Alignment to College and Career Ready Standards: Overall Summary

The Expeditionary Learning English Language Arts Grade 6 instructional materials meet the expectations for alignment. Texts and text sets are high quality and at an appropriate level of rigor and complexity and organized to support students' growth in literacy over the course of the school year. The majority of tasks and questions are focused on these texts, and the instructional materials provide many opportunities for rich and rigorous evidence-based discussions and writing about texts to build strong literacy skills. Students build knowledge as they engage integrated reading, writing, speaking and listening, and language study. Culminating tasks require students to read, discuss, analyze, and write about texts while students participate in a volume of reading to build knowledge. Modules are developed to support and build knowledge, to intentionally address academic vocabulary, and to scaffold supports so that students will independently demonstrate grade-level proficiency at the end of the school year.

*Materials reviewed were created by Expeditionary Learning, on behalf of Public Consulting Group, Inc.
© Public Consulting Group, Inc., with a perpetual license granted to Expeditionary Learning Outward Bound, Inc.

See Rating Scale
Understanding Gateways

Alignment

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Meets Expectations

Gateway 1:

Text Quality

0
17
32
36
35
32-36
Meets Expectations
18-31
Partially Meets Expectations
0-17
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

|

Meets Expectations

Not Rated

Gateway 3:

Usability

0
23
30
34
33
30-34
Meets Expectations
24-29
Partially Meets Expectations
0-23
Does Not Meet Expectations

Gateway One

Text Quality & Complexity and Alignment to Standards Components

Meets Expectations

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Gateway One Details

The Grade 6 instructional materials meet expectations for text quality and complexity and alignment to the standards with tasks and questions grounded in evidence. The instructional materials meet expectations for text quality and complexity, and the instructional materials include texts that are worthy of students' time and attention. The Grade 6 instructional materials meet expectations for alignment to the standards with tasks and questions grounded in evidence, and the instructional materials provide many opportunities for rich and rigorous evidence-based discussions and writing about texts to build strong literacy skills. In general, high-quality texts are the central focus of lessons, are at the appropriate grade-level text complexity, and are accompanied by quality tasks aligned to the standards of reading, writing, speaking, listening, and language in service to grow 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.
20/20
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-
Criterion Rating Details

The instructional materials meet expectations for text quality and complexity. Central texts are of publishable quality and address topics of interests to Grade 6 students. The instructional materials include a variety of literary and informational texts. The level of complexity of most texts is appropriate for Grade 6. The materials support students increasing literacy skills over the year, and students are provided with many opportunities to engage in a range and volume of reading throughout each unit and module. The instructional materials also include a text complexity analysis and rationales for their purpose and placement in the materials. The instructional materials include texts that are worthy of student's time and attention.

Indicator 1a

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 6 meet the expectations for central texts being of publishable quality and worthy of careful reading and considering a range of student interests.

Central texts consider a range of student interests including but not limited to mythology, rules to live by, adversity, immigration, conservation, and environmental issues. Many of the central texts have won awards, are written by award-winning authors, or are considered classics, and are worthy of careful reading.

Examples of central texts that are worthy of careful reading include the following:

  • Module 1- The Lightning Thief, Rick Riordan
  • Module 2A - Bud, Not Buddy, Christopher Paul Curtis
  • Module 2A - "If," Rudyard Kipling
  • Module 2A - "Stanford University Commencement Address," Steve Jobs
  • Module 2B - Good Masters! Sweet Ladies! Voices from a Medieval Village, Laura Amy Schlitz
  • Module 2B - Blue Lipstick: Concrete Poems, John Grandits
  • Module 3A - Dragonwings, Laurence Yep
  • Module 3A - The Lost Garden- Laurence Yep
  • Module 3B - World Without Fish, Mark Kurlansky
  • Module 3B - Flush, Carl Hiassen
  • Module 4 - Frightful's Mountain, Carolyn Craighead George

Indicator 1b

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 6 meet the expectations for materials reflecting the distribution of text types and genres required by the standards.


Central texts include a mix of informational texts and literature. Supplemental texts within the modules are also a mixture of literature and informational texts. A wide distribution of genres and text types as required by standards are evident including but not limited to speeches, plays, historical fiction, non-fiction, articles, poetry, and periodicals.

The following are examples of literature found within the instructional materials:

  • Module 2B - Blue Lipstick: Concrete Poems, John Grandits
  • Module 2B - Technically, It’s Not My Fault: Concrete Poems, John Grandits
  • Module 3A - Dragonwings, Laurence Yep
  • Module 3B - Flush, Carl Hiaasen

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

  • Module 2A - “Stanford University Commencement Address,” Steve Jobs
  • Module 3A - “Comprehending the Calamity,” Emma M. Burk
  • Module 3B - World Without Fish, Mark Kurlansky
  • Module 4 - “The Exterminator,” Kristen Weiss

The majority of texts in Module 4 are informational texts. Also, all central and supplementary texts in Module 3B are informational texts.

Indicator 1c

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 6 meet the expectations for texts having the appropriate level of complexity for the grade according to quantitative analysis, qualitative analysis, and relationship to their associated student task.

Most texts have the appropriate level of complexity for the grade. For example, in Module 3A, students read The Lost Garden by Laurence Yep which has a Lexile measure of 1110 as stated by the publisher. The quantitative measure is within the range indicated by CCSS-ELA for grade band 6-8. In addition, this text qualitatively shows evidence that supports placement at this grade level. Some examples of this include but are not limited to high-interest life experiences and cultural awareness with vocabulary to support explanations. The text’s high-interest life experiences are evident as the story is written as a memoir of a boy’s perspective who never really felt like “he belonged.” The teacher begins lesson 6 by reading the first part of the book aloud and asking students to discuss the “gist.” As the lessons throughout the module continue, adequate scaffolding is evident as students move into independently using their graphic organizer to capture evidence of the young boy’s perspective. The analysis is discussed in pairs, groups, and teacher-directed discussions.

Texts that are quantitatively above grade band have scaffolds in place to ensure student access. For example, in Module 3B, students read A World without Fish by Mark Kurlansky, which has a Lexile measure of 1230 as stated by the publisher. The quantitative measure is above the range indicated by CCSS-ELA for grade band 6-8. Text has unfamiliar vocabulary, varied sentence length, and varied structure. The vocabulary in the text is supported through illustrations and age-appropriate, kid-friendly explanations and context clues. With support and scaffolding from the teacher, students read along to find the gist of the introduction. Students then work in triads to share out and work through the text to gain knowledge and determine meaning. This supportive structure is evident throughout the module.

Texts that are quantitatively below grade band are accompanied by tasks that increase the level of rigor requiring students to use higher order thinking skills or complete a task more independently.

  • In Module 1 students read The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan which has a Lexile measure of 470 as stated by the publisher. The quantitative measure is well below the range indicated by CCSS-ELA for grade band 6-8. However, this text qualitatively shows evidence that supports grade-level appropriateness for Grade 6 students. Some examples of this include but are not limited to the text organization, vocabulary connections, high interest life experiences, and extended cultural knowledge. Students need knowledge of Greek mythology to understand allusions throughout the text. Students read and analyze the theme of the text and then write a position paper on how The Lightning Thief aligns to A Hero’s Journey which is at a higher quantitative measure, using evidence from both texts to support their position.
  • In Module 4, students read Frightful’s Mountain by Jean Craighead George, which has a Lexile of 640 as stated by the publisher. The quantitative measure is below the range indicated by CCSS-ELA for grade band 6-8. However, this text qualitatively shows evidence that supports grade-level appropriateness for Grade 6 students. Some examples of this include but are not limited to vocabulary, high interest life experiences, and extended ecological information. The text has high-interest life experiences such as triumphing against the odds. Children are portrayed as the problem solvers and effective wildlife preservers. Students read and trace an argument throughout the entire text in preparation for their performance task where students independently write a position paper about the benefits of DDT and its possible harmful effects.

Indicator 1d

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 6 meet the expectations that materials support students’ increasing literacy skills over the course of the school year. Series of texts are at a variety of complexity levels appropriate for the grade band.


There is a gradual release of responsibility as each unit and module moves forward throughout the year in order to grow literacy skills.

  • In Module 1, students study the elements of mythology and use the knowledge gained to better understand the characters in Rick Riordan’s The Lightning Thief. Lessons focus on a hero's journey. Students close read multiple text to study mythical allusions. They also read complex informational texts that give students a better understanding of the elements of mythology. Together as a group and with teacher support, students closely read several complex Greek myths. Students then branch out with small groups to study another myth with less scaffolding. Students then write a narrative of their own hero's journey with peer feedback and critique to help them.
  • In Module 2A, students consider how people formulate and communicate rules to improve their lives. Students read a variety of texts, beginning with Bud, not Buddy by Christopher Paul Curtis. Students analyze character development and focus on figurative language contributing to tone and meaning. Figurative language is first identified, then analyzed for language and how the author's word choice affects tone and meaning, and finally interpreted to better understand the characters. Students then read Steve Jobs's commencement speech and get the gist through annotation. Students answer text-dependent questions and connect ideas in Steve Jobs's speech to Bud, Not Buddy. Students analyze the structure of the poem, “If”, to determine how the structure contributes to its meaning and theme. Students compare and contrast how Bud, Not Buddy and “If” address a similar theme. Students conduct a short research project and then work independently with teacher support and peer critique to write an informative essay about the most important "rule of life."
  • In Module 3B, students study how an author’s geographical location affects how he develops his point of view or perspective. They learn about ocean conservation and the impact of humans on life in the ocean. Students read World Without Fish, and analyze how point of view and perspective is conveyed while studying about fish depletion. Students then read Carl Hiassen’s Flush and excerpts of an interview with Carl Hiaasen to determine the effect of his geographical location on his perspective in the novel. Finally, students independently write an informative consumer guide with feedback provided before drafting a final draft.
  • In Module 4, students read the novel Frightful's Mountain and multiple informational texts about the benefits and consequences of the use of DDT. They look at multiple arguments and evaluate them through research. Students participate in structured discussions to build knowledge and form their own argument. Students then use their research to write a position paper that supports their claim with evidence.

