Alignment to College and Career Ready Standards: Overall Summary

The materials reviewed for Kindergarten do not meet the criteria for alignment. While texts partially meet some expectations, the majority of work done in reading, writing, speaking, and listening do not meet the expectations of the indicators. The materials do not include support for building students' knowledge and academic vocabulary.

See Rating Scale
Understanding Gateways

Alignment

|

Does Not Meet Expectations

Gateway 1:

Text Quality

0
27
52
58
38
52-58
Meets Expectations
28-51
Partially Meets Expectations
0-27
Does Not Meet Expectations

Gateway 2:

Building Knowledge

0
15
28
32
4
28-32
Meets Expectations
16-27
Partially Meets Expectations
0-15
Does Not Meet Expectations

Usability

|

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

+
-
Gateway One Details

Kindergarten instructional materials partially meet the expectations for text quality for complexity, and do not meet the criteria for alignment to the standards. Most tasks and questions are not text based and are not grounded in evidence. The instructional materials include texts that are worthy of students' time and attention and provide many opportunities for rich and rigorous, evidence-based discussions and writing about texts to build strong literacy skills. Materials address foundational skills to build comprehension and provide questions and tasks that guide students to read with purpose and understanding, making connections between acquisition of foundational skills and making meaning during reading. Materials provide opportunities to increase oral and silent reading fluency across the grade level.

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.
15/20
+
-
Criterion Rating Details

Materials partially meet the expectations of criteria for including anchor texts that are of publishable quality, are worthy of especially careful reading and/or listening, and consider a range of student interests. Texts meet the text complexity criteria for each grade. The instructional materials reviewed for Kindergarten partially meet the expectations for materials supporting students’ literacy skills (comprehension) over the course of the school year through increasingly complex text to develop independence of grade level skills (leveled readers and series of texts should be at a variety of complexity levels). Materials are not accompanied by a text complexity analysis. Students engage in some range and volume of reading to achieve grade level reading proficiency.

Indicator 1a

Anchor texts (including read-aloud texts in K-2 and shared reading texts in Grade 2 used to build knowledge and vocabulary) are of publishable quality and worthy of especially careful reading/listening and consider a range of student interests.
4/4
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Kindergarten meet the criteria that anchor texts (including read aloud texts in K-2 and shared reading texts in Grade 2 used to build knowledge and vocabulary) are of publishable quality and worthy of especially careful reading/listening and consider a range of student interests.

Texts are high quality, including rich language and engaging content. Accompanying illustrations are high quality, as well, supporting students' understanding and comprehension of the associated text.

Examples of central texts that are worthy of careful reading include, but are not limited to:

  • In Theme 1, students read From Head to Toe by Eric Carle as a read along text, which is motivating and includes vibrant illustrations.
  • In Theme 2, students read What Will Mommy Do When I’m at School by Dolores Johnson. The text is engaging, worthy of reading, age appropriate, of high interest to students, and includes vibrant illustrations.
  • In Theme 3, Winter Lullaby by Barbara Seuling contains rhyming words, directional words with vibrant and colorful illustrations.
  • In Theme 5, Good Morning, Little Polar Bear by Carol Votaw provides engaging academic vocabulary and rhyming words, along with being engaging to readers.
  • In Theme 8, My Teacher Can Teach...Anyone by Nikola-Lisa is engaging to readers and age appropriate.

Indicator 1b

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Kindergarten meet the criteria for materials reflecting the distribution of text types and genres required by the standards at each grade level.



Anchor and paired texts include a mix of informational and literary texts. Each of the six Themes for the year integrates various genres to support student’s understanding of the Theme. Additional self-selected reading selections are suggested as part of the classroom library to support the Themes. Text types include: fantasy, nonfiction, realistic fiction, travel journal, informational narrative, science fiction, fairy tale, play, historical fiction, folktale, interview, advice column, photo essay, mystery, biography, and news script.

The following are examples of literary texts found within the instructional materials:

  • Theme 1: From Head to Toe by Eric Carle
  • Theme 3: Chugga Chugga Choo Choo by Kevin Lewis
  • Theme 5: How Chipmunk Got His Stripes by Joseph Bruchac and James Bruchac
  • Theme 7: Swing High, Swing Low by Fiona Coward
  • Theme 9: Whose House? by Barbara Seuling

The following are examples of informational text found within the instructional materials:

  • Theme 1: From Head to Toe by Eric Carle
  • Theme 3: What Will the Weather be Like Today? by Paul Rogers
  • Theme 5: Whose House by Barbara Seuling
  • Theme 8: Everybody Works by Shelly Rotner and Ken Kreisler
  • Theme 9: Red-Eyed Tree Frog by Joy Cowley

Indicator 1c

Texts (including read-aloud texts and some shared reading texts used to build knowledge and vocabulary) have the appropriate level of complexity for the grade level according to quantitative analysis, qualitative analysis, and a relationship to their associated student task. Read-aloud texts at K-2 are above the complexity levels of what most students can read independently.
4/4
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Kindergarten meet the criteria for texts (including read-aloud texts and some shared reading texts used to build knowledge and vocabulary) have the appropriate level of complexity for the grade level according to quantitative analysis, qualitative analysis, and a relationship to their associated student task. Read-aloud texts at K-2 are above the complexity levels of what most students can read independently.

The majority of texts are at the appropriate quantitative level. Qualitatively, the texts present complex ideas, vocabulary, and themes that allow students to acquire knowledge and conduct analysis of complex texts and how they relate to each thematic unit. Books identified for small group instruction are noted as below level, on level, advanced, and intended for ELL students. Read-aloud texts at K-2 are above the complexity levels of what most students can read independently.

Texts that are above or below grade level quantitative bands have qualitative features and/or tasks that bring it to the appropriate level for students to access the text. Examples of text that are at appropriate level of complexity according to quantitative analysis, qualitative analysis, and a relationship to their associated student task include:

  • Theme 2: New Shoes for Sylvia by Johanna Hurwitz with a quantitative measure of 640L
  • Theme 3: Jessica by Kevin Henkes with a quantitative measure of AD 490L
  • Theme 5: What Will the Weather be Like Today? by Paul Rogers with a quantitative measure of AD 470L
  • Theme 6: David’s Drawings by Cathryn Falwell with a quantitative measure of AD 460L
  • Theme 8: My Teacher Can Teach…Anyone! by W. Nikola-Lisa with a quantitative measure of AD 280L
  • Theme 10: A Mouse Told His Mother by Bethany Roberts with a quantitative measure of AD 430L

Indicator 1d

Materials support students' literacy skills (comprehension) over the course of the school year through increasingly complex text to develop independence of grade level skills (leveled readers and series of texts should be at a variety of complexity levels).
2/4
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Kindergarten partially meet the expectations for materials supporting students’ literacy skills (comprehension) over the course of the school year through increasingly complex text to develop independence of grade level skills (leveled readers and series of texts should be at a variety of complexity levels).

Each Theme has a separate skills focus. In Volume 1, the text complexity of student texts is appropriate for the beginning of the school year. Students focus on the skills of making predictions and characters. Students hear a Read Aloud Big Book connected to the theme, read and discuss the Library Book selection, and then a Read Aloud Anthology selection. In each selection, the focus skills of the theme are discussed. In Volume 3, the text complexity is appropriate for mid-year Kindergarten. Students focus on the skills of details, drawing conclusions, and setting. Students hear a Read Aloud Big Book connected to the theme, read and discuss the Library Book selection, and then a Read Aloud Anthology selection. In each selection, the focus skills of the theme are discussed. In Volume 5 the text complexity of student texts are appropriate for the end of Kindergarten. Students focus on the review skills of main idea, details, and drawing conclusions. Students hear a Read Aloud Big Book connected to the theme, read and discuss the Library Book selection, and then a Read Aloud Anthology selection. In each selection the focus skills of the theme are discussed. Focus skills are not revisited during the year. Though questions and practice become more complex through each individual theme, there is not a clear progression of the focus skills as they become more complex over the course of the school year.

The materials partially support students' ability to read increasingly complex texts across the school year with appropriate support from the teacher according to the quantitative and qualitative measures. However, two days of guidance and scaffolded support from the teacher is suggested regardless of the complexity of the main selection text. Although scaffolded activities are provided throughout the materials, every text is allocated the same amount of time for reading and analysis. More complex texts may not get more instructional time focused on understanding and analyzing them since there are fixed routines in place every week for close reading and rereading.

Indicator 1e

Anchor texts (including read-aloud texts in K-2) and series of texts connected to them are accompanied by a text complexity analysis.
0/2
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Kindergarten do not 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.

Anchor texts and series of texts connected to them are not accompanied by a text complexity analysis or a rationale for educational purpose and placement in Kindergarten. The publisher identifies anchor texts by genre and leveled readers are suggested by Below-Level, On-Level, and Advanced. Texts are identified as Below-Level, On-Level, and Advanced no specific complexity level or rationale is provided.

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
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Kindergarten 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.

In each lesson, students interact with a getting started story, a read-aloud, a whole-group vocabulary selection, an anchor text, paired text read, big books, decodable books, and a self-selected text read during center work. Leveled readers are provided for small-group, differentiated work.

There are opportunities for students to read a range and volume of texts. The materials provide some experiences with independent reading. Teacher materials lack explicit directions to help students build their skills to read on grade level independently by the end of the year, and weekly lessons have minimal time dedicated to students reading independently.

Reading Adventure Magazine is used for supplemental lessons to extend the Common Core. Additional texts related to the themes are provided as leveled reading selections. These selections are suggested in the Resources section of the Teacher Edition.

Criterion 1g - 1n

Materials provide opportunities for rich and rigorous evidence-based discussions and writing about texts to build strong literacy skills.
6/16
+
-
Criterion Rating Details

The Kindergarten instructional materials do not meet expectations for alignment to the standards with tasks and questions grounded in evidence. Most questions, tasks, and assignments are not text-dependent and do not build towards a culminating task that integrates skills. The instructional materials partially meet the criteria to provide opportunities for discussion that encourage the modeling and use of academic vocabulary and partially supports student listening and speaking about what they are reading and researching. The materials do not provide opportunities for different genres and modes of writing. Materials meet the expectations for materials including explicit instruction of the grammar and conventions standards for the grade level as applied in increasingly sophisticated contexts, with opportunities for application both in and out of context.

Indicator 1g

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Kindergarten meet the criteria that most questions, tasks, and assignments are text-based, requiring students to engage with the text directly (drawing on textual evidence to support both what is explicit as well as valid inferences from the text).

