Alignment to College and Career Ready Standards: Overall Summary

Bookworms Kindergarten instructional materials partially meet expectations of alignment to the standards. Texts included with the materials are rich and rigorous, offering students a balance of informational and literary reading over the course of the school year. Materials provide many opportunities for students to complete questions and tasks in reading, writing, speaking, and listening that are grounded in evidence, and support for students' developing literacy skills in foundational areas is explicit and comprehensive, providing teacher guidance and targeted instruction. Texts are organized to support students' building knowledge of different topics, and sets of text-dependent questions and tasks provide opportunities for students to analyze ideas within and across texts. The materials do not include process writing instruction and a progression of writing skills, a progression of focused shared research and writing projects, nor is there full support for students' independent reading.

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Understanding Gateways

Alignment

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Partially Meets Expectations

Gateway 1:

Text Quality

0
27
52
58
53
52-58
Meets Expectations
28-51
Partially Meets Expectations
0-27
Does Not Meet Expectations

Gateway 2:

Building Knowledge

0
15
28
32
22
28-32
Meets Expectations
16-27
Partially Meets Expectations
0-15
Does Not Meet Expectations

Usability

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Not Rated

Not Rated

Gateway 3:

Usability

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

Gateway One

Text Quality & Complexity and Alignment to Standards Components

Meets Expectations

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Gateway One Details

The instructional materials for Kindergarten meet the expectations of Gateway 1. Included texts are rich and rigorous, offering students a balance of informational and literary reading over the course of the school year. Materials provide many opportunities for students to complete questions and tasks in reading, writing, speaking, and listening that are grounded in evidence. Support for students' developing literacy skills in foundational areas is explicit and comprehensive, providing teacher guidance and targeted 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.
19/20

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 instructional materials reviewed for Kindergarten meet the expectations that anchor texts (including read-aloud texts in K-2 and shared reading texts in Grade 2 used to build knowledge and vocabulary) are of publishable quality and worthy of especially careful reading/listening and consider a range of student interests. An array of topics and themes are divided into four nine-week units, which lend themselves to opportunities for integration across content areas. The materials are of high-quality and reflect a variety of engaging genres such as folktales, fairy tales, fantasies, poetry, science, biographies, and historical texts.

Quality interactive read-aloud literature texts in the materials reviewed include:

  • In the First Nine Weeks, students interact with the text Frederick by Leo Lionni. This text is a Caldecott Medal winning fable with engaging illustrations and language as well as an inspiring main character.
  • In the Second Nine Weeks, students interact with the text, The Pain and the Great One by Judy Blume. This text is written by an award-winning author and includes rich language and humor that will interest students.
  • In the Third Nine Weeks, students interact with the text, Chrysanthemum by Kevin Henkes. This award-winning picture book contains elaborate and engaging illustrations and a multidimensional main character who addresses the difficult childhood concept of self-perception.
  • In the Fourth Nine Weeks, students interact with the text Giggle, Giggle, Quack by Doreen Cronin. This text is highly engaging and humorous. The rich and detailed illustrations help support readers in understanding the plot of the story.

Quality informational texts offered as interactive read-alouds in the materials reviewed include:

  • In the First Nine Weeks, students interact with the text, America is… by Louise Bordan. This text uses rich language and vocabulary along with interesting illustrations to address the historical and patriotic topic.
  • In the Second Nine Weeks, students interact with the text, Clouds by Anne Rockwell. This high-interest informational text contains domain specific vocabulary coupled with appealing illustrations to build knowledge about clouds and weather. The text also includes informational text features to ensure understanding.
  • In the Third Nine Weeks, students interact with the text, What Lives In a Shell by Kathleen Zoehfeld. This informational picture book is written by an award-winning author who uses accurate illustrations and clear descriptions to build knowledge about shells.
  • In the Fourth Nine Weeks, students interact with the text, Follow the Water from Brook to Ocean by Arthur Zorros. This text introduces and explores challenging concepts using content rich language and full-color engaging illustrations.

Indicator 1b

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Kindergarten meet the expectations that materials reflect the distribution of texts types and genres required by the standards. Kindergarten materials include Interactive Read-Aloud texts. The Kindergarten materials reviewed reflect a distribution of text types and genres required by the standards as well as consider a range of student interests. There are thirty-six texts included in the Kindergarten Interactive Read-aloud text reviewed. There are informational texts, biographies, poems, texts of traditional literature, and fiction texts.

Literary texts that are read aloud to students include texts such as:

  • Caps for Sale by Esphyr Slobodkina
  • The Full Belly Bowl by Wendy Anderson Halperin
  • The Ugly Pumpkin by Dave Horowitz
  • Miss Bindergarten Celebrates the 100th Day by Joseph Slate
  • Grandfather's Wrinkles by Kathryn England
  • Tikki Tikki Tembo by Arlene Mosel

Informational texts that are read aloud to students include text such as:

  • A Tree for All Seasons by Bernard
  • George Washington by Garnet Jackson
  • In a Nutshell Joseph Anthony
  • Forest Bright, Forest Night by Jennifer Ward
  • What Magnets Can Do by Allan Fowler
  • Follow the Water from Brook to Ocean by Arthur Dorros

The materials contain engaging genres such as folktales, fairy tales, fantasies, poetry, science texts, biographies, and historical texts.

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 instructional materials reviewed for Kindergarten meet the expectations for texts having the appropriate level of complexity for the grade according to quantitative analysis, qualitative analysis, and a relationship to their associated student task. Read-aloud texts are above the complexity levels of what most kindergarten students can read independently.

Materials reviewed for Kindergarten include 36 texts which have been selected as “Interactive Read-Alouds” to anchor the reading instruction. Instructional materials for Interactive Read-Alouds meet the criteria for the Kindergarten Range of Reading and Level of Text Complexity. Quantitatively, read-aloud texts range in complexity from 290-1090 according to Lexile measures. Qualitatively, the list of read-aloud texts at the Kindergarten level rate appropriately for the grade in structure and level of meaning/purpose. Kindergarten students benefit from the Develop or Activate Background Knowledge portion of the read-alouds to help with Reader and Task activities. All texts for Kindergarten are at a complexity level above what most students can read independently.

In the First Nine Weeks, the teacher reads aloud Frederick by Leo Lionni.

  • Quantitative: Lexile 500
  • Qualitative: This complex text has a clear organization and many complex sentences with clauses. The vocabulary is very complex with words such as granary, abandoned, reproachfully. The meaning is very complex with a theme that is revealed over the entirety of the text.
  • Reader and Task: To prepare students to read the text, the teacher provides background knowledge about the main character, Frederick. Throughout the read-aloud, students answer questions about the text. The teacher is instructed to define the Tier 2 words from the selection, abandoned and anxiously, for students.

In the Second Nine Weeks, the teacher reads aloud, Happy Birthday, Martin Luther King by Jean Marzollo.

  • Quantitative: Lexile 800
  • Qualitative: The text has a slightly complex purpose and organization, which is sequential. The illustrations are moderately complex with features that supplement the text. The vocabulary is moderately complex with familiar words and a few academic words. The text has very complex subject matter, which requires students to have a moderate level of understanding of the Civil Rights Movement.
  • Reader and Task: Prior to reading the text, the teacher introduces the text to the students and explains how a biography works as a text. The teacher presents an expectation to students that they will draw two pictures of Dr. King, so students need to pay attention to what he looked like.

In the Third Nine Weeks, the teacher reads aloud Sheila Rae, the Brave by Kevin Henkes.

  • Quantitative: Lexile 650
  • Qualitative: This text contains slightly complex organization with very complex language, including figurative language such as personification. The meaning of the story is revealed throughout the story.
  • Reader and Task: Students may have a hard time understanding brave or afraid. Students have the task to: “Pretend it is the next day. Draw a picture showing another way that Louise might be brave. Write about your picture” (p. 40).

In the Fourth Nine Weeks, the teacher reads aloud Make for Ducklings by Arthur Robert McCloskey.

  • Quantitative: Lexile AD630
  • Qualitative: The organization is moderately complex because the storyline is sometimes hard to predict. The sepia illustrations support the text. The language features are moderately to very complex with some subject-specific vocabulary about Boston and ducks. Life experiences with ducks may be common for the reader, but knowledge about Boston and old time policemen and cars is complex for students.
  • Reader and Task: To prepare students to read this text, there are planning notes how to help students access the text. There is recommended YouTube video, and it is suggested that the teacher show students the city of Boston on a map. The teacher explains the meaning of "make way" and tells students they will be required to draw a picture of a duck nest and write about the nest. During the read-aloud the teacher asks students questions in order to help students understand the text.

All texts in the Interactive Read-Alouds are complex texts. Since each lesson includes either Planning Notes or Develop or Activate Background Knowledge to help the teacher support the students, they are able to access the text.

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 instructional material reviewed for Kindergarten meet the expectations that materials support students’ literacy skills (comprehension) over the course of the school year through increasingly complex texts. All texts in the Interactive Read-Aloud are above grade level in complexity, and require teacher scaffolding in order for students to understand and comprehend the Interactive Read-Aloud texts.