Students revisit and build on knowledge and skills introduced in earlier modules as they progress through the year. Students gradually move towards being able to complete tasks independently after extensive modeling and group activities.

  • In Module 3B, students use the novel Flush to study plot development across a text. Students are prepared for this task because Module 1 students use a story line to develop their own narrative of the hero’s journey.
  • In Module 4, students write a position paper to support their claims with evidence. Students built the need skills to complete this performance task beginning in Module 2A when they studied the qualities of a strong literary argument essay and selected evidence to logically support claims in an argument essay.

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
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 6 meet the expectations for materials being accompanied by a text complexity analysis and rationale for educational purpose and placement in the grade level. The Curriculum Map includes the quantitative Lexile measure of anchor text for each module.

Rationales for the educational purpose and placement in grade level are provided at the beginning of each unit in the Unit Overview, and includes qualitative information. Some examples include the following:

  • Module 1, Unit 2, Unit Overview - “In this second unit of Module 1, students will delve deeply into mythology: its purpose, elements, and themes that align with themes in The Lightning Thief. While they continue to read The Lightning Thief independently, students will closely read multiple myths. In the first half of the unit, they will use the informational text “Key Elements of Mythology” to better understand the elements and themes of the myths they read. In their mid-unit assessment, students will read the myth of Prometheus and write an analytical mini-essay identifying the elements of mythology present in the myth, describing a theme of the myth, and explaining how key details contribute to the theme. In the second half of the unit, students will read, think, talk, and write the myths alluded to in The Lightning Thief. They will determine the themes of myths and how the themes align with themes in the novel. As students build toward writing a literary analysis, the teacher will model writing skills using the myth of Cronus. Students practice these skills using myths they are reading in small, expert groups. For their end of unit assessment, students will write a literary analysis summarizing the myth of Cronus, identifying a common theme between the myth of Cronus and The Lightning Thief, and explaining why the author chose to include this myth in the novel.”
  • Module 2B, Unit 3, Unit Overview - “In this unit, students move from the monologues of medieval times to modern voices of adversity. They do this through a study of John Grandits’s concrete poems in the collections Blue Lipstick and Technically, It’s Not My Fault. As in Unit 2, students continue to read closely for word choice, figurative language, and themes of adversity found in these poems. Students consider how these themes of adversity apply to their own lives and the lives of their peers. In the mid-unit assessment, students are assessed on speaking and listening skills as they participate in discussion groups focusing on the language of the poems, the themes of adversity conveyed in these poems, and the connections between the voices of these poems and the voices from the characters of Good Masters! Sweet Ladies! In the second half of the unit, students identify a theme of adversity they would like to convey in their own writing. Then, through a series of narrative writing lessons, and using either a monologue from Good Masters! Sweet Ladies! or a John Grandits concrete poem as a model text, they write their own modern monologue or concrete poem. For the end of unit assessment, students submit their best draft of their writing. For the performance task, students orally present this narrative to an audience of their peers”

Indicator 1f

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 6 meet the expectations for supporting materials for the core texts provide opportunities for student to engage in a range and volume of reading to achieve grade-level reading.


Each unit includes lessons with supplementary texts of varying lengths. These text are read independently, in groups, aloud, and silently, offering multiple opportunities for students to engage in a range and volume of reading.

  • In Module 2B, Unit 3, lesson 1, students read the article, “Utah 15-year-old Suspended after Dyeing Her Hair a ‘Distracting’ Red” and compare and contrast it to the poem “Bad Hair Day” from Blue Lipstick.
  • In Module 3B, Unit 3, lesson 9, students read the section of a consumer guide, “What Can I Do?” and use it as a model to create their own consumer guides.

Instructional materials clearly identify opportunities for students to build fluency to become independent readers at the grade level.

  • In Module 2B, Unit 2, lesson 4, students are asked read a monologue by “chunking the text” and it is explained that reading it in this way will be helpful with understanding the main idea of the monologue.
  • In Modules 3A, Unit 2, lesson 4, students follow along silently as teacher reads aloud and then students reread paragraph silently to find the gist.
  • In Module 3B, Unit 2, lesson 6, students read an excerpt silently while the teacher reads aloud slowly, fluently, and without interruption to promote fluency for students.
  • The preface offers the following explanation of Homework - "Due to the rigors demanded by the CCSS-ELA, in Expeditionary Learning’s Grades 3–8 ELA curriculum, students are required to practice the skills they learn in the classroom independently at home every day, for approximately 30–45 minutes. This usually involves a reading activity (e.g., reading or rereading a certain number of paragraphs or pages in a text) with a response task (e.g., highlighting or recording evidence to answer a question). Students also are expected to read independently every evening according to independent reading routines."

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 Grade 6 instructional materials meet expectations for alignment to the standards with tasks and questions grounded in evidence. Most questions, tasks, and assignments are text-dependent and build towards a culminating tasks that integrates skills. The instructional materials provide frequent opportunities for evidence-based discussion that encourage the modeling and use of academic vocabulary and support student listening and speaking about what they are reading and researching. The materials include frequent opportunities for different types of writing, addressing different types of text. Although the instructional materials provide some in context opportunities to address grammar and convention, the materials are not designed to included out of context opportunities. In general, the materials provide many opportunities for rich and rigorous evidence-based discussions and writing about texts to build strong literacy skills.

Indicator 1g

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 6 meet the expectations that 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 are structured and designed to encourage understanding of key ideas of texts and determine most important learning from the readings. Instructional materials include questions, tasks, and assignments that are text-dependent over the course of a school year. Teacher materials provide support for planning and implementation by providing exemplar answers.

  • In Module 3B, Unit 1, lessons 7 and 8, students read to determine author's purpose. The teacher reads aloud while asking questions to clarify meaning of words and determine key points the author is making. (i.e., “What is myth?” Teacher explains it can also mean something that is not true.) In lesson 8, students analyze the same excerpt while answering text dependent questions such as "How do we know he is angry? Does he tell us or do we have to infer?"
  • In Module 1, Unit 2, lesson 17, students plan and begin to draft introductory and conclusion paragraphs of a literary analysis essay using graphic organizers to document theme and the importance of myth in modern times and why the author chose to use a specific myth.
  • In Module 2A Unit 1, lessons 6 and 7, students complete text dependent questions and tasks that require them to dig deeper into three paragraphs of Steve Jobs’s speech. Students are given a claim and asked to explain how evidence from the speech does or does not support the claim. For example, one claim is that "(y)ou have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future.” Example evidence from the lesson plan is “I decided to take a calligraphy class to learn how to do this. I learned about serif and sans serif typefaces, about varying the amount of space between different letter combinations, about what makes great typography great.” Annotate in the margin next to the underlined text: “Connects to his future.”
  • In Module 1 Unit 1, lesson 9, students are given a homework assignment that requires them to answer and provide evidence to some text-dependent questions. Exemplar answers to text-specific questions are provided in teacher materials.
  • In Module 3A Unit 1, lesson 4, students complete an exit ticket that requires them to answer and provide evidence to text-dependent questions around theme.
  • In Module 3B Unit 1, lesson 9, students work independently to reread the text-dependent questions in Column 1 and review the excerpt of text before recording their answers to the questions in Column 2, using evidence from the text. A completed exemplar chart is provided in teacher materials.
  • In Module 4 Unit 2, lesson 1, students read an article and identify the author’s claim and provide evidence to support their thinking.

Indicator 1h

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 6 meet the expectations that materials contain sets of high-quality sequences of text-dependent questions and activities that build to a culminating task that integrates skills.


Materials contain sets of high-quality sequences of text-dependent questions and activities that build to a culminating task. Each Module has a Final Performance Task. This is a culminating project that takes place during Unit 3 of every module. Performance tasks are designed to help students synthesize and apply their learning from the module in an engaging and authentic way. Performance tasks are developed using the writing process, are scaffolded, and almost always include peer critique and revision. Performance tasks are not “on-demand” assessments. Students who demonstrate success with sequences of questions can complete the culminating tasks.

Culminating tasks are rich and provide opportunities for students to demonstrate what they know and are able to do using speaking and writing.

  • In Module 1, students study mythological elements and themes leading to the culminating task of writing an original hero's journey narrative.
  • In Module 3B, students answer text-specific questions while collecting information about fish depletion and the issue of over-fishing to create a consumer guide about buying sustainable fish as part of the unit's final performance task.
  • In Module 4, students answer text specific questions and engage in activities to collect information and evidence to write a position paper: "Do the Benefits of DDT Outweigh Its Harmful Consequences?"

Indicator 1i

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 6 meet the expectations for evidence-based discussion that encourages the modeling of academic vocabulary and syntax.


Vocabulary addressed in each lesson is noted in teacher planning documents. Modules and unit lessons contain “Unpacking Learning Targets” segments to include discussions that aid in clarifying language of learning and help build academic vocabulary. All modules and unit lessons also include a "Finding the Gist" segment that includes protocols in defining vocabulary necessary for understanding.

There are many opportunities and protocols throughout modules and within lessons that support academic vocabulary and syntax. Teacher materials support implementation of these standards to grow students’ skills.

  • In Module 2A, Unit 2, lesson 5, students analyze language in poetry.
  • In Module 2A, Unit 2 lesson 6, students use a Word Replacement Note-catcher to help better understand the meaning of unknown words and phrases.
  • In Module 2B, Unit 3, lesson 5, students refer to anchor charts and the Academic Word Wall as they consider their theme of adversity and how they will write their Narrative of Adversity.
  • In Module 3A, Unit 2, lesson 4, students focus on the word tortuous. Students find the root word and discuss the Latin meaning. Students are then directed to connect the word to the text (referring to the earthquake) to determine the meaning.
  • In Module 3B, Unit 1, lesson 4, students are focused on the word exposition and asked to define the word in the given context.
  • In Module 4 Unit 1 Lesson 1 students are asked to find words or word parts inside of the word interdependence to help understand its meaning.