The materials reviewed contain questions and tasks in multiple locations that require students to engage with the text directly and to draw on textual evidence to support answers. Questions asked include those which require both explicit answers and inferences from the text. Materials include questions requiring students to engage with the text in multiple sections including practice books and student editions. Students must engage with the text to answer questions and complete activities. Examples of text dependent/specific questions, tasks and assignments include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • In the Teacher Edition, Theme 2, Lesson 4, Monitor Comprehension, students are asked to answer, “Why is Bear’s family so busy?”
  • In the Teacher Edition, Theme 3, Lesson 9, the teacher reads the story to students and asks them to help complete a chart to summarize the story.
  • In the Teacher Edition, Theme 5, Lesson 13, Monitor Comprehension, students refer to illustrations in the text as they answer the following questions: “Where is the rain? Where is the sun?”
  • In the Teacher Edition, Theme 5, Lesson 13, children preview When a Storm Comes Up. They locate the book’s title and the author’s name. Then, students use the illustrations in the text to answer “What is a storm?” As students listen to the text, they ask “how” and “why” questions.
  • In the Teacher Edition, Theme 5, Lesson 15, Warm-Up Routines, students answer the question “Why does the poet say the bushes look like popcorn balls?” based on information in the text.
  • In the Teacher Edition, Theme 8, Lesson 23, Monitor Comprehension section of the text, the teacher displays page 18. He or she asks, “What does this page tell us about the main idea?”
  • In the Teacher Edition, Theme 10, Lesson 28, Monitor Comprehension, students refer to the text to answer, “What is a cyclist? How does the picture help you know?”

Indicator 1h

Materials contain sets of high-quality sequences of text-based questions with activities that build to a culminating task which integrates skills to demonstrate understanding (as appropriate, may be drawing, dictating, writing, speaking, or a combination).
0/2
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Kindergarten do not meet the criteria for materials containing sets of high-quality sequences of text-based questions with activities that build to a culminating task which integrates skills to demonstrate understanding (as appropriate, may be drawing, dictating, writing, speaking, or a combination).

The themed volumes provide opportunities for the students that prompt thinking, speaking, or writing tasks, but do not always focus on the central ideas. While text based questions and activities are evident, the two do not appear to be cohesive nor do they build toward a culminating task. There is a lack of evidence of high-quality sequences of text-based questions to support the building of a body of knowledge. Although each theme has a labeled culminating task of a wrap up and review along with a reading–writing connection, the general theme of the unit does not consistently present itself in a manner that can build up to a culminating task. The writing connection is frequently disconnected from the theme and focuses on the task.

Text based questions are included, however, these questions are isolated to the story and do not build toward a culminating task. Examples include, but are not limited to:

  • In the Teacher Edition, Theme 4, Reading Writing Connection, students work together to write a news story about an event that happened in the class. This does not relate to the current theme, which is “On the Farm.”
  • In the Teacher Edition, Theme 8, Reading Writing Connection, students talk about working together to write a story. The stages of the writing process are discussed. This does not relate to the current theme, which is “Jobs People Do.”
  • In the Teacher Edition, Theme 4, Lesson 10, Monitor Comprehension, students relate pictures to the text. They answer the following questions: “Who is the kid in the sentence Kid wakes up? How does the picture help you know? For drawing conclusions, students respond to the following: What time of day is it? How can you tell?”
  • In the Teacher Edition, Theme 6, Lesson 17, text based questions are provided throughout the reading of the story. In the After reading component, students summarize the story using a story map. Students list the following story parts: characters, setting, beginning, middle, and end.
  • In the Teacher Edition, Theme 7, Lesson 20, while reading Pet Show!, the teacher uses Monitor Comprehension questions on pages T136-T143. They pause at appropriate points to add information to the Problem/Solution chart.
  • In the Teacher Edition, Theme 8, Lesson 24, Use Story Structure, Comprehension, Practice and Apply, the teacher stops occasionally as they read aloud My Teacher Can Teach . . . Anyone! The teacher encourages students to identify the characters within the story.
  • In the Teacher Edition, Theme 10, Lesson 28, the teacher models a question/answer chart; however, this does not constitute a culminating activity.

Indicator 1i

Materials provide frequent opportunities and protocols for evidence-based discussions (small group, peer-to-peer, whole class) that encourage the modeling and use of academic vocabulary and syntax.
1/2
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Kindergarten 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.

Materials provide opportunities for students to engage in discussions, but not all are rich and rigorous. The opportunities provide limited protocols to support vocabulary and syntax throughout each unit or within lessons. Materials include practices to build robust vocabulary and application of content words, but not academic vocabulary and syntax. Themes provide limited information on how teachers can provide support and scaffolds with collaborative conversations. Most discussions are whole-group with limited opportunities for small group or peer-to-peer discussion. Although speaking and listening tasks are included in various spots throughout the year, there is limited instruction to support students’ mastery of listening and speaking skills. The opportunities do not adequately address the mastery of grade-level speaking and listening standards. Examples include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • In Kindergarten, Teacher Edition, Lesson 25, students are asked, “What might happen if the frog eats the caterpillar? Why?” This requires the students to use the word “poisonous.”
  • In Volume 2, Lesson 7, During Reading, the teacher stops periodically to discuss the events that occur in the beginning, middle, and end of the story.
  • In Volume 2, Lesson 8, the Independent Writing Task requires the class to discuss the text during brainstorming prior to writing. The teacher reminds students that Sparky and Eddie are best friends who like to do things together, and they recall some things they like to do.
  • In Volume 4, Lesson 21, Practice/ Apply Comprehension, the teacher discusses the text with the students during and after reading. To compare characters, the students are questioned on traits and activities within the text. Teachers are provided instructions regarding Think Aloud’s within the story.
  • In Theme 2, Lesson 4, Practice/ Apply Comprehension, students complete the following tasks:
    • Tell how friends keep them from being lonely.
    • Tell about a song that reminds them of someone.
    • Tell about a time when they were preoccupied with something.
  • In Theme 4, Lesson 10, the class reviews and uses vocabulary in different contexts. The teacher reminds students of the Student-Friendly Explanations of “tend,” “soggy,” and “wobble.” They discuss each word, using the following examples:
    • Tend - What might you do to tend a garden?
    • Soggy - Which word is the opposite of soggy, crunchy or soft? Tell why.
    • Wobble - Would an egg wobble if it rolled across the floor? Tell why.
  • In Theme 6, Lesson 16, the class reviews and uses vocabulary in different contexts. The teacher reminds the students of Student-Friendly Explanations of “drooped,” “joyous,” and “thrill.” They discuss each word, using the following examples:
    • Drooped - Would a flag droop on a windy day? Why or why not?
    • Joyous - Which word is the opposite of joyous---happy or sad? Tell why.
    • Thrill - What could you do on a playground that would give you a thrill? Tell about it.

Indicator 1j

Materials support students' listening and speaking about what they are reading (or read aloud) and researching (shared projects) with relevant follow-up questions and supports.
0/2
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Kindergarten do not meet the criteria for materials supporting students’ listening and speaking about what they are reading (or read aloud) and researching (shared projects) with relevant follow-up questions and supports.

Grade-appropriate speaking and listening opportunities are provided over the course of the year. Students have opportunities to ask classmates and their teacher questions and answer questions about ideas presented. Anchor text for each lesson are read by students with the teacher asking whole-group discussion questions throughout the reading to monitor comprehension. Teachers are provided some direction or protocols for these discussions. Each Theme has a Reader’s Theatre that provides some opportunity for students to read and share. Students are asked with each In Theme project to share what they like about the project. However, this evidence is limited in relating follow-up questions with weekly text. Although speaking and listening tasks are included in various spots throughout the year, there is limited instruction to support students’ mastering of listening and speaking skills. Many discussions do not require students to return to the text or provide evidence for their thinking.

Opportunities are provided for students to speak about the text, but limited or no opportunities are provided for follow-up discussions or questions. The following examples provide opportunities to answer questions orally and to listen, but do not provide follow-up questioning opportunities:

  • In Theme 1, Lesson 1, students retell the story and respond to questions regarding the text. They draw a picture of their favorite part of the story and explain why it is their favorite.
  • In Theme 3, Lesson 9, students summarize a story in their own words. Students are encouraged to speak in complete and coherent sentences. They draw a picture of their favorite part of the story.
  • In Theme 6, Theme Wrap-Up and Review, students explain what they liked best about putting on a puppet show. There is no requirement to reference a text in the discussion. Students name ways in which they feel that the puppet show went well along with what they could have done better. They share ideas about future shows. While students respond to relevant follow-up questions, this evidence is limited in relating follow-up questions with weekly text.
  • In Volume 1, Lesson 4, students make inferences and draw conclusions regarding the text. Students are asked the following questions: “How can you tell that the drums are loud? Why is Bear’s family so busy?”
  • In Volume 4, Lesson 22, the teacher explains that the book is about different kinds of jobs and asks students about the illustrations to build background. The vocabulary is taught and modeled while developing follow up questions that require the students to speak about the text. Students are asked the following question: “In the book, police officers might protect you from a traffic accident or from a sunburn?”

Throughout additional opportunities to speak and listen, referencing of text is often not required. The discussion could occur without the students experiencing the text. Examples include, but are not limited to:

  • In Volume 5, Theme 10, Build Robust Vocabulary, Practice/Apply, the teacher is directed to ask students to: “Describe an adventure they would like to have, Pantomime exploring the classroom, and Name an animal that could be tamed.”
  • In Volume 1, Theme 2, Lesson 4, Practice/Apply: Respond, students draw and write about ways their mother or other family members take care of them and sing with them. Students can share with the group.
  • In Volume 5, Theme 9, Warm-Up Routines, the teacher is directed to tell students that “animals live in many different places. Remind students that the duck from the song, ‘The Little White Duck’ lives near a pond. Ask: In what other places do animals live? Elicit from students other animal homes., such as a farm or the ocean. Ask them to name animals that live in each place. Create a chart on the board that lists their responses. The review the chart with students.”

Indicator 1k

Materials include a mix of on-demand and process writing (e.g. multiple drafts, revisions over time) and short, focused projects, incorporating digital resources where appropriate.
1/2
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Kindergarten partially 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.

Each Theme includes a Reading-Writing Connection that spans the five week Theme incorporating the stages of the writing process, prewrite, draft, revise, proofread, and publish. The theme writing assignment appears at the beginning of each Theme with no guidance or pacing suggestions. Theme writings are not included in suggested pacing documents.

Each week students participate in writing lessons. On Day 1 students participate in a modeled writing, on Days 2 and 3 students work on shared writings. Then on Days 4 and 5 students work on independent writings. Each of these writing prompts are connected by writing form and trait that students are studying. These writing lessons do not connect to theme texts.

