Alignment to College and Career Ready Standards: Overall Summary

The materials for Grade 6 do not meet the expectations of alignment to standards. The texts and tasks partially meet the demands to support students' development of literacy skills in reading, writing, speaking and listening, and language. Materials partially support students in building their knowledge of topics and themes as well as growing vocabulary. Materials include some support for comprehensive writing and research instruction.

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Understanding Gateways

Alignment

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Does Not Meet Expectations

Gateway 1:

Text Quality

0
17
32
36
24
32-36
Meets Expectations
18-31
Partially Meets Expectations
0-17
Does Not Meet Expectations

Gateway 2:

Building Knowledge

0
15
28
32
12
28-32
Meets Expectations
16-27
Partially Meets Expectations
0-15
Does Not Meet Expectations

Usability

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Not Rated

Not Rated

Gateway 3:

Usability

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

Gateway One

Text Quality & Complexity and Alignment to Standards Components

Partially Meets Expectations

Criterion 1a - 1f

Texts are worthy of students' time and attention: texts are of quality and are rigorous, meeting the text complexity criteria for each grade. Materials support students' advancing toward independent reading.
14/20
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-
Criterion Rating Details

The texts included in Holt McDougal Literature Grade 6 are of high quality and worthy of careful reading. Texts included encompass a wide range of the types and genre called for in the standards as well as the appropriate levels of complexity for this grade level. However, the texts do not appear to increase in complexity over the course of the year. While the levels of the texts are provided with the materials they are not accompanied by a rationale for purpose and placement. Students do not have the opportunity to engage with full-length novels, despite the inclusion of excerpts from high-quality texts. Independent reading is not required, therefore there are no processes for monitoring of it.

Indicator 1a

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 6 meet the criteria for anchor texts being of publishable quality, worthy of especially careful reading, and consider a range of student interests.

The majority of the texts included in the materials are of publishable quality and are worthy of close-reading. There are a wide range of texts that would hold the interests of a variety of students. Both literature and informational selections are high-quality without the need for revisions or supplements. Examples of these texts include, but are not limited to:

  • In Unit 2, students read “Eleven” by Sandra Cisneros. Cisneros is the recipient of numerous awards including a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, and is regarded as a key figure in Chicana literature.
  • In Unit 4, excerpts include but are not limited to My Life in Dog Years by award winning author Gary Paulsen and the Newberry Award winning classic Julie of the Wolves by Jean Craighead George.
  • In Unit 5, students read “Ode to an Artichoke” by Pablo Neruda. Neruda is considered one of the greatest and most influential poets of the 20th century. “Ode to an Artichoke” includes figurative language that is worthy of multiple reads.
  • In Unit 7, students read an excerpt from The Story of My Life, a classic autobiography by Helen Keller.
  • In Unit 8, students read “The First Emperor”, an excerpt from The Tomb Robbers by Daniel Cohen. This text is paired with “Digging up the Past: Discovery and Excavation of Shi Huangdi’s Tomb”, a magazine article written by Helen Wieman Bledsoe.

Indicator 1b

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 6 meet the criteria for materials reflecting the distribution of text types and genres required by the standards at each grade level. Students read a mix of both informational and literary texts as well as texts from multiple genres. Evidence that supports the materials meeting the criteria include, but are not limited to:

  • In Unit 2, students read/encounter a variety of text types and genres. Examples include, but are not limited to Anastasia Krupnik by Lois Lowry (novel), The Life and Adventures of Nat Love by Nat Love (autobiography), and “Eleven” by Sandra Cisneros (short story). Other genres and text types include: short stories, a television clip, personal essay, memoir, and poems.
  • In Unit 4, students read a variety of text types and genres. Examples include, “The First Skateboard in the History of the World” by Betsy Byars (memoir), “The Problem with Bullies” (feature article) as well as short stories, a feature article, novel, personal narrative, memoir, science article, poems, drama, and an image collection.
  • In Unit 6, students read a variety of text types and genres that include texts such as “Uncle Septimus’s Beard” by Herbet Shippey (tall tale), classical myths, online science articles, a native american legend, greek legend, tall tale, Japanese Folk Tale and a Puerto Rican Folk Tale.
  • In Unit 8, students read a variety of text types and genres that include “The SuperCroc” by Peter Winkler (magazine article), “Brain Breeze” (advertisement), as well as an online article, book excerpt, newspaper report, persuasive essay, speech, public service announcement script, and tv commercials.

Indicator 1c

Texts have the appropriate level of complexity for the grade according to quantitative analysis, qualitative analysis, and relationship to their associated student task.
2/4
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-
Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 6 partially meet 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.

Many texts have quantitative scores that fall below the correct range, and the qualitative portion is insufficient to raise the overall grade level alignment. Many texts are excerpts from pieces of literature that are only a few pages long, and determining a specific Lexile level could be a challenge. Evidence of this includes, but is not limited to:

  • In Unit 1 students read an excerpt from Bud, Not Buddy. This text is an exemplar text for students in Grades 4-5. Students are to read the text to focus on fluency. The quantitative features do not raise the text complexity for this text, nor does the reader or task measures.
  • In Unit 4, all but two texts (and a poem) are below the appropriate Lexile level for Grade 6. “The True Story of the Three Little Pigs” is included in this unit, with a Lexile level of 510. This text has a simple format with uncomplicated vocabulary. The reader and task measures do not increase complexity.
  • In Unit 8 students read “Bird Brains” with a Lexile of 640. This text is set up as an online article with subheadings and pictures, although the pictures are not necessary for understanding. The structure is straightforward and does not significantly increase the complexity. The reader and task measures do not increase the complexity of this text.

Examples of texts that are at the appropriate level of complexity are as follows:

  • In Unit 2 students read “Eleven”. This text in an exemplar text for students in students in Grades 6-8.
  • In Unit 7 students read an excerpt from “The Story of My Life”, Lexile level 1050. This text is linked with “American Sign Language”, Lexile level 1210. “American Sign Language” is a procedural text that uses graphics to show examples of sign language, which helps students better understand the struggles Helen Keller discusses in her autobiography “The Story of My Life.”

Indicator 1d

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 6 partially meet the criteria for materials supporting students’ increasing literacy skills over the course of the school year. Series of texts should be at a variety of complexity levels appropriate for the grade band.

