Alignment to College and Career Ready Standards: Overall Summary

Core Knowledge Language Arts Kindergarten instructional materials meet expectations of alignment to the standards. Texts included with the materials are of quality and consistently demonstrate appropriate and growing complexity for the students and related tasks. Texts are organized and bolstered with evidence-based questions and tasks to support students’ growing literacy skills. These evidence-based questions and tasks build students’ knowledge on topics while engaging them in rich, rigorous discussions, grounded in evidence and providing meaningful opportunities for academic vocabulary practice. The materials fully engage students in the development of their foundational skills. Writing instruction over the course of the school year is consistent and organized to support students’ development of different types of writing as outlined in the standards. The materials provide practical opportunities for students to demonstrate both growth and proficiency at grade level in reading, writing, speaking, and listening.

See Rating Scale
Understanding Gateways

Alignment

|

Meets Expectations

Gateway 1:

Text Quality

0
27
52
58
55
52-58
Meets Expectations
28-51
Partially Meets Expectations
0-27
Does Not Meet Expectations

Gateway 2:

Building Knowledge

0
15
28
32
30
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

+
-
Gateway One Details

The instructional materials for Kindergarten meet the expectations of Gateway 1. Texts are appropriately rigorous, and organized in a manner to support students' skill development. Texts are of high quality and are engaging with rich language. The materials provide many opportunities for text-based questions and tasks, and writing instruction that encompasses the standards. Discussion includes the modeling and practice of academic vocabulary. The materials support teachers to teach foundational skills to build reading acquisition by providing systematic and explicit instruction.

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.
18/20

Indicator 1a

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

The materials reviewed for Kindergarten meet the criteria for texts of publishable quality and texts worthy of careful reading. The majority of the Kindergarten anchor texts are publishable, and some of the texts are well-known children’s literature and stories. Some examples include nursery rhymes in Domain 1, including “Rain, Rain Go Away,” “It’s Raining, It’s Pouring,” and “Jack be Nimble, Jack be Quick.” Similarly, in Domain 3, there are well-known fairy tales and folktales, including “The Three Little Pigs” and a Japanese Folktale, “Momotaro, the Peach Boy.”

Other domains have well-known stories such as in Domain 7, “Cinderella,” “The Princess and the Pea,” “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs,” and “Old King Cole.” In Domain 9, “The Voyage of the Mayflower” is a published text.

In some of the domains, it is not clear if the texts were previously published; however, the majority of the informational texts are strong, complex texts that have publishable qualities. These include texts in Domains 2, 8, 10, and 12. Some of these texts include, but are not limited to:

  • “The Sense of Taste” has graphics and content rich vocabulary words such as taste buds and flavorful (Domain 2, Lesson 8).
  • “Safety in Storms” has photographs of different types of storms as well as content rich vocabulary words in bold, such as shelter and gear (Domain 8, Lesson 7).
  • “The House Builders: Bricklayers, Masons, and Carpenters” is an informational story with images of tools that bricklayers, masons, and carpenters used in Colonial America (Domain 10, Lesson 7).
  • “A Clever General” is a biography about George Washington and a man named Henry Knox who helped him. Throughout the read aloud, there are paintings of Washington and Knox as well as maps to show where they were located (Domain 12, Lesson 3).

All of the informational texts in this series have Tier II vocabulary words and many nonfiction text features including bold words with definitions and diagrams. In addition, the flip books for the anchor text read alouds are artistically and visually appealing. The technical drawings are accurate and realistic.

The K-2 Program Guide specifies, “CKLA provides high-quality texts that are written to fully engage students. The texts were written by children's authors specifically for the program and are original, authentic, and engaging fiction and nonfiction texts” (p. 164). Also, the students see a flip book image while the teacher reads the text from the teacher’s manual; therefore, the students never see the actual text on the page.

Indicator 1b

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

The materials reviewed for Kindergarten meet the expectations for texts that reflect the distribution of text types and genres required by the standards. There is a relatively equal distribution of text types within this series for Kindergarten, but there is a larger distribution of informational texts addressing science and social studies topics. The program balances that by using fictional characters to present the information and/or literary texts to demonstrate the information being presented. Each domain is organized around a topic, and the majority of the domains contain both literary and informational texts. There are a variety of text types and genres including literary texts, fables, fairy tales, informational text, poems, and rhymes.

Within the 12 Domains presented in the Kindergarten level, Domains 1 and 3 are dedicated to nursery rhymes and fables and are all literary. Domain 7 has an equal balance of literary and informational texts. The remaining domains have informational texts alternating between science and social studies. There are a few literary stories in the majority of these domains. In the majority of these informational pieces, a fictional character is used to present the information. For example, in Domain 5, Old MacDonald narrates stories about his farm. In other cases, the informational texts are literary-based, such as in Domain 6 where students hear the story about the Lakota Sioux and a young boy named Little Bear. The content is informational, but the storyline is fictional.

The balance of text types occurs throughout the series, so if the teacher cannot finish the entire curriculum within the year, students will still have access to an equal distribution of literary and informational texts. It should be noted that according to the K-2 Program Guide, “The amount of nonfiction gradually increases, reaching the 50-50 balance of fiction and nonfiction by third grade.” The K-2 Program Guide also states that the balance is achieved throughout the day, not just in the language arts block, and teachers should have students read literary and informational texts in all subjects.

Below is each domain and the text types within:

  • Domain 1: Nursery Rhymes and Fables
    • This domain includes only literature texts, specifically nursery rhymes and fables.
  • Domain 2: Five Senses
    • This domain includes eight informational texts, including biographies about Ray Charles and Helen Keller.
  • Domain 3: Stories
    • This domain includes 10 folktales such as “Goldilocks and the Three Bears.”
  • Domain 4: Plants
    • This domain is primarily informational, including texts on the life cycle of a plant, a biography, and a literary text story called, “The Gigantic Turnip.”
  • Domain 5: Farms
    • This domain is mostly literary nonfiction with a literary story, “Little Red Hen.”
  • Domain 6: Native Americans
    • This domain contains two literary texts and six informational texts.
  • Domain 7: Kings and Queens
    • This domain contains six literary texts and two informational texts.
  • Domain 8: Seasons and Weather
    • This domain has one literary text and seven informational texts. Included in this domain is the tall tale, “The Grasshopper and the Ants.”
  • Domain 9: Columbus and the Pilgrims
    • This domain contains nine informational texts such as “Ferdinand and Isabella” and “The Wampanoag.”
  • Domain 10: Colonial Town and Townspeople
    • This domain is primarily informational texts.
  • Domain 11: Taking Care of the Earth
    • This domain contains 10 informational texts such as “Composting.”
  • Domain 12: Presidents and American Symbols
    • This domain has eight informational texts such as “George Washington” and “Barack Obama.”

Indicator 1c

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

The materials reviewed for Kindergarten meet the expectations that texts (including read aloud texts and some shared reading texts used to build knowledge and vocabulary) have the appropriate level of complexity according to quantitative analysis, qualitative analysis, and a relationship to their associated student task. While the majority of the lessons use an anchor text that is complex and appropriate for Kindergarten, there are other texts that are too complex for this grade level. In Kindergarten, the anchor texts are read alouds, and the majority of them are two to three grade levels higher in complexity than a typical kindergarten text. Below are examples of complex read aloud texts.

In Domain 1, Lesson 10, there is an example of a complex text. The text, “The Lion and the Mouse,” has a Lexile of 710. The majority of the qualitative features are slightly complex, but the meaning of the text is moderately complex due to the fact the theme is clear but conveyed with some subtlety. There are supports impeded throughout the text, as well as throughout the other read alouds, such as scaffolds for students answering questions or completing the tasks. In this specific lesson, the task is for students to identify the main events in the story through image card descriptions and drawings.

In Domain 2, the text, “The Sense of Hearing,” has a Lexile of 910. The qualitative features range from slightly complex to moderately complex. Ideas are presented in chronological order, and the language is largely explicit. Most of the sentences are simple and compound. The purpose is stated, and the knowledge demands are common, but some discipline-specific knowledge is discussed. The task associated with the text is five comprehension questions asked orally, then students create drawings, illustrate noises, and organize them based on volume.

In Domain 3, Lesson 10, the text, “Tug of War,” is also appropriately complex because of the 610 Lexile and the qualitative features being between slightly complex and moderately complex. The task requires students to draw a picture illustrating how two characters are different from one another.

In Domain 4, Lesson 10, the text is appropriate and complex for Kindergarten students. It has a Lexile of 930. The knowledge demands are very complex, as it explains how sap is turned into rubber and discusses photosynthesis. However, students review the parts of the plant prior to the read aloud. which could support students’ understanding. The task is for students to match plant parts to the everyday items people can make from them. It is suggested that this activity can be completed as a whole group if students need the extra support.

In Domain 5, Lesson 5, the text, “The Season of Farming,” has a Lexile of 880 making it appropriately complex. The language features are moderate to very complex due to the vocabulary that contains many specific academic vocabulary words and many complex sentences with several subordinate phrases or clauses. In addition, the knowledge demands are also moderately to very complex due to the students’ background knowledge of farming and understanding of the previous read alouds.

In Domain 6, Lesson 4, “Little Bear goes Hunting,” has a 690 Lexile, which is two levels above grade level and is appropriate for a read aloud in Kindergarten. The text structure is moderately complex since there are two storylines, and there is some challenging academic language such as hunting party, pemmican, and plains. In this text, the task does not apply to the story as it focuses on word work and syntactic activities. There are comprehension questions following the story.

“Spring” is a complex text for Kindergarten, found in Domain 8, Lesson 3. The Lexile is 850, and the qualitative features range from slightly complex to very complex. While the purpose is clear, concrete, and narrowly focused, making it slightly confusing, the language features are very complex because the meaning of the words is occasionally supported by the teacher, and there is a large amount of academic vocabulary. The task associated with this text does further support students’ understanding of the text since it analyzes the following figurative language, “April showers bring May flowers.”

In Domain 12, Lesson 9, the text, “Carving Mount Rushmore”, is also at an appropriate complexity level for Kindergarten. The Lexile is 890, and the qualitative features range from moderately complex to very complex. The language features are very complex due to the use of complex sentences and figurative language such as, “Finally, Borglum announced, ‘We shall carve Mount Rushmore. American history will march along that mountaintop!”’ The task is appropriate with the text as students identify the faces on Mount Rushmore and discuss key information about the four presidents depicted on the monument.

In Domain 5, Lesson 6, “All Kinds of Crops” has a Lexile of 1010. The qualitative features range from slightly complex to moderately complex: The text structure and purpose are slightly complex, but the language features and knowledge demands are moderately complex. Students illustrate different kinds of crops after folding a paper in half to draw food from animals on the left, versus food from crops on the right.

Indicator 1d

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Kindergarten meet the expectations that the materials support students’ literacy skills over the course of the school year through increasingly complex text to develop independence of grade level skills. The program is designed so that the domains and units build upon each other with increasing demands for knowledge and application as the student progresses through the units, lessons, and year. Students begin Kindergarten with highly familiar literary topics such as nursery rhymes in Domain 1 and fictional tales about different families in the first Reader in Unit 4, to taking care of the earth and learning about presidents and symbols in the final domains. The length and structure of the texts increases appropriately as well.

The anchor texts are the read alouds that are found in every lesson of the Knowledge Strand. All of the read alouds are several grades above what a Kindergarten student can read independently (between 600 and 1200 Lexile). These read-aloud texts focus on building students’ background knowledge with texts focusing on science, social studies, literature, and the arts. Following each story, there are comprehension questions with a focus on literal questions. As students progress through the units, inferential questions are introduced.

In addition, there are decodable readers in the Skills Section which increase in complexity. The first Reader is not introduced until Unit 4, and it has only two words per page and no capitalization or punctuation ("pet dog" "pet hot"). In this unit, students first watch and listen to the teacher read before they read. In Unit 7, students receive a Reader with one complete sentence per page with correct capitalization and punctuation (i.e., "Seth’s dad gets mad if Seth is not in bed at ten.") This is also the first unit where students begin doing independent reading in the decodable reader. The teacher begins by modeling before students read with a partner, in a small group, and/or independently. In Unit 8, the reader gets more complex, because it is the first time the reader is not 100% decodable (due to the inclusion of “Tricky Words,” also known as high frequency words). By the end of the Skills Strand, students receive pages with multiple sentences.

Indicator 1e

Anchor texts (including read-aloud texts in K-2) and series of texts connected to them are accompanied by a text complexity analysis.
1/2
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The materials for Kindergarten partially meet the expectations that anchor texts and series of texts connected to them are accompanied by a text complexity analysis and rationale for purpose and placement in the grade level. Although text complexity analysis information is available for the Kindergarten texts as a whole and rationales for purpose and placement of texts are found at the beginning of each unit, this information is not provided for individual texts.

Beginning on page 74 of the K-2 Program Guide (PG), there is prose describing the quantitative measures, qualitative features, reader characteristics, and task demands that were considered when selecting and creating texts for the program. According to the K-2 Program Guide, the Read-Aloud texts fall within the 760-990L band, and the texts within the Skills Section fall within the 310-450L band. The materials indicate that most texts for Kindergarten are “texts that focus mostly on literary language in clear prose,” with most of the texts being classified as contemporary or timeless tales with a limited number of academic and domain-specific words being introduced. Lexile information is not provided for individual texts.

