Alignment to College and Career Ready Standards: Overall Summary

Core Knowledge Language Arts Grade 1 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.

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Understanding Gateways

Alignment

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Meets Expectations

Gateway 1:

Text Quality

0
27
52
58
56
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

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Meets Expectations

Not Rated

Gateway 3:

Usability

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

Gateway One

Text Quality & Complexity and Alignment to Standards Components

Meets Expectations

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Gateway One Details

The instructional materials for Grade 1 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 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
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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 1 meet the criteria for texts of publishable quality and texts worthy of careful reading. Each lesson has a new read aloud, which is considered the anchor text.

In Domains 1 and 3, the texts are well-known children’s stories. In Domain 1, there are Aesop’s Fables including “The Maid and her Milk Pail” and “The Dog in the Manger.” In Domain 3, the texts are fairy tales from around the world including “The Girl with the Red Slippers” from Egypt and “Tom Thumb” from England. Similarly, in Domain 9, there are many famous children’s stories including “Sleeping Beauty,” “The Frog Prince,” “Hansel and Gretel,” and “Jack and the Beanstalk.”

Other domains have texts that are not published but have publishable qualities. Many of the texts are informational texts, and they have strong images, diagrams, and Tier II vocabulary words. Some examples of these texts include “The Maya: King Pakal’s Tomb” (Domain 5, lesson 3), “Minerals” (Domain 7, Lesson 5), and “Building a Nation with Words and Ideas” (Domain 10, Lesson 10). These texts as well as the majority of informational texts have rich language. The illustrations are artistically and visually appealing, while the technical drawings are realistic and accurate. Some of the informational text-dominant domains have one or two published texts, but the rest are not published despite having publishable qualities. For example, in Domain 11, the text, “The Louisiana Purchase,” is published, but the rest are not.

It is important to note, that despite the quality of the texts, students do not see the actual language of the text. The language is in the Teacher Guide only. The Teacher Guide lists contributors and writers but does not acknowledge which texts, passages or stories were written or developed by which contributor. According to the Program Guide, “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).

Indicator 1b

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

The materials reviewed for Grade 1 meet the expectations for texts that reflect the distribution of text types and genres required by the standards. There are a variety of text types and genres in the curriculum for Grade 1 including fables, fairytales, informational texts, poems, and rhymes, but the distribution between literature and informational texts is weighted more toward informational texts. These texts focus on either a science topic or a social studies topic; however, in many cases a fictional character is used to present the information, or a literary nonfiction story is used to present the content. Each domain is organized around a topic, and there is an equal mix of science and historical texts.

The read-aloud texts within the domains are an equal mix of literature and informational. Out of the 11 domains, three domains have literary texts, while the remaining domains have informational texts. Domain 1 focuses on fables and stories, Domain 3 focuses on folktales and fairytales, and Domain 9 also focuses on fairy tales. The other 9 Domains are dominated by science and social studies content. It should be noted that the balance of text types occurs in the early domains, so if a teacher cannot finish the entire curriculum within the year, students will still be exposed to a distribution of literature and informational texts. Looking at the alignment of domains to Common Core State Standards can help one identify if the domains are literature, informational, or both. Domains 2, 7, 8 and 11 are all informational. Domains 4, 5, 6, and 10 are a mix of literature and informational, although there are more informational texts within each domain. 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 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 literature and informational in all subjects.

Below is each domain with the text types within the domains:

  • Domain 1: Fables and Stories
    • This domain contains ten literary stories. Six stories are well-known fables, and four are classic folktales such as “The Little Half-Chick (Medio Pollito).”
  • Domain 2: The Human Body
    • This domain has ten informational texts; however, a pediatrician character reinforces the basic ideas that the students will learn about the human body.
  • Domain 3: Different Lands, Similar Stories
    • This domain has nine literary stories which will be “fairy tales and folktales that have been told to children for generations, using variations from different lands or countries” (page 2).
  • Domain 4: Early World Civilizations
    • This domain contains primarily informational texts but several realistic stories as well to convey information.
  • Domain 5: Early American Civilizations
    • This domain has one literary story about how a Mayan family lived and nine nonfiction texts including a letter from Hernán Cortés to the king of Spain.
  • Domain 6: Astronomy
    • This domain has nine informational texts including “Stars” and “Exploration of the Moon.”
  • Domain 7: The History of the Earth
    • This domain has eight informational texts; a paleontologist helps students navigate the content.
  • Domain 8: Animals and Habitats
    • This domain has eight informational texts such as “Animals of the Arctic Habitat” and “Animals of the Saltwater Habitat.”
  • Domain 9: Fairy Tales
    • This domain contains nine literary texts including “Sleeping Beauty” and “Rapunzel.”
  • Domain 10: A New Nation: American Independence
    • This domain has one literary text and eleven informational texts such as “The New World” and “A Young Nation is Born.”
  • Domain 11: Frontier Explorers
    • This domain has eleven nonfiction texts such as “Crossing the Appalachian Mountains” and “Red Cedars and Grizzly Bears.”

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
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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 1 meet the expectations that texts (including read-aloud texts and some shared reading texts used to build knowledge and vocabulary) and have the appropriate level of complexity according to quantitative analysis, qualitative analysis, and a relationship to their associated student tasks.

In Domain 1, Lesson 2, the text, “The Maid and the Milk Pail,” has a Lexile of 790 with qualitative features that are slightly to moderately complex. Students are provided supports throughout the text and following the text to complete the task of summarizing the events of this fable.

Another example is in Domain 2, Lesson 7: “Dr. Welbody’s Heroes” has a Lexile of 900. The text is complex in language, but not as complex in purpose, structure, or knowledge demands. Some of the vocabulary words in this text include vaccinations, pasteurization, immunities, germs, diseases, and vaccines. The knowledge demands should be familiar to most students since the text is about getting sick and getting vaccinations. The task, retelling the story, is done whole group, which makes the task less complex.

In Domain 3, Lesson 3, “Billy Beg” has a Lexile of 770, making it appropriate for Grade 1 students to hear. The qualitative features are moderately complex to very complex, specifically with the language features being very complex. There are many academic vocabulary words such as champion, billowing, maidens, and fierce, as well as historical contexts such as herdsman, master, markets, and groves. After reading this story, students compare and contrast three fairy tales, using a graphic organizer.

In Domain 4, Lesson 9, the text, “The Sphinx,” is also considered appropriately complex for students in Grade 1, with a Lexile of 900. The qualitative features are mostly moderately complex with some complex sentences and academic vocabulary, although the vocabulary is defined by the teacher. The text structure is very complex, because it contains two stories. One story is in present time, and one story is about the past and the pyramids. In addition, the knowledge demands are also very complex as students need to have an understanding of Ancient Egypt and burials for kings.

Domain 5, Lesson 8, has an anchor text, “The Aztec: Cortes’ Letter,” which is appropriately complex due to the Lexile being 960, and the qualitative features range from moderately complex to very complex. Supports are embedded throughout the text to make it more accessible, including creating an Idea Web for the city of Tenochtitlan and students raising their hand when they want to add something. Using this web, students can complete the task of writing about the Aztecs in small groups.

In Domain 10, Lesson 8, the text is “A Young Nation is Born,” which is appropriately complex for a Grade 1 student at a Lexile of 840. The text structure is slightly complex since the organization is chronological, and the language features are moderately complex since the sentences are not all simple or compound such as in this example: “Well, these men were meeting to come up with that plan, which they called the Constitution.” Students answer comprehension questions following this text such as, “What things made Mount Vernon special to George Washington?”

In Domain 5, Lesson 2, the text is “The Maya: Journey to Baakal,” which has a Lexile of 1260, more than two to three grade levels above Grade 1. The qualitative measures range from moderately complex to very complex. The reader and task measure is also complex due to students being expected to write a phrase or sentence about what they learned about the Maya and religion, as well as small groups working to create a paragraph about the Maya.

In Domain 6, Lesson 7, the text, “Exploration of the Moon,” has a Lexile of 1010, which puts it in the Grade 4 to 5 Lexile band. While this text is quantitatively high for Grade 1 students, the qualitative features are less complex, making it closer to being an appropriate text for Grade 1 students.

In Domain 8, Lesson 5, the text, “Animals of the Temperate Deciduous Forest Habitat,” has a Lexile of 1200, which puts it in the Grade 9 to 10 Lexile band. The knowledge demands provide rich vocabulary exposure. For example, one section says, “Like the saguaro cactus in the desert and the acacia tree in the savanna, oak trees provide shelter and food for many animals.”

In Domain 8, Lesson 9, the text, “Habitat Destruction and Endangered Species,” also has a Lexile of 1200. The language features are very complex with complex sentences and academic vocabulary. Students are expected to record information in a graphic organizer after they listen to the text about endangered species.

In Domain 10, Lesson 4, the text, “Declaring Independence,” has a Lexile of 1060. In addition, the knowledge demands are very complex due to the direct language from the Declaration of Independence. The text structure and language features are also very complex to moderately complex.

Another exceedingly complex text is in Domain 11, Lesson 4, “The Louisiana Purchase.” This text has a Lexile of 1240, which is in the Lexile band for high school grades. The text contains many complex, challenging vocabulary words such as James Monroe, Napoleon Bonaparte, Paris, France, Washington D.C., New Orleans, Thomas Jefferson, Mississippi River, Rocky Mountains, and Louisiana Territory. The task requires students to color and cut a picture of the Louisiana Territory and then write one to three sentences about why the Louisiana Purchase was important to the United States.

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
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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 1 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. Some of the domains and units support each other such as the Skills Strand, Unit 7, which incorporates history and geography topics from the Knowledge Strand. The domains and units are meant to build upon each other with increasing demands for knowledge and application of skills as the students progress through the lessons, units, and year. The complexity of the texts and the rigor increases. The length and the structure of the texts increase as well across the school year.

