Alignment to College and Career Ready Standards: Overall Summary

Bookworms Grade 4 instructional materials partially meet the expectations of alignment. Suggested texts and text sets are high quality, engaging, and organized to support students' growing literacy skills over the course of the school year. Some texts are connected via topics to build students' knowledge. Text-dependent questions and tasks in writing, reading, speaking, and listening are rigorous and include guidance and support for the teacher to implement with students. Foundational skills practice to build students' fluency and comprehension is robust to support students' ability to read different types of texts. Daily writing tasks are text-specific and offer practice to build component skills in writing and research. There are some components of the program that are not fully outlined; these include materials to support students' independent reading, writing process practice, and culminating tasks. The program does include suggestions for outside resources, but teachers will have to identify, procure, and integrate them separate from these core materials.

See Rating Scale
Understanding Gateways

Alignment

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Partially Meets Expectations

Gateway 1:

Text Quality

0
20
37
42
37
37-42
Meets Expectations
21-36
Partially Meets Expectations
0-20
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

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
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Criterion Rating Details

The instructional materials for Grade 4 meet the expectations of texts being high quality and rigorous, worthy of multiple close reads. Text selections are appropriately rigorous and support students’ building their reading skills over the course of the school year. The program has a balance of genres and text types included to provide students opportunities to read broadly and deeply as they build their literacy skills. The included text complexity analysis provides less supporting detail to guide teachers with their choices in class.

Indicator 1a

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 4 meet the expectations for texts being of publishable quality and worthy of careful reading, including a mix of informational texts and literature, and consider a range of student interests. Texts address a range of interests and topics that integrate other content areas and expose students to rich character development. Texts include rich, academic vocabulary with tier 2 and 3 words included in the lessons for teacher to easily access. These texts are divided into Shared and Interactive Reading and include some award winning texts.

The following texts are examples of titles included in the instructional materials:

  • The novel Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl is included in the first 9 weeks as part of the Shared Reading Text Unit
  • The award winning novel Blood on the River by Elisa Carbone is included in the second 9 weeks as part of the Shared Reading Text Unit
  • The award winning novel Tangerine by Edward Bloor is included in the third 9 weeks as part of the Shared Reading Text Unit
  • The text My Life as a Book by Janet Tashjian is included in the third 9 weeks as part of the Shared Reading Text Unit
  • The text The Worst of Friends by Suzanne Tripp Juryman is included in the fourth 9 weeks as part of the Interactive Read-Aloud Unit
  • The poem "Zombies! Evacuate the School!" by Sara Holbrook is included in the second 9 weeks.
  • Informational texts such as Georgia: What's So Great about this State? by Kate Boehm Jerome, Earthquakes by Seymour Simon, and The Amazing Life of Benjamin Franklin by James Cross Giblin are content-rich and include quality illustrations or photographs and rich academic and content specific vocabulary.

Indicator 1b

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 4 meet the expectations for materials reflecting the distribution of text types and genres required by the standards. Text selections do reflect an appropriate balance of literary and informational texts in both the Shared and Interactive readings, with a slight emphasis on nonfiction in some units. Twenty-one texts are used in the lessons with 9 non-fiction texts and 12 fiction texts. Some of the fiction texts are historical fiction such as Freedom on the Menu by Carole Boston Weatherford and Blood on the River by Elisa Carbone.

Shared Reading lessons include 3 non-fiction texts and 7 fiction texts.

  • Examples of non-fiction texts students read are: Georgia: What’s so Great about this State? by Kate Boehm Jerome, Can’t You Make Them Behave, King George? by Jean Fritz, and The Amazing Life of Benjamin Franklin by James Cross Giblin
  • Examples of fiction texts students read are: Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl, Tangerine by Edward Bloor, and George Washington’s Socks by Elvira Woodruff

Interactive Read-Aloud lessons include 6 non-fiction texts and 5 fiction texts.