The beginning of Kindergarten reading units include an introduction that describes why the unit texts were chosen for the program. For example, in Unit 7, "Kings and Queens," "King Midas and the Golden Touch,” “The Princess and the Pea,” and "Cinderella” are included to “build students’ understanding of the responsibilities, lifestyles, and customs associated with royalty throughout history” (page 2). The Program Guide also describes that students will read fiction and nonfiction, including fictional rhymes, poems, and stories. Unit 11 begins with an explanation that the unit is comprised of texts that teach students the importance of being environmentally aware and ways to conserve the Earth’s natural resources. Included in every lesson in the domain are practice examples of how students can help take care of the Earth.

Indicator 1f

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Kindergarten partially meet the expectations that anchor and supporting texts provide opportunities for students to engage in a range and volume of reading to achieve grade level reading proficiency. Multiple types of text are presented throughout the domains and units as the topics vary from poems to fairy tales, to fables, to informational texts; however, the amount of instructional time allocated for students to read a breadth of texts on various topics appears optional through the recommendations for the teacher to bring in books related to the topics. There is not built-in time for students to explore, choose, or spend time exploring books related to the topics within the allotted literacy time.

There is a wide range of topics for students to read throughout this curriculum, including literary texts, informational texts, biographies, and poems. The domains cover world history, United States history, science, literature, music, and the arts. Informational text topics include the five senses (Domain 2), plants (Domain 4), and Native Americans (Domain 6). Literary texts include “Johnny Appleseed” (Domain 4) and “Little Bear Goes Hunting” (Domain 6). There is a poem in Domain 2, Lesson 1, called “My Senses are Amazing.” Biographies are included in Domain 2, Lessons 7 and 8, when students hear a read aloud about Ray Charles and Helen Keller, as well as in Domain 4, Lesson 11, when students listen to a read aloud about George Washington Carver. Each of the read alouds is accompanied by a Flip Book, which is a large book that contains images that accompany the Teacher Guide. There is no text, but the images are in sequential order, and the images correspond with the lessons. In addition, in many of the informational texts students engage with written texts in a range of formats, including charts, sample sentences, and timelines. In the K-2 Program Guide, beginning on page 136, there is a pacing guide which suggests most read alouds take 10-15 minutes.

In the Skills Strand, beginning in Unit 4, students are provided a Big Book (and/or decodable reader as the Big Book is faded out in later units). All of these Readers are literary texts; therefore, Kindergarten students do not read informational texts independently. Students are introduced to these decodable Readers, first through teacher modeling using the Big Books and then through their own copies of Readers. The first Big Book is called “Pet Fun;” however, there are no complete sentences, capitalization, or punctuation. The teacher is expected to read it first and then throughout the rest of the lessons have the students engage with the text in multiple opportunities, such as in Lesson 13, when students take turns reading one phrase at a time or partner read. Additional decodable Readers include “Seth” in Unit 7, where the teacher models reading the story before students read the text. Beginning in Unit 9, the decodable Readers are 100% decodable, so the lesson suggests the teacher can use them any way they desire, such as partner reading, group reading, silent reading, or rereading. Each reader has a few additional stories to be used for extra practice or evaluation of individual students.

In the remaining units, Big Books are 100% decodable and are specifically aligned to the sequence of phonics instruction for students to read. In Kindergarten, there is an additional pre-decodable reader that combines rebus pictures with high frequency words. In this 121 page Picture Reader, there are 15 pre-decodable mini-books.

Students read these Big Books in many ways including in a whole group, in a small group, and with partners. One example is in Unit 5, Lesson 16: Students read the phrase on each page and point his/her finger under each word as he/she reads. There is also an Additional Support section for an additional 30 minutes of extended instruction and activities that directly align to the skills taught. Students read and reread the texts in the Skills Strand.

There are many optional opportunities for students to engage in a topic more deeply. In each of the domains, it is suggested that the teacher finds times throughout the day when they can infuse the instructional materials with authentic domain-related literature. There is a recommended resource list that provides suggested titles based on the domain. In addition, it is suggested that this list also go home to families so that the topic can be read at home. In addition, it is suggested that the teacher create a classroom lending library.

Many of the domains also have Pausing Points that suggest the teacher read a trade book to review something specific from the domain, such as a particular sense in Domain 2. Similarly, the same direction is given in many of the culminating activities including in Domains 3, 4, and 6.

In Skills Strand, Unit 1, it is suggested that students bring in a book of nursery rhymes, including storybooks in their home language. In Domain 3, it is suggested that the teacher gather different storybooks to pass around the class. In addition, in Domain 3, it is suggested that the teacher selects online resources for further exploration of stories. In Domain 5, the teacher is to explore the internet to find short videos that relate to the stories covered in the domain.

Despite all of these opportunities, there are limited opportunities for students to engage in independent reading of emergent reader texts. The majority of the lessons are very structured and scripted with independent reading as “optional,” with no means of tracking student progress of the independent reading and/or text complexity gains per student.

There is some progress monitoring to determine if students are achieving grade level reading proficiency; however, it is limited, sometimes optional, and not structured. Each unit in the Skills Stand has an additional four stories to use for assessment, if the teacher chooses. Teachers can use these to collect anecdotal information. There are some individual reading assessments and oral reading running records. Rubrics are only included for writing, and it is not suggested that students evaluate themselves. Portfolio use is suggested in the K-2 Program Guide; however, it is not revisited in the Teacher Guide to assist teachers in determining what should or should not go in the portfolio or in helping students select what should go in the portfolio.

Criterion 1g - 1n

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

The instructional materials for Kindergarten meet the requirements of Alignment to Standards. There are several places in each lesson that require students to engage with the text directly and draw on textual evidence to support their answers, and questions and tasks are linked to assessments that show a culmination of learning. Speaking and listening is supported in protocol as well as practice with academic vocabulary and attention to citing source material. The materials provide writing instruction that supports students' development to grow written communication skills. Language/grammar skills instruction is present but inconsistenly aligned to the standards for the grade.

Indicator 1g

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Kindergarten meet the expectations that most questions, tasks, and assignments are text-based. There are several places in each lesson that require students to engage with the text directly and draw on textual evidence to support their answers.

One example of how the materials that meet the indicator are the Check for Understanding questions, which occur during the daily text and are also used to review the text the following day. These are typically recall questions/answers that refer back to the text to make sure students are understanding the story on a literal basis. Such examples include, “What is the blue flower in the nursery rhyme called?” (Domain 1, Lesson 1) and “Thumbs up/thumbs down: The main character in this nursery rhyme is the rain.” (Domain 1, Lesson 2a)”

In addition, each read aloud has an interactive component. In the read alouds, there are suggested stopping places for each image projected, with questions either about the image or about the text the students heard. At the end of each read aloud, there are five to six questions for comprehension that teachers spend five to ten minutes on each day. It is suggested that if students are not responding to the questions, the teacher should reread the pertinent lines of the read aloud. There is no text provided in the Flip Book for read-aloud stories. These questions include a mix of literal and inferential questions as well as some evaluative questions. Included in this section are Think/Pair/Share activities which encourage students’ active involvement in class discussions with a peer and to then share their responses aloud with the class.

Examples of literal questions include:

  • “What things are red and blue in the nursery rhyme?” (Domain 1, Lesson 1)
  • “Who does the mother goat warn her kids about?” (Domain 3, Lesson 4)
  • “Name three things you have learned about Washington, D.C.” (Domain 12, Lesson 1)

Examples of inferential questions include:

  • “What does it mean when Johnny says,‘Come again another day?'” (Domain 1, Lesson 2a)
  • “Which one of the three pigs do you think is the smartest? Why?” (Domain 3, Lesson 4)
  • “Why does the author say that spring is an important time of the farm?” (Domain 8, Lesson 3)

One example of evaluative, Think/Pair/Share questions is: “Why do you think the Founding Fathers wanted the country to have an elected president rather than a king?” (Domain 12, Lesson 1).

Other Think/Pair/Share questions are evaluative but are not text based. For example, “With a partner, discuss Annie’s question at the end of her letter: What is it like during the summer where you live?” (Domain 8, Lesson 4). However, in these types of questions, it suggests that support for the answers should come from the read aloud.

Some lessons also have Exit Passes, which are text-based prompts. One example of an Exit Pass is “Students will draw the main events in ‘Little Miss Muffet’” (Domain 1, Lesson 4b). There are assessments interspersed in the text that require the students to draw upon the texts that they have heard to answer the questions. At the Kindergarten level, directions include, “I am going to read a question about one of the nursery rhymes and fables that you have heard. First, you will listen to the sentence that I read. Next, you will look at the three pictures in the row and find the one that answers the question. Finally, you will circle the correct picture.” Examples of questions are: “Who is the little friend? Why is he a great friend? Who learns the lesson?” (Domain 1, Lesson 10).

There are also some text-to-world and text-to-self questions included in the lessons that would not require students to revisit the text and that students with background knowledge of the topics would have more access to answering. The following are examples of questions that do not require students to refer back to the supporting or read-aloud text:

  • In Domain 5, Lesson 2, “Why do farmers raise cattle?"
  • In Domain 5, Lesson 6, “How would your life be different if farmers didn’t grow crops?"
  • In Domain 10, Lesson 2, “Describe what you might see in a town.”

Sometimes, students do not have access to the visual text and are expected to reply by memory. In addition, prior to each read aloud, there is background information for teachers to share with students. This background knowledge helps to prepare the students and set a purpose for listening. While students with no knowledge on a topic will need to utilize the text, others who have some understanding will not.

Indicator 1h

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

The materials for Kindergarten meet expectations that materials contain sets of high-quality sequences of text-based questions with activities that build to a culminating task which integrates skills to demonstrate understanding. There are culminating assessments and optional culminating tasks that serve as remediation or enrichment for the students.

Each domain includes a culminating assessment. For most assessments, there are three parts. The first part assesses students’ understanding of the content vocabulary taught in the domain, and the other two to three parts assess students on their understanding of the knowledge they were taught during the lessons. For example, in the culminating assessment of Domain 1, students hear a sentence about one of the nursery rhymes. They are then shown three pictures and have to choose the picture that correlates to the fairy tale. During Domain 1, students answer text-based questions about nursery rhymes such as, “Who is this nursery rhyme about?”

Each domain also includes several culminating activities. These activities are optional and used after the culminating assessment based on the needs of the individual students. The materials specifically state that these activities are for enrichment and/or extra activities. None of them are mandatory and/or designed as a specific culminating task to assess and apply knowledge learned. The activities are either remediation such as revisiting lessons, rereading, or discussing selected read alouds. The enrichment activities include making class books, art projects, retellings, or field trips. Other activities include creating Venn Diagrams, creating food chains, and theatrical reenactments. Some, but not all of the tasks are supported by the learning that happens throughout the domains, and often it is reference work that was done over time spent in the lessons. Some specific examples of the optional culminating tasks include, in Domain 8: Students act out the characters while the teacher rereads, “The Grasshopper and the Ants.” In Lesson 6, students answer questions about “The Grasshopper and the Ants” which connect to the culminating task such as, “Why do you think the ants are working so hard?” In Domain 10, students pretend to be tradespeople or townspeople in Colonial America. They need to use what they learned in the domain to imagine and then describe what they might see and hear as a tradesperson or townsperson. In Lesson 3, students answer questions about tradespeople such as, “What kinds of tradespeople might a farmer visit in town?” In Domain 12, students create a class timeline that shows the succession of presidents. In Lesson 2, students answer text-based questions about George Washington such as, “Why is the story of George Washington and the cherry tree considered a legend?” Finally, in Lesson 5, students answer questions about Thomas Jefferson such as, “What was Thomas Jefferson’s talent?”

There are also small tasks at the end of some of the lessons within the Knowledge Strand which help to integrate learning that will help students to be successful in a culminating task; however, these are usually stand-alone summary tasks that organize the learning from the lesson. For example, in Domain 3, Lesson 8, students write about their favorite character from the stories that they have read so far and give a reason why that character is their favorite.

Some of the culminating activities that teachers can choose to use are not text-based. For example, in Domain 8, one culminating activity is that students review the school’s procedures for events of severe weather, such as a tornado drill.

Indicator 1i

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

The materials reviewed for kindergarten meet the criteria for providing frequent opportunities and protocols for evidence-based discussions (small group, peer-to-peer, whole class) that encourage the modeling and use of academic vocabulary and syntax. There are opportunities for students to turn and talk or answer questions orally in a whole group setting, and there are protocols for evidence-based discussions with sentence frames. In addition, there is modeling of speaking with correct syntax and academic vocabulary when students are asked evidence-based questions.

After each lesson, there are comprehension questions where students respond orally to the whole group or to their turn and talk partner. In many of the cases, the materials provide scaffolding to develop speaking and listening skills for students within the lesson to include emerging, expanding, and bridging skills. This is the terminology used by curriculum. For example, in Domain 2, Lesson 4, the emerging support is, “Ask students simple yes or no questions.” The expanding support requires the teacher to provide students with a specific frame. The bridging support is, “Encourage students to use content-related words in complete sentences.” In Skills Unit 8, Lesson 5, the support includes, “Ask yes/no questions using simple phrases for emerging students,” and “When asking each question, provide students with a specific sentence frame to help students expand their ideas.” Lastly, teachers are expected to encourage students to expand and/or build on each other. Students also work with each other to retell stories, such as in Domain 7, Lesson 3.

There are many opportunities for students to turn and talk to discuss a question about the read-aloud text. In the first domain, there are specific protocols for students to follow to learn how to turn and talk. This begins in Domain 1, Lesson 10. The instructions say, “I am going to ask you a question. I will give you a minute to think about the question and then I will ask you to turn to your neighbor and discuss the question. Finally, I will call on several of you to share what you discussed with your partner.” One example of a turn and talk question is, “Have students turn to a partner and explain what our sense of sight is and why it is important,” from Domain 2, Lesson 2. Another example is, “What lesson can we learn from this story?” from Domain 4, Lesson 8. A final example is in Domain 7, Lesson 4, when students turn and talk to describe Old King Cole as a king.