The anchor texts, which are in the Knowledge Strand, are all read alouds meant to build students’ background knowledge. These texts focus on knowledge about science, social studies, literature, and the arts. Comprehension questions follow each read aloud to help the students become more proficient readers.

The Readers in the Skills Strand increase in complexity in each unit. In the beginning unit, the readers are presented to the class as demonstration stories, and students engage in this before starting partner reading. There is one unit that consists of decodable versions of famous fables and one informational reader that includes new text features. Unit 4 is the first unit without a Big Book, but the teacher can project the story if necessary. These stories are also accompanied by a set of oral discussion questions. Beginning in Unit 5, the texts are longer than than the previous stories. Similarly in Unit 6, the texts are longer.

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
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Indicator Rating Details

The materials for Grade 1 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 First Grade 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, and reader characteristics and task demands that were considered when selecting and creating texts for the program. According to the Program Guide, the read aloud texts fall within the 770-1020L band and the texts within the Skills Section fall within the 400-610L band. Lexile information is not provided for individual texts.

The beginning of Grade 1 reading units include an introduction that describes why the texts were chosen for the program. For example, in Unit 4, Early World Civilizations include texts that teach the students about “the importance of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers, the development of cuneiform as the earliest-known form of writing, the first codification of laws known as the Code of Hammurabi, and the significance of gods and goddesses in the ‘cradle of civilization’.” In addition, students learn about world religions, and the texts provide students with a basic vocabulary “for understanding many events and ideas in history.” Unit 8, “Animals and Habitats,” introduces students to the wonder of the natural world. Some of the things they will learn will be simple classifications of animals and what habitats are best suited for specific animals. The purpose of this domain is to provide students basic information on habitats, since they will learn more about this in future domains in future grades.

Indicator 1f

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 1 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 because despite a range of texts students access, the volume is not proficient in order to allow students to assure grade level reading proficiency. There are daily read alouds to help students build knowledge, vocabulary, and comprehension; however, there are limited opportunities for students to engage in structured independent reading and/or listening. Many of these opportunities are optional and require the teacher to find the resources or create the time outside of the lessons. There are options for teachers and additional suggested resources, but in general it is limited in what is expected of students. There is a range of subject matter that students hear in the read alouds, but it is less versatile in the decodables that they read independently.

Every lesson in every domain of the Knowledge Strand has a read aloud. There are 180 days of instruction using the read alouds to help students achieve grade-level reading proficiency. There is a pacing guide in the K-2 Program Guide starting on page 136 which provides a suggested time for each read aloud. The domains are centered around complex narrative and informational read-aloud texts; a select few of the lessons include poems. The topics vary from fairy tales to fables to informational texts. In Domain 2, Lesson 5, there is a poem about the human body that introduces the read aloud. In Domain 10, Lesson 10, there is a poem in the informational story that summarizes what they have learned so far. The application in Lesson 10 is for students to perform a poem.

In each Skills Strand, there are Readers for students. Each Skills Section contains one reader (either nonfiction or fiction) with multiple chapters for the entire unit. However, of the seven units, six units have literary stories, and one unit (Unit 4) has an informational text. One example of a reader is in Skills Strand, Unit 2: The story is called “Gran,” and some of the lessons require the teacher to read the story aloud as a demonstration story, which allows the teacher to model the process of reading. Students are also asked to read the story independently after they hear it. This allows the teacher to meet with small groups. It is suggested there are two groups, with one group being students who need more individualized attention. With this separation, students who are achieving grade level reading may not work with the teacher in small groups. Throughout the Skills Strand, students also have the option of partner reading. Some of the options suggested are taking turns, reading the entire story, having one student be the leader, reading a line at a time for a partner to echo, or reading chorally. In the Skills Strand, there are four additional stories in each reader for additional practice or assessment; however, it is up to the teacher to make that determination. In Skills Strand, Unit 4, the Reader is called “Green Fern Zoo,” and this Reader has all informational stories. In addition, every lesson concludes with an Additional Support section of recommendations for 30 minutes of extended instruction and activities.

Some components of the program require family support such as “Dear Family Member, Your child read this story in class. Please ask your child to read the story aloud to you.” The program also suggests informing the parents to go to the local library to find fables and collections of fables to share with the child (Domain 1). However, there are no expectations or ways to hold the families and children accountable for reading activities at home. There are no means of tracking this practice and/or assessments for follow through.

There are ways to monitor students’ progress toward achieving grade-level reading proficiency. In Domain 1, there is a Mid-Domain Content Assessment to assess students’ knowledge of fables. Another example is in the Skills Strand, Unit 4, which contains a Mid-Unit Assessment, where students read “Amber the Bat” and answer multiple-choice and short-answer comprehension questions requiring literal recall of key details. In Unit 5, it is suggested that teachers observe student performance, monitoring as many individual students or reading groups as possible. In Unit 7, there is an End-of-Year Assessment that allows the teacher to gauge students’ independent reading proficiency and comprehension.

There are other places within the domains and units that give teachers the option of including a larger range and volume of texts. For example, in many of the Pausing Points, such as in Skills Strand, Unit 4, students can read stories from their Readers. In the End of Domain Reviews, there are additional suggested opportunities for students such as in Domain 2: “Read a trade book to review a particular domain concept; refer to the books listed in the Recommended Resources in the Digital Components for this domain. You may also choose to have the students select a read aloud to be heard again” (page 82). In all domains, it is suggested that teachers infuse the curriculum with authentic domain-related literature, and it is recommended that students select books from the Recommended Resources list. In addition, it is suggested that teachers create a classroom lending library, allowing the students to borrow domain-related books to read at home with their families. However, it does not specify when students read these books independently. The curriculum suggests additional opportunities for students to read, but the texts are not included nor is the time scripted out.

Criterion 1g - 1n

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

The instructional materials for Grade 1 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. 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
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 1 meet the expectations that most questions, tasks, and assignments are text-based. The majority of the questions are text-based. There are several places in each lesson that require students to answer using evidence from the text.

Examples in 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 responses or thumbs up/thumbs down answers to make sure students are understanding the story on a literal basis. For example, in Domain 2, Lesson 10, students answer “What are the five body systems Dr. Welbody has taught you about?”

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 comprehension questions that include a mix of literal and inferential questions as well as some evaluative questions. Some comprehension questions are also written as a Think-Pair-Share. It is suggested to teachers that if students have difficulty responding to questions, the teacher should reread pertinent lines of the read aloud and/or refer to specific images.

Literal examples of text-based questions include:

  • “What does the milkmaid think about on her way to the market?” (Domain 1, Lesson 2)
  • “What must Rhodopis do while the others attend the pharaoh’s banquet?” (Domain 3, Lesson 2)
  • “What do we call a large object in space that revolves around a star?” (Domain 6, Lesson 2)
  • “Describe a freshwater habitat. Make sure you cite specifics from the read aloud to support your answer.” (Domain 8, Lesson 11)

Inferential examples of text-based questions include:

  • “How does the pharaoh realize Rhodopis is the owner of the red slipper?” (Domain 3, Lesson 2)
  • “Explain why farming was important to the Aztec. How do you know this is based on the read aloud?” (Domain 5, Lesson 6)
  • “What is special about Polaris, the North Star? (Domain 6, Lesson 6)
  • “Why are water lilies so important in freshwater habitats? Make sure you cite specifics from the read aloud to support your answer.” (Domain 8, Lesson 7).

Some lessons have Exit Passes that contain text-based prompts. Some examples of this include “Students will write a summary statement about the Maya and religion” (Domain 5, Lesson 1) or “Have students write a phrase or sentence about what they learned about the Maya and religion.” (Domain 5, Lesson 2). Also, there are assessments interspersed in the materials that require the students to draw upon the texts that they have heard to answer questions.

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 questions. The following are examples of questions that do not require students to refer back to the read aloud or supporting text:

  • In Domain 6, Lesson 2, students are asked, “Describe what we see at sunrise each day.”
  • In Domain 6, Lesson 6, students are asked to use text evidence to answer the question, “Would you have wanted to be one of the first astronauts to go up in space?”

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 background 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
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Indicator Rating Details

The materials for Grade 1 partially 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. The purpose of the tasks, according to the materials, is to enliven their experiences with domain concepts.

At the end of each domain, there is an assessment that measures students on their vocabulary acquisition and their knowledge acquisition after the read alouds. In Domain 4, for vocabulary acquisition, students are asked 15 questions such as “Can heavy rains cause flooding of the river?” In Domain 4, for knowledge acquisition, students are asked 27 questions such as, “Which civilization had written laws known as the Code of Hammurabi?”

There are also Mid-Domain assessments. For example, in Domain 6, one Mid-Domain assessment has students: “Identify the four phases of the moon by circling the correct phase image on Activity Page PP.2 as I say it. 1. Full moon 2. New moon 3. Crescent moon 4. Half moon.”

After the end of the domain assessment, there are also culminating activities that serve the purpose of remediation or enrichment. The activities are not mandatory and/or designed as a specific culminating task to assess and apply knowledge learned. Some examples of remediation activities include revisiting lesson applications and rereading and discussing select read alouds. Some specific domain-specific enrichment activities include:

  • In Domain 2, students can make a well-balanced meal drawing. In the lessons of Domain 2, students answer the following text-based questions which connect to the culminating task: “If you eat a bowl of sweet cereal for breakfast, a milk shake for lunch, and French fries with ketchup for dinner, are you eating nutritious meals? Why not?” and “What is the skinniest stripe of the food pyramid? Why is it so skinny?”
  • In Domain 4, students create a class book or make a religions chart. In the lessons of Domain 4, students answer some of the following text-based questions which connect to the culminating task: “What are the three world religions named in today’s read aloud?” and “What was the name of the Jewish prophet or teacher who helped free the Jewish people?”
  • In Domain 6, students make a trade book or a mnemonic for planets. In the lessons of Domain 6, students answer some of the following text-based questions which connect to the culminating task: “What do we call the scientific study of stars and outer space?” and “This is the first planet in the solar system, known for being the smallest and the closest to the sun. What is the name of this planet?”
  • In Domain 10, one example of an enrichment activity is students choose people introduced in the domain whom they wish they knew more about. They brainstorm a list of questions they would ask that person and write a letter with those questions as starting points. Students are asked text-based questions about Betsy Ross and George Washington in the lessons of Domain 10.