There are a great variety of complexity levels throughout the materials, however, there is no discernable increase in complexity over the course of the year. For example, in Unit 1, Lexile levels range from 790-1310, in Unit 3 Lexile levels range from 780-1120, and in Unit 8 Lexile levels range from 640-1230. Also, in Unit 4, all but two texts (and a poem) are below the appropriate Lexile level for 6th grade. “The True Story of the Three Little Pigs” is included in this unit, with a Lexile level of 510. This text has a simple format with uncomplicated vocabulary. The reader and task does not increase complexity.

In addition, tasks are of similar rigor and demand at the beginning compared to the end of the year. For example, each Unit has a “Practice and Apply” section at the end of the stories. Within each “Practice and Apply” section, students answer comprehension questions, complete a text analysis, and have an opportunities for Extension and Challenge. The “Practice and Apply” section does not build or become more rigorous from the prior units “Practice and Apply” Section. Students do not show that they can independently master skills by the end of the year. Most analysis questions make note of exactly where to go to get the needed information. Students rarely have to practice close reading to dig deeper into texts. The scaffolds and student notes provided in the margins remain the same from Unit 1 until the end of the year.

Indicator 1e

Anchor texts and series of texts connected to them are accompanied by a text complexity analysis and rationale for purpose and placement in the grade level.
1/2
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-
Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 6 partially meet 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 publisher does not provide a text complexity analysis or rationale for purpose and placement in the grade level. At the beginning of every unit, texts are listed with their Lexile, Fry, and Dale-Chall level. There are no qualitative measurements, nor are any reader and task considerations included to create a complete text analysis. There is also no rationale included for the purpose or placement in each grade level. Examples include:

Unit 2:

  • “Eleven” by Sandra Cisneros Difficulty Level: Easy Readability: Lexile 1090, Fry 11, Dale-Chall 5.2
  • “Ghost of the Lagoon” by Armstrong Sperry Difficulty Level: Average Readability: Lexile 770, Fry 8, Dale-Chall 6.0

Unit 6:

  • “The Story of Ceres and Prosperpina” retold by Mary Pope Osborne Difficulty Level: Average Readability: Lexile 950, Fry 12, Dale-Chall 6.7
  • “Apollo’s Tree” The Story of Daphne and Apollo retold by Mary Pope Osborne Difficulty Level: Easy Readability: Lexile 830, Fry 6, Dale-Chall 6.1

Unit 8:

  • “What Video Games Can Teach Us” by Emily Sohn Difficulty Level: Average Readability: Lexile 1040, Fry 12, Dale-Chall 7.0
  • “The Violent Side of Video Games” by Emily Sohn Difficulty Level: Average Readability: Lexile 1040, Fry 7, Dale-Chall 7.7

Indicator 1f

Anchor text(s), including support materials, provide opportunities for students to engage in a range and volume of reading to achieve grade level reading.
1/2
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-
Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 6 partially meet the criteria that anchor and supporting texts provide opportunities for students to engage in a broad range of text types and disciplines as well as a volume of reading to achieve grade level reading proficiency.

Students are exposed to a wide range of text types, within each unit and throughout the curriculum, although no clear anchor texts are designated by the Teacher Edition. For example, each unit has a large volume of texts for the students to read. Unit 1 contains 12 texts, Unit 2 contains 7 texts, Unit 3 contains 9 texts, Unit 4 contains 10 texts, Unit 5 contains 9 texts, Unit 6 contains 8 texts, Unit 7 contains 8 texts, Unit 8 contains 9 texts. Unit 9 is identified as a research unit, but does not include any texts identified as focus or anchor texts. Units have a broad range of text types including, but not limited to, memoirs, novel excerpts, poems, speeches, editorials, scripts, folk literature, short stories, news articles, and nonfiction texts.

There are no opportunities for students to engage with full-length novels, however, many high quality novel excerpts are included. For example, in Unit 4, students are introduced to Maniac Magee, but they only read a five-page excerpt. At the end of the excerpt, the textbook states “To find out how Jeffrey turns into the legendary Maniac Magee, read the rest of the novel.”

Independent reading is suggested, not required, and there are no included mechanisms or processes for teachers or students to monitor progress of independent reading. For example, at the end of each unit students are given “Ideas for Independent Reading”. Typically, nine books are listed under three different questions based on the unit. For example, Unit 1 includes the titles of three novels under each of the following questions: What do you fear most? Can first impressions be trusted? How powerful is loyalty?’. The directions to the teacher says “Encourage students to choose one or more of these “great reads” to read independently.” Also, in the introductory materials, students are told “The best way to improve your reading skills is to read as much as you can, whenever you can. Follow your interests in new and exciting things to read.” While it is suggested that students read independently, there is no mechanism for teachers or students to monitor reading progress.

Criterion 1g - 1n

Materials provide opportunities for rich and rigorous evidence-based discussions and writing about texts to build strong literacy skills.
10/16
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-
Criterion Rating Details

Materials include high-quality, text-dependent questions, tasks, and assignments that encourage students to interact with the texts and to return to them to support their statements with evidence. However, most culminating tasks within the materials are not connected to these questions and tasks.

Some opportunities for evidence-based discussions occur, but these instances are not well-supported nor are they connected directly to the texts students are reading. There are not adequate opportunities provided for students to master the speaking and listening standards.

Ample opportunities exist for both on-demand and process writing, though not all writing genres specified by the standards are adequately taught or practiced prior to students being asked to apply them. Students have minimal opportunities to make claims developed from their close reading experiences.

Some grammar instruction is included, and all standards are covered, however, the coverage is inconsistent and inadequate. Several of the standards are only addressed once in the duration of the year. Some opportunities for application in and out of context are present, but many skills are taught in isolation.

Indicator 1g

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 6 meet 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).

In most lessons, students are asked various discussion questions that require them to engage with the text. Stories include a set of after-reading questions that are text-dependent and specific. Various tasks and writing assignments also ask the students to engage with the text. Examples of text-dependent questions, tasks and assignments related to this indicator include, but are not limited to:

  • In Unit 1, students are asked to reread lines in The Good Deed. Students are then asked, “How does Miss Benson’s eye bouquet increase Heather’s conflict with Risa?” Students must use the text to answer the question (page 57).
  • In Unit 4, students are asked to refer back to The Jacket and tell whether Soto seems to have more confidence as an adult looking back versus when he was younger. Teachers are encouraged to help struggling writers by helping them, “focus on Soto as an adult, making inferences about his level of confidence and citing examples from the text.” (page 507).
  • In Unit 6, students read Arachne and try to answer the question, “Can pride ever hurt you?” Teachers are directed to, “Encourage students to review the myth for examples of Arachne acting with too much pride. Suggest that students consider how well these examples serve as warnings against the dangers of pride.” (page. 703).

