Alignment to College and Career Ready Standards: Overall Summary

The Springboard Language Arts Common Core Edition 2017 materials for Grade 9 fully meet the alignment expectations. The materials include appropriately rigorous texts to engage students in reading and writing as well as working to build research skills. Tasks and questions provided offer students practice in academic speaking and listening as well as comprehensive writing skills development over the course of the school year. The materials are designed to grow students' knowledge and academic vocabulary as they engage with increasingly rigorous texts and tasks.

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Understanding Gateways

Alignment

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Meets Expectations

Gateway 1:

Text Quality

0
15
28
32
31
28-32
Meets Expectations
16-27
Partially Meets Expectations
0-15
Does Not Meet Expectations

Gateway 2:

Building Knowledge

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

Usability

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Meets Expectations

Not Rated

Gateway 3:

Usability

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

Gateway One

Text Quality & Complexity and Alignment to Standards Components

Meets Expectations

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Gateway One Details

The SpringBoard Grade 9 instructional materials meet the expectations for text quality and complexity and alignment to the standards. The instructional materials include texts that are worthy of students' time and attention and that support students’ advancing toward independent reading. The materials provide opportunities for rich and rigorous evidence-based discussions and writing about texts to build strong literacy skills.

Criterion 1a - 1f

Texts are worthy of students' time and attention: texts are of quality and are rigorous, meeting the text complexity criteria for each grade. Materials support students' advancing toward independent reading.
16/16
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Criterion Rating Details

The SpringBoard Grade 9 instructional materials meet expectations for text quality and complexity. The materials include an appropriate distribution of texts suggested in the CCSS for Grade 9. In addition to literary texts, the program supports student access to strong informational texts. Anchor texts within the materials are of publishable quality, worthy of especially careful reading, and consider a range of student interests. Texts have the appropriate level of complexity for the grade according to quantitative analysis, qualitative analysis, and relationship to their associated student task. Over the course of the year, materials support students’ increasing literacy skills through a series of texts at a variety of complexity levels appropriate for Grade 9. The materials are accompanied by text complexity analyses and rationales for purpose and placement in the grade level, and the program’s anchor and supporting texts provide opportunities for students to engage in a range and volume of reading to achieve grade level reading proficiency.

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

Indicator 1a

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

The instructional materials reviewed for SpringBoard Grade 9 meet the criteria for Indicator 1a. Anchor texts within the materials are of publishable quality and worthy of especially careful reading and consider a range of student interests.

Materials for Grade 9 include well-known and diverse authors such as Gwendolyn Brooks, Sandra Cisneros, Roald Dahl, Emily Dickinson, Robert Frost, Nikki Giovanni, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Harper Lee, Audre Lorde, Pablo Neruda, Edgar Allan Poe, William Shakespeare, Percy Bysshe Shelley, and William Wordsworth. Most, if not all, of the texts--print, film, and audio recording-- have been published in some form as books or in notable newspapers and/or journals and magazines, as well as on the screen, in video, or audiocast.

Five thematic units provide anchor texts and supplementary texts encompassing a range of topics relevant and interesting to Grade 9 students: coming of age, Defining Style, Coming of Age in Changing Times, Exploring Poetic Voices, and Coming of Age on Stage. Books, dramas, short stories, poems, film excerpts, articles, and editorials are among the text types studied throughout the year. Using these materials as a touchstone, students explore the experience of becoming an adult, how writers in a variety of texts use stylistic choices, the craft of storytelling, how authors and filmmakers develop unique styles, how context affects the writer’s construction of and readers’ responses to text, and the power and forms of poetry: music, billboards, and advertising jingles. Students are introduced to Romeo and Juliet, a coming-of-age drama about two young star-crossed lovers; students explore the story that has inspired countless artists, musicians, and filmmakers through both printed text and film versions.

Unit 1: Coming of Age, a unit of multiple texts

  • Speak, a New York Times Best-Seller by Laurie Halse Anderson
  • “Marigolds,” a prizewinning short story by Eugenia Collier
  • Always Running, an award-winning memoir by Luis J. Rodriguez
  • “Remarks by the President in a National Address to America’s Schoolchildren,” a speech by Barack Obama

Unit 2: Defining Style, a unit anchored in the study of narrative

  • “The Cask of Amontillado,” a short story by Edgar Allan Poe
  • “The Stolen Party,” a short story by Liliana Hecker, translated by Alberto Manguel
  • “The Gift of the Magi,” a short story by O. Henry
  • Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, a novel by Roald Dahl

Unit 3: Coming of Age in Changing Times, a unit anchored in the study of a novel

  • To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee, a Pulitzer Prize winner

Unit 4: Exploring Poetic Voices, a unit anchored in the study of poetry

  • “Poetry,” a poem by Pablo Neruda, winner of a Nobel Prize in Literature
  • “We Real Cool,” a poem by Gwendolyn Brooks, the first African American Pulitzer Prize winner.
  • “I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud,” a poem by William Wordsworth
  • “Harlem,” a poem by Langston Hughes
  • “‘Hope’ Is the Thing with Feathers,” a poem by Emily Dickinson

Unit 5: Coming of Age on the Stage, a unit anchored in the study of drama

  • Romeo and Juliet, a drama by William Shakespeare

Indicator 1b

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

The instructional materials reviewed for SpringBoard Grade 9 reflect the distribution of text types and genres required by the standards. The materials include an appropriate distribution of texts suggested in the CCSS for Grade 9. In addition to literary texts, the program supports student access to strong informational texts, including articles, editorials, and speeches, as well as other media including paintings, photographs, and films.

Unit 1, Coming of Age, includes novels, short stories, poetry, memoirs, interviews, film, editorials, biographies, and general informational texts among other text types. The following is a sample of titles and authors:

  • “Spotlight,” excerpt from Speak, by Laurie Halse Anderson
  • “Marigolds,” short story by Eugenia Collier
  • Always Running, memoir by Luis J. Rodriguez
  • “WMDs,” non-fiction piece by Brian O’Connor
  • “Remarks by the President in a National Address to America’s Schoolchildren,” by Barrack Obama
  • ”Chuck Liddell,” interview transcript by Steven Yaccino
  • “An Early Start on College,” StarTribune editorial
  • “Why College Isn’t (And Shouldn’t Have to Be) For Everyone,” Op-Ed by Robert Reich

Unit 2, Defining Style, includes excerpts from novels and film, biography, short stories, poetry and general informational texts among other text types. The following is a sample of titles and authors:

  • “Fire and Ice,” poem by Robert Frost
  • “The Gift of the Magi,” short story by O. Henry
  • Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, novel by Roald Dahl
  • Edward Scissorhands, film directed by Tim Burton
  • “Catacombs and Carnival,” an informational text
  • “Tim Burton: Wickedly Funny, Grotesquely Humorous,” biographical essay

Unit 3, Coming of Age in Changing Times, includes a novel, website reading, letters, timelines, reflective texts, film, and photography among other text types. The following is a sample of titles and authors:

  • “Jim Crow: Shorthand for Separation,” informational text by Rick Edmonds
  • “Letter from Birmingham Jail” by Martin Luther King, Jr.
  • To Kill a Mockingbird, novel by Harper Lee
  • Scout, Atticus, and Boo: A Celebration of To Kill a Mockingbird, by Mary McDonagh Murphy
  • “In Defense of To Kill a Mockingbird,” essay by Nicholas J. Karolides, et. al.

Unit 4, Exploring Poetic Voices, includes poetry, art, musical lyrics, and essays among other text types. The following is a sample of titles and authors:

  • “Poemcrazy” by Susan Goldsmith Wooldridge
  • “I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud,” by William Wordsworth
  • “Harlem,” by Langston Hughes
  • “‘Hope’ is the thing with feathers,” by Emily Dickinson
  • “Scars,” by Daniel Halpern
  • “Ozymandias,” by Percy Bysshe Shelley

Unit 5, Coming of Age on Stage, includes drama, film, and informational texts among other text types. The following is a sample of titles and authors:

  • As You Like It, by William Shakespeare
  • Romeo and Juliet, by William Shakespeare
  • West Side Story, script by Arthur Laurents
  • “On the Bard’s Birthday, Is Shakespeare Still Relevant?” article by Alexandra Petri
  • “Kentucky Inmates Turned Actors Explore Selves Through Shakespeare Play,” article by Sean Rose
  • “Why It’s Time to Give the Bard the Heave-ho!” article by Brandon Robshaw

Indicator 1c

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

The instructional materials reviewed for SpringBoard Grade 9 meet the criteria for Indicator 1c. Grade 9 texts have the appropriate level of complexity for the grade according to quantitative analysis, qualitative analysis, and relationship to their associated student task.

SpringBoard Online provides a Text Complexity Analysis for each of the Grade 9 texts. Each text analysis provides a quantitative rating based on Lexile measures and a qualitative measure based on the qualitative factors described in Appendix A: Research Supporting Key Elements of the Standards (pages 5-6): Levels of Meaning or Purpose, Structure, Language, and Knowledge Demands. The Text Complexity Analysis also describes the student task associated with the reading and the teaching of text and considers those activities in assigning an overall level of text complexity. Texts falling below the College and Career Expectations for Lexile Ranges in the 9-10 grade band are typically offset by higher qualitative measures and task demands. In general, texts that are quantitatively above grade band have less rigorous qualitative demands, and the associated tasks have scaffolds in place to ensure student access.

  • In Unit 1, Activity 1.15, students read “Remarks by the President in a National Address to America’s Schoolchildren” delivered by President Barack Obama on September 8, 2009. The speech has a Lexile measure of 1110 and lies within the College and Career Readiness range expected for the 9-10 grade band. The Text Complexity Analysis rates the qualitative aspects of the text as low and notes, “The speaker’s purpose is easy to identify based on the context. The president is appealing to America’s schoolchildren to ‘fulfill your responsibilities’ for their own education and not ‘let us down... let your family down or your country down. Most of all, don’t let yourself down. Make us all proud.’ The information is explicit and clear.” Additionally noted, is the conventional text structure, contemporary and conversational vocabulary, variety of sentence structures, and first-person point of view presenting many personal anecdotes and examples. Students use the speech to analyze the structure and effectiveness of the elements of argumentation and types of rhetorical appeals--ethos, logos, and pathos--aligned to RI.9-10.6 (Determine an author's point of view or purpose in a text and analyze how an author uses rhetoric to advance that point of view or purpose.)
  • In Unit 2, Activity 2.12, students read “Tim Burton: Wickedly Funny, Grotesquely Humorous,” a biographic essay with a Lexile measure of 1310, above the College and Career Readiness range expected for the 9-10 grade band. The Text Complexity Analysis indicates text language is largely contemporary and a few terms may be unfamiliar, such as “subversiveness” and “grotesque sensibility;” nevertheless, scaffolds such as underlining key facts and details that contribute to the main idea and circling unknown words and phrases are embedded to support students' understanding of such terms in the context of the essay. Similarly, many sentences are long and complex, but scaffolds such as rereading the text to answer text-dependent questions on key ideas and details of cinematic style and the short length of the text as well as the clear transitions and pop culture references will aid student understanding.
  • In Unit 3, the anchor text, To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, has Lexile measure of 870, well below the College and Career Readiness range expected for the 9-10 grade, but SpringBoard rates the text as overall complex. The Text Complexity Analysis explains, “The 870 Lexile places this text in the 4-5 grade band, and qualitative measures indicate a moderate difficulty. While the excerpt is innocent, some themes and situations presented in the novel and the film are best reserved for a high school reader. The cognitive demands are moderate because students are analyzing literary elements, coming of age concept and scene, as well as subplot and motif.”
  • In Unit 5, Activity 5.16, students read “On the Bard’s Birthday, is Shakespeare Still Relevant?” by Alexandra Petri. The article has a Lexile measure of 790, below the College and Career Readiness range expected for the 9-10 grade band. Overall, the Text Complexity Analysis rates the text as accessible, but the qualitative measurement is “high” and the task demand “moderate.” Qualitatively, though the speaker’s purpose is easy to identify, she “takes an unexpected turn at the end and gives the reader another layer of purpose when she says that Shakespeare ‘wrote what we all know.’” Additionally, the author’s use of rhetorical questions and “arcane references” will require students to engage in careful reading. The report also notes the author references many of Shakespeare’s “plays, plots, and characters” as well as other authors from the British canon, all of which may be unfamiliar to ninth grade students. The student task, to explain the “purpose of rhetorical questions and how changing the medium and audience of an argument would affect the writing and structure” is completed using the SOAPSTone strategy. Additionally, students respond to a writing prompt arguing for or against the inclusion of Romeo and Juliet in the Grade 9 curriculum (W.9-10.1).

Indicator 1d

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

The instructional materials reviewed for SpringBoard Grade 9 meet the criteria for Indicator 1d. Over the course of the year, materials support students’ increasing literacy skills through a series of texts at a variety of complexity levels appropriate for Grade 9.

Students progressively build literacy skills through work with a variety of texts over the course of the school year. Texts sets are at various complexity levels, quantitatively and qualitatively, and therefore support learners as they develop literacy skills and background knowledge to support independent and proficient reading practices.

In Unit 1, Activity 1.3, students read the excerpt “Spotlight” from the novel Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson. With a 740 Lexile measure, the text falls in the 4-5 grade band for quantitative complexity and offers low qualitative measures as well. However, the moderate task measure, analyzing voice, allows the text to work as a transitional piece from Grade 8 and an introduction to the unit’s study of voice and narrative. The next unit text, “Marigolds” by Eugenia Collier, has a 1050 Lexile measure, falling in the quantitative complexity level for the 9-10 grade band. The text’s qualitative elements rate the text as complex and the task, analyzing how diction and imagery convey voice, as moderate. Students move from the study of literary fiction into literary non-fiction with Luis J. Rodriguez’s Always Running, which falls into the grade band complexity level with a 1050 Lexile measure, moderate qualitative measure, and challenging task demand. The Rodriguez texts acts as an introduction to the non-fiction pieces that are used throughout the remainder of the unit and guide students towards more reading editorials of more complex texts such as “An Early Start on College,” slightly above the 9-10 grade band.

In Unit 2, students “come to understand the effects of unique stylistic choices” by reading texts from various genres. At the beginning of the unit, students are introduced to several short stories, all falling below the 9-10 grade band, but which are used to introduce students to analytical strategies: Activity 2.5, SIFT, “The Gift of the Magi”; Activity 2.6, Levels of Questions “The Stolen Party”; Activity 2.8, Diffusing, “The Cask of Amontillado.” Thus, while the readings appear to regress in complexity, the application of learning strategies makes the texts relevant to increasing students’ proficiencies as independent readers.

In Unit 3, students read nonfiction texts to build context for the novel, To Kill a Mockingbird, read in the latter half of the unit. The nonfiction texts, such as “Jim Crow: Shorthand for Separation” and “A Letter from Birmingham Jail” are generally above the 9-10 grade band in text complexity. In the second half of the unit, students begin reading the novel, which measures at an 840 Lexile but which has “themes and situations...best reserved for a high school reader.” Additionally, the text is more extensive in length than previous pieces, outside of independent reading assignments, read up to this point in the school year.

In Unit 5, students have become proficient enough as readers to take on the complex task of reading Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, read in the first half of unit. In the latter half of the unit, students read a variety of texts as they gather evidence to support an argument for the relevance of Shakespeare in today’s world, the objective of Embedded Assessment 2. In Activity 5.16, students read “On the Bard’s Birthday, is Shakespeare Still Relevant?” an article with a Lexile measure of 790, well below the 9-10 grade band, but with significant knowledge demands and therefore a complex qualitative measure. The article introduces concepts and questions relevant to the embedded assessment and moves students toward readings of higher complexity levels, such as “On Love and War, Iraq Learns from Shakespeare,” an informational text with a Lexile measure of 1190, a moderate qualitative measure, and a moderate task demand.

Indicator 1e

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

The instructional materials reviewed for SpringBoard Grade 9 meet the criteria of Indicator 1e. The Grade 9 materials provide anchor texts and series of texts connected to them. The materials are accompanied by text complexity analyses and rationales for purpose and placement in the grade level.