There are some culminating tasks that can be completed without using the instructionally taught skills or having comprehended the read alouds. For example in Domain 5, one culminating activity asks students to use the Internet to search for pictures and descriptions of Mayan archaeological sites.

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
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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 1 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. In addition, there is modeling of speaking with correct syntax and academic vocabulary, including when answering comprehension questions.

In most lessons there is a turn and talk question or a Think-Pair-Share provided. One example of this is in Domain 2, Lesson 2, where students are instructed to turn and talk and discuss whether they would describe the human body as a network of systems or a system of networks. Another example is in Domain 4, Lesson 10, where students Think-Pair-Share to discuss why being pharaoh was so important that the main character declared herself a man. Another type of discussion question is when students have to create their own evidence-based questions. For example, in Domain 6, Lesson 1, students are told that “asking questions about a read aloud is one way to see how much everyone has learned. Think of a question you can ask your neighbor about the read aloud that starts with the word what. Turn to your neighbor, ask your question. Listen to your neighbor’s response. Then your neighbor will ask a new what question, and you will get a chance to respond.” Each lesson in the domains and the Skills Section also has a whole class discussion question.

There are abundant supports in place to scaffold speaking and listening skills for students. The supports are called emerging, expanding, and bridging. One example of this is in Domain 1, Lesson 5, where the emerging support is to prompt and support students to use words and phrases that relate to the given image. The expanding support is providing moderate support to elicit phrases and ideas with greater detail that relate to the given item, and the bridging support is providing minimal support in eliciting key details that relate to the given image. Another example is in Domain 3, Lesson 4, where the emerging support is providing sentence frames using a small set of learned phrases, the expanding support is providing sentence frames using an extended set of learned phrases, and the bridging support is providing minimal support and guidance for open responses. Domains also suggest, such as in Domain 3, that teachers pause within read alouds and allow student pairs to summarize the story information provided. Teachers are encouraged to assign partners for the “duration of the domain in order to promote a social environment where all students engage in collaborative talk and learn from one another.”

There are a large number of Tier II academic words taught in each lesson, and the vocabulary instruction typically encourages the use of the vocabulary words when having evidence-based discussions. Many of the comprehension questions use the vocabulary words. For example, in Domain 5, Lesson 4, a question is, “The read aloud said the Maya created a very accurate calendar. We have calendars today, too, but long, long ago someone had to invent calendars to keep track of the days, weeks, and months. How did the Maya make their calendar?” The word accurate is the vocabulary word, and students need to understand it in order to answer the question. Other examples of students using Tier II vocabulary words in evidence based discussions include in Domain 2, Lesson 2, where the Teacher Guide suggests providing students with an oral word bank to help them describe what they see in the image, including words such as skeleton, bones, body, and inside. Another example is in Domain 4, Lesson 16, where students turn and talk in the middle of the lesson to discuss what break the fast means.

There is some modeling of correct syntax when having evidence-based discussions. One example that was found in the curriculum was in Domain 11, the teacher explains that in the read aloud the students heard a conversation between Thomas Jefferson and James Monroe. Through this discussion, there is instruction about using a period when telling a statement. Students practice speaking based on whether the sentence has a period or a question mark by changing the tone of their voice.

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
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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 1 meet the criteria for supporting students’ listening and speaking about what they are reading with relevant follow-up questions and support. 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 for emerging, expanding, and bridging learners. Students are given multiple opportunities for learning through 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 1, the objective is “Students will review what they know about how their bodies work and be introduced to the concept of a pediatrician,” while the purpose for listening is “Students will listen carefully to find out what is in their bodies beneath their skin that keeps them alive and healthy.” Similarly, in Domain 2, Lesson 4, students are asked to predict how long it takes their bodies to process food and then to listen carefully to find out if their predictions are correct. In Domain 4, Lesson 4, the purpose is for students to “listen to find out what changes occurred in Babylon over the years and to find out more about the new king who ruled Babylon.” In Domain 6, Lesson 9, students need to “listen carefully to learn the name of each planet and what makes it unique,” so that they can add these facts to a Planets Chart. In Domain 11, Lesson 7, the purpose for listening is to “find out which two tasks Lewis and Clark will have an opportunity to accomplish and whether or not they will be successful.”

There are supports for varied learners as well with their speaking and listening. In Domain 3, Lesson 7, students are asked a simple yes or no question; for emerging students, “Does the wolf want to play games with Little Red Riding Hood?” Students who are expanding are provided specific sentence frames such as “The wolf wants to.…” For bridging students, teachers encourage them to use keywords from the story in complete sentences. Another example, in Domain 8, Lesson 1, the support for emerging students is “Have students use phrases and familiar vocabulary to describe their image and explain why it belongs in a particular category.” The expanding support is “students describe their image and explain why it belongs in a particular category using short sentences.” The bridging support is having “students describe their image and explain why it belongs in a particular category using longer, more detailed sentences”.

Think-Pair-Share and Turn and Talks are other ways students’ speaking and listening is supported when they discuss the read aloud. One example of a Think-Pair-Share is in Domain 3, Lesson 3, when the students discuss how the stories of “Cinderella,” “The Girl with the Red Slipper,” and “Billy Beg” are the same. An example of a Turn and Talk is in Domain 1, Lesson 5, when the students are instructed to turn to a partner and talk about one way the wolf in the fable acts like an animal and one way the wolf acts like a person.

Additional examples of support with listening and speaking in the materials including differentiating support are in Domain 1, Lesson 3, by either having students verbally share keywords for the read aloud, having students verbally craft a complete sentence based on the read aloud, or having students verbally craft a detailed sentence based on the read aloud. Another example is in Domain 3, Lesson 7, when students describe their drawings, and the teacher encourages them to expand upon their ideas and encourages them to use increasingly complex sentences and domain-related vocabulary. In Domain 7, Lesson 4, during the extension activity, students work in small groups to identify how volcanoes and geysers are different. Students record their answers and then have to be prepared to share with the class the differences they identified. In Domain 11, Lesson 11, students work in small groups to discuss a particular image card for the read aloud and share information about the topic on the image card to the whole class.

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
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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 1 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 include short and longer writing tasks and projects. There are opportunities for students to revise and edit, and the tasks and projects align to the grade-level standards.

Within the Grade 1 materials, there are multiple opportunities for on-demand writing that includes illustrating responses (labeling and/or dictating sentences). Students are also asked to write phrases and/or sentences in response to readings. Students often have to respond to the read aloud such as in Lessons 3 and 6 of Domain 1, when students independently draw and write or dictate a one sentence retelling of the read aloud. They also have to draw the plot to “The Goose and the Golden Egg” in Domain 1, Lesson 3. Similarly, in Domain 5, they also write one phrase or one sentence in response to the read alouds. For example, in Domain 5, Lesson 3, students write a phrase or sentence about what they learned about the Maya and the Mayan cities. Students draw their favorite scenes from their favorite fable and include the characters, setting, and plot, as well as write the moral of the fable in Domain 1, Lesson 6. Another example later on in the series is when students write sentences about Appalachian Mountain being a natural barrier to moving west, the Louisiana Purchase, and the route they take to school.

Throughout the materials, process writing charts are introduced, modeled, and used for narrative writing and informational writing. Examples include story maps, graphic organizers, and editing lists. Formal writing instruction designed to address the Common Core State Standards in writing starts in Unit 3 of the Skills Section. Students receive instruction in using a four-step writing process: plan, draft, edit, and publish. Students plan in Lesson 2, use the story map in Lesson 3 to draft, and then use an editing checklist in Lesson 4. In Unit 5, students write a letter to a character, and teachers are instructed to present the information in carefully scaffolded steps, modeled first by the teacher, and then with the group, so that students eventually learn how to plan, draft, and edit their writing. The same process is also taught in Units 6 and 7. Students are directly taught to plan and then use their plan to draft. In the Knowledge section, students also receive instruction on process writing. They practice planning for narrative writing by note-taking as a group in Domain 1 and draft a retelling narrative. In Domain 2, many of the lessons combine process writing with on-demand writing. For example, they draw a body system such as the skeletal system and then use all of their sentences over the course of several lessons to write an informational paragraph. In Domain 3, they use charts and other devices to plan their writing. In Domain 9, students practice planning for narrative writing by note-taking as a group with Elements of Fairy Tales chart, a Venn diagram, and other organizers. Students are expected to plan, write, and edit after instruction. In Domain 11, students work together to write a short informational paragraph summarizing Lewis and Clark’s expedition, using information from a graphic organizer they completed in various lessons.

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.

Indicator 1l

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

The Grade 1 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. Students have opportunities to address literary writing, informational writing, and opinion writing.

Students write narratives in which they recount two or more appropriately sequenced events, include details, and provide a sense of closure. In Domain 1, students use graphic organizers such as Story Maps, Personification Charts, and “Somebody, Wanted, So, Then” to plan for narrative writing and to identify elements of a tall tale. They draw, dictate, or write one sentence retellings in Lessons 3 and 6, and they draft a retelling of “The Tale of Peter Rabbit.” In Domain 3, students draw the characters, setting, and a scene from the middle of the read aloud in Lesson 6, and students write and/or dictate a sentence about one element of “Cinderella” in Lesson 19. In Domain 9, students identify the elements of fairy tales before, during, and after read alouds. They also practice planning for narrative writing by note-taking as a group using the Elements of Fairy Tales chart, a Venn diagram, and other organizers. They also write a retelling of their favorite fairy tale. In the Skills Section of the curriculum, students write a book report in Skills Unit 3. In Unit 6, students write a personal narrative.