  • Examples of non-fiction texts student listen to as read-aloud are: Go Straight to the Source by Kristin Fontichiaro, My Life in Dog Years by Gary Paulsen, and Earthquakes by Seymour Simon
  • Examples of fiction texts students listen to as read-aloud are: Alabama Moon by Wyatt Key, Miss Alaineus by Debra Frasier, and Steal Away Home by Lois Ruby

The distribution of texts types and genres is very diverse, and a variety of genres is found throughout each unit for the entire school year. The number of texts of each included genre are well-distributed. Genres that are covered by this curriculum include the following:

  • informational texts
  • realistic fiction
  • biographies and autobiographies
  • historical fiction
  • novels
  • poetry

Although a variety of genres are included in the instructional materials, including regular practice with poetry, works of drama are not included.

Indicator 1c

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

The texts reviewed for Grade 4 all meet the requirements for having the levels of complexity for the grade level according to quantitative and qualitative analysis and their relationship to the associated student task. Lexile levels of included texts are appropriate to the grade level, in both the shared and interactive readings. Within each 9 week unit, there are variations within the appropriate grade level band, from the beginning to the end of the year. For example, the first 9 weeks of interactive readings includes texts at 720-1090, and the final 9 week unit ranges from 660-1010 (within the complexity band recommended for 4th grade, meeting Standard 10 for 4th grade). Texts used over the school year are all qualitatively appropriate. This is an appropriate distribution and pacing both within each unit and throughout the year, and associated tasks are appropriately paired to prevent frustration and provide sufficient challenges.

Representative texts that are examples of appropriate quantitative complexity for the grade include:

  • In the 1st 9 weeks in interactive reading, the novel Alabama Moon, has a Lexile level of 720 overall, but chapters and sections include a range up to 1090. Its grade band levels are 3-4.
  • In the 1st 9 weeks in shared reading, the novel Steal Away Home, has a Lexile level of 890
  • In the 2nd 9 weeks in interactive reading, The Lost Colony has a Lexile of 850 with a grade level band 4-5.
  • In the 2nd 9 weeks in shared reading, the novel Blood on the River has a Lexile level of 820.
  • In the 3rd 9 weeks, in interactive reading, the novel Hatchet by Gary Paulsen has a Lexile level of 1020.
  • In the 3rd 9 weeks, in shared reading, the novel Tangerine has a Lexile level of 680.
  • In the 4th 9 weeks, in interactive reading, in the text The Moon Book the Lexile level is 680.
  • In the 4th 9 weeks in shared reading, in the novel George Washington’s Socks, the Lexile level is 840.
    • In addition,in the 4th 9 weeks, students are introduced to tier 2 and technical vocabulary, imagining and given examples of their usage in the appropriate context. The materials facilitate students' digging deeper and acquiring meaning from new vocabulary.

Indicator 1d

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 4 meet the expectations that materials support students’ increasing literacy skills over the course of the school year. Text sets for both the Shared and Interactive Readings increase in complexity within each unit and rarely deviate from grade level requirements throughout the year. Although there are some later texts at a lower Lexile level (for example one at 660 in the final unit), the more difficult subject matter associated with the informational texts and related tasks do not compromise overall rigor. Other texts are included at more ambitious Lexile levels, including Hatchet which is at 1020 in the third nine weeks.