Indicator 1j

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 6 meet the expectations for materials supporting students’ listening and speaking about what they are reading and researching with relevant follow-up questions and evidence.


Speaking and listening requires students to gather evidence from texts and sources. 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.

  • In Module 1, Unit 1, lesson 2, students engage in triad talk referring to evidence from the text.
  • In Module 2A, Unit 1, lesson 2, students think, discuss, and write about how word choice affects the tone and meaning of the novel during Work Time. In addition, they work in triads to answer text-dependent questions about an expert from the text.
  • In Module 2B, Unit 2, lesson 9, students participate in an opportunity to describe the qualities of a literacy argument with examples and support from their evidence of the text.
  • In Module 2B, Unit 1, students collaboratively develop norms for research triads and engage in a group research project.
  • In Module 3A, Unit 1, lesson 3, students engage in triad discussion groups to review the text and complete structured notes. Students then “Mix and Mingle” as they move throughout the room and discuss the question “What does Moonshadow think about where Tang people live?”
  • In Module 3B, Unit 3, lesson 2, students engage in a jigsaw discussion where they are using a different article where they are expected to read and explain to their group. Students share facts collected on the issue of overfishing.
  • In Module 4, Unit 1, lesson 5, students conduct Fishbowl discussion on DDT. Students are required to speak and listen to others to give feedback.
  • In Module 4, Unit 2, lesson 1 students discuss research questions during the planning stage of research project.

Indicator 1k

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 6 meet the expectations that materials include a mix of on-demand and process writing and short, focused projects. Students write both "on demand" and "over extended periods" throughout every module.

Materials include short and longer writing tasks and projects. Writing tasks and projects are aligned to the grade-level standards being reviewed.

  • In Module 1, Unit 2, students write a scaffolded essay: Analytical Mini-Essay about Elements and Theme of the Myth of Prometheus.
  • In Module 1, students write an on-demand response: Crosswalk between My Hero’s Journey Narrative and The Hero’s Journey Informational Text
  • In Module 2A, Unit 1, lesson 5, students write a journal entry based on the text, Bud, Not Buddy.
  • In Module 3A, students draft a newspaper article to be assessed and edited for revision.
  • In Module 3B, students draft a scaffolded essay of the written content of their consumer guide.
  • In Module 2B, Unit 1, lesson 6, students are introduced to the “Researcher’s Notebook” which is a tool that is used as an aid in support of research writing.
  • In Module 4, students write a reflection of the writing process discussing moving from a draft to published position paper.
  • In Module 2A, Unit 1, students write a short constructed response analyzing the Barack Obama Back-to-School Speech.

Indicator 1l

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

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

Materials provide frequent opportunities across the school year for students to learn, practice, and apply writing using evidence. Writing opportunities are focused around students’ analyses and claims developed from reading closely and working with sources. Materials provide opportunities that build students' writing skills over the course of the school year.

  • In Module 1, Unit 1, lesson 8, students complete a quick write in the opening segment.
  • On the Module 1 End of Unit Assessment, students write a literary analysis.
  • In Module 1, students write a narrative: “My Hero’s Journey.”
  • In Module 2A, students write an essay to inform: “My Rule to Live By.”
  • In Module 2A, Unit 1, lesson 5, students write a journal entry based on the text, Bud, Not Buddy.
  • In Module 2B, Unit 1, lesson 6, students are introduced to the “Researcher’s Notebook” which is a tool that is used as an aid in support of research writing.
  • In Module 3A, students write a draft newspaper article: "How the 1906 San Francisco Earthquake and Fire Affected the People of San Francisco."
  • In Module 3A, Unit 2, students write a literary analysis essay comparing and contrasting unit topics.
  • In Module 3B, students write a draft of an informative consumer guide: "What You Need to Know When Buying Fish."

Indicator 1m

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 6 meet the expectations that materials include frequent opportunities for evidence-based writing to support careful analyses, well-defended claims, and clear information.


Materials provide frequent opportunities across the school year for students to learn, practice, and apply writing using evidence. Writing opportunities are focused around student’s analyses and claims developed from reading closely and working with sources. Materials provide opportunities that build students' writing skills over the course of the school year.

  • In Module 1, Unit 2, lesson 9, students identify key elements of myths and include details to support responses.
  • In Module 2A, Unit 3, lesson 8, students summarize and analyze text for support or non-support of claim.
  • In Module 2B, Unit 1, lesson 2, students use "Digging Deeper into Text" graphic organizer to gather evidence and prepare to write.
  • In Module 3B, Unit 1, lesson 1, students respond to evidence-based focus questions for a homework assignment.

Indicator 1n

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 6 partially meet the expectations for materials including explicit instruction of the grammar and conventions standards for grade level and with opportunities for application in context. There is inconsistent support for students to practice grammar and conventions skills in a decontextualized activity to build skills over the course of the school year.

Few opportunities are provided for students to demonstrate some application of skills out of context. The “Writing Instruction in Expeditionary Learning Grades 3-8 ELA Curriculum” guide states, "The modules do not include decontextualized teaching of writing skills (i.e., stand-alone lessons about parts of a sentence or proper use of commas). Teachers are encouraged to add these specific lessons based on the needs of their particular students. The modules do not include explicit instruction on all parts of speech that may be needed to support students. Some CCSS-ELA standards are addressed in context, rather than as a separate scope and sequence (e.g., additional literacy instruction that includes small groups and guided reading)"

Opportunities are provided for students to demonstrate skills in context.

  • In Module 1, Unit 2, lesson 14, students are instructed in a mini-lesson about conjunctions.
  • In Module 2A, Unit 2, lesson 2, students guided to “think about” how punctuation helps guide reading of poetry stanzas of “If.”
  • In Module 2A, Unit 3, lesson 9, students peer edit essay after the teacher models how to address common grammatical errors in mini-lesson.
  • In Module 2B, Unit 2, lesson 9, students engage in and practice using a variety of sentence structures.
  • In Module 2B, Unit 2, lesson 16, students are instructed in a mini-lesson that addresses common grammar errors.

Gateway Two

Building Knowledge with Texts, Vocabulary, and Tasks

Meets Expectations

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Gateway Two Details

The instructional materials meet expectations for building knowledge with texts, vocabulary, and tasks. The instructional materials support the building of knowledge through repeated practice with complex text organized around a topic or theme, the building of key vocabulary throughout and across texts, and providing coherently sequenced questions and tasks to support students in developing literacy skills. Culminating tasks require students to read, discuss, analyze, and write about texts while students participate in a volume of reading to build knowledge. By integrating reading, writing, speaking, listening and language development, students engage in texts to build literacy proficiency in lessons, units, and across the modules. Modules are developed to support and build knowledge, to intentionally address academic vocabulary, and to scaffold supports so that students will independently demonstrate grade-level proficiency at the end of the school year.

Criterion 2a - 2h

32/32

Indicator 2a

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 6 meet the expectations for texts being organized around a topic/topics to build students’ ability to read and comprehend complex texts independently and proficiently.

Each module has texts that connect by a central topic or theme.

  • In Module 1, students explore the elements of myths as they engage in close and multiple readings of narrative and informational texts about Greek mythology.
  • In Module 2A, students examine the perception of "rules to live by" as they read and listen to a variety of texts and then research the topic and write an informative essay.
  • In Module 2B, students explore the idea of adversity of people across time and place through multiple modes of writing.
  • In Module 3A, students study how an author develops point of view and how an author’s perspective, based on his or her culture, is evident in the writing.
  • In Module 3B, students study how an author develops point of view and how an author’s perspective, based on his or her geographic location, is evident in his or her writing.
  • In Module 4, students consider the balance between human needs and environmental consequences as they read the novel Frightful’s Mountain and complex informational texts about the benefits and drawbacks of the use of DDT.

The sequence of texts and sufficient lesson scaffolds ensure students are able to read and comprehend complex texts independently and proficiently.

  • All Modules include texts with quantitative measures at multiple levels within the grade band.
  • All modules include graphic organizers and recording forms to engage students actively and provide scaffolding for students as needed.
  • Students read texts independently, in small groups, and in whole group along with teacher read-alouds to scaffold reading instruction. Students are asked to actively monitor their reading comprehension.
    • In Module 1, Unit 1, lesson 1, teachers are directed to chunk the text for students that struggle reading on grade-level text to make it more manageable and to allow them to focus on smaller sections at a time.
    • In Module 2B, Unit 2, lesson 15 students read poems and do a second reading to determine the gist and collect evidence using a graphic organizer.
    • In Module 3, students read a chapter of a text and record new words on their word catchers. Students then use evidence flags to capture evidence and assist with answering focus questions on their structured notes.

Indicator 2b

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 6 meet the expectations for materials containing sets of coherently sequenced questions and tasks that require students to analyze the language, key ideas, details, craft, and structure of individual texts. Throughout the materials, students independently and as a whole group complete questions and tasks that require analysis of individual texts.

  • In Module 1, Unit 2, lesson 3, students analyze vocabulary, explore the concept of theme, and connect them across texts.
  • In Module 1, Unit 2, lesson 4, students identify common elements in two mythological stories.
  • In Module 1, Unit 2, lesson 16, students identify the structure, argument, and specific claims in a model literary analysis essay.
  • In Module 2A, Unit 1, lessons 2-4, students analyze the interplay among author’s use of figurative language, word choice, tone, and meaning in historical fiction.
  • In Module 2A, Unit 3, lesson 5, students analyze the structure and content of an essay to inform.
  • In Module 2B, Unit 2, lesson 6, students read examples of figurative language, tell what they mean literally and tell how it adds to understanding of the scene or character in the text "Lowdy, the Varlet's Child."
  • In Module 2B, Unit 2, lesson 8 students analyze how author’s word choice affects the tone of a monologue.
  • In Module 3A, Unit 1, lesson 3 students determine author's techniques such as point of view, tone and meaning, and figurative language. Students then analyze how an author's word choice affects the tone and meaning in literary text and how an author develops narrator or speaker's point of view. Students make a claim, provide evidence, and describe word choice.
  • Module 3B, Unit 1, lesson 5 students respond to text-dependent questions that require them to analyze author's craft and demonstrated understanding of the text.