Some directions to teachers model correct syntax when students have discussions about the read aloud. There are also syntactic activities. These allow students to have modeling, exposure, and practice expanding sentences using details from the texts they are reading. For example, in Domain 3, Lesson 6, the Teacher’s Guide says, “Explain to students that you will show them a picture from the read-aloud, and then you will ask them one question at a time. Explain that each time a question is answered, you will add it to the sentence to make the sentence expand, or become longer." In Domain 5, Lesson 12, the teacher models how to take turns saying one thing at a time about the picture and how to combine those ideas into one sentence. Also, in Domain 7, Lesson 1, students complete a drawing after a read aloud. The teacher is expected to circulate around the room and ask them to discuss their drawings. The teacher should repeat and expand upon students’ responses, using richer and more complex language, including, if possible, any read-aloud vocabulary.

There are also instances of teachers supporting evidence based discussions with rich academic vocabulary. For example, in the culminating activities for Domain 10 the teacher is instructed to repeat and expand upon the responses of the students using richer and more complex language, including, if possible, any read-aloud vocabulary. In addition, the comprehension questions after the read aloud include academic vocabulary words that are introduced in the beginning of the lesson. For example, in Domain 7, Lesson 5, a question is, “How are the actions of the king and queen different from the actions of the maid? (where maid is the vocabulary word)." Another example is in Domain 12, Lesson 8: “How is car exhaust bad for the earth? (where the word exhaust is the vocabulary word)."

Indicator 1j

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

The materials reviewed for Kindergarten meet the criteria for supporting students’ listening and speaking about what they are reading with relevant follow-up questions and support. Every whole group text is a read aloud; therefore, each lesson requires students to listen, and various supports are given. In addition, the students have to respond to comprehension questions orally, which supports their speaking about what they are reading. There are relevant follow-ups and supports interspersed throughout the lessons. Many of the activities use Think-Pair Share as a way for the students to express and share ideas. There are supports in every lesson that offer scaffolding. Students are given multiple opportunities for learning through speaking and listening and for demonstrating their learning through different speaking activities.

Each lesson has an objective and a purpose for listening to help the teacher and the students focus on specific topics to listen for and speak about. For example, in Domain 2, Lesson 2, the purpose for listening is: “Tell the students that the main topic or main idea in the lesson is the sense of sight. Ask them to listen carefully to find out more about the sense of sight. Have them pay attention to the names of the different parts of the eye and what each part does.” In Domain 3, Lesson 8, the purpose for listening is: “Listen to the second half of the story about Jumping Mouse to find out how Jumping Mouse helps others and what lesson can be learned from the folktale.” In Domain 6, Lesson 2, an example is: “Tell students to listen to find out why the buffalo were so important to Lakota Sioux.” In Domain 7, Lesson 1, the purpose for listening is to find out about different European kings and queens from long, long ago, including the places they lived and all the different royal things that belonged to them.

In the read alouds there are also Check for Understanding Questions that support students’ speaking and listening. For example in Domain 9, Lesson 5, one check for understanding is “Who was Columbus?” and in Domain 9, Lesson 6, another check for understanding is, “When was Columbus's first voyage to America?” In this same lesson, students have a discussion at the end of the lesson about how the two maps are different and how they are similar. The discussion is based on a variety of questions such as, “What do both the world map of today and the 1492 map show?”

Throughout the lessons there are other various supports. For example, in Domain 1, Lesson 1B, it says, “If students give one-word answers and/or fail to use read-aloud or domain vocabulary in their responses, acknowledge correct responses by expanding the students’ responses using richer and more complex language. Ask students to answer in complete sentences by having them restate the question in their responses.”

Other supports for speaking and listening occur in the culminating activities. For students who need more support after the culminating assessment, one activity for remediation is reading. The teacher is directed to read the read aloud a second time and ask the students if they noticed anything new or different during the second reading that they did not notice during the first reading.

In many of the lessons there is support for the various supports for speaking, such as when students are asked simple yes/no questions, are provided with a sentence frame, and are encouraged to use key details in a complete sentence. In other cases, such as Domain 8, Lesson 3, students are asked yes/no questions about activities they can do in the spring, others are encourage to build on what the previous student said about the activities, and other students are challenged by asking them to say more about what the previous student has said about activities. These types of supports are found throughout the lessons.

Additional speaking activities are found throughout the domains to help students. For example in Domain 1, Lesson 7B, students share an experience orally. In Domain 3, Lesson 6, all students are provided a sentence frame for offering their opinion: “I think _____ makes a person a hero because...” Then, based on the student and his or her needs, the differentiation includes helping the students complete the sentence frame, encouraging the students to respond to the opinion of their peers by using phrases such as, "I agree or disagree because...," or challenging students to respond to the opinion of their peers before they offer their own opinion. Another example of this is in Domain 3, Lesson 10, when students think of a story, folktale, or trickster tale that they’ve heard during a read aloud and have to turn to their neighbor and recall the basic plot, using words like first, next, then, with an emphasis that they should use the word ‘last’ at the end.

In the Skills Section of the material, teachers are strongly encouraged to use specified questioning and answering techniques. In Unit 7, students learn how to answer inferential questions orally, and in Unit 8, students will answer evaluative questions.

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 materials reviewed for Kindergarten meet the criteria for materials including a mix of on-demand and process writing and short, focused projects, incorporating digital resources where appropriate. The materials cover a year’s worth of instruction and involve both short and longer writing tasks and projects. There are instances where digital resources are used for writing. The writing tasks and projects are aligned to the grade level standards being reviewed.

Within the Kindergarten materials, there are opportunities for students to begin learning to produce on-demand written responses related to information being presented. For many lessons, it may be to provide an illustration for understanding (with a scribed response and/or a simple word or sentence). There are many examples of this throughout the domains. For example, in Domain 3 students are instructed to draw a picture of Momotaro on one side of the paper, and on the other side of the paper, to draw a picture of Jumping Mouse. The pictures need to emphasize the similarities and differences between the two characters in each of their drawings in Domain 3, Lesson 7. Another example is in Domain 1, Lesson 5B where students have to draw the five events that take place in the nursery rhyme. In Domain 3, Lesson 3, students work together to draft a story with the teacher. This also occurs in Domain 11, Lesson 10, where students participate in writing a class book, which includes ideas for solutions to problems regarding taking care of the Earth. Additional examples of on-demand writing tasks include drawing the read aloud. This allows students to demonstrate an understanding of the information that they learned from the read aloud. Examples of this are in Domain 7, Lessons 1 and 2, as well as in Domain 9, Lessons 2, 4, and 8. Also, students are expected to sequence events in the story in Domain 7, Lessons 3, 7, and 8.

Process writing in Kindergarten teaches students to utilize the draft and revision process to edit their writing. In terms of process writing opportunities at this level, students are introduced to graphic organizers for understanding story elements, and they work on sequencing with illustrations. In addition, in Domain 9, students write a travel journal over the course of several lessons, including Lessons 1, 3, 5, 7, and 9. These travel journals document the voyages of Columbus and the voyages of the Pilgrims. There are also opportunities for students to edit their writing. In Domain 8, Lesson 7, students peer edit and then review their copy and add details based on peer suggestions. In Domain 12, Lesson 3, students are divided into pairs to exchange papers. They are then instructed to suggest at least one detail to be added to each picture in the sequence. Students then incorporate feedback into revising their work.

Students are also given opportunities for writing through the use of technology. The variety of topics and incorporation of digital resources allow students to become familiar with digital tools as a support to the writing process. In Domain 12, Lesson 3, for example, students explore various digital tools to revise and/or publish their retellings of the legend. Such tools include various student publishing software and web-based publishing programs.

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 Kindergarten materials reviewed meet the criteria for providing multiple opportunities for students to address the different texts types of writing, which are narrative, expository/informational, and opinion. The materials provide multiple opportunities across the school year for students to learn, practice, and apply different genres/models/types of writing that reflect the distribution required by the standards.

Students use a combination of drawing, dictating, and writing to narrate a single event or several loosely linked events, as well as tell about the events in the order in which they happen. In Domain 1, students focus on the literary genre through the retelling of nursery rhymes and fables. In Domain 3, students also focus on the literary genre through the retelling of stories. Also in Domain 3, students use graphic organizers to identify the characters, setting, and plot of a literary text in Lesson 9. Similarly, in Domain 5, students will use drawing to retell the main events of a folktale in Lesson 7. Additionally in Lesson 7, students practice sequencing events for the beginning, middle, and end of stories. In Domain 10, students publish a legend, with assistance, in Lesson 3.

Students use a combination of drawing, dictating, and writing to compose informative/explanatory texts. In Domain 2, students use drawings to describe key concepts from informational texts about the five senses. Students create drawings that identify the sense with its corresponding body part. They also complete two timelines showing important scenes from the lives of Ray Charles and Helen Keller. In Domain 4, students compare and contrast in writing different types of plants and seeds, as well as how different plant parts are used by people. They will also draw pictures to communicate understanding of plant parts and the cycle of plants. In Domain 5, students focus on using details to describe key concepts in informational texts about farms, and similarly, in Domain 6, students focus on using details to describe key concepts in informational texts about Native Americans.

Lastly, students use a combination of drawing, dictating, and writing to compose opinion pieces. One example is in Domain 3, Lesson 6, students write their opinion about a hero and give a reason for their opinion. Another example of this is in Domain 8, Lesson 8, when students will make a prediction based on their opinion of what the weather will be like tomorrow. Students are taught what opinion means and that they need to give a reason to support why they think it will happen.

Indicator 1m

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

The materials in the Kindergarten curriculum meet the criteria for materials that include regular opportunities for evidence-based writing to support recall of information, opinions with reasons, and relevant information appropriate for the grade level. Within the materials, there are grade-appropriate opportunities for students to recall information through drawing main events. Students are also presented with sentence frames and are asked to present reasons/opinions for characters that they select in Domains 1, 3, and 5 to draw and/or write about. There are also opportunities for students to detail information they are learning through listening events and with the use of graphic organizers.

In Domain 1, Lesson 4, students are asked to draw the main events in “Jack and Jill.” They repeat this direction in Lesson 4B with “Little Miss Muffet” and “The Lion and the Mouse” in Lesson 10. In Domain 2, students create a drawing and provide an oral statement describing the sense of sight and how it helps people. In Domain 3, Lesson 5, students draw and label a picture of a main character from the folktale that they heard. Other examples include drawing a picture of a type of food that comes from an animal and another picture of one that comes from a crop (Domain 5, Lesson 6), as well as drawing a picture of the jobs associated with each season on the four quarters of a piece of paper (Domain 5, Lesson 8). In Domain 6, students describe the environment of the Lakota Sioux and record their answers on a graphic organizer.

In Domains 9, 10 and 11, for example, students were asked to demonstrate their understanding of the information that they learned from the read-aloud text by drawing pictures and discussing them with the class. One such example is that students will draw an illustration with a caption, depicting part of the story (in Domain 10, Lesson 9). Similarly in Domain 12, Lesson 5, students are asked to use a drawing activity to describe Thomas Jefferson.

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 for Kindergarten partially meet the expectation that materials reviewed for Kindergarten partially meet the criteria for including explicit instruction of the grammar and conventions/language standards for the grade level as applied in increasingly sophisticated contexts, with opportunities for application both in and out of context.

Within the Kindergarten lessons, there are limited opportunities for grammar instruction. There is a focus on prerequisite skills for reading and writing. There is some instruction on prepositions, apostrophes, and verbs, as well as some instruction around prefixes and suffixes; however, the instructional material is minimal in supporting students to adequately master the standard.

In the Knowledge Strand, most of the grammar instruction in Kindergarten is around figurative language, specifically idioms and words with multiple meanings. There is some preposition work done in Domain 3. In Lesson 2, students work in pairs to orally create a sentence that uses the preposition ‘in.’ In the review section, students orally generate complete sentences based on the images using each of the prepositions correctly. In addition, they also have to generate complete sentences based on the images, using each of the prepositions correctly. In Domain 3, Lesson 8, students look at the word ‘misused’ and are taught that the word is broken up into mis- and -use. They then look at -ed, and they are taught that this is a word ending for words that are verbs or action words, to show when something happened. Another example of language instruction in Kindergarten is in Domain 4, Lesson 6, when students are taught the multiple meanings of the word pit. Some of the figurative language is: “cat’s face was as long as three days of rainy weather” (Domain 3, Lesson 5), “the early bird gets the worm” (Domain 5, Lesson 3), and “it’s raining cats and dogs” (Domain 1, Lesson 2b).

In the Skills Strand, the first unit's focus is on teaching students how to read and write, but the strand also focuses on students' attending to capital letters and punctuation as sentence indicators. This instruction begins in Unit 5, in Lessons 13, 14, 15, and 16. For example, in Unit 6, during the second reading of the Big Book and from the images from the Teacher Resources website, the teacher is directed to draw attention to uppercase letters and punctuation. Unit 9, Lesson 19 is about punctuation marks, and students practice tracing dotted punctuation marks. There are some language lessons on apostrophes. For example, in Lesson 3, the teacher is expected to write the name of different students with an apostrophe and explain that it means something belongs to the student. Follow-up teaching is done in Unit 8, Lesson 3, where the teacher is expected to use the apostrophe as an indication of ownership. In addition, in Unit 3, Lesson 6, teachers are expected to point out the use of ‘is’ when the sentence is about only one thing and ‘are’ when the sentence is about more than one thing. There is follow-up in Lesson 11, where students read the sentence and have to notice whether there is only one thing being talked about or whether there is more than one thing being talked about.