Students write informative/explanatory texts in which they supply facts about a topic. For example, in Domain 2, they learn to identify important facts, collect and synthesize those facts using a KWL chart or the “Somebody, Wanted, So, Then” organizer. They also independently draw, write or dictate a one sentence response about read alouds in Lessons 2 - 6. These sentences are combined to form a booklet. They also draw an informational paragraph about the five body systems. In Domain 4, students work on similar skills as Domain 2, but record information about and compare and contrast key components of civilization and create an informational paragraph as a group to describe key components of civilizations. In Domain 5, students continue to write one phrase or sentence responses to read alouds, and they synthesize their response statements into a paragraph in Lesson 2. In Domain 6, students again collect and synthesize information by note taking and then independently journal one to three sentence responses. In Domain 7, students explore letter writing. They first write a letter to a geologist from the read alouds, describing what they learned as a class about the earth’s crust. Then they work with a partner to write a letter to the paleontologist from the read alouds, describing what they learned about fossils. Finally, they write a letter to someone of their choice, describing what they learned about dinosaurs. Students also draw and write about read alouds and create an idea web graphic organizer to record information about minerals. In Domain 8, students write one to two sentences about what they learned about Arctic habitats. In Domain 11, students use a graphic organizer to analyze the actions of Daniel Boone. They also write sentences about some topics such as the Louisiana Purchase and the Appalachian Mountains. In this domain, students also work together to write a short informational paragraph summarizing Lewis and Clark’s expedition, using information from the read alouds. In the Skills Section of the curriculum, students begin receiving instruction on descriptive writing, and they describe and write informational text about an animal from “The Green Fern Zoo.” In Skills Unit 4, Lesson 2, students plan a descriptive paragraph about a grape or other food, that includes mention of the food, some descriptive language, and a concluding sentence. Lastly, students focus on instructional writing in Unit 7, Lessons 13, 14, 16, and 17.

Lastly, students write opinion pieces including stating their opinion and supplying a reason for their opinion. In Domain 6, Lesson 6, students write journal entries, where they write opinion statements and supply reasons. In Domain 8, students write an opinion piece about whether they think endangered species should be protected or not. They use evidence from the read alouds as well as the world around them to support their opinion. In the Skills Section of the curriculum, opinion writing is explicitly taught in Unit 5 in Lessons 15, 16, 17, and 18. In Unit 6, Lesson 19, students also have to state an opinion about the story, “Grace the Performer,” give reasons for their opinion, and offer a conclusion. In addition, in Unit 3, students are encouraged to include their opinion about the story that they have read.

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
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Indicator Rating Details

The Grade 1 curriculum materials meet the criteria for materials including regular opportunities for evidence-based writing to support recall of information, opinions with reasons, and relevant information appropriate for the grade level. Materials provide frequent opportunities for students to learn, practice, and apply writing skills when using evidence. In addition, they are also given multiple opportunities to develop and support their own opinions through various writing opportunities.

In the Knowledge section of the materials, there are opportunities for students to recall information from read alouds by drawing plots, dictating their understanding of the text in their own words, detailing elements of the stories presented, and writing informational sentences and/or phrases based on the expository information being learned. Some examples include drawing the plot to “The Goose and the Golden Eggs” in Domain 1, Lesson 3 and in Lesson 6,where they are asked to draw a scene from their favorite fable, including in the picture the characters, setting, and plot, and next to write or dictate the moral of the chosen fable. In Domain 3, students write or dictate a sentence about one element of “Cinderella,” either characters, setting, plot, or conflict. In Domain 5, one example of evidence based writing includes writing a phrase or sentence about what they learned about the Maya and farming in Lesson 1. In Domain 4, students write a sentence about writing in ancient Egypt in Lesson 6. In Domain 5, students write about things they have learned about the civilization that they are studying. Students write a sentence each day to create a written paragraph in the end. In Domain 7, students work to write letters to geologists, paleontologists, and someone of their choice to describe what they learned in the read alouds about the earth’s crust, fossils, and dinosaurs. In Domain 8, students write an opinion about if they think the endangered species should be protected or not, and they are asked to use evidence from the read alouds. In Domain 10, students write sentences about the thirteen colonies beginning in Lesson 1. In Domain 11, they work together to write a short informational paragraph summarizing Lewis and Clark’s, expedition using information from the graphic organizers they completed throughout the lessons after the read alouds.

In addition to the Knowledge section, there are evidence-based writing lessons in the Skills Section. Starting in Unit 1, there are activity sheets that have students write sentences to answer questions about a story they read. For example, in Skills Unit 4, Lesson 20, students write a descriptive paragraph about a grape or other food that includes mention of the food, some facts about the food, and a concluding sentence. Similarly, in Unit 4, Lesson 22, students research a topic and use the text, “The Green Fern Zoo,” to write an animal paragraph. In Unit 6, Lesson 19, students are given an activity page to answer key questions about the story, “Grace the Performer.” in writing.

Indicator 1n

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

The instructional materials for Grade 1 meet the expectation that materials include explicit instruction of the grammar and conventions/language standards for grade level as applied in increasingly sophisticated contexts, with opportunities for application both in and out of context.

Specific grammar lessons and exercises throughout the instructional materials address various parts of speech and language usage conventions. Some of these skills include parts of speech, including nouns, verbs, and pronouns, as well as multiple meaning words, figurative language, and personification. In addition, instruction for the articles “a” and “the” is also present. The grammar and conventions are taught in a sequence consistent with the demands of the standards and are integrated with the reading and writing instruction both in explicit sections and embedded into the curriculum. Models of skills in isolation as well as in readings/text support the acquisition and practice of language standards. Students first learn the concepts and practice them orally. Then they are reinforced in written text. There are also grammar teaching opportunities in demonstration stories. Students will also practice grammar in the daily Warm Ups. The majority of the grammar lesson is found in the Skills Section verse in the Knowledge section.

The Unit 2 grammar lessons focus on nouns, including proper nouns and sentence building. Grammar is reviewed in some of the Warm Ups, as well. One in-context example is that students identify the noun in the story “Fuzz and Met,” identify if the nouns are proper nouns, and explain why the nouns are proper or common (lesson 13). In Unit 3, students continue to focus on capitalization, quotation marks, and ending punctuation. For example, in Lesson 14, students will put scrambled sentences in the correct order and and will identify common and proper nouns in those sentences. In addition, there are Pausing Point activities, such as circling nouns, sorting nouns, and making plural nouns in this unit.

In Unit 4, students are introduced to past-tense verb forms ending with -ed. They also discuss the pronunciation of these letters. They will continue to work on nouns and verbs in phrases and be introduced to adjectives. Some examples include Lesson 13, where students have to switch between regular past, present, and future tense verbs in oral sentences using the words yesterday, today, and tomorrow as clues. In Lesson 18, students evaluate the use of adjectives in oral sentences and will work as a class to produce adjectives to describe the objects.

In Unit 5 of the Skills Section, students learn about and practice changing nouns from singular to plural, as well as the way some root words change when adding the suffixes, -ing and -ed. They will review nouns and verbs, including the identification and formation of present, past, and future tense, and will also review adjectives. Additional grammar topics covered in this unit are sentence types, parts of sentences, and sentence building. They will practice identifying and creating statements, questions, and exclamations, both orally and in writing. One example is in Lesson 5, when students add the inflectional endings -ed and -ing to the end of root words and doubling the final consonant when necessary. There are also in-context examples in this unit. For example, students are asked to find two examples each of statements, questions, and exclamations in the story, “Kate’s Book” (lesson 20). Students build simple, declarative oral sentences in response to prompts using adjectives and prepositions and will write two complete sentences of at least five words (lesson 18).

Additionally, in Unit 6, students focus on nouns and pronouns. The pronouns are introduced, but nouns, verb tenses, and expanding sentences by adding propositions to provide more detail are review skills. Challenge activities are also provided such as asking students to write two more more sentences with the first sentence containing a noun and the other sentence containing the pronoun that replaces the noun.

In Unit 7, the grammar lessons teach the students to use conjunctions, commas, and noun/verb agreement in sentences. In addition, the comma is introduced as a punctuation mark that separates items in a series. One example of this is students read sentences containing a series of words and will separate the words in the series with commas (Lesson 10). Students will revise and expand oral sentences using the decodable conjunctions and, but, so, and or.

The Knowledge Domains provide several opportunities for students to learn and use multiple meaning words. Personification and figurative language are also present in these lessons, almost all of which are taught in context. For example, in Domain 4, Lesson 2, students learn about the golden rule. Another example is in Domain 1, Lesson 5: Students learn that “a wolf in sheep’s clothing” is a phrase we use to describe a hidden enemy or something that is not as it appears to be on the outside. The articles ‘a’ and ‘the’ are also taught in Domain 1. According to the materials, the purpose of these lessons is to help students understanding the direct connection between grammatical structures and the meaning of text. The activities should be used in conjunction with complex text presented in the read alouds.

Criterion 1o - 1t

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 1 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
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 1 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 many opportunities for students to demonstrate understanding of spoken words, syllables, and sounds. Students learn to distinguish between long and short vowel sounds, such as in Unit 2, Lesson 8, when they have to raise their hand when they hear a word with /oe/ instead of /o/. Students also have opportunities to isolate and pronounce initial, medial, and final sounds, such as in Unit 4, Lesson 5, where students listen to orally stated words and have to determine if the medial sound is /ar/ or /er/. In Unit 5, students isolate and pronounce sister sounds such as /b/ and /p/ in spoken single-syllable words. Lastly, students also segment single-syllable words such as in Unit 1, Lesson 12, where students blend words with consonant blends. In Unit 5, Lesson 4, students orally produce single-syllable words with the /k/ sound in response to sound riddles.