  • The texts in the first nine weeks have Lexile levels range from 450-890. An example in the first nine weeks in the Shared Reading is the novel Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, which has an overall Lexile level of 810. This text contains a chronological story with complex sentences. Some words are unfamiliar, which increases the text complexity. There is one major theme, which students can start to figure out throughout the story and that theme is revealed at the end. To help students understand this text, there are 15-18 days of lessons with choral reading and frequent stopping points for the teacher to ask whole group discussion questions. In Week 5, Day 21, one of the comprehension questions starts to unpack and hint at the theme: "Why do you think the author creates such a terrible situation for the Bucket family? Give specific details that make the situation terrible" (p. 37).
  • The second nine weeks Lexile levels range from 610-820. An example in the second nine weeks in Shared Reading is the novel Can't You Make Them Behave, King George? which has a Lexile level of 800. This is a complex text with no introduction. The sentences are complex with challenging vocabulary such as philosophy, midst, and yacht. This text is challenging without background knowledge. On Day 1, the teacher lesson plans provide a link to a YouTube video, which provides background knowledge.
  • The third nine weeks Lexile levels range from 570- 1020. In the third nine weeks in Interactive Reading the novel Hatchet by Gary Paulsen has a Lexile level of 1020. This read-aloud text is chronological. The main narrator and character speak with conventional language. There are complex sentences. This text is challenging for students who have little background about the wilderness. Nineteen days are spent on this text. The lesson plans include stopping points for the teacher to ask questions for comprehension and clarification.
  • The fourth nine weeks Lexile levels range from 680-840. In the fourth nine weeks in Shared Reading the novel George Washington’s Socks has a lexile level of 840. This text is complex due to parallel time plots and time travel. There are multiple layers of meaning such as satire, academic content, and abstract thought. There are dialects, colloquialisms, and figurative language. Since this story is about the American Revolution, students may not have background knowledge to help them understand the story. To help build background knowledge, students compare the original painting of Washington crossing the Delaware to the cover of the book. Throughout the unit, teachers and students have opportunities to check understanding of the text and vocabulary.

The lowest lexile level is in the first nine weeks, and the highest lexile level is Hatchet in the third nine weeks. The novel, George Washington’s Socks has a Lexile level of 840 in the 4th 9 weeks. Overall, there is an overall increase in the rigor of texts for students to engage with as they build their reading skills.

Indicator 1e

Anchor texts and series of texts connected to them are accompanied by a text complexity analysis and rationale for purpose and placement in the grade level.
1/2
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 4 partially meet the expectations for materials being accompanied by a text complexity analysis and rationale for educational purpose and placement in the grade level.

A rationale and text complexity explanation (not detailed analysis) is located in the Grade 4 Manual under the heading Bookworms Books (pgs. 6-7). Texts were proposed by a group of teachers and then reviewed by Bookworms creators. Fictional texts were selected based on content and the potential to build knowledge. Non-fiction texts were selected based on social studies and science content with the potential to build knowledge. The Lexile band for grades 4-5 (770-980) were considered for text complexity.

Some of the guiding principles used in the selection of texts include: shared reading texts are mostly in the grade level bands, texts (when feasible) are in Lexile ascending order, and interactive read-aloud texts are mainly above grade level.

Indicator 1f

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 4 meet the expectations for supporting materials providing opportunities for student to engage in a range and volume of reading. The instructional materials include opportunities for students to read daily across a wide range and volume of texts that are read aloud by the teacher, read aloud chorally, and read during shared reading as well as a daily independent reading time for self-selected texts. Texts are divided into Interactive, Shared Reading, and Self-Selected texts.

Interactive Reading texts are often above grade level and are read aloud by the teacher who also leads students in discussion of the text.

  • In the First Nine Weeks students are read the texts Alabama Moon by Watt Key and poems from Zombies! Evacuate the School! by Sara Holbrook.
  • In the Third Nine Weeks students are read the texts Hatchet by Gary Paulsen, My Life in Dog Years by Gary Paulsen, and poems from Zombies! Evacuate the School! by Sara Holbrook.

Shared Reading Texts are at grade level and are read chorally as a class for a specific purpose and then reread with a partner for different purpose.

  • In the Second Nine Weeks students read the texts Blood on the River by Elisa Carbone and Can’t You Make Them Behave, King George? by Jean Fritz chorally and with a partner.
  • In the Fourth Nine Weeks students read the texts George Washington’s Socks by Elvira Woodruff and The Amazing Life of Benjamin Franklin by James Giblin chorally and with a partner.

Self-Selected Texts are read during Differentiated Instruction time while the teacher is working with groups. Students self-select texts from multiple reading levels and record texts using a reading log.