Criterion 1o - 1t

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Kindergarten fully meet the expectations of Foundational Skills criteria. The materials support teachers to teach foundational skills to build reading acquisition by providing systematic and explicit instruction in the alphabetic principle, letter-sound relationships, phonemic awareness, and phonological awareness (K-1), and phonics (K-2) that demonstrate a transparent and research-based progression with opportunities for application both in and out of context. The program provides explicit instruction for and regular practice to address the acquisition of print concepts for including alphabetic knowledge, directionality, and function (K-1), structures and features of text (1-2). Instructional opportunities are frequently built in to provide systematic and explicit instruction in and practice of word recognition and analysis skills in a research-based progression in connected text and tasks. The materials support ongoing and frequent assessments to determine student mastery and inform meaningful differentiation of foundational skills, including a clear and specific protocol as to how students performing below standard on these assessments will be supported. Each unit provides multiple opportunities for teachers to monitor student understanding and offers suggestions and methods for re-teaching and providing scaffolding supports.

Indicator 1o

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Kindergarten meet the expectation that materials, questions, and tasks directly teach foundational skills to build reading acquisition by providing systematic and explicit instruction in the alphabetic principle, letter-sound relationships, phonemic awareness, and phonological awareness (K-1), and phonics (K-2) that demonstrate a transparent and research-based progression with opportunities for application both in and out of context. The Skills Domain lessons are typically designed to run 60 minutes.

There are multiple opportunities for students to demonstrate their understanding of spoken words, syllables and sounds in each unit. There are many opportunities for rhymes and songs. Some examples of rhyming lessons include Unit 6, Lesson 9 and Unit 8, Lesson 4, where the teacher reviews what it means when a word rhymes and then the teacher reads pairs of words and students decide if the words rhyme or do not rhyme.

Oral blending lessons begin in Unit 1 and continue throughout the entire program. In Units 1 and 2, oral blending is the only skill taught, and it is introduced before letter-sound correspondence is introduced in Unit 3. In Unit 1, students also engage in distinguishing individual words in spoken language such as counting the number of words that they hear in oral sentences (Unit 1, Pausing Point). In Unit 2, the focus is on blending compound words and occurs at the start of every lesson. The degree of difficulty of oral blending increases as the units progress. For example, in Unit 3, students orally blend words of two or three phonemes and in Unit 6, the focus is on blending sounds into three-five sound words with a focus on blending consonant clusters. In addition, many of the lessons include opportunities for students to add or substitute individual sounds to make new words. These activities are called “Chaining Activities,” and they are included in many lessons. For example, in Unit 8, Lesson 6, the teacher begins with the word hot, and students change one sound at a time to end up with the word wings. Other examples include students changing one sound between two words. For example in Unit 4, Lesson 1, students read words that start with either /m/ or /n/ and then read the word again, but with the other sound.

Students apply grade level phonics and word analysis skills when decoding words, beginning in Unit 3. In Unit 3, /a/, /o/, and /i/ are introduced as well as /m/, /t/, /d/, /c/, and /g/. When introducing a new sound, the teacher says the sound and then asks students to repeat it. Then the students read a number of words with the sound in the beginning position and the end position several times after the teacher models reading the word. In Unit 4 and 5, the remaining letter sounds are introduced. The phonics get more challenging in later units such as /ch/ and /sh/ in Unit 7, the double letter spellings for consonant sounds in Unit 8 and the "magic 'e'" in Unit 10. Tricky Words or sight/high frequency words are introduced, beginning in Unit 3. A few new words are introduced in each unit, and they are used in the Decodable Readers for students to practice.

Indicator 1p

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

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

Letter names and alphabetic knowledge are introduced Unit 6, based on the philosophy that students first need to understand the sound of letters and not the letter names to avoid confusing students. According to the program, the instruction in letter-sound relationships is non-traditional, and teachers are encouraged to not teach letter names before students are taught sounds. Lowercase letters are used initially in all texts, including the first Decodable Reader in Unit 4. Beginning in Unit 5, capital letters are introduced.

In Units 1 and 2, students engage in directionality activities such as tracking pictures in Unit 2, Lesson 1. Starting in Unit 4, decodable texts are introduced, where directionality of text is explicitly taught. When the teacher does the read aloud for demonstrations, it is suggested that the teacher (and later on the students) explicitly point to the words to help students with directionality. For example, in Unit 6, Lesson 2, while the teacher reads “Kit and Stan,” the students track the print from the top to the bottom and from the left to the right. In subsequent lessons, the teacher is instructed to point out that the print goes from left to right across the page and that words are separated by spaces (beginning in Unit 4, Lesson 12).

Indicator 1q

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

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

There are multiple opportunities for students to practice automatically and accurately read grade-level words, beginning in Unit 3 with the words, one, two, three being taught in Lessons 13 and 14. In Unit 4, there are pocket chart chaining activities to support reading (Lessons 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 7, 8, and 9). Students also are provided flashcards to take home to practice. In each unit, there is a list of decodable words that students should be able to read. For example, in Unit 6, some of the words include: can, cut, did, get, had, and him.

There are multiple opportunities for students to purposefully engage in emergent reader texts, beginning in Unit 4. The students first watch the teacher read, and then they are provided opportunities to read short phrases in the story. Every word in this book has been selected based on different letter-sound correspondences that have been taught. In Unit 5, a student is provided a copy of the text, so he/she can read the phrase on each page, pointing his or her finger under each word. In later units, students practice oral reading fluency when they are provided opportunities to read the Decodable Reader with a partner, a small group, or as a class. CKLA states, “Repeated oral reading will be an important exercise from this point on in the program. It is a regular exercise in CKLA....” (Unit 6, Introduction).

Students are provided frequent opportunities to read high-frequency words. Unit 4 words include words from the Dolch Sight List and the Fry List, including one, two, three, can, get, and had. By Unit 7, students are expected to be able to read 53 high-frequency words from the Dolch Site Word List and 53 high-frequency words from the Fry Word List, including down, of, out, and down.

Indicator 1r

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

The instructional materials for Kindergarten meet the expectation that materials, questions, and tasks provide systematic and explicit instruction in and practice of word recognition and analysis skills in a research-based progression in connected text and tasks. While the lessons and skills taught are structured and systematic, it is unique and differs from the type of phonics usually taught in the United States, according to CKLA, in that the materials begin with a focus on sounds and then links those sounds to spellings. The program avoids the use of letter names in the early units of Kindergarten, because “what is most important for reading is not the letter names but the sound values the letters stand for.” Students learn to read words that contain onsets, rimes, and consonant clusters, but they learn to view and process these larger units as combinations of smaller phoneme-level units.

Beginning in Unit 4, students are provided a Decodable Reader that is 100% decodable, so students can practice word recognition and analysis skills in a connected text. This first story is simple, since the words are only made up of letter-sound correspondences students have been explicitly taught. As students move into later Kindergarten units, they will encounter longer and more challenging stories with fully decodable sentences.

Tricky Words are also taught, and these words are defined as high-frequency words that have sounds that cannot be blended using the letter-sound correspondences students have been taught. Prior to Unit 8, Tricky Words are not in decodable texts, but instead only in Picture Readers and related activity pages, which rely heavily on the use of pictures. In Unit 8, students still use the Picture Reader, and Tricky Words are gradually included in the stories. In Unit 9, the Tricky Words are only in the decodable texts, and a Picture Reader is no longer used. In the decodable readers, the tricky parts of the Tricky Words are underlined. This occurs for the first 20 times the word is in a story.

Indicator 1s

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

The instructional materials for Kindergarten meet the expectation that materials support ongoing and frequent assessments to determine student mastery and to inform meaningful differentiation of foundational skills, including a clear and specific protocol as to how students performing below standard on these assessments will be supported. Each unit provides multiple opportunities for teachers to monitor student understanding and offers suggestions and methods for re-teaching and providing scaffolding supports.

There are summative assessments as well as pretests in the Skills Section of each unit. Beginning in Unit 1, there are two pretests, including Blending Pretests; two additional optional pretests include a test of letter-sound correspondences and a test of letter names. In Unit 2, Lesson 10, there is an assessment on oral blending that is meant to be given to the entire class. It is suggested that any student who performs poorly should be given the pretest from Unit 1, Lesson 4. This type of additional assessment, found in almost every single unit, is for students who perform poorly on the initial assessment. This extra data allows teachers to understand the root cause of the problem and provide appropriate remediation. Another example of a summative assessment is in Unit 4, where students get an assessment to pronounce one-syllable CVC words. Students who perform poorly on the assessment will be provided a similar assessment the next day. In the Teacher Resource Section of each unit, teachers can find all of the materials. For example, in Unit 7, assessments in the Teacher Resource Section include the Dolch Word Assessment, Fry Word Assessment, Oral Segmenting Observation Record, Anecdotal Reading Record, and Unit 7 Assessment Record Pages.

After the summative assessments, it is suggested that teachers review and analyze all students’ assessment results and then pause for one to three days to provide enrichment and remedial practice. After some of the units, the program suggests that some students not move on to the next unit due to their poor performance on the assessments and the need for mastery in order to be a proficient reader. For example, in Unit 8, Lesson 15, it says, “If students score poorly on this assessment but are successful on the other assessments, they still move on to Unit 9 while receiving remediation on letter names from the Pausing Point of Unit 6 or the Assessment and Remediation Guide for Unit 6. If students score in the poor range and also score poorly on other assessments, consideration should be given to placing those students in a remediation group and not continuing to Units 9 and 10.”

Formative assessments are incorporated throughout the units and are clearly marked for monitoring student performance and progress in key skills. In Unit 2, the formative assessments are on blending syllables and individual sounds. There are also “Checks for Understanding,” that are quick ways to collect data on which students, if any, may benefit from reteaching and/or more practice on a particular skill. Also, observations are meant to be taken throughout various lessons. For example, in Unit 2, Lessons 1-9, there is an Oral Blending Observation Record for the teacher to use as he/she listens to students blending syllables. In Unit 4, the observations are even more specific about collecting observation records on segmenting words, blending words, and saying each letter sound. In Unit 7, teachers collect observational data on segmenting words with consonant clusters and digraphs, letter sounds and names, and story comprehension of discussion questions. At other times, it is recommended that the teacher collect specific Activity Pages to review at a later time in order to evaluate student performance.

Indicator 1t

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

The instructional materials for Kindergarten meet the expectation that materials, questions, and tasks provide high-quality lessons and activities that allow for differentiation of foundational skills. The lessons are designed in a structured way that allows for students to apply what they learned, and for the teacher to observe, reflect, and then offer scaffolding, feedback, re-teaching, and/or other differentiated methods to ensure learning and eventual mastery of foundational skills.

Throughout each lesson, there are supports and challenges included in the sidebars. For example, in Unit 2, Lesson 4, a support is to look for opportunities during the lesson day to segment words that students can then blend. In Unit 8, Lesson 3 another example of a support is for students to say the sounds in the Tricky Words instead of the letter names.

At the end of each lesson, there is additional support for the skills taught that day which the teacher can use with individual students, a small group of students, or the entire class. For example, in Unit 2, Lesson 5, there is additional support with blending syllables, by saying each syllable and then blending it together. In Unit 3, Lesson 9, there is extra support in blending words with two phonemes. In Unit 4, Lesson 10, there is a BINGO game to help students with reading words. In Unit 6, Lesson 9, there is a spelling hopscotch game to help students spell consonant clusters.

In each unit, there is a Pausing Point section that includes a variety of differentiated activities based on the unit objectives. Teachers can choose which activities students complete based on their individual needs. It is typically suggested that teachers pause for this for two to three days.

After each unit's End of Unit Assessment, there are suggestions for differentiation for students who do not master the skills. In Unit 4, if students perform in the fair to poor range, the teacher administers a second reading assessment on an individual basis to help plan for differentiation.

Gateway Two

Building Knowledge with Texts, Vocabulary, and Tasks

Meets Expectations

+
-
Gateway Two Details

The materials reviewed meet the Gateway 2 expectations of building knowledge with texts, vocabulary, and tasks. Materials are organized in topics to build students' knowledge and do support academic vocabulary development. Students are supported to accelerate vocabulary learning with vocabulary in their reading, listening, speaking, and writing. The materials contain a year long, cohesive plan of writing instruction and tasks that support students. The materials support the integration of skills and of considering ideas and content across and within texts. Independent reading supports to grow reading beyond structured in-class activities are less prominent.

Criterion 2a - 2h

30/32

Indicator 2a

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

The materials reviewed for Kindergarten meet the expectations for texts organized around topic/topics to build students’ knowledge and their ability to read and comprehend complex texts proficiently. All of the domains created in K-2 revolve around a topic through a set of texts rather than an anchor text. The Program Guide states, “In the Knowledge Strand, students spend several weeks at a time learning about a topic in science, social studies, history, literature, etc.” (CKLA, Program Guide, p. 45). The purpose of the domains is to immerse students in a topic for several weeks. “Children gain deep exposure to topics such as nursery rhymes and fables; seasons and weather; and presidents and American symbols” (CKLA, Program Guide p.30). The topics also build on each other year to year.

All of the domains in the Kindergarten materials are centered around a topic. The topics covered are as follows: Fairytales, Five Sense, Stories, Plants, Farms, Native Americans, Kings and Queens, Seasons and Weather, Columbus and the Pilgrims, Colonial Town and Townspeople, Taking Care of the Earth, and Presidents and American Symbols.