  • First Nine Weeks: All the texts have one day of instruction and one day for rereading. The texts include Lexiles ranging from 290L - 1080L. A total of 9 texts are read aloud with 6 literary and 3 informational. Students are tasked with varying cognitive tasks such as inferring and sequencing of events with teacher support. For example, prior to reading aloud the second text, Charlie Needs a Cloak by Tomie de Paolo, the planning notes suggest the following scaffold in order to help students engage in the text: “Note that there are several words in this book related to making woolen garments. They are listed on the last page. Most are rare, Tier 3 words. Consider quickly scaffolding them as you read.” Although the Tier 3 words make the text more complex, the teacher can scaffold the text in a manner for all students to access the text.
  • Second Nine Weeks: Lexiles range from 290L - 800L, and include The Story of Pocahontas by Caryn Jenner and Thanksgiving on Plymouth Plantation by Diane Stanley. The Stanley title requires reading the book several times to young students, which provides gains in student vocabulary. This text is very complex because the language is sometimes unfamiliar including vocabulary such as Indians, settlers, pilgrims, and colony. In addition, the text includes many abstract elements, including time travel, and there are references to other texts such as The Magic School Bus. Similar to the First Nine Weeks of read-alouds, cognitive tasks center around inferring, sequencing events, and describing characters and settings. For example, for The Story of Pocahontas, writing prompts task students with drawing and describing pictures of Pocahontas, John Smith, and Thomas as writing tasks for each day’s reading. Additionally, the literary text, The Ugly Pumpkin by Dave Horowitz continues students’ growth and development with inferential thinking, tasking students with envisioning being given a squash for Halloween and having to carve it. Students are asked for the following text-dependent written response, "Imagine you only have a squash for Halloween. Draw a picture showing how you would carve it and write about your picture."
  • Third Nine Weeks: Lexiles range from 350-700. Almost all the texts have 2 days of instruction with 1 day for rereading. With teacher support, students continue to infer and convey understanding during the writing tasks by drawing and writing about their picture. Students begin to encounter opportunities to compare and contrast text structures along with forming an opinion on situations read during the Read-Aloud lessons. During the story, Forest Night, Forest Bright by Jennifer Ward, students are prompted to draw a picture of two animals, one that is asleep and one that is awake. With their pictures, they must decide if the animal is sleeping during the day or night. Similarly, Sheila Rae, the Brave by Kevin Henkes, lends itself to an activity where students pretend that a friend asks them for a book recommendation. Students ponder what they would say to their friend.
  • Fourth Nine Weeks: Lexiles range from 300L-1090L. Almost all the texts have two days of instruction with one day for rereading. Students continue to develop skills with comparing and contrasting, and forming opinions, as well as inferring, and describing in their culminating writing responses. For example, after reading two books, Make Way For Ducklings by Robert McCloskey and Giggle, Giggle, Quack, Quack by Doreen Cronin, writing tasks increase in complexity as students are introduced to a Venn Diagram. The teacher completes a Venn diagram with the class, and in the next step, students are asked to compose a Venn Diagram of their own, comparing and contrasting dogs and cats. Similarly, the complexity of building students' ability to form an opinion increases as students must determine a career they might like when they grow up after reading the book Career Day by Anne Rockwell.

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 instructional materials reviewed for Kindergarten partially meet the expectations that anchor texts (including read-aloud texts in K-2) and series of texts connected to them are accompanied by a text complexity analysis and rationale for educational purpose and placement in the grade level.

In the Program Philosophy of the Kindergarten Manual on page 4, the materials state the rationale for selecting particular read-alouds for the curriculum, “We have typically selected books well-above grade level because of their potential to increase children’s oral language and background knowledge.” The materials also state on page 18 of the Teacher Manual, “Our selections were guided by a group of experienced teachers who provided a list from which we chose. These books appear in the chart that follows. Keep in mind that you may change the order.”

The text complexity rationale is nonspecific to the text selections provided in the Kindergarten Bookworms instructional materials. No detailed analysis of these components is offered except the Lexile levels are listed for the Interactive Read-Aloud texts. While many of the guiding principles of the CCSS for text complexity were considered, the explanation of the qualitative measures used was more general rather than specific to each text selection.

Indicator 1f

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Kindergarten 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. Each day, the literacy block is divided into 15 minute segments for literacy lessons. During those 15 minute segments, students access Big Books, nursery rhymes, rhyming books or rhyming poems, and Interactive Read-Alouds.

During Talk with a Big Book, students participate in dialogic reading. During Word Work with a rhyming book or poem, students access texts such as “Baby Bumblebee” and “Down by the Bay” which practice phonological play. Students learn nursery rhymes such as “Hickory Dickory Dock” and “Old MacDonald” during Fingerpoint Reading. During the Interactive Read-Aloud, students access quality, complex texts such as Wild Flyers by Angela Johnson and Make Way for Ducklings by Robert McCloskey.

During differentiated instruction, the lesson plans include opportunities to read decodable texts. The materials also explain how to set up an independent library for Kindergarten students. Teachers are directed that the library needs to include little books and predictable texts.

Additional independent reading opportunities are offered in the Foundational Skills Segment of the literacy Block. Differentiated reading instruction resources are available for teachers to use during small group instruction. Students work with high-frequency words, and various letter fluency activities to build independence in reading.

Criterion 1g - 1n

Materials provide opportunities for rich and rigorous evidence-based discussions and writing about texts to build strong literacy skills.
14/16
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-
Criterion Rating Details

The materials for Kindergarten partially meet the expectations that students will have opportunities for rich, rigorous discussions and writing tasks that are evidence-based. Questions and tasks associated with the texts focus students’ attention back to the texts and are organized to build their speaking and listening skills. Grammar and conventions instruction is embedded to facilitate students’ application of language skills in and out of context. Facilitation and instructional supports for speaking and listening are found within the teacher lesson plans throughout the shared and interactive reading units. The materials partially meet expectations that materials include a mix of on-demand and process writing, however, while materials provide multiple opportunities across the span of a school year to learn, practice, and apply different genres/modes of writing, not all components of the writing standards are addressed.

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 Kindergarten meet the expectations that most questions, tasks, and assignments are text-based, requiring students to engage with the text directly (drawing on textual evidence to support both what is explicit as well as valid inferences from the text). Questions, tasks, and assignments in Bookworms are mostly text-based and text-specific over the course of a school year.

During read-alouds and discussions, students interact with teacher read texts responding to questions that are mostly text-based and require evidence for their thinking and responses. The program meets expectations in its sequence and focus on comprehension strategies and text structures. According to the Kindergarten Manual, most questions associated with the read-alouds to build comprehension “...are nearly all at the inferential level” for reasons found in research by (Menke & Pressley, 1994; Wood, Pressley, & Winne, 1990) and (Beck & McKeown, 2001).

First Nine Weeks of Interactive Read-Aloud of Frederick written by Leo Lionni

  • Why do you think these mice made their home near a barn and granary?
  • Well, now we know there was nothing in the barn or the granary for them to eat. But they are still able to find food, aren't they? You can tell which one Frederick is, can't you? How do you think the other mice feel about Frederick? Tell your partner how you think they feel.
  • Now it is a good time to infer. Remember that when we infer, we use what we know to come up with something we don't know yet. Can we infer that Frederick went into the hideout with the other mice? One clue is in the picture. You can see him walking in the same direction as the other mice. But a bigger clue is what I read to you. Listen again. It says, “The five little field mice took to their hideout in the stones.” Now, there were only five mice in all, weren’t there? That means Frederick must have gone into the hideout as well. We can infer that he did even though the author doesn’t tell us.

First Nine Weeks of Interactive Read-Aloud of Charlie Needs a Cloak

  • Why do you think Charlie washed the wool? Let's start a list of all the things he has to do. We will write them in order. What was the first thing he did? Help me word it. What did he do next?
  • Where does the story take place? Do we know the setting? What is the main character's name?

Second Nine weeks Read-Aloud of The Ugly Pumpkin by Dave Horowitz.

  • Does it look like the other pumpkins are laughing at him? Would you pick a pumpkin that looked like him?
  • When I roll my eyes, I go like this. [Dramatic demonstration] So why does it say that the skeleton rolled his eye? Let’s turn back and take another look at this illustration.
  • This time the pumpkin says “please.” Do you predict that being polite will help? Tell your partner.
  • Were you right? Do the trees like him? Let’s find out.
Second Nine Weeks of Interactive Read-Aloud of Pocahontas
  • Have the ships landed? How do we know?
  • Why did they hide in the trees? Why were the Indians surprised by the men's hairy faces?
  • Did Powhatan change his mind? How do we know?
  • Why did John Smith teach Pocahontas to speak in English?

Third Nine Weeks Read-Aloud of A Log’s Life by Wendy Pfeffer

  • An oak is one of the biggest and strongest trees. This is a strange picture, isn't it? I think we are looking down on the tree. It seems as if we are high in the air. If we look closely, we can see something right here. It's hard to tell what it is, but I do see a tiny, bushy tail. Can you predict what it is? On the next page we will find out.
  • You were right! They were squirrels. And that is our first word. Is a squirrel a plant or an animal? So I will put it here. [Do the same for porcupine, carpenter ant, woodpecker]
  • Do all of the animals live outside of the tree?

Third Nine Weeks Interactive Read-Aloud of Owen

  • Who is Fuzzy?
  • Why did he put the blanket in his pajama pants?
  • Why did Owen like to have Fuzzy with him at these times?
  • What did his mother do with Fuzzy?

Fourth Nine Weeks Read-Aloud of Tikki Tikki Tembo by Arlene Mosel

  • Which name would you rather have? How do you think Chang felt about his name?
  • Do you think the boys will obey their mother and not go near the well? Let’s vote!
  • Does the mother seem worried about Chang?
  • How do you think the mother feels now that her son is safe?

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).
1/2
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Kindergarten partially meet the criteria for building to a culminating task which integrates skills to demonstrate understanding. Within the materials, there are many sequences of high-quality text-based questions for each unit of instruction that culminate daily to a written product.

Short written responses are provided as daily culminating writing tasks. For example, the questions and tasks that build to a written response after a Daily Interactive Read-Aloud include:

  • Before the Interactive Read-Aloud
    • Partner Sharing Ask partners to share responses to the previous days writing prompt. They should read their responses to one another and react to what their partner has written.
    • Review of Events Introduce the book (first day only) or review events to the point at which the class left off. This portion of the lesson should be relatively brief and pique interest in the new installment.
  • During the Interactive Read-Aloud
    • Strategies and Questions: Pause often to model comprehension strategies and pose inferential questions. Strategy modeling is typically brief, consisting a mere reminder of how a strategy works (e.g., “I can make an inference here…” or “Here’s the image I’m seeing”).
    • Every-Pupil- Response Employ every-pupil- response techniques to ensure engagement. Examples include talking to a partner, polling the class, etc. Reliance on volunteers should not be the mainstay of the discussion.
  • After the Interactive Read-aloud
    • Teach Tier 2 Words: Teach 2 or 3 Tier 2 words, using the approach developed by Beck, McKeown, and Kucan. Example: “One of the words from our book today was fortunate. What word? Fortunate means lucky. If it doesn’t rain on the day of our picnic, we’ll be fortunate. In the book, we read that Sam ‘was fortunate that his sister helped him.’ Fortunate is another word for lucky. What word?”
    • Sentence Composing: Lead a whole-class sentence composing activity for at least two sentences. Alternate the use of four basic activities: combining two sentences, unscrambling a sentence that has been disassembled, expanding a short sentence, and imitating a sentence by replacing some of its content while preserving the sentence structure. Prompt multiple responses and promote exploring.
    • Writing Prompt Provide a text-based writing prompt. Ask students to address the prompt independently, during small-group time when the teacher is working elsewhere. The prompt should require a relatively brief response, not an elaborate one.

Through the established routine set aside for daily Interactive Read-Alouds, Bookworms daily culminating tasks address reading, writing, speaking and listening standards. Materials contain sets of high-quality sequences of text-based questions and activities that demonstrate understanding of specific texts, however materials do not meet the criteria of integrating all of the skills to demonstrate understanding through the completion of a culminating task.