Indicator 2c

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 6 meet the expectations for materials containing a coherently sequenced set of text-dependent questions and tasks that require students to analyze the integration of knowledge and ideas across both individual and multiple texts. Each unit and module contains text-dependent questions and tasks that require students to integrate knowledge and ideas both in individual texts and across multiple texts.

  • In Module 2A, Unit 1, lesson 7, students suggest connections between Steve Jobs and Bud on an anchor chart.
  • In Module 3B, students are required to use information from multiple texts. One example of this is in Unit 1 when students analyze World without Fish and then in Unit 2, Flush. In Unit 3, students need to integrate the knowledge from both texts during their Final Performance Task when they create a "Consumer Guide: What you need to know When Buying a Fish.”
  • In Module 3B, Unit 1, lesson 4, students respond to a prompt that requires them to connect the information from a food web to a text reading.
  • In Module 4, Unit 1, lesson 2, students respond to a prompt that have them to use multiple texts to make connections and a prediction.
  • In Module 4, Unit 2, lesson 6, students answer text-dependent questions that direct them to compare and contrast two authors' presentation of events.

Indicator 2d

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 6 meet the expectations that the questions and tasks support students’ ability to complete culminating tasks in which they demonstrate their knowledge of a topic through integrated skills (e.g., combination of reading, writing, speaking, listening).

  • In Module 1 students study mythology, its purposes, and elements. Students read, write, and discuss the concept of heroes. Students build their knowledge about myths through the reading of informational texts. In the third unit of the module, student focus on narrative writing and apply their knowledge about the hero’s journey and the elements of mythology to create their own hero’s journey stories.
  • In Module 2A, students focus on analyzing figurative language, word choice, structure and meaning in multiple texts. Students read excerpts of a novel to interpret “the rules to live by” that the text discusses. Students then use this knowledge to write an evidence-based claim and analyze Barack Obama’s Back-to-School Speech.
  • In Module 2B, students explore the idea of adversity of people across time and place, through multiple modes of writing. Students research the Middle Ages the read and discuss literature that pertains to the Middle Ages. Students then apply this knowledge to modern poetry while taking part in small group discussions. As a culminating task, students write their own text that deals with adversity and perform their writing for a group of their peers.
  • In Module 3A, students study how an author develops point of view and author’s perceptive based on his or her culture. Students closely read text to learn multiple strategies for acquiring and using academic vocabulary in writing. Students then research to gather factual information and eyewitness accounts of a topic to create their own newspaper article containing multiple perspectives about the same event.
  • In Module 3B, Unit 1, students study how an author introduces, illustrates, and elaborates on an idea and how an author conveys his or her point of view. Students read, write, and discuss with a focus on the idea of fish depletion in the first half of the unit and then analyze the author’s point of view and how it is conveyed in the second half of the unit. As a culminating task, students analyze author’s point of view of a text using evidence to support their claim.
  • In Module 4, students research and explore the benefits and harmful consequences of a controversial pesticide. Students read several complex texts, both print and digital, in order to collect relevant information in a structured notebook. As a final performance task, students share their findings by creating a scientific poster and presenting the paper to peers during a hosted gallery.

Indicator 2e

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 6 meet expectations for including a cohesive, year-long plan for students to interact with and build key academic vocabulary words in and across texts. Opportunities to build vocabulary are found throughout the instructional materials.

Vocabulary instruction calls for students to think about the meaning of words. Definitions are provided in student-friendly language, and word meanings are taught with examples related to the text as well as examples form other contexts students would be more familiar with.

  • Throughout the modules and units, students discuss and clarify language of learning targets to build academic vocabulary.
  • In Module 1, Unit 1, lesson 6, students think-pair-share on the question "What do you notice about the word unexpectedly?" The root word is discussed as well as prefixes and suffixes.
  • In Module 3A, Unit 1, lesson 7, students unpack the Learning Targets. The teacher points out to the students and gives reminders of academic vocabulary meanings. Words explained and reviewed during the opening are gist, infer, and perspective.
  • In Module 3A, Unit 2, lesson 2, students focus on the word entirety in the first paragraph. Students look at the base word and find meaning. Students are asked if this is a domain-specific vocabulary word, specific to earthquakes. Students are asked to find another word to replace fortunate in a sentence. Specific academic vocabulary words are addressed and discussed.
  • In Module 3A, Unit 3, lesson 10, students review the terms in their word-catchers to examine domain-specific words that they will use in their own articles.
  • In Module 3B, Unit 2, lesson 1, students study the meaning of point of view through explanations, discussions, text readings, word-catchers, anchor charts, and working in triads.
  • In Module 3B, Unit 2, lesson 4, students are asked to identify challenging vocabulary to help them monitor their understanding of a complex text. For example, hunkered is not easily defined in context, and a dictionary is used to find meaning.
  • In Module 4, students are directly instructed during lessons to locate unfamiliar vocabulary words.

Indicator 2f

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 6 meet the expectation for materials supporting students’ increasing writing skills over the course of the school year, building students’ writing ability to demonstrate proficiency at grade level at the end of the school year. Students are supported through the writing process with mentor text. Feedback is provided by peers, the teacher, and self-evaluations to ensure that students' writing skills are increasing throughout the year.

  • In Module 1 Unit 1 students read an informational article about the hero’s journey and analyze the stages of the hero’s journey. Students then write an analysis of how Percy’s experiences align with the hero’s journey.
  • In Module 1, Unit 2, students work in groups to read and identify the elements and interpret theme of a single myth. Students then write a literary essay analyzing how understanding a classic myth deepens their understanding of The Lightning Thief.
  • In Module 2A, students read the text Bud, Not Buddy and study his rules to live by. Students then read and gather information to support their own rule and write an essay to inform.
  • In Module 2A, Unit 1, lesson 19, students work in triads to complete Forming Evidence Based Claims task cards. Students discuss and make revisions to their evidence-based claim based on what they hear from their peers.
  • In Module 2B, Unit 1, students write a research-based essay about medieval times based on research.
  • In Module 2B, Unit 2, students study a model of a literary argument essay, collect evidence for a literary argument essay, write an essay about adversities faced today and then participate in a peer critique to improve their writing.
  • In Module 2B, Unit 3, lesson 6, students receive specific peer feedback on correct pronoun usage; clear and logical, sequenced events; and descriptive words and phrases that include sensory details.
  • In Module 3B, Unit 3, students evaluate research to choose the most relevant and compelling information, analyze authentic informative consumer guides, and compile the most relevant and compelling research to write a “What You Need to Know When Buying Fish” consumer guide.
  • In Module 4, Unit 3, lesson 4, students use colored pens or pencils to review and revise their actions for a position paper. Students work in teams to explain their plan to a partner, using both speaking and listening skills.

Indicator 2g

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 6 meet the expectations that materials include a progression of focused research projects to encourage students to develop knowledge in a given area by confronting and analyzing different aspects of a topic using multiple texts and source materials.

  • In Module 2B, Unit 1, students build background knowledge about the Middle Ages, forming expert groups around one aspect of the Middle Ages and gathering research about a particular aspect of medieval society, especially adversities faced by different people.
  • In Module 3B, Unit 3, students research information about overfishing, sustainable fishing methods, case studies of depleted fish species, and suggestions for buying fish caught using sustainable methods.
  • In Module 2A, Unit 2, lesson 16, students ask probing questions and choose a research topic for their “rules to live by” literary argument essay. Students participate in a fishbowl discussion to help them narrow down a research topic.
  • In Module 3A, Unit 3, students analyze differing accounts of a historical disaster by researching first-person accounts and facts. Students synthesize their research to compose a newspaper article that includes multiple perspectives of the same historical disaster.
  • In Module 4, Unit 3, lesson 2, students use their Research Folder, Forming Evidence-Based Claims graphic organizer, hosted Gallery Walk notecards, and Presenting a Claim and Finding teacher feedback to plan a position paper about the use of DDT.

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.
4/4
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 6 meet the expectations for materials providing a design, including accountability, for how students will regularly engage in a volume of independent reading either in or outside of class.

The majority of lessons require some independent readings of text followed by text specific questions and tasks that reflect student accountability. Additionally, most homework assignments include independent readings and tasks that require students to produce evidence of reading.

  • In Module 1, Unit 2, lesson 7 students are given a purpose for reading chapter 16 of the text, The Lightning Thief for homework, including marking references to myths and recording any new or challenging vocabulary to be discussed during the next lesson.
  • In Module 2A, Unit 3, lesson 5 students participate in an Independent Reading Review to summarize what they have read so far. Students work in pairs and are then asked to paraphrase their partner’s discovery to share with the class.
  • In Module 3B, Unit 3, lesson 3, students read Chapter 8 of the text World without Fish for homework and are asked to record new words on their word-catcher and mark the text to aid with answering the focus question included on the structured notes. Additionally, students are to continue reading their independent reading book.
  • In Module 4, Unit 3, lesson 3, students complete the Reading Tracker and Reviewer’s Notes after reading their independent reading book for 30 minutes.

Gateway Three

Usability

Meets Expectations

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Gateway Three Details

The instructional materials meet expectations for instructional supports and usability. The use and design of the materials facilitate student learning. The materials take into account effective lesson structure and pacing, and the pacing allows for maximum student understanding. Materials are designed to ease teacher planning and support teacher learning and understanding of the standards. Standards addressed and assessed in each lesson are clearly noted and easy to locate, and the teacher’s notes included with each lesson provide useful annotations and suggestions that anticipate both teacher and student needs. The materials reviewed provide teachers with multiple strategies for meeting the needs of a range of learners. Content is accessible to all learners to be supported in meeting or exceeding the grade level standards. Students who read, write, speak, or listen below grade level or in a language other than English are regularly provided with extensive opportunities to work with grade level text and meet or exceed grade-level standards. Materials also provide students who read, write, speak, or listen above grade level some extension and advanced opportunities. Materials also support the effective use of technology to enhance student learning.