SpringBoard Online provides a Text Complexity Analysis complete with rationales for purpose and placement within the online Teacher Resources. Each analysis offers users a choice to download the file or preview the analysis online. The format for each analysis is identical, providing information and discussion in five areas: the context for use, a quantitative analysis with justification if the Lexile level is below grade, a qualitative review, an overview of reader and task considerations, and placement considerations in light of grade level standards.

Indicator 1f

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

The instructional materials reviewed for SpringBoard Grade 9 meet Indicator 1f. The program’s anchor and supporting texts provide opportunities for students to engage in a range and volume of reading to achieve grade level reading proficiency.

Over the year, students are provided with a variety of texts, primarily representing the disciplines of literature and social science, from a wide distribution of media including newspaper, journals, music, film and the internet. Among the text types are short stories, poems, drama, novels, speeches, and informational texts; full text listings are provided within Planning the Unit and Resources at a Glance in the Unit Overview. The former lists all titles in the unit and the latter lists the titles in relation to the unit pacing guide and related activities. Additionally, grade level texts are listed in the End Matter PDF found through the Teacher Resources tab among the Book PDFs.

All units are developed thematically. Some units are structured around an anchor text, usually a complex novel or drama accompanied by supplementary texts, while other units provide multiple texts supporting the thematic and skill-based instruction. Regardless, students have the opportunity to achieve grade level reading proficiency through independent reading and study as well as supported reading, e.g., paired reading, small group reading, choral reading, and chunked reading. With the introduction of each new text, the Teacher Wrap encourages teachers to use their “knowledge of their students” to select the most effective format for the first reads. Each reading activity specifically addresses the reading and learning purpose for the text to follow and offers specific lessons designed to support diverse readers in text comprehension and analysis.

Embedded in each lesson are activity features to encourage rereading: Academic and Social Language Preview, Interpret the Text Using Close Reading, Interacting in Meaningful Ways, Academic Collaboration, and Working from the Text. These activity features specifically support close reading, thinking protocols, word consciousness, and grammar and language, all skills that move readers towards greater reading independence. Within all activities, the sidebar Teacher Wrap offers ideas and tips to support diverse readers in the classroom. Additional reading supports are delineated and defined in the Teacher End Materials PDF available through the Resources tab on the grade-level home page. Included in this Resource handbook is a comprehensive list of reading strategies, along with definitions, and purposes for use. Also included in the Resource are numerous graphic organizers aligned to activities specifically noted in the Teacher’s Edition, e.g., OPTIC, SMELL, SOAPStone, Web Organizer, and Word Map. Additionally found in the Teacher’s Edition Teacher Wrap is specific guidance for adapting teaching methods in the development of grade-level reading skills among diverse readers. Under headings Teacher to Teacher, Adapt, and Leveled Differentiated Instruction are explanations and references for additional supports that are also found in the Resource handbook, e.g., sequencing events, analyzing key ideas and details, charting cause and effect, and unknown word solvers.

Six supplementary close reading lesson sets are also included among the instructional materials: informational/literary nonfiction, poetry, argument, Shakespeare, informational STEM texts, and informational texts in social studies and history. Each lesson set offers three unique texts and instruction for each text follows a four-activity pattern supporting students work toward reading independence:

  • Activity 1: provides guided reading instruction that emphasizes multiple readings, vocabulary development, and close-reading strategies with a complex text.
  • Activity 2: gradually releases students from teacher-guided instruction and modeling to a collaborative analysis of a visual text to which students apply the skills and strategies of close reading.
  • Activity 3: releases students to closely read texts independently to respond to analysis questions and to make connections to previous texts.
  • Activity 4: requires students to respond to synthesis writing, presentation, or discussion prompts to demonstrate their mastery of the close-reading skills they have practiced in the workshop.

In addition to reading as part of classroom activities, students are expected to complete independent readings. In each unit, Planning this Unit provides a section titled Suggestions for Independent Reading and offers a “wide array of titles which have been chosen based on complexity and interest.” At the beginning of each unit, students develop an Independent Reading Plan and are instructed to discuss their reading plan with a partner through a series of questions: “How do you go about choosing what to read independently? Where can you find advice on which books or articles to read? What genre of texts do you most enjoy reading outside of class? How can you make time in your schedule to read independently? How do you think literary theory might change your perspective of the texts you read independently?”

As a mechanism for monitoring their reading progress, students are accountable for monitoring their independent reading using an Independent Reading Log provided in the Resource handbook available in the Teacher End Materials PDF and the Student Front Matter, both found through the Resources tab on the grade-level home page. Independent Reading Link: Read and Connect is a sidebar activity bridging the unit’s reading instruction and the students’ independent reading. In Activity 1.10, after a using a SOAPStone activity with the class text, students are asked to use their reading log and create a “SOAPSTone analysis of a section of your independent reading book. Then determine how effectively the author appeals to his or her audience based on tone and purpose.” Independent Reading Checkpoints are also embedded in each unit. For example, in Unit 1 Activity 1.12, following a study of voice and tone, students are instructed to choose “one of the readings from the first half of this unit. Compare author’s voice and tone with the author’s voice and tone in your independent reading text as they described a coming-of-age experience.” In building a volume of reading, students are also encouraged to do their own research, selecting their titles and topics “that intrigue them.”

Criterion 1g - 1n

Materials provide opportunities for rich and rigorous evidence-based discussions and writing about texts to build strong literacy skills.
15/16
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Criterion Rating Details

The SpringBoard Grade 9 instructional materials meet expectations for alignment to the CCSS with tasks and questions grounded in evidence. Most questions, tasks, and assignments are text-dependent and require students to engage with the text directly and to draw on textual evidence to support both what is explicit as well as valid inferences from the text. The materials contain sets of high quality, sequenced, text-dependent, and text-specific questions with activities that build to a culminating task which integrates skills to demonstrate understanding. Culminating tasks are rich and varied, providing opportunities for students to demonstrate what they know and are able to do in speaking and/or writing over the year. The materials provide 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, and most materials support students’ listening and speaking about what they are reading and researching (including presentation opportunities) with relevant follow-up questions and evidence. The instructional materials also include instruction of grammar and conventions/language standards for Grade 9 and are applied in increasingly sophisticated contexts with opportunities for application context. The materials include a mix of on-demand and process writing (e.g., multiple drafts and revisions over time); short, focused projects incorporating digital resources where appropriate; and frequent opportunities for evidence-based writing to support analyses, well-defended claims, and clear information appropriate to the grade level. While the program provides a variety of opportunities for students to write in the modes of argument, explanation, and narrative with writing assignments connected to texts and/or text sets, most writing assignments are explanatory.

Indicator 1g

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

The instructional materials reviewed for SpringBoard Grade 9 meet the expectations of indicator 1g. Most questions, tasks, and assignments are text-dependent and require students to engage with the text directly and to draw on textual evidence to support both what is explicit as well as valid inferences from the text.

Most questions, tasks, and assignments over the course of instruction are designed to encourage students’ interaction with the texts under study. Within each unit are recurrent activities such as Setting a Purpose and Second Read which cause students to consider text-dependent questions regarding concepts related to key ideas and details, craft and structure, and integration of knowledge and ideas. Additionally, Writing to Sources activities require students to engage directly with the text using explicit and valid inferential textual support in the development of analytic and explanatory writing.

Following are some representative examples of how Grade 9 materials employ text-based questions and tasks over the course of the school year:

  • In Unit 1, Activity 1.17, after reading “Why College Isn’t (And Shouldn’t Have to Be) For Everyone” by Robert Reich, Second Read instructs students to re-read and answer these text-dependent questions: “What is the claim of the argument? How does the writer set up this claim? Where does the author bring up his counterclaim? How does he develop it?”
  • In Unit 3, Activity 3.3, while reading “Jim Crow: Shorthand for Separation” by Rick Edmonds, Setting a Purpose asks students to “Underline words or phrases that define the term Jim Crow.”
  • In Unit 5, Activity 5.2, after reading an excerpt from Shakespeare’s As You Like It, Writing to Sources directs students to “[r]ead the first four lines of the monologue. Identify the metaphor Shakespeare uses to describe human life. Explain how and why this is an appropriate comparison…. Begin with a topic sentence summarizing your understanding of the metaphor; cite direct quotations and specific examples from the metaphor....Provide a conclusion that summarizes your explanation.”

Indicator 1h

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

The instructional materials reviewed for SpringBoard Grade 9 meet the criteria for indicator Ih. The materials contain sets of high-quality, sequenced, text-dependent, and text-specific questions with activities that build to a culminating task which integrates skills to demonstrate understanding. Culminating tasks are rich and varied, providing opportunities for students to demonstrate what they know and are able to do in speaking and/or writing over the year.

Each of the five units presents two embedded assessments followed by a logical progression of instruction and practice in preparing students to successfully demonstrate their skills and understandings. Preview of Embedded Assessment 1 occurs on the first day of the unit as students unpack the skills required for the task which culminates midpoint in the unit. Following the completion of Embedded Assessment 1, students are introduced to Embedded Assessment 2, again unpacking the skills necessary to successfully accomplish the end task. For each Embedded Assessment, the sequence of activities that follows the unpacking sequentially develops the skills necessary to complete the requirements of the assessment.

  • The Unit 1 Embedded Assessment 2 asks students to write an argumentative essay about the value of a college education “in which you assert a precise claim, support it with reasons and evidence, and acknowledge and refute counterclaims fairly.” Each lesson that follows builds incrementally on discrete aspects of the assessment and provides exemplar texts as written models. Activity 1.13 builds on the parts of an argument and how to build reasons in support of a central claim. Activity 1.14 leads students through an informational article on the relationship of wealth and education. Activity 1.15 teaches students about rhetorical appeals and illustrates their use through a speech given by former President Obama. Activity 1.16 teaches students about evidence types and demonstrates their use through a 2012 Chicago Tribune editorial. Activity 1.17 teaches about counterclaims and refutations demonstrating application through a 2015 Huffington Post article. Each text selection is followed by a series of text dependent questions.
  • The Unit 5 Embedded Assessment 1 asks students to work collaboratively “to interpret, rehearse, and perform a scene from William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet.” The thirteen lessons that follow integrate practice with reading, understanding, and performing the language of Shakespeare. In Activity 5.4, students read an excerpt from Romeo and Juliet, annotating character moods by underlining “words that imply a character is mad or angry.” Later in the lesson, students practice the vocal delivery of the selection. In Activity 5.5, students read monologues from Act I of Romeo and Juliet, using the SIFT method (symbol, imagery, figurative language, and tone) to analyze a scene and consider how to use “visual and vocal delivery in [their] monologue to communicate character, tone, and/or theme to the audience.” In Activity 5.6, students continue reading excerpts of the play and learn about blocking a performance for stage and film. The lessons continue progressively, adding theatrical elements and deepening the analysis of language and the resulting meanings of the text.

Indicator 1i

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

The instructional materials reviewed for SpringBoard Grade 9 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.

The Grade 9 materials focus student interactions on speaking and listening by introducing students to the importance of diction and syntax in an early activity that culminates in the development of group discussion norms. Thereafter, each unit throughout the year engages students in a variety of evidence-based discussions following these norms. Discussions take place within the whole class, as small group conversations, and as partners sharing text-based ideas and information. Embedded within each unit are several Academic Collaboration lessons focused on the current text under study and designed to promote meaningful interaction. The lessons provide a discussion protocol guiding “academic conversation” and sometimes extend into a Language Checkpoint where students work with partners examining syntax related to the anchor text. Academic and Social Language Previews also appear in each unit. These collaborative investigations promote student exploration of word meaning by asking students to determine meaning through the context and then apply the word in a new context. Additionally, the Teacher Wrap supports activities with additional protocols, ideas for increasing pair and small group speaking and listening interactions, instructional advice for differentiation, modeling suggestions, and technology tips for heightening student interaction in effective evidence-based discussion.

Following are some representative examples of how Grade 9 materials provide opportunities and protocols for evidence-based discussions that encourage the modeling and use of academic vocabulary and syntax:

  • In Unit 1, Activity 1.7, after reading “Marigolds” by Eugenia Collier, students are to work with a partner to generate five open-ended questions of a character that “push the character to reflect on the significance of key events revealed in the narrative.” After generating the questions, students are to analyze the selected character’s voice, diction, and syntax and then draft a Q & A interview that allows the character to respond to the questions through the character’s perspective using the character’s voice, language, and details from the text. The Teacher Wrap suggests that students orally present or role play their interviews to gain confidence in the interviewing process.
  • In Unit 3, Activity 3.2, before reading To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, students build their understanding of the term “context” introduced earlier in Unit 2. The activity suggests students work with a partner to discuss the context of their classroom, their town, and their country each in light of historical, cultural, social, and geographical contexts. The Teacher Wrap suggests the activity continue by incorporating photographic images related to the context of the novel. As images are shared, students chat briefly to generate questions about the historical, cultural, social, and geographical context of images. The pairs move into small groups to refine their questions and later, the small group becomes a whole class discussion on how context shapes a reader’s understanding of a story.
  • In Unit 5, Activity 5.20, after reading Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare, students read the article, “Why It’s Time to Give the Bard a Heave-ho” by Brandon Robshaw. Working in pairs or small groups, the Teacher Wrap suggests students create a Writer’s Checklist based on the Exemplary column of the Scoring Guide for Embedded Assessment 2. The students’ scoring guide must contain the essential elements of an argument: hook, claims, reasons and evidence, counterclaims, and concluding statement. Students then work together in evaluating Robshaw’s argument using their own checklist design, “taking notes on elements of the argument present in the text...and text evidence for each element of an argument.”

Indicator 1j

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

The instructional materials reviewed for SpringBoard Grade 9 meet the expectations of indicator 1j. Most materials support students’ listening and speaking about what they are reading and researching (including presentation opportunities) with relevant follow-up questions and evidence.

Throughout the year, students are engaged in a variety of listening and speaking activities including pairing with peers to discussions in small groups, participating in Socratic Seminars, and staging class presentations. Most collaborative activities occur after reading a text and/or a combination of texts sometimes paired with multimedia sources. In most instances, students are required to engage in evidence-based discussions relevant to text themes, structure, development, and purpose. Discussion questions encouraging students to draw on academic vocabulary and syntax are provided within both teacher and student materials and support students’ preparation for collaboration to follow. Additionally, students are taught to generate text-related open-ended questions to propel ensuing conversations and discussions. Guidance for differentiating, extending, and monitoring student learning is provided to the teacher in the Teacher Wrap section provided with each activity.

The Grade 9 peer and group discussions scaffold in difficulty throughout the course of the year beginning with the establishment of rules for collegial discussion and practice in basic interview techniques to the analysis and critique of rhetorical elements and validity of arguments within a debate. Within these conversations, students are encouraged to use text to verify and clarify ideas as well as advance differing views and support those views with sufficient evidence. Opportunities to talk and ask questions of peers and teachers about research, strategies, and ideas are present throughout the year. The curriculum includes a host of protocols and graphic organizers to promote and scaffold academic discussions.