Indicator 1h

Sets of high-quality sequences of text-dependent questions and tasks build to a culminating task that integrates skills (may be writing, speaking, or a combination).
1/2
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 6 partially 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).

At the end of each text or text set, students answer comprehension and text analysis questions. Students are also offered extension and challenge tasks or writing prompts. Questions and tasks throughout the texts do not always build to the end of text culminating questions and tasks. At the end of each unit students complete Writing Workshop, a Speaking and Listening Workshop and occasionally a Technology Workshop. However, unit questions and tasks often do not build to these tasks. Texts and skills are often referenced in these tasks, but most can be completed without the use of unit texts or skills gained within the unit.

  • In Unit 1, students pick a story that is memorable to them and write an argument that persuades readers to agree with their viewpoint. Idea starters given include; the conflict between Heather and Risa in “The Good Deed”, the surprise ending of “Lob’s Girl”, and the dangerous setting of Hatchet. During the unit, students study plot, conflict, and setting. Although students discuss in depth the conflict between Heather and Risa, there are no questions or tasks that build to the surprise ending of “Lob’s Girl”. Students do not read the text, Hatchet, and only discuss how setting affects a storyline during one text in the unit. Students do not have to use these idea starters to complete this task and may choose to write an argument that is not supported by the units questions and tasks.
  • In Unit 2 during the Speaking and Listening Workshop students are to “Ask Questions and Paraphrase Ideas”. Students are asked to “Listen carefully to a formal presentation and after the speech, paraphrase the major ideas.” The students did not work on paraphrasing during the unit, and may not be equipped to complete the task.
  • At the end of Unit 5, students are asked to write an online feature article during the Writing Workshop and then update an online feature article for the technology workshop. The focus of Unit 5 is poetry, but students are assigned to “Write an online feature article about a topic, person, event, or place that interests you.”
  • In Unit 6, students are asked to “Write a “how-to” explanation in which you give step-by-step instruction for how to do something or make something.” Nowhere in the unit did questions or task build to this written task. The unit focus is myth, legends, and tales.

Indicator 1i

Materials provide frequent opportunities and protocols for evidencebased discussions that encourage the modeling and use of academic vocabulary and syntax. (May be small group and all-class.)
1/2
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-
Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 6 partially meet the criteria for 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.

Opportunities for discussion are evident, but are not adequate to master grade-level speaking and listening standards. Related standards accompany suggested opportunities for discussion, however clear and specific protocols are not found within lessons. These protocols can be found in the Speaking and Listening Workshops at the end of the unit. Discussion often relate to the text or topic of the unit, but few require students to read and draw textual evidence. Most discussion prompts do not specify if they are to be done in small groups, peer-to-peer, or in whole class. While academic vocabulary is included in the materials, its usage is not modeled and students are not given ample opportunities for practice.

Examples of discussion opportunities that do not meet the criteria of this indicator include, but are not limited to:

  • In Unit 1, students are introduced to the parts of a story, then asked to select a story they know from a book, movie or television show. The prompt is as follows: “Discuss whether the setting creates any problems for the characters. If the story were moved to another setting, would the conflict go away, or could the conflict happen almost anywhere or anytime?” According to the Unit 1 scope and sequence, the prompt is addresses Speaking and Listening 6.1, however, it does not require the students to read any text or prepare for the discussion.
  • In Unit 3, students read “How to Build a Bat House.” The teacher is then asked to use the Tiered Discussion Prompts to help the students understand the procedural text. The prompts are categorized as “connect,” “analyze,” and “evaluate,” but the teacher is only provided the instruction, “Use prompts to help students understand the text and photographs.” There is no guidance to determine if the discussions are to be conducted as whole group, small group, or peer-to-peer.
  • In Unit 6, the following prompt is given, “What is true friendship? Discuss the question. Then ask students to share with a partner a time when a friend did something kind, courageous, or generous for them. Discuss what their experiences taught them about friendship; then have students begin the WEB IT activity.” The “WEB IT” activity involves creating a web graphic organizer about true friendship and requires no reading or text evidence.
  • In Unit 8, students are asked, “Think back to your discussion about ads that appeal to the drive for self-improvement. What kind of ads, if any, can really point us in the direction of self-improvement.” Teachers are given possible student answers, but otherwise no guidance on discussion protocol or procedures. (page. 982) is provided.

Indicator 1j

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 6 partially meet the criteria for materials supporting students’ listening and speaking about what they are reading and researching (including presentation opportunities) with relevant follow-up questions and supports.

Most units include a speaking and listening task at the end of the unit. This is called the Speaking and Listening Workshop. However, these tasks do not provide clear instructions for the teacher and lack rubrics for assessing student learning. Speaking and Listening skills are not addressed within unit texts or during unit lessons. The speaking and listening tasks often do not relate to what the student is reading in the unit and many do not require any additional research. These tasks do not sufficiently address the related standards. Examples of opportunities that partially meet the criteria of this indicator include, but are not limited to:

  • At the end of Unit 1 students are asked to “Participate in a discussion about a favorite story or novel.” The teacher is told to use the “Common Core Traits” to assess the debate and the traits are listed, but no rubric is provided. There are no clear directions, although there are ideas listed for students that reference stories from the text.
  • In the Unit 1 Speaking and Listening Workshop, students participate in a formal discussion about a favorite story or novel. They are asked to state and support a claim about a narrative element from the text. Guidance is given about planning and holding the discussion, with bulleted points about what effective discussion look like. For example, the text says that, “participants in effective discussions state clear claims supported by reasons and evidence.” Students are also given some limited information about roles, rules and goals of their discussions in the form of an anchor chart that the can refer back to. Struggling students are encouraged to prepare notes in advance to ensure that they have a chance to participate in what could be a fast paced discussion.
  • At the end of Unit 3, students participate in an online discussion based on short stories students wrote and posted on a blog. The task tells the student how to participate in a respectful discussion, is “remember to support what you are saying with specific details from the story or post.”
  • In Unit 4, students participate in a Speaking and Listening Workshop where they are asked to adapt their literary analysis essay into a presentation. They are given bulleted guidance on how to adapt their essays. For example, they are encouraged to, “stick to the same logical sequence you used in your [essay] but remember to engage your listeners at all times….As you illustrate your main points...guide listeners with transitions such as first, second, and finally.” Students are asked to work together in partners to prepare and practice their adapted essays prior to delivering them formally to the class.
  • In Unit 8 students read “No Thought of Reward”. In the After Reading, the following question is listed under “Speaking and Listening”: “Develop a “Do a Good Deed for Your School” public service announcement in which you encourage students to contribute to building an atmosphere of kindness, contribution, and appreciation in your school.” This does not require students to find evidence from the the text or even conduct research.