Texts included in each domain support the building knowledge about the topic. Specifically in the Farms Domain (Domain 5), texts include:

  • Literary stories introducing Old MacDonald and his farm, the animals and the foods we get from farms, and one about Little Red Hen
  • Informational stories about cows, chickens, pigs, sheep, crops, the four seasons, and turning crops into items for sale

Additionally, in the Taking Care of Earth Domain (Domain 11), the informational texts include introducing the Earth, garbage, natural resources, recycling, composting, pollution, and types of water.

The topics will help Kindergarten students engage in group reading activities with a specific purpose and to deepen their understanding of history, social studies, and science.

Indicator 2b

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

The curriculum materials in Kindergarten meet the expectations that materials contain sets of coherently sequenced questions and tasks that require students to analyze the language (words/phrases), key ideas, details, craft, and structure of individual texts in order to make meaning and build understanding of texts and topics. Questions consistently ask students to consider key ideas and details and build students' vocabulary. The Teacher's Guide contains many directions to tell or explain to students, as well as steps of teacher modeling for Kindergarten students in how to develop their own questions.

Some of the questions where students are to analyze key ideas and details come in Domain 2, Lesson 3 where students are asked, “What is the main topic or main idea of today’s lesson?” Growing Kindergarteners' understanding of main idea alongside their overall comprehension of a text is critical do developing further analysis skills.

In Domain 1, Lesson 2, students are taught about details when the teacher is expected to “explain to students that they should look for details about the main character in the nursery rhyme and others that they read and tell students that small details will often help us understand what the main character sees, thinks, and feels, as well as how he or she looks, sounds, and acts.” Over time students grow their ability to understand and consider new vocabulary independently. Other questions that show some evidence of students being required to analyze the text is in Domain 3, Lesson 9, when students are asked, “How do you know this story is fiction, or make-believe”.

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
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Kindergarten meet the requirements that materials contain a coherently sequenced set of text-based questions and tasks that require students to build knowledge and integrate ideas across both individual and multiple texts. Materials, especially in the Domain section, contain a sequenced set of text-dependent and text-specific set of questions and tasks that require students to build knowledge and integrate ideas across both individual and multiple texts.

In the majority of the Domains, the focus is an informational topic that builds from a basic understanding of the topic to a deeper understanding. For example, in Domain 2, students learn about the human body. They begin by learning about the five senses and how each responds to specific stimuli in the world around them. Then they learn about what happens if the senses of sight and hearing do not function well. This domain concludes with two biographies. Before the biographies are read, the students hear from the teacher about this genre as well as some background knowledge on Ray Charles. In addition, the CKLA program is designed so that not only does knowledge integrate across multiple texts within a single domain, but also across the grade. For example, in each grade students learn about the Earth. Students learn about taking care of the Earth in Domain 11 of kindergarten, the history of the earth in Grade 1, Domain 7, and the cycles in nature in in Grade 2, Domain 6.

Before beginning each new read aloud, students are provided background information on the topic such as in Domain 10, Lesson 3, “Explain that King George III ruled Great Britain, the American colonies, a long time ago.” In addition to this, students are reminded about previous texts in the domain, which helps them integrate ideas. For example, in this Domain 10, Lesson 3, after the teacher tells the students some new information to build background knowledge, the teacher reminds them that in the previous read aloud about the legend of the cherry tree they learned that George Washington was known for his honesty. In some of these before reading activities, students are asked questions about the text from the previous day such as in Domain 8, Lesson 10, when they are asked questions such as, “Why was the blacksmith important?” and “”How did the blacksmith bend metal?”

After each read aloud, there are a series of four to six text-dependent and text-specific questions that range from literal questions, to inferential questions, to evaluate questions. For example, in Domain 5, Lesson 5, an evaluative question is, “How are sheep like pigs? How are they different?” This requires the students to integrate their knowledge from this story to answer it correctly. Another example is in Domain 8, Lesson 3, a question is, “Describe some of the changes that happen from winter to spring.” Students have to integrate the ideas that they learned from the read aloud to answer this question.

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
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Kindergarten meet the requirements that questions and tasks that 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, and listening). There are culminating assessments at the end of both the Knowledge Domains and Skills Units, as well as mid-Domain assessments and opportunities for the teacher to identify what students have learned as they synthesize new knowledge and skills.

Some of the culminating activities allow students to demonstrate knowledge through multiple strands. For example, in Domain 1, a culminating activity is for students to to make a book retelling one of the fables from class. Students have to rely on listening skills, memory, and writing to complete this task. In Domain 9, students play a game where they go around around a circle stating things they would have found useful if they were on the Mayflower.

In Domain 12, students engage in a discussion about the commonalities of the presidents they read about, which integrates listening and speaking. For the Student Performance Task Assessment, students create a graphic organizer using academic vocabulary words from readings as well as integrating what they have learned from texts read aloud. Each of these tasks demonstrate knowledge gained from the Domain's texts.

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
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The materials in kindergarten meet the requirements that materials include a cohesive, year-long plan for students to interact and build key academic vocabulary words in and across texts. Vocabulary is repeated both in context and across multiple texts. Students are supported to accelerate vocabulary learning with vocabulary in their reading, listening, speaking, and writing. Each Knowledge lesson has an introduction of vocabulary, use of the vocabulary in the application section, key vocabulary brainstorming in the Domain review, and a vocabulary assessment. The End of Domain Vocabulary Assessment is used to determine students’ understanding of the vocabulary words in context. The assessment evaluates each student’s retention of domain and academic vocabulary words.

Each one of the domains provide tiered vocabulary lists for each lesson being taught. These words are in the read alouds, or in some instances, in the “Introducing the Read Aloud” section. The lessons are designed for continuous use, discussion, and exposure to the words. The words are presented, discussed, modeled, repeated, reviewed, and used with contextual examples throughout the lessons. In each lesson there are four to five words such as iris, keap, protect, and pupil in Domain 2, Lesson 2. Another example is in Domain 10, Lesson 6, where the words are attractive, elves, poor, rich, andthrilled. In these lists, there is one bold-faced word that is explored at greater length in the Word Work section described below. In addition to words, some sayings are also taught such as, “take a deep breath” in Domain 2, Lesson 4.

Each lesson also contains a Word Work section. This section details a common routine that is modeled and used throughout the curriculum which allows for students' familiarity with speaking, listening, and understanding the terms being presented and that students can analyze and practice in context. Each “Word Work” has the students listen to the word, repeat the word, rephrase a sentence using the word, and identify examples of when they would use the word. This allows for students to demonstrate their understanding. After some of the Word Work Sections in each lesson there is a brief activity called, “Making Choices,” in which students identify the correct use of the vocabulary when presented with oral scenarios by the teacher. For example, In Domain 1, Lesson 4B, the word is frightened and the students need to decide if certain statements such as, "A spider sits down beside you," would frighten them.

Indicator 2f

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

The materials reviewed for Kindergarten meet the expectations of materials containing writing tasks and instruction which support students in building and communicating substantive understanding of topics and texts. The materials contain a year long, cohesive plan of writing instruction and tasks that support students across both the Knowledge Domains and the Skills Sections.

Lessons engaging Kindergarten students in growing their writing ability are evident over the course of the school year. In Skills, Unit 2, students focus on creating drawings to describe key concepts about the five senses. In Knowledge Domain 3, Lesson 6, students write their opinion about a hero. In Knowledge Domain 6, students use drawings to identify important characteristics of different tribes. In later domains, such as 8 and 10, students trade papers with a partner and suggest details that might be added to the drawings, which is part of the standards in Kindergarten. In Knowledge Domain 12, Lesson 3 students are divided into pairs and exchange papers. Students are asked to suggest at least one detail to be added to each picture in the sequence. Students are given time to incorporate feedback into their work and explore various digital tools to revise and/or publish their retellings of the legend.

While no formal evaluation tool is used in this curriculum, a writing portfolio is suggested. There are specific items that are suggested to be included in the portfolio. Writing is also used to determine if students understand information.

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
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Kindergarten meet the expectations of materials including a progression of focused shared research and writing projects to encourage students to develop knowledge and understanding of a topic using texts and other source materials. The structure of units focusing on one topic each does support enhanced student understanding and knowledge development around the unit materials. Kindergarten students engage with research in its component parts: listening, learning, and developing inquiry skills.

Students are provided with background information in each lesson that is intended to give the students the information they need for the text being covered. There is some guidance for teachers to build students' independent study and researching skills. Some of these components are optional and come as part of the pausing points and/or domain reviews and assessments, although the directions to the teacher identify the focus.

Examples of how the Kindergarten materials support students' growing research skills include, but are not limited to, the following examples:

  • In Domain 3, an option during the assessment is for the teacher to pick appropriate online resources for students to further explore. Creating this cache of information is appropriate to delimit the amount of information Kindergarten students can navigate, and provides an opportunity for the teacher to closely gauge students' developing abilities to navigate multiple sources.
  • In Domain 4, during a pausing point, teachers can choose to plant 4 seeds and give it different conditions of water and sun. The students make their predictions about which will grow the best; and observe. Guidance to support students' record-keeping and observation is present.
  • In Domain 6, it is suggested that teachers may lead the class in a group research project to learn about a local Native American tribe; again, this is optional.
  • In Domain 8, in an option in the culminating activities, students play the role of meteorologist and watch the weather report to determine if the predictions are true; they keep a weather report.
  • In Domain 11, students can read additional trade books to review a concept.

Indicator 2h

Materials provide a design, including accountability, for how students will regularly engage in a volume of independent reading either in or outside of class.
2/4
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

Instructional materials reviewed for Kindergarten partially meet expectations for providing a design, including accountability, for how students will regularly engage in a volume of independent reading either in or outside of class. Students do have opportunities during some lessons to read independently from the student reader and answer questions or complete activities assigned by the teacher. Much in-class independent reading only requires student to read short passages, typically only a page or two at a time. Some independent reading Activity Book pages are assigned as take-home with instructions to read aloud to an adult, but there are no apparent follow-up activities to assess completion of the reading.

There is no support on how to organize independent reading in the lessons and how to provide guidance to foster independence. The teacher will have to identify a tracking system for independent reading. The materials do state, “You should consider various times throughout the day when you might infuse the curriculum with authentic domain-related literature. If you are able to do so, you may recommend students select books from the Recommended Resources list. If you recommend that families read aloud with their child each night, you may wish to suggest that they choose titles from this list to reinforce the concepts covered in this unit.” In addition, every unit says, “You might also consider creating a classroom lending library, allowing students to borrow domain-related books to read at home with families. The Recommended Resources list, which also includes online resources, can be found online.”

The program guide does suggest “a flexible amount (we suggest a minimum of 20 minutes a few times a week) of additional independent or group reading time.” However, again this is optional and does not provide a system for accountability on the students or the teacher.

Students engage in independent reading when they read the decodables, which are part of the skills lessons. For example in Skills, it says “Students will begin doing independent reading in the decodable student Readers,” but this type of reading is the only opportunity for in-class independent reading.

It is suggested that students only read decodables in Unit 6 until they begin to request trade books and demonstrate repeated success reading those books, but this does not provide a design or accountability system. Another example is when there is small group work, the other students may be independently reading or partner reading from their decodable. However, students who are constantly in the remediation group do not engage in independent reading. The Skills units often suggest that teachers can choose the ways the students engage with the decodables. For example, in Unit 9, it says the decodable readers can be used for partner reading, group reading, silent reading, etc.

Gateway Three

Usability

Meets Expectations

Criterion 3a - 3e

null
7/8
+
-
Criterion Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Kindergarten meet the expectations that materials are well-designed and take into account effective lesson structure and pacing. Teachers and students can reasonably complete the content within a regular school year, however the pacing may not allow adequate time for review, re-teaching, enhancing and/or extending student learning for maximum understanding. Student resources include ample review and practice resources, clear directions, explanations, and correct labeling of reference aids (e.g., visuals, maps, etc.). Materials include publisher-produced alignment documentation of the standards addressed by specific questions, tasks, and assessment items. The visual design is not distracting or chaotic, but supports students in engaging thoughtfully with the subject.

Indicator 3a

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

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

The materials are designed to immerse students in all areas of the standards and provide explicit lesson structure with embedded teacher direction as well as recommendations for supporting all learners. The Teacher Guides clearly instruct the teacher throughout each lesson on its implementation before, during and after the readings and activities, as well as recommendations for scaffolded support throughout.

The materials for K-2 include 2 strands of instruction; Skills and Knowledge Domains. The program guide states, “The Skills Strand provides comprehensive instruction in foundational reading skills, such as phonological awareness, phonics, and word recognition, language skills including conventions of English, spelling, and grammar, as well as reading comprehension and writing instruction. The Knowledge Strand teaches background knowledge, comprehension, vocabulary, analysis of complex text, and speaking and listening.”

Each strand is designed for a 60 minute lesson totaling 120 minutes of instruction daily.

Every lesson is effectively broken down into time frames for coverage of material. At the beginning of each lesson there is “Lesson at a Glance” that maps out the skill being covered, grouping suggestions for students, the time each skill section should take, and the materials that will be needed.

For example, in the Knowledge Strand Domain 2, the Lesson 2 at a Glance shows the 60-minute lesson breakdown as “Introducing the Read Aloud” (10 minutes), “Read Aloud” (30 minutes), and “Application” (20 minutes). An example of this in the Skills Strand from Unit 4 shows the 60-minute Lesson 5 focus on foundational skills is broken down by a warm-up, including oral segmenting/sound spelling review (10 minutes), sound sprints (20 minutes), Chaining for Spelling (15 minutes), and Review for Spelling (15 minutes).

The Contents page of each unit states the topic of each lesson, the skills to be addressed in that lesson (reading, writing, speaking/listening, language, etc.), and the time allotted for each.