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 instructional materials reviewed for Kindergarten meet the expectations that 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.

There are many opportunities for students to participate in whole class, small group, and partnership activities that encourage the modeling and use of academic vocabulary and syntax. During each read-aloud lesson, teachers ask questions during the read-aloud and model comprehension strategies within a lesson. Materials include scripted interactions and provide specific questions teachers should pose during the read-aloud. There are multiple protocols for students to share. These include Every Pupil Responses which include, polling, thumbs up, thumbs down, and Partners where students talk their partner or ask a partner to discuss questions or share written responses. Additionally, within the read-aloud lesson, evidence-based discussions encourage modeling and a focus on using academic vocabulary. Syntax is attended to in a sentence composing segment of a read-aloud lesson.

Evidence based discussion questions from the First Nine Weeks text, The Doorbell Rang by Pat Hutchins include but are not limited to:

  • Do you think the children will be happy to share them with each other? [First page, mother with plate of cookies]
  • Why do you think they're happy to share? [End of page showing mother with mop]
  • Do you think they will still be happy to share? Notice that Sam is reaching for two more plates. That's a clue for us. [End of page with two children at the door]
  • Now there are 6 children to share the cookies. Help me decide how many each child will get? [End of page with fifth and sixth child arriving]

Evidence-based discussion questions from the Fourth Nine Weeks text, Michael Recycle by Ellie Bethel include but are not limited to:

  • Compare these two pages with the first two pages. What do you notice that is the same or different?
  • How do you think the people feel about their town now?
  • What things should be turned off when not being used?
  • Why is it better to take a short shower than a bath?

Modeling and a focus on using academic vocabulary from the Second Nine Weeks text, The Pain and the Great One by Judy Blume, includes but is not limited to:

  • Academic Vocabulary - predict, prediction: “Let’s make a prediction here. The first part of the book was all about the things his sister didn’t like. I’ve told you that the second part of the book is about how her brother sees things. What do you predict the second part of the book will be about?”

Modeling and focus on using academic vocabulary from the Third Nine Weeks text, George Washington by Garnett Jackson.

  • Academic Vocabulary - infer: "I can infer something here. When I infer, I think about what I know and try to figure out something new. I know that the author tells me that it’s warm inside the farmhouse. And I know that George Washington's birthday is in the winter. So I will infer that it must be cold outside. Raise your hand if you think that is a good inference."

Modeling and focus on using syntax from the Second Nine Weeks text, The Ugly Pumpkin by David Horowitz includes but is not limited to:

  • Imitate: A skeleton came for pumpkins. A skeleton came for ______. A ______ came for ______.
  • Combine: I asked him a question. I asked if I could get a ride. [Prompt combining by eliminating the word question.]

Modeling and focus on using syntax from the Fourth Nine Weeks, What Magnets Can Do? by Allan Fowler.

  • Unscramble: a magnet – is a piece – of metal that – can attract – another piece – of metal
  • Combine: Most magnets are made of iron or steel. Some magnets are made of cobalt or nickel. [Prompt use of the words although and but.]

Specific details for how to utilize protocols are often left to the discretion of the teacher, “Whether these partners are the same from day-to-day or book-to-book we leave to your judgment”.

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 instructional materials reviewed for Kindergarten meet the expectation that 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. Facilitation and instructional supports are found within the teacher lesson plans throughout the shared and interactive reading units.

Interactive Read-Alouds begin with a focus statement aligning to a follow-up question students respond to through their writing. For example, in the First Nine Weeks, prior to the reading of Actual Size by Steven Jenkins, the teacher directions focus the students' attention on the size of the featured gorilla hand. The Teacher Manual states, “On the cover you see a gorilla’s hand. Look at how huge it is compared with mine! Later I’ll ask you to trace your own hand and write about the size. So be thinking about that as I read.” During the Third Nine Weeks, directions for Miss Bindergarten Celebrates the 100th Day by Joseph Slate focuses the day’s reading on inferential thinking: “As we read about all the things the animal characters are bringing Miss Bindergarten, think about what you would bring. You can draw and write about it later.”

During the Interactive Read-Aloud, the materials provide directions for teacher modeling of listening and speaking skills appropriate for Kindergarten students. Suggestions for using using modeling can be found in the Teacher's Manual (pages 46-47) under the Strategies and Questions categories.

Examples of listening and speaking models include, but are not limited to:

  • In the Second Nine Weeks, as the teacher reads The Ugly Pumpkin by Dave Horowitz, the teacher asks, “Does it look like the other pumpkins are laughing at him? Would you pick a pumpkin that looked like him?” It is then followed up with, “No one seems to want the ugly pumpkin.” This allows students to monitor their initial response to prior questioning and confirms their predictions through teacher modeling of speaking skills needed to make such a determination.
  • During the read-aloud, the materials provide teachers with talk-to-your-partner opportunities for students to apply learned speaking skills. A brief explanation for using talk-to-your-partner is found in the Teacher's Manual (pages 46-47) in the “every-pupil-response” categories.
  • As Building with Dad by Carol Nevis is read during the Fourth Nine Weeks, the teacher poses the question, “Were you surprised that the mechanic is a woman?” It is followed up with, “ Talk to your partner.”
  • As the The Full Belly Bowl by Jim Aylesworth and Wendy Andersen Halperin is read in the First Nine Weeks, teacher directions state, “Was it really a good idea to make more Angelinas?” The teacher is directed to use the talk-to-your-partner strategy as a follow-up speaking activity for the previously posed question.

Additional partner speaking and listening strategies are found in the Written Response portions of the teacher lessons. As part of activating prior knowledge, teachers prompt students to share their writing pieces from the previous day’s work with a partner. Brief procedures for using this strategy can be found in the Teacher Manual (pages 46-47) within the Partner Sharing category.

Indicator 1k

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

The instructional materials for Kindergarten partially meet expectations that materials include a mix of on-demand and process, grade-appropriate writing (e.g. grade-appropriate revision and editing) and short, focused projects, incorporating digital resources where appropriate.

Throughout the year, daily lessons conclude with a written response to a text-based prompt for each story read-aloud. While responses tie directly to the text, materials do not provide teachers with resources that support the instruction of process writing and/or short, focused projects. Additionally, there are no resources that support the teacher’s use of digital resources in students’ writing. The Teacher's Manual states, “The two prompts and sentence composing are by no means intended as a substitute for process writing instruction, which is typically provided through workshop approaches. Although process writing is not a part of the Bookworms lesson plans there are multiple opportunities throughout the interactive read-alouds for students to participate in on-demand writing.”

Examples of on-demand writing prompts include but are not limited to:

  • First Nine Weeks: students listen to The Egg and are prompted to “make a list of stories George should read to the dragon.”
  • Second Nine Weeks: students engage with the Interactive Read-Aloud, Nothing Sticks Like a Shadow. Students respond to the prompt, "Write a question you would like to ask Rabbit."
  • Fourth Nine Weeks: the teacher reads aloud Building With Dad and students are given the following written response prompts:
    • Day 1 - "Which vehicle is your favorite today? Draw a picture about that vehicle and write about your picture."
    • Day 2 - "...create a new kind of work vehicle. Draw a picture of your vehicle and write about it. You can make it do whatever you want."
  • Fourth Nine Weeks: after the two day Interactive Read-Aloud of Michael Recycle, students are asked to respond to the following prompts:
    • Day 1 - “Draw a picture of trash reaching up to the moon. Write about your picture.”
    • Day 2 - “Draw two pictures of the same town. Draw the first picture before the people decide to recycle. Draw the second picture after they start recycling. Write about your picture.”
  • Fourth Nine Weeks: after the two day Interactive Read-Aloud, "From What Magnets Can Do", students respond to two prompts.
    • Day 1 - “Draw a picture of a magnet. Draw two other things in your picture. Show your magnet attracting one of them. But also show that your magnet is not attracting the second thing. Write about your picture.”
    • Day 2 - “Draw a picture of someone trying to put two south poles together. Next to that person draw another person who is putting a north and south pole together. Write about your picture.”

Although it is possible to create the time needed to undertake process writing and short, focused projects, the materials to provide such instruction are not included in Bookworm’s resources and require teachers to supplement with outside materials.

Indicator 1l

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

Instructional materials reviewed for Kindergarten meet the expectations that materials provide opportunities for students to address different text types of writing (year long) that reflect the distribution required by the standards.

The materials provide multiple opportunities across the span of a school year to learn, practice, and apply different genres/modes of writing. Regular and recurring progress monitoring is not specified, but rather, the Teacher's Manual states, “Our suggestion is to evaluate them periodically in order to gauge the general trajectory of a student’s writing development”. The materials provide two rubrics assessing conventions of writing and content and structures of their writing. Finally, where appropriate, writing prompts are connected to texts and/or text sets. What follows are samples of writing prompts collected from materials that can be categorized under the specific text types and purposes for writing.”

The following are examples of writing prompts that align with CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.K.1 - “Use a combination of drawing, dictating, and writing to compose opinion pieces in which they tell a reader the topic or the name of the book they are writing about and state an opinion or preference about the topic or book (e.g., My favorite book is...).” It’s important to note that students are not prompted to tell about a specific topic for which they write or to name the book they are writing about.

First Nine Weeks:

  • Frederick by Leo Lioni- Writing Prompt: Today I want you to write and decorate a card that you might send to Frederick. Tell him how you feel.
  • The Doorbell Rang by Pat Hutchins- Writing Prompt: Write about a time when you had to share and you really didn't want to do it. Tell me about it. Show me how you felt. Draw a picture to go with what you write.

Second Nine Weeks:

  • The Ugly Pumpkin by Dave Horowitz- Writing Prompt: Today I would like you to draw a picture showing your favorite part of the book. Write about it too, and say why it was your favorite.

Third Nine Weeks:

  • George Washington by Garnett Jackson- Writing Prompt: Draw a picture showing what you like best about George Washington. Write about your picture.
  • Sheila Rae, The Brave by Kevin Henkes- Writing Prompt: Pretend that a friend asks you which book you would recommend. What would tell your friend?
  • What Lives In A Shell by Kathleen Weidner Zoehfeld- Writing Prompt: Draw a picture of your favorite shell in this book. Label your shell.

Fourth Nine Weeks:

  • Make Way for Ducklings by Robert McCloskey- Writing Prompt: Draw a picture of your favorite part of the book. Write about your picture.
  • Tiki Tiki Tembo by Arlene Mosel- Writing Prompt- Draw a picture of your favorite thing that happened in this book. Write about your picture.
  • Building With Dad by Carol Nevius- Writing Prompt- Which vehicle was your favorite today? Draw a picture of that vehicle at work and write about it.