Following are some representative examples of how Grade 9 materials support students’ listening and speaking about what they are reading, researching, and presenting with relevant follow-up questions and evidence:

  • In Unit 1, Activity 1.15, after a lesson on the elements of rhetoric paired with a reading of Barack Obama’s “Remarks by the President in a National Address to America’s Schoolchildren,” students work in groups to analyze the speech and determine how Obama uses parallel structure and rhetorical appeals to persuade. After answering a series of text-dependent questions, Working from the Text asks students to cite examples of pathos, ethos, and logos as used in the speech. Students then conduct a SOAPStone analysis discussing and providing evidence regarding questions related to the speaker, occasion, audience, purpose, subject, and tone of the speech. Finally, students analyze the speech as an example of rhetoric, exploring the relationship of sender and receivers, the message or thesis of the text, the desired effect of the speech, and the logic and language of the speech. Students draw conclusions on the effectiveness of Obama’s rhetoric and, in their groups, defend their positions regarding his persuasiveness.
  • In Unit 2, Activity 2.13, after reading novel excerpts from Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and watching a film clip from Tim Burton’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, students are asked to consider how the film version is similar to and different from the novel. To answer this question, students work in groups to complete a two-column Language Style Analysis, charting relationships between literary elements and cinematic techniques. As they complete the chart, students support their decisions by citing evidence for each relationship identified. Then, students conduct a close read of the film, focusing on specific cinematic techniques, e.g., lighting, sound, angles, framing, etc. Teacher Wrap suggests a jigsaw activity. Each student in the group is responsible for monitoring a single technique and “understand Burton’s manipulation of this technique” taking notes on a Film Notes chart. Later, as students share out their observations and evidence, other group members should “add details to [their] graphic organizers.” During the film’s viewing teachers are to monitor student activity and engagement with the film as well as the note taking process to ensure everyone comes to the jigsaw discussion prepared.
  • In Unit 3, Activity 3.20, after reading Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird, students discuss the trial verdict in a Socratic Seminar led by the teacher. Prior to the discussion, students are asked to write out responses to two guiding questions: “Why is Jem so optimistic before he hears the verdict?” and “How and why is Scout’s reaction to the verdict different from Jem’s?” This is the first Socratic Seminar for ninth graders, and teachers are advised to establish seminar guidelines, e.g., discuss ideas not opinions; refer to the text continually; don’t raise hands but take turns speaking; converse with one another not with the teacher, etc. Following the seminar, students work in small groups and synthesize the discussion into a single response for each of the guiding questions. Additionally, in their groups, students discuss and generate a statement on how the trial was a coming-of-age experience for Jem.
  • In Unit 3, Activity 3.7, after reading several articles on Jim Crow Laws and the Civil Rights Movement but before reading Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird, students work in small groups to research a culminating presentation on “the historical, cultural, social, or geographical context” of the novel and “how individuals, organizations, and events contributed to change in the United States during the Civil Rights Movement.” Working first as a whole class, students draw on learning from previous texts to brainstorm names of people, organizations, and events relative to the period. Next, students form small groups or pairs and within those groups, independently research a webpage related to the Civil Rights Movement to build further background knowledge. While researching, students complete a cause and effect organizer to share with their groups. As students share their findings, other group members take notes, compiling findings to use in determining a single subject for further research. In the final stages of this collaborative multi-day activity, students generate research questions, use those questions to guide investigation of the topic under study, and plan and rehearse the oral multi-media presentation.

Indicator 1k

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 9 meet the indicators for 1k. Materials include a mix of on-demand and process writing (e.g., multiple drafts and revisions over time) and short, focused projects incorporating digital resources where appropriate.

On-demand writing tasks are present within most unit activities and focus on specific text/s and/or on a specific writing skill: e.g., quickwrites, double entry journals, reflections, note taking, and answering writing prompts. Standard features of each unit--Working from the Text, Writing to Sources, Argument Writing Prompts, Explanatory Writing Prompts, and Narrative Writing Prompts--ask students to write shorter, on-demand responses that require attention to development, textual evidence, and incorporation of writing skills studied. Additionally, the program offers opportunities for student revisions of many on-demand writing activities.

Following are some representative examples of how Grade 9 materials employ on-demand writing alongside technology, editing, and/or revision tasks over the course of the school year:

  • In Unit 1, Language Checkpoint 1.5, students are instructed to “revise the underlined words as needed to correct inappropriate shifts in voice or mood” as part of the unit grammar focus on active and passive voice. In the final activity of the lesson, students are to use “what you have learned about verb usage in this lesson [and] revisit what you wrote for the writing prompt activity in Lesson 1.5….Revise any inappropriate shifts between voices and moods.”
  • Unit 1, Activity 1.17, Writing to Sources: Argument asks students to show what they have learned about the structure of argument by returning to their explanation of Obama’s argument from Activity 1.15. In the process, students are to draft an analysis of Obama’s argument by revising their initial “thesis to include the techniques and rhetorical appeals Obama used to reach his audience,” focus their analysis, add direct quotations, and correct shifts in voice, pronouns, and verb tense.
  • In Unit 2, Activity 2.4, students complete an on-demand literary analysis of Robert Frost’s “Fire and Ice.” Writing to Sources: Explanatory Text instructs students to “[e]xplain how the author uses imagery and symbolism to convey purpose and meaning in his writing. Use the interpretative statement you wrote [in Check Your Understanding] as a starting point. Be sure to: Begin with a clear thesis that states your position; include direct quotations from the text to support your claims. Introduce and punctuate all quotations correctly; include transitions between points and a statement that provides a conclusion.”
  • In Unit 5, Activity 5.2, students work on a group project researching Shakespeare’s life, work, (e.g., plays, poems, publications), and theatre. The short, focused project asks students to independently research an aspect of Shakespeare’s self or milieu by using the Folger Shakespeare Library Website. After completing the independent research work, group members reconvene with their independent findings and design a presentation using visual or audio media to present their overall findings.

Process writing is supported in each unit through two Embedded Assessments preceded by a series of instructional and practice activities with concepts ranging from ideation to grammar and syntax choices, writing structures, revision and editing. The ten Embedded Assessments offer a breadth of ELA writing purposes: Writing and Presenting an Interview Narrative; Writing an Argumentative Essay; Writing a Short Story; Writing a Style and Analysis Essay; Writing a Literary Analysis Essay; Creating a Poetry Anthology; and Writing a Synthesis Argument. Each Embedded Assessment is outlined in Planning the Unit and Unit Overview sections of the Teacher’s Edition and Teacher Wrap provides general guidance to the teacher in the areas of revision and editing. Each Embedded Assessment also includes a scoring rubric and set of questions encouraging students to consider the elements of planning, drafting, and revising throughout the writing process: e.g., “pay careful attention,” “consult a peer for revision suggestions,” “use criteria on the organization and scoring guide,” “[show] concern for and command of conventions of language,” “check for an engaging and effective title,” and/or “check specifically for grammar topics studied in this unit.”

Following are some representative examples of how Grade 9 materials employ process writing in longer written tasks featuring revision and editing over the course of the school year:

  • In Unit 2, Embedded Assessment 2, after watching several Tim Burton films, students are asked to conduct a cinematic analysis of the director’s style across the body of his work. In Activity 2.10, students are introduced to the assignment: “Think about the Tim Burton films that you have viewed and analyzed. Choose three or four stylistic devices (cinematic techniques) that are common to these films….Your essay should focus on the ways in which the director uses stylistic techniques across films to achieve a desired effect.” The activity proceeds with an example of a style analysis and is followed by Activity 2.11, building student knowledge of cinematic technique. Over the course of four weeks, students use digital resources to become more familiar with the work of Tim Burton and study various cinematic techniques. Over the course of time, they compare scenes from multiple Tim Burton films and practice creating their own cinematic style within a group of peers. The ensuing lessons work students towards drafting, evaluating, revising, and editing for publication. Before tackling the final analysis across several films, students write “a well-developed paragraph analyzing Burton’s use of one specific [cinematic] technique in Edward Scissorhands.” This activity is supported by graphic organizers and charts to serve as a foundation for the final analysis, a three-day process complete with guiding process questions, reflection considerations, and a scoring rubric.
  • In Unit 4, Embedded Assessment 2, students are asked to “analyze a collection of work from a poet and write a style-analysis essay.” Through the course of the unit, students examine the music and lyrics for “Smells Like Teen Spirit” by Nirvana and Tori Amos, a sample from Def Poetry Jam--accessible online, and other online resources to conduct research about a poet of their choice. Lessons prior to the Embedded Assessment provide support for planning and preparation of the culminating task. Activity 4.14c provides learning around the concept of poetic device and asks students to write short explanations of how specific poets use poetic device in their work. Activity 4.15 asks students to decide on a single poet for independent analysis, using a graphic organizer in deconstructing selected poems. Activity 4.16 directs students to begin a rhetorical plan for their essay, complete with thesis statement, topic sentences, possible evidence, and conclusion. The Embedded Assessment guide asks students, “How will you share your draft with your peers and revise to reflect feedback?” “How will you evaluate your draft for organization, use of transitions, and coherence?” “What edits to do you need to make to your draft...grammar, punctuation, and spelling?” The Teacher Wrap suggests students use the scoring guide in the process of their revisions and “share and respond in writing groups.”

Indicator 1l

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 9 partially meet the criteria for materials providing opportunities for students to address different text types of writing that reflect the distribution required by the standards.

While the program provides a variety of opportunities for students to write in the modes of argument, explanation, and narrative with writing assignments connected to texts and/or text sets, the distribution of the writing does not meet the Common Core’s adherence to NAEP’s distribution of Communicative Purposes (CCSS, page 5). Most writing assignments are explanatory, while argument is represented in about one out of four writing assignments. The expectation for high school writing narrative prompts is for far fewer prompts than in the more academic modes. Optional Writing Workshops on all modes are available in the supplementary materials. There is little support for teachers or students to monitor progress. Within the shorter, on-demand writing tasks, there are few rubrics, checklists, or exemplars provided to teachers or students. Embedded Assessments offer support through a checklist of questions intended to promote student thinking on the processes of planning, drafting, editing, and revising, and the Embedded Assessments provide a rubric.

  • Although Unit 1 appears to distribute prompts among the writing genres evenly, not all prompts are accurately classified. For example, Activity 1.15 Writing to Sources: Argument is an expository analytical essay asking students to identify a claim and explain how the speaker supports the claim. Specifically, the prompt asks students to “analyze how Obama builds the argument in his speech. Identify his claim, supporting evidence, concession, and conclusion…. Begin with a thesis that identifies the claim made by Obama and states how he supports that claim; Explain what reasons and supporting evidence Obama uses and why; Explain how the concession and conclusion support the claim. Include multiple direct quotations from the text to support your explanations.” Also within the unit, the students write several narratives. In Activity 1.8, after reading an excerpt from Luis Rodriguez’s memoir and one of his poems recounting the same incident, students complete a RAFT activity and rewrite Rodriguez’s memory from another’s point-of-view.
  • Unit 2 distributes writing toward the explanatory and narrative genres. In Activity 2.9, after reading “The Cask of Amontillado” and “A Poison Tree,” students are asked in a Writing to Sources: Explanatory Text Prompt to explain how the authors “use literary elements, such as imagery and irony, to effectively convey the theme.” The assignment tells students to “begin with a clear thesis that states your position. Include multiple direct quotations from the text to support your claims.” Although classified in Planning the Unit as an explanatory writing task, the assignment language reads more like an argument prompt. Planning the Unit identifies only one activity as explicitly focused on argument. In Activity 2.19, Check Your Understanding, students are asked to write an analytical statement to this prompt: “What cinematic technique is most apparent in Burton’s Edward Scissorhands?” Later, in the same lesson, the Argument Writing Prompt asks students to write one paragraph in support of their statement. The paragraph is to “[s]how the relationship between the claim and the provided textual evidence. Explain the effect of each cinematic technique discussed. Use transitional devices to link the claim and the evidence. Provide a conclusion that supports your argument.“
  • Unit 3 distributes writing toward the explanatory genres with only two writing tasks classified as argument in Planning the Unit. Activity 3.3, Writing to Sources: Explanatory Text asks students to “cite three examples of Jim Crow laws that would have presented financial hardships to a local government or institution” and make inferences from the “fact that these laws went unchallenged for many years.” In Activity 3.16, while reading To Kill a Mockingbird, the Explanatory Writing Prompt asks students to write an explanation of “how character, conflict, or setting contribute to the coming of age theme in Chapter 11.” In Activity 3.23, after reading To Kill a Mockingbird, Working from the Text asks students to “compose an argument defending or challenging the use of the novel To Kill a Mockingbird in the ninth-grade curriculum of your school.” Embedded Assessment 2 asks students to analyze a key “coming-of-age scene,” explaining how literary elements develop a theme of the novel. Although identified by the standards in the Teacher Wrap as meeting the requirements of an explanatory essay, given the theme is not assigned, one could argue a literary analysis of this type is indeed argumentative. The student will have to posit a theme and explain or support how literary elements develop the selected theme.
  • Unit 4 is a study of poetry and includes both creative and explanatory writing. Embedded Assessment 1 asks students to design a poetry anthology. Embedded Assessment 2 asks students to focus on a single poet and organize an essay that demonstrates “insightful analysis of the poet’s work.” Through the unit, in preparation for the embedded assessment, students write summaries, explain themes, and analyze how poetic structures and tone contribute to a poet’s style.
  • Unit 5 distributes writing topics between explanatory prompts and argumentative prompts. The first half of the unit builds background knowledge in the history and context of the Elizabethan theatre while the second half of the unit prepares students to write a synthesis argument by reading both argument essays and informational texts. After reading diverse opinions on the works of Shakespeare, Embedded Assessment 2 asks students “to compose an argument for or against the inclusion of William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet in the ninth-grade curriculum. You will evaluate research and gather evidence from a variety of sources about Shakespeare’s relevance and influence in today’s world. Finally, you will synthesize and cite your evidence in an argumentative essay that maintains a formal style and tone appropriate to your audience and purpose, uses rhetorical appeals including logical reasoning, and includes all the organizational elements of an argumentative essay.” Again, as in other units, writing assignments classified by Planning the Unit as explanatory in nature could equally well be classified as argumentative. For example, in Activity 5.8, Writing to Sources: Explanatory Text, students are asked to “Write a review stating a preference for one of the three balcony scenes you have watched or read. Compare and contrast...provide commentary...be sure to clearly state your preference...include evidence in the form of details...include appropriate transition words.”

Indicator 1m

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 9 meet the criteria for Indicator 1m. The Grade 9 materials include frequent opportunities for evidence-based writing to support analyses, well-defended claims, and clear information appropriate to the grade level.

The instructional materials for Grade 9 support the indicator’s focus on writing to sources, a key task to grow students’ literacy skills. Writing tasks build over the course of the school year, providing students with varied opportunities of growing complexity to learn, practice, and demonstrate evidenced-based writing. Students are asked to analyze texts, create claims, and include clear information and evidence from texts read within the unit as well as texts read independently. Application of these skills is evident within the on-demand writing assignments as well as in the embedded assessments within each unit.

  • In Unit 1, Activity 1.5, after reading “Marigolds” by Eugenia Collier, Writing to Sources: Explanatory Text asks students to explain “how the author uses diction, imagery, and other literary devices such as juxtaposition and flashback to create the narrator’s voice and present a particular point of view.” Students are reminded to “begin with a clear thesis that states your opinion; include multiple direct quotations from the text to support your claims. Introduce and punctuate all quotations correctly; include transitions between points and a statement that provides a conclusion.”
  • In Unit 2, Activity 2.21, after viewing three films by Tim Burton: Big Fish (2004), Corpse Bride (2005), and Alice in Wonderland (2010), Writing to Sources: Explanatory Text asks students to write “a brief explanatory essay comparing and contrasting the style and themes of the Tim Burton films you have watched. Use your notes to help you. What similarities in style and/or theme do you notice? What difference between style and/or theme are there between the films? Be sure to: Include specific details and evidence from the films to support your claims; use a coherent organizational structure and employ transitions effectively to highlight similarities and differences; use an appropriate voice and a variety of phrases to add interest to your writing; provide a concluding statement that supports your claim.”
  • Unit 3, Embedded Assessment 2 asks students to write a literary analysis “of a key coming-of-age scene from To Kill a Mockingbird. After annotating the text to analyze Harper Lee’s use of literary elements in your selected passage, write an essay explaining how the literary elements in this passage help develop a theme of the novel.” The Assessment Scoring Guide indicates an exemplary response “includes a well-chosen passage that reveals the complex relationship between the literary elements and the major ideas and concepts of the entire work; provides supporting details to enhance understanding of the writer’s position; and relates commentary directly to the thesis.” In preparation for the assessment, Activity 3.22 asks students to perform a close reading activity in which they “write the inference you are making from the topic of the commentary, and then provide the textual evidence to support that inference.”
  • In Unit 4, Activity 4.14, after reading two poems by Leslie Marmon Silko, students prepare for Embedded Assessment 2 by writing an analytic analysis of the author’s style. The Writing to Sources: Explanatory Text activity asks students to identify “the key ideas and tone. Include an explanation of all the poetic elements...include the title and author of your poem; include multiple direct quotations from the poem to exemplify your analysis. Introduce and punctuate all quotations correctly; use an appropriate voice and a variety of sentence structures.”
  • In Unit 5, Activity 5.8, after watching two film versions of the Romeo and Juliet balcony scene and reading the script from the West Side Story balcony scene, Writing to Sources: Explanatory Text asks students to write “a review stating a preference for one” of the scenes. In the review, students are to compare and contrast how “set design, blocking, and/or theatrical elements contribute to an emotional impact.” Students are reminded to clearly state their preference in the topic sentence and include details from all three scenes in the development of their review. Although identified as an explanatory prompt, the genre of review and concept of preference tend toward argument, regardless, the criteria of Indicator l are met; students are using evidence-based writing to support a careful analysis appropriate to Grade 9.