Materials include a curriculum map located in the program guide that tracks the “Knowledge Domains” that students will be working in through each grade. In each unit, students are immersed in a domain topic that centers on science, social studies, or literature. The program guide states, “In the Knowledge Strand, students spend several weeks at a time learning about a topic in science, social studies, history, literature, etc.”

Also included within the materials is a research guide for the “Skills Strand” available as an, “Online companion to the program guide” that details the rationale for its approach to decoding/encoding, letter/sound correspondences, systematic phonics, and focus on phonemes.

Out of the 12 Domains (units) in grade K, 5 are based in science, 5 social studies, and 2 literature. The Skills Strands contain decodable texts, and out of the 10 units, only units 6-10 contain literary character stories using controlled text.

Indicator 3b

The teacher and student can reasonably complete the content within a regular school year, and the pacing allows for maximum student understanding.
1/2
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Kindergarten partially meet the expectations that the teacher and student can reasonably complete the content within a regular school year. The pacing may not allow adequate enough time for review, re-teaching, enhancing, and/or extending student learning for maximum understanding.

The Knowledge Domains are made up of 12 units and depending on the unit are designed for 14-17 instructional days, including one to two “Pausing Points” for further instruction. The Skills Strand is made up of 10 units with anywhere from 10-29 instructional days per unit, and two to three Pausing Point days for a total of 191-202 instructional days.

The Pausing Points are times for teachers to re-teach, and/or enhance understanding of the curriculum with embedded enrichment activities. The Teacher Guide states, “Teachers may choose from a variety of recommended activities designed to reinforce domain content and skills on Pausing Point days.” While these are built into the pacing of the curriculum, they only allow for two-three days in each unit, which may not provide enough time for re-teaching, enhancing, and/or enriching the curriculum.

The Pausing Point within the Knowledge Domain Unit 4 states, “You should pause here and spend two days reviewing, reinforcing, or extending the material taught so far. You may also choose to do an activity with the whole class or with a small group of students who would benefit from the particular activity.”

The Pausing Point within the Skills Strand Unit 8 can provide important data and can have heavy implications for students. For example, it states, “The Unit 8 Pausing Point is critical. In previous Pausing Points you may have only paused for a day or two to work on a few skills. At this Pausing Point, you should analyze all of the assessment results for each student. Students who do poorly on Word Recognition, Pseudoword/Real Word, and/or Code Knowledge Diagnostic Assessments should not move on to Units 9 and 10. Instead, using the Assessment and Remediation Guide, your instruction should be a reteaching of skills from Units 3–7 as identified by the assessment results.”

Given the importance of practicing and solidifying skills, the current design may not allow for completion within a year.

Also, there are additional supports and assessments provided for teachers to implement that are not included in the pace of instruction. For example, of the additional supports, the Program Guide states, “These provide thirty minutes of additional instruction on new skills at the end of each Skills lesson.” And of the Assessment and Remediation Guide: “This can be used for additional lessons that support students who need extra practice or remediation on Foundational Skills and comprehension.”

Again, this may make it difficult to complete the content using the resources available in a year.

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
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Kindergarten 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 photos, captions, glossaries, charts, diagrams, illustrations, sentence strips, graphic organizers, rubrics, digital images, labeled supports, activity pages, timing reminders, tiered vocabulary charts, notes to teachers, image cards, chaining charts, writing prompts and journals.

In Knowledge Domain 6, Lesson 1, the Teacher Guide states, “Show image 1A-25: Collage of Native Americans in different dress.” Skills Unit 3, Lesson 5 states, “Make one copy of the sound boxes, Activity Page TR 5.2, for each student, and provide students with small cubes, buttons, or other manipulatives.

Teacher and student resources include clear directions. Activities that are completed with teacher guidance have directions included throughout the lessons. Suggestions for grouping, additional supports, challenge ideas, and direct instruction are clearly defined, explained, and embedded throughout. Each lesson provides the ‘primary focus’ and 'advance preparation’ of the lesson,' 'the ‘formative assessment(s),’ ‘lesson at a glance,’ ‘recommendations for universal access,’ and a ‘check for understanding’ section. Activity pages correspond correctly to the teacher guide and make finding information seamless and efficient.

An Image Review in Knowledge Domain 1, Lesson 10 states, “Ask students which of the images they think best shows the moral of the fable. Have them explain why they chose a particular image.”

Additional Support example from Skills Unit 3, Lesson 5 states, “Call out the following target sounds and words in the box and ask students to place their manipulatives in the corresponding box.” And from Knowledge Domain 4, Lesson 7, states, “If students have difficulty responding to questions, reread pertinent lines of the read aloud and/or refer to specific images.”

The Primary Focus in Lesson 9, Skills Unit 8 states, “Students will read simple phrases and sentences of single syllable, short-vowel words with single consonants, consonant clusters, and digraphs to match the sentences to the correct pictures.”Reference aids, including vocabulary charts, lessons at a glance, visual resources such as images, illustrations, and digitally presented graphics, correlating activity pages, and rubrics are clearly and correctly labeled throughout the teacher guide, activity book, and image cards. For example;

The formative assessment for Knowledge Domain 7, Lesson 3 provides corresponding Activity Book page 3.1 for Sequencing Events in a Story”.

Skills Unit 4, Lesson 14 recommends “Digital Component 14.1” for sight word instruction and Lesson 7 in Knowledge Domain 4 requires “Flip Book 7A-1-7A-7” for an image review.

Indicator 3d

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Kindergarten 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 throughout the curriculum. The alignment chart for the CCSS standards are documented in the K-2 Program Guide and in the contents pages of each unit. At the beginning of every lesson under ‘Primary Focus of the lesson” the standards being addressed are clearly stated as well as within the formative assessments for what is being measured. The same is true for the unit assessments in which the standards being measured are also found under the “primary focus” and formative assessments given through the activity pages. Within the sidebars of the Teacher Guide there are standards listed within the scaffolding of the lesson for “emerging/expanding/extending” the learning.

For example, the Primary Focus in Knowledge Domain 7, Lesson 4 states, “Students will recall facts about kings and queens and will review rhyme. [SL.K.4; RF.K.2a; ELD.PI.K.1, ELD.PII.K.1]. Students will describe the actions of Old King Cole. [RL.K.1; ELD.PI.K.6]. Students will demonstrate an understanding of the Tier 2 word merry. [L.K.5b; ELD.PI.K.12b]"

An example of alignment provided for formative observations can be seen in Skills Unit 4, Lesson 8, “Oral Segmenting Observation Record [RF.K.2d; ELD.PIII.Phonological Awareness], Letter Sounds Observation Record [RF.K.3a,b; ELD.PIII.Phonics and Word Recognition] and Activity Page 8.1: Spelling the Sound [RF.K.3a,b; L.K.1a; L.K.2c; ELD.PIII.Phonics and Word Recognition]”

An example of standards listed within the scaffolding sidebars in Knowledge Domain 4, Lesson 10: “Exchanging Information and Ideas (ELD.PI.K.1): Emerging—Reframe questions as simple yes/no questions (e.g., “Do people use cotton to make clothes?”); Expanding—Provide students with a specific sentence frame (e.g., “People use cotton to . . .”); Bridging—Encourage students to use key details in complete sentences (e.g., “People use cotton from cotton plants to make fabric and cloth.”).

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
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

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

The design of the materials throughout the curriculum supports students learning through graphics, tables, charts, illustrations, digital images, picture and consistent font. The teacher guide, student reader, and activity book present material in appropriate, easy to read font with bold and italicized words used to enhance understanding for teachers and students. There are often pictures and images of real life examples for expository/informational text as well as colorful illustrations to accompany stories and narratives throughout.

Digital resources is also available to display media to students to enhance lessons throughout the units. Within the Skills Strand there are models of the pocket chart images and letter set-ups to assist the teacher prior to instruction as well as visual images to support oral segmenting activities using fingers. There are no distracting images, and all space appears to be appropriately designed for the most beneficial use. Activity book directions are clear and suitable for student understanding. Illustrations and pictures for activities are appropriate, and Illustrations are designed to enhance understanding of the information being presented.

In Unit 1, Lesson 7B, an example of the visual design in the Teacher Guide with an image card states, “Show image 7B-1: John in bed, wearing one shoe 'Diddle, diddle, dumpling, my son John, Went to bed with his stockings on. One shoe off, and one shoe on, Diddle, diddle, dumpling, my son John.'”

Skills Unit 4, Lesson 7 states, “Use the Large Letter Cards you prepared in advance to review letter-sound correspondences. Introduce the Sound Poster for /v/ and Sound Card 13 (van).”

Criterion 3f - 3j

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

Materials reviewed for Kindergarten meet the criteria 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. Materials meet the criteria for 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 meet the criteria 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 meet the criteria for materials containing explanations of the instructional approaches of the program and identification of the research-based strategies. 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.

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
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Kindergarten meet the criteria for materials containing teacher editions with ample and useful annotations and suggestions on how to present the content in the student edition and in the ancillary materials. Materials include teacher guidance for the use of embedded technology to support and enhance student learning. Materials provide support instructional planning in multiple ways.

The Teacher Guide gives clear annotations and suggestions on how to present content. At the beginning a unit, teachers are encouraged to read the introduction, alignment chart, assessments, and to review the pausing points for the lessons. At the beginning of each lesson, teachers are encouraged to use the Lesson at a Glance to review the primary focus and formative assessments. There is also an Advance Preparation section included in the Universal Access section that helps to support teachers. Throughout the lessons, sidebars are included to support teachers in how to present materials to both support and challenge student learning.

There are also Additional Support activities within and/or at the end of lessons that provide assessment and remediation for skills lessons. Teachers are directed to consider whether additional activities in the Assessment and Remediation Guide or Decoding and Encoding Supplement should be utilized for students who may need additional support. Teachers are also instructed to review Language Studio content for English Language Learner students.

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
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Kindergarten meet the criteria for 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. The introduction section of each Teacher Guide fully explains the primary purpose and goals of the unit including readers, writing, vocabulary, and beginning-of-year assessments where applicable. The Teacher Guide for the Skills Strand also includes guidance for how to implement basic skill instruction. There are also teacher resources at the end of each unit that assist with the implementation and direct instruction of the lessons including, but not limited to, dialogue starters, rubrics, checklists, image cards, activity book answer keys, and code charts. Teacher guidance throughout every step of the lesson is clear and explicit. Within Unit 1 there are also appendices that offer understanding of more advanced literacy concepts for teachers to improve their knowledge of the subject, although the scripted explanations for the students' understanding is clear.

An example in the Skills Strand Teacher Guide for Unit 2 shows direct guidance for implementing basic skills: “As a teacher, you should be aware of the difference between sequential and final blending. In sequential blending the word is built step by step by adding sounds to blended sound sequences. For example, the word fish is blended like this: “/f/” . . . “/i/” . . . “fi” . . . “/sh/” . . . “fish.”

Another example in the introduction in Skills Unit 2 states, “When blending, utilize motions to make the process a kinesthetic experience. In this unit two sets of gestures for blending are taught. The first set of gestures, explained in Lesson 1, works when blending two syllables or two sounds. It involves opening a palm for each component and then clapping the hands together when the two components are blended.”

Appendix A in the Unit 1 Skills Strand offers information about the program and the philosophy behind its design. For example, the appendix states, “It is going to take you and your school system a long time to build up your students’ language comprehension ability because this is not a job you can accomplish in the course of a single school year. Rather, language comprehension ability is acquired over many years.”

Another example from Skills Unit 1 Appendix A states, “Although this may seem very abstract and theoretical, there are two ideas here that are very important for reading instruction and for understanding this program. The first important idea is that reading comprehension depends crucially on both decoding skills (D) and language comprehension ability (C); the second is that language comprehension ability takes much longer to acquire than decoding skills.”

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
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Kindergarten meet the criteria for materials containing a teacher’s edition that explains the role of the specific ELA/literacy standards in the context of the overall curriculum. The Program Guide for grades K-2 contains explicit instruction on the role of the standards in the overall curriculum. It details the qualitative and quantitative text complexity of each unit, the balance of literary and informational texts, the basis of foundational skill instruction, the complexity and task demands of units, as well as the language demands on student understanding by topics and grade. The appendices in Unit 1 also provide the Scope and Sequence of Foundational Skills.

The Program Guide states, “CKLA CA is designed to provide a steady gradient of text complexity and task demand as students progress through the grades. For example, students in Kindergarten will focus mostly on literal understanding of text, while by Grade 2 inferential and evaluative questions are core to both the Knowledge and Skills Strands.”

Knowledge Demands are explained in the Program Guide stating, “Students begin Kindergarten with highly familiar literary topics—nursery rhymes and common fairy tales. The context is clearly fantastical. Meanwhile, in the Skills Strand students in Kindergarten use Readers that cover relatively simple topics, such as fictional tales about different families. The themes are also simple, and do not require students to think through multiple perspectives outside their own and contain direct explanations of character thoughts and feelings.”

The Program Guide also states, “The first informational text of Kindergarten-in Domain 2-is The Five Senses. This allows students to reference themselves and conversations they are likely to have had in their home and peer environment as they learn more. This is also true of the early Skills Readers." and “Students in Kindergarten are given written and Read-Aloud texts that focus mostly on literal language in clear prose. The context and language is contemporary or timeless, and there are a limited number of academic and domain-specific words introduced."

Also, the materials explain the purpose behind the quantitative text complexity, providing decodable and above grade level text: “One of the unique features of CKLA CA is the intensity of its use of Read-Aloud text, because of the compelling research about the difference between listening and reading comprehension throughout elementary grade levels.”