Students have opportunities to apply grade-level phonics and word analysis skills in decoding words. Skills taught include a review of vowel and consonant sounds in Unit 1, vowel teams in Unit 2, r-controlled vowels and a review of vowel digraphs (aw, oo, oi, ou, er) in Unit 4, common consonant digraphs introduced in Unit 5, and multiple spellings of consonants, such as /ng/ as ng or n in Unit 6. In Unit 2, vowel teams and final -e are taught. Also in Unit 2, Lesson 6, students practice the spelling i_e by segmenting each of the sounds in a word before writing it. Students learn that every syllable must have a vowel sound to determine the number of syllables in a printed word, beginning in Unit 4. Reading two-syllable words is also taught in Unit 4, and beginning in Unit 7, students begin reading compound words. In Unit 6, Lesson 7, students segment and blend two-syllable words by first segmenting each part of the word and then blending it. Reading words with inflectional endings is also taught in Unit 4, where students complete activities such as chaining in Lesson 10 and 11, with -er, -est, -ing, and -ed. More work on this occurs in Unit 5, in Lessons 1, 2, 3, 5, 9, 11, and 21, where students add inflectional endings to root words and read them.

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
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 1 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).

Students are expected to understand the organization of print concepts such as the features of a sentence. However, there is little instruction on end punctuation and capital letters of a sentence, and the focus is on more advanced punctuation such as apostrophes and quotation marks. In Unit 2, Lesson 1, the apostrophe is shown in the Decodable Reader and the teacher tells the students that this mark tells that the next word belongs to Gran (the main character). In Unit 2, Lesson 2, quotation marks are introduced. Identifying capital letters and ending punctuation occurs in grammar lessons where students have to add the correct punctuation and capital letters to already written sentences out of context (Unit 7, Lessons 9, 10, 17, and 18).

Students are first introduced to text features in Unit 2, where the student learns about the table of contents. It is also included in Unit 4 when the decodable is a nonfiction text. In Unit 4, teachers are informed of teaching headings, captions, and picture glossary, and students are expected to use these features to help locate key facts and information in each chapter. For example, in Unit 4, Lesson 4, the students learn that the sentences underneath the photo are called captions and that these help the reader better understand the text. In Unit 4, Lesson 8, students are specifically encouraged to use the text features to answer the questions. Review is included in later units such as Unit 6, Lesson 1, where the teacher asks the students to turn to the table of contents; the teacher reads the titles and explains that these stories are about the main character’s adventures. In Unit 6, Lesson 8, the teacher asks the students to turn to the table of contents to locate and read the title of the story; the teacher then asks them on which page the story is located.

While text structure is in some lessons, there is a missed opportunity for students to practice and demonstrate understanding of text structure. In Unit 4, Lesson 2, the teacher informs students the text is an informational text that provides factual, or real, information about a topic; however, the students are not provided an opportunity to identify the text structure or purpose.

Indicator 1q

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

The instructional materials for Grade 1 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 throughout the year for students to read grade-level text through the decodable texts in every unit. Students are instructed to read the text in various modalities including independently, such as in Unit 2, Lessons 2 and 3 or with a partner in Unit 2, Lessons 2, 6, 11, 13, and 17. In Unit 3, all of the decodable stories are decodable versions of famous fables, and lessons include opportunities for whole group, small group, partner, and independent reading. These types of opportunities are present in all Units in Grade 1.

Students are provided multiple opportunities over the course of the year to demonstrate sufficient accuracy, rate, and expression in oral reading with on-level texts. In Unit 2, there are several lessons that provide additional fluency work for students by having them read sentences or read the decodable using a silly voice of their choice (Lessons 5, 14, 16, and 19). Students are also instructed to bring home the decodables to read with families. In Unit 4, Lesson 2, the teacher and the students take turns reading the decodable aloud where the teacher emphasizes expression. Another opportunity for fluency practice is when students re-read the decodable, but it is written as a two-voice text, so students can take turns reading (Unit 4, Teaching Activities Section). To support students’ reading of decodable words, word sorts are also provided such as in Unit 4, Lesson 2, when students sort between /er/ and /r/ words.

Students are given opportunities to practice reading strategies such as re-reading frequently. In Unit 2, students re-read the story in Lessons 5 and 10 before answering questions. Similarly, the same occurs in Unit 4, Lessons 3, 5, and 9. Students have opportunities to practice and read irregularly spelled words. Students are provided flashcards for these words in both Unit 2 and 4. In Unit 1, it states that at the end of each lesson, there is a note about when common sight words become decodable. There are suggested sight word activities, such as writing the tricky word on the board, asking students how they would pronounce it, and then explaining how people actually read it.

Indicator 1r

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

The instructional materials for Grade 1 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.

In the beginning of the instructional materials, there is review and then the curriculum continues to introduce new phonics skills and include decodables that allow students to practice the words in context. For example, in Unit 7, alternative vowel spellings are introduced. According to CKLA, this is a difficult skill for students, but “the orderly and systematic way in which the vowel spellings are introduced in this unit and in later grades will help students cope with the complexity of English vowel spellings and lead to significantly stronger reading and spelling skills.” Only the most common spelling alternatives are taught in Grade 1 and other spelling alternatives are taught in Grade 2. For example, the “long a” sound /ae/ is taught to be spelled as a_e (review), ai, and ay. In addition, in this unit, syllable dividers that separate two-syllable words into smaller, more manageable chunks is discontinued.

The decodable readers include the phonics skills previously taught and currently taught in the unit. The decodable readers get more complex in each unit. For example, in Unit 6, the decodable “Grace” is a little bit longer, on average, than the stories in the previous Readers. The decodable reader is broken down into individual stories, and almost all of the stories in the Reader can stand alone. In addition, in this Unit it is the first time the font is new. In previous units, the font mimicked the type of letters students were writing, but now the font is similar to most trade books. Before students engage with a decodable reader, the teacher is expected to preview the words that students will encounter that have phonics skills being taught or reviewed as well as the tricky words included in the text. In addition, each story includes tips for introducing the 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
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials for Grade 1 meet the expectation that 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. There are clear and specific protocols for teachers to analyze student work as well as additional opportunities for the students to practice the skills. There is also a separate publication found online called the Assessment and Remediation guide that provides further assistance in assessing, analyzing, and remediating specific skills.

Assessments begin in Unit 1, Lessons 6-10, where students take a placement assessment to identify large gaps in their core knowledge. The information gained from this assessment will help the teacher identify students who need to be regrouped to an earlier point in the Skills program.

In each unit, there are formative assessments to help monitor individual student progress in both decoding and fluency. There are observation records provided in the teacher guide to assist the teacher with this. One example of a “Check for Understanding” is in Unit 2, Lesson 3, where the teacher collects the Activity page to monitor the progress.

There are anecdotal reading record templates that teachers carry with them to take notes on students' reading. At times, there are specific lessons where the teacher should listen to the students read, such as in Unit 4, Lesson 3.

There are also end-of-unit assessments that evaluate students’ mastery of the skills taught in the unit. In Unit 1, the students are assessed on their ability to read individual words that contain the spellings from the unit. For example, in Unit 2, the multi-part assessment begins in Lesson 18. The first part is the Word Recognition Assessment, where the students look at several words on the activity page and circle the written word which matches the word the teacher says. For those students who perform poorly (less than 12 correct out of 15), the materials suggest that the teacher refer to the Additional Support Activities, the Pausing Points, and/or the Assessment Remediation Guide. In Unit 4, as part of the multi-part assessment, there is a dictation assessment where students are asked to spell and write words with the r- controlled spellings taught in this unit, as well as students work one-on-one with the teacher to complete the Word Reading in Isolation Assessment, which evaluates each student’s ability to read words with the letter-sound correspondences taught thus far in CKLA. In Unit 5, there is a multi-part assessment that begins with the Word Recognition Assessment, where students look at several words on the page and circle the written word that matches the spoken word read by the teacher.

There are weekly spelling assessments that monitor student performance and progress in reading and writing the skills taught in the lessons. These assessments occur every five days.

There are optional progress monitoring sessions. Students read individual words, and the teacher indicates what words the student can or cannot read, using this information to determine what reteaching and reinforcement is required from the Assessment and Remediation Guide. Another optional assessment is the Tricky Word Assessment record which is found at the end of Unit 2. Based on student performance on the progress monitoring, optional assessments, and end-of-unit assessments, teachers can select activities for individuals or groups in the Pausing Point section based on which areas students performed poorly or well.

In the Teacher Guide, there are resources for teachers to collect, organize, and analyze student results. Included in these resources, for example in Unit 4, are the Tricky Word Assessment Record, the Spelling Analysis, and the Word Reading in Isolation Scoring Sheet and Remediation Guide. In Unit 5, resources include the Tricky Word Assessment Lit and record, Anecdotal Reading Result, Spelling analysis directions and analysis of student spelling errors, and Word Recognition Assessment analysis direction.

Indicator 1t

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

The instructional materials for Grade 1 meet the expectation that materials, questions, and tasks provide high-quality lessons and activities that allow for differentiation of foundational skills.

In the daily lessons, there are supports and challenges provided in the margin of the text. For example in Unit 2, Lesson 1, there is a support is for students who have trouble hearing the middle sound in words. The teacher is supposed to say the word in segmented fashion and then repeat the word in its blended form. While the challenge is for extra segmenting practice, the students segment each word and then decide if it contains the /ee/ sound. In Unit 6, Lesson 16, a support is provided for students who are continuing to confuse spelling alternatives for the /w/ sound by explaining how two different flowers, a tulip and a daisy, are both flowers even though they look different.

In each lesson, there are places for formative assessments, so teachers can determine which students may benefit from reteaching and/or more practice in particular skills, using the Additional Support activities found at the end of each lesson. For example, in Unit 2, Lesson 7, there is additional support with oral reading when one student reads down column 1 and another student reads down column 2 to complete the story. In Unit 4, Lesson 4, there is a word sort, and in Unit 4, Lesson 11, there is a Bingo Game. In Unit 7, Lesson 1, there are additional activities to help students with spelling alternatives for /ae/.