Indicator 1n

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 9 meet the criteria for Indicator 1n. The instructional materials include instruction of grammar and conventions/language standards for Grade 9 and are applied in increasingly sophisticated contexts with opportunities for application context.

Direct instruction and practice with grammar and conventions/language standards are explicitly delineated and also embedded within the activities of unit lessons. Each of the five Grade 9 units is introduced with Planning the Unit, a Teacher Resource page explaining the unit purpose, followed by the Instructional Activities and Pacing chart listing instructional activities including grammar and language skills as they are taught and applied in the text selections and writing activities. An additional chart, Unit Resources at a Glance, provides a categorical list of unit features: Language Skills comprised of Language and Writer’s Craft featured on activity pages; Grammar and Usage, identified on activity pages through a sidebar; Writing Workshop with Grammar Activities, available through Teacher Resources; and English Language Development. Beneath each of these categories are specifically listed conventions and applications of grammatical structures taught and practiced throughout the unit. The unit’s activities, Word Connections, Academic and Social Language Preview, and some Check Your Understanding activities, address specific language concepts (L.9-10.4-6) and provide opportunities for student practice.

For example, in Unit 1, the Instructional Activities and Pacing Guide indicates that Activities 1.2, 1.3, 1.4, and 1.5 offer instruction and practice with language goals. The Unit 1 Resources at a Glance lists verb mood and parallel structure as studies in Language and Writer’s Craft and lists dashes, compound sentences, correlative conjunctions, and subjunctive voice among the Grammar and Usage conventions to be studied. Activities 1.2 and 1.3 engage students in their knowledge of diction, syntax, imagery to analyze how “elements of language create a distinct voice” and tone. Activity 1.3 also presents a Grammar and Usage sidebar on dashes, defining the term, pointing out its use in the text under study, and suggesting students discuss the effect of the dash, a convention first cited for instruction in L.6.2a and urged by the standards for “continued attention in higher grades as they are applied to increasingly sophisticated writing and speaking” (CCSS, p.30). Thereafter, students are asked to find other instances of the convention and consider its effect on voice and tone. These lessons are followed by Activity 1.4, a lesson in parallel structure (L.9-10.1a & 1b) further developed by a Grammar and Usage sidebar providing instruction and practice in the use of correlative conjunctions as they function in parallel structure (L.9-10.2a). Later in the unit, Activity 15 asks students to analyze how the use of parallel structure in a speech, “Remarks by the President in a National Address to Schoolchildren” by President Obama, enhances the persuasive nature of his words. This activity asks students to demonstrate their proficiency at higher level of sophistication as they explain “how language functions in different contexts” (L.9-10.3).

Word Connections, a sidebar featured throughout many unit activities, supports L.9-10.4-6, language standards related to Vocabulary Acquisition and Use. For example, in Unit 4, Activity 2, a callout box defines the word “abyss” and analyzes the word alongside two other words used in the text, “infinitesimal” and “void,” explaining how the three words work together to enhance the author’s meaning. An additional sidebar, Literary Terminology, defines domain specific words. Unit 4, Activity 2, Literary Terminology highlights “anaphora” alongside the technical words, “repetition” and “stanza.” Later, in the same activity, another Word Connections callout defines the word “homonym” and points out homonyms found in the text under study. Word Connections and Literary Terminology support students as they grow in skill to determine word meaning and as they “acquire and use accurately general academic and domain-specific words and phrases” (CCSS, p. 53).

Additionally, found in all Grade 9 units are lessons titled Academic and Social Language Preview, which typically precede lessons titled Interpreting the Text Using Close Reading. Unit 1 offers three such lessons. Academic and Social Language Preview offers an opportunity for students to determine word meaning through a context sentence prior to reading an entire text and then check their definitions against a formal source (L.9-10.4a & 4d). The lesson is followed by the close reading and study of the associated mentor text. Found in most Grade 9 units is an optional Language Checkpoint class period activity. The Grade 9 checkpoints included in Units 1-3 are lessons in verb voice and mood, using punctuation within sentences, and pronoun antecedent agreement.

Among the resource materials found under the Teacher Resource tab on the SpringBoard landing page are Grammar Activities aligned to specific grades, units, and activities (currently bearing the 2014 copyright date) as well as a Grammar Handbook for grades 9-12 (2014 copyright). Writing Workshops (copyright 2014), accessed through the Teacher Resources tab, also include instruction and practice with Language and Writer’s Craft through mentor texts. For example, Writing Workshop 6: Research Writing, Language and Writer’s Craft Practice provides instruction on citing sources (L.9-10.3a), then asks students to use the Works Cited at the end of a provided article to “rewrite the sentences that use outside sources. Instead of parenthetical citations, directly state who the source authors are, and emphasize their expertise using the information provided.”

Gateway Two

Building Knowledge with Texts, Vocabulary, and Tasks

Meets Expectations

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Gateway Two Details

The SpringBoard Grade 9 instructional materials meet the expectations for building knowledge. The instructional materials build knowledge through integrated reading, writing, speaking, listening, and language.

Criterion 2a - 2h

32/32

Indicator 2a

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 9 meet the criteria for Indicator 2a. Texts and text sets are organized around a topic/topics to build students’ knowledge and their ability to read and comprehend complex texts proficiently.

Grade 9 units and corresponding text sets are developed around “‘coming-of-age’ as the thematic focus of the year.” Although only Units 1, 3, and 5 bear the words “coming-of-age” in their unit titles, the texts of Unit 2 and Unit 4 explore the coming-of-age theme; however, the questions and tasks to Unit 2 and Unit 4 tend to focus on author’s craft and style rather than the year’s coming-of-age focus.

  • In Unit 1, Coming of Age, students explore the theme of coming of age and examine how writers use stylistic choices in a variety of texts to create the voices of characters who are going through life-changing experiences.
  • In Unit 2, Defining Style, students study how authors and a filmmaker develop their style using specific techniques through a series of texts, several depicting the challenges of a main character traveling through the trials of life. However, Unit 2 does not make use of questions or tasks establishing the connection between the year’s thematic focus and unit texts. The theme of “The Stolen Party,” one of the unit texts, is established in the Second Read questions as “the undeniable gap between the rich and the poor.” Further questions presented in Second Read develop stylistic choices such as point of view, irony, and foreshadowing. Likewise, the study of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, easily an example of the coming-of-age theme, centers on stylistic choices made by the novel’s author and the film director and do not connect the text to the author’s use of literary and dramatic elements to develop the coming-of-age theme.
  • In Unit 3, Coming of Age in Changing Times, students examine how social, cultural, geographical, and historical context can affect both the writer’s construction of a text and a reader’s response to the text.
  • In Unit 4, Exploring Poetic Voices, students develop the skills and knowledge to analyze and craft poetry, including analyzing the function and effects of figurative language while reading poems often framing the challenges of moving into adulthood.
  • In Unit 5, Coming of Age on the Stage, students analyze the representation of key scenes in text, film, and other mediums by planning and performing a collaborative interpretation of a scene from Romeo and Juliet, the ultimate coming-of-age drama, and conducting research to support an argument about the relevance of Shakespeare in today’s world.

The sequence of texts and lesson scaffolds are designed to support students as they read to comprehend complex texts. Students read text independently, in small groups, and as whole group read alouds. In addition, students are asked to actively monitor their reading comprehension through the guiding questions of the Setting a Purpose for Reading and Second Read sections. Unit texts are distributed at varying levels within the quantitative and qualitative measures appropriate to the grade band. Finally, in each Activity, students are provided with text-dependent questions to engage them actively and provide scaffolding for students in need.

Indicator 2b

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 9 meet the criteria for Indicator 2b. Grade 9 materials contain sets of coherently sequenced higher order thinking questions and tasks that require students to analyze the language (words/phrases), key ideas, details, craft, and structure of individual texts in order to make meaning and build understanding of texts and topics.

Within most activities of each unit students work independently, in small groups, and as a whole group responding to questions and completing tasks that require analysis of individual texts. The sequence of texts and tasks are designed to support students as they build knowledge and skills through progressively more complex text-based interactions.

Each unit activity introducing a new text follows a common pattern. An activity feature, Preview, explains the what and why of the lesson/activity followed by Setting a Purpose, an activity feature fostering self-monitoring through “while-reading” task engagement with the text. For example, in Unit 4 Activity 12, Preview tells students what they will be reading, “a free-verse coming of age poem,” and the why, “[to] conduct a close analysis of style and theme,” an essential skill for the successful completion of the unit’s Embedded Assessment 2. Setting a Purpose asks students to circle “unknown words and phrases. Try to determine the meaning of the words by using context clues, word parts, or a dictionary” and underline “examples of imagery” as they read the poem, “Young” by Anne Sexton. Following the first reading, Second Read asks students a series of increasingly rich, text-dependent questions, each classified as a question related to better understanding Key Ideas and Details or Craft and Structure. In some question sets, Integration of Knowledge and Ideas is also included within this portion of the lesson.

Following Second Read, students become engaged in Working from the Text, a frequently collaborative activity typically engaging students in a directed but more personally responsive work, e.g., working with a graphic organizer, preparing a summary, classifying text ideas, comparing and contrasting concepts and approaches, etc. In Unit 4, Activity 12, students are given instruction on an analytic process, TP-CASTT, and provided a corresponding graphic organizer. The Working from Text instructions ask them to “Complete the TP-CASTT note-taking organizer on the following page with your small group.” After students work through the activity text in various ways, Check Your Understanding asks them to respond briefly to a guiding question, typically in writing but sometimes through discussion. For example, in Unit 4, Activity 12, students are asked to “Write a thematic statement about the poem, ‘Young.’ Consider Sexton’s diction and the structure of the poem. How does the lack of punctuation contribute to the coming-of-age theme?” The unit activities and texts work progressively, leading students to toward the first of two Embedded Assessments appearing midway through the unit and again at the unit end. Unit 4, Embedded Assessment 2 asks students to “analyze a collection of work from a poet and write a style-analysis essay,” a performance task that has been practiced through the various activities of Unit 4, Activities 4.10 through 4.16.

Although some unit activities culminate in Check Your Understanding, another feature, Writing to Sources, is a more extensive writing assignment that culminates other unit activities. Often, Language and Writer’s Craft appears prior to Writing to Sources to bolster student knowledge and practice in completing the Writing to Sources feature. For example, in Unit 5, Activity 17, after moving through the standard activity features, the lesson continues with Language and Writer’s Craft: Using and Citing Sources. The section provides tips and three examples on how to integrate quoted or paraphrased text into one’s original writing. Students are asked to practice the technique with their own writing. Writing to Sources follows the Language and Writer’s Craft practice, extending the concepts taught by asking students to draft “a paragraph to support the claim that Shakespeare has a significant global influence.” Students are reminded to use a topic sentence stating their claim; use parenthetical or in-text citations for at least one quotation from each text; and integrate evidence with commentary to explain how their evidence supports their claim.

Indicator 2c

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 9 meet the criteria for Indicator 2c. Grade 9 material contains a coherently sequenced set of text-dependent and text-specific questions and tasks that require students to build knowledge and integrate ideas across both individual and multiple texts. Within most activities of each unit, the sequence of questions, texts, and tasks are designed to build student knowledge and strengthen student skills. Teaching and learning materials provide explicit instruction in research-based reading strategies and text annotation, analytic discussion, and academic writing.

Reading closely is a central activity of every unit: “During the first read, students are encouraged to engage with the text and annotate it with questions and thoughts. When they return to the text for a second read, students search for answers and evidence in response to thoughtful text-dependent questions found after each passage. The questions have been written to tap into the complexity of the text: thematic complexity, structural or linguistic complexity, or content knowledge demands.” Overall, these questions are text-specific and/or text-dependent and are not framed across texts; however, some Second Read questions reference generalities related to themes, literary elements, literary devices, or conventions, further supporting the acquisition of knowledge within and across texts.

In addition to discussions fueled by text-dependent questions, a mix of argumentative, explanatory, and narrative writing prompts provide opportunities for students to demonstrate their understanding and analysis of texts through written expression. Performance tasks allow students to integrate the knowledge and skills they have acquired to demonstrate proficiencies in reading and language standards through writing. Most embedded assessments ask students to expand on unit texts by conducting independent research to integrate knowledge acquired on their own with knowledge gained in the classroom.

Unit activities are typically threaded together through a thematic focus connecting one day’s lesson to the next day’s lesson and therefore, the text of study in one activity to the text of study in the following activities. Additionally, Embedded Assessments occur twice in each unit; they ask students to use knowledge and skills gained through previous lessons to demonstrate proficiencies and growth. Each unit follows a similar pattern in developing student ability to successfully build knowledge from single texts and synthesizing knowledge among texts. Day one of each unit begins with Preview, an overview of the unit’s first Embedded Assessment; thereafter, most activities or lessons build to develop student skills and knowledge in the performance of that assessment. After the completion of the first Embedded Assessment the second half of the unit begins, this time with a preview of the second Embedded Assessment which culminates the unit study. Thereafter, most ensuing activities progress to build student proficiencies to complete the second assessment. Through this reiterative process, students gain knowledge and skills to the immediate text under study while simultaneously considering how to integrate their learning into the upcoming performance task.

For example, in Unit 3 students read the novel, To Kill a Mockingbird; however, they do not begin reading the novel until midway through the unit. The first half of Unit 3, Activity 1 through Activity 8 builds context for students to better understand the concepts and conflicts explored through the novel set nearly 80 years before these readers’ time. This exploration becomes the basis for Embedded Assessment 1 as students “research the historical, cultural, social, and/or geographical context of the novel and investigate how individuals, organizations, and events contributed to change in the United States during the Civil Rights Movement.” Embedded Assessment 2, a literary analysis of To Kill a Mockingbird, is previewed in Activity 9 and completed after students have read the novel following Activity 23.

Day 1 of Unit 3, Activity 1 begins with a preview of Embedded Assessment; Activity 3.2 introduces students to the academic word, “context,” and begins to build a pictorial history of segregation and desegregation in the United between the 1930s and the 1960s through a series of visual texts. The first alphabetic text is introduced in Activity 3.3 and follows the program’s protocol when introducing a new text: Preview, Setting a Purpose, Second Read, Working from the Text, and Check Your Understanding. Writing to Sources, a more extensive writing feature frequently follows Check Your Understanding. In Activity 3.3, students read two informational texts providing contextualization of the civil rights movement: “Jim Crow: Shorthand for Separation” and “Jim Crow Laws - Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historic Site.” Preview indicates the students will be reading two texts. Typically, unit activities feature a single text. Setting a Purpose offers students a task to complete while engaged in the first reading of a text; in the case of “Jim Crow: Shorthand for Separation,” Setting a Purpose tells students to underline words that “define the term Jim Crow” and “circle unknown words and phrases.” This activity is meant to build student knowledge of the term Jim Crow, knowledge that will be essential to understanding the second text selection, a compilation of Jim Crow laws, and moreover, essential to understanding the historic and cultural context of To Kill a Mockingbird. Second Read engages students in a closer reading of the text, prompting students to consider questions that are both text-based and text-dependent. For example, students are asked the explicit text based question, “Why were Jim Crow laws put in place?” and the slightly more inferential text-dependent question, “Why did opponents want to overturn the laws?”