Criterion 1g - 1n

Materials provide opportunities for rich and rigorous evidence-based discussions and writing about texts to build strong literacy skills.
12/16
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-
Criterion Rating Details

The materials for Grade 4 partially meet the expectations that students will have opportunities for rich, rigorous discussions and writing tasks that are evidence based. Speaking and listening and writing tasks are mostly text-dependent, and challenge students to grow their skills in close reading as they build their comprehension. Students write frequently, connecting writing skills back to the texts being read. Grammar and conventions instruction is embedded to facilitate students’ application of language skills in and out of context.The materials do not include culminating tasks over the course of the year, nor comprehensive writing process support; rather, the materials provide guidance for teachers to identify their own process and culminating tasks.

Indicator 1g

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 4 meet the expectations that most questions, tasks, and assignments are text-dependent and require students to engage with the text directly and to draw on textual evidence to support both what is explicit as well as valid inferences from the text. During daily discussions and written assignments, students respond to text-dependent prompts and provide evidence for their thinking. Students must engage with the text to answer questions and complete tasks and assignments.

In the first nine weeks, students read the text Steal Away Home by Lois Ruby and answer the text-dependent questions and tasks such as:

  • Do the characters agree about the quality of the band? Use evidence from the text to justify your answer.
  • How does Dana know for certain that Lizbet was a conductor on the underground railroad? Use evidence from the text to justify your answer.
  • What exactly did a conductor do? Use evidence from the text to justify your answer.

In the second nine weeks, students read the text Blood on the River by Elisa Carbone and answer the text-dependent questions and tasks such as:

  • What do we know about this expedition so far? Make a list of key details that you can find, and then summarize and infer to link the facts together.
  • How can we tell that the boys are “lowest” in power?
  • Why does Samuel choose to trust no one?
  • Reread the last few pages. How could Master Wingfield strike with his power? Think of this as figurative language.

In the third nine weeks, students read the text Tangerine by Edward Bloor and answer the text-dependent questions and tasks such as:

  • Who is narrating the story? How can we tell the point of view?
  • What can we tell about Paul’s mother’s personality from the way that she is cleaning the old house?
  • What is a planned development? What can you infer from context?
  • Would you say that Derek has an active imagination? Provide evidence for your answer.

In the fourth nine weeks, student read George Washington’s Socks by Elvira Woodruff and answer the text-dependent questions and tasks such as:

  • Use new words in super sentences that capture important details about the reading.
  • Write a paragraph that compares and contrasts Gustav and Israel. Make sure to include important details about how they are similar and different.

Indicator 1h

Sets of high-quality sequences of text-dependent questions and tasks build to a culminating task that integrates skills (may be writing, speaking, or a combination).
0/2
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-
Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials for Grade 4 do not meet expectations that the materials support students' completion of culminating tasks that after engaging with sequences of text dependent questions and tasks.

Culminating tasks are not included in this curriculum. There are sequences of text dependent questions that address some research standards within writing; however, these do not lead or build to a culminating activity. While there are daily writing and discussion prompts of very high quality, there are no multi-faceted projects in either Interactive or Shared Reading.

Indicator 1i

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

The instructional materials for Grade 4 meet expectations that materials provide frequent opportunities and protocols for evidence-based discussions that encourage the modeling and use of academic vocabulary and syntax. Daily text-dependent discussion questions are included for both Interactive and Shared Readings. Students are often directed to use new vocabulary terms both during discussion and when writing responses to text.

Protocols are included throughout lessons for students to “talk to your partner” or “ask your partner” prompting student discussion. “Every-Pupil-Response” Protocols include talking to a partner, pair sharing, polling the class, thumbs up and thumbs down, and written responses.