At the end of each anchor text students answer the final question in an on-demand writing prompt. This question is often a self reflection question and rarely asks students to pull evidence from the text.

  • In Volume 3, Lesson 17, Day One, Teacher's Edition students tell the teacher directions, and the teacher writes them on chart.
  • In Volume 3, Lesson 17, Day Two, Teacher's Edition students take turns writing directions by writing letters of words that they know.
  • In Volume 3, Lesson 17, Day Three. Teacher's Edition students write directions by taking turns writing letters of the words they know, teacher reads the directions that students wrote, tracking print, students are invited to read next. Teacher coaches students on making eye contact, using gestures smiling,
  • In Volume 3, Lesson 17, Day 4. Teacher's Edition students write title for directions,
  • In Volume 3, Lesson 17, Day 5, Teacher's Edition students write their own directions on how to make or do something. Students are instructed to listen to and follow and respond to directions.
  • In the Teacher Support Book, Theme 9, Practice/Apply states, “Show children how to use the Shift key to make a capital letter, and help them find the keys for end marks. Use Instructional Routine; Use Technology to Write on p. R4.”
  • In Theme 1, Theme Project, Prepare, asks the teacher to state, “Give children time during the theme to draw different things they want to tell others about themselves. Children can write or dictate labels for illustrations.”
  • The Teacher Support Book, Resources, directs teachers to “Use this routine to guide children in using a variety of digital tools to produce and publish their writing, as well as to collaborate and interact with others.”
  • In Volume 2, Theme 2, Lesson 8, students will talk about sentences and dictate sentences about their school with the assistance of teacher modeling during whole group activities
  • In Theme 9, Lesson 26, the teacher and students write together. Students and teacher write a friendly letter to a character in the story.

Indicator 1l

Materials provide opportunities for students to address different text types of writing that reflect the distribution required by the standards.
0/2
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Kindergarten do not meet the criteria for materials providing opportunities for students to address different text types of writing (year long) that reflect the distribution required by the standards.

Opportunities for students to engage in different genre, text type are available, though limited. Students are guided through them by the teacher, but the depth and distribution that are required by the standards are not evident.Throughout the grade and unit, students are only exposed to personal narrative writing. There is little evidence of students engaging in expository, or opinion writing. Texts and materials do not provide opportunities for students to address different text types of writing throughout the academic year. Protocols for teacher support of writing are limited. Writing does not rise to the level required by the standards.

Materials lack instructional writing support for students and teachers. Examples include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • In Theme 4, Lesson 16, Day 3, students draft their character sketch. The directions state, “If students are having trouble, help them brainstorm a list of descriptive words or phrases that tell how their characters look, sound, and act.” The directions do not provide specific scaffolding instructions for students to monitor their work and then make necessary changes rather it has the teacher “helping.”
  • In Theme 2, Lesson 6, Page T390, students engage in writing regarding form-news and trait-ideas. In Day 2, Page T394, students focus on the writing trait of ideas. They write a journal entry recalling something that they have done in school.
  • In Theme 10, Lesson 30, Page T431, students create a personal narrative about their class pet with the teacher. Students write the letters or words that they know. The class revises the narrative by adding details.
  • In Volume 2, Theme 1 and 2, Teacher Edition, Reading Writing Connection, Page T449, students use a literature model to generate ideas and publish their writing.
  • In Volume 4, Theme 8, Teacher Edition, Lesson 24, Page T457, students write a story independently, making connections to the real world and utilizing spelling words.
  • In the Teacher Support Book, Theme 9, Writing, Practice/Apply, p. T47, teachers are directed to inform students that “They may copy a sentence that the group wrote together.” This is the last Theme located in Extending the Common Core State Standards.

Indicator 1m

Materials include regular opportunities for evidence-based writing to support recall of information, opinions with reasons, and relevant information appropriate for the grade level.
0/2
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Kindergarten do not meet the criteria for materials including regular opportunities for evidence-based writing to support recall of information, opinions with reasons, and relevant information appropriate for the grade level.

Each Theme includes a Reading-Writing Connection that spans the five week Theme incorporating the stages of the writing process, prewrite, draft, revise, proofread, and publish. These theme writings are not evidence-based, are not included in unit planning and pacing, and do no require students return to a text. These writing prompts do not support the recall of information, opinions with reasons or relevant information.

Each week students participate in writing lessons. On Day 1 students participate in a modeled writing, on Days 2 and 3 students work on shared writings. Then on Days 4 and 5 students work on independent writings. Each of these writing prompts are connected by writing form and trait that students are studying. These writing lessons do not connect to theme texts and are not evidence-based writings.

During Small Group Literacy Centers students are prompted to write during Literacy Writing Center. These writing prompts are not connected to texts, nor do they require evidence.

At the end of each anchor text students answer one on-demand writing prompt that asks students to use details from the text to support their answer. Extending the Common Core State Standards Reading Adventure Magazines provide some text-dependent writing prompts. However, this does not support providing regular opportunities for evidence-based writing.

Examples of writing tasks showing a lack of consistent evidence-based writing include:

  • In Theme 3, Lesson 8, Page T99, students write a sentence in the literacy center utilizing sentence starters, such as “I like to READ/ WRITE/ DRAW.”
  • In Theme 7, Lesson 21, Literacy Center Writing, Page T181, students write a list of items in a grocery store utilizing the literacy center kit card 103, requiring no reference to text.
  • In Theme 8, Lesson 24, Page T457: The writing prompt is to have students write and draw about anything they would like for self-selected writing. Students may discuss a top with a friend on what they are going to write about. Students will share out their story and drawing with a companion.
  • In Theme 9, Lesson 26, Page T167, students respond to a writing prompt and include in self-selected writing. They write and draw about anything they would like. If students have difficulty thinking of a topic, have them ask two friends what they’re going to write about.

Indicator 1n

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

The instructional materials reviewed for StoryTown Kindergarten meet the criteria for materials including explicit instruction of the grammar and conventions standards for grade level as applied in increasingly sophisticated contexts.

The Teacher Edition materials include a 5-day phonics, grammar, and writing sequence for each lesson within each theme. Lessons provide instruction in grammar and conventions with modeling, guided practice, and opportunities for independent practice. At the end of each lesson, there is a writing component in which students are asked to complete a “Share the Pen” activity to practice their understanding of the conventions. The students are frequently encouraged throughout the year to capitalize, punctuate, and use letters and sounds that they know when they are writing. While students have opportunities to learn about capitalization, materials do not address the full intent of the standard which should include capitalizing the pronoun I. Nouns and verbs are used in the five-day writing sequence throughout each of the themes. However, opportunities are missed for teachers to explicitly use the terms nouns and verbs when instructing students. While language standards are addressed in the teacher materials, there are limited opportunities for students to apply grammar and convention skills out of context. The reviewing of language standards relies heavily on prompting and reminding students of previous learning.

Materials include instruction of most grammar and conventions standards for the grade level. For example:

  • Students have frequent opportunities to print many upper and lowercase letter. All formation of uppercase and lowercase letters is taught explicitly through handwriting lessons within phonics lessons. Each letter has specific letter formation language that is used and modeled for the students. Students are then able to practice forming the letters through guided practice and independent practice. Examples include:
    • In Theme 1, Lesson 1, Day 1, the teacher models the procedures for forming uppercase M and lowercase m. Students participate in guided practice by finger-writing the letters in the air as they repeat the ‘Letter Talk’ language for both the lowercase and uppercase M. Students participate in independent practice of the letter formation by printing M and m across the page.
    • In Theme 2, Lesson 4, Day 1, the teacher models the procedures for forming uppercase N and lowercase n. Students participate in guided practice by finger-writing the letters in the air as they repeat the ‘Letter Talk’ language for both the lowercase and uppercase N. Then students use Write-on/Wipe-off Boards to write the letter several times. Students participate in independent practice of the letter formation by printing N and n across the page.
  • Students have opportunities to use frequently occurring nouns and verbs. However, nouns are referred to as naming parts and verbs are referred to as action words rather than by nouns and verbs. For example:
    • In Theme 1, Lesson 2, Day 5, the students use labels to name an object. Students draw a picture and then write a label that tells something about their picture. The label is not identified as a noun.
    • In Theme 4, Lesson 12, Day 1, during the modeled writing lesson the teacher tells the students that “it is important to use words that tell about ideas, feelings, or actions”; however, the action is never identified as a verb.
  • Students may have opportunity to learn how to form regular plural nouns orally by adding /s/ or /es/. For example:
    • In Extending the Common Core State Standards Teacher Support Book, page T11, students form regular plural nouns orally by adding /s/ and /es/. Students practice saying words that name one and words that name more than one. The teacher points to a picture of one bee and asks: "What is the name for this one thing?" The teacher points to the picture of more than one bee and asks: "What is the word for more than one bee?" Students also name the pictures on Copying Master CC1 using words that name one and more than one.
  • Students have opportunities to understand and use question words. Students generate interview questions to demonstrate the use and understanding of question words in TE 3. For example:
    • In Theme 5, Lesson 13, Day 4, Shared Writing, students generate questions that begin with who, where, when, why, and how. “Tell children that many questions begin with words like who, what, why, where, when, and how.” During Share the Pen, the students help write a few questions on the chart.
    • In Theme 5, Lesson 14, page T161, students brainstorm interview questions they will ask Smokey the Bear.
  • Students have opportunities to practice using frequently occurring prepositions. For example:
    • In Extending the Common Core State Standards Teacher Support Book, page T37, students use the frequently occurring prepositions in, out and to. Students write a sentence that includes in, out, or to. Students trade papers with a partner. The students read their partner's sentence and circle in, out, or to.
  • Students have opportunities to produce and expand complete sentences. For example:
    • In Theme 2, Lesson 5, Day 2, Shared Writing, students learn to write sentences. First the teacher show the anchor text, Bee-bim Bop!. The teacher talks about the illustration. Students help the teacher create a sentence about the illustration.
    • In Theme 3, Lesson 7, page T65, students brainstorm sentences that complete the sentence frame: “I am happy when __________.”
  • Students have opportunities to capitalize the first word in a sentence and use ending punctuation. For example:
    • In Theme 2, Lesson 5, Day 1 Modeled Writing, students learn to capitalize the beginning of sentence as they are learning how to compose a sentence, which is a group of words that asks or tells something. “Tell children that when they write a sentence, they should always start the first word with an uppercase letter.
    • In Theme 3, Lesson 8, page T159, students write sentences that tell about something they like to do when they go outside for recess. The teacher reminds them that the first word in a sentence begins with an uppercase letter and that sentences usually end with a period.
  • Students have opportunities to recognize and name punctuation. For example:
    • In Theme 3, Lesson 9, Day 2, Shared Writing, students learn about putting a mark at the end of a sentence. “Remind children that they should always end their sentences with the correct punctuation mark.”
  • Students have opportunities to write letter(s) for most consonant and short-vowel sounds. For example:
    • In Theme 3, Lesson 8, Day 3, Word Blending, students learn which letters relate to which sounds. During Guided Practice, students watch the point to letters and say the phoneme. Students repeat the sound.
    • In Theme 3, Lesson 9, page T199, students ‘Share the Pen’ to write words and letters they know when creating a caption for a picture.
  • Students have opportunities to spell simple words phonetically, drawing on knowledge of letter-sound relationships. For example:
    • In Theme 7, Lesson 19, Day 3, Word Building, students read simple one-syllable words. During Guided Practice, students watch the letters change in the Word Builder and then students say the CVC word.

