 6 describes how students can share their books with classmates.

  • In Collection 3, Daily Scheduled Time is offered to help students develop good independent reading habits. Below are suggested ideas:
    • “Schedule a time students can read . . . before the bell rings or at end of class. Try to keep the same time each day” (152b).
    • “Ask students to pick a reasonable length of time to read. Appoint a student to monitor the time” (152b).
    • "Establish clear expectations for in-class and out-of-class reading by doing the following
      • Work with students to create rules
      • Work with families to establish a reading homework policy
      • Hold reading contests throughout the year
      • Partner with libraries" (152b).
  • In Collection 6, Opportunities for Social Interaction and Writing In Response to Books allow students to share what they know and learn about other books. Below are suggested ideas:
    • Small group discussions so students can show and summarize the book.
    • Have students reading the same book take turns reading passages aloud.
    • Have students compare and contrast books on similar topics.
    • After discussions, students state whether they would recommend their books.
    • Have students write notes before discussions.
    • “Encourage students to create a magazine-style review of books” (444b).
    • “Suggest students retell the book . . . in a different format” (444b).

The instructional materials for Grade 9 partially meet the expectations that materials provide a design, including accountability, for how students will regularly engage in a volume of independent reading either in or outside of class. Because this page is at the end of each collection, the independent reading program is slowly developed and how teachers will assess and hold students accountable isn’t addressed until Collection 5.

Gateway Three

Usability

Not Rated

Criterion 3a - 3e

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0/8

Indicator 3a

Materials are well-designed (i.e., allows for ease of readability and are effectively organized for planning) and take into account effective lesson structure (e.g., introduction and lesson objectives, teacher modelling, student practice, closure) and short-term and long-term pacing.
0/2

Indicator 3b

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

Indicator 3c

The student resources include ample review and practice resources, clear directions, and explanation, and correct labeling of reference aids (e.g., visuals, maps, etc.).
0/2

Indicator 3d

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

Indicator 3e

The visual design (whether in print or digital) is not distracting or chaotic, but supports students in engaging thoughtfully with the subject.
0/0

Criterion 3f - 3j

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

Indicator 3f

Materials contain a teacher's edition with ample and useful annotations and suggestions on how to present the content in the student edition and in the ancillary materials. Where applicable, materials include teacher guidance for the use of embedded technology to support and enhance student learning.
0/2

Indicator 3g

Materials contain a teacher's edition that contains full, adult-level explanations and examples of the more advanced literacy concepts so that teachers can improve their own knowledge of the subject, as necessary.
0/2

Indicator 3h

Materials contain a teacher's edition that explains the role of the specific ELA/literacy standards in the context of the overall curriculum.
0/2

Indicator 3i

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

Indicator 3j

Materials contain strategies for informing all stakeholders, including students, parents, or caregivers about the ELA/literacy program and suggestions for how they can help support student progress and achievement.
0/0

Criterion 3k - 3n

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

Indicator 3k

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

Indicator 3l

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

Indicator 3l.i

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

Indicator 3l.ii

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

Indicator 3m

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

Indicator 3n

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

Criterion 3o - 3v

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

Indicator 3o

Materials provide teachers with strategies for meeting the needs of a range of learners so the content is accessible to all learners and supports them in meeting or exceeding the grade-level standards.
0/2

Indicator 3p

Materials regularly provide all students, including those who read, write, speak, or listen below grade level, or in a language other than English, with extensive opportunities to work with grade level text and meet or exceed grade-level standards.
0/4

Indicator 3q

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

Indicator 3r

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

Indicator 3s

0/

Indicator 3s3v

0/

Indicator 3t

0/

Indicator 3u

0/

Indicator 3u.i

0/

Indicator 3u.ii

0/

Indicator 3v

0/

Criterion 3s - 3v

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

Indicator 3s

Digital materials (either included as supplementary to a textbook or as part of a digital curriculum) are web-based, compatible with multiple Internet browsers (e.g., Internet Explorer, Firefox, Google Chrome, etc.), "platform neutral" (i.e., are compatible with multiple operating systems such as Windows and Apple and are not proprietary to any single platform), follow universal programming style, and allow the use of tablets and mobile devices. This qualifies as substitution and augmentation as defined by the SAMR model. Materials can be easily integrated into existing learning management systems.
0/0

Indicator 3t

Materials support effective use of technology to enhance student learning, drawing attention to evidence and texts as appropriate and providing opportunities for modification and redefinition as defined by the SAMR model.
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 by schools, systems, and states 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: Wed Feb 22 00:00:00 UTC 2017

Report Edition: 2017

Title ISBN Edition Publisher Year
Collections Close Reader Student Edition Grade 9 978-0-5440-8769-9 Houghton Mifflin Harcourt 2017
Collections Close Reader Teacher's Guide Grade 9 978-0-5440-8800-9 Houghton Mifflin Harcourt 2017
Collections Performance Assessment Student Edition Grade 9 978-0-5441-4759-1 Houghton Mifflin Harcourt 2015
Collections Performance Assessment Teacher's Guide Grade 9 978-0-5441-4771-3 Houghton Mifflin Harcourt 2015
HMH Collections Gr 9 Student Edition 978-0-5445-6952-2 Houghton Mifflin Harcourt 2017
HMH Collections Gr 9 Teacher Edition 978-0-5445-6971-3 Houghton Mifflin Harcourt 2017

About Publishers Responses

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

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

Educator-Led Review Teams

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

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

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

ELA HS 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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