In some lessons, there are also small group sessions. For example, in Unit 2, lesson 11, students complete a word sort with half the class completing it with the teacher and the other half completing it independently or with a partner. In Unit 3, Lesson 14, a small group of students completes the activity page with the teacher if they require more support and/or immediate feedback. In Unit 4, lesson 3 students who need more direct support and immediate feedback work with the teacher, while the other group of students reads with a partner.

There are also student performance assessments, and it is suggested that teachers use the results of the assessment to inform instruction and grouping, as well as how to use the Pausing Point exercises, before moving on to the next unit. The Pausing Point Activities are additional activities to teach and practice at the end of each unit. It is suggested that teachers pause for two to three days and provide targeted, remediation for individual or groups of students in any area in which they performed poorly on the end-of-unit assessment. Pausing Point activities are arranged by unit objective. For example, in Unit 4, some of the topics are reading words that contain vowel digraphs, writing words that contain vowel digraphs, reading tricky words, and reading decodable stories.

Gateway Two

Building Knowledge with Texts, Vocabulary, and Tasks

Meets Expectations

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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
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 1 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, page 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 each year.

All of the domains in the Grade 1 curriculum are centered around a topic. The topics are as follows: Fables and Stories; The Human Body; Different Lands, Similar Stories; Early World Civilization; Early American Civilization; Astronomy; The History of the Earth; Animals and Habitats; Fairy Tales; A New Nation: American Independence; Frontier Explorers; Presidents and American Symbols.

Texts included in each domain support the building knowledge about the topic. Specifically, in Domain 4 (Early World Civilizations), the texts include:

  • Historical literary texts introducing students to Mesopotamia, writing in Mesopotamia, religion in Mesopotamia, the Great Pyramids, the Sphinx, Hatshepsut, and Tutankhamun.
  • Informational texts are about the hanging gardens of Babylon, the people of the Nile, writing in Ancient Egypt, the gods of Ancient Egypt, the Great Pyramids, the religions in Mesopotamia and ancient Egypt, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.

Additionally, in Domain 9, (Fairy Tales), the texts include:

  • Sleeping Beauty, Rumpelstiltskin, Rapunzel, The Frog Prince, Hansel and Gretel, and Jack and the Beanstalk.

The topics will help Grade 1 students engage in a variety of prose and poems to deepen their understanding of history, social studies, and science. One such poem is a poem by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow called “Paul Revere." In addition, in Domain 10, students read a song, “Yankee Doodle.”

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
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 1 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. While many primary analysis questions in key details are modeled by the teacher at first, there are questions and supports for students to learn about how academic vocabulary of the materials supports the content.

For example, in Domain 2, Lesson 10, students are given a vocabulary word and have to determine which body system it belongs to based on students' comprehension of the texts. In Skills 2, Lesson 1, the teacher asks, “Who are the main characters in the story, and what did Gran do in the Swiss Alps?" Another example of students not being required to analyze is in Domain 4, Lesson 5, “On what continent is Egypt located?” and in Domain 4, Lesson 7, “Summarize the myth you just heard about Amon-Ra’s creation.” These questions are examples of engaging students in understanding the key ideas and details needed to fully comprehend the materials.

Some questions require students to analyze the text and engage in implicit as well as explicit understanding. One example is in Domain 1, Lesson 9, when the teacher asks, “Why do you think Peter is crying if he has gotten away from Mr. McGregor?” Another example is in Skills 4, Lesson 10, a question that shows this is: “In what ways are mandrills like chimps?” Another example is in Domain 4, Lesson 1: ”Could the Mesopotamians have settled in this area if it had not been on the banks of the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers? Why or why not?” Another example is in Domain 4, Lesson 15, “In what ways do Christianity and Judaism seem the same to you? What are some ways that they are different."

Indicator 2c

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

The instructional materials reviewed in Grade 1 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. Knowledge is also built across the grades. For example, the Native Americans topic is taught on several different occasions each year so students have an understanding of the history, arts, and culture.

When knowledge is introduced in a Domain, it builds upon itself. For example, in Domain 4, students begin learning about the development of early civilizations by learning about features of civilizations. Then they dive deeper by learning about specific civilizations such as Mesopotamia and Egypt. Finally, the students get a historical introduction to the three world religions. In each of these Domains, knowledge is built through comprehension questions at the end of the story such as, “What do we know about Aztec religion based on today’s read aloud?" (Domain 5, Lesson 5) and “How are the Arctic and the Sonoran Desert different?“ (Domain 8, Lesson 3).

In addition, knowledge is built before the read alouds. The teacher begins the lesson with a review of the material from the read aloud the previous day. This is important because the information regularly builds on itself, so this review helps support students’ comprehension. For example, in Domain 10, Lesson 7, students review the stories they have read so far about the Revolutionary War as well as answer questions that they should know the answers to based on the previous read alouds such as, “Why were the colonists at war with Great Britain?” This is all done before students hear the read aloud for that day, preparing students to be able to engage and learn fully.

Domain 3 builds knowledge using fiction as well as nonfiction. In Lesson 2, a comprehension question is “Which person do you think is Rhodopis based on the way she is described in the story? Which details or information in the story helped you?” This requires students to analyze the details from the story to answer the question. In Domain 3, Lesson 3, students have to describe the similarities and differences between “Cinderella” and “The Girl with the Red Slippers.” Similarly, in Domain 3, Lesson 4, students have to share some ways that the plots of the three fairy tales are similar and different.

Indicator 2d

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 1 meet expectations for 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). Questions within lessons consistently align with or support culminating tasks. Most writing tasks provide an opportunity for students to integrate thinking and learning from primary texts. Student presentation opportunities are suggested as planning time allows.

Some of the culminating tasks are optional and students who need remediation may not engage in these enriching experiences. For example, in Domain 1, a culminating task has students draw a picture of each page of a booklet to show the events of a story they read in the Domain and write or dictate a sentence to go with each picture. In Domain 5, students create their own Civilization Chart to share with their families. In Domain 8, students make Venn Diagrams comparing and contrasting two habitats they read about. In Domain 10, students can pretend that they are one of the people who lived in America during its struggle for independence from Great Britain.

At the end of the Domains teachers make informed decisions about instruction using the Skills assessments, which are examples of culminating tasks that reflect students' depth of understanding about the topics and skills previously taught. For example, in Domain 2, students look at a row of pictures that show different systems of the body and identify specific information they have heard and read. In the Skills Sections, some of the assessments also integrate skills and knowledge. For example, in Skills 4, Lesson 24, students listen to a word that they write down (listening and writing skills), and then they read a story and answer comprehension questions (reading and writing skills).

Indicator 2e

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 1 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 domain lesson contains a list of four to five vocabulary words that will be introduced in either the before reading section or during the read aloud. In the lists, there is also one bold-faced word that is explored more in depth and described below. These words are Tier 2 and Tier 3 words. Some of the words included in Domain 2 are support, voluntary, digestion, heart, nerves, disease, healthy, nutrients, and complicated. Not only are these words taught in the beginning of the lesson, but they are also used in the comprehension questions. In Lesson 2, one of the questions is, "Why do you have a skeleton?" and another question is, “Your skull bones are located in your head. What do they protect?” Other examples of words taught are in Domain 8, Lesson 5: climate, species, store, temperate, territory. In Domain 10, Lesson 4, the words are approved, commander in chief, declaration, and independent, and in Domain 11, Lesson 2, the words are passes, pioneers, trailblazer, and wilderness.

After each read aloud in the Domain, there is an activity involving one of the vocabulary words. For example, in Domain 2, Lesson 7, the featured word is disease. After the teacher describes it more in depth and gives the students an opportunity to discuss any known diseases, the teacher then reads several sentences, and the students decide if she is describing a disease or not. In some lessons, they also address multiple meaning words. In Domain 1, Lesson 7, the word left is introduced with its multiple meanings. In Domain 2, Lesson 8, the multiple meaning word is brush.

At the end of each Domain unit, there is also an assessment on the vocabulary words. Prior to the assessment, there is a review. For example, in Domain 2, the teacher gives students the word nutrients, and they have to brainstorm everything that comes to mind when they hear the word.

The Skills Strand also introduces a few minute vocabulary words before each decodable that the teacher previews and discusses with the students prior to reading. While students are reading the decodable, the student is supposed to stop them when a vocabulary word is present. For example in Lesson 2, the teacher stops and says “show me what it means to shrug."

Student support and challenge in provided as well. For example in Skills 4, Lesson 12, it is suggested that the teacher gathers pictures to illustrate the multiple meanings of the core vocabulary word bill. In Skills 4, lesson 17, as a challenge, students can illustrate words and phrases.

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
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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 1 meet the expectations of materials containing writing tasks and instruction which support students in building and communicating substantive understanding of topics and texts.

The writing tasks, both short and long term, include instruction in narrative, opinion, and informational writing. Domain 1 begins with narrative writing and in Skills, Unit 6, students write personal narrative. Students use graphic organizers to plan before drafting. In Domains 2, 5, and 11, students explore the genre of informational writing. In Domain 5, students write one phrase or one-sentence responses to read alouds and then synthesize all of the sentences to write a paragraph. Similarly, students write descriptive paragraphs in Skills, Unit 2, first about a grape (as a class for modeling) and then individually about an animal. Opinion writing also occurs in Domain 6, Domain 8, and Skills, Unit 5.

Across the Knowledge section and Skills Section, the students learn a three-step writing process that is used throughout the year. First students plan, then they draft, and then they edit. Teachers are expected to draw attention to these steps as students work on all types of writing. This is addressed in both Knowledge and Skills lessons. In Skills Unit 3, Lesson 2, students begin by planning by thinking about the story they read the previous day and retell it together using a story map. In the next lesson, students draft a retelling based on the story map. Lastly, they use a step-by-step checklist to edit a draft retelling of the fable.

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
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 1 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. Students engaging with the materials are writing, reading, and seeking out new information as well as beginning to synthesize information for research and sharing out.