After reading and rereading “Jim Crow: Shorthand for Separation,” the second text, “Jim Crow Laws,” a primary source, is introduced. The instructional protocol again proceeds with Setting a Purpose, a while- reading activity. Students are instructed to use “metacognitive markers to respond to the text” using a question mark to signal confusion, an asterisk to signal an interesting concept or mark something the reader already knows, and an exclamation mark for concepts that are surprising or help with predictions. Following the first reading, Second Read asks students a series of increasingly rich text-dependent questions. This series of questions requires students to draw on both current knowledge as well as new knowledge gained in light of both activity texts, e.g., “Why is it significant that many Jim Crow laws reference gender as well as race?” or “Why did Mississippi likely make it illegal to promote racial equality?” In Working from the Text, students are asked to work collaboratively to sort the primary source Jim Crow laws into categories and write a brief summary of their group’s thinking. This activity or lesson culminates in Writing to Sources: Explanatory Text. Students are asked to cite “three examples of Jim Crow laws that would have presented financial hardships to a local government or institution” and further, “infer from the fact that these laws went unchallenged for many years?” Students are reminded to use and cite direct quotations, provide specific text examples, use prepositional phrases, and maintain an appropriate voice in their writing. Additionally, an Independent Reading Link sidebar asks students to consider the informational or nonfiction texts they have chosen for independent reading (related to the themes of the unit) and reflect on “recurring themes and issues” among that text, “Jim Crow: Shorthand for Separation” and the “Jim Crow Laws” primary source. The sidebar also asks students to consider how reading about Jim Crow laws may help them better understand To Kill a Mockingbird.

This activity or lesson is followed by a series of activities following the same instructional protocols to build background knowledge not only through a single text but also through the synthesis of understanding brought about through broad reading. Unit 3, Activity 4 introduces a PBS source, The Rise and Fall of Jim Crow; Unit 3, Activity 5 introduces King’s “Letter from Birmingham Jail,” and Unit 3, Activity 6 further builds historical context through a Civil Rights timeline running from 1863-1968. Each isolated text joins the library of texts built across the unit’s study and through the students’ independent reading in preparation for Embedded Assessment 1, “to research the historical, cultural, social, or geographical context of the novel To Kill a Mockingbird and investigate how individuals, organizations, and events contributed to change in the United States during the Civil Rights Movement.”

Indicator 2d

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 9 meet the criteria for Indicator 2d. The Grade 9 questions and tasks support students’ ability to complete culminating tasks in which they demonstrate their knowledge of a topic through integrated skills (e.g. a combination of reading, writing, speaking, and listening).

During each unit, students complete two Embedded Assessments, one midpoint in the unit and the second at the unit’s end; the Embedded Assessments ask students to work collaboratively as well as independently. Each one is a unique performance task that allows students to show knowledge proficiency with texts, concepts, and skills representative of multiple grade-level standards and taught through previous lesson sets. The Embedded Assessments require students to deepen learning through analysis and synthesis, presenting their findings through a variety of products: essays, multimedia presentations, speeches, dramatic interpretations, and anthologies. Each unit strategically builds towards the culminating assessment and provides teachers with usable information about student readiness. Skills needed to complete the performance tasks, e.g., writing processes, technology fluency, and speaking and listening skills, are modeled and directly taught as well as practiced in relationship to the performance task. Further supports exist within the student and teacher materials to ensure students are able to complete the performance task. Additionally, many of the text-dependent questions related to Second Read as well as the questions and activities in Check Your Understanding align to the culminating tasks.

In Unit 1, Embedded Assessment 1 asks students to "interview a person who has attended a postsecondary institution (i.e., a two- or four-year college, a training or vocational school, the military) and to write an interview narrative that effectively portrays the voice of the interviewee while revealing how the experience contributed to his or her coming-of-age.” In preparation for this assessment, students have read and studied a variety of texts including novels, short stories, poems, memoirs, and nonfiction focusing on voice: how the author develops voice and what effect voice has on the reader. To complete this embedded assignment, students create an interview protocol and conduct an interview (SL.9-10.1c). Following the interview, students are to transcribe the interview into a cohesive narrative that relates the coming-of-age experience in the voice of the interviewee (RI.9-10.1, RI.9-10.2, and W.9 –10.3a). To support students in the task, a series of guided questions help students through planning, prewriting, drafting, revising, and editing, e.g., “Are you satisfied with the list of questions you might ask? How will you set up the interview as a conversation rather than an interrogation?” “Have you carefully transformed your questions and answers into a narrative?” Each embedded assessment is accompanied with a Scoring Guide outlining student expectations. Supports also exist in the Teacher’s Edition to help teachers identify that students are prepared to address these tasks. Teachers are encouraged to have students “review and evaluate their research, their proposal, and their levels of questions [from previous activities in the unit]. If they need to do additional research or make changes, have them address those concerns now.” Other supports include making certain that each group has a plan for dividing the responsibilities fairly, reminding students to keep their audience analysis in mind as they make choices and decisions, setting a minimum and maximum time for presentations, having presenters distribute or post their guiding questions unless they have been incorporated into their chosen media, and instructing listeners to take notes during the presentations.

In Unit 3, Embedded Assessment 1 asks students to work collaboratively to create an oral presentation of research regarding “the historical, cultural, social, or geographical context of the novel To Kill a Mockingbird.” The task asks students to investigate “how individuals, organizations, and events contributed to change in the United States during the Civil Rights Movement.” The students present their findings with multimedia support and provide guiding questions for their audience. In preparation for this assessment, unit activities engage students in an examination of numerous texts including images and photographs, informational, essays, a timeline, and online research with a focus on context: historical, cultural, social, and geographical. In the completion of the task, students demonstrate a number of standards-based, grade-level skills applying to grade-level standards, including reading, writing, speaking and listening. The task requires students conduct research and “integrate information from authoritative sources” to use in the communication of “a thoughtful, well-organized analysis of the topic.” Additionally, students are to format citations properly in a complete, annotated bibliography, incorporate visual displays and multimedia to enhance ideas and engage audience, and provide well-organized, high-quality questions in the audience guide to focus the audience’s attention. Through previous unit activities, students participate in activities to support the expectations of the embedded assessment. For example, in Unit 3, Activity 4 students practice presentation skills by sharing information garnered through “investigation” of a website, presenting their findings while “display[ing] the appropriate webpage as a visual” to a small group or the audience. The practice activity suggests students use index cards to ensure opportunities to maintain eye contact rather than reading from the computer screen. As students listen to peer presentations, they are instructed to “evaluate how well each presenter summarizes the information on the webpage in a clear and concise manner, faces the audience, and uses eye contact.” As students gather information and evaluate one another, the teacher is instructed in the Teacher Wrap how to assess this component of the activity, noting this activity previews the embedded assessment to follow. During the completion of the embedded assessment, students are provided a series of guided questions for each phase of the task: planning, creating and rehearsing, presenting, and listening stages. Guiding questions range from “What research questions will help you explore the subject and investigate your subject’s contribution to change?” to “How will you divide the speaking responsibilities and make smooth transitions between speakers?” and “How will you use notes for your talking points so you can maintain eye contact with your listeners?” Supports also exist in the Teacher’s Edition to help teachers identify that students are prepared to address these tasks. Teachers are encouraged to have students “review and evaluate their research, their proposal, and their levels of questions [from previous activities in the unit]. If they need to do additional research or make changes, have them address those concerns now.” Other supports include making certain that each group has a plan for dividing the responsibilities fairly, reminding students to keep their audience analysis in mind as they make choices and decisions, setting a minimum and maximum time for presentations, having presenters distribute or post their guiding questions unless they have been incorporated into their chosen media, and instructing listeners to take notes during the presentations. Each embedded assessment is accompanied with a Scoring Guide outlining student expectations.

In Unit 5, Embedded Assessment 1 asks students to work collaboratively within an acting company scenario to “interpret, rehearse, and perform a scene from William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet.” In preparation for this assessment, students have explored a variety of texts including the play, Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare, a monologue from As You Like It also by Shakespeare, images and artwork from Shakespeare plays, and film interpretations of Romeo and Juliet. Throughout, students have been building knowledge of theatrical elements and analyzing their effects, practicing delivery of substantive lines, and analyzing the interaction of language, plot, and characters. To complete this embedded assessment, students create a staging notebook providing textual evidence and commentary on the planned interpretation, (RL.9-10.1, RL.9-10.2, and RL.9-10.3) and integrate theatrical elements such as vocal and visual delivery, blocking, props, costumes, lighting, music, sound, and set design into the final performance (SL.9-10.2). Following the performance, students are to write a reflective essay evaluating their work (W.9-10.2). To support students in completing this task, a series of guided questions help students to think through the planning, rehearsing, performing, and evaluating chunks of the task, e.g., “As an actor, how will you learn your lines and prepare for delivery? How could you use a video recording...to improve the quality of your performance? What were the strengths of your performances? What challenges did you face? Each embedded assessment is accompanied with a Scoring Guide outlining student expectations. Supports also exist in the Teacher’s Edition to help teachers identify that students are prepared to address these tasks. Teachers are encouraged to remind students to review “the requirements for each staging notebook that are outlined in Activity 5.7.” Other supports include integrating rehearsal time with the reading of the play and the scaffolding activities after Activity 5.7, setting a date for performances and scheduling a makeup day for absentees, using copies of the performance evaluation rubric that the class created in Activity 5.10, and using the performance section of the Scoring Guide to help students evaluate each other’s performances.

Indicator 2e

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 9 meet the criteria for Indicator 2e. Grade 9 materials include a cohesive, year-long plan for students to interact and build key academic vocabulary words in and across texts. Materials include a consistent approach for students to regularly interact with word relationships and build academic and figurative language in context.

Opportunities to build vocabulary are found throughout the instructional materials. A cohesive, year-long description of vocabulary instruction is found in the Language Development section of The Front Matter, Teacher’s Edition found in the listings under the Teacher Resource tab on the program’s landing page. The Front Matter describes the program’s approach to language skills and knowledge as “part of an integrated approach to reading, writing, speaking, and listening with instruction that focuses on language as a flexible tool that can be adapted for specific contexts.” The section goes on to specifically outline four instructional features embedded within each unit: Academic Vocabulary featuring Tier Two terms and concepts; Literary Terms equipping students with Tier Three language from the ELA domain; Word Connections featuring roots and affixes etymology, cognates, word relationships, and multiple-meaning words; and Academic Vocabulary in Context featuring glossed terms at the point of use for words with insufficient context clues to aid in comprehension. Additionally, Language and Writer’s Craft activities along with Grammar and Usage sidebars provide language instruction and grammar support in the context of reading and writing within the unit. Language Checkpoint activities offer optional practice opportunities for students to develop or refresh their knowledge of standard English conventions.

Other unit features support teacher instruction and student use of vocabulary in various contexts. The Unit Overview, a feature page of each unit, presents a sidebar listing of Academic Vocabulary and Literary Terms introduced, taught, and studied in each unit. Within the activities or lessons, the Setting a Purpose for Reading feature frequently asks students to identify “unknown words or phrases” and determine their meaning using “context clues, word parts, or a dictionary.” Additionally, Planning the Unit offers two features, Supporting Students’ Language Development and Digital Resource: English Language Development Activities, offering additional supports in scaffolded language instruction to ensure students have opportunities to learn, practice, apply, and transfer the language needed to “develop the content knowledge, skills, and academic language needed to perform well on the Embedded Assessments.” The application of words across texts or in ways that support accelerated vocabulary learning in reading, speaking, and writing tasks is most strongly supported through Tier 3 study of language related to literature, rhetoric, and other studies of the ELA domain and reiteratively applied in analysis and communicated through speaking and writing.

The Unit 3, Unit Overview lists Academic Vocabulary and Literary Terms for study across the next 23 activities or lessons. Academic terms listed are: context, primary source, secondary source, plagiarism parenthetical citation, valid, rhetoric, bibliography, annotated bibliography, evaluate, censor, and censorship; literary terms listed are: symbol, motif, plot, subplot, flat/static character, andround/ dynamic character. Over the course of the unit, students frequently interact with these words in the context of texts, activities, and tasks. An essential term for the unit, context, is called out in Activity 3.2: Picturing the Past: “When reading a text, you may find words that you do not know. You can use the context —the words around the text—to infer meaning. In the same way, the context of a novel or a situation refers to the circumstances or conditions in which the thing exists or takes place. Knowing context helps you understand the novel or situation better.” Featured sidebars defining academic vocabulary such as this provide rich, multidimensional definition of the word linked to strategies on how readers and writers use context to make meaning. The word “context” is repeated and applied in various ways across the unit, more than one-hundred times, allowing students to learn, apply, and transfer their understanding of the term in reading, speaking, and writing. All terms listed in the sidebars receive similar treatment, fully defined and contextualized; thereafter, the terms are repeated many times through the unit’s study in both receptive and expressive modes. This type of activity is foundational as students build academic vocabulary, read diverse literary texts, research among primary and secondary sources, and prepare to become college and career ready.

The Unit 5, Unit Overview lists nine Academic Vocabulary and ten Literary Terms for study across the next 20 activities or lessons. The unit feature, Supporting Students’ Language Development Section notes that numerous “resources are available in this unit to help teachers differentiate instruction for English language learners or other students who need extra support in English language development.” The associated ELL Support Document found on the listings under the Teacher Resource tab on the program’s landing page indicates teachers should “consistently apply and practice strategic vocabulary development support for Academic Vocabulary with tools such as interactive word walls, diffusing, vocabulary graphic organizers, and QHT work.” The Digital Resources feature indicates where ELD-focused activities for three texts within the unit can be found, i.e.: Academic and Social Language Preview, Interpreting the Text Using Close Reading, and Collaborative Academic Discussion. Each of these activities use an excerpt from the text under study to support language learning essential to understanding the isolated text, the concepts under study, and the larger goals of the unit. Typically, Academic and Social Language Preview First provides a chart listing selected words for study and their contextual reference. Students are asked to “work with a partner to see if you can determine the word’s meaning using context clues or your knowledge of word parts.” Then they complete a Language Practice exercise; Activity 5.1a asks students to circle a synonym for the word. The activity wraps up with Practice Steps; Activity 5.1a concludes with these instructions: “Many English words come from words in other languages such as Greek and Latin. Look at the origin of the following words. Write what you think each word’s definition is today. Then, write a sentence that shows you understand the meaning of the word.” Collaborative Academic Discussion activities engage students in small group or paired discussions around academic language and literary concerns. For example, Activity 5.1c asks students to discuss “[h]ow does the author foreshadow the deaths of Mercutio and Tybalt?” and then provides a sentence frame for student response: “The author foreshadows Mercutio’s death when _____. The author foreshadows Tybalt’s death when _____.” The activity ends with the feature, Asking Questions. Students are provided with an explanation of the text’s content or message and then asked to write a response. For example, in Activity 5.1c, students are asked about the deaths of Tybalt and Mercutio and then asked to write a response to the prompt: “Could this tragic fate or result have been avoided? On the first set of lines below, explain what Romeo could have done to avoid the conflict. On the second set of lines, write what you think Romeo would say to Mercutio and Tybalt if he could. Then, on the last set of lines, write any questions or thoughts you have about why these events happened.”

Indicator 2f

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 9 meet the criteria for Indicator 2f. Grade 9 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.

Opportunities to build and communicate learning of topics and texts through written expression are found throughout the instructional materials. The Front Matter of the Teacher’s Edition indicates that “SpringBoard provides multiple opportunities for authentic, task-based writing and writing to sources,” (page xiv), and there are many writing prompts that require students to seek evidence. Also, “[s]tructured opportunities are provided that require short and extended student research in order to practice evaluating sources, gathering relevant evidence, and citing and reporting findings accurately” (page xiv), and students are asked to find evidence, to weigh credibility, and to cite in a variety of formats and styles.

As students are learning to write, they learn to consider task, audience, and purpose in structuring and organizing their writing. Direct instruction in writing in different modes—narrative, argumentative, and explanatory—is a primary focus of unit instruction.” The section goes on to delineate five areas integrated within unit activities and additional resources available through the Teacher Resource tab: guided instruction in the major modes of writing; direct instruction emphasizing incorporation of details, reasons, and textual evidence; short and extended research writing focused on evaluating sources, gathering relevant evidence, and citing and reporting findings accurately; integration of research-based strategies supporting the writing process; and formative writing prompts, performance-based embedded assessments and optional mode-specific writing workshops.