Over the course of the year’s worth of materials, grammar/convention instruction is provided in increasingly sophisticated contexts. For example:

  • The production and expansion of complete sentences takes place in the five day writing sequence when students brainstorm ideas for writing. Students begin by brainstorming words, phrases, and then complete sentences as the year progresses.
    • In preparing for writing, students brainstorm ideas orally. In Teacher Edition, Volume 1, the students are brainstorming proper names and labels. In Teacher Edition, Volume 2, the students are brainstorming a caption sentence. In Teacher Edition, Volume 3, the students are brainstorming interview questions. In Teacher Edition, Volume 4, the students are brainstorming sentences that tell story events.

Criterion 1o - 1t

Materials in reading, writing, speaking, listening, and language targeted to support foundational reading development are aligned to the standards.
17/22
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Criterion Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Kindergarten partially meet the expectation that materials, questions, and tasks directly teach foundational skills to build reading acquisition by providing systematic and explicit instruction in the alphabetic principle, letter-sound relationships, phonemic awareness, and phonological awareness (K-1), and phonics (K-2) that demonstrate a transparent and research-based progression with opportunities for application both in and out of context. Materials partially meet expectations that materials, questions, and tasks provide explicit instruction for and multimodal practice to address the acquisition of print concepts including alphabetic knowledge, directionality, and function (K-1), structures and features of text (1-2). Materials meet expectations that instructional opportunities are frequently built into the materials for students to practice and gain decoding automaticity and sight-based recognition of high frequency words. Materials, questions, and tasks provide systematic and explicit instruction in and practice of word recognition and analysis skills in a research-based progression in connected text and tasks. Materials meet the expectations that materials support ongoing and frequent assessment to determine student mastery and inform meaningful differentiation of foundational skills, including a clear and specific protocol as to how students performing below standard on these assessments will be supported. Materials meet the expectation that materials, questions, and tasks providing high-quality learning lessons and activities for every student to reach mastery of foundational skills.

Indicator 1o

Materials, questions, and tasks directly teach foundational skills to build reading acquisition by providing systematic and explicit instruction in the alphabetic principle, letter-sound relations, phonemic awareness, phonological awareness (K-1), and phonics (K-2) that demonstrate a transparent and research-based progression with opportunities for application both in and out of context.
2/4
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for StoryTown Kindergarten partially meet the criteria for materials, questions, and tasks directly teach foundational skills to build reading acquisition by providing systematic and explicit instruction in the alphabetic principle, letter-sound relationships, phonemic awareness, and phonological awareness (K-1), and phonics (K-2) that demonstrate a transparent and research-based progression for application both in and out of context.

Over the course of a year, students receive phonemic awareness, phonological awareness, and phonics instruction in each theme. Lessons within each theme include a five-day focus with systematic and explicit instruction. Students are engaged in a variety of activities that allow them to interact the instruction of phonemic awareness and phonics. Multimodal examples of instruction include segmenting and blending activities using manipulatives and cards to sound out letters and sounds. Additional activities allow students to make new words by substituting and deleting letters. While most phonemic awareness and phonics standards are addressed in the instructional materials, the materials do not include the opportunity for students to learn long vowel sounds with common spellings.

Students have frequent and adequate opportunities to learn and understand phonemes (e.g. produce rhyming words, segment syllables, blend onsets and rimes, pronounce vowels in CVC words, and substitute sounds to make new words). For example:

  • In Theme 1, Lesson 3, Day 3, students learn syllable segmentation and deletion. The teacher reviews how to break a word into syllables and provides an example: “Building. Say the word with me. Now let’s say the parts of the word, build-ing.” In Practice/Apply, students repeat words after the teacher and break each word its word parts. Then students say the word without one of parts such as sunny (sun-ny) and sun.
  • In Theme 2, Lesson 5, Day 1, Word Work, students learn to recognize rhyming words. “I am going to say two words: friend, bend. I hear the same sounds at the end of each word-/end/. That’s how I know that the word rhyme.” During Practice/Apply, students listen to the teacher say two words, and students raise their hands if the two words rhyme. Examples of pairs of words are: dig/pig, try/pie, get/bet, sound/club.
  • In Theme 3, Lesson 7, Day 4, Spiral Review, students are reminded that words are made of word parts. “Here are the parts of a word: pa-per. The word has two word parts. Now I am going to blend the word parts together to say the word: paper.” The students count syllables and blend the syllables together.
  • In Theme 3, Lesson 8, Day 4, Word Work, students learn to blend onset and rime. The teacher informs students that they will play a game. The teacher will say two parts and students will blend the parts together. “I am thinking of a word. It begins with /d/. It ends with /ot/. What is the word?” During Practice/Apply, students play the game with various onset and rimes: /j/-/am, /r/-ug, and /t/-ed.
  • In Theme 4, Lesson 10, Day 1, Word Work, students name the sound they hear at the beginning of words. In Theme 4, Lesson 11, Day 1, Word Work, students name the sound they hear at the end of words. In Theme 4, Lesson 12, Day 1, Word Work, students name the sound they hear in the middle of words.
  • In Theme 6, Lesson 16, Day 4, Word Word, students identify the final phoneme in words. The teacher states three words such as leg, hop, dig. Students tell which sound is the same and name the sound.
  • In Theme 7, Lesson 21, Day 5, Word Work, students learn to blending phonemes through a teacher-led rhyme. The teacher states, “Say these sounds 1, 2, 3, Then blend the sounds you hear for me: /n/ /e/ /t/. What is the word?” Students use this rhyme to blend bud, tin, sad, cot, red, nut, him, mop, cat.
  • In Theme 9, Lesson 27, Day 1, Word Work, students learn to substitute initial sounds in words. In Teach/Model, the teacher says, “Fan. I can change the /f/ in fan to /t/. The new word is tan.” In Practice/Apply, students orally change initial sounds in nine different words such as “Say run. Now change the /r/ to /s/.”

Lessons and activities provide students adequate opportunities to learn grade-level phonics skills while decoding words (e.g. one-to-one correspondences, and distinguish between similarly spelled words by identifying sounds of the letters). However, materials do not include instruction in long vowel sounds with the common spelling. For example:

  • In Theme 1, Lesson 1, Day 2, Word Work, students learn Mm and how it relates to /m/. The teacher starts with a phonemic awareness activity that includes stating milk and map. Students repeat the words. Students are directed to say /m/ several times. In Teach/Model, the teacher displays the Spelling/Sound Card Mm and states, “What is the name of of this letter? The letter m can stand for the /m/ sound, the sound at the beginning of mat. Say /m/.” The teacher plays the /m/ from the Sounds of Letters CD. Students repeat a rhyme that contains /m/ words.
  • In Theme 2, Lesson 4, Day 4, Word Work, students learn Pp and how it relates to /p/. The teacher starts with a phonemic awareness activity that includes stating picture and park. Students repeat the words. Students are directed to say /p/ several times. In Teach/Model, the teacher displays the Spelling/Sound Card Pp and states, “What is the name of this letter? The letter p stands for /p/, the sound at the beginning of pear. Say /p/.” The teacher plays /p/ from the Sounds of Letters CD. Students repeat a rhyme that contains Pp words.
  • In Theme 2, Lesson 6, Day 2, Word Work, students learn a and /a/. In Teach/Model, students learn that the letter Aa says the short /a/. In Theme 4, Lesson 10, Day 2, Word Work, students learn that the letter Ii says the short /i/. In Theme 5, Lesson 15, Day 2, Word Work, students learn that the letter Oo says the short /o/. In Theme 7, Lesson 20, Day 2, Word Word, students learn that the letter Ee says the short /e/. In Theme 9, Lesson 25, Day 2, Word Work, students learn that the letter Uu says the short /u/.
    • Example of a lesson: In Theme 9, Lesson 25, Day 2, Word Work, students learn Uu and how it relates to /u/. The teacher starts with a phonemic awareness activity that includes stating up and under. Students repeat the words. Students are directed to say /u/ several times. In Teach/Model, the teacher displays the Spelling/Sound Card Uu and states, “What is the name of of this letter? The letter u can stand for the /u/ sound, the sound at the beginning of umbrella. Say /u/.” Students learn to discriminate the sound and learn that /u/ can be in the middle of words.
  • In Theme 4, Lesson 10, Day 2, Word Work, students learn Ii and how it relates to short /i/. The teacher starts with a phonemic activity that includes stating itch and in. Students repeat the words. Students are directed to say /i/ several times. In Teach/Model, the teacher displays the Spelling/Sound Card Ii and states, “ What is the name of this letter? The letter i can sometimes stand for the /i/ sound, the sound at the beginning of igloo. Say /i/.” The teacher states words and if a word begins with /i/, students are to hold up their letter card i to show that the word begins with /i/.
  • In Theme 6, Lesson 16, Day 2, Word Work, students learn Ll and how it relates to /l/. The teacher starts with a phonemic awareness activity that includes stating lock and lunch. Students repeat the words. Students are directed to say /l/ several times. In Teach/Model, the teacher displays the Spelling/Sound Card Ll and states, “What is the name of of this letter? The letter l can stand for the /l/ sound, the sound at the beginning of lemon. Say /l/.” The teacher says words and if a word begins with /l/, students are to hold up their letter card l to show that the word begins with /l/.
  • In Theme 7, Lesson 19, Day 2, Word Work, students learn to understand that as letters in words change, the sounds of the letters change. In Review, the teacher models word building and states, “I made the word mop with m, o, and p. Now if I take away the m and put h in its place, I have made the word hop. Blend the sounds with me, /h/ /o/ /p/, hop.” In Practice/Apply, students practice changing out letters in their Word Builder starting with hop.