Criterion 3a - 3e

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8/8
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Criterion Rating Details

The use and design of the instructional materials facilitate student learning. The design of the materials is consistent, simple, and not distracting. The curriculum map and module and unit overviews make lesson structure and pacing clear. The 32 weeks of instruction is reasonable for a school year. All resources include clear directions, explanations, and standards alignments.

Indicator 3a

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 6 meet the expectations that materials are well-designed and take into account effective lesson structure and pacing.

  • The Grade 6 curriculum is comprised of four eight-week modules.
  • Four modules make up one year of instruction. Each grade level has six modules. Teachers can choose between an A and a B option for two of the modules.
  • Within each module there are three units. Each module has the same sequence of units. Unit 1 is Building Background Knowledge, Unit 2 is Extended Reading and Research, and Unit 3 is Extended Writing. Modules are anchored by one or more books as a central text.
    • For example, in Module 3B, Unit 1 focuses on Author’s Point of View and Idea Development in World without Fish, Unit 2 focuses on Narrator’s point of view and evidence of Author’s Perspective in Flush, and Unit 3 focuses on Researching and Interpreting Information and "What You Need to Know When Buying Fish."
  • Materials include a curriculum plan located online at eleducation.org that lists the topic, focus, central texts, and major writing tasks in each module.
  • Materials include a curriculum map located online at eleducation.org that includes a module description, assessments, and standards assessed for each module
  • A module overview is found at the beginning of each module. The module overview explains the story of the module, lists standards assessed, and provides a week-at-a-glance planning chart. For example, the Module 2A Unit 3 Overview is found on pages 2-14.
  • There are unit overviews and a Unit-at-a-Glance located online at eleducation.org for each of the three units in each module.

Materials also include detailed daily lessons plans and supporting materials. Lessons are 45 minutes long for Grade 6. Teachers can download the MS Word version of the lesson plan files to modify them.

  • All lessons have three sections: Opening, Work Time, and Closing and Assessment. For example, Module 1, Unit 1, lesson 1 has the following parts: Opening (15 minutes) which is broken down into a Quick Write (10 minutes) and Unpacking Learning Target (5 minutes); Work Time (25 minutes) which is broken down into Read Aloud (5 minutes) and Rereading for Gist and to identify Unfamiliar Vocabulary (20 minutes); Closing and Assessment (5 minutes) Exit Ticket and Homework.
  • Each lesson includes the title which names the literacy skills students will work on as well as the content, long-term learning targets which name the standards addressed in the lesson, supporting learning targets that specifically name what learning will take place in the lesson, ongoing assessment to be used as formative assessments, an agenda to map out the day’s outline, and teaching notes that guide teachers on how to prepare for the lesson. Also included are lesson vocabulary which lists both academic and content words being addressed in the lesson, lesson materials, a Meeting Student’s Needs column to suggest differentiation and scaffolding, and all supporting materials that include student-facing materials to be distributed to students.

Indicator 3b

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 6 meet the expectations that the teacher and student can reasonably complete the content within a regular school year and the pacing allows for maximum student understanding.

  • Each Module provides eight weeks of instruction. Four modules make up a year of instruction which provides 32 weeks of instruction. Teachers and students can reasonably complete the content within a 36-week school year.
  • The total number of lessons of available for Grade 6 is 227. However, teachers are given a choice which two modules they want to exclude. For example, the teacher can select Module 2A or Module 2B and Module 3A or 3B. Therefore, the total number of lessons taught range between 151 and 154 which is a reasonable number of lessons to complete during a school year.
  • This pacing allows for maximum student understanding. Additionally, time is built in for teachers to modify lessons to tailor to their student’s needs. The program allows flexibility for teachers to rely on professional judgment to modify pacing.

Indicator 3c

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 6 meet expectations that the student resources include ample review and practice resources, clear directions, and explanation, and correct labeling of reference aids (e.g., visuals, maps, etc.).

Materials include but are not limited to graphic organizers, note catchers, text dependent questions, word-catchers, reference charts, anchor charts, unit assessments, supporting excerpts or texts, close read guides, jigsaw question strips, essay rubrics, reference aids, model writings, entrance and exit tickets, vocabulary words list and definitions, feedback forms, and writing prompts.

  • Module 1, Unit 1, lesson 2 includes a graphic organizer that is organized and divided into three sections and written in bold print. The first section asks for an example of figurative language, the second section asks “What kind of figurative language is it?” and the third section asks “How does it add to my understanding of the scene or character?”
  • Module 3A, Unit 1, lesson 4 includes a graphic organizer that is clearly written and divided into three sections: Claim/ Evidence/Word Choice.
  • Module 4, Unit 1, lesson 1 includes a copy of a text quote and a graphic organizer to analyze perspective in two chapters of the text. Lesson 6 includes a Sidebar Task card, a glossary of words, a word wall placement for teacher reference, and a graphic organizer to analyze perspective. Lesson 12 includes a resource reference sheet, a fishbowl note taker, a fishbowl assessment document for teacher resource, and a fishbowl discussion protocol anchor chart.

Student resources include clear directions. Activities that are completed with teacher guidance have directions included in the teacher lesson plan notes. Resources that are completed independently or in small groups without direct teacher guidance include clear directions and explanations so that the task can be completed.

  • In Module 3A, Unit 3, lesson 6, the Five W's Web Organizer has oral directions embedded into the lesson with modeling included through teacher directed instruction. The organizer has "Who," "What," "Angle," "Where," "When," and "Why" boxes. Students complete an example Web Organizer by contributing answers as a class and are later asked to record answers independently while the teacher circulates around the room to support. The students would need to have participated in the model portion prior to completing the Web Organizer.

Reference aids including glossaries, photographs, anchor charts and handouts are clearly labeled as such at the top and in the teacher’s materials. Reference aids are labeled correctly

  • In Module 4, Unit 1, lesson 11, examples of student material reference aids can be found on pages 224-229.

Indicator 3d

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 6 meet the expectations for materials including publisher-produced alignment documentation of the standards addressed by specific questions, tasks, and assessment items.

Alignment to the CCSS is documented in multiple places in the curriculum. CCSS standards are documented on the 6-8 Grade Curriculum Map, at the module level, at the unit level, and in the teacher's notes for each lesson in the form of Long Term Learning Targets. Alignment for all assessments are also provided in the Curriculum Overview.

The grade level curriculum map lists all assessments and which standards are being assessed. This map also includes a chart that illustrates which standards are being assessed in each module. These maps can be found for each grade level at eleducation.org.

At the beginning of each module there is a Week-at-a -Glance chart as well as a Unit-at-a Glance chart that provides teachers with an overview of standards taught and assessed in each lesson. At the beginning of each module there is a Module Overview which includes a description of assessments which include the Performance Task, Mid-Unit Assessments, and End of Unit Assessments. This overview includes standards being assessed in each assessment and each of the tasks and assessments for each module includes alignment documentation of the standards addressed.

  • In Module 4, Unit 1, the Week-at-a-Glance chart is found on pages 11-17. The Unit-at-a Glance chart is found on pages 35-39.
  • In Module 3B, Unit 1, the Assessments Overview is found on pages 15-16.
  • In Module 2B, Unit 3, lesson 10, the performance task long-term learning targets addressed are provided in the lesson on page 182.
  • In Module 3A, Unit 1, the long-term learning targets assessed are in both the lesson and the student-facing material for the mid-unit assessment (pages 109, 115) and end-of-unit assessments (pages 187, 193).

Indicator 3e

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 6 contain visual design (whether in print or digital) that is not distracting or chaotic, but supports students in engaging thoughtfully with the subject.

The material design is simple and consistent. All modules are comprised of materials that display a simple design and include adequate space to capture thoughts as needed. The font, size, margins, and spacing are consistent and readable. All modules include graphic organizers that are easy to read and understand. There are no distracting images, and the layout of the student consumables is clear and concise.

Criterion 3f - 3j

Materials support teacher learning and understanding of the Standards.
8/8
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Criterion Rating Details

The instructional materials meet expectations for teacher learning and understanding of the standards. The materials include a teacher's edition with annotations and suggestions on how to present the content. The materials include adult-level explanations and examples and explanations of the role of specific standards in the context of the overall materials. The instructional approaches of the program are explained in the context of the overall curriculum. Although few strategies for informing stakeholders about the program and about how they can support student progress and achievement are provided, overall, the materials do support teacher learning and understanding of the standards.ds.

Indicator 3f

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

Materials reviewed for Grade 6 meet the expectation for materials containing 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.

Materials reviewed for Grade 6 meet the expectation for materials containing 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.

Materials include a teacher’s edition that provides teaching notes for each lesson. These notes provide an overview of the lesson, directives for the teacher, and explanations of what learning will occur. The notes also give suggestions of specific actions teachers can take to promote learning or plan for future learning. Materials also include student “listen for” statements in lessons. These "listen for" statements provide teachers with model student answers to ensure students are on target

  • Module 2A, Unit 2, lesson 5 includes a “Close Reading Guide” document which is a teacher reference and includes detailed annotations that provide time limits and include suggestions for struggling students.
  • In Module 2B, Unit 2, lesson 4, the teaching notes on page 72 clearly explain the purpose of the lesson, what will happen in the lesson, and suggest that teachers consider collecting student’s graphic organizers to read through the themes of adversity they face to provide guidance for a future lesson. The notes also direct teachers to form partnership teams in advance of the lesson.
  • Module 2B, Unit 1, lesson 1 includes teacher notes that provide direction regarding how the learning targets should be presented to students; the learning targets should not be displayed in advance as the activities are to build inquiry around them.
  • Module 4, Unit 1, lesson 11 includes a note to the teacher to listen for student understanding of the information presented on a graph and use the information to decide on questions that can be answered with the data provided.

Technology is listed and/or suggested when appropriate in the section Resources and Links and Multimedia.