Several unit features also support student growth in writing skills. Language and Writer’s Craft and Language Checkpoints features “build students’ knowledge of grammar and conventions, making them more proficient, confident, and creative writers and more effective self- and peer-editors.” Explain How an Author Builds an Argument, another frequent unit feature, presents formative writing prompts encouraging the use of academic vocabulary in various contexts. Additionally, each unit presents two performance-based embedded assessments and a corresponding rubric outlining performance expectations. Instruction is progressive, incorporating strategies and protocols to support students' writing independence as they work towards mastery. Finally, a portfolio of student work is cultivated over the course of the year and acts a final assessment of student writing development.

Unit 1, Activity 5 asks students to write an essay explaining how the author uses diction, imagery, and other literary devices such as juxtaposition and flashback to create the narrator’s voice and present a distinct point-of-view. In preparation for this writing assignment, Activity 1.3 introduces students to the double-entry journal as a note-taking strategy while reading, and Activity 1.4 presents a lesson on parallelism and practice with rewriting sentences to avoid faulty parallelism. In Activity 1.5, before writing the essay, students are introduced to the terms juxtaposition and flashback. Second Read poses questions to students regarding juxtaposition and flashback as well as questions on foreshadowing and imagery. After reading, students complete a graphic organizer to collect textual evidence related to the author’s use of diction and imagery at various and specific points in the short story. The Teacher Wrap urges teachers to be “sure students make inferences about Lizabeth’s attitudes and realizations” as they complete the organizers and suggests teachers might “add another column to the graphic organizer as a place to record their inferences.” The Teacher Wrap also provides Leveled Differentiated Instruction for students who “may need support writing an explanatory essay that studies diction, syntax, and imagery.” The differentiated instruction offers three levels of student support ranging from student collaboration and the use of sentence starters to identifying textual evidence and labeling the required components of the final response: a clear thesis for your position, multiple direct quotations correctly punctuated, effective transitions and a concluding statement. An aspect not specifically required in the writing assignment is the inclusion of a sentence or sentences demonstrating parallel structure, an opportunity that would reinforce the lesson from Activity 1.4.

Unit 3, Activity 6 asks students to explain how Martin Luther King’s “Letter from a Birmingham Jail” relates to a Civil Rights Timeline provided in the program materials. Student are to specifically consider “which past events from the timeline does King reference and how did his letter influence subsequent events.” In preparation for the writing activity, Working from the Text and Check Your Understanding, asks students to consider quotations by past American presidents and interpret how the quotations reflect “what is happening on the timeline?” Students are also asked to make inferences about the American Civil Rights Movement from the timeline. These activities provide students an opportunity to practice the skills needed for the subsequent writing prompt. The Teacher Wrap provides Leveled Differentiated Instruction for students who “may need support, brainstorming cause-and-effect ideas that explain how the ‘Letter from a Birmingham Jail’ influenced later historical events.” This formative writing assignment along with other formative assignments prepare students for Embedded Assessment 1, a research writing task asking students “to investigate how individuals, organizations, and events contributed to change in the United States during the Civil Rights Movement.”

Unit 5, Embedded Assessment 2 asks students to write a synthesis essay arguing for or against the inclusion of Shakespeare in the Grade 9 English curriculum. To complete this task, students must “evaluate research and gather evidence from a variety of sources about Shakespeare’s relevance and influence in today’s world” and “synthesize and cite your evidence in an argumentative essay that maintains a formal style and tone appropriate to your audience and purpose, uses rhetorical appeals including logical reasoning, and includes all the organizational elements of an argument.” While the content for this assignment comes directly from Unit 5 as a culminating task, this paper requires students to demonstrate all writing skills practiced throughout the year. Guiding questions help students to frame their thinking on the writing process: planning, drafting and revising, and editing and publishing. The Scoring Guide outlines student expectations. After completing the assignment, students are prompted to write a reflection that asks them to think about “how you went about accomplishing this task, and respond to the following question: Which articles from this unit did you select to support your argument, and why? What made a source useful for your purpose?”

Throughout the year, students have the option to add formative and summative writing to a writing portfolio. Teachers are encouraged to determine how they wish to conduct an end-of-year portfolio assessment; some suggestions are provided, e.g., conduct individual or small group conferences; ask students to share portfolios with someone outside of the classroom; ask students to self-assess their writing and their writing growth through a series of questions requiring metacognitive reflection; prepare a digital portfolio, webpage or blog with links to work from throughout the year. The goal of the portfolio assessment is “to have students engage in metacognitive reflection by explaining and evaluating their own growth as a learner throughout the school year.”

Indicator 2g

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 9 meet the criteria for Indicator 2g. Grade 9 materials include a progression of focused, shared research, and writing projects to encourage students to synthesize knowledge and understanding of a topic using texts and other source materials.

Opportunities to build skill in research as well as synthesize knowledge and understanding across classroom activities and research-based projects are found throughout the SpringBoard materials. The Front Matter of the Teacher’s Edition indicates that “SpringBoard provides multiple opportunities for authentic, task-based writing and writing to sources” with many writing tasks requiring students seek evidence beyond those texts provided as part of the curriculum. Additionally, students are engaged in short-term tasks and longer-term projects wherein they practice and demonstrate proficiencies in “evaluating sources, gathering relevant evidence, and citing and reporting findings accurately.” Specifically, the Grade 9 materials include a steady “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.” Students begin with basic research skills, which build in complexity and are applied in diverse ways throughout the year, both collaboratively and independently. The Teacher Wrap provides teachers with support in “employing projects that develop students’ knowledge of different aspects of a topic,” as well as “resources for student research.” Students are given opportunities to complete short projects as they develop the foundational skills necessary to move on and complete long projects typically encompassed in the embedded assessments.

Unit 1, Embedded Assessment 2 asks students “to write an essay of argumentation about the value of a college education,” and to “assert a precise claim, support it with reasons and evidence, and acknowledge and refute counterclaims fairly.” According to the Planning the Unit Section, among the skills and knowledge to complete this assessment is: “Integrate credible source material into the text (with accurate citations) smoothly.” Thus, while not a research paper per se, the task introduces students to the concept of using research-based evidence to support an argument. These skills are developed in activities leading up to the completion of the embedded assessment. In Activity 1.16, students collaboratively complete a graphic organizer providing representative examples from unit texts for the various types of evidence, e.g., facts and statistics, personal experience/anecdote, illustrative example, expert/personal testimony, and hypothetical case. As part of the graphic organizer, students also explain the how and why of the evidence appeal, i.e., logos, pathos, and ethos. In Activity 1.17, students sort through two position essays, identifying the claims and counterclaims in each as well as the evidence that supports them both. The activity concludes with a task questioning which of the two writers presents the more convincing argument and why. These activities, using in-text sources combined with the independent reading of the unit’s second half--a selection of articles and essays about the topic for the embedded assessment, offer students the foundation for developing independent research-based arguments as well as laying the foundation for longer, more independent research projects in the future. The materials offer support through Teacher Wrap, providing teachers with step-by-step instructions for helping students understand the importance of the audience in developing an effective argument and the necessity of evidence in supporting claims and counterclaims, all of which is necessary in constructing the argument for the embedded assessment.

Unit 3, Embedded Assessment 1 offers a more complex example of a research-based project. Students are asked to research “the historical, cultural, social, and/or geographical context of the novel To Kill a Mockingbird and investigate how individuals, organizations, and events contributed to change in the United States during the Civil Rights Movement.” Independent reading is essential to this project: “For independent reading, choose informational texts about the United States between the 1930s and the 1960s. Once you have selected texts, discuss one or more of your selections with peers, explaining a few facts you learned about the time period.” While this assessment does involve collaboration, the assignment itself is more complex than the research-based argument in Unit 1, requiring students to “Integrate information from authoritative sources and format citations properly in a complete annotated bibliography,” as well as “Incorporate visual displays and multimedia to enhance ideas and engage audience.” The activities in the first half of the unit aid students in developing the skills necessary to complete the embedded assessment and to develop their research skills. For example, in Unit 3, Activity 4, Language and Writer’s Craft introduces students to citation formats and the relevance of parenthetical citation. The Explanatory Writing Prompt feature asks students to explain “how Jim Crow laws and practices deprived American citizens of their civil rights.” The activity asks students to use information from a website provided in the Teacher Wrap as well as information from two informational texts read in the previous activity. Students are reminded to avoid “plagiarism by using precise citations.” The Teacher Wrap for this activity gives teachers step-by-step guidance in helping students develop the skills necessary to complete this assignment as well as the Embedded Assessment. For example, in the sequence of Teach instructions, Step 3 suggests that creating “a note card and presenting the information helps prepare students for the Embedded Assessment in two ways: It gives them practice in a common research method and in presenting research material with visuals.” The teaching instruction also urges teachers to model “for students how they can use a note card to present a webpage while facing the audience (rather than looking at the screen). Ask students to explain why this is important in a presentation.” After assessing students based on their note card and their response to the writing prompt, teachers are given suggestions for adapting the lesson if necessary: “If students need additional practice with the skills taught in this activity, have them apply the skills to a different website related to the context of To Kill a Mockingbird’s publication, such as http://www.history.com/topics/black-history/civil-rights-movement.”

In Unit 5, Embedded Assessment 2 represents the culmination of skills developed throughout the year by asking students to "compose an argument for or against the inclusion of William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet in the ninth-grade curriculum.” The task requires students to “evaluate research and gather evidence from a variety of sources,” and to synthesize and cite evidence while maintaining formal style and appropriate tone. Additionally, students are to use rhetorical appeals and follow the organizational style of an argumentative essay. In completing this task students demonstrate synthesis skills in bringing together “evidence from a variety of sources to strongly support a claim.” Students also “summarize and refute counterclaims with relevant reasoning and clear evidence...and show excellent command of standard English conventions, including embedding and correctly citing textual evidence from multiple sources.” Activities leading up to the Embedded Assessment support students and provide them with resources. For example, in Activity 5.15, students work collaboratively to “explore an online debate website to gather reasons and evidence for one side of an issue related to Shakespeare and/or Romeo and Juliet.” Through the process, they are instructed to record the website address and take notes in a two-columned organizer: one column for the “pro” evidence and the second column for the “con” evidence. The Teacher Wrap provides the databases to be used for this activity as well as guidance for effective ways of conducting a debate. Activity 5.17 continues to prepare students for the Embedded Assessment by having them analyze an argument and evaluate its effectiveness as means of “[giving] students practice in developing and revising ideas and in applying Language and Writer’s Craft lessons on using rhetorical questions as appeals and using and citing sources.” Thus, by the time students arrive at the Embedded Assessment they are prepared for completing the task independently.

Indicator 2h

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

The materials reviewed for Grade 9 meet the criteria for Indicator 2h. Grade 9 materials provide a design, including accountability, for how students will regularly engage in a volume of independent reading either in or outside of class.

Grade 9 materials provide students with numerous opportunities for independent reading both in and outside of classroom. Each unit incorporates two independent reading assignments connected to an aspect of the unit study or theme and sometimes directly related to the embedded assessments. Six close reading workshops of various genres or modes are found in the Teacher Resources tab and provide opportunities for enrichment or accelerated learning. Each workshop provides three texts, each with explicit instruction advancing students' independent reading skills. Each text moves through four activities: a guided activity, a collaborative activity, an independent activity, and assessment opportunities for the entire workshop. Additionally, literature studied by the whole class, e.g., novels and plays, sometimes require independent reading beyond the classroom. Accountability is maintained through double-entry journals, reader/writer notebooks, independent reading links, independent reading checkpoints, and in-class discussions for which students must be prepared. Teachers, meanwhile, are provided with guidance for the inclusion of independent reading within the text and with ideas and suggestions for fostering reading independence through the Planning the Unit guide and the Teacher Wrap.

Unit 1 exemplifies how independent reading is established throughout the year. Each unit requires the students to read two texts independently, one during the first half of the unit and the second during the latter half of the unit. Independent reading suggestions for each unit are found in Planning the Unit page and “have been chosen based on complexity and interest.” While typically related to the unit’s theme, students have a variety of fiction and nonfiction texts from which to choose. Texts are equally varied by Lexile measures. For example, in Unit 1, suggested selections range from Sleeping Freshmen Never Lie by David Lubar (560L), Eragon by Christopher Paolini (710L), All the Pretty Horses by Cormac McCarthy (940L), Jim Thorpe, Original All-American by Joseph Brucac (950L), The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank (1080L), and Fever Pitch by Nick Hornby (1340L). Teachers are urged to “encourage students to do their own research and select titles that intrigue them.”

In the first days of each unit, students create their Independent Reading Plan and share their plan with a partner: “Discuss your independent reading plan with a partner by responding to these questions: How do you go about choosing what to read independently? Where can you find advice on which books or articles to read? What genre of texts do you most enjoy reading outside of class? How can you make time in your schedule to read independently? How do you think literary theory might change your perspective of the texts you read independently?” Additionally, students are given guidance in their reading selection on the Independent Reading Link sidebar that appears throughout the unit indicating how their reading may apply to the unit’s theme. For example, in Unit 1 students are told, “you may want to include biographies or autobiographies about people who interest you. Look for life-changing experiences they had as young adults. Note these experiences in your Reader/Writer Notebook.”

The Teacher Wrap gives teachers guidance in setting up the Independent Reading as well: “Review expectations as noted in the Independent Reading Link. Include a deadline by which selections should be made and reading should begin.” Additionally, the Teacher Wrap suggests differentiated approaches to support those who struggle gain independence as readers: “As students develop their independent reading plans, consider giving students who are at an early stage of English language development the option of reading a text in their home language. These students can build on native language literacy as they begin to develop academic English.”

As students proceed through the unit, connections are drawn between their independent reading and in-class readings through the Independent Reading Links found as sidebars throughout the teaching materials. For example, in Activity 1.3 the sidebar notes, “As you study the first part of this unit, apply the strategies and information you learn to your independent reading. For example, be aware of your reactions to what you read. Then use a double-entry journal strategy to cite the text and note your thoughts, such as a personal experience, a question, or a prediction.” Teachers, likewise, are guided to engage students in their independent reading throughout the unit. For example, in Activity 1.3 in the Teacher Wrap, teachers are encouraged to conduct “brief book talks for the books you recommend for independent reading. Your summaries and a shared reading of an interesting passage can engage students in selecting texts. Students will encounter multiple activities in this unit that refer to their independent reading. Be sure that they select appropriate texts.”

Gateway Three

Usability

Meets Expectations

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Gateway Three Details

SpringBoard Grade 9 meets the criteria of Gateway 3 for providing instructional supports to support high quality instruction. The materials are well-designed and take into account effective lesson structure and pacing. Materials support teacher learning and understanding of the standards as well as providing tools to collect ongoing data about student progress on the Standards. Materials provide teachers with strategies to meet the needs of all learners and support effective use of technology.

Criterion 3a - 3e

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8/8
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Criterion Rating Details

SpringBoard Grade 9 materials meet the criteria for being well designed. Materials take into account effective lesson structure and pacing. Materials can reasonably be completed within an academic year. There are ample resources as well as publisher produced standards alignment documentation.

Indicator 3a

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

The materials reviewed for Grade 9 meet the criteria for Indicator 3a. Grade 9 materials are well-designed and take into account effective lesson structure and pacing.

Grade 9 materials are purposefully arranged around five units, each with a range of activities or lessons designed with a consistent instructional plan. Each of the five units is divided into two halves, each half concluding with an embedded assessment. Each unit opens with teacher guidance: Planning the Unit and Unit Overview. Planning the Unit describes all instructional and assessment goals for the unit as well as providing the pacing structure and listing unit texts. Instructional activities are designed to be delivered over single and multiple days while the lessons within activities are designed for a 50-minute class period. The Unit Overview provides a descriptive narrative of the unit’s breadth and a sequential listing of unit activities and associated texts.

The first lesson in each unit provides learners with a preview of the unit’s general learning targets and learning strategies and is followed by Making Connections to develop links between new learning, existing knowledge, and the culminating assessments. Thereafter, each activity or lesson opens with an introduction of specific learning targets, followed by a specific learning strategy, grammar structure, or reading strategy, and the establishment of the reading purpose. The prereading activities are followed by the text or texts, Second Read questions, Working from the Text practice, and Writing to Sources, all crafted to support learning targets in developing literacy skills Throughout, teachers are supported by Teacher Wrap, “the inclusion of an instructional roadmap alongside the student pages” indicating the suggested pacing for the activity. The pacing of individual lessons is appropriate for classes with time allowed for supplementary activities as well.