Materials have a cohesive sequence of phonemic awareness instruction to build toward application. For example:

  • In Theme 1, in Lessons 1-3, the phonemic awareness focus includes: segmenting words into a sentence, syllable blending, syllable segmentation and deletion.
  • In Theme 2, in Lessons 4-6, the phonemic awareness focus includes: word segmentation, syllable blending, syllable segmentation, rhyming words, alliteration.
  • In Theme 3, in Lessons 7-9, the phonemic awareness focus includes: review rhyme recognition and production, onset/rime blending, and a review of onset/rime blending.
  • In Theme 4, in Lessons 10-12, the phonemic awareness focus includes: phoneme isolation of initial sound, final sound and medial sound.
  • In Theme 5, in Lessons 13-15, the phonemic awareness focus includes: a review of phoneme isolation for initial, medial, and final, phoneme identity for initial and phoneme categorization for initial.
  • In Theme 6, in Lessons 16-18, the phonemic awareness focus includes: phoneme identity for final, phoneme categorization for final, phoneme identity for medial.
  • In Theme 7, in Lessons 19-21, the phonemic awareness focus includes: phoneme categorization for medial, review of phoneme isolation and identity, phoneme blending.
  • In Theme 8, in Lessons 22-24, the phonemic awareness focus includes: phoneme blending, phoneme segmentation.
  • In Theme 9, in Lessons 25-27, the phonemic awareness focus includes: a review of phoneme isolation and identity, phoneme deletion and phoneme substitution.

Materials have a cohesive sequence of phonics instruction to build toward application. As students learn phonemes and graphemes, students have opportunities to apply their learning in decodables and independent tasks. For example:

  • In Theme 1, in Lessons 1-3, students relate letters to sound for Mm, Ss, Rr, Tt.
  • In Theme 2, in Lessons 4-6, students relate letters to sound for Nn, Pp, Cc, and Aa.
  • In Theme 3, in Lessons 7-9, students relate Dd to /d/, and participate in word building with -am, -at, -an and -ap.
  • In Theme 4, in Lessons 10-12, students relate letters to sound for Ii, Gg, Ff, and participate in word building with -it, -ip.
  • In Theme 5, in Lessons 13-15, students relate letters to sound for Bb, Kk, Oo and participate in word blending and word building with -in and -ig.
  • In Theme 6, in Lessons 16-18, students relate letters to sound for Ll, Hh, Ww, Xx and participate in word blending and word building for -ot and -op.
  • In Theme 7, in Lessons 19-21, students relate Ee to /e/ and participate in word building with -ox, -ix, -ed, and -en.
  • In Theme 8, in Lessons 22-24, students relate letters to sound for Vv, Jj, Yy and Zz and participate in word building for -et and -eg.
  • In Theme 9, in Lessons 25-27, students relate letters to sound for Uu, Qq and participate in word building with -un and -ut.
  • In Theme 10, in Lesson 28, students participate in -ug and -up.

Indicator 1p

Materials, questions, and tasks provide explicit instruction for and regular practice to address the acqusition of print concepts, including alphabetic knowledge, directionality, and function (K-1), structures and features of text (1-2).
1/2
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for StoryTown Kindergarten partially meet the criteria for materials, questions, and tasks provide explicit instruction for and regular practice to address the acquisition of print concepts, including alphabetic knowledge and directionality (K-1), structures and features of text (1-2).

In each theme of the instructional materials, students participate in identifying alphabetic letters and practice writing these letters. Concepts About Print include recognizing letters versus words, the title of a book, front cover, back cover, author and illustrator. Directionality is covered through modeled tracking of print by the teacher. While the teacher models how to follow words from left to right, top to bottom, and page by page, students do not get to practice attempting to track print. Additionally, opportunities are missed for instructional materials to include precise wording such as directionality. The recognition of spoken words as represented in written language in a specific sequence of letters is not taught explicitly and thoroughly.

Materials include lessons and activities for students to learn how to identify and produce letters. For example:

  • In Theme 1, Lesson 1, Day 1, Handwriting, the teacher shows students how to make M and m. The teacher uses ‘Letter Talk’ while tracing the uppercase M. The teacher does the same with the lowercase m. Students learn to make D’Nealian handwriting. Students finger-write the letter, write the letter on Write-on/Wipe-off Boards and write the letters on drawing paper.
  • In Theme 5, Lesson 13, Day 3, Handwriting, the teacher shows an uppercase and lowercase k on the board. The teacher asks: “What is the name of this letter?” The teacher uses ‘Letter Talk’ while writing Kk. Students finger-write the uppercase K in the air as the teacher repeats the Letter Talk. The process is repeated for lowercase k. Students then print Kk. The teacher has them identify the uppercase K and the lowercase k on the page.

Materials include tasks and questions about the organization of print concepts (e.g. follow words left to right, spoken words correlate sequences of letters, letter spacing, upper- and lowercase letters). However, materials do not provide opportunities for all students to practice tracking print. For example:

  • In Theme 1, Lesson 1, Day 1, Skills and Comprehension, students hear and see the teacher model fluent reading of From Head to Toe while the teacher tracks the print from left to right and top to bottom.
  • In Theme 1, Lesson 2, Day 2, Read and Respond, the teacher is to show students that written words are separated by spaces. Students are to point out the spaces between words in the Big Book.
  • In Theme 2, Lesson 5, Day 1, there is a focus on Print Awareness with the text, Bee-bim Bop!. The teachers reads the refrain “Hungry hungry hungry for some BEE-BIM BOP!” and the students repeat the refrain. The teacher tracks the print on the page as the class reads the same words aloud.
  • In Theme 5, Lesson 13, Day 1, the teacher reads aloud the questions from the Modeled Writing task. The teacher does the tracking of the print. The children identify uppercase and lowercase letters.
  • In Theme 10, Lesson 28, Day 3, the lesson contains Focus on Print Awareness. The teacher is to remind students that spaces between words helps know where a word ends and where another word begins. The teacher displays The Kite Festival and has volunteers point to a word and a space between words.

Indicator 1q

Instructional opportunities are frequently built into the materials for students to practice and gain decoding automaticity and sight-based recognition of high frequency words. This includes reading fluency in oral reading beginning in mid-Grade 1 and through Grade 2.
4/4
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for StoryTown Kindergarten meet the criteria for instructional opportunities are frequently built into the materials for students to practice and gain decoding automaticity and sight-based recognition of high-frequency words. This includes reading fluency in oral reading beginning in mid Grade 1 and through Grade 2.

Instructional materials contain sufficient opportunities for students to learn to read decodable words and irregularly spelled words as well as apply the phonics skill students have been taught within context. Every lesson in every theme has opportunities for students to learn high-frequency words over the course of five days. There is explicit instruction in learning new high-frequency words every week. Each week has either a Pre-decodable book or Decodable book that includes the high-frequency word(s) that the students are being taught in that lesson during the 5-day sequence and includes words with sounds that the students have learned in the 5-day phonics sequence. Each of the Pre-decodable and Decodable books provides a purpose for reading the book.

Multiple opportunities are provided over the course of the year in core materials for students to purposefully read emergent-reader texts. For example:

  • In Theme 1, Lesson 3, Day 5, students read My Room with the intention of predicting what will happen in the text. Students look at the illustrations and state what they think the text will be about. Students read to find out if their prediction is correct.
  • In Theme 5, Lesson 13, Day 5, students read Birthday Map. The teacher informs students that the text is about a boy’s birthday surprises. Students are tasked with reading the text to find out what the surprises are.
  • In Theme 9, Lesson 25, Day 4, students read Yum, Yum, Yum. The teacher informs students that the text is about two squirrels who want one nut. “Invite children to establish their own purpose for reading.”

Materials support students’ development of automaticity and accuracy of grade-level decodable words over the course of the year. For example:

  • In Theme 2, Lesson 5, Day 5, the teacher reviews /k/, /n/, and /p/ sounds. The students identify the letter that represents the sound at the beginning of the following words: cart, pan, nose.
  • In Theme 3, Lesson 8, Day 4, students blend words using Word Builders and letter cards (a, d, m, n, p, s). Student place the same letter cards in their Word Builder as the teacher. Students learn to blend mad as the teacher elongates the sounds /mmaad/.
  • In Theme 5, Lesson 14, Day 2, the students practice changing out vowels in a Word Builder. The teacher states: “Change i to a. What word did you make?” (sip to sap) Change p to d. What word did you make?” (sap to sad).
  • In Theme 9, Lesson 26, Day 5, students read words with -ut. Students identify rhyming words with -ut. Then students read words with -ut. During Guided Practice, students read and select words that end in -ut.

Students have opportunities to read and practice high-frequency words. For example:

  • In Theme 1, Lesson 3, Day 3, students learn the word me. The teacher shows the High-Frequency Word Card and Photo Card book to build a phrase (my book). During Guided Practice, the teacher replaces the Photo Card book with Photo Card guitar. Students read the phrase with the teacher.
  • In Theme 2, Lesson 5, Day 1, the teacher writes go on the board. The teacher points and reads the word. Students say the word. The teacher shows students the High-Frequency Word Card for go and shows how it matches the word on the board. EAch student gets a word card for go. Students point to the word and read go. The teacher shows other High-Frequency Word Cards (I, the, my) with the go High-Frequency Card and has students identify each word.
  • In Theme 5, Lesson 13, Day 2, students review for. During Guided Practice, when students see the word for, students are to read the word aloud, stand up, and shout “Hooray for us!”
  • In Theme 7, Lesson 19, Day 3, the teacher writes the word down on the board. The teacher reads the word, and students say the word. The teacher uses the word in contexts and then spells down. The teacher shows the High-Frequency Word Card for down and shows how the card matches the word on the board. For Independent Practice, students work with a partner to select a word card (down, like, his, this) and spell the word and read the word.
  • In Theme 9, Lesson 26, Day 1, students learn give. During Teach/Model, the teacher points to and reads give. Students say the word with the teacher. The teacher uses the word in a sentence. Students spell give. During Guided Practice, students receive a word card with give. Students point to the word and read the word. The teacher shows High-Frequency Word Cards until students can identify the word give.

Indicator 1r

Materials, questions, and tasks provide systematic and explicit instruction in and practice of word recognition and analysis skills in a research-based progression in connected text and tasks.
4/4
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for StoryTown Kindergarten meet the criteria for materials, questions, and tasks providing systematic and explicit instruction in and practice of word recognition and analysis skills in a research-based progression in connected text and tasks.

Students have opportunities to practice word recognition and word analysis in connected texts and tasks. Instructional materials include a 5-day phonics and high-frequency word focus with a connected Pre-decodable book or Decodable book that allows students to practice decoding and recognizing the high-frequency words in context. Students read rhymes to practice the Foundational CCSS standards. Instructional materials miss opportunities for students to read long vowels in connected text.