The following are writing prompt samples aligning to CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.K.2 - “Use a combination of drawing, dictating, and writing to compose informative/explanatory texts in which they name what they are writing about and supply some information about the topic.” Again, tasking students with naming what they are writing about and referring to a specific topic are not explicitly stated within the writing prompt.

First Nine Weeks:

  • The Full Belly Bowl by Jim Ayelsworth and Wendy Anderson Halperin- Writing Prompt: Remember that there were words written on the bowl in a language the old man could not understand. Write or draw what you think they said.
  • Actual Size by Steve Jenkins - Writing Prompt: Trace a picture of your own hand and two other things that are the actual size. Write about their size.
  • America Is...by Louise Borden - Writing Prompt: Draw a picture of some of the things America is to you. Write about your pictures.

Second Nine Weeks:

  • The Story of Pocahontas by Caryn Jenner- Writing Prompts:
    • Day 1 - Draw a picture of Pocahontas. Write about your picture.
    • Day 3 - Draw a picture of Thomas. Write about your picture if you wish.
  • Thanksgiving on Plymouth Plantation by Diane Stanley- Writing Prompts:
    • Day 1 - Draw a picture of our three characters. Write about your picture.
    • Day 3 - Draw a picture of Squanto teaching the Pilgrims how to grow food. Write about your picture.
    • Day 4 - Draw a picture of the Pilgrim church with the men sitting together and the women and children sitting together. Write about your picture.
  • A Tree For All Seasons by Robin Bernard- Writing Prompt: Draw a picture of two leaves. Make one for summer and one for autumn. Write about them also.

Third Nine Weeks:

  • In a Nutshell by Joseph Anthony- Writing Prompts:
    • Day 1 -Pretend you have an acorn and that you want it to grow in your backyard. Write about what you would do.
    • Day 2 - Draw a picture of an oak tree next to a cherry tree. Be sure to draw cherries and acorns. Those are details that make the two trees different. Write about the two trees and tell how they are alike and how they are different.
  • Forest Bright, Forest Night by Jennifer Ward- Writing Prompts:
    • Day 1 - Draw a picture of one of the animals sleeping in a tree. Write about your picture.
    • Day 2 - Draw a picture with two animals. Make sure one of the animals is awake and the other is asleep. But first, decide whether it is day or night in your picture. Write about your picture.

Fourth Nine Weeks:

  • Grandfather’s Wrinkles by Kathryn England - Writing Prompt:
    • Day 2 - Draw a picture of yourself now, and beside it draw a picture of what you might look like when you are very old. Write about each picture.
  • Giggle, Giggle, Quack by Doreen Cronin - Writing Prompts:
    • Day 2 - I want you to draw two new circles today. Write the word Cats next to the left circle and the word Dogs next to the right circle. Like this. Then write all the characteristics you can think of that describe dogs and cats. Write each one where it belongs. I will get us started. How many legs does a dog have? How many legs does a cat have? So where should I write “4 legs”?

The following align with CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.K.3 - “Use a combination of drawing, dictating, and writing to narrate a single event or several loosely-linked events, tell about the events in the order in which they occurred, and provide a reaction to what happened.”

First Nine Weeks:

  • Charlie Needs A Cloak by Tomie dePaola - Writing Prompt: Draw a picture of what you think Charlie will make next. Write about your picture.
  • How a Seed Grows by Helene Jordan - Writing Prompt: After reviewing the checklist, ask the students to draw a sequence of pictures showing the step-by-step process. Perhaps they could work in groups, dividing the pictures and later jigsawing them into a sequence as a group or class project.

Second Nine Weeks:

  • Happy Birthday, Martin Luther King by Jean Marzollo - Writing Prompt: Draw a picture of Martin when he was a baby and then when he was a grown up. Think about the differences. Label your picture.
  • The Ugly Pumpkin by David Horowitz - Writing Prompt: Imagine you only had a squash for Halloween. Draw a picture showing how you would carve it. Write about your picture.

Third Nine Weeks:

  • A Log’s Life by Wendy Pfeffer Writing Prompt: Draw five small pictures in a row, like a comic book. Draw one picture for each part of our circle. It will be a picture story that shows how an acorn becomes a tree, how a branch falls and becomes a log, how the log becomes dirt, and how a new acorn grows in that dirt.
  • In a Nutshell by Joseph Anthony - Writing Prompt: Pretend you had an acorn and that you want it to grow in your backyard. Write about what you would do.

Fourth Nine Weeks:

  • Michael Recycle by Ellie Bethel - Writing Prompt: Draw a picture of trash reaching up to the moon. Write about your picture.
  • Follow the Water from Brook to Ocean by Arthur Dorros - Writing Prompt: Draw a picture of a brook as it goes into a lake. Write the word brook and lake on your picture. [Point them out on the diagram.]

Materials provide multiple opportunities over the course of a school year for students to address different text types of writing.

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.
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Kindergarten meet the expectation that materials include regular opportunities for evidence-based writing to support recall of information, opinions with reasons, and relevant information appropriate for the grade level.

Examples include, but are not limited to:

First Nine Weeks

  • Frederick by Leo Lioni-Writing Prompt: “Today I want you to write and decorate a card that you might send to Frederick. Tell him how you feel.”
  • The Doorbell Rang by Pat Hutchins- Writing Prompt: “Write about a time when you had to share and you really didn't want to do it. Tell me about it. Show me how you felt. Draw a picture to go with what you write.”
  • Actual Size by Steve Jenkins Writing Prompt: “Trace a picture of your own hand and two other things that are the actual size. Write about their size.”
  • How a Seed Grows by Helene Jordan Writing Prompt: “After reviewing the checklist, ask the students to draw a sequence of pictures showing the step-by-step process. Perhaps they could work in groups, dividing the pictures and later jigsawing them into a sequence as a group or class project.”

Second Nine Weeks

  • The Ugly Pumpkin by Dave Horowitz- Writing Prompt: “Today I would like you to draw a picture showing your favorite part of the book. Write about it too, and say why it was your favorite.”
  • A Tree For All Seasons by Robin Bernard- Writing Prompt: “Draw a picture of two leaves. Make one for summer and one for autumn. Write about them also.”
  • Happy Birthday, Martin Luther King by Jean Marzollo- Writing Prompt: “Draw a picture of Martin when he was a baby and then when he was a grown up. Think about the differences. Label your picture.”

Third Nine Weeks

  • George Washington by Garnett Jackson- Writing Prompt: “Draw a picture showing what you like best about George Washington. Write about your picture.”
  • Sheila Rae, The Brave by Kevin Henkes- Writing Prompt: “Pretend that a friend asks you which book you would recommend. What would tell your friend?”
  • What Lives In A Shell by Kathleen Weidner Zoehfeld- Writing Prompt: “Draw a picture of your favorite shell in this book. Label your shell.”
  • Forest Bright, Forest Night by Jennifer Ward Writing Prompt:
    • Day 1 - “Draw a picture of one of the animals sleeping in a tree. Write about your picture.
    • Day 2 - “Draw a picture with two animals. Make sure one of the animals is awake and the other is asleep. But first, decide whether it is day or night in your picture. Write about your picture.”
  • A Log’s Life by Wendy Pfeffer Writing Prompt: “Draw five small pictures in a row, like a comic book. Draw one picture for each part of our circle. It will be a picture story that shows how an acorn becomes a tree, how a branch falls and becomes a log, how the log becomes dirt, and how a new acorn grows in that dirt.”

Fourth Nine Weeks

  • Make Way for Ducklings by Robert McCloskey- Writing Prompt: “Draw a picture of your favorite part of the book. Write about your picture.”
  • Tiki Tiki Tembo by Arlene Mosel- Writing Prompt: “Draw a picture of your favorite thing that happened in this book. Write about your picture.”
  • Building With Dad by Carol Nevius- Writing Prompt: “Which vehicle was your favorite today? Draw a picture of that vehicle at work and write about it.”
  • Grandfather’s Wrinkles by Kathryn England- Writing Prompt: “Draw a picture of yourself now, and beside it draw a picture of what you might look like when you are very old. Write about each picture.”
  • Follow the Water from Brook to Ocean- by Arthur Dorros Writing Prompt: "Draw a picture of a brook as it goes into a lake. Write the word brook and lake on your picture. [Point them out on the diagram.]"

Frequent opportunities are provided across the school year for students to learn, practice, and apply writing using evidence. Additionally, writing opportunities focus on the students’ recall of information to formulate opinions developed from reading closely and working with sources.

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.
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Kindergarten meet expectations for explicit instruction of the grammar and conventions/language standards as applied in increasingly sophisticated contexts, with opportunities for application both in and out of context.

Materials include explicit instruction of grammar and conventions standards for the grade level. According to the Teacher Manual, “Grammar instruction in Bookworms is based on the daily study of sentences that come from the read-aloud. This approach is called sentence composing, and it is a well-established alternative to descriptive grammar instruction (Gartland & Smolkin, 2016; Killgallon & Killgallon, 2000). Drawing sentences from the text of the day’s read-aloud has two advantages: They are crafted by professional authors and they are fresh in mind. These sentences (sometimes in slightly modified form) are used in two brief activities each day, selected from a set of four basic possibilities. They include combining, unscrambling, imitating, and expanding.”

An example of sentence combining from the First Nine Weeks is as follows:

  • The Doorbell Rang by Pat Hutchins- Combine: The dog stared at the bone. The bone was enormous.

An example of Unscrambling from the Second Nine Weeks is as follows:

  • The Story of Pocahontas by Caryn Jenner, Day 2 Sentence Composing- Unscramble: another ship / settlers / one day / arrived / bringing more / from England

Example of Imitating from the Third Nine Weeks is:

  • Chrysanthemum by Keving Henkes, Imitate:
    • Now put your head down.
    • Now put your _____down.
    • Now put your _____ _____.

Example of Expanding from the Fourth Nine Weeks is:

  • Make Way for Ducklings by Robert McCloske- Expand: She taught them how to swim and dive.

Grammar/convention instruction is provided in increasingly sophisticated contexts over the course of the year. The skills along with a sample cue for those skills are provided in the Teacher Manual on pages 26 -27. Examples of skills and sample cues that align to CCSS Language standards are:

Kindergarten Grammar/Sentence Construction

  • Skill: Use frequently occurring nouns and verbs. Sample Cue: Imitating, substitute nouns and verbs “Think what we could write instead of cat?”
  • Skill: Form regular nouns orally by adding /s/ or /es/ (e.g., dog, dogs; wish, wishes). Sample Cue: Imitating and expanding, prompt change from singular to plural - “What if we had more than one cat?”
  • Skill: Understand and use question words (e.g., who, what, where, when, why and how).