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 Grade 1 materials support students' growing research skills include, but are not limited to, the following examples:

  • In Unit 4 of the Skills Section, beginning in Lesson 22, the teacher tells the students that they will be writing a paragraph on an animal that they have read about in the decodable reader and will be researching in the text. They begin practicing gathering information as a class before gathering information on an independent topic. Students complete planning activity pages by taking notes, and a planning template is provided. In Lesson 23, students are taught how to take the information they researched and draft, using a provided template.
  • In Domain 2, there are several lessons (1, 2, 4, 5, and 6) where the teacher is expected to ask the students if there are any remaining questions, and that if time allows, individual students or the class can research the answers to the questions.
  • In Domain 5, at a Pausing Point, the students can use the internet to research, finding pictures and descriptions of Mayan archaeological sites to grow knowledge with what they are hearing and reading in the Domain.
  • Domain 11, there is an optional Pausing Point research activity on Ellis Island and Angel Island, where students can do research on either place and present it to the class. This synthesis of listening, reading, identifying correct sources, and then articulating back what they've learned is appropriately complex for this time of year for Grade 1 students.

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
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Indicator Rating Details

Instructional materials reviewed for Grade 1 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 students 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 also 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.

In Domain 5, there is a letter that goes home to families that says, “It is very important that you read to your child everyday. Please refer to the list of books and other resources sent home with the previous family letter, recommending resources related to ancient Egypt.... It is very important that you read to your child each day. The local library has many books about early American civilizations, including books about the Maya and Mayan civilizations.” While this may provide an opportunity for some students to engage in independent reading at home, there once again is no specific design or accountability that will make all students engage in independent reading.

Gateway Three

Usability

Meets Expectations

Criterion 3a - 3e

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7/8
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Criterion Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 1 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
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 1 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 2 focus on foundational skills is broken down by Language/Spelling Assessment (20 minutes), Chaining with 2-syllable words (15 minutes), and Reading (25 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 1, four are based in science, five in social studies, and two in literature. The Skills Strands contain decodable texts, and all seven units contain literary stories with 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
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 1 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 11 units and, depending on the unit, are designed for 14-23 instructional days, including two to three "Pausing Points" for further instruction. The Skills Strand is made up of seven units with anywhere from 19-32 instructional days per unit, and two to three Pausing Point days for a total of 180-187 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 5 states, “You should pause here and spend one day reviewing, reinforcing, and/or extending the material taught thus far. It is highly recommended you use the Mid-Domain Assessment to assess students’ knowledge of the Maya. You may also choose to do any combination of the following activities in any order, or create other activities that will help review, reinforce, and/or extend the material taught thus far.”

The Pausing Point within the Skills Strand Unit 6 states, “You should pause here and spend additional time reviewing the material taught in Unit 6. Students may do any combination of the exercises listed below, in any order. The exercises are listed by unit objectives. Exercises that were part of the lessons are listed here only by name with reference to their respective lessons. All other exercises have full descriptions. You may find that different students need extra practice with different objectives. It can be helpful to have students focus on specific exercises in small groups.”

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
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 1 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 10, Lesson 5, the Teacher Guide states, “Show image 5A-4: Betsy Ross running her shop after John’s death; Betsy decided to run the seamstress business on her own.”

Skills Unit 2, Lesson 12 states, “Gather the following pictures to use for support during Introduce the Sound /ue/: cute, cube, few, pew. Gather pictures of a cub, cube, tub, tube, us, and use to provide visual support for students during Practice /ue/ > ‘u_e’.”

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 Additional Support example from Skills Unit 4, Lesson 10 states, “Gather the Large Letter Cards for those sound/spellings. Follow the procedure in Additional Support Lesson 3, using the words in the box.”

The Primary Focus in Lesson 6 of Knowledge Domain 5 states, “Students will demonstrate an understanding of the Tier 2 word stationary. [L.1.5, L.1.5c; ELD.PI.1.12, ELD.PI.1.12b]. Students will practice identifying and using object pronouns. [L.1.1, L.1.1d; ELD.PI.1.7]”

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 2, Lesson 2 provides corresponding Activity Book page 2.1 “My Body Systems Booklet: Students will draw the skeletal system and write a sentence using the word skeleton.”

Indicator 3d

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 1 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 6 states, “Speaking and Listening: Students will review how heat, pressure, and time affect the earth. [SL.1.2; ELD.PI.1.6]. Reading: Students will identify the three types of rocks. [RI.1.3; ELD.PI.1.6] Language: Students will demonstrate understanding of the Tier 3 word sediments. [L.1.5a; ELD.PI..12b]”

An example of alignment provided for formative assessments can be seen in Skills Unit 2 Lesson 13, “Digraph Dictation [RF.1.3c; ELD.PIII.Phonological Awareness] Observation Anecdotal Reading Record 'The Sweet Shop' [RF.1.4a; ELD.PIII.Fluency].”

An example of standards listed within the scaffolding sidebars in Knowledge Domain 2, Lesson 4: “Exchanging Information and Ideas (ELD.PI.1.1): Emerging—Ask simple yes/no questions (e.g., 'Are your stomach muscles voluntary?'); Expanding—Provide students with a specific sentence frame, (e.g., 'My stomach muscles are voluntary/involuntary.').;Bridging—Encourage students to use key details in complete sentences.”

Indicator 3e

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 1 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, pictures 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 are 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 2, Lesson 5, an example of visual design in the Teacher Guide with an image card states, “Show image 5A-2: Skinned knee. Have you ever cut yourself or skinned your knee? (when people get a cut or scrape that breaks the skin)”

Skills Unit 2, Lesson 15 states, “Gather pictures to represent slop, odd, sulk and mope, and drift off to sleep for Preview Core Vocabulary.”

Criterion 3f - 3j

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

Materials reviewed for Grade 1 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 partially 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
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 1 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
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-
Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 1 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: “You can also reinforce the connection by using a pointing tip. When pointing to single-letter spellings or normal digraphs (written with letters sounded side by side), use a single pointing finger. When you point to a split digraph, pop out a second finger to make a ‘V’ sign, with one finger pointing at the first letter in the separated digraph and the other pointing at the final ‘e’.”

Another example in the introduction in Skills Unit 2 states, “In years past, you may have spoken of the ‘e’ in words like name or note as silent ‘e’. Or you may have used the phrase magic ‘e’. Of these two phrases, magic ‘e’ is preferred. There are some problems with telling students that some letters are silent.”

Appendix A in the Unit 1 Skills Strand offers information about the program and the philosophy behind its design. For example, the appendix states, “CKLA does place the initial emphasis on reading regular words. But that does not mean high-frequency sight words are not being learned. In fact, as noted above, many sight words are completely regular and become decodable as students learn letter-sound correspondences. This means that CKLA is a very effective program for teaching sight words.”

Another example from Skills Unit 1 Appendix A states, “A much better strategy is to introduce the English spelling code explicitly, beginning with the easiest, least ambiguous, and most frequently used parts of the code and then adding complexity gradually. That is the central strategy on which this program is based.”

Indicator 3h

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 1 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, “The knowledge sequence, which underpins the Knowledge Strand, introduces consecutively more complex topics through its domains. Knowledge Domains build within and across grade levels to build a broad foundation of knowledge so that as students reach the upper elementary grades, they already possess the foundation to understand increasingly complex texts.”

Knowledge Demands are explained in the Program Guide, stating, “Both the length and structure of texts increase in complexity during K–2. Students start Skills instruction with simple Big Books, before progressing to increasingly long decodable Readers.”

The Program Guide also 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. Similarly, the writing demands move from simple phrase or one-word answers to questions, to multi-paragraph essays and writing over multiple sittings and lessons.”

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
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 1 meet the criteria for materials containing explanations of the instructional approaches of the program and identification of the research-based strategies. A Research Guide: The CKLA CA Curriculum: Links to Research on Teaching and Learning serves as a companion to the CKLA CA Program Guide: K–2. 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
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 1 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
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Criterion Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 1 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
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 1 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 assessments throughout the year, which may drive differentiation based on 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
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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 1 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 the Skills Unit 6, Lesson 4, Unit Assessment, examples of the standards being measured are shown as, “Students will read and identify dictated words from a list of words with similar spellings. [RF.1.3b; ELD.PIII.Phonics and Word Recognition] Students will read 'The Harvest' with purpose and understanding and will answer written short-answer questions about key details in the text. [RF.1.4a; RL.1.1; ELD.PI.1.6; ELD.PIII.Fluency]
  • Formative Assessments in each Knowledge Domain Lesson also contain the standards that are being emphasized. For example;
    • Knowledge Domain Unit 5, Lesson 8 states, “Write About It: In small groups, students will write a paragraph about an important aspect of the Aztec. [RI.1.2; W.1.2; ELD.PI.1.10]”
    • Knowledge Domain Unit 7, Lesson 7 states, “Students will write a letter using information they learned about fossils. [W.1.2; ELD.PI.1.10]”
  • Skills Unit 4, Lesson 15 states, “Students will read 'Groundhogs' with purpose and understanding and will answer literal and inferential questions about key details in the text. [RF.1.4a; RI.1.10; ELD.PI.1.6; ELD.PIII.Fluency]”

Indicator 3l.ii

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

The materials reviewed for Grade 1 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 4, Mid Year Assessment states, “If students performed poorly on the Reading Comprehension Assessment but did better on Word Reading in Isolation, you may want to ask these students to read “Amber the Bat” aloud to you, while you make a running record of specific errors. Also ask the comprehension questions orally and have the student respond orally. Additional materials for this oral rereading of “Amber the Bat” are included in Teacher Resources.”

The Pausing Point in Knowledge Domain Unit 2 states, “This is the end of the read alouds about the five systems of the human body. You should pause here to review, reinforce, and/or extend the material taught thus far.”