Indicator 1k

Materials include a mix of on-demand and process writing (e.g. multiple drafts, revisions over time) and short, focused projects, incorporating digital resources where appropriate.
2/2
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 6 meet 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.

Throughout the materials there are plenty of opportunities for writing. There are both on-demand and process writing throughout the materials. Students are given opportunities to go through the entire writing process, including revising at least once during each unit. On demand writing prompts occur at least once after each story, and sometimes with greater frequency. Although not used for every writing assignment, technology is incorporated when necessary or when it would enhance the writing. Examples of the mix of on-demand and process writing that incorporate digital resources where appropriate include, but are not limited to,

  • In Unit 1, students read “Lob’s Girl”. After reading, students are given the following on-demand writing task, “Much of the story focuses on how Lob showed his loyalty toward Sandy. Do you think Sandy is equally loyal to Lob? In one paragraph, give your evaluation.” Students are also provided a revising tip to go with this writing prompt.
  • In Unit 2, after reading the story, “Ghost of the Lagoon”, students are asked to write a narrative or short story through the eyes of characters regarding how the story might have been different if it had focused on the thoughts and feelings of a character other than Mako. During this reading-writing connection, students are informed to use the revising tip. The following writing online tools are available: interactive graphic organizers, interactive student models, and interactive revision lessons. Writing task is aligned to standard W.3 Write narratives to develop imagined events.
  • In Unit 4, students participate in a writing workshop where they are asked to develop a literary analysis essay in which they interpret a literary work that they found memorable. In this workshop, they work through each part of the writing process, including planning, drafting, revision and publishing.
  • In Unit 6, students read “Aunty Misery” and “The Crane Maiden”. Students are then given the following writing prompt: “Write three paragraphs in which you compare and contrast the conflicts and resolutions in ‘Aunty Misery’ and ‘The Crane Maiden’.”
  • At the end of Unit 7 students are given various options to publish their writing. The options include publishing to a website or creating a documentary.
  • In Unit 8, students chose an illusion described in the text and write a one paragraph promotional flier persuading people to attend an event.

Indicator 1l

Materials provide opportunities for students to address different text types of writing that reflect the distribution required by the standards.
1/2
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-
Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 6 partially meet the criteria for materials providing opportunities for students to address different text types of writing that reflect the distribution required by the standards.

Students address multiple types of texts types of writing throughout the school year. Student prompts include argument writing, narrative writing, and expository writing.

  • At the end of Unit 1, students respond to the following prompt: “Pick a story that’s memorable to you. Which element is most responsible for making the story unforgettable? Write an argument that persuades readers to agree with your viewpoint, or claim.” Students are told to state their claim, gather evidence, and plan their concluding section during the planning/prewriting stage in order to write this argumentative text. However, students are not given many opportunities to practice these skills before the Writing Workshop at the end of the unit.
  • At the end of Unit 6, students respond to the following prompt: “Write a “how-to” explanation in which you give step-by-step instructions for how to do something or make something.” Students are reminded to “establish and maintain a formal style and tone” and “included precise language and domain-specific vocabulary” while writing this explanatory text.
  • At the end of Unit 3 students respond to the following prompt: “Write a short story set in an interesting place that will appeal to your audience. Make sure that your story has a plot, a conflict, and one or more characters.” Students are reminded to identify characters, conflict, and setting and to develop the plot while writing their narrative piece.

While the materials provide many different writing opportunities throughout the school year, there are not ample opportunities for the student to learn the different genres of writing before they are expected to apply them. While rubrics are provided for the teacher and student to assess some learning, they are not detailed and do not provide adequate support for the teacher and students. Rubrics are provided for Writing Workshop, which include process writing and timed writing. These cover development, organization, and language on a 1-6 scale. These rubrics are very general. Multiple or repeated opportunities to practice different modes of writing are limited. Few student samples and exemplars are included. Examples of how the materials reviewed partially meet the criteria of this indicator include, but are not limited to:

  • In Unit 2, there is a rubric for students to use. The directions from the teacher edition are as follows: “Use the rubric below to evaluate your comparison-contrast essay from the Writing Workshop or your response to the on-demand task on the next page.” The teacher’s edition says to “provide students with models of descriptive comparison-contrast essays” for students to score, but does not provide any. Instead, it says “Your state-assessment website may have examples.”
  • In Unit 4, students are asked to analyze a student draft. The directions state “Read this student's draft and the comments about it as a model for revising your own literary analysis.” There are three paragraph provided as an example.
  • In Unit 7, students are given two writing prompts based on their reading of “Spellbinder,” with an included Revising Tip. There is no rubric to score the writing.
  • Unit 8, students demonstrate their understanding of SuperCroc by responding to the following prompts: Short Constructed Response-Description (one paragraph description) and Extended Constructed Response-Article (two or three paragraph evaluation). Tools are available online at thinkcentral.com. Students have access to interactive revisions and Revising Tips.