(Interrogatives) Sample Cue: Expanding, prompt use of these words. Think of a way to add the word where.

  • Skill: Use the most frequently occurring prepositions (e.g., to, from, in, out, on, off, for, of, by, with) Sample Cue: Expanding, prompt adding prepositional phrase; imitating. Replace a preposition with blank
  • Skill: Expand complete sentences in shared language activities. Sample Cue: All expanding activities meet this standard
  • Skill: Capitalize the first word in a sentence and the pronoun / Sample Cue: Unscrambling. Conclude by discussing capitalization
  • Skill: Recognize and name end punctuation Sample Cue: Unscrambling. Conclude by discussing end punctuation.

Materials include opportunities for students to demonstrate application of skills both in and out of context. Following the 15 minute daily grammar segment during small group time, students engage in a follow-up writing activity that allows students the opportunity to apply the skills they practiced in responding to an age-appropriate writing prompt. “ The purpose of this segment is to give students a chance to develop their writing skills and at the same time demonstrate and deepen their comprehension of the book that you have read-aloud to them”.

Within the Bookworms Kindergarten Teacher Manual, grammar instruction is specifically identified as a recommended component of the sentence composing activities. The materials in the Teacher Manual address the inclusion of grammar skills by stating, “You are in a position to cue the knowledge you wish your students to attain.” The teacher is guided to look for teaching opportunities within the lesson plans to reinforce the competencies named in the language standards. While each lesson is not denoted with any grammar recommendations, the materials do include a table of standards-based target skills for kindergarteners and the endorsed sentence composing activities in which a mini lesson would more smoothly be incorporated. For example, teaching commonly used prepositions would be logical within an expanding sentences activity.

There is, however, no specific sequencing of skill instruction or acquisition. When asked specifically about the lack of traditional grammar instruction, the Bookworms authors explain in the “Frequently Asked Questions” section, “There is no research evidence that descriptive grammar instruction increases student writing ability. We chose sentence composing for its authenticity and because of the strong research base for sentence combining.”

The materials include a specific rubric to evaluate student writing conventions focusing on spelling, punctuation, capitalization, etc. The second rubric, to assess content, is reviewed separately and can be found in three individual documents based on the writing genres of narrative writing, informational/explanatory writing, and opinion writing (argumentation). All four rubrics can be found on pages 49-52 of the Teacher Manual. The materials support the continuing assumption that based on the information provided, individual teachers will incorporate the skills on achieving grade-level expectations of Kindergarten conventions throughout the curriculum throughout the planning process. No sequencing or intended progression of convention-based skills is included within this program.

Criterion 1o - 1t

Materials in reading, writing, speaking, listening, and language targeted to support foundational reading development are aligned to the standards.
20/22
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Criterion Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Kindergarten meet expectations 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 and phonics that demonstrate a transparent and research-based progression for application in and out of context. The materials provide explicit instruction for and practice to address, the acquisition of print concepts, including alphabetic knowledge, directionality, and function. Instructional opportunities are frequently built into the materials for students to practice and gain decoding automaticity and sight-based recognition of high frequency words. There is systematic and explicit instruction in and practice of word recognition and analysis skills in a research-based progression in connected text and tasks. Materials support ongoing and frequent assessment to determine student mastery and inform meaningful differentiation of foundational skills and allow for differentiation of foundational skills. All students receive high-quality instruction of foundational skills through various segments of a complete reading lesson daily.

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.
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Kindergarten meet the expectations 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 for application in and out of context.

There is systematic and explicit instruction in letter/sound relationships as well as in phonemic awareness and phonological awareness.

The following information comes from a table of the Teacher Manual on page 12. The information in the table identifies the materials, questions, and tasks that teach the foundational skills to build reading acquisition in kindergarten.

Word study with a rhyming word or song for phonemic awareness and alphabet recognition.

First Four Weeks:

  • Monday - Introduce poem or song
  • Tuesday - Teach poem or song for memory
  • Wednesday - Recite poem together; Find or make rhyming words or count words and syllables
  • Thursday - Recite poem together; Find or make rhyming words or count words and syllables
  • Friday - Recite poem together; Find specific letters

2nd Four Weeks-- Do the same poem work (more quickly) and then add word study for initial sounds.

  • Monday - Name and discuss target pictures
  • Tuesday - Introduce target sounds and teach upper case letter formation
  • Wednesday - Teacher-directed picture sort by sound
  • Thursday - Teacher directed picture sort by sound
  • Friday - Students sort pictures by sound

Beginning Week 21

  • Monday - Word sort by word pattern introduction
  • Tuesday - Word sort by word pattern introduction
  • Wednesday - Say It and Move It Sound and Move
  • Thursday - Say It and Move It Sound and Move
  • Friday - Test for words study and two transfer words

The following reader and task activities involving letter/sound relationships, phonemic awareness, and phonological awareness are taken directly from the Teacher Manual, beginning on page 12 and are embedded in the lessons throughout each nine-week unit.

Letter/Sound Relationships and Phonemic Awareness:

Teacher-Directed Picture Sort by Sound. “Always begin with a set of headers with pictures and letters. For example, when your sort in B/M, you can start with ball and mouse. Display a card that has a picture of a ball and the upper and lower case letters (Bb). This week we will work with words that start like /b/ ball, /b/ball, /b/ ball and words that start like /m/ mouse, /m/ mouse, /m/ mouse. This is a baby. Does baby start like ball or mouse? First name all of the pictures, drawing attention to the first sound. Then compare each picture to all headers. Then repeat the comparison, using every pupil response. Children can give a thumbs up or thumbs down. Physically sort the pictures. We will use picture sorts to teach all of the letter sounds in initial position in words.”

Say It and Move It. “Using a set of Elkonin boxes and markers, stretch the sounds in words, moving a marker to represent each sound. Teachers can model on the board while students use their own manipulatives or just count on their fingers. Students should do this orally, listening to the word pronounced rather than reading it.”

Phonological Awareness:

Teacher-Directed Word Sort by Sound. “Display headers with pictures that represent the patterns that you are targeting. Then sort words on cards. Pronounce each word, without allowing the students to see it, and compare it to each of the headers. Use an every-pupil response technique to have the class identify the word’s placement. Then show the word and sort it.”

Pattern Introduction. “After all words are sorted, provide an explicit link between the sound and pattern. “When we hear the ____ sound we see the pattern ______.”

During weeks 21-27 of the word study students learn word families such as -at,- ap, -an, -it-ip-in.

  • Produce rhyming words
    • “We use a rhyming poem each week so that children have a set of words to manipulate and build their phonemic awareness”. A daily, 15-minute segment is included in every reading lesson to provide students with opportunities to hear rhymes, memorize poetry, and encourage word analysis.
    • Examples:
      • It’s Raining It’s Pouring: It's raining; it's pouring. The old man is snoring. He went to bed and bumped his head, And he couldn't get up in the morning.
      • Little Boy Blue: Little boy blue, come blow your horn, The sheep's in the meadow, the cow's in the corn Where is the boy who looks after the sheep? He's under the haystack, fast asleep.
  • Distinguish between similarly spelled words by identifying sounds of the letters:
    • “After all words are sorted, provide an explicit link between the sound and pattern (the same as you do in DRI Using Letter Patterns). ‘When we hear the ____ sound we see the pattern ______.’”
  • The Teacher Manual states the following about Sounding and Blending:
    • “In your large teacher copy of the words, point to each letter and each word, making the sounds out loud and then blend the sounds to make the word. After you have modeled, point and let the students sound and blend”
  • Segmenting syllables
    • The Kindergarten Teacher Manual states, “After four weeks of work with rhyme and counting words and syllables, we introduce initial sound word sorts. Your daily work with the rhyming poem should be very quick after the first month of school." During the first 4 weeks, lessons include Thursdays as days to “find or make rhyming words or count words and syllables”.
    • Blend onsets and rimes
      • After the first four weeks of instruction, materials include plans for students to blend onset rimes beginning with -at and -an families. The procedure for blending these onset rimes continues through week 36.
    • Pronounce vowels in CVC words
      • While there are various opportunities for students to hear and manipulate sounds during Teacher-Directed Word Sort by Sound, Pattern Introduction, Say It and Move It, and Sound and Blend. During the differentiated block of Using Letter Sounds and Using Letter Patterns, students learn to consonant-vowel-consonant words contrasting two short vowels each day.
    • Substitute sounds to make new words
      • No direct instruction with substituting sounds to make new words is included.

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).
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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Kindergarten meet the expectations for 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).

Materials include many tasks and questions about the organization of print concepts materials and include lessons and multisensory activities for students to learn how to identify and produce letters. Some examples include:

Directionality

  • Follow words left to right
    • “Your goal is to encourage children to track the words, so you have to finger point read...You have to demonstrate left to right, tracking, and return sweep. You can invite children to track with you and to use props to track.”
  • “Reading with the Nursery Rhyme segment is designed “to develop concepts of print and word”. The teacher, demonstrates “left to right, tracking, and return sweep.” Children are invited to use props to help them track with the teacher. Strategies to find words (For example, “Say the line in your head, and then use the spaces to put your finger on each word”) are provided during this segment.

Alphabetic Knowledge

  • Teach Handwriting: “The purpose of the next segment, Learn to Write, is to develop letter recognition and letter formation.”
    • To help students learn the letters in their own name, the teacher should make each child a name puzzle.
    • The teacher should find an alphabet song.
    • In the first four weeks, students learn to:
      • Sing the alphabet song
      • Match letters to the alphabet chart or strip
      • Order letters in student names
      • Find specific letters in the room, in books, in magazines
    • In the second four weeks, students learn letter recognition by:
      • Teacher demonstration
      • Sky writing
      • Writing letters on the white board
      • Writing letters on paper
      • Writing letters in a handwriting book or worksheet
  • Uppercase and lowercase letters
    • “Display a card that has a picture of a ball and the uppercase and lowercase letters (Bb)”.
    • “Teaching Letter Formation and Handwriting. “It is essential that kindergarten teachers ensure that children can form letters consistently and effortlessly. We ask teachers to reorganize the scope and sequence of any existing handwriting materials to conform to the scope and sequence of word study in the lesson plans. When you introduce letter formation, demonstrate with skywriting while you verbalize the strokes necessary for the letter. Then have students sky write, and then write on whiteboards or paper. Save practice pages for seat work during small-group time”.
  • Students in the Basic Alphabet Knowledge experience the following kinds of lessons:
    • Alphabet Review: “Now we will say the ABCs. The ABCs are the letters that we use to read and write. Watch my mouth. I’ll say a letter, and then you say it after me. We will see what the letters look like. There are two shapes of each one. I’ll say the name, and then I’ll point to the shapes. You say the name, and point to the shapes.”