  • In Module 4, Unit 1 under Resources and Links on page 25 are two bulleted points, http://search.creativecommons.org (a site to search for images with license to reuse) and http://www.cns.cornell.edu/documents/ScientificPosters.pdf (a site showing model scientific posters)
  • Module 3A, Unit 2, lesson 3 includes guidance to enhance instruction and support students with auditory processing issues. In the teacher’s notes, it states, "When reviewing graphic organizers or recording forms, consider using a document camera to display the document for students who struggle with auditory processing."

Indicator 3g

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

Materials reviewed for Grade 6 meet the expectation of materials containing 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.

Materials include teachers notes and other documents that explain and give rationales for teacher actions, accommodations, pacing, instructional materials, and resources.

  • The "Preparing to Teach a Module: Guidance for Coaches and Teacher Leaders" document found at eleducation.org explains how to prepare to teach a module and give a guidance timeline with detailed direction.
  • The "Assessment Design in Expeditionary Learning Grades 3-8 Curriculum" document outlines the step-by-step process for designing effective assessments aligned to the Common Core State Standards.
  • The "Help Students Read Closely" document explains the close reading process and explicitly demonstrates how a teacher plans for a close read lesson.
  • The "Writing Instruction in Expeditionary Learning Grades 3-8 ELA Curriculum" document explains the how and why of Expeditionary Learning’s approach to writing instruction.

Explanations and examples can also be found in the lesson narratives, the Meeting Student's Needs section, and in Preparation and Materials for each lesson.

  • Module 1, Unit 2, lesson 2 includes explanation of the importance of paraphrasing: "Paraphrasing helps all students understand what they read. It is useful for all learners, but particularly for ELLs or other students who struggle."
  • Module 3B, Unit 3, lesson 10 includes an explanation of the importance of debriefing after an assessment: "The debrief after the assessment can help build a culture of achievement in your classroom."
  • Module 4, Unit 1, lesson 4 includes a rationale for posting sentence starters: "Posting sentence starters for class discussions gives students an entry point for clearly conveying their responses."
  • In the Module 4 Overview: Week at a Glance in the section "Preparation and Materials," an explanation is provided to help the teacher improve his/her knowledge of the subject by suggesting that the teacher do some further research that can be used to provide some examples of how students have used this process in a science curriculum. The manual states, "In advance: Read the article about Stakeholder Consequences Decision-Making (SCDM) process to build your own background knowledge about it. You can download the article "Learning to Make Systematic Decisions."

Indicator 3h

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

The materials reviewed for Grade 6 meet expectations for materials containing a teacher’s edition that explains the role of the specific ELA/literacy standards in the context of the overall curriculum.

Materials include a document, “Preface to the Modules” found on eleducation.org. The preface includes an introduction to how the materials address the Common Core shifts as well as a detailed account of how the CCSS standards have a role in the curriculum.

  • The introduction to the preface states, “Expeditionary Learning’s Grades 3–8 ELA curriculum has been designed by teachers for teachers to meet the needs and demands of the CCSS-ELA: to address and bring to life the shifts in teaching and learning required by the CCSS. To prepare students for college and the workplace, where they will be expected to read a high volume of complex informational text and write informational text, the shifts highlight the need for students to learn and practice these skills early on. This curriculum has been designed to make this learning process engaging with compelling topics, texts, and tasks.”

Each module contains a module overview which provides a summary to show how different ELA standards are applied to develop knowledge and expertise in content areas.

  • In Module 2B, the overview states, “In this eight-week module, students explore the idea of adversity of people across time and place, and through multiple modes of writing. Students begin this module with a research-based unit on the Middle Ages. They read informational articles about various aspects of medieval life, learning and practicing the skills of summarizing an article, analyzing how ideas are developed across a text, and describing how a part of a text contributes to the whole. Students then break into expert groups to read closely about one demographic group. They practice the informational reading skills they have learned and explore the adversities faced by that group. In the second half of Unit 1, students write an informational essay based on their research as their end of unit assessment. In Unit 2, students use their background knowledge built during Unit 1, but move to reading literature: Good Masters! Sweet Ladies! Voices from a Medieval Village. This is a book of monologues told from the perspective of children living in the same village during the Middle Ages. Students have dual tasks: First, they identify the various adversities faced by this cast of characters; secondly, they examine the author’s craft, specifically by identifying and interpreting figurative language in the monologues as well as analyzing how word choices affect the tone of the text. In the second half of Unit 2, students write a literary argument to address the question “Do we struggle with the same adversities as the people of Good Masters! Sweet Ladies!?” In Unit 3, students move into modern voices of adversity by reading concrete poems in the books Blue Lipstick and Technically, It’s Not My Fault. These concrete poems highlight adversities faced by the speakers of the poems, an adolescent girl and her younger brother. Students apply the same reading skills they learned in the reading of Unit 2, but this unit is discussion-based, allowing teachers to assess students’ speaking and listening skills in small group discussions about the texts. For their performance task, students choose a writing format—narrative, like the monologues of Good Masters! Sweet Ladies!, or concrete poem—and write their own text about adversities faced by students in Grade 6. Students then perform their writing for a group of their peers. This task addresses NYSP12 ELA CCLS W.6.3, SL.6.4, SL.6.6, L.6.1, L.6.3, and L.6.6.”

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

Materials reviewed for Grade 6 meet the expectations for materials containing explanations of the instructional approaches of the program and identifying research-based strategies.

Materials include online resources found on eleducation.org that provide explanations of the instructional approaches and identify research-based strategies. The preface to the modules includes how materials address the Common Core shifts, provides research, explains the story and structure of the modules, and explains how the materials integrate reading, writing, speaking and listening, and language strands through lessons, assessments, engagement strategies, and differentiation.

  • The “Introduction to Preface to the Modules: Introduction to Grades 3–8 ELA Curriculum” document states, “Some structures, approaches, and strategies may be new to teachers. The materials have been designed to guide teachers carefully through the process of building students’ skills and knowledge in alignment with the standards. The modules also have been designed to build teacher capacity, so that as teachers become more familiar with the structures and strategies, they can adapt the materials to the needs of their specific students.”
  • The “Preface to the Modules: Introduction to Grades 3–8 ELA Curriculum” document states, "Expeditionary Learning’s instructional practices emphasize student inquiry, critical thinking, and craftsmanship. In these ELA modules, students engage in original research and deep interdisciplinary investigations of rich academic topics, using their learning to create authentic, high-quality, academic products to share with outside audiences."
  • Materials provide links to other resources websites that include a research document, “The Importance of Increasing the Volume of Reading.” This document explains research that supports increasing the volume of reading as well as rigor and relevance.

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

Materials reviewed for Grade 6 contain some strategies for informing stakeholders, including students, parents, or caregivers, about the ELA/literacy program but provide few suggestions for how they can help support student progress and achievement.

  • In Module 1, Unit 1, the Performance Task on page 22 in the section Options for Teacher suggests that "Students may present their stories to members of the school community."
  • In Module 2B, Unit 2, lesson 14, the Meeting Students' Needs section suggests that teachers consider sending a letter to parents about independent reading and the importance of their role in achieving reading goals.
  • In Module 3B, Unit 3 the Preparation and Materials on page 13 under the section Reading Calendar states, "Consider providing a reading calendar to help students, teacher, families understand what is due and when."

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 meet expectations for providing teacher resources and tools to collect ongoing data about student progress on the standards. Formative and summative assessment opportunities are provided throughout the materials. All assessments clearly indicate which standards are being emphasized, and teachers are provided guidance on how to interpret student performance and suggestions for follow-up. Routines and opportunities to monitor student progress are included throughout the materials.

Indicator 3k

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

MMaterials reviewed for Grade 6 meet the expectations for materials regularly and systematically offering assessment opportunities that genuinely measure student progress. Each module incorporates seven formal assessments, in addition to daily opportunities to check for understanding via homework, entry and exit tickets, and in class assignments.

The formal assessments are broken into three categories which include Mid-Unit Assessments, End-of-Unit Assessments, and a Culminating Performance Task.

  • Mid-Unit Assessments are on-demand, tied to standards addressed in the first half of the unit, are a checkpoint before teacher’s progress to the second half of the unit, and usually emphasize reading.
  • End-of-Unit Assessments are on-demand, tied to standards addressed throughout the unit, assess understanding of both content and skills, and usually emphasize writing.
  • Culminating Performance Tasks take place over the course of Unit 3, are tied to standards addressed across units 1 and 2, are aligned to a mode of writing, always involve writing from sources and citing evidence, and always requires research to build and present knowledge.
    • In Module 2B, Mid-Unit Assessments include: Unit 1 Research Reading: Medieval Times; Unit 2 Finding Theme and Interpreting Figurative Language: Monologues from a Medieval Village; and Unit 3 Small Group Discussion: How Do Modern Poems Portray Modern Adversities. The End-of-Unit Assessments include Unit 1, Writing About Medieval Times; Unit 2, Argument Essay: Do We Face the Same Adversities as the Voices of Good Masters, Sweet Ladies?; and Unit 3, Giving Voice to Adversity: Drafting a Modern Narrative of Adversity. The Culminating Performance Task that takes place in Unit 3 is the Informational Consumer Guide: What Do People Need to Know About Overfishing and Fish Depletion When Buying Fish?

Daily formative assessment opportunities are included in lessons as well as the unit overviews.

  • In Module 3A, Unit 2, lesson 11, students self-assess expository writings using a rubric. The teacher collects first drafts of writing and self-assessments to review.
  • In Module 4 Unit 2, the Unit Overview on pages 6-12 includes an ongoing assessments chart that lists assessment opportunities in lessons. For example, lesson 10 on page 11 lists a researcher’s notebook, Harmful Consequences Cascading Consequences Chart, Benefits of DDT Cascading Consequences Chart, and an Exit Ticket: Reflecting on My Believes about DDT.
  • In Module 2A, Unit 1, lesson 2, students are provided with exit tickets which will be used to evaluate their understanding of figurative language and to determine instructional implications and next steps.
  • In Module 2B, Unit 2, lesson 4, students complete a graphic organizer as they respond to a question around themes of adversity. This organizer is used to determine the students in need of additional supports.
  • In Module 3A, Unit 1, lesson 2 students use a word catcher to identify unknown words; this form is used to aid in monitoring the understanding of complex text.