Materials support students’ development to learn grade-level word recognition and analysis skills (e.g. one-to-one correspondences, syllable segmentation, rime and onset recognition, long short sounds with common spellings and distinguish between similarly spelled words by identifying sounds of the letters) in connected text and tasks. However, opportunities are missed for students to read long vowels in connected text. For example:

  • In Theme 2, Lesson 4, students read Below-level text: Letters and Sounds Nn, Pp. Students read the text two times. Students identify the sound they hear at the beginning of a word and tell the letter that stands for that sound.
  • In Theme 5, Lesson 13, Day 4, students learn to relate Kk to /k/. The teacher displays Letter/Sound Rhymes Chart 14. The teacher reads the rhyme aloud while tracking the print and pointing to Kk words. Students repeat the Kk words.
  • In Theme 7, Lesson 19, students read an On-level: The Box. Students decode words that include -ox, -ix and -ax.
  • In Theme 9, Lesson 27, students read On-Level text: What Do I Have? The connected text include CVC words for students to decode. (can, run, nap, bed, dog)
  • In Theme 9, Lesson 25, Day 2, students learn to relate Uu to /u/. The teacher displays Letter/Sound Rhymes Chart 25. The teacher reads the rhyme aloud while tracking the print and pointing to words with Uu. Students repeat the Uu words.

Materials provide frequent opportunities to read high-frequency words in connected text and tasks. For example:

  • In Theme 1, Lesson 2, Day 4, students read the high-frequency word a in phrases that use the following Photo Cards: cat, crayon, book, frog, jump rope, yo-yo.
  • In Theme 2, Lesson 4, students read Advanced-level text: I Help. The book includes the high-frequency word: the.
  • In Theme 3, Lesson 7, Day 3, students read the high-frequency word to in the context of a phrase: I go to the ____, and students write the phrase. The teacher helps students read left to right. Students complete the phrase with a word or a picture.
  • In Theme 4, Lesson 7, Day 1, students work with a partner to read high-frequency words: we, the, here, see, you. Students turn over word cards one at a time and read the word on the card. The student that turns over the word card we must use the word in a sentence. On Day 2, students use the following sentence frame: We can ____. The student copies the sentence frame and draws a picture to complete the sentence. The students read their sentences to classmates.
  • In Theme 7, Lesson 19, Day 2, students hear and see the teacher read the word up in the big book, Swing High, Swing Low. “Turn to page 3 and ask a volunteer to point to the word up.”
  • In Theme 7, Lesson 19, students read an On-level: The Box. The book includes the high-frequency words: up, down.

Lessons and activities provide students many opportunities to learn grade-level word recognition and analysis skills while encoding (writing) in context and decoding words (reading) in connected text and tasks. For example:

  • In Theme 3, Lesson 7, Day 2, students learn to blend words with short a. During Independent Practice, students read the words on the board (ram, rat, pat, pan, ran, can) and write two of the words in their notebook. Students can draw pictures to illustrate the words they wrote.
  • In Theme 5, Lesson 14, Day 5, students read Kim Can Do It. The text contains words with -in and -ig such as dig and pin.
  • In Theme 7, Lesson 19, Day 2, students write the following sentence frame, which contains the high-frequency word, up: Look up at the ____. Students copy the words and draw a picture to match the sentence.

Indicator 1s

Materials support ongoing and frequent assessment to determine student mastery and inform meantingful differentiantion of foundational skills, including a clear and specific protocol as to how students performing below standard on these assessments will be supported.
2/4
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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Kindergarten partially meet the criteria for materials supporting ongoing and frequent assessment to determine student mastery and inform meaningful differentiation of foundational skills, including a clear and specific protocol as to how students performing below standard on these assessments will be supported.

In Grade K, there are Benchmark Assessments that are administered three times a year. Theme tests are available at the end of each theme to assess students’ mastery of the standards they have been taught. There are reteach lessons contained in the Small Group Instruction section of the Teacher’s Manual that give instructional options for students Below-Level, On-Level and Advanced. Theme Tests assess phonemic awareness, phonics, and high-frequency words. There are specific resources that teachers are directed to use based on students results on these assessments that are in addition to the core instruction. The resources are for students that perform in the Below-Level, On-Level and Advanced category based on the Theme Test. Materials provide teachers and students with information of students’ current skills/level of understanding.

Multiple assessment opportunities are provided over the course of the year in core materials for students to demonstrate progress toward mastery and independence of foundational skills.

  • In Theme 3/4, page A1 under the assessment tab, it explains that there are benchmark assessments that are administered 3 times a year. Theme tests are administered at the end of each theme and assess students’ mastery of the standards that have been taught. Monitor Progress notes are available on a daily basis to help the teacher check for understanding and reteach or extend instruction.
  • In Assessment Tab, page A2, Theme 3 Test assesses phonemic awareness, phonics and the high-frequency words from the theme.
  • Phonemic awareness: rhyming words, blend onset and rimes
  • Phonics: short vowel /a/a and phonograms -am, -at,-ap, -an, /d/d
  • High-frequency words: to, like, he

Assessment materials provide teachers and students with information of students’ current skills/level of understanding. The materials contain the following sentence: “To determine whether children need even more support, use your district-approved diagnostic and screening assessments.” The materials do not contain complete diagnostic and screening assessments to help teacher know students’ current levels.

Materials support teachers with instructional adjustments to help students make progress toward mastery in foundational skills.

  • In Grade K, Theme 4, Lesson 20 in the Small-Group Instruction section (follow up lessons based on student performance on the Theme Test), page S8, students identify and isolate the beginning, middle, and ending sounds in groups of words and identify the word that has a different beginning, middle or ending sound. Below Level students identify the sounds at the beginning of yes, time, kite, and more after the teacher models how to listen to and identify the beginning sound in jam. After the teacher models how to listen to and identify the middle and ending sound in a word the students practice this skill as well. On-Level students listen to a group of words. If all the words beginning with the same sound, the students stand up and say the sound. The students follow a similar procedure to listen for and identify the middle sounds in sets of words and the ending sounds in groups of words. Advanced students generate words that begin with the same sound as a given word. A similar procedure is followed for students to generate a word with the same middle sound and then the same ending sound as a give word. Students are also asked to give a word with a different sound than a given word pair has at the beginning, middle or end. If after small-group instruction are unable to isolate and identify the beginning, middle, and ending sounds in words or are unable to discriminate the beginning, middle, and ending sound that is different in a group of words the teacher is directed to provide additional small-group practice with skill using the Strategic Intervention Resource Kit.
  • In Theme 4, Small Group Instruction Lesson 20 for High-Frequency Words, S10 in the Small Group Instruction section student read high-frequency words. Below Level students are reintroduced to the words we and want. Students hold up the appropriate cards as they read the sentence frame: We want ______. And students fill in answer orally. On-Level students reinforce the skill by participating in ‘Rapid Word Naming”. Students read we and want as the teacher holds up each of the cards. The teacher randomly displays the word card: we and want, along with other words the students have already learned. The students name each word and then write each word on the board, on chart paper, or in their notebook. Advanced level students ‘Play Concentration’ with the word cards for we, want, see, for, here, you.

Indicator 1t

Materials, questions, and tasks provide high-quality lessons and activities that allow for differentiation of foundational skills.
4/4
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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Kindergarten meet the criteria for materials, questions, and tasks providing high-quality lessons and activities that allow for differentiation of foundational skills, so all students achieve mastery of foundational skills.

Each week contains multiple opportunities for students to learn and practice foundational skills. Guidance and suggestions are provided in lessons in order for teachers to differentiate learning opportunities for students below-level, student on-level, and for students who are advanced. There are Small-Group learning opportunities for students to learn phonics, phonemic awareness, and high-frequency words .Each lesson includes a 5-day sequence of instruction for phonemic awareness, phonics and high-frequency words. Within these 5-days of instruction, teachers are provided with activities that provide opportunities for reteach, reinforcement or extension of the skill. Each lesson includes Leveled Readers and Leveled Practice to reinforce skills and strategies. The Leveled Readers include a Below Level, On Level, Advanced and ELL option for students. The Leveled Readers include words with the phonics focus and high-frequency words from the week. The Classroom Library for Self-Selected Reading includes an Easy, Average and Challenge level books. Many of the lessons include Below-Level differentiation options for students and there is an ELL Teacher Guide that provides direction with scaffolding lessons.

Materials provide high-quality learning lessons and activities for every student to reach mastery of foundational skills.

  • In Theme 1, Lesson 1, Day 4, Warm-Up Routines, during phonemic awareness for words in a sentence, there is guidance provided to the teacher about helping the students Below-Level: “Model the Process Model the process of holding up fingers to count words. Say this sentence: Sit with me. Then say the first word, Sit, and hold up one finger. Say the second word, with, and hold up a second finger. Say the third word, me, and hold up a third finger. Count the fingers.”
  • In Theme 4, Lesson 10, the Below-Level, On-Level and Advanced Leveled readers include words with short vowel /i/i. On-Level and Advanced Leveled readers include the high-frequency word: come. All students reread their Leveled Reader with expression.
  • In Theme 4, Lesson 10, Day 5, students decode short vowel /i/i words and high-frequency word come in Pre-decodable Book 10. Below-Level students review the high-frequency word prior to reading and the teacher models how to blend the decodable words on the first page. On-Level students read the text and are lead through a discussion. Advanced students read the text independently. ELL students preview the illustrations and are given a simple description of what is happening on each page. Students are guided through the text with Monitor Comprehension questions. All students reread the text 4 times to improve fluency.
  • In Theme 3, Lesson 9, Day 4, Word Work, students learn high-frequency words. The lesson contains a review of the high-frequency words (be, does, food, grow, live, many). During Practice/Apply, students read story strip sentences and write the missing words in the sentences. For learners On-Level, the materials contain: “Using Words in Context Give pairs of children word cards for the high-frequency words. Ask pairs to use the words to make up sentences, using more than one of the words in a sentence, if possible."
  • In Theme 9, Lesson 25, Day 4, Word Work, students are learning word blending and building. The lesson contains Start with sounds (/n/ /e/ /t/). Then there is Teach/Model of word blending with the letters j, u, g. In Guided Practice, students are guided through changing out letters to make new words. For Advanced learners, the materials contain: “Write Rhyming Words Have partners work together to write rhyming words for the words fun, sub, and nut.”

Materials provide guidance to teachers for scaffolding and adapting lessons and activities to support each student’s needs.