Text Structure

  • “As with vocabulary, our approach to text structure differs depending on whether the book is fiction or nonfiction. In the case of fiction, the format is almost invariably narrative so that previewing it in advance is unnecessary. In the case of an information book, however, an author may employ a number of organization patterns. We have included suggestions for previewing how the text of a particular information book is structured. Providing this knowledge in advance is likely to improve comprehension (e.g., Alvermann & Swafford, 1989). Just as important, continually exposing students to how nonfiction texts are structured will provide them with frameworks they can use in their own writing”.
  • For example, during the Second Nine Weeks, in the book, The Story of Pocahontas by Caryn Jenner, the teacher introduces the book in this way, “This book is just like a make-believe story. But this story really happened. The author will tell us the events in the order they happened, one after another. We call it a narrative. As I read you can help me remember what happened in the right order.” Students learn that this book will provide real information in an order for which they will keep in mind as they read.
  • Similarly, the book, Building With Dad by Carol Nevius, is introduced: "The author, Carol Nevius, starts at the beginning, when workers are getting ready to build the school. She will tell us which machines are needed from start to finish.” This book is presented to students as a book providing information that the author imparts. Students can engage in learning about new machines as the pages of the book advance.

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.
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Kindergarten partially meet the expectations that instructional opportunities are frequently built into the materials for students to practice and gain decoding automaticity and sight-based recognition of high-frequency words. While Kindergarten students have the opportunity to practice decoding automaticity and recognizing high-frequency words, students do not have the opportunity to practice reading emergent texts within the materials.

According to the Kindergarten Teacher Manual, the literacy block is composed of the following components to help students build decoding automaticity and sight-based recognition of high frequency of words:

  • Word Walk with the Big Book
    • Pick four words from the Big Book to study with students. For example, on Day 2, after reading, students say the words, discuss the words from the context, students use the words, and students say the words.
    • Students gain decoding automaticity through one activity in which, teachers direct picture sorts by sound and word sorts by sound. Students practice with sounds using “Elkonin boxes and markers” to “stretch the sounds in words, moving a marker to represent each sound” during the Say It and Move It section of Word Study. According to the Kindergarten Teacher Manual, “The word study begins with initial sound segmentation and progresses to short vowel word families over time. Word study is an approach to spelling and decoding development that avoids simple memory tasks and instead compares and contrasts specific sounds and patterns”.
  • Word Work with a rhyming book or poem
    • After four weeks of work with rhyme and counting words and syllables, we introduce the sound word sorts.
      • Week 5 Target Sounds are B/M
      • Week 15 Target Sounds are F/J/W
      • Week 21 Target Sounds are at, an
      • Week 34 Target Sounds are un, ut, ug
  • Teachers use nursery rhymes and decodable interactive books to teach high frequency words. Bookworms focus for teaching sight words is that children read unknown words by decoding rather than by relying on short term memory or pictures or meaning. Then, repeated readings are provided with support. On page 58 of the book, How to Plan Differentiated Reading Instruction, it states, “ Children will experience multiple successful exposures to words, each more automatic than the last (Samuels, 1979).”
  • During differentiated instruction, students learn high-frequency words. In each group, there is a different focus for high-frequency words.
    • Basic Alphabet Knowledge: High-frequency words- Stretch the sounds first. Then print the word. Then show how the sounds match the letters from left to right. Then give the children words on a list. Call the words and have them touch them.
    • Using Letter Sounds: High-frequency words- Stretch the sounds first. Then, print the word. Then show how the sounds match the letter from left to right. Then, give the children words on a list. Call the words and have them touch them
    • Using Letter Patterns: High-frequency words- Stretch the sounds first. Then, print the word. Then, show how the sounds match the letter from left to right. Then, give the children words on the list. Call the words and have them touch them.

It is implied that materials for building foundational skills in small groups are found in How To Plan Differentiated Reading Instruction. Instructional opportunities for decoding automaticity and sight-based recognition of high frequency words are largely teacher-directed within the core materials and the small group activities are not included as frequently.

While decodable readers are referenced in the book, How To Plan Differentiated Reading Instruction, opportunities for students to engage with a decodable book are not evident within the daily lesson plans provided for teachers. The lessons are interactive in which the teacher reads aloud and students may echo read, however the program does not provide individual decodable leveled readers to provide students opportunities to interact with the words in text.

The book How To Plan Differentiated Reading Instruction written by Sharon Walpole and Michael C. McKenna. Bookworms recommends using this book, available through multiple retailers.

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.
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Kindergarten meet the expectations 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. Opportunities to practice word recognition and analysis are in the following 15-minute segments: Word Work with a rhyming book or poem, nursery rhyme reading, talk with a big book, Interactive Read-Aloud, and differentiated groups.

During Word Work with a rhyming book or poem, students have “a set of words to manipulate and build their phonemic awareness.” There are procedures for the poem and word study, which include four weeks of finding and making words or counting words and syllables. In the second four weeks, the teacher does the same poem work and then adds word study for initial sounds. In Week 21, the teacher does the same poem work and then adds word study for short vowel families. For example, the teacher directs picture sorts by sound and word sorts by sound. Students practice with sounds using “Elkonin boxes and markers” to “stretch the sounds in words, moving a marker to represent each sound” during Say It and Move It.

During the Word Walk of the Big Book, students develop oral language and vocabulary through dialogic reading. According to the Teacher Manual, “You have to pick four words for each book, and then define them before, during, and after the reading. You need to make a card for each word, with the word printed and a picture that represents it meaning.”

The Nursery Rhyme segment is designed “to develop concepts of print and word recognition”. The teacher, demonstrates, “left to right, tracking, and return sweep.” Children are invited to use props to help them track with the teacher. Strategies to find words (e.g., Say the line in your head, and then use the spaces to put your finger on each word.) are provided during this segment. Students are encouraged to think about the first sound in words. Since students practice pointing to words as the rhyme is read, students have the opportunity to make the connection between words in print and words actually spoken.

During the Interactive Read-Aloud, students learn Tier 2 Words or technical words from the read-aloud text. For example, during Chrysanthemum in the Third Nine Weeks, students learn the word, possessions: “One of the words in this book is possessions. What word? Possessions are things that belong to us. The clothes you have on are some of your possessions. Here is a sentence from our book: ‘She loaded the pockets with her most prized possessions and her good-luck charms.’ Possessions are things that belong to us. What word?”

Also during the Interactive Read-Aloud, students have the opportunity to practice writing words from the text when they do sentence composing. In the First Nine Weeks, during the reading of The Full Belly Bowl, students unscramble the following sentence: in the Full / it / landed /Belly Bowl.

Tasks for practicing high-frequency words are provided during differentiated reading instruction. For example, for students in the Basic Alphabet Knowledge Group, learning the and of: “We will work with some words. You have two words. The first word is the. What word? You use that word when you say, “I see the moon.” “I want the ball.” The word the is easy to read. Watch me write the letters.” For students in the Using Letter Sounds, the generic lesson plan is: “We will work with some words. You have five words. The first word is ____. What word? Watch me count the sounds in___. There are ____ sounds. Now watch me write the letters: ____. There are ___ sounds and ___ letters in ____.

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 reviewed for Kindergarten meet the expectation that materials support ongoing and frequent assessment to determine student mastery and inform meaningful differentiation of foundational skills, including a clear and specific protocol as to how students performing below standard on these assessments will be supported. Assessments are included through DIBELS Next and in How to Plan Differentiated Reading Instruction.

The materials contain a detailed explanation about how to use DIBELS Next to screen for students’ automatic word recognition. Bookworms assessment in based in The Cognitive Model. With DIBELS Next, a teacher can assess phonological awareness and phonics of Kindergarten students. Specific tests include First Sound Fluency, Letter Naming Fluency, Phoneme Segmentation Fluency, and Nonsense Word Fluency. The Benchmark Assessments are administered three times a year, while progress monitoring can be administered weekly.

Additional assessments are offered in the book How To Plan Differentiated Reading Instruction book written by Sharon Walpole and Michael C. McKenna. The teacher should use the Informal Decoding Inventory which is found on the website or in Differentiated Reading Instruction in Grades 4 and 5: Strategies and Resources. The Informal Decoding Inventory is a placement test which provides educators with instructions on assessing students in decoding single syllable words with specific focal sounds like; short vowels, consonant blends and digraphs, r-controlled vowel patterns, vowel consonant-e, and vowel teams.

Students are placed in differentiated small groups based on the screening and diagnostic tests. After instruction in the small groups, students are assessed every three weeks to see if the instruction is working for students in each group. How to Plan Differentiated Reading Instruction contains assessments of each of each of the differentiated groups. Progress monitoring of students’ foundational skills can also be done with DIBELS Next.

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 reviewed for Kindergarten meet the expectations that materials, questions, and tasks provide high-quality lessons and activities that allow for differentiation of foundational skills. All students receive high-quality instruction of foundational skills through various segments of a complete daily reading lesson. The literacy block is composed of the following components:

  • Talk with a Big Book
  • Word Work with a rhyming book or poem
  • Fingerpoint read from a nursery rhyme or predictable book
  • Practice Handwriting
  • Interact with a Read-aloud OR Shared Writing
  • Write about a Read-aloud or Writer’s Workshop
  • Beginning in the Second Nine Weeks, Build foundational skills in Small Groups

The Teacher Manual provides guidance to teachers for scaffolding and adapting lessons and activities to support student needs. Within the Differentiated Instruction component of the Teacher Manual, a Walkthrough Observation Tool Designed to Enhance Implementation is available with strategies teachers can access to address basic alphabetic knowledge, using letter sounds, and using letter patterns. During the Build Foundational Skills in Small Groups segment of the ELA lessons, students have opportunities to practice with each grade level foundational skill component in order to reach mastery.

The Bookworms philosophy regarding teaching reading and differentiation is as follows, “We view differentiation in the classroom as Tier 2 instruction, and we have planned skills lessons to address specific needs. At the same time slot, teachers can accelerate skills for some students, or focus only on writing for students with very strong decoding. Using only a letter name and sound inventory, students are assigned to one of three differentiated instruction skill groups to start: Basic Alphabet Knowledge for students who do not know their letter names and sounds; Using Letter Sounds for students who know nearly all of their sounds, but struggle to blend; and Using Letter Patterns for students who struggle with automaticity.”