Indicator 3b

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

The materials reviewed for Grade 9 meet the criteria for Indicator 3b. Grade 9 materials are designed to allow the teacher and student to reasonably complete the content within a regular school year, and the pacing allows for maximum student understanding.

The five-unit curriculum can be effectively delivered over the course of a 30-36 week academic year allowing sufficient time for practice with instructional materials to ensure opportunities for standards’ mastery by the end of the course. Instructional Activities and Pacing Guide, provided in Planning the Unit, indicate the total number of 50-minute class periods for the unit’s completion and further delineates the associated activity number and suggested class periods for delivery of those lessons. Additionally, the Teacher Wrap, within the margins of the Teacher’s Edition, indicates the time to be allotted for each lesson and offers support for block scheduling by indicating combinations of 50-minute sessions or extensions of lessons, optional instructional materials, and the expectation of homework as part of enrichment and/or the class assignment.

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.).
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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 9 meet the criteria for Indicator 3c. Grade 9 student resources include ample review and practice resources, clear directions and explanations, and correct labeling of reference aids (e.g., visuals, maps, etc.)

The student resources include a variety of resources demonstrating specific and clear directions, easy-to-find references and accurate labels. Other resources available to students include text collections, close reading, performance tasks, independent reading plans, as well as digital interactive tools such as Writer’s Notebook, text boxes to record answers, and highlighting tools for annotations.

Close reading questions and guides provide students with questions for key details, craft, and structure. Second Read materials include guiding questions engaging students in careful textual analysis. Text-dependent and text specific writing opportunities and writing workshops appear with regularity throughout the units to deepen thought and allow practice with newly taught skills as well as integration of ideas among concepts and skills. Directions for activities are clear and often make use of graphic organizers and rubrics to help students more clearly see the relationship of concepts as well as understand the expectations set before them.

Indicator 3d

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

The materials reviewed for Grade 9 meet the criteria for Indicator 3d. Grade 9 materials include publisher-produced alignment documentation of the standards addressed by specific questions, tasks, and assessment items.

Examples of materials of publisher-produced alignment documentation of the standards addressed include the Common Core Correlations page which can be found on the homepage of the digital materials adjacent to the login portal. Additionally, Teacher Wrap lists The College and Career Readiness Standards associated with each activity and delineates both Common Core focus standards as well as additional Common Core Standards addressed in each lesson.

Indicator 3e

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

The materials reviewed for Grade 9 meet the criteria for Indicator 3e. The visual design of Grade 9 materials (whether in print or digital) is not distracting or chaotic but supports students in engaging thoughtfully with the subject.

The SpringBoard visual design, whether referencing the textbook or online curriculum, supports student engagement in literature and literacy without distraction. The units offer engaging visual prompts and graphics appropriate for Grade 9 students. The materials are logically presented through balance in layout and appropriate use of white space, uniform throughout. Activities with essential information and tasks are found at the center of the page while supplementary and enrichment information are found in the margins. Additionally, the pdf version of the student text includes space for notes in the margins when there is no additional information provided.

Graphic Organizers are large enough for students to fit their notes in them and are free of pictures and distractions. Additionally, these graphic organizers are also available to be copied from the end matter of the teacher text.

Marginalia is presented as colorized text boxes separated from the page body: Grammar and Punctuation, blue; Word Connections, red; Independent Reading Links, orange; Literary Terms, yellow; Level 2 Academic Vocabulary, beige; and Level 3 Academic Vocabulary, lavender. Standard unit activities are identified through colorized title fonts. For example, Learning Targets, Learning Strategies, Preview, Setting a Purpose for Reading, Second Read, and Working from the Text appear in green font while literary titles are printed in green. Assessments and writing assignments are also coded in colorized fonts, i.e., Check Your Understanding in purple, and Writing to Sources in green.

Criterion 3f - 3j

Materials support teacher learning and understanding of the Standards.
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Criterion Rating Details

The SpringBoard Grade 9 materials meet the criteria for supporting teacher learning and understanding of the standards. Materials contain useful annotations and suggestions as well as adult-level explanations and examples of advanced literacy concepts. The Specific ELA/Literacy standard roles, instructional approaches and research based strategies are identified and explained. Materials contain strategies for informing all stakeholders about the ELA/Literacy program.

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.
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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 9 meet the criteria for Indicator 3f. Grade 9 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.

Planning the Unit, opening each of the five units, offers teachers a roadmap in preparation for the unit’s presentation while Teacher Wrap and Teacher to Teacher, found in the digital and print versions respectively, provide teachers daily step-by-step instructions for delivery. Sample student responses are found in the digital teacher edition.

In addition to detailing discrete components of the unit, e.g., goals, pacing, assessments, etc., Planning the Unit unpacks the embedded assessments, suggests texts for independent reading, lists English Language Development resources available for each activity, describes instructional activities within the pacing guide, suggests advance preparation of learning guides for differentiated instruction, provides a detailed unpacking of language demands for embedded assessments, and suggests cognates appropriate to the unit for inclusion on a word wall.

Daily support and suggestions are provided to the teacher through Teacher Wrap and Teacher to Teacher following SpringBoard’s 4-step approach to instruction: Plan--Teach--Assess--Adapt. Additionally, the marginal guides offer suggestions for student support with instruction on approaches found effective for other teachers and methods for scaffolding questions to differentiate instruction to support of student learning. For example, in Unit 1 Activity 8, Teacher Wrap suggests, “If any of your students need support with English language development, consider differentiating instruction with the corresponding ELD activities available on SpringBoard Digital. Built around the excerpt from Running, these activities offer a scaffolded approach to developing academic language through vocabulary study (1.8a), guided close reading (1.8b), and collaborative academic discussion (1.8c). When planning differentiation, make sure to have students return to portions of the ELA activity that provide essential practice for the Embedded Assessment.”

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.
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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 9 meet the criteria for Indicator 3g. Grade 9 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.

The Teacher’s Edition Front Matter supports teacher knowledge regarding the relevance of academic vocabulary as well as knowledge differentiating between Tier 2 and Tier 3 vocabulary, i.e. “Academic Vocabulary features that discuss Tier 2 terms and concepts that students will use in academic discourse” and “Literary Term features that equip students with Tier 3 language from the domains of literature, literary analysis, writing, and rhetoric.” Additionally, the front matter establishes the relevance of text features and rigor to preparation for College and Career Readiness. Key Themes of English Language Arts Instruction explains: “SpringBoard is designed to help students make meaning of complex texts and prepare them for the rigorous textual analysis expected of them in Advanced Placement (AP) English and college courses. The skills students acquire in SpringBoard allow them to think critically about and respond thoughtfully to important topics in all disciplines, and in society.”

The Teacher Edition End Matter provides teachers with a complete list of reading and writing strategies both defining strategies and establishing purpose behind the strategies. For example, the definition of the reading strategy SIFT is “Analyzing a fictional text by examining stylistic elements, especially symbol, imagery, and figures of speech in order to show how all work together to reveal tone and theme,” and its purpose is “To focus and facilitate an analysis of a fictional text by examining the title and text for symbolism, identifying images and sensory details, analyzing figurative language and identifying how all these elements reveal tone and theme.”

Teacher Wrap provides teachers with information necessary to frame lessons and establish relevance for students. For example, Activity 1.14 provides framing in Step 2: “Explain to students that they will now shift from thinking about texts as narratives that inform to thinking about them as arguments that convince. At the end of today’s class, they’ll be asked to evaluate an argument, and everything they discuss today will provide guidance about how to analyze persuasive elements.” Additionally, as learning strategies are introduced to students, Teacher Wrap provides modeling guidance. For example, the Unit 1, Activity 3 Teacher Wrap guides modeling a Double-Entry Journal: “To introduce the journal, use your SmartBoard or Document Camera to create possible entries. Read aloud from a sample text, and model the kinds of notations and responses students might include. For example, you might suggest the following possibilities for journal entries: Identify specific textual features that contribute to the writer’s voice; select quotations that establish a characterization of the subject; comment on the narrator’s use of humor; react to emotional events that happen in the text; identify societal issues presented in the texts and try to infer the author’s stance on the issues; predict how certain events relate to a character’s coming of age.”

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.
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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 9 meet the criteria for Indicator 3h. Grade 9 materials contain a teacher’s edition that explains the role of the specific ELA/literacy standards in the context of the overall curriculum.

Connections between specific ELA/literacy standards and the context of the overall curriculum are offered within the Teacher Edition Front Matter, Planning the Unit, and Teacher Wrap. Specifically, the Teacher Edition Front Matter explains the “instructional design assures teachers and students that everyday activities are building a foundation of skills and knowledge that will help students perform on the assessments, which ultimately align with the standards” and promises to help “students develop the knowledge and skills needed for Advanced Placement as well as for success in college and beyond without remediation.” The Front Matter continues by explaining, “While not every student will take an AP class, we believe strongly that ALL students should be equipped with the higher-order thinking skills, knowledge, and behaviors necessary to be successful in AP classes and post-secondary education. SpringBoard focuses on content connections, pre-AP strategies, and writing tasks anchored in the skills and knowledge necessary to be successful on the AP exams.”

Planning the Unit provides a list of activities within the unit that focus on refining “important skills and knowledge areas for AP/College Readiness.” Found in the 2014 Edition of SpringBoard Digital but not in the 2018 edition, are clickable CC icons linked to standards associated with the task at hand. Inclusion of a similar link in the 2018 Edition would aid in promoting the connection between specific ELA/literacy standards and unit activities.

Teacher Wrap lists Focus Standards and Additional Standards Addressed at the beginning of each lesson. Within the instructional guide are also listed the Common Core standards associated with each of the Second Read questions.

Indicator 3i

Materials contain explanations of the instructional approaches of the program and identification of the research-based strategies.
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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 9 meet the criteria for Indicator 3i. Grade 9 materials contain explanations of the instructional approaches of the program and identification of the research-based strategies.

The Teacher Edition Front Matter provides both clear explanation of instructional approaches and identification of research-based strategies relied on throughout the text. Additionally, the text provides an explanation for SpringBoard’s instructional approach. The section “Research-Based Pedagogy” sites the use of Wiggins and McTighe’s Understanding by Design instructional model and the American Institute for Research “focus on students moving through multiple levels of cognitive engagement: progressing fluidly from understanding and comprehension, to analysis, and ultimately to synthesis.” SpringBoard also sites application of Charlotte Danielson’s facilitation and flexibility methodologies, Marzano and Pickering’s research on “building students’ background knowledge in the area of Academic Vocabulary development” and “Robyn Jackson’s work on rigorous instruction.”

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.
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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 9 meet the criteria for Indicator 3j. Grade 9 materials contain strategies for informing all stakeholders, including students and parents or caregivers, about the ELA/literacy program and suggestions for how they can help support student progress and achievement.

Found under Teacher Resources of the SpringBoard Dashboard are Family Letters for each of the program's five units. Letters are available in English and Spanish. Each letter provides an overview of the unit including the unit’s essential questions, a description of the unit’s two embedded assessments, a narrative description of the skills students will practice and learn, as well as a brief overview of the texts students will be reading. The letter concludes with specific tips on how parents can support their child’s progress in learning. Also available in the Student PDF Front Matter is a letter from SpringBoard to the student introducing the benefits of the SpringBoard program and highlighting key features of the text and its methods to increase learning and achievement.

Criterion 3k - 3n

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 9 meet the criteria for offering teachers multiple resources and tools to collect ongoing data about student progress on the Standards. Materials regularly and systematically offer assessment opportunities, denote standards being emphasized, and indicate how students are accountable for independent reading.

Indicator 3k

Materials regularly and systematically offer assessment opportunities that genuinely measure student progress.
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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 9 meet the criteria for Indicator 3k. Grade 9 materials regularly and systematically offer assessment opportunities that genuinely measure student progress.

Short-cycle and long-term assessments integrated within each of the five units provide opportunities for measuring student progress both formatively and summatively. Most activities/lessons feature Check Your Understanding and Writing to Sources, short-cycle assessments allowing teachers to measure student proficiencies and adjust or adapt instructional methods. Long-term assessments are offered twice during the unit, one midway through the unit’s activities and the second at the unit’s end. Lessons and related formative assessments preceding the embedded assessments typically lead towards the culminating performance task.

Also provided within the program materials are supplementary workshops for close reading, writing, and foundational skills as well as supplementary materials for grammar instruction. Each of these lesson sets also includes assessment components consistent with the organization and structure of the core curriculum. Additionally, the SpringBoard Digital dashboard provides an Assessments link offering teachers short-cycle End of Lesson/Activity assessments and End of Unit assessments as well as choices between SpringBoard-developed assessments or custom-built assessments.

Indicator 3l

The purpose/use of each assessment is clear:
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Indicator 3l.i

Assessments clearly denote which standards are being emphasized.
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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 9 meet the criteria for Indicator 3li. Grade 9 assessments clearly denote which standards are being emphasized.

Common Core Standards emphasized by instruction and assessment are noted in the Common Core Correlations chart found on the SpringBoard Digital log-in page. Each ELA Common Core Standard is correlated to unit and activity numbers and/or embedded assessments (denoted by EA) addressing the listed standard. Additionally, Teacher Wrap lists both Focus Standards and Additional Standards Addressed for each embedded assessment.

Indicator 3l.ii

Assessments provide sufficient guidance to teachers for interpreting student performance and suggestions for follow-up.
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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 9 meet the criteria for Indicator 3lii. Grade 9 assessments provide sufficient guidance to teachers for interpreting student performance and suggestions for follow-up.

SpringBoard’s four-step structure, Plan-Teach-Assess-Adapt, provides a roadmap towards assessment that includes checkpoints and suggestions for adapting lessons and strengthening student skills before they are asked to demonstrate specific skills on culminating embedded assessments. The progression of these four steps is found in Teacher Wrap on the margins of the digital page of the Teacher Edition. For example, after following Plan and Teach steps in Unit 1, Activity 4, teachers are instructed in Assess to use “the written Check Your Understanding task to assess your students’ ability to recognize and correct faulty parallelism. The corrected sentences should demonstrate an understanding of how to write using parallel structure.” After the assessment, teachers are instructed in the Adapt step: “If students need additional help recognizing parallel structure and correcting faulty parallelism, ask students to practice parallel structure by varying their corrections. You may want to create more sentences for them to correct, or you may ask them to emulate any of the previous examples of parallel structure by writing some sentences of their own. Then ask students to write their sentences on the board or share them with others to check for correctness.”

Indicator 3m

Materials should include routines and guidance that point out opportunities to monitor student progress.
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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 9 meet the criteria for Indicator 3m. Grade 9 materials include routines and guidance that point out opportunities to monitor student progress.

Teacher Wrap indicates opportunities for monitoring student progress in reading and expression of ideas. Teacher Wrap provides sequentially detailed steps for teaching each lesson. Included within instructional notes for teachers are guides and prompts for monitoring student progress. Additionally, instructional notes indicate what teachers should be monitoring. For example, in Unit 2, Activity 5, teachers are instructed to be sure students “are engaged with the text and annotating examples of irony, allusion, and other elements—such as imagery and word choice—that indicate tone.” The Assess portion of Teacher Wrap indicates what teachers should be assessing with each activity and suggestions for how to adapt the lesson if students are struggling or need more practice.

The Front Matter of the Teacher Edition introduces teachers to two supplemental resources that “support the development of foundational reading skills for students who need continued support with these foundations to become successful at the secondary level.” The first of these resources is the Foundational Skills Workshop which “supports teachers in planning and delivering intervention instruction to those students who will benefit from one-on-one or small-group lessons in phonics, word recognition, and fluency.” These materials include Observational Look-Fors, Foundational Reading Skills Screening Assessment, Diagnostic Checklist, Individual Progress Monitoring Chart, and Group Planning Chart. The second resource is Routines for Teaching Foundational Skills which “presents mini-lessons and techniques that teachers can incorporate into the core ELA instruction to differentiate for students who need it.”

The Teacher Edition provides an Independent Reading Log for students to record “progress and thinking” about “independent reading during each unit.” Also provided are a range of graphic organizers for ELA and ELD tasks that can be used to monitor student reading and understanding before moving students into writing assignments.