  • In Theme 10, Lesson 29, Day 3, students identify and isolate medial sounds in groups of words. There is additional instructional adjustments for students that are Below-Level. The teacher is directed to use pairs of words to help the students focus on the middle sound. Say: Hen, let. Which sound is the same in hen and let. The teacher is directed to help students identify the same sound in both words, /e/. This process is repeated with a new set of words.p, and s. The students are to make as many words as they can that begin or end with d.
  • In Theme 3, Lesson 8, Day 3, students relate letters to their sounds and blend sounds to read words. There is additional instructional adjustments for students that are Advanced. The teacher is directed to give these students copies of the letters: a,d,m,n,

There are Monitor Progress notes to help a teacher to check student understanding and then there is reteaching or extending instruction provided. For example,

  • In Theme 3, Lesson 8, Day 3: “Monitor Progress High-Frequency Words IF children have difficulty reading the word like, THEN have them use a finger to trace the letters on a word card and then match the word card to the word like in the pocket chart. Small-Group Instruction, p. S10 Below-Level: Reteach On-Level: Reinforce Advanced: Extend.
  • In Theme 7, Lesson 20, Day 1, “Monitor Progress Phonemic Awareness IF children have difficulty identifying the initial, medial, and final sound in words, THEN emphasize the target sound in each word, and have children repeat the sound. Small-Group instruction, p. S8: Below-Level: Reteach On-Level: Reinforce Advanced: Extend.
  • In Theme 9, Lesson 25, Day 2, “Monitor Progress Phonics: Short Vowel /u/ u IF children cannot relate /u/ to u, THEN reread Letter/Sound Rhymes Chart 25. As you read, have children place sticky notes below the letters U and u and say the words. Small-Group Instruction, p. S3: Below-Level: Reteach On-Level: Reinforce Advanced: Extend

Students have multiple practice opportunities with each grade level foundational skill component in order to reach mastery.

  • In Theme 2, Lesson 8, Days 1-5, students learn the high-frequency word like. In Day 1, the teacher introduces like. Students draw a picture of something they like. In Day 2, the teacher reads the work like in the context of the big book, I Love School!. Students copy the phrase I like and draw a picture of something they like. In Day 3, students read sentences with I like my ___. During Independent Practice, students write a sentence that tells about a food they like. In Day 4, students read sentences that contain I like the ___. For Independent Practice, students write the sentence frame I like the ___. Students complete the sentence. The leveled readers, students read the high-frequency word like.
  • In Theme 4, Lesson 16, Days 1-5, students have three days to learn the consonant /l/ l and three days to learn /h/ h. On Day 1, students learn Ll. Students learn the uppercase H and the lowercase l. Students learn to write L and l. In Day 2, students learn to relate Ll to /l/. Students learn l /l/ is the letter-sound at the beginning of lemon. On Day 3, students learn Hh. Students learn the uppercase H and the lowercase h. Students learn to write H and h. In Day 4, students learn to relate Hh to /h/. Students learn h /h/ is the letter-sound at the beginning of horse. The teacher states words that begin with h and words that do not begin with h. Students hold up a letter h card if the word does begin with the /h/ sound. In Day 5, students learn to identify words/pictures that begin with l and h. In Small Group Instruction, (pg. S21), students in the below-grade level reteach are reintroduced to /l/ l and students say a picture name and identify the words that begin with /l/.
  • In Theme 7, Lesson 21, Days 1-3, students learn to read one syllable words. In Day 1, students blend words that end in rime -ed. In Day 2, students blend words with onset -et, -en, -an, -at, -ad, -id, -it. In Day 3, practice changing out letters and sounds to create new one syllable words.
  • In Theme 10, Lesson 27, include:
  • Phonological Awareness: Phoneme Substitution
  • Phonics: /kw/q
  • High-Frequency Words: that, have
  • In this lesson, there is a 5 day sequence of instruction for each of these areas of foundational skills. The Below-Level, On-Level and Advanced Leveled Readers include words that have consonant /kw/q. On-Level and Advanced Leveled Readers also include high-frequency words: that, have. There are small-group instructions for each of the areas for Below-Level, On-Level and Advanced level students for reteaching, reinforcing and extending the skill. In the Small-Group Instruction tab, there are additional activities for phoneme substitution on page S14, consonant /kw/q on page S14 and additional activities for high-frequency words: that, have on page S16.

Gateway Two

Building Knowledge with Texts, Vocabulary, and Tasks

Does Not Meet Expectations

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Gateway Two Details

Kindergarten Storytown instructional materials do not meet the expectations for building students' knowledge and vocabulary to support and help grow students’ ability to comprehend complex texts independently and proficiently.

Criterion 2a - 2h

4/32

Indicator 2a

Texts are organized around a topic/topics to build students knowledge and vocabulary which will over time support and help grow students' ability to comprehend complex texts independently and proficiently.
0/4
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Kindergarten do not meet the criteria that texts are organized around a topic/topics to build students knowledge and vocabulary which will over time support and help grow students’ ability to comprehend complex texts independently and proficiently.

Each unit is organized around a central theme with a theme introduction entitled Build Theme Connections provided at the beginning rather than around topics. This section introduces the big idea or theme, and includes a poem and brief discussion. Unit themes are broad and do not focus on specific vocabulary or knowledge across daily lessons. Students are not supported in accessing texts and build conceptual knowledge throughout the five-week theme. The series of texts in each lesson are sometimes cohesive and related to the central theme, but there are limited opportunities embedded for students to build expertise on specific topics so that they can increase their knowledge and vocabulary.

Materials do not provide teachers with guidance to help connect the texts to broader concepts. Sufficient time is not always allotted for students to refine their knowledge in order to access and comprehend future complex texts proficiently.

Each Teacher’s Edition is divided into Themes, such as “All About Me,” “Families,” “Friends at School,” “On the Farm,” “Let’s Play,” “In the Neighborhood,” “Jobs People Do,” “Animals around the World,” and “On the Go.”

Indicator 2b

Materials contain sets of coherently sequenced questions and tasks that require students to analyze the language (words/phrases), key ideas, details, craft, and structure of individual texts in order to make meaning and build understanding of texts and topics.
0/4
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Kindergarten do not meet the criteria that materials contain sets of coherently sequenced questions and tasks that require students to analyze the language (words/phrases), key ideas, details, craft, and structure of individual texts in order to make meaning and build understanding of texts and topics.

Texts contain some questions requiring students to analyze key ideas and details, but do not provide students with frequent opportunity to study craft, structure and language. Students are asked questions during whole group instruction as the teacher monitors comprehension. Throughout the materials, students independently and as a whole group complete questions and tasks that require analysis of individual texts. Kindergarten comprehension skills and strategies include, but are not limited to, previewing the story, determining main idea, identifying events in the beginning, middle, and ending of a story, drawing conclusions, and characters. Questions are not presented in a coherent sequence that would require students to analzye to make meaning and build understanding of texts and topics.

  • In Theme 3, Lesson 7, page T31, students preview the book. Students predict what the book will be about. Students are asked to examine the front cover and answer questions based on the cover illustration.
  • In Theme 4, Lesson 10, page T259, the children reflect on the story. They respond to the following: What do you like most about the story? How is the beginning of the story different from the end of the story? Then, students draw conclusions by answering the following: Why does it get quiet on the farm at night?
  • In Theme 7, Lesson 20, page T35, students answer questions about Pet Show! Then, students assist in building a problem/solution chart based on the text.
  • In Theme 4, Lesson 10, page T267, students practice and apply their knowledge of drawing conclusions. The teacher reads aloud pages 6-7 of Down on the Farm. The class discusses the pictures. The students inform the teacher about whether they think the kid is a good little goat or a little goat that likes to get in trouble. Students list the clues that helped them to draw their conclusions.
  • In Theme 8, Lesson 23, page T353, students work on main idea. After watching and listening as the teacher models identifying a main idea, the students look at an illustration and answer the following questions: “Who does the teacher teach on this page? Does that go along with the main idea?"

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.
0/4
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Kindergarten do not 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.

Although text based questions do appear in the materials throughout the themes and lessons, there is lack of evidence that supports text-dependent questions systematically guiding students in extracting key meanings or ideas in the texts. The sequence of questions is sporadic and does not build towards a more coherent understanding and analysis.

Questions do not require the students to interact with the text supporting the student’s analysis of knowledge and ideas. Materials do not consistently guide teachers to support students’ literacy skills through complex text and building knowledge. There is a lack of text dependent questions as the questions require generalizations, predictions, and checks for comprehension.

The following questions do not require an analysis of ideas to complete:

  • In Volume 5, Lesson 28, Comprehension Day 1, p. T265, the teacher asks, “What do you see on the front cover? Who is flying the plane?”
  • In Volume 5, Lesson 28, Comprehension, Day 2, p. T277, the teachers asks, “What parts are realistic and what parts are make-believe.”
  • Volume 5, Lesson 28, Comprehension Day 3, p. T291, the teacher is directed to “Have children ask questions about what is happening in the story.”
  • In Volume 2, Lesson 8, Respond to Literature: Reflect on the Story, Page T109, the teacher asks, “How are you like the children in the story?”
  • In Volume 4, Lesson 7, Page T146, the Day at a Glance includes the following: phonemic awareness, high frequency words, reading decodable books, comprehension, robust vocabulary, and writing.
  • In Theme 2, Lesson 4, Page T281, Generate Questions, Comprehension, Practice and Apply, During Reading, While reading What Will Mommy Do When I’m at School?, teachers are directed to use the Monitor Comprehension questions on pages T282-T289 and pause periodically for students to ask questions about the story.
  • In Theme 8, Lesson 23, Page T384, Main Idea, Comprehension, Practice and Apply, During Reading, as the teacher reads the story aloud, he or she invites students to compare and contrast the illustrations of city and apartment life with their own neighborhood and family experiences. After reading, the class discusses the story and answers the following questions: “Would you like to be a child in Maurice’s family? Why or why not? What is this story mostly about? Sometimes, people in an audience clap and yell Bravo! after a singer has finished singing. How is Bravo, Maurice! A good title for this story?”

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 Kindergarten 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 through integrated skills (e.g. combination of reading, writing, speaking, listening).