Examples of small group differentiated lessons (found in How to Plan Differentiated Reading Instruction) are:

  • Basic Alphabet Knowledge, Initial Sound Sorting:
    • We will work with sounds. You have a picture of a ____ and a ___. Point to the ____. The word ___ starts with the sound /___/.”
  • Using Letter Sounds, Say-It-and-Move-It:
    • First we will work with sounds. I am going to say a word. Then I am going to stretch the word. Then I am going to say it and move it. Then you are going to do it with me.
  • Using Letter Patterns, Oral Segmenting and Blending:
    • First we will work with sounds. I am going to say a word slowly and I want you to say it fast. Watch my fingers. /p/ /a/ /t/. Say it fast. [Repeat with all words.]

In, How to Plan Differentiated Reading Instruction, after assessing students of learning in their differentiated group, there are basic suggestions for how to plan next steps. For example, for students in the Basic Alphabet Knowledge, “Use the assessment we have provided to measure students’ response to this instruction. If they have approached mastery, redo the lessons, deleting the alphabet work and instead teach both letter names and letter sounds. Use a high-frequency word list to plan new sight word instruction.” There are basic directions to the teacher as to how to proceed with students in each group within the program materials, with more detail added in the associated text. These directions provide students who need more opportunities to practice particular foundational skills, more opportunities, while students who are ready to move forward in their learning, can be move to the next step in foundational skill learning.

Gateway Two

Building Knowledge with Texts, Vocabulary, and Tasks

Partially Meets Expectations

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Gateway Two Details

The instructional materials for Kindergarten partially meet the expectations of the Gateway 2. Texts are organized to support students' building knowledge of different topics, and sets of text-dependent questions and tasks provide opportunities for students to analyze ideas within and across texts. The materials do not include process writing instruction and a progression of writing skills, a progression of focused shared research and writing projects, nor is there full support for students' independent reading.

Criterion 2a - 2h

22/32

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 Kindergarten meet the expectation that texts are organized around a topic/topics to build students knowledge and vocabulary which will over time support and help grow students’ ability to comprehend complex texts independently and proficiently. Read aloud texts are organized around common topics and themes. For example,

  • First Nine Weeks: The Full Belly Bowl by Jim Aylesworth, and The Egg by M. P. Robertson, are texts in the fantasy genre. Educators are able to develop or activate background knowledge through referencing this fact (e.g., “Today’s book is called The Full Belly Bowl. It was written by Jim Aylesworth and illustrated Wendy Anderson Halperin. It tells the story of a very old man and a wee small man. Some parts of the story could have really happened, but other parts could not have happened. So this book is a fantasy, just like The Egg.”)
  • Second Nine Weeks: The quarter is organized around the topic of Thanksgiving and includesThe Story of Pocahontas by Caryn Jenner and Thanksgiving on Plymouth Island by Diane Stanley- texts that outline traditions that have carried on to present-day in American culture and build content knowledge about events in American history.
  • Third Nine Weeks: The topic of life cycles is covered by the text, In a Nutshell by Joseph Anthony and A Log’s Life by Wendy Pfeffer. Other texts are included during the Third Nine weeks not connected to the topic of life cycles, but instead added to enhance special days during that time frame, are Chrysanthemum, George Washington, and Miss Bindergarten Celebrates the 100th Day of School.
  • Fourth Nine Weeks: Texts include Make Way for Ducklings by Robert McCloskey and Giggle, Giggle, Quack, Quack by Doreen Cronin that provide an opportunity to compare and contrast a fictional and a true account of ducks. However, texts like Grandfather’s Wrinkles and Tiki Tiki Tembo are included during this time frame, but are not connected to the topic.
  • Students consistently work with nursery rhymes throughout the materials. Nursery rhymes provide students with the background and knowledge that they will need to access future texts.

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 Kindergarten meet the expectations for materials containing 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.

Read-aloud lesson plans include tasking students with analyzing words/phrases and or author’s word choice. According to the Kindergarten Teacher's Manual, “Our other goal for big book reading is vocabulary instruction for four specific words in the book. The strategy for teaching them is called Word Walk (Blamey & Beauchat, 2011). This will help you and your children to review the word meanings, especially when you encounter them in another book” (pg. 8).”

  • For example, in the First Nine Weeks, teachers and students read Charlie Needs A Cloak by Tomie dePaolo. Words studied with this text are dye and strand. The other two of the nine texts preview vocabulary using graphic organizers to support language development.
  • By the Fourth Nine Weeks, students' analysis of words, supported by the teacher, continues to follow the routines set forth in the First Nine Weeks. However, more of the texts are nonfiction (six out of nine) that include a preview of vocabulary using tables and/or Venn Diagrams as graphic organizers to introduce students to new vocabulary.

As an example, students and teacher preview a table with technical words included in the text, Building With Dad by Carol Nevus. The words include bulldozer driver, dump truck, backhoe, earthmover, grader, steamroller, crane, and bucket truck.

The other three of nine texts look at vocabulary words such as, crumple, crease, trace, instructions, and sentences.

For most read-aloud texts, students and teacher analyze key ideas and details, structure and craft.

  • For example, in the Second Nine Weeks, the text, Nothing Sticks Like A Shadow by Ann Tompert provides an opportunity to bring out key ideas and details of the story. During the discussion segment of the lesson, the teacher states, “Let’s review all the ideas that Rabbit has tried. Now, count them with me. What is the one thing you need to have a shadow? Now let’s map our story.” Through the details of the story, students can be guided to come to the conclusion that is the main idea.
  • Additionally, in the Third Nine Weeks, students analyze the structure of the text, George Washington, by Garnett Jackson, “When we read the story of someone’s life, the author usually starts by telling when the person was born. After that, it is just like a story. So if the story starts with the person being born, where does it end?" Each lesson of the read-aloud texts includes analysis of either key ideas and details, structure, or craft.

By the end of the year, language, word choice, key ideas, details, structure, and craft are embedded in students’ work rather than taught directly. Well-composed writing prompts support teachers to extract these components in the Fourth Nine Weeks unit. For example, after two days of interacting with Grandfather’s Wrinkles by Katherine England, students are prompted to “Draw a picture of yourself now, and beside it draw a picture of what you might look like when you are very old. Write about each picture.” Students demonstrate their understanding of key ideas and details of the text. Additionally, after interacting for two days with Make Way for Ducklings by Robert McCloskey, students are prompted to “Draw a picture of what you think will happen next. Write about your picture.” Students demonstrate their understanding of craft and structure of the text by making an inference about what happens next.

Indicator 2c

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Kindergarten meet expectations that materials contain coherently sequenced set of text-based questions and tasks that require students to build knowledge and integrate ideas across both individual and multiple texts.

Most sets of coherent questions and tasks support students’ analysis of knowledge and ideas. Examples include, but are not limited to:

  • Questions and commentary from the text, Thanksgiving On Plymouth Plantation by Diane Stanley consists of the following excerpt, “As I read, pay special attention to the three different characters. Later, I’ll ask you to write about them. [She takes us traveling through time.] I have to stop here because I think that it doesn’t make sense that the grandmother can take them traveling through time. You can travel through a town, you can travel through a forest, but you can’t travel through time. But now I remember that this is like The Magic School Bus. It couldn’t really happen. [We’d rather stay home with Grandma.] Why do you think the kids wanted to stay? Tell your partner. [After speech bubbles on page ending, “If you don’t, they will think you’re really strange."] I can make a connection here. We know that the kids are changing clothes to go back in time to see the Pilgrims. I know that in the old days people wore clothes that were not so comfortable as our clothes. So I think that they are going to be a little bit uncomfortable.”
  • During the Second Nine Weeks, following the read aloud and daily routine activities, students respond to the prompt, “Draw a picture of our three characters. Write about your picture.” Because the focus for the reading is established and commentary accompanying the read aloud plays into that focus, students have a greater chance of successfully analyzing the ideas presented from the reading.
  • During the Third Nine Weeks, the writing prompt accompanying the reading on Day 2 is,"Draw the same face with two different looks and write about what happened to make them look the way they do.” Questions and commentary include, “Why do you think that Chrysanthemum walked to school slowly?” “ Dessert, hugs, and kisses made her feel better. But I can make a connection here. These things always make me feel better too. What helps make you feel better when you’re sad? Tell your partner one thing.” “Why do you think the girls picked new names for themselves?” This series of questions and comments helps to bring students' attention to the underlying feeling the characters may have experienced as the text is read. It makes the connection between the pictures drawn by the illustrator and the words written by the author.
  • In the Fourth Nine Weeks, after reading Tiki Tiki Tembo by Arlene Mosel, students respond to a writing prompt asking them to, “Draw a picture of your favorite thing that happened in this book. Write about your picture.” Students must take what they have read to formulate a rudimentary opinion regarding events in the book.

Sets of questions and tasks provide opportunities for students to analyze across multiple texts as well as within single texts. For example, in the Third Nine Weeks, after interacting with In A Nutshell by Joseph Anthony, students are prompted to “Draw a picture of an oak tree next to a cherry tree. Be sure to draw cherries and acorns. Those are details that make the two trees different. Write about the two trees and tell how they are alike and how they are different.” Students must compare and contrast two different trees. The prompt gives students an opportunity to bring in information from George Washington, which is the read-aloud text prior to In A Nutshell. What students learn from the life of George Washington can be brought into students’ knowledge of plant structures as explored in both readings. Similarly, in the Fourth Nine Weeks, students and teacher read Make Way For Duckling by Robert McCloskey and Giggle, Giggle, Quack, Quack by Doreen Cronin. In a whole group setting, students and teacher compose a Venn Diagram comparing details from the fictional and informational texts about ducks. Then, students are prompted to “... draw two new circles today. Write the word Cats next to the left circle and the word Dogs next to the right circle. Like this. Then write all the characteristics you can think of that describe dogs and cats. Write each one where it belongs. I will get us started. How many legs does a dog have? How many legs does a cat have? So where should I write ‘4 legs’?” In both examples, questions leading up to the culminating task lead students to be successful with their final products. However, it should be noted that students would need more extensive background knowledge of cherry trees to be able to authentically depict one in their comparison prompt from In A Nutshell.

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).
2/4
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Kindergarten partially meet the expectations for materials to support students’ ability to complete culminating tasks in which they demonstrate their knowledge of a topic through integrated skills. Within Bookworms, culminating tasks include daily writing prompts that consistently demonstrate students’ knowledge of a Interactive Read-Aloud text. Additionally, daily routines incorporate reading, writing, speaking, and listening.

According to the Kindergarten Teacher's Manual, daily writing prompts are intended for students to react to the read-aloud and demonstrate their understanding. The Teacher's Manual also states, “Note that a second daily writing prompt follows the shared reading component of the block. Students are to address both prompts during small-group time." The second writing prompt becomes an option during the foundational skills block as part of engaging students in “meaningful reading practice” (Walpole, S. & McKenna, M., 2009, pg. 7) and is left for teachers to decide to incorporate into the foundational skills block.