Indicator 3l

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

Indicator 3l.i

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

Materials reviewed for Grade 6 meet the requirement for assessments clearly denoting which standards are being emphasized.

Each formal assessment emphasizes the same standards as the accompanying lessons. Standards are also provided in the unit overview and other planning materials. Formative assessment occurs throughout unit lessons and are connected to the standards addressed in the lesson.

  • In Module 1, Unit 1, lesson 7 the Mid-Assessment asks students to make inferences about Percy assessing CCSS ELA RL.6.1 and RL.6.3. Standards are denoted on the Assessment Overview page, in lesson 7 as long-term targets, and on student-facing supporting materials.
  • In Module 2A, Unit 3, lesson 9, the Performance Task has students write a final draft of essay to assess CCSS ELA W.6.2, W.6.5, W.6.9, L.6.1, and L.6.2. Standards are denoted on the Assessment overview and in lesson 9 as long term targets.
  • In Module 3A, lesson 6, the Mid-Assessment has students write a short response analyzing point of view of Relief Camps assessing CCSS ELA RI6.3, RI.6.6, and RI6.4. Standards are denoted on the Assessment Overview, in lesson 6 as long-term targets, and on student-facing supporting materials.
  • In Module 4, Unit 2, lesson 15 the End-of-Unit Assessment is a hosted gallery walk and assesses CCSS ELA RI.6.9, SL.6.4, SL.6.5, and SL.6.6. Standards are denoted on the assessment overview, in lesson 15 as long term targets, and on student-facing supporting materials.

Indicator 3l.ii

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

Materials reviewed for Grade 6 meet the expectations of assessments providing sufficient guidance to teachers for interpreting student performance and suggestions for follow-up.

Materials provide sufficient guidance to teachers for interpreting student performance.

  • In Module 1, Unit 1, lesson 12, the teacher’s notes include a note for the teacher “to be prepared to return students’ mid-unit assessment mini-essays in Lesson 14. In your scoring, focus on rows 1 and 2 of the NYS Writing Rubric, as those are the most important rows in terms of helping students begin to write effectively with evidence. Students will be familiar with both of those rows by Lesson 14.”
  • In Module 2B, Unit 1, lesson 9, teachers are directed to use the NYS Grades 6-8 Expository Writing Evaluation Rubric to evaluate student writing. The rubric is included in student-facing supporting materials (pages 196-198).
  • In Module 3B, Unit 2, lesson 3, the teacher reference provides teachers with completed Noah’s Point of View Graphic Organizer to ensure teachers can interpret students’ performance as they complete the organizer in triads.
  • In Module 3A, Unit 3, lesson 10, students review writing that was completed as part of End-of-Unit Assessment and answer the following questions: “How do you think you have done? What went well in your drafting? Why? What didn’t go so well? Why not? What do you think you could improve upon? Why?”
  • In Module 3, Unit 3, lesson 6 teachers are provided with guidance around scoring student responses on the Mid-Unit Assessment: “Assess students’ responses using the Unit 3 Mid-Unit Assessment: Part 2 Rubric provided in the supporting materials.”

Materials provide suggestions for follow-up.

  • In Module 2A, Unit 3, lesson 8 materials provide mini-lessons in the Teaching Notes section for addressing common errors students make while drafting and working toward completion of Performance Tasks. Teaching Notes prompt, "This lesson includes 5 minutes to address common mistakes you may have noticed while reviewing some of the student essays. A sample structure is provided here. Focus the lesson on one specific common conventions error you noticed as you assessed students' drafts." During work time, a bulleted lesson format is provided for addressing common errors in writing.
  • In Module 1, Unit 2, lesson 14, students receive teacher feedback from their Mid-Unit Assessment to identify their individual writing strengths and set goals.

Indicator 3m

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

Materials reviewed for Grade 6 meet the expectation for including routines and guidance that point out opportunities to monitor student progress.

Materials include an "Appendix: Protocols and Strategies" that includes multiple opportunities to monitor student progress. Protocols and strategies that focus on checking for understanding and ongoing assessment include Admit and Exit Tickets, Catch and Release, Cold Call, Equity Sticks, Fist-to-Five, Four Corners, Go-Around, Guided Practice, Human Bar Graph, No Opt Out, Presentation Quizzes, Red Light, Green Light, Tracking Progress, Turn and Talk, and White Boards. These protocols and strategies are used in the majority of lessons to monitor student progress.

Materials include routine checks embedded in lessons to help teachers monitor student understanding.

  • In Module 2A, Unit 3, lesson 6, Work Time notes direct teachers to "Again, check for understanding by asking the rest of the class for thumbs-up or thumbs-down if they agree. Address any students who have thumbs-down, refer back to the green box statement that says: Explain the evidence and the topic in your own words."
  • In Module 3A, Unit 3, lesson 3, teachers return students' Unit 2 End-of-Unit Assessment and invite students to spend time reading their feedback. Students are invited to write their names on the board if they have questions that need to be addressed. Teacher is directed to address as many students as possible in the next lessons.
  • In Module 3B, Unit 2, lesson 3, the teacher is directed to collect students’ organizers to allow for a quick check for understanding of the learning targets so that instruction can be adjusted or tailored to students' needs during the lesson or before the next lesson.
  • In Module 4, Unit 3, lesson 8, teachers are directed to circulate and support students who need help identifying clues and word meanings.

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

Materials reviewed for Grade 6 indicate how students are accountable for independent reading based on student choice and interest to build stamina, confidence, and motivation.

Independent reading is built into units and lessons with independent reading check-ins built in. Time is allotted for students to choose independent reading books, and check-ins with graphic organizers are clearly evident.

  • In Module 1, Unit 3, lesson 1, independent reading is launched with an explanation of the importance of daily independent reading as well as how to select texts for this purpose. Students discuss how they select independent reading books, and their ideas are captured on the Selecting and Evaluating Books Anchor Chart. The homework assignment includes independent reading.
  • In Module 1, Unit 3, lesson 5, students discuss and complete an Independent Reading Review. Teachers use this document as an accountability tool and hold discussions with students that have rated their books with low scores.
  • In Module 2B, Unit 3, lesson 1, students read independently to meet their goal and complete the Reading Tracker and Reviewer’s Notes.
  • In Module 4, Unit 3, lesson 7, students are directed to read their independent book for 30 minutes and complete the Reading Tracker and Reviewer’s Notes.

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.
9/10
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Criterion Rating Details

The instructional materials meet expectations for providing teachers with strategies for meeting the needs of a range of learners so that they demonstrate independent ability with grade-level standards and opportunities for teachers to use a variety of grouping strategies. Materials regularly provide support for students who read, write, speak, or listen below grade level or in a language other than English, but additional extensions and advanced opportunities are needed for students who read, write, speak, or listen above grade level.

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

Materials reviewed for Grade 6 meet the expectations for providing teachers with strategies for meeting the needs of range of learners so that the content is accessible to all learners and supports them in meeting or exceeding the grade-level standards.

Materials provide supports noted within the lesson and also in the Meeting Students’ Needs column to provide teachers with multiple strategies for supporting all learners. Resources are provided on eleducation.org to meet the needs of students.

  • In Module 2A, Unit 1, lesson 11 students discuss the learning targets that are posted to allow all students to reference them and check understanding throughout lesson.
  • In Module 2B, Unit 1, lesson 9, the Meeting Students’ Needs column suggests that teachers consider providing select students with a pre-highlighted version of the rubric that highlights the “3” score column to guide students toward the level you would like them to focus on.
  • In Module 3B, Unit 2, lesson 6, the Meeting Students’ Needs column suggest that asking students to identify challenging vocabulary helps them monitor their understanding of a complex text. When students annotate the text by circling these words, it can also provide a formative assessment for the teacher.
  • In Module 3B, Unit 2, lesson 9, the Meeting Students’ Needs column suggests that asking students to discuss prompts before recording their answers helps to ensure that all students have an idea about what to write and can give students confidence in their responses.
  • In Module 4, Unit 2, lesson 3, the Meeting Students’ Needs column notes that research indicates that cold calling improves student engagement and critical thinking. The materials suggest that the teachers should prepare students for the strategy ahead of time by discussing the purpose, giving appropriate think time, and being intentional by indicating that this strategy will be used before they begin asking questions.
  • At eleducation.org the document "Common Core Interventions for Adolescent Reader" suggests interventions for students who are struggling.

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

Materials reviewed meet expectations for materials regularly providing 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. All students engage in the same complex text. Scaffolds are provided so that all students can access the complex texts and meet or exceed grade-level standards.

Resources are provided on eleducation.org to meet the needs of students who are below grade level or an English Language Learner with opportunities to work with grade-level text and meet or exceed grade-level standards.

  • The "Common Core Interventions for Adolescent Readers" document located on eleducation.org suggests interventions for students who are struggling.
  • The "A Guide to Support English Language Learners" document located on eleducation.org provides strategies for scaffolding learning for students who read, write, speak, or listen in a language other than English.

Materials provide supports noted within the lesson and also in the Meeting Students’ Needs column to provide teachers with multiple strategies for supporting all learners.

  • In Module 2A, Unit 3, lesson 5, the Meeting Student’s Needs column notes that allowing students to discuss their thinking with their peers before writing helps to scaffold student comprehension as well as assist in language acquisition for ELLs.
  • In Module 3A, Unit 2, lesson 6, the Meeting Students’ Needs column notes that for some students, this assessment may require more than the 30 minutes allotted and that teachers should consider providing students time over multiple days if necessary.
  • In Module 3A, Unit 3, lesson 1, the Meeting Students' Needs column notes that if students had been grouped homogeneously, focus your attention on those triads who need additional support reading the text.
  • In Module 3B, Unit 2, lesson 8, the Meeting Students’ Needs column notes that some students may benefit from having access to “hint cards,” small slips of paper or index cards that they turn over for hints about how/where to find the answers to text-dependent questions. For example, a hint card might say, “Look in the third paragraph.”