  • In the second nine weeks during the shared reading of the text Blood on the River, in Week 1 on Day 3 students are led in a comprehension discussion. Questions included in this discussion are:
    • Why do you think that Samuel calls the place he is ‘tween decks?
    • Why do the chickens get treated better than the servants?
    • How can we tell that the boys are “lowest” in power?
    • Why does Samuel choose to trust no one?
    • What do we learn about Master Wingfield?
  • In the third nine weeks, during the interactive reading of the text Hatchet, in Week 1 on Day 1 students are prompted to turn and talk. Students discuss, “Now it’s your turn to ask the questions. Think about what we’ve read today and think of a good question-a good “teacher question”! Then ask your partner.”

Teachers often pause and model their thinking using academic vocabulary during Interactive Read aloud texts.

  • In the second nine weeks during the interactive read aloud of the text Miss Alaineus, in Week 1 on Day 2 the teacher introduces the book by saying, “It’s a book about words that have more than one meaning. That can lead to some confusion when you think a word means one thing and the person who uses the word has another meaning in mind.” This lesson also includes the academic vocabulary terms pride, hypothesis, and category.

Vocabulary is built through direct instruction of word meanings during shared reading and through a technique called quick scaffolding during interactive reading. Students are often asked to use these words in discussion or written responses to the texts. Students are also directed to notice the syntax of texts being read.

  • In the first nine weeks, during the shared reading of the text Steal Away Home, in Week 4 on Day 16 students are directed to the example of figurative language “snug as a bug in a rug”. The teacher’s lesson plans state,” Chapter 21: p. 125 [snug as a bug in a rug] Mrs. Weaver is making fun of Dr. Olney because he uses too many similes. Sometimes figurative language just isn’t right for the situation. And remember also that Mrs. Weaver thinks that Rebecca was cured because of the tea that Lizbet made and not the medicine that Dr. Olney gave her.”
  • In the third nine weeks, during the interactive reading of the text Hatchet, in Week 1 on Day 2 the word altimeter is directly taught to students before reading. The techer says,” Another word in the story today is altimeter. What word? An altimeter is a tool pilots use to measure the altitude, or how high above the ground an airplane is. If a pilot is flying through clouds, it’s very important to check the altimeter. Brian knew that the altimeter was important too. Gary Paulsen writes that ‘Brian saw the altimeter on the control panel.’ An altimeter is a tool that measures the altitude – how high above the ground an airplane is. What word?”

Indicator 1j

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

The instructional materials for Grade 4 meet expectations that materials support students’ listening and speaking about what they are reading and researching (including presentation opportunities) with relevant follow-up questions and supports.

During both Interactive and Shared Reading, students are provided a focus before they read to “help them access relevant prior knowledge and lead them toward an appropriate mental representation of text meaning.” (Bookworms Grade 4 Manual, page 46)

  • In the second nine weeks, during the shared reading of the text Can’t You Make Them Behave King George? in Week 7 on Day 33 the teacher provides students with the lesson’s focus, “Think about why King George thought of the revolution as a problem in America rather than as a war.”

During choral reading and interactive read-alouds, teachers model seven comprehension strategies that students can use to better comprehend and discuss a text. These strategies are making connections, asking questions to aid understanding, creating sensory images, inferring, determining importance, synthesizing, and self-monitoring. Procedures for these strategies can be found in lesson plans and on pages 46 and 47 of the Grade 4 Manual.

  • In the third nine weeks, during the shared reading of the text My Life as a Book, in Week 8 on Day 40 the teacher models making connections. The lesson directs teachers to model their thinking by saying, “I can make a connection here. We know that Derek’s perfect feeling was ended when he got bitten by a mosquito and yelled at because Bodi was off leash. And he said that you would have to be a moron to expect perfect to last forever. Now we see that his mother’s perfect feeling was yelled at because the ferry man called her ‘Lady’. The author is providing us more than one example, connecting our characters.”

Discussion starters are provided for shared and interactive readings that require students to combine information from the text with their prior knowledge in order to make inferences. Teachers are directed to follow up with student answers by asking how the student knows the answer or further question them to help them find the information to make the logical inference. Most discussions have students working with a partner to ensure that all students are involved.