Each Theme has a big idea that aims to tie the unit together. Texts and discussions, directly or loosely, connect to the big idea. Each Theme also includes a Theme Project. Theme Projects do not consistently integrate reading, writing, speaking, and listening, nor do they require close reading and comprehension of the texts read. Question sets that accompany texts within the Theme do not support students in integrating skills required for the Theme Project. For example:

  • In Theme 4, Theme Wrap-Up and Review, Page T456, the theme wrap-up and review centers on celebrate on the farm, teacher self-evaluation, and a theme project. Within the theme project, students name the farm animals on their mobiles, and demonstrate the sound that each animal makes. Students tell what they know about some of the animals, and tell why they chose to include the animals in their mobile. There is no connection to the writing completed in the theme. The project does not require an integration of writing, speaking, and reading skills.
  • Assessment tasks for the Theme do not relate to one another or build toward a culminating task.
    • In K, Volume 5, Theme 9, Lesson 25, Week at A Glance, p. T14, the Teacher’s Edition states that the tested skills for the unit are as follows: Phonemic Awareness: Identity, Categorization, Blending, Segmentation; Phonics: Short Vowel /u/u; High-Frequency Words: and, there; and Comprehension: Details and Use Graphic Organizers.
    • In K Volume 5, Theme 9, Lesson 25, Week at A Glance, p. T14, the Teacher’s Edition states that the writing for the week will be focused on “Friendly Letter.”
    • In K, Volume 5, Assessment Tab, P. 1 behind the tab in the green box, it states that “At the end of each theme, or book at Grade 1, assess students’ mastery of the standards you have been teaching.”

Indicator 2e

Materials include a cohesive, year-long plan for students to interact with and build key academic vocabulary words in and across texts.
0/4
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Kindergarten do not 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.

Some vocabulary is repeated in various contexts (before texts, in texts, etc.) and across multiple texts. Some attention is paid to vocabulary essential to understanding the text and to high value academic words, but the teacher will need to rework some lessons to assure this happening over the school year. Materials do not provide teacher guidance outlining a cohesive, year-long vocabulary development component. Some examples of vocabulary work in the materials include:

  • For example, Theme 4 Vocabulary practice demonstrates repeated student practice to master vocabulary for that theme but that there does not exist a standard protocol for practicing and mastering vocabulary in a year-long approach:
    • In the Teacher’s Edition, Volume 4, Theme 7, Theme Wrap Up, Page T471, students complete an activity of High Frequency Word Cards.
    • In the Teacher’s Edition, Volume 4, Theme 7, Theme Project, Page T243, there is a lack of vocabulary activities present within the text.
    • In the Teacher’s Edition, Volume 2, Theme 3, Page T10, Friends at School Theme Review, the Theme at a Glance features Robust Vocabulary for each lesson.
    • In the Teacher’s Edition, Volume 2, Theme 3, Lesson 7, Page T35, Focus on Vocabulary, the teacher points to the word while saying it on page 18 with a focus on numbers. Then, the teacher rereads the story and students raise their hand when they hear an ordinal number.
  • In Theme 3, Lesson 8, Page T148, Build Robust Vocabulary, Listening/Speaking: Words from the Library Book, Review, Use Vocabulary in Different Contexts, the teacher reminds students of the Student-Friendly Explanations for “gasped,” “glum,” and “whisper.” Then, they discuss each word, using the following examples:
    • Gasped - Teachers ask the following questions: “Would you gasp if you saw a pencil on your teacher’s desk? Why or why not? When would you be more likely to gasp, when you are surprised or sleepy? What might you say if you heard someone gasp?”
    • Glum - Teachers ask the following questions: “Would getting a gift make you glum? Why or why not? Would someone be more likely to be glum if he were sick in bed or at a party? Tell why. Do people usually smile when they are glum? Tell why or why not.”
    • Whimper - Teachers ask the following questions: “Which is louder, a whimper or a shout? Tell why. Would a person whimper if someone said something nice about her? Tell why or why not.”
  • In Theme 4, Lesson 11, Build Robust Vocabulary, Listening/Speaking: Words from the Read Aloud, Review, Use Vocabulary in Different Contexts, the teacher reminds students of the Student-Friendly Explanations of “anxious,” “huddle,” and “moans.” Then, they discuss each word, using the following examples:
    • Anxious - Teachers provides the following directive: “If any of the things I say might be an example of a person who is anxious, say ‘anxious.’ If not, don’t say anything.” Examples include:
      • A child brushing his teeth
      • A girl going to her first day of school
      • A boy who is playing his first T-ball game
      • A woman who is going to the grocery store
    • The teacher asks the following questions to the class: “When is a time that you have felt anxious? Why?”

Indicator 2f

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Kindergarten 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.

Writing instruction spans the whole school year, but materials do not always align to the standards for the grade level throughout the school year. This includes news (shared writing), poems (shared writing), story response (shared writing), and personal narrative (independent writing). There are language arts and shared writing connections that include listening, speaking, and words from the library books and interactive questions. Writing instruction does not support student growth in writing skills over the course of the school year and is disconnected from the context or theme within the lesson. Students utilize a combination of drawing, dictating, and writing that does not always narrate a single event or events. Examples include:

  • In Theme 3, Lesson 8, Page T125, The writing prompt is for students to write about or draw a place that they would like to visit but have never been. The current Theme is “Friends at School.”
  • In Theme 7, Lesson 20, Page T145, the class participates in a shared writing description of a thing.
  • In Theme 6, Lesson 17, Day 1, Modeled Writing, p. T322, the focus for modeled writing for the day is listed as “Introduce: Directions.”
  • In Theme 6, Lesson 17, Day 2, Shared Writing, p. T 322, the focus for shared writing is “Review: Directions.”
  • In Theme 6, Lesson 17, Day 2, Writing Prompt, p. T322, the writing prompt is “Draw and write about a game you like to play.
  • In Theme 8, Lesson 23, Page T377, the writing prompt asks students to draw and write about a job that they would like to have. The current Theme is “Jobs That People Have.”

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 Kindergarten partially meet the criteria that materials include a progression of focused, shared research and writing projects to encourage students to develop knowledge and understanding of a topic using texts and other source materials.

There is evidence of students participating in shared research and writing projects. Projects support the topics of each theme in a sequenced way. The progression of research skills do not seem to build on each other and are disconnected. The only skills developed seem to be with speaking and listening as children are required to perform more difficult tasks in front of their peers. The projects represent a way for teachers to anchor the new theme and as an end cap for each unit to close the unit work out rather than capture skills mastered and knowledge learned. For example:

  • In Theme 1, Theme Project, All About Me Books, p.T11, the teacher is directed to “Have children draw a self-portrait to use as the cover of their books. Then have them complete the following frame with their name to write a title: All About ______.
  • In Theme 2, Theme Project, Family Collage, p. T237, the teacher is directed to “Have children look through old magazines for picture of families doing different activities.”
  • In Theme 5, Theme Project, Weather Calendar, p.T11, the teacher is directed to“ Guide children to suggest ideas for the weather symbols.”
  • In Theme 6, Theme Project, Puppet Show, p. T 237, the teacher is directed to “Read them the Big Book I’m a Jolly Farmer, and invite them to brainstorm other things the girl and her dog could pretend to be. List their ideas on chart paper and ask them to select their favorites.”
  • In Theme 9, Theme Project, Animals Bulletin Board, p. T11, the teacher is directed to “Have children use information from their book to write or dictate an interesting fact about the animal. Then have children draw a picture of the animal they wrote about.”
  • In Theme 10, Theme Project, Going Places Concert, p. T244, the teacher is directed to “Have children use poster paper to make pictures of the vehicles in each song.
  • In Theme 3, Page T11, Theme Project, A Class Big Book of Friends, the teacher is directed to “Tell children that they will be talking about friends in this theme. Ask children to name things they like to do with their friends at school. Discuss how they act with friends and why it is important to be nice to their friends. Then, tell children that they are going to make a big book about friends as school.” Examples include:
    • Have children draw a picture of themselves doing something they like to do with friends at school.
    • Write the following sentence frame on chart paper: I like to ________ with friends. Then, have children complete the sentence frame to tell about their drawings.
    • Gather the pages together and bind them into a book with yarn or another binding material.
    • Have children create and write a title for the book. Volunteers can illustrate the big book cover.

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 reviewed for Kindergarten 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.

Opportunities for independent reading exist, but they are minimal and do not build students’ reading abilities or their knowledge base and vocabulary. Throughout the lessons, there is evidence of students reading with recordings and reading and responding in literacy centers. Students are expected to develop fluency by listening to familiar stories and reading them aloud. Documentation of student reading is not evident.

  • In Theme 8, Lesson 23, Page T334, Literacy Centers, Listening/Speaking, Listen for Rhymes, Literacy Center Kit, Card 111, the student objective is to listen to a story and name rhyming words.
  • In Theme 8, Lesson 24, Page T412, Literacy Centers, Listening/Speaking, Listen and Share, Literacy Center Kit, Card 116, the student objective is to listen to and respond to a song.
  • In Theme 9, Lesson 26, Page T102, Literacy Centers, Listening/Speaking, Listen and Retell, Literacy Center Kit, Card 126, the student objective is to listen to and retell a story.
  • In Theme 9, Lesson 27, Page 182, Literacy Centers, Listening/Speaking, Listen for Information, Literacy Center Kit, Card 131, the student objective is to listen to a story and give details from it.
  • Themes 1 and 2 are listed in the At-a-Glance fold out in the front of the book for each week. There are three books for each week: a big book, library book, and a read-along anthology. These books align with the Theme.

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 Apr 12 00:00:00 UTC 2018

Report Edition: 2008

Title ISBN Edition Publisher Year
Storytown Student Edition Volume 1 Grade K 978-0-1535-3654-0 Copyright: 2008 Houghton Mifflin Harcourt 2008
Storytown Student Edition Vol 2 Grade K 978-0-1535-3655-7 Copyright: 2008 Houghton Mifflin Harcourt 2008
Storytown Student Edition Vol 3 Grade K 978-0-1535-3658-8 Copyright: 2008 Houghton Mifflin Harcourt 2008
Storytown Student Edition Vol 4 Grade K 978-0-1535-3659-5 Copyright: 2008 Houghton Mifflin Harcourt 2008
Storytown Student Edition Vol 5 Grade K 978-0-1535-3661-8 Copyright: 2008 Houghton Mifflin Harcourt 2008
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Storytown Reading Adventure Teacher Support Book Grade K 978-0-5476-8560-1 Copyright: 2008 Houghton Mifflin Harcourt 2012
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Storytown Reading Adventure Student Magazine Grade K 978-0-5476-8585-4 Copyright: 2008 Houghton Mifflin Harcourt 2012

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.

The publisher has not submitted a response.

Educator-Led Review Teams

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

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

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

ELA K-2 Rubric and Evidence Guides

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

For ELA, our rubrics evaluate materials based on:

  • Text Quality and Complexity, and Alignment to Standards with Tasks Grounded in Evidence
  • Building Knowledge with Texts, Vocabulary, and Tasks
  • Instructional Supports and Usability

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

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