An example of a culminating task that provides students opportunities to demonstrate comprehension and knowledge of a topic or topics can be found during the Third Nine Week unit. The writing prompt for George Washington by Garnet Jackson asks students to “Draw a picture of George surveying in the wilderness. Write about your picture.” This writing prompt ties to the topic of biographies, and the prompt occurs after a whole-group discussion about the timeline of George Washington’s life. The timeline introduces students to the idea of time as a form of measurement and helps students to sequentially organize events that occur within the reading, even if they may not completely understand the whole concept of years. The writing prompt specifically addresses Common Core State Standards ELA.Literacy.RI.K.1, 2, 3, and 7.

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 Kindergarten meet the expectations of materials include a cohesive, year-long plan for students to interact and build key academic vocabulary words in and across texts.

  • Vocabulary is taught with each text, and students learn many Tier 2 words. For example, the First Nine Weeks unit consists of readings from Caps For Sale by Esphyr Slobodkina, Charlie Needs A Cloak by Tomie DePaolo, Frederick by Leo Lionni, and The Doorbell Rang by Pat Hutchins. Vocabulary from these selections range from words like ordinary, disturb, dye, strand, abandoned, anxiously, stared and enormous.
  • Materials provide some support for teachers with guidance to build students’ academic vocabulary, and include a year-long structure. Information in the Teacher's Manual states, “We adhere to a few basic approaches of established effectiveness, and these approaches are different for fiction and information books." Additionally, the materials recommend neither pretesting nor preteaching words in advance for fictional texts. According to the authors, "Pretesting wastes valuable time given the fact that students can be expected to benefit from attention to words even if they already possess a working knowledge of their meanings.” They further add, “ For information books, on the contrary, it is important to preview key vocabulary either just prior to the read-aloud or at the point the words are encountered during the read-aloud. Previewing does not mean teaching the words to mastery. It amounts to an introduction, a method of exposing children to their meanings and how they are related." Guidance for supporting students’ academic vocabulary can be found within the “Vocabulary” section of the teacher’s manual and in Chapter 6 of How To Plan Differentiated Reading Instruction by Sharon Walpole and Michael McKenna.
  • Students do engage with vocabulary instruction in the context of reading and/or writing tasks. The previewing of key vocabulary prior to the read aloud, discussion, and questions to support comprehension during the reading, connects the previewed words to the text, providing students with the opportunity to hear the vocabulary used in context. Additionally, many of the informational vocabulary words also appear, and students are encouraged to use them in their writing prompt activities. For example, teachers preview technical vocabulary like the names of people in the text, Pocahontas by Caryn Jenner. The focus for students is to pay attention to the details of Pocahontas’ life. Appropriately, the writing prompt for the day’s reading asks students to draw a picture of John Smith teaching Pocahontas.
  • In the Second Nine Weeks unit, The Pain and The Great One by Judy Blume highlights two vocabulary words, ordinary and disgusting. There is a missed opportunity for the materials to prompt the teacher to encourage students to include the selection vocabulary, ordinary and disgusting, into their writing.

Students are exposed to vocabulary words through a routine, and there is a year long vocabulary plan within Bookworms materials. The students are exposed to vocabulary words during a short time frame for the study of a text. If a teacher builds an anchor chart and examples of anchor charts are in the Classroom Powerpoint, students will be able to see academic vocabulary from the texts on the charts over multiple exposures.

Indicator 2f

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

Instructional materials reviewed for Kindergarten partially meet the expectations that materials contain a year long, cohesive plan of writing instruction and tasks which support students in building and communicating substantive understanding of topics and texts. Writing tasks within the materials include sentence composition, consisting of combining, unscrambling, imitating, and expanding sentences. Students also respond to writing prompts that follow an Interactive Read-Aloud. However, while most of the writing prompts found within the four, nine-week units align to writing standards, materials do not span the whole school year.

While many of the writing prompts contained within the materials link to the writing standards, the order in which they are addressed may not support increasing skills over the course of the year. Left to the discretion of the teacher, read-aloud and writing prompt selections do not adhere to a sequentially mapped-out order. Teachers will need to supplement writing instruction with other resources to assure comprehensive development of writing skills.

Materials in writing include prompts, but do not include year-long plans, models, nor protocols to support students writing. Directions in the Teacher’s Manual imply that year-long plan and/or models are vague and left largely to a teacher’s discretion as to the order in which read-alouds and writing prompts are presented. Likewise, the materials do not provide protocols for the writing process that support students’ writing in a year-long plan. Though process writing is not a part of the lesson plans included with the materials, time for it is allocated during the 45-minute Interactive Read-Aloud segment.

Indicator 2g

Materials include a progression of focused research projects to encourage students to develop knowledge in a given area by confronting and analyzing different aspects of a topic using multiple texts and source materials.
2/4
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Kindergarten partially meet the expectations that materials include a progression of focused shared research and writing projects to encourage students to develop knowledge and understanding of a topic using texts and other source materials. The materials do not provide shared research and writing projects for students to demonstrate their mastery and integration of skills along with their newly-gained content knowledge and vocabulary. However, the materials do provide some component research work for Kindergarten students. For example:

Kindergarten Second Nine Weeks Interactive Read-Aloud Thanksgiving on Plymouth Plantation by Diane Stanley has 6 days of instruction. Students listen to the text over six days. The plans include comprehension questions (How is the house that these settlers live in different from our houses?), discussion (Now we know a little bit more about the life of the Pilgrims. Life was different for them. What are some things that they had to do that made life different?) sentence composing (language standards), and written response (Draw a picture of the Pilgrim church with the men sitting together and the women and children sitting together. Write about your picture). This example type provides students practice in some of components of pulling information from texts read.

The authors of the materials state, “Our experience in schools tells us that thoughtfully planned instruction targeting assessed needs actually does contribute to literacy development, even in whole-group settings. Unfortunately, teachers rarely provide such instruction. We attribute this fact to the guidance they are given by core programs” (Kindergarten Teacher's Manual, pg. 3). The Bookworms materials do not include guidance within the core program that supports educators with providing shared research and writing project search and writing projects.

Indicator 2h

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

The instructional materials for Kindergarten do not meet the expectations that materials provide a design, including accountability, for how students will regularly engage in a volume of independent reading either in or outside of class.

The only mentions of independent reading occurs in the Teacher's Manual in the Approximate Time Guide for Differentiated Instruction and during Homework Options. The Differentiated Instruction chart lists Self-Selected Reading and Reading Log as one of the rotations during small group time. The Homework Option states, " We would like grade-level teams to collaborate to design a homework procedure. Good homework is predictable, meaningful, and simple. It provides additional practice for core concepts already taught in school. The most beneficial homework is reading. Teachers may opt to adopt a reading log for homework, provided that books from the library are provided. We do not intend for the shared reading books to be sent home to read for homework."

The directions for Small Group time offers space in the schedule for self-selected reading and indicates that students should have reading logs, but no other information or support for independent reading is provided. Materials will need to be developed by the teacher for supports/scaffolds to foster independent reading.

Gateway Three

Usability

Not Rated

Criterion 3a - 3e

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0/8

Indicator 3a

Materials are well-designed and take into account effective lesson structure and pacing.
0/2

Indicator 3b

The teacher and student can reasonably complete the content within a regular school year, and the pacing allows for maximum student understanding.
0/2

Indicator 3c

The student resources include ample review and practice resources, clear directions, and explanation, and correct labeling of reference aids (e.g., visuals, maps, etc.).
0/2

Indicator 3d

Materials include publisher-produced alignment documentation of the standards addressed by specific questions, tasks, and assessment items.
0/2

Indicator 3e

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

Criterion 3f - 3j

Materials support teacher learning and understanding of the Standards.
0/8

Indicator 3f

Materials contain a teacher's edition with ample and useful annotations and suggestions on how to present the content in the student edition and in the ancillary materials. Where applicable, materials include teacher guidance for the use of embedded technology to support and enhance student learning.
0/2

Indicator 3g

Materials contain a teacher's edition that contains full, adult-level explanations and examples of the more advanced literacy concepts so that teachers can improve their own knowledge of the subject, as necessary.
0/2

Indicator 3h

Materials contain a teacher's edition that explains the role of the specific ELA/literacy standards in the context of the overall curriculum.
0/2

Indicator 3i

Materials contain explanations of the instructional approaches of the program and identification of the research-based strategies.
0/2

Indicator 3j

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

Criterion 3k - 3n

Materials offer teachers resources and tools to collect ongoing data about student progress on the Standards.
0/8

Indicator 3k

Materials regularly and systematically offer assessment opportunities that genuinely measure student progress.
0/2

Indicator 3l

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

Indicator 3l.i

Assessments clearly denote which standards are being emphasized.
0/2

Indicator 3l.ii

Assessments provide sufficient guidance to teachers for interpreting student performance and suggestions for follow-up.
0/2

Indicator 3m

Materials should include routines and guidance that point out opportunities to monitor student progress.
0/2

Indicator 3n

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

Criterion 3o - 3v

Materials provide teachers with strategies for meeting the needs of a range of learners so that they demonstrate independent ability with grade-level standards.
0/10

Indicator 3o

Materials provide teachers with strategies for meeting the needs of a range of learners so the content is accessible to all learners and supports them in meeting or exceeding the grade-level standards.
0/2

Indicator 3p

Materials regularly provide all students, including those who read, write, speak, or listen below grade level, or in a language other than English, with extensive opportunities to work with grade level text and meet or exceed grade-level standards.
0/4

Indicator 3q

Materials regularly include extensions and/or more advanced opportunities for students who read, write, speak, or listen above grade level.
0/2

Indicator 3r

Materials provide opportunities for teachers to use a variety of grouping strategies.
0/2

Indicator 3s

0/

Indicator 3s3v

0/

Indicator 3t

0/

Indicator 3u

0/

Indicator 3u.i

0/

Indicator 3u.ii

0/

Indicator 3v

0/

Criterion 3s - 3v

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

Indicator 3s

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

Indicator 3t

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

Indicator 3u

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

Indicator 3u.i

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

Indicator 3u.ii

Materials can be easily customized for local use.
0/0

Indicator 3v

Materials include or reference technology that provides opportunities for teachers and/or students to collaborate with each other (e.g. websites, discussion groups, webinars, etc.).
0/0

Additional Publication Details

Report Published Date: Sun Apr 09 00:00:00 UTC 2017

Report Edition: 2017

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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