Indicator 3q

Materials regularly include extensions and/or more advanced opportunities for students who read, write, speak, or listen above grade level.
1/2
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Indicator Rating Details

Materials reviewed for grade partially meet the requirements for regularly including extensions and/or more advanced opportunities for students who read, write, speak, or listen above grade level.

Materials regularly include optional extensions in the unit overviews that provide advanced opportunities for students in a variety of modalities. In unit overviews, each unit includes optional experts, fieldwork, and service suggestions and extensions to provide more advance opportunities.

  • In Module 2B Unit 1 the following optional opportunities for students are provided: “Experts: Invite a local expert on medieval times from a college or university to discuss the various social groups and structures students are researching.” “Fieldwork: Visit a local public library to have a research librarian assist students in finding additional materials about their focus group; See if there is a local art museum displaying medieval artifacts, such as tapestries or armor.” “Optional: Extension: A study of medieval art and religious symbolism (page 40).”
  • In Module 3A, Unit 1, the following optional opportunities for students are provided: “Experts: Invite recent immigrants to the United States who could speak about the experience of coming to a new country and fitting into a new culture.” “Fieldwork: Arrange for a visit to a local Chinatown, so that students can compare the buildings and architecture to those outside Chinatown; Arrange for a visit to a flight/aviation museum or exhibit, so that students can learn more about early flying machines like those described in Dragonwings; Arrange for a visit to a museum or exhibit about earthquakes, so that student s can learn more about earthquakes and the aftermath.” “Optional Extensions: A study of the history of a local Chinatown; A study of the history of flight (page 35).

In daily lessons limited teacher notes or Meeting Students’ Needs notes refer to extensions or more advanced opportunities for above level students than to those on level or below level.

  • In Module 2B, Unit 1, lesson 7, the Meeting Students’ Needs notes that teachers should encourage students to choose a text from the research folder that is most appropriate for their reading level, but to challenge themselves within reason.

Indicator 3r

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

Materials reviewed meet the expectations of providing ample opportunities for teachers to use grouping strategies during lessons.

Grouping strategies are explained in detail in the document "Appendix: Protocols and Strategies."

  • The Appendix includes grouping protocols and strategies such as Back-to-Back and Face-to-Face, Carousel Brainstorm, Chalk Talk, Concentric Circles (Inner Circle/Outer Circle), Discussion Appointments, Final Word, Fishbowl, Gallery Walk/Hosted Gallery Walk, Give One, Get One, Move On (GoGoMo), Infer the Topic, Interactive Word Wall, Jigsaw, Mystery Quotes, Peer Critique, Praise, Question, Suggestion, Quiz-Quiz-Trade, Rank-Talk-Write, Say Something, Science Talks, Socratic Seminar, Take a Stand, Tea Party, Think-Pair-Share, and World Café.

Lessons include grouping strategies regularly during instruction.

In Module 2B, Unit 2, lesson 5, students work in partners to complete a task.

  • In Module 3A, Unit 1, lesson 1, students participate in the "back-to back, face-to-face" protocol to unpack the lesson's learning targets.
  • In Module 4, Unit 1, lesson 2, students are grouped into triads where they jigsaw excerpts from chapters.
  • In Module 4, Unit 2, lesson 5, students "Think-Pair-Share" to discuss a topic.

Indicator 3s

0/
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructions materials meet expectations that 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.

The curriculum modules are all available for free download at the Expeditionary Learning website. Each module can be downloaded as one folder. Each folder contains Word and PDF files and folders for each individual unit in the module. Lessons can also be viewed online instead of being downloaded.

The Resources tab of the Expeditionary Learning website provides links to Curriculum Overview Documents, Supplementary Curriculum Documents, Teaching Guides, and videos.

Accessibility was tested on Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer, Safari, an Android phone, an iPhone, and an iPad. All access was successful.

Indicator 3s3v

0/
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials support effective use of technology to enhance student learning. Materials reviewed are compatible with multiple Internet browsers and operating systems, follow universal programing style, and are accessible on tables and mobile devices. Materials support the effective use of technology throughout modules and lessons and can be easily customized for individual learners when downloaded and modified as a word document. Materials do not support the use of adaptive or other technological innovations and do not include or reference technology that provides opportunities for teachers and/or students to collaborate with each other.

Indicator 3t

0/
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 6 support effective use of technology to enhance student learning, drawing attention to evidence and texts as appropriate.

Technology is used throughout modules and lessons to enhance student learning and draw attention to evidence and texts.

  • In Module 2, Unit 1, lesson 6, teachers create a Connecting Elements of Mythology to Theme anchor chart, identical to the graphic organizer students will be using (see supporting materials). Teachers are given further direction about the chart and other resources to use: This anchor chart and graphic organizer are adapted in collaboration with Odell Education based on their Evidence-Based Claims worksheet (also see stand-alone document on EngageNY.org and odelleducation.com/resources).
  • In Module 4, Unit 2, lesson 2, students watch a brief video: “2010 time lapse feeding 4/8/10 to 5/24/10; SCPBRG Falcons.” To build interest in the day’s lesson.
  • In most lessons, a document camera is used to display student work, show examples, and direct student’s attention to evidence and tests.

Indicator 3u

0/

Indicator 3u.i

0/
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials do not meet expectations that digital materials include opportunities for teachers to personalize learning for all students, using adaptive or other technological innovations. Adaptive or other technological innovations are not included in the instructional materials. The only digital instructional materials provided are documents which teachers can edit themselves.

Indicator 3u.ii

0/
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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed include opportunities for teachers to personalize learning for all students. The materials can be downloaded from eleducation.org as Microsoft Word documents. These documents can then be edited as necessary to support student learning.

Indicator 3v

0/
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Indicator Rating Details

Materials do not include or reference technology that provides opportunities for teachers and/or students to collaborate. Professional Development is offered at eleducation.org, but does not include observable means of collaboration.

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 support effective use of technology to enhance student learning. Materials reviewed are compatible with multiple Internet browsers and operating systems, follow universal programing style, and are accessible on tables and mobile devices. Materials support the effective use of technology throughout modules and lessons and can be easily customized for individual learners when downloaded and modified as a word document. Materials do not support the use of adaptive or other technological innovations and do not include or reference technology that provides opportunities for teachers and/or students to collaborate with each other.

Indicator 3s

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

The instructions materials meet expectations that 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.

The curriculum modules are all available for free download at the Expeditionary Learning website. Each module can be downloaded as one folder. Each folder contains Word and PDF files and folders for each individual unit in the module. Lessons can also be viewed online instead of being downloaded.

The Resources tab of the Expeditionary Learning website provides links to Curriculum Overview Documents, Supplementary Curriculum Documents, Teaching Guides, and videos.

Accessibility was tested on Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer, Safari, an Android phone, an iPhone, and an iPad. All access was successful.

Indicator 3t

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 6 support effective use of technology to enhance student learning, drawing attention to evidence and texts as appropriate.

Technology is used throughout modules and lessons to enhance student learning and draw attention to evidence and texts.

  • In Module 2, Unit 1, lesson 6, teachers create a Connecting Elements of Mythology to Theme anchor chart, identical to the graphic organizer students will be using (see supporting materials). Teachers are given further direction about the chart and other resources to use: This anchor chart and graphic organizer are adapted in collaboration with Odell Education based on their Evidence-Based Claims worksheet (also see stand-alone document on EngageNY.org and odelleducation.com/resources).
  • In Module 4, Unit 2, lesson 2, students watch a brief video: “2010 time lapse feeding 4/8/10 to 5/24/10; SCPBRG Falcons.” To build interest in the day’s lesson.
  • In most lessons, a document camera is used to display student work, show examples, and direct student’s attention to evidence and tests.

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 instructional materials do not meet expectations that digital materials include opportunities for teachers to personalize learning for all students, using adaptive or other technological innovations. Adaptive or other technological innovations are not included in the instructional materials. The only digital instructional materials provided are documents which teachers can edit themselves.

Indicator 3u.ii

Materials can be easily customized for local use.
0/0
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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed include opportunities for teachers to personalize learning for all students. The materials can be downloaded from eleducation.org as Microsoft Word documents. These documents can then be edited as necessary to support student learning.

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

Materials do not include or reference technology that provides opportunities for teachers and/or students to collaborate. Professional Development is offered at eleducation.org, but does not include observable means of collaboration.

Additional Publication Details

Report Published Date: Fri Jul 08 00:00:00 UTC 2016

Report Edition: 2016

Title ISBN Edition Publisher Year
Dragonwings 978-0064400855 Copyright: 2016 HarperCollins 2001
Frightful's Mountain 978-0141312354 Copyright: 2016 Puffin Books 2001
Flush 978-0375861253 Copyright: 2016 Yearling 2010
D'Aulaires' Book of Greek Myths 978-0440406945 Copyright: 2016 Delacorte Books for Young Readers 1992
Bud, Not Buddy 978-0440413288 Copyright: 2016 Yearling 1999
Technically, It's Not My Fault: Concrete Poems 978-0618503612 Copyright: 2016 Clarion 2004
Blue Lipstick: Concrete Poems 978-0618851324 Copyright: 2016 HMH Books for Young Readers 2007
World Without Fish 978-0761156079 Copyright: 2016 Workman Publishing Company 2011
Good Masters! Sweet Ladies! Voices from a Medieval Village 978-0763643324 Copyright: 2016 Candlewick 2008
The Lightning Thief (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, Book 1) 9780786838653 Copyright: 2016 Disney-Hyperion 2006

About Publishers Responses

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

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

Educator-Led Review Teams

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

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

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

ELA 3-8 Rubric and Evidence Guides

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

For ELA, our rubrics evaluate materials based on:

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

  • Building Knowledge with Texts, Vocabulary, and Tasks

  • Instructional Supports and Usability

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

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