Indicator 1m

Materials include frequent opportunities for evidence-based writing to support careful analyses, well-defended claims, and clear information.
1/2
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-
Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 6 partially meet the criteria for materials including frequent opportunities for evidence-based writing to support careful analyses, well-defended claims, and clear information appropriate for the grade level. The units include writing opportunities that are embedded in the daily unit lessons, but there are minimal opportunities to make claims developed from their close reading. Examples of evidence-based writing include, but are not limited to:

  • In Unit 1, students are asked to write a brief dialogue starting at a specific point in the story “All Summer in a Day”. The differentiated instructions provided for struggling writers suggests listing characters and then analyzing them based on their point of view and then organizing their information in chronological order.
  • Unit 2, after reading Ghost of the Lagoon, students are asked to write a narrative or short story through the eyes of characters regarding how the story might have been different if it had focused on the thoughts and feelings of a character other than Mako.
  • In Unit 4, students are asked to write a two paragraph summary of the text “The Problem with Bullies” they have just read. They are encouraged to look for specific details, but to use their own words. Struggling readers are encouraged to work in pairs to create topic sentences for a portion of the text.
  • In Unit 4, students respond to the following prompt after reading The All-American Slurp; “The Lin family learned American etiquette the hard way. Read “American Lifestyles and Habits” on p. 457. In two or three paragraphs, explain what information from the article would have helped the Lins.”
  • In Unit 6, students write a summary of the science article, “Spider Webs”. They use an outline they created to help write the summary. Students summarize the article’s main idea and supporting details in their own words.

Examples where student writing does not require evidence from a text include:

  • In Unit 3 students are focusing on determining the theme or central idea of the text. At the end of the unit, students are asked to write a short story for their Writing Workshop. Materials state, “Make sure that your story has a plot, a conflict, and one or more characters.” This task does not work closely with the text and does not require text evidence. In the same unit, the timed writing assignment is also about writing a short story and does not require text evidence.
  • In Unit 6, students read “Arachne”. Students are given an on demand writing prompt. The prompt states, “Imagine that you are a friend of Arachne and you are concerned that her behavior will get her into trouble. Write a letter or speech in which you urge her to be less boastful.” Although related to the text, there are not specific directions or expectations for the students to use text evidence. Students could complete this task without going back to the text after their first read.
  • In Unit 8, students read ‘SuperCroc” and respond to the following prompt: “Imagine that you could go back in time and see SuperCroc with your own eyes. Write a one-paragraph description of the prehistoric monster and his surroundings.” This task does not show an increase in rigor for writing and does not require students to analyze the text and support their claims with evidence from the text.

Indicator 1n

Materials include explicit instruction of the grammar and conventions standards for grade level as applied in increasingly sophisticated contexts, with opportunities for application both in and out of context.
1/2
+
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 6 partially meet the criteria for materials including explicit instruction of the grammar and conventions standards for grade level as applied in increasingly sophisticated contexts, with opportunities for application both in and out of context. While grammar is included, and all standards are covered, the coverage is inconsistent and inadequate. Several of the standards are only addressed once in the duration of the year, requiring supplemental lessons from the teacher in order to lead students to mastery. There are some opportunities for application in and out of context, many skills are taught in isolation. Evidence of this includes, but is not limited to:

  • In Unit 1, The Good Deed, students have access to standards L.6.1, L.6.4, and L.6.6. The main focus is on L1, demonstrate command of the conventions of grammar. Students rewrite run-on sentences, making changes in punctuation and capitalization. Students also use a period to make two sentences and a comma/coordinating conjunction to divide the parts of the run-on.
  • In Unit 3, The Dog of Pompeii, students practice with standards L.6.2, L.6.4, and L6.4a. Students focus on standard L.6.2. Students correct dialogue by rewriting sentences using the correct punctuation marks and inserting any missing marks.
  • In Unit 6, The Story of Ceres and Proserpina, students practice with standards L6.2, L.6.4, L.6.4b, and L.6.6. Students correct capitalization errors in sentences.
  • Students only use intensive pronouns (L.6.1.B) once throughout the course of the year, although the definition is also provided in the Grammar Handbook in the book of the textbook. At the end of Unit 1 students are introduced to intensive pronouns in the “Grammar in Context: Intensive Pronouns” section. Examples are given and then students are told “Proofread your essay, looking for places where you can add emphasis with an intensive pronoun.” Teachers would need to supplement the materials to make sure students adequately understand this standard.
  • In Unit 5 students address standard L.6.2.A when they complete “Grammar in Context: Nonrestrictive/Parenthetical Elements.” Students are given examples and then told “Write a draft of your article, using your storyboard as a guide. Use commas, parentheses, or dashes to set off nonrestrictive elements.” The teacher is given two additional bullet points on ways to reinforce nonrestrictive and parenthetical elements , but there is no other place throughout the materials where this standard is taught.
  • Throughout Unit 7 students work on the following grammar and convention skills throughout the unit:
    • Recognizing and using punctuation
    • Capitalizing correctly
    • Prepositional phrases

These skills do not build on each other throughout the unit and are not consistent enough throughout the unit.

Gateway Two

Building Knowledge with Texts, Vocabulary, and Tasks

Does Not Meet Expectations

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Gateway Two Details

Units are organized around literacy skills, rather than a thematic or topical focus. The materials contain quality, text-dependent questions, but lack performance tasks built upon knowledge obtained from the texts and supported by the questions throughout the unit.

While the high-quality texts provide a solid context for both vocabulary instruction and text-dependent writing opportunities, those opportunities are missed. Instruction of and practice with research skills are limited and provide infrequent opportunities for the students to meet the standards in this area. Independent reading is encouraged, but there is no consistent monitoring for the volume and consistency of independent reading that will help students to grow as independent readers over the course of the year.

Criterion 2a - 2h

12/32

Indicator 2a

Texts are organized around a topic/topics (or, for grades 6-8, topics and/or themes) to build students' ability to read and comprehend complex texts independently and proficiently.
0/4
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 6 do not meet the criteria for texts being organized around a topic and/or themes to build students’ ability to read and comprehend complex texts independently and proficiently.

The materials are divided into 9 units. These units are based around literacy skills, not a topic or theme. The teacher’s manual provides an Essential Course of Study on page T21. In this guide teachers can see the specific literacy skills that are explored within the unit using several different text types. Units focus are specific literacy skill address in the section called “Text Analysis Workshop”. Since units are focused on skills and not a theme or topic, many of the texts in a unit do not relate to each other with a common theme or topic and students do not build knowledge to help them better read complex texts.

Examples include, but are not limited to

  • In Unit 1 the literacy skills are plot, conflict, and setting. Students read short stories, a memoir, and a narrative poem to learn about the elements of fiction and making inferences.
  • Unit 5 the literary skill is The Language of Poetry. Students read multiple poems to learn about form, figurative language, imagery, sound devices, and making inferences.
  • In Unit 8 the literary skills center around information, argument, and persuasive informational texts. Students study argument, organizational patterns, persuasive techniques, evaluating support and summarizing while reading multiple informational texts.