Indicator 3i

Materials contain explanations of the instructional approaches of the program and identification of the research-based strategies.
2/2
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Kindergarten meet the criteria for materials containing explanations of the instructional approaches of the program and identification of the research-based strategies. The CKLA CA Program Guide: K–2 and A Research Guide: The CKLA CA Curriculum: Links to Research on Teaching and Learning serves as a companion to the Program Guide. The Guide discusses the research in English Language Arts instruction including, but not limited to, print and phonological awareness, phonics and word recognition, reading fluency, prosody, vocabulary, and background knowledge.

The Program Guide also includes footnotes to research as they are explaining their educational approaches. Also, during the English Language Learner section of the Program guide, teachers are provided with a Research Base: Why this Matters Explanation for instructional approaches.

The Appendices in Skills Unit 1 also provide insight into the research behind and instructional approaches for phonological awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, comprehension, and writing.

Indicator 3j

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Kindergarten 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. Students are given a Take Home Letter that reinforces main lesson objectives and demonstrates vocabulary and knowledge content. Parents are also encouraged to read to their children to continue providing additional content knowledge that falls within the categories of the domains and skills. Lists of specific resources are found on the website, and parents are also encouraged to use the internet and public library to gain access to further information. Short lists are provided to parents in take-home letters in the Knowledge Strand of the unit. Students are encouraged to return to the classroom to engage in small group or classroom discussions about new information that they have learned at home.

Criterion 3k - 3n

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Kindergarten meet the criteria for materials regularly and systematically offering assessment opportunities that genuinely measure student progress. Materials meet the criteria for assessments clearly denoting which standards are being emphasized. Materials reviewed meet the criteria for assessments providing sufficient guidance to teachers for interpreting student performance and suggestions for follow up. Assessment keys are provided, as well as multiple suggestions and protocols for teachers to provide feedback. Materials meet the criteria for including routines and guidance that point out opportunities to monitor student progress. Each lesson includes a formative assessment that is highlighted at the start of the lesson. These assessments are used to track student mastery of objectives. While recommendations are made, there is no accountability for students to track or log their reading, or to complete it independently to build stamina and/or confidence in their reading skills.

Indicator 3k

Materials regularly and systematically offer assessment opportunities that genuinely measure student progress.
2/2
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Kindergarten meet the criteria for materials regularly and systematically offering assessment opportunities that genuinely measure student progress. Assessments include Checks for Understanding, Formative Assessments, Content and Mid-Unit Assessments, and Unit Placement and Assessments Benchmark Tests. Some are designed to be held weekly and others are at the middle and/or end of a unit. Many assessments include instruction for implementation as well as analysis of errors, charts, and records for marking student progress.

Checks for Understanding are designed to allow teachers to amend instruction within the context of the lesson. Formative assessments range from in-the-moment adaption to opportunities for individual, small group, and whole class reteach and review. Checks for Understanding and Formative Assessments also provide information to decide whether additional supports and practice (found at the end of the lesson and in the additional guides) are appropriate. Mid-unit, end-of-unit, and benchmark assessments should be used to direct remediation, Pausing Point days, and to enhance and/or differentiate instruction.

The Program Guide states, “There is a range of formal assessment opportunities found within units, including but not limited to: Spelling Assessments, Word Recognition Assessments, Story Comprehension Assessments, [and] Fluency Assessments.”

Within the Skills Strand, students complete benchmarks at the beginning, middle, and end of the year, which are differentiated based on prior student performance. The Program Guide states, “Flow charts and placement planning and tracking sheets are provided with the benchmark assessments to support teacher recording of student standard and progress.”

Ongoing tracking for student progress includes student progress records and anecdotal reading records.

Indicator 3l

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

Indicator 3l.i

Assessments clearly denote which standards are being emphasized.
2/2
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Kindergarten meet the criteria for assessments clearly denoting which standards are being emphasized. There are multiple ways that students are assessed throughout each unit, including formative assessments, mid-unit assessments, pausing points, and end-unit assessments. Within each form of assessment, it is clear what standards are being addressed.

Examples of formative assessments and the standards that are being emphasized in them are as follows:

  • In Skills Unit 4, Lesson 11, “Student Performance Assessment,” examples of the standards being measured are shown as, “Students will orally segment words with two or three phonemes. [RF.K.2d; ELD.PIII. Phonological Awareness]” and “Students will substitute individual sound/spellings in simple CVC words to make and read new words. [RF.K.2e; RF.K.3a,b,d; ELD.PIII.Phonological Awareness, Phonics and Word Recognition]”
  • Formative Assessments in each Knowledge Domain Lesson also contain the standards that are being emphasized. For example;
    • Knowledge Domain Unit 5, Lesson 2 states, “Students will substitute individual sound/spellings in simple CVC words to make and read new words. [RF.K.2e; RF.K.3a,b,d; ELD.PIII.Phonological Awareness, Phonics and Word Recognition]”
    • Knowledge Domain Unit 7, Lesson 4 states, “Students will create a draft of a story about Old King Cole. [W.K.3; RL.K.3; ELD.PI.K.6]”
  • Skills Unit 8, Lesson 20 Unit Assessments states, “Students will read and match rhyming words. [RF.K.2a; ELD.PIII. Phonological Awareness] Reading Students will read “The Band” independently with purpose and understanding. [RF.K.4; ELD.PIII.Fluency]”

Indicator 3l.ii

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

The materials reviewed for Kindergarten meet the criteria for assessments providing sufficient guidance to teachers for interpreting student performance and suggestions for follow up.

Assessment keys are provided, as well as multiple suggestions and protocols for teachers to provide feedback such as:

  • Teacher questioning to check for misconceptions.
  • Wrap-Up questions and Checks for Understanding to check for comprehension.
  • Student work to monitor students’ mastery of skills.
  • Peer-to-peer feedback to provide immediate feedback on student performance.

There are a number of other tools that support teachers in providing specific feedback to students and monitoring and tracking student progress over time.

Portfolios and journals also allow for feedback. The Program Guide states, “There are a number of other tools that support teachers in providing specific feedback to students and monitoring and tracking student progress over time. These tools can be used broadly and flexibly across grades or very specifically for targeted instruction purposes.”

Knowledge Domain 5, the Domain Assessment details how to use the assessment to guide further instruction, “This domain assessment evaluates each student’s retention of domain and academic vocabulary words and the core content targeted in Farms. The results should guide review and remediation the following day.”

The Pausing Point in Skills Strand Unit 8 states, “Students who do poorly on Word Recognition, Pseudoword/Real Word and/or Code Knowledge Diagnostic Assessments should not move on to Units 9 and 10. Instead, using the Assessment and Remediation Guide, your instruction should be a reteaching of skills from Units 3–7, as identified by the assessment results.”

Indicator 3m

Materials should include routines and guidance that point out opportunities to monitor student progress.
2/2
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Kindergarten meet the criteria for including routines and guidance that point out opportunities to monitor student progress.

Each lesson includes a formative assessment that is highlighted at the start of the lesson. These assessments are used to track student mastery of objectives.

For example, in Knowledge Domain 11, Lesson 4 the formative assessment states, “Students will interact with their peers while drawing pictures and writing about a natural resource and discuss ways to conserve. [RI.K.3; ELD.PI.K.6]”

There are also Checks for Understanding throughout the lessons to be used by the teacher to determine if students are ready to move on to the next part of the lesson. The Check for Understanding questions are meant for quick formative assessments that happen during instruction to assess if students have mastered the key content and skills in the lesson.

In Knowledge Domain 5, Lesson 3 an example of Check for Understanding is, “One-Word Answer: What is the main topic, or main idea, of today’s lesson? (chickens) What is a male chicken called? (rooster) What is a female chicken called? (hen) Does a rooster or a hen lay eggs? (hen) What is the yellow middle of an egg called? (yolk)”

The Skills Strand also uses observational student records to track student performance. For example, Skills Unit 3, Lesson 10 states, “Call on a different student to blend each word. Note students’ performance in the Oral Blending Observation Record.”

Indicator 3n

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

Materials do not indicate how students are accountable for independent reading based on student choice and interest to build stamina, confidence, and motivation.

The introduction of each Domain Unit states, “You should consider various times throughout the day when you might infuse the curriculum with authentic domain-related literature. If you are able to do so, you may recommend students select books from the Recommended Resources list. In addition, if you recommend that families read aloud with their child each night, you may wish to suggest that they choose titles from this list to reinforce the concepts covered in this unit.”

They go on to state, “You might also consider creating a classroom lending library, allowing students to borrow domain-related books to read at home with their families. The Recommended Resources list, which also includes online resources, can be found online in the digital components for this domain at CoreKnowledge.org/CKLA-files and at CKLA.Amplify.com.”

While these recommendations are made, there is no accountability for students to track or log their reading or to complete it independently to build stamina and/or confidence in their reading skills.

Criterion 3o - 3v

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

Materials reviewed for Kindergarten meet the criteria for materials providing teachers with strategies for meeting the needs of range of learners so the content is accessible to all learners and supports them in meeting or exceeding the grade-level standards. Materials provide modeling, formative assessments, language and visual supports, and background knowledge in each lesson to ensure student understanding. Materials meet the criteria for 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 with grade level text. Materials meet the criteria for regularly including extensions and/or more advanced opportunities for students who read, write, speak, or listen above grade level. Materials provide multiple opportunities for challenge and enrichment. Materials meet the criteria for providing opportunities for teachers to use a variety of grouping strategies.

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
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

Instructional materials reviewed for Kindergarten meet the criteria for materials providing 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. Materials provide modeling, formative assessments, language and visual supports, and background knowledge in each lesson to ensure student understanding. Materials also provide universal access recommendations within the lessons as well as an “Assessment and Remediation Guide” for students who need review, re-teaching, and/or remediation of foundational and comprehension skills.

Materials include sidebar notes that include suggestions for emerging, expanding, and bridging students. The sidebars also include access, support, and challenge notes that provide strategies for meeting the needs of a range of learners.

Examples of sidebar strategies seen in Knowledge Domain Unit 6, Lesson 2 are;

  • “Support: If students have difficulty doing this, show Image Card 1 (Great Plains) and review the landscape.”
  • “Challenge: Ask students to think of other examples of animals or people being agile.”
  • “Emerging—Ask students simple yes/ no questions (e.g., “Are buffalo agile?”). Expanding—Provide students with a specific sentence frame (e.g., “I was agile when . . .”). Bridging—Encourage students to use content-related words in complete sentences (e.g., “I was agile when I jumped over the mud puddle to avoid getting my shoes wet.”).

Universal Access instruction can be found in the Advance Preparation section of each lesson. For example, in Knowledge Domain Unit 2, Lesson 3, the Universal Access recommendation states, “Show three common classroom items that are different in shape and weight. Have students close their eyes as you put those items into separate boxes, and have students shake the boxes and guess which item is in each box.”

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
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Kindergarten meet the criteria for 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 with grade-level text. Side bar supports are provided to ensure that students are supported during lessons. The Universal Access for each lesson provides additional supports for students who read, write, speak or listen below grade level. Lessons also include Pausing Points which provide additional instruction on new skills at the end of each unit for small group work, reteaching, and differentiated instruction. Assessment and Remediation Guide/Encoding and Decoding Supplements can be used for additional lessons that support students who need extra practice or remediation on foundational skills and comprehension.

Materials include a Language Studio resource that provides lessons that focus on reading, writing, listening, speaking, vocabulary, and grammar to advance English Language Learner proficiency levels. The activities in Language Studio help teachers guide students in constructing meaning through interaction with the text and with each other. Such instruction supports ELs of all proficiency levels by helping them access grade-level content knowledge, make meaning, and develop academic English and effective expression across the disciplines.

Indicator 3q

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

Instructional materials reviewed for Kindergarten meet the criteria for regularly including extensions and/or more advanced opportunities for students who read, write, speak, or listen above grade level. Materials provide multiple opportunities for challenge and enrichment, including:

Challenge sidebars throughout the lesson provide stretching questions and activities. For example, Knowledge Domain 11, Lesson 3 states, “Ask students to try to list some natural resources based on the knowledge that natural resources are things you can find in nature.” And a Domain 7, Lesson 4 Challenge states, “Ask students to identify some words that rhyme in the read aloud. (Cole/soul/bowl, he/three, and rare/compare)” Challenges are also in the Skills Strand, as seen in Unit 3, Lesson 12: “For students who seem to be able to easily blend two or three sounds to form a word, challenge them by giving them a word with four sounds to blend.”

Pausing Point days include additional activities that can extend and enhance student learning. A Knowledge Domain 6, Pausing Point states, “You should pause here and spend one day reviewing, reinforcing, or extending the material taught thus far. You may have students do any combination of the activities listed below, but it is highly recommended that you use the Mid-Domain Assessment to assess students’ knowledge of the five senses. The other activities may be done in any order. You may also choose to do an activity with the whole class or with a small group of students who would benefit from the particular activity.”

Indicator 3r

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

Instructional materials reviewed for Kindergarten meet the criteria for providing opportunities for teachers to use a variety of grouping strategies. Students are grouped in partners, small groups, and as a whole class. Every lesson contains a “Lesson at a Glance” which states the grouping size for each activity and provides for differing partner opportunities based on need or structure of the lesson.

The lessons also provide opportunities for students to collaborate and communicate about the topic and tasks at hand. The Program Guide states, “The wide range of whole-class tasks, but also the multiple opportunities for small group and partner work, are designed to help students become productive collaborators.”

There are also opportunities for peers to work together and assist in their learning, often using Think-Pair-Shares. The Program Guide states, “Peer-review activities involve students asking each other questions and providing feedback to each other that strengthens their knowledge. Peer review is conducted in one-on-one, small group, or full class discussions.”