Indicator 3n

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

The materials reviewed for Grade 9 meet the criteria for Indicator 3n. Grade 9 materials indicate how students are accountable for independent reading based on student choice and interest to build stamina, confidence, and motivation.

SpringBoard allows for students to read independently based on choice and interest to build stamina, confidence, and motivation and asks students to show accountability for their independent reading in a variety of ways. Students are required to select a text for independent reading “twice a unit, at the beginning and after the first Embedded Assessment.” Reading selections should relate to the themes of the unit. While SpringBoard provides a list of suggested readings, students should not be limited by the list. Rather, students should be urged “to do their own research and select a title that intrigues them.” As students progress in their reading, they are held accountable through an independent reading log and encouraged through independent reading links with activities asking them to respond to questions, conduct further research, connect classroom texts and themes, discuss ideas in book talks, and make recommendations to peers. To further support and encourage independent reading, related tasks appear as independent reading checkpoints in the margins of the student edition.

Criterion 3o - 3v

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

The materials reviewed for Grade 9 meet the criteria for providing strategies for teachers to meet the needs of a range of learners so that they can demonstrate independent ability with grade-level standards. Teachers are provided with strategies to support all learners within the core curriculum and through the Teacher Resources tab on the SpringBoard dashboard. Every lesson in the SpringBoard program offers opportunities for students to work in groups.

Indicator 3o

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

The materials reviewed for Grade 9 meet the criteria for Indicator 3o. Grade 9 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.

SpringBoard curriculum provides accessible content through the integration of texts at varied Lexile level texts in the core curriculum and as suggested titles for independent reading. The unit texts range from slightly below grade level, typically used with introducing a new concept, to at grade level and above grade level. “The Practice of Reading Closely,” found in The Teacher Edition Front Matter explains the range of texts as a means of bringing “readers up to the level of the text, not the level of the text down to the reader.” Each unit also offers a list of text titles for the Independent Reading Assignments occurring twice in each unit. As in the core curriculum, suggested texts range from below grade level to above grade level, allowing students to choose a text of interest that also connects at reading level.

Teachers are provided with strategies to support learners within the core curriculum and through the Teacher Resources tab on the SpringBoard dashboard. Within the core curriculum, Teacher Wrap provides step-by-step guidance in teaching each lesson. Within most steps, teachers are offered advice, alternatives, and suggestions for connecting new and existing knowledge and skills, and methods for scaffolding in-class reading and assignments. Additionally, Teacher to Teacher and Leveled Differentiated Instruction call out boxes within Teacher Wrap provide specific instruction and guidance for learners needing extra support and English language development.

Indicator 3p

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

The materials reviewed for Grade 9 meet the criteria for Indicator 3p. Grade 9 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.

Specific resources for below grade-level students and English language learners are provided within the Teacher Resources accessible through the SpringBoard Digital dashboard. English Language Learner Support Guides, available at each grade, offer general guidelines for instructional strategies associated with each of the five units. “Differentiation in SpringBoard is organized around Process, Product, and Content. For ELL support, it may be necessary to adapt the content, the product...or the formative assessments...” The resource guide urges teachers to “refer to the Differentiated Instruction call-outs in the TE Wrap.” Call-outs typically provide additional ideas for practice with the lesson concepts. For example, in Unit 4, Activity 13, the call-out box suggests students “might need support drafting and writing a literary analysis of a poem...Pair students heterogeneously and have partners choose a previously analyzed poem...Provide stems to assist with writing a thesis: The theme, or message, of the poem is about _____. The poem’s tone helps convey the theme.

Also provided within the Teacher Resources tab at each grade level is an English-Spanish Glossary, although currently the resource bears a 2014 copyright. Foundational Skills Workshop material provides resources for interventions at grades 7-11. Seventeen lessons range from phonics and word recognition to fluency as well as an Initial Screening Assessment “that provides teachers with essential information about students’ education history, home language proficiency, and English language proficiency.” Also provided within the Teacher Resources tab is a Flexible Novel Unit allowing teachers to replace the novel suggested in the core curriculum with a novel differentiated for student needs. The Flexible Novel Unit provides a teacher planning dashboard, a student view of the adjusted embedded assessment, and a teacher view complete with marginalia guidance following the four-step Plan-Teach-Assess-Adapt protocol. Also provided within the Teacher Resources tab are materials for grammar instruction and interventions, graphic organizers (also provided in the Teacher Edition End Matter), and learning strategies.

Within the core curriculum, Planning the Unit, a detailed teacher tool is provided at the beginning of each unit. Planning Support for English Learners is included in the planning page and outlines “unit-specific resources for differentiation.” Found in this section of the unit planning are Digital Resource: English Language Development Activities correlated to specific text selections and unit activities, guidance on logging onto ELD resources on SpringBoard Digital, Leveled Differentiated Instruction providing “suggestions on how to differentiate challenging tasks for students at various levels of language proficiency,” and a Cognate Dictionary specifically designed for each unit. Also provided are directions for Unpacking the Language Demands of the Embedded Assessments, a resource unpacking the “word-, sentence-, and text-level features of academic language that English learners may need to develop as they work toward the Embedded Assessments.” Integrated into each unit are at least three English Language Development Activities which are “supplementary digital activities for every unit that offer a scaffolded approach to vocabulary study, guided close reading, and collaborative activities.”

Indicator 3q

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

The materials reviewed for Grade 9 meet the criteria for Indicator 3q. Grade 9 materials regularly include extensions and/or more advanced opportunities for students who read, write, speak, or listen above grade level.

The Leveled Differentiated Instruction text box within the Teacher Wrap on applicable activities offers opportunities to extend the learning for those students who read, write, speak, or listen above grade level. For example, in Unit 1, Activity 5, Writing to Sources extends the assignment by asking students to rewrite “one example of textual evidence (of diction, imagery, or juxtaposition) used in their written responses in another voice. Ask them to explain how these changes aided in creating this new voice.”

Occasionally, the Adapt step of Teacher Wrap or the Teacher to Teacher call-out will provide an extension for learning through a challenge. In Unit 2, Activity 6, Teacher to Teacher suggests “students practice writing an analytical paragraph that explores how the Learning Target literary elements of foreshadowing, point of view, and imagery contribute to the development of the story’s theme.”

Indicator 3r

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

The materials reviewed for Grade 9 meet the criteria for Indicator 3r. Grade 9 materials provide opportunities for teachers to use a variety of grouping strategies.

Every lesson in the SpringBoard program offers opportunities for students to work in groups whether reading, writing, or speaking and listening about texts. “Specific strategies for collaboration and oral communication are taught and practiced leading to the development of independent, skillful conduct of academic discussions.” Both the Teacher Edition and the Student Edition regularly and repeatedly ask students to work as partners and in small groups. Among the means used in grouping are Think-Pair-Share, heterogeneous groups, simple partnering, forming small groups based on interest, working as whole class in discussions and guided writing, and forming jigsaw groups to build and share information and ideas. Additionally, students are grouped for purposes of peer editing and feedback, practice with speaking and speech delivery, and reading discussion groups.

Indicator 3s

0/
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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 9 partially meet the criteria for Indicator 3s. Grade 9 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., Windows and Apple and are not proprietary to any single platform), follow universal programming style, and allow the use of tablets and mobile devices.

The materials work relatively well on multiple digital platforms and using multiple internet browsers. However, the program does not work on all mobile devices. The digital materials are effectively accessed through Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Safari, and Internet Explorer. However, when access is attempted using Android devices, an error message indicating screen size and resolution are not supported. The message suggests site visitors to use a larger device to log into SpringBoard.

Indicator 3s3v

0/
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 9 support effective use of technology to enhance student learning. The materials work relatively well on multiple digital platforms and using multiple internet browsers. However, the program does not work on all mobile devices. The digital materials are effectively accessed through Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Safari, and Internet Explorer. However, when access is attempted using Android devices, an error message indicating screen size and resolution are not supported. The message suggests site visitors use a larger device to log into SpringBoard. Provided within the Teacher Resources on the SpringBoard Digital dashboard are a number of tools allowing teachers to customize the curricular content of the materials. Also, the digital SpringBoard Dashboard offers a link to Professional Development for teachers as well as a link to the Springboard Community where teachers can collaborate with other teachers who have SpringBoard.

Indicator 3t

0/
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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 9 meet the criteria for Indicator 3t. Grade 9 materials support effective use of technology to enhance student learning, drawing attention to evidence and texts as appropriate.

SpringBoard digital effectively uses technology by providing interactive tools for close reading exercises, vocabulary work, populating graphic organizers, and supporting evidence-based writing. In both the digital Teacher Edition and the digital Student Edition, space is provided to enter answers to questions, attach sticky notes, highlight and mark text with annotations. Students and teachers can add vocabulary to the existing lists provided by the program as well as edit close-reading questions. Additional opportunities for learning provided within the Teacher Resources tab on the SpringBoard dashboard offer consistent organization and structures for using technology as a tool in the learning process. The Teacher Edition provides tips for sharing documents via external programs such as Google Docs. Additionally, there is a digital SpringBoard community supporting conversations among teachers from across the hall or across the country. The additional resources also include online workshops/webinars.

Indicator 3u

0/

Indicator 3u.i

0/
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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 9 partially meet the criteria for Indicator 3ui. Grade 9 digital materials include some opportunities for teachers to personalize learning for students.

Using a generally accepted definition for adaptive technology as objects or systems specifically designed to increase or maintain the capabilities of people with disabilities, reviewers conclude there are few examples of such in the materials. Indeed, the technology available through the digital version allows users to change font size, populate graphic organizers, use word processing technologies, annotate text, and hear audio pronunciations of some vocabulary words, but there is no text-to-speech or speech-to-text adaptations which would truly be adaptive and useful to those with hearing disabilities, vision disabilities, and disabilities related to the hands. Additionally, the program allows teachers to edit questions and use alternative texts, but these means of personalizing instruction are not within the realm of adaptive technology.

Indicator 3u.ii

0/
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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 9 meet the criteria for Indicator 3uii. Grade 9 materials can be easily customized for local use.

Provided within the Teacher Resources on the SpringBoard Digital dashboard are a number of tools allowing teachers to customize the curricular content of the materials. At each grade and within each unit, a Flexible Novel Unit supports a teaching decision to replace the suggested novel in the core curriculum with a novel differentiating for local needs. The Flexible Novel Unit provides a teacher planning dashboard, a student view of the adjusted embedded assessment, and a teacher view complete with marginalia guidance following the four-step Plan-Teach-Assess-Adapt protocol. Also provided within the resources is a Custom Assessment builder to create Common Core aligned questions to check for understanding. The Letter to Parents, also available through Teacher Resources, is customizable for local needs. Additionally, many features within the unit activities are customizable, supporting the professional judgment of classroom teachers.

Indicator 3v

0/
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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 9 meet the criteria for Indicator 3v. Grade 9 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.).

The digital SpringBoard Dashboard offers a link to Professional Development for teachers as well as a link to the SpringBoard Community where teachers can collaborate with other teachers who have SpringBoard. SpringBoard also provides the ability to create “digital ‘sticky’ notes that can be inserted on-screen and offer on-demand planning and notation for teacher suggestions or student work” as well as “the ability to edit teaching commentary, personalizing it by adding notes and comments to a lesson.” Where appropriate, the Teacher Wrap suggests teachers have students work together on a shared document for greater collaboration on projects and assignments.

Criterion 3s - 3v

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 9 support effective use of technology to enhance student learning. The materials work relatively well on multiple digital platforms and using multiple internet browsers. However, the program does not work on all mobile devices. The digital materials are effectively accessed through Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Safari, and Internet Explorer. However, when access is attempted using Android devices, an error message indicating screen size and resolution are not supported. The message suggests site visitors use a larger device to log into SpringBoard. Provided within the Teacher Resources on the SpringBoard Digital dashboard are a number of tools allowing teachers to customize the curricular content of the materials. Also, the digital SpringBoard Dashboard offers a link to Professional Development for teachers as well as a link to the Springboard Community where teachers can collaborate with other teachers who have SpringBoard.

Indicator 3s

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

The materials reviewed for Grade 9 partially meet the criteria for Indicator 3s. Grade 9 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., Windows and Apple and are not proprietary to any single platform), follow universal programming style, and allow the use of tablets and mobile devices.

The materials work relatively well on multiple digital platforms and using multiple internet browsers. However, the program does not work on all mobile devices. The digital materials are effectively accessed through Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Safari, and Internet Explorer. However, when access is attempted using Android devices, an error message indicating screen size and resolution are not supported. The message suggests site visitors to use a larger device to log into SpringBoard.

Indicator 3t

Materials support effective use of technology to enhance student learning, drawing attention to evidence and texts as appropriate and providing opportunities for modification and redefinition as defined by the SAMR model.
0/0
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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 9 meet the criteria for Indicator 3t. Grade 9 materials support effective use of technology to enhance student learning, drawing attention to evidence and texts as appropriate.

SpringBoard digital effectively uses technology by providing interactive tools for close reading exercises, vocabulary work, populating graphic organizers, and supporting evidence-based writing. In both the digital Teacher Edition and the digital Student Edition, space is provided to enter answers to questions, attach sticky notes, highlight and mark text with annotations. Students and teachers can add vocabulary to the existing lists provided by the program as well as edit close-reading questions. Additional opportunities for learning provided within the Teacher Resources tab on the SpringBoard dashboard offer consistent organization and structures for using technology as a tool in the learning process. The Teacher Edition provides tips for sharing documents via external programs such as Google Docs. Additionally, there is a digital SpringBoard community supporting conversations among teachers from across the hall or across the country. The additional resources also include online workshops/webinars.

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
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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 9 partially meet the criteria for Indicator 3ui. Grade 9 digital materials include some opportunities for teachers to personalize learning for students.

Using a generally accepted definition for adaptive technology as objects or systems specifically designed to increase or maintain the capabilities of people with disabilities, reviewers conclude there are few examples of such in the materials. Indeed, the technology available through the digital version allows users to change font size, populate graphic organizers, use word processing technologies, annotate text, and hear audio pronunciations of some vocabulary words, but there is no text-to-speech or speech-to-text adaptations which would truly be adaptive and useful to those with hearing disabilities, vision disabilities, and disabilities related to the hands. Additionally, the program allows teachers to edit questions and use alternative texts, but these means of personalizing instruction are not within the realm of adaptive technology.

Indicator 3u.ii

Materials can be easily customized by schools, systems, and states for local use.
0/0
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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 9 meet the criteria for Indicator 3uii. Grade 9 materials can be easily customized for local use.

Provided within the Teacher Resources on the SpringBoard Digital dashboard are a number of tools allowing teachers to customize the curricular content of the materials. At each grade and within each unit, a Flexible Novel Unit supports a teaching decision to replace the suggested novel in the core curriculum with a novel differentiating for local needs. The Flexible Novel Unit provides a teacher planning dashboard, a student view of the adjusted embedded assessment, and a teacher view complete with marginalia guidance following the four-step Plan-Teach-Assess-Adapt protocol. Also provided within the resources is a Custom Assessment builder to create Common Core aligned questions to check for understanding. The Letter to Parents, also available through Teacher Resources, is customizable for local needs. Additionally, many features within the unit activities are customizable, supporting the professional judgment of classroom teachers.

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
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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 9 meet the criteria for Indicator 3v. Grade 9 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.).

The digital SpringBoard Dashboard offers a link to Professional Development for teachers as well as a link to the SpringBoard Community where teachers can collaborate with other teachers who have SpringBoard. SpringBoard also provides the ability to create “digital ‘sticky’ notes that can be inserted on-screen and offer on-demand planning and notation for teacher suggestions or student work” as well as “the ability to edit teaching commentary, personalizing it by adding notes and comments to a lesson.” Where appropriate, the Teacher Wrap suggests teachers have students work together on a shared document for greater collaboration on projects and assignments.

Additional Publication Details

Report Published Date: Fri Mar 16 00:00:00 UTC 2018

Report Edition: 2018

Title ISBN Edition Publisher Year
Springboard English Language Arts Grade 9 Student Edition 978-1-4573-0838-3 Copyright: 2018 College Board 2018
Springboard English Language Arts Grade 9 Teacher Edition 978-1-4573-0845-1 Copyright: 2018 College Board 2018

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