Indicator 2b

Materials contain sets of coherently sequenced questions and tasks that require students to analyze the language, key ideas, details, craft, and structure of individual texts.
4/4
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 6 meet 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.

The materials offer students opportunities to use evidence pulled directly from the text as well as make inferences while reading in order to help make meaning of the texts provided. The sequenced questions allow for making meaning and building understanding of texts. The materials include a range of text dependent questions and tasks throughout each unit. Questions and tasks include analysis of language, key ideas, details and craft and structure. Students are asked questions during reading in the margins of the text to address these pieces. Within the After Reading Prompts, there are questions labeled evaluate and analyze which often address analysis of language, key ideas, details and craft and structure. Questions and tasks cover a wide continuum of standards and strategies. Examples include:

  • In Unit 1, students answer questions and tasks that ask students to analyze items including, but not limited to, characters' impact the development of plot, how structure impacts meaning, and author’s purpose and conclusions. Students read “Woodsong” and work on author’s purpose. The Teacher Guide models identifying clues to determine author’s purpose and then states “Have students practice and apply the skill by recording facts from this passage on their charts from page 115.”
  • In Unit 2, students work on point of view. Toward the beginning of Unit 2, students read “Ghost of the Lagoon.” Students then discuss, “Reread line 6-14. What does the narrator reveal about Mako?” At the end of Unit 2, students read “Life Doesn’t Frighten Me.” Students discuss, “Reread line 37-40. What do the lines in this stanza tell you about the speaker’s personality?”
  • In Unit 6, students read “The Story of Ceres and Proserpina”. Students are given the following task, “Reread lines 6-9. What extraordinary power is Pluto exhibiting?”
  • In Unit 7, students read “Over the Top of the World” and the students are asked the following question, “What difficult conditions does Steger cite in lines 11-15? Why does the author include these details? Add the details to your chart.”
  • In Unit 9, students will answer questions and tasks that ask students to analyze items including, but not limited to, effective research-based questions, evaluation of information and sources, and search techniques. Students read “Bird Brains”. After reading, students are given the following task, “Reread lines 58-62 of the article and state the main idea. Explain how the main idea presented here serves as the proposition, or argument, for the entire argument.”

Indicator 2c

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 6 partially meet the criteria that materials contain a coherently sequenced set of text-dependent questions and tasks that require students to analyze the integration of knowledge and ideas across both individual and multiple texts. While materials do contain text-dependent questions, questions are focused on literacy skills rather than knowledge-building. In addition, there is no clear explanation of how integration of skills or knowledge builds from unit to unit, with limited guidance available for teachers. While questions may support a general understanding of the texts themselves, they do not support building students’ knowledge about the content or topics/themes introduced by the texts.

Evidence includes, but is not limited to:

In Unit 1, students answer the following questions while reading “The Horse Snake”: “Reread lines 15-20. What do the night sounds reveal about this setting?” By Unit 7, students are still being told where to gather their information and evidence to answer questions during reading. For examples, while reading “The Story of My Life” students are asked the following question: “Reread line 6-15. In what ways does the first-person point of view help show Keller’s thoughts and feelings?” These questions support an understanding of the text but do not build knowledge beyond the text.

In Unit 2 students read the story, “Eleven” by Sandra Cisneros. During this reading, students are asked the following questions;

  • Is age more than a number?
  • How does the imagery describing the sweater help you understand how Rachel feels?
  • How does the first person point of view affect what you know about Sylvia and Phyllis?
  • What is it about growing older that Rachel finds disappointing?
  • Imagine that Rachel is bold instead of timid. What might she have said when Mrs. Price put the sweater on her desk? Describe the characteristics of a bold Rachel.

These questions build students’ comprehension and recall of the text itself, but do not grow students’ understanding of the topics and themes introduced in this piece.

Questions that integrate knowledge from multiple texts are limited to some integration of the skills in the section titled “Reading Comprehension Check” at the end of the each unit.

  • In Unit 8, students read “The First Emperor” and “Digging Up the Past: Discovery and Excavation of Shi Huangdi’s Tomb.” Students are asked to complete the following prompt relating to the two texts: “In three paragraphs, compare the main idea of “The First Emperor” and “Digging Up the Past.” Remember that the topic of each piece of writing is the same, but each presents different information. Support your comparison using details from each.”

Indicator 2d

The questions and tasks support students' ability to complete culminating tasks in which they demonstrate their knowledge of a topic (or, for grades 6-8, a theme) through integrated skills (e.g. combination of reading, writing, speaking, listening).
0/4
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 6 do not meet the criteria that the questions and tasks support students’ ability to complete culminating tasks in which they demonstrate their knowledge of a topic (or, for grades 6-8, a theme) through integrated skills (e.g., combination of reading, writing, speaking, listening). While there are tasks related to some objectives, those given at the end of units do not consistently assess students’ learning of the skills (discrete and integrated) and standards accessed during the materials, nor do they consistently provide evidence of students building knowledge of theme or topic. Evidence includes, but is not limited to:

The reading and text analysis objectives for Unit 1 are:

  • Describe how a story’s or drama’s plot unfolds.
  • Describe how characters respond as the plot moves toward a resolution.
  • Analyze how a sentence, scene, or stanza contributes to the development of the setting or plot.
  • Compare author’s purposes and draw conclusion about text.
  • Cite textual evidence to support inferences drawn from the text.
  • Integrate ideas across texts.

Unit 1 end-of-unit tasks include:

  • “Pick a story that’s memorable to you. Which element is most responsible for making the story unforgettable. Write an argument that persuades readers to agree with your viewpoint or claim.
  • “Your school is sponsoring an essay contest to celebrate “Movie Week.” Contestants will write an essay on a film they have seen for the title of “best movie ever made.” Write an essay convincing the panel of teachers and students that your movie deserves this honor. Use clear reasons and relevant evidence from the movie to support your claim.
  • Participate in a discussion about a favorite story or novel. State and support a claim that one particular element-- plot, setting, or conflict-- is responsible for making the story unforgettable.

In Unit 6, students are focusing on myths, legends, and tales. The unit goals include, but are not limited to:

  • Analyze characteristics of myths, legends, tall tales, and folktales.
  • Determine a central idea of a text and how it is conveyed through particular details.
  • Provide a summary of the text distinct from personal opinions and judgments.
  • Analyze, in detail, how a key idea is introduced, illustrated, and elaborated in a text.