Indicator 3s

0/
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The instructions materials reviewed for Kindergarten include 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.

Some difficulties were encountered when downloading the materials. The downloads didn't work on a PC using Explorer or Firefox. The downloads didn't work on a Mac using Firefox 45.02 or Safari.

On a laptop running Windows 10 Home version 1511, everything was accessible using Chrome version 49.0.2623.112. The teacher and student digital program were accessible using Firefox version 45.0.2, but the texts could not be accessed. Using Internet Explorer 11, the teacher and student digital program were accessible, but the texts could not be accessed. On an HTC Android phone Chrome version 50.0.2661.89 everything was accessible, including texts, but it was difficult to move around the pages and see the full content on the program.

Indicator 3s3v

0/
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

Materials reviewed for Kindergarten support effective use of technology to enhance student learning. Digital materials are accessible and available in multiple platforms.The Digital Components Portal contains digital documents of materials. These digital components are mostly platform neutral, with some specific interface issues. They do provide opportunities for teachers to personalize learning for all students, using adaptive or other technological innovations. There is some opportunity for customization, although the program is designed for minimal disruption of the main scope and sequence.

Indicator 3t

0/
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The Digital Components Portal contains digital documents of the Teacher Guides, Activity Books, Readers, Image Card Sets, Spelling Cards, Language Studio, Amplify Virtual ebook Library, Quest for the Core Apps, and Resource Site. The Resource Site includes Projectable Media Files for use during lessons, Assessment Remediation Guides, Decoding and Encoding Supplements designed to be used to provide targeted remedial instruction to students who are struggling with foundational skills. Also included in the digital section are Fluency Packets Multimedia support for each unit.

The Teacher Guide includes references of when digital components are available and how they can be used within a lesson.

Indicator 3u

0/

Indicator 3u.i

0/
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

Instructional materials reviewed for Kindergarten include digital materials that provide opportunities for teachers to personalize learning for all students, using adaptive or other technological innovations. Digital materials include a digital planning guide that provides step-by-step lesson plans and online materials that include additional support in differentiated instruction. Unit quests combine reading, writing, speaking, and listening in a digital environment that engage students. There are also digital guides for assessment, remediation and supplemental materials to personalize learning for students.

Indicator 3u.ii

0/
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed may be customized for local use; however, the program states that texts should be taught in the order they are presented to support implementation. Customization may occur in scaffolding and in opting for digital or print materials use. Differentiation and extension opportunities available throughout the instructional materials allow many opportunities to personalize learning as is appropriate for students.

Indicator 3v

0/
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

Materials include some technology that provides opportunities for teachers and/or students to collaborate.

Criterion 3s - 3v

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

Materials reviewed for Kindergarten support effective use of technology to enhance student learning. Digital materials are accessible and available in multiple platforms.The Digital Components Portal contains digital documents of materials. These digital components are mostly platform neutral, with some specific interface issues. They do provide opportunities for teachers to personalize learning for all students, using adaptive or other technological innovations. There is some opportunity for customization, although the program is designed for minimal disruption of the main scope and sequence.

Indicator 3s

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

The instructions materials reviewed for Kindergarten include 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.

Some difficulties were encountered when downloading the materials. The downloads didn't work on a PC using Explorer or Firefox. The downloads didn't work on a Mac using Firefox 45.02 or Safari.

On a laptop running Windows 10 Home version 1511, everything was accessible using Chrome version 49.0.2623.112. The teacher and student digital program were accessible using Firefox version 45.0.2, but the texts could not be accessed. Using Internet Explorer 11, the teacher and student digital program were accessible, but the texts could not be accessed. On an HTC Android phone Chrome version 50.0.2661.89 everything was accessible, including texts, but it was difficult to move around the pages and see the full content on the program.

Indicator 3t

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

The Digital Components Portal contains digital documents of the Teacher Guides, Activity Books, Readers, Image Card Sets, Spelling Cards, Language Studio, Amplify Virtual ebook Library, Quest for the Core Apps, and Resource Site. The Resource Site includes Projectable Media Files for use during lessons, Assessment Remediation Guides, Decoding and Encoding Supplements designed to be used to provide targeted remedial instruction to students who are struggling with foundational skills. Also included in the digital section are Fluency Packets Multimedia support for each unit.

The Teacher Guide includes references of when digital components are available and how they can be used within a lesson.

Indicator 3u

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

Indicator 3u.i

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

Instructional materials reviewed for Kindergarten include digital materials that provide opportunities for teachers to personalize learning for all students, using adaptive or other technological innovations. Digital materials include a digital planning guide that provides step-by-step lesson plans and online materials that include additional support in differentiated instruction. Unit quests combine reading, writing, speaking, and listening in a digital environment that engage students. There are also digital guides for assessment, remediation and supplemental materials to personalize learning for students.

Indicator 3u.ii

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

The materials reviewed may be customized for local use; however, the program states that texts should be taught in the order they are presented to support implementation. Customization may occur in scaffolding and in opting for digital or print materials use. Differentiation and extension opportunities available throughout the instructional materials allow many opportunities to personalize learning as is appropriate for students.

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
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

Materials include some technology that provides opportunities for teachers and/or students to collaborate.

Additional Publication Details

Report Published Date: Sat Apr 08 00:00:00 UTC 2017

Report Edition: 2015

Title ISBN Edition Publisher Year
Skills Unit 6 Reader 978-1-6170-0153-6 Copyright: 2015 Amplify 2015
Skills Unit 7 Reader 978-1-6170-0154-3 Copyright: 2015 Amplify 2015
Skills Unit 8 Reader 978-1-6170-0155-0 Copyright: 2015 Amplify 2015
Skills Unit 9 Reader 978-1-6170-0156-7 Copyright: 2015 Amplify 2015
Skills Unit 10 Reader 978-1-6170-0157-4 Copyright: 2015 Amplify 2015
Skills Unit 4 Big Book 978-1-6170-0158-1 Copyright: 2015 Amplify 2015
Skills Unit 5 Big Book 978-1-6170-0159-8 Copyright: 2015 Amplify 2015
Skills Unit 6 Big Book 978-1-6170-0160-4 Copyright: 2015 Amplify 2015
Skills Unit 7 Big Book 978-1-6170-0161-1 Copyright: 2015 Amplify 2015
Skills Unit 8 Big Book 978-1-6170-0162-8 Copyright: 2015 Amplify 2015
Knowledge Domain 1 Teacher Guide 978-1-6816-1003-0 Copyright: 2015 Amplify 2015
Knowledge Domain 2 Teacher Guide 978-1-6816-1004-7 Copyright: 2015 Amplify 2015
Knowledge Domain 3 Teacher Guide 978-1-6816-1005-4 Copyright: 2015 Amplify 2015
Knowledge Domain 4 Teacher Guide 978-1-6816-1006-1 Copyright: 2015 Amplify 2015
Knowledge Domain 5 Teacher Guide 978-1-6816-1007-8 Copyright: 2015 Amplify 2015
Knowledge Domain 6 Teacher Guide 978-1-6816-1008-5 Copyright: 2015 Amplify 2015
Knowledge Domain 7 Teacher Guide 978-1-6816-1010-8 Copyright: 2015 Amplify 2015
Knowledge Domain 8 Teacher Guide 978-1-6816-1011-5 Copyright: 2015 Amplify 2015
Knowledge Domain 9 Teacher Guide 978-1-6816-1012-2 Copyright: 2015 Amplify 2015
Knowledge Domain 10 Teacher Guide 978-1-6816-1013-9 Copyright: 2015 Amplify 2015
Knowledge Domain 11 Teacher Guide 978-1-6816-1014-6 Copyright: 2015 Amplify 2015
Knowledge Domain 12 Teacher Guide 978-1-6816-1015-3 Copyright: 2015 Amplify 2015
Knowledge Domain 1 Flip Book 978-1-6816-1016-0 Copyright: 2015 Amplify 2015
Knowledge Domain 2 Flip Book 978-1-6816-1017-7 Copyright: 2015 Amplify 2015
Knowledge Domain 3 Flip Book 978-1-6816-1018-4 Copyright: 2015 Amplify 2015
Knowledge Domain 4 Flip Book 978-1-6816-1019-1 Copyright: 2015 Amplify 2015
Knowledge Domain 5 Flip Book 978-1-6816-1020-7 Copyright: 2015 Amplify 2015
Knowledge Domain 6 Flip Book 978-1-6816-1021-4 Copyright: 2015 Amplify 2015
Knowledge Domain 7 Flip Book 978-1-6816-1022-1 Copyright: 2015 Amplify 2015
Knowledge Domain 8 Flip Book 978-1-6816-1023-8 Copyright: 2015 Amplify 2015
Knowledge Domain 9 Flip Book 978-1-6816-1024-5 Copyright: 2015 Amplify 2015
Knowledge Domain 10 Flip Book 978-1-6816-1025-2 Copyright: 2015 Amplify 2015
Knowledge Domain 11 Flip Book 978-1-6816-1026-9 Copyright: 2015 Amplify 2015
Knowledge Domain 12 Flip Book 978-1-6816-1027-6 Copyright: 2015 Amplify 2015
Knowledge Domain 1-6 Activity Book 978-1-6816-1028-3 Copyright: 2015 Amplify 2015
Knowledge Domain 7-12 Activity Book 978-1-6816-1029-0 Copyright: 2015 Amplify 2015
Knowledge Domain 1 Image Cards 978-1-6816-1042-9 Copyright: 2015 Amplify 2015
Knowledge Domain 2 Image Cards 978-1-6816-1043-6 Copyright: 2015 Amplify 2015
Knowledge Domain 3 Image Cards 978-1-6816-1044-3 Copyright: 2015 Amplify 2015
Knowledge Domain 4 Image Cards 978-1-6816-1045-0 Copyright: 2015 Amplify 2015
Knowledge Domain 5 Image Cards 978-1-6816-1046-7 Copyright: 2015 Amplify 2015
Knowledge Domain 6 Image Cards 978-1-6816-1047-4 Copyright: 2015 Amplify 2015
Knowledge Domain 7 Image Cards 978-1-6816-1048-1 Copyright: 2015 Amplify 2015
Knowledge Domain 8 Image Cards 978-1-6816-1049-8 Copyright: 2015 Amplify 2015
Knowledge Domain 9 Image Cards 978-1-6816-1050-4 Copyright: 2015 Amplify 2015
Knowledge Domain 10 Image Cards 978-1-6816-1051-1 Copyright: 2015 Amplify 2015
Knowledge Domain 11 Image Cards 978-1-6816-1052-8 Copyright: 2015 Amplify 2015
Knowledge Domain 12 Image Cards 978-1-6816-1053-5 Copyright: 2015 Amplify 2015
Skills Unit 1 Teacher Guide 978-1-6816-1054-2 Copyright: 2015 Amplify 2015
Skills Unit 2 Teacher Guide 978-1-6816-1055-9 Copyright: 2015 Amplify 2015
Skills Unit 3 Teacher Guide 978-1-6816-1056-6 Copyright: 2015 Amplify 2015
Skills Unit 4 Teacher Guide 978-1-6816-1057-3 Copyright: 2015 Amplify 2015
Skills Unit 5 Teacher Guide 978-1-6816-1058-0 Copyright: 2015 Amplify 2015
Skills Unit 6 Teacher Guide 978-1-6816-1059-7 Copyright: 2015 Amplify 2015
Skills Unit 7 Teacher Guide 978-1-6816-1060-3 Copyright: 2015 Amplify 2015
Skills Unit 8 Teacher Guide 978-1-6816-1061-0 Copyright: 2015 Amplify 2015
Skills Unit 9 Teacher Guide 978-1-6816-1062-7 Copyright: 2015 Amplify 2015
Skills Unit 10 Teacher Guide 978-1-6816-1063-4 Copyright: 2015 Amplify 2015
Skills Unit 1 Activity Book 978-1-6816-1064-1 Copyright: 2015 Amplify 2015
Skills Unit 2 Activity Book 978-1-6816-1065-8 Copyright: 2015 Amplify 2015
Skills Unit 3 Activity Book 978-1-6816-1066-5 Copyright: 2015 Amplify 2015
Skills Unit 4 Activity Book 978-1-6816-1067-2 Copyright: 2015 Amplify 2015
Skills Unit 5 Activity Book 978-1-6816-1068-9 Copyright: 2015 Amplify 2015
Skills Unit 6 Activity Book 978-1-6816-1069-6 Copyright: 2015 Amplify 2015
Skills Unit 7 Activity Book 978-1-6816-1070-2 Copyright: 2015 Amplify 2015
Skills Unit 8 Activity Book 978-1-6816-1071-9 Copyright: 2015 Amplify 2015
Skills Unit 9 Activity Book 978-1-6816-1072-6 Copyright: 2015 Amplify 2015
Skills Unit 10 Activity Book 978-1-6816-1073-3 Copyright: 2015 Amplify 2015
Language Studio Teacher Edition Volume 1 978-1-6816-1278-2 Copyright: 2015 Amplify 2015
Language Studio Teacher Edition Volume 2 978-1-6816-1279-9 Copyright: 2015 Amplify 2015
Language Studio Activity Book Volume 1 978-1-6816-1280-5 Copyright: 2015 Amplify 2015
Language Studio Activity Book Volume 2 978-1-6816-1281-2 Copyright: 2015 Amplify 2015
Language Studio Teacher Edition Volume 3 978-1-6816-1776-3 Copyright: 2015 Amplify 2015
Language Studio Activity Book Volume 3 978-1-6816-1777-0 Copyright: 2015 Amplify 2015

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 K-2 Rubric and Evidence Guides

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

For ELA, our rubrics evaluate materials based on:

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

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

X