Indicator 3m

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 1 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 5, Lesson, 6, the formative assessment states, “Civilization Chart: Students will write a summary statement about Aztec farming. [RI.1.2; W.1.2; ELD.PI.1.10]”

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 7, Lesson 3, an example of Check for Understanding is, “Making Connections: What does it mean if the inner core is solid?" (The inner core does not change shape.)

The Skills Strand also uses observational student records to track student performance. For example, Skills Unit 1, Lesson 22 states, “Call on a different student to answer each question. Note students’ performance in the Discussion Questions Observation Record, marking whether the question answered was literal, inferential, or evaluative.”

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
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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 was 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
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Criterion Rating Details

Materials reviewed for Grade 1 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 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
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-
Indicator Rating Details

Instructional materials reviewed for Grade 1 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 5, Lesson 8 are:

  • “Support: If students have difficulty responding to questions, reread pertinent lines of the read aloud and/or refer to specific images
  • “Challenge: Encourage students to pick out the different parts of a letter as they listen to the read aloud..”
  • “Emerging—Have students answer yes/no questions (e.g., “Was Moctezuma the ruler of the Aztec?”). Expanding—Have students contribute by completing the sentence frame: “The leader of the Aztec was....” Bridging—Have students contribute a complete sentence using key details from the read aloud.”

Universal Access instruction can be found in the Advance Preparation section of each lesson. For example, in Skills Unit 1, Lesson 3, the Universal Access recommendation states, “Quickly review the words used in Review /k/ > ‘ck’ activity. Pictures can be used to demonstrate depictable words, and action words can be mimicked for students. Collect the following pictures: cat, cash, cap, kid, skin, duck, back, and thick.”

Indicator 3p

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

The materials reviewed for Grade 1 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 which 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
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-
Indicator Rating Details

Instructional materials reviewed for Grade 1 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 2, Lesson 5 states, “Ask students to explain how they think the circulatory system in the body moves things around in a circle.” And a Domain 7, Lesson 4 Challenge states, “Have students identify similarities and differences between a Hawaiian volcano and Mount St. Helens.” Challenges are also in the Skills Strand, as seen in Unit 4, Lesson 14: “Ask students who are ready for the challenge to write the number of syllables in each word in the circles on Activity Page 14.1.”

Pausing Point days include additional activities that can extend and enhance student learning. A Knowledge Domain 7, Pausing Point states, “You should pause here and spend two days 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 you use the Mid-Domain Assessment to assess students’ knowledge of the layers of the earth. 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
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-
Indicator Rating Details

Instructional materials reviewed for Grade 1 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 provide 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/
+
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructions materials reviewed for Grade 1 include digital materials (either included as supplementary to a textbook or as part of a digital curriculum) that 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 Grade 1 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/
+
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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/
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-
Indicator Rating Details

Instructional materials reviewed for Grade 1 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/
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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 Grade 1 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 Grade 1 include digital materials (either included as supplementary to a textbook or as part of a digital curriculum) that 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 Grade 1 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
+
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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 1 Reader 978-1-6170-0183-3 Copyright: 2015 Amplify 2015
Skills Unit 2 Reader 978-1-6170-0184-0 Copyright: 2015 Amplify 2015
Skills Unit 3 Reader 978-1-6170-0185-7 Copyright: 2015 Amplify 2015
Skills Unit 4 Reader 978-1-6170-0186-4 Copyright: 2015 Amplify 2015
Skills Unit 5 Reader 978-1-6170-0187-1 Copyright: 2015 Amplify 2015
Skills Unit 6 Reader 978-1-6170-0188-8 Copyright: 2015 Amplify 2015
Skills Unit 7 Reader 978-1-6170-0189-5 Copyright: 2015 Amplify 2015
Skills Unit 1 Big Book 978-1-6170-0190-1 Copyright: 2015 Amplify 2015
Skills Unit 2 Big Book 978-1-6170-0191-8 Copyright: 2015 Amplify 2015
Skills Unit 3 Big Book 978-1-6170-0192-5 Copyright: 2015 Amplify 2015
Knowledge Domain 1 Teacher Guide 978-1-6816-1083-2 Copyright: 2015 Amplify 2015
Knowledge Domain 2 Teacher Guide 978-1-6816-1084-9 Copyright: 2015 Amplify 2015
Knowledge Domain 3 Teacher Guide 978-1-6816-1085-6 Copyright: 2015 Amplify 2015
Knowledge Domain 4 Teacher Guide 978-1-6816-1086-3 Copyright: 2015 Amplify 2015
Knowledge Domain 5 Teacher Guide 978-1-6816-1087-0 Copyright: 2015 Amplify 2015
Knowledge Domain 6 Teacher Guide 978-1-6816-1088-7 Copyright: 2015 Amplify 2015
Knowledge Domain 7 Teacher Guide 978-1-6816-1089-4 Copyright: 2015 Amplify 2015
Knowledge Domain 8 Teacher Guide 978-1-6816-1090-0 Copyright: 2015 Amplify 2015
Knowledge Domain 9 Teacher Guide 978-1-6816-1091-7 Copyright: 2015 Amplify 2015
Knowledge Domain 10 Teacher Guide 978-1-6816-1092-4 Copyright: 2015 Amplify 2015
Knowledge Domain 11 Teacher Guide 978-1-6816-1093-1 Copyright: 2015 Amplify 2015
Knowledge Domain 2 Flip Book 978-1-6816-1094-8 Copyright: 2015 Amplify 2015
Knowledge Domain 3 Flip Book 978-1-6816-1095-5 Copyright: 2015 Amplify 2015
Knowledge Domain 4 Flip Book 978-1-6816-1096-2 Copyright: 2015 Amplify 2015
Knowledge Domain 5 Flip Book 978-1-6816-1097-9 Copyright: 2015 Amplify 2015
Knowledge Domain 6 Flip Book 978-1-6816-1098-6 Copyright: 2015 Amplify 2015
Knowledge Domain 7 Flip Book 978-1-6816-1099-3 Copyright: 2015 Amplify 2015
Knowledge Domain 8 Flip Book 978-1-6816-1100-6 Copyright: 2015 Amplify 2015
Knowledge Domain 9 Flip Book 978-1-6816-1101-3 Copyright: 2015 Amplify 2015
Knowledge Domain 10 Flip Book 978-1-6816-1102-0 Copyright: 2015 Amplify 2015
Knowledge Domain 11 Flip Book 978-1-6816-1103-7 Copyright: 2015 Amplify 2015
Knowledge Domain 1 Flip Book 978-1-6816-1104-4 Copyright: 2015 Amplify 2015
Knowledge Domain 1 Image Cards 978-1-6816-1118-1 Copyright: 2015 Amplify 2015
Knowledge Domain 2 Image Cards 978-1-6816-1119-8 Copyright: 2015 Amplify 2015
Knowledge Domain 3 Image Cards 978-1-6816-1120-4 Copyright: 2015 Amplify 2015
Knowledge Domain 4 Image Cards 978-1-6816-1121-1 Copyright: 2015 Amplify 2015
Knowledge Domain 5 Image Cards 978-1-6816-1122-8 Copyright: 2015 Amplify 2015
Knowledge Domain 6 Image Cards 978-1-6816-1123-5 Copyright: 2015 Amplify 2015
Knowledge Domain 7 Image Cards 978-1-6816-1124-2 Copyright: 2015 Amplify 2015
Knowledge Domain 8 Image Cards 978-1-6816-1125-9 Copyright: 2015 Amplify 2015
Knowledge Domain 9 Image Cards 978-1-6816-1126-6 Copyright: 2015 Amplify 2015
Knowledge Domain 10 Image Cards 978-1-6816-1127-3 Copyright: 2015 Amplify 2015
Knowledge Domain 11 Image Cards 978-1-6816-1128-0 Copyright: 2015 Amplify 2015
Skills Unit 1 Teacher Guide 978-1-6816-1129-7 Copyright: 2015 Amplify 2015
Skills Unit 2 Teacher Guide 978-1-6816-1130-3 Copyright: 2015 Amplify 2015
Skills Unit 3 Teacher Guide 978-1-6816-1131-0 Copyright: 2015 Amplify 2015
Skills Unit 4 Teacher Guide 978-1-6816-1132-7 Copyright: 2015 Amplify 2015
Skills Unit 5 Teacher Guide 978-1-6816-1133-4 Copyright: 2015 Amplify 2015
Skills Unit 6 Teacher Guide 978-1-6816-1134-1 Copyright: 2015 Amplify 2015
Skills Unit 7 Teacher Guide 978-1-6816-1135-8 Copyright: 2015 Amplify 2015
Skills Unit 1 Activity Book 978-1-6816-1136-5 Copyright: 2015 Amplify 2015
Skills Unit 2 Activity Book 978-1-6816-1137-2 Copyright: 2015 Amplify 2015
Skills Unit 3 Activity Book 978-1-6816-1138-9 Copyright: 2015 Amplify 2015
Skills Unit 4 Activity Book 978-1-6816-1139-6 Copyright: 2015 Amplify 2015
Skills Unit 5 Activity Book 978-1-6816-1140-2 Copyright: 2015 Amplify 2015
Skills Unit 6 Activity Book 978-1-6816-1141-9 Copyright: 2015 Amplify 2015
Skills Unit 7 Activity Book 978-1-6816-1142-6 Copyright: 2015 Amplify 2015
Language Studio Teacher Edition Volume 1 978-1-6816-1282-9 Copyright: 2015 Amplify 2015
Language Studio Teacher Edition Volume 2 978-1-6816-1283-6 Copyright: 2015 Amplify 2015
Language Studio Activity Book Volume 1 978-1-6816-1284-3 Copyright: 2015 Amplify 2015
Language Studio Activity Book Volume 2 978-1-6816-1285-0 Copyright: 2015 Amplify 2015
Language Studio Teacher Edition Volume 3 978-1-6816-1778-7 Copyright: 2015 Amplify 2015
Language Studio Activity Book Volume 3 978-1-6816-1779-4 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.

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