At the end of the unit, students are given the following task during the writing workshop: “Write a “how-to” explanation in which you give step-by-step instructions for how to do something or make something.” This writing prompt does not address many of the goals listed in the beginning of the unit. Students are also expected to complete the speaking & listening workshop. They are assigned the following task: “Adapt your “how-to” explanation as a set of oral instructions. Your goal is to teach your classmates to perform a task or process that will be useful to them. Practice your presentation, and then give it to the class.” This task relates to the writing prompt, but does not address most of the goals listed in the beginning of the unit. Neither extended activity includes the skills developed in the unit. There is no task that culminates to show the integrated skills and demonstrates knowledge of a topic or theme.

Indicator 2e

Materials include a cohesive, year-long plan for students to interact with and build key academic vocabulary words in and across texts.
2/4
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 6 partially meet the criteria that materials include a cohesive, year-long plan for students to interact with and build key academic vocabulary words in and across texts. Although each unit includes a variety of Tier 2 and Tier 3 vocabulary words, the units and texts do not work in unison or in coherence in order to build the academic vocabulary of students. Even though the texts that are used are quality and provide students with a variety of vocabulary to study, there is no coherence between the texts to ensure that students are seeing and engaging with the same words multiple times either in or across texts. There is no year-long guidance for teachers regarding vocabulary development. Evidence of this includes, but is not limited to:

  • Approximately five academic vocabulary words are provided at the beginning of each unit. The teacher guide also provides definitions for these words under the Differentiated Instruction heading. The materials direct teachers to use additional materials found in the Resource Manager, including worksheets to help students develop fluency with these terms.
  • Within each text, key vocabulary words are noted, with definitions for students to reference. Teacher suggestions for working with these words include, “have pairs of students define these words using context clues and a dictionary. Have them pronounce each word out loud several times.
  • Each lesson also includes a Vocabulary In Context exercise. For the text, “Not My Bones (Unit 5),” students fill in the blanks with vocabulary words to complete sentences that create vivid setting for the myth. For this story, it is suggested that the teacher pre teach vocabulary before having students complete an accompanying worksheet independently.
  • In Unit 1, Tiered Discussion Prompts are used to help students visualize what is happening. Vocabulary in Context, p.44, suggests teachers review Academic Vocabulary words, have student pairs reread the resolution of the story and analyze Robert’s feelings, guide pairs in discussion, and remind students to provide evidence to support their opinions.
  • In Unit 4, students work in small groups to locate passages previously read. Students also display their fashion style to partners and utilize a Spider Map (word choice, sentence structure, literary devices, and other elements). Student complete a Vocabulary in Context.
  • According to the teacher guide, www.thinkcentral.com also includes video and PowerNotes, audio support, ThinkAloud models and WordSharp vocabulary tutorials as well as interactive review and remediation.
  • Throughout the materials, students are regularly encouraged to “Own the Word.” To facilitate this learning, the teacher is given guidance about key aspects of each word, as well as affixes, synonyms, etc.
  • Unit 8: Information, Argument, and Persuasion, at the beginning of the unit the Academic Vocabulary is explained and shared. For example, the text says, “The title tell you the topic of the article” and “The main idea is presented as a problem and solution”. In the section titled, “Vocabulary in Context” the teacher’s guides provides activities to increase use of academic vocabulary with in the directions under, “Academic Vocabulary in Speaking”.

Indicator 2f

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 6 partially meet the criteria that materials support students’ increasing writing skills over the course of the school year, building students’ writing ability to demonstrate proficiency at grade level at the end of the school year. While the writing materials are aligned to the Common Core State Standards, they are limited to the Writing Workshop at the end of each unit.The writing workshop consists of a writing task, idea starters, essential information, planning/prewriting with examples, drafting, revising, analyzing a student's draft, editing, and publishing. There are few protocols,and the skills do not increase over the school year. Also, students only practice the writing type once during the school year and the units do not build writing skills before the final writing workshop. There are few tools for teachers and students to track growth, and no detailed structure on modeling and teaching writing. Evidence of this includes, but is not limited to:

In Unit 1 students:

  • Write a one paragraph review of a play.
  • Write a one paragraph comparison of two characters.
  • Write a short dialogue between two characters.
  • Write an argumentative essay persuading readers to agree with a viewpoint or claim

In Unit 2, students complete a Comparison-Contrast Essay during the Writing Workshop. The writing task states, “Write a comparison-contrast essay in which you inform your audience of the similarities and differences between two literary texts, two characters, or two settings.” While there are resources provided to the student and teacher in this section of the text, it is not adequate to cover the whole course of the unit.

Unit 4, students are encouraged to begin writing about style. Students also broaden their understanding of The All-American Slurp (short story) by responding to the following prompt; The Lin family learned American etiquette the hard way. Read “American Lifestyles and Habits” on p. 457. In two or three paragraphs, explain what information from the article would have helped the Lins. Students are encouraged to use the revising tip provided. An interactive revision is located on thinkcentral.com. Students also read for information by writing a summary from a writing prompt (p.491) “The Problem with Bullies”. They are encouraged to review their graphic organizers as well as steps to take. Writing task does not align to the W.3 standard: Write narratives to develop imagined events. W.2 Write explanatory texts to convey information.

In Unit 8 students:

  • Write a one paragraph description of a monster.
  • Write a two-three paragraph evaluation of an article
  • Write a two-three paragraph letter to the editor.
  • Write a persuasive essay on an issue.
  • Writing instruction tasks are included at the end of each unit:
    • Unit 1: Supporting an Opinion
    • Unit 4: Literary Analysis
    • Unit 8: Persuasive Writing

However, the Writing Workshops do not clearly provided detailed instructions on how to teach this particular type of writing. Unit 1: Writing Workshop contains three sets of instructions. The instructions are limited in the sections titled, Getting Started, Organizing an Argument, Revising and Drafting.

Indicator 2g

Materials include a progression of focused research projects to encourage students to develop knowledge in a given area by confronting and analyzing different aspects of a topic using multiple texts and source materials.
2/4
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 6 partially meet the criteria that materials include a progression of focused research projects to encourage students to develop knowledge in a given area by confronting and analyzing different aspects of a topic using multiple texts and source materials. Opportunities for research are limited, and focused mainly in the final unit. There is no clear and cohesive progression through the course of the year.

Unit 9: The Power of Research focuses on research strategies and writing research papers. The unit includes, but is not limited to, the following goals:

  • Plan research
  • Develop research questions
  • Use library and media center resources
  • Gather information from multiple print and digital sources
  • Assess the credibility of each source
  • Collect your own data
  • Write a research paper
  • Give a power presentation

While these goals are addressed in the unit, this is the end of the year and gives the students very little opportunity for practice throughout the year.

Most units include at least one quick research task. They are typically included under the title “Extension and Challenge”. They include, but are not limited to:

  • Unit 1, after reading “The Prince and the Pauper” students respond to the prompt: “Research Henry VIII’s reign and compare it with that of Queen Elizabeth II. Focus on how royal powers and responsibilities have changed over time. Present your findings to the class.”
  • Unit 2, after reading “The Red Guards” students complete the task “The Cultural Revolution began in China in 1966. Conduct research to find out more about how the Revolution began, who the Red Guards were, and how it affected the Chinese population. Present your report to your classmates.”
  • Unit 4, after reading “The First Skateboard in the History of the World” students complete the task “Research the history of skateboarding. Create a timeline that traces trends in skateboarding, changes in the design of skateboards, and the development of skateboarding tricks.” Teacher directions state “Students’ timelines should include details about trends, changes in design, and tricks. Encourage students to use photos or illustration to highlight important trends or designs.”
  • Unit 8, after reading “Should WIld Animals Be Kept as Pets” students complete the task “Research wildlife sanctuaries, rescue centers, and other facilities in your area that aid in the survival and protection of animals. Choose one a summarize the work they do. Present your findings to the class.Teacher directions state “Encourage students to search for facilities on the Internet or to contact their local branch of the Humane Society for information on these types of sanctuaries.”

These short research projects are vague in their expectations for the students and the teacher is not provided enough information to help the students complete the tasks without added materials.

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.
0/4
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials for Grade 6 do not meet the criteria 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 curriculum lacks adequate scaffolding to foster independent reading. While reading independently is suggested, there is no included system for accountability, nor protocols or classroom procedures in the teacher edition to support an increase and improve independence. There is no designated time during lessons for reading independently, making it unclear whether this is meant to take place during class.

In the introductory unit, in the The Power of Ideas section, students encounter a page that explains independent reading. It states “The best way to improve your reading skills is to read as much as you can, whenever you can. Follow your interest to find new and exciting things to read.” The students are then told they can read novels, magazines, newspapers, and websites.

At the end of each unit there is an “Ideas for Independent Reading” page. The materials suggest students “Continue exploring with these books.” For example, at the end of Unit 5, the following questions with books are listed:

  • What can sports teach us?
    • Crash by Jerry Spinelli, Slam Dunk: Poems About Basketball edited by Lillian Morrison, Strike Two by Amy Goldman Koss
  • How do we respond to nature’s mysteries?
    • Airborn by Kenneth Oppel, Carver: A Life in Poems by Marilyn Nelson, Fossil Fish Found Alive: Discovering the Coelacanth by Sally M. Walker
  • How can poetry surprise you?
    • The Crow-Girl by Bodil Bredsdorff, Technically, It’s Not My Fault: Concrete Poems by John Grandits, The Penderwicks by Jeanne Birdsall


In addition, the teacher’s guide states, “Encourage students to choose one or more of these great reads to read independently. There is no proposed schedule to ensure students are reading independently. Other than suggesting the books, there is not protocol or procedure to influence students to independently read. The materials lack a proposed schedule to ensure students are reading independently.

Gateway Three

Usability

Not Rated

Criterion 3a - 3e

null
0/8

Indicator 3a

Materials are well-designed and take into account effective lesson structure and pacing.
0/2

Indicator 3b

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

Indicator 3c

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

Indicator 3d

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

Indicator 3e

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

Criterion 3f - 3j

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

Indicator 3f

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

Indicator 3g

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

Indicator 3h

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

Indicator 3i

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

Indicator 3j

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

Criterion 3k - 3n

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

Indicator 3k

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

Indicator 3l

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

Indicator 3l.i

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

Indicator 3l.ii

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

Indicator 3m

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

Indicator 3n

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

Criterion 3o - 3v

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

Indicator 3o

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

Indicator 3p

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

Indicator 3q

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

Indicator 3r

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

Indicator 3s

0/

Indicator 3s3v

0/

Indicator 3t

0/

Indicator 3u

0/

Indicator 3u.i

0/

Indicator 3u.ii

0/

Indicator 3v

0/

Criterion 3s - 3v

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

Indicator 3s

Digital materials (either included as supplementary to a textbook or as part of a digital curriculum) are web-based, compatible with multiple Internet browsers (e.g., Internet Explorer, Firefox, Google Chrome, etc.), "platform neutral" (i.e., are compatible with multiple operating systems such as Windows and Apple and are not proprietary to any single platform), follow universal programming style, and allow the use of tablets and mobile devices.
0/0

Indicator 3t

Materials support effective use of technology to enhance student learning, drawing attention to evidence and texts as appropriate.
0/0

Indicator 3u

Materials can be easily customized for individual learners.
0/0

Indicator 3u.i

Digital materials include opportunities for teachers to personalize learning for all students, using adaptive or other technological innovations.
0/0

Indicator 3u.ii

Materials can be easily customized for local use.
0/0

Indicator 3v

Materials include or reference technology that provides opportunities for teachers and/or students to collaborate with each other (e.g. websites, discussion groups, webinars, etc.).
0/0

Additional Publication Details

Report Published Date: Thu Aug 31 00:00:00 UTC 2017

Report Edition: 2012

Title ISBN Edition Publisher Year
Holt McDougal Literature Gr 6 Student Edition 978-0-5474-3453-7 Houghton Mifflin Harcourt 2012
Holt McDougal Literature Gr 6 Teacher Edition 978-0-5476-1843-2 Houghton Mifflin Harcourt 2012

About Publishers Responses

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

The publisher has not submitted a response.

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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 3-8 Rubric and Evidence Guides

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

For ELA, our rubrics evaluate materials based on:

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

  • Building Knowledge with Texts, Vocabulary, and Tasks

  • Instructional Supports and Usability

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

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