  • In the first nine weeks, during the interactive reading of the text Alabama Moon, on Day 9 students are asked, “Remember that we can learn more about a character through his actions. When Moon switches with Hal, what does it reveal about his character? Talk to your partner.”

Graphic organizers are modeled to help students organize information from text and student must be active listeners during shared and interactive readings in order to participate in discussion and written responses.

  • In the fourth nine weeks, during the interactive reading of the text The Moon Book, on Day 2 the teacher models a diagram to show the layers of earth, “It will help us if I make a diagram to show these words. Here is the earth’s crust, and below it is the mantle. The mantle is much, much thicker. The plates are part of the crust and they move against each other. Later I’ll ask you to explain this diagram in a few sentences.”

Pair-Share Written Responses are shared before beginning new reading each day. Students read and respond to another’s written responses.

  • In the first nine weeks, during the interactive reading of the text Roanoke: The Lost Colony, on Day 3 students read the written response from Day 2 before they begin the new lesson. Students are asked to share with a partner their ship’s logs that were written at the end in the previous lesson, “Put yourself in John White’s place. Write one of his log entries during the trip when some of his sailors decided to become pirates. Provide details about what he might have written.”

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 Grade 4 partially meet expectations that 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.

While an abundance of on demand daily writing tasks are given, there is minimal support for students to develop their writing process. There are frequent opportunities for rich and rigorous evidence-based discussions and writing about texts to build strong literacy skills; however, this materials do not include opportunities for students to complete multiple drafts and revisions, including focused projects over time. The materials do include some considerations for teachers to address this, however.

Examples of on-demand writing prompts include:

  • In the Shared Reading Unit, First Nine Weeks, Week 1, Day 2 of Georgia: What's so Great about this State?, students write to the following prompt: "What if you could decide on a new monument to be built anywhere in Georgia. Write and tell who the monument would be about and why" (p. 5).
  • In the Interactive Read-Aloud Unit, Second Nine Weeks, Day 1 of Around the World in a Hundred Years, students write to the following prompt: "Pretend that you could send a message back through time to Ptolemy. What would you tell him? Stick to the main ideas that you know but that he didn't" (p. 24).
  • In the Shared Reading Unit, Fourth Nine Weeks, Week 3, Day 15 of George Washington's Socks, students write to the following prompt: "Write the story of the socks as you think Kate would tell it. You will be using her point-of-view" (p. 25).
  • In the Interactive Read-Aloud Unit, Third Nine Weeks, Day 4 of Hatchet, students write to the following prompt: "Do you think that Brian considers himself lucky for surviving the crash? Why or why not? Explain and give your reasons" (p. 9).

From the Grade 4 Teacher's Manual (p. 11):

You will see that there are not as many interactive read-aloud lesson plans as there are shared reading lesson plans. This difference is deliberate. Nearly half of the 45-minute time segments for interactives must be reserved for process writing so that students learn to compose, revise, and edit their own writing pieces. We have not designed this portion of the curriculum. Teachers should work together to use consistent process writing procedures and language and to sequence the three writing genres (narrative, informative, and persuasive/argumentative) across the school year.

Indicator 1l

Materials provide opportunities for students to address different text types of writing that reflect the distribution required by the standards.
1/2
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-
Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials for Grade 4 partially meet expectations that materials provide opportunities for students to address different text types of writing that reflect the distribution required by the standards.

A variety of prompts include a distribution of opinion, informative/explanatory, and narrative writings as required by the Grade 4 standards; however, the short written responses do not provide adequate opportunities for students to meet all aspects of the Grade 4 Standards that address text types.

Written responses from interactive reading and shared reading are completed as seat work during small-group time. Students have the opportunity to complete one text-based response each day, and two on the days when an interactive read aloud is done. Teachers are instructed to model for students at the beginning of the year to establish norms for length and quality of these written responses. The prompts vary in structure and address different text types.

  • In the First Nine Weeks of the Interactive Read-Aloud of Alabama Moon, on Day 3, students respond to the following written opinion response prompt: "Put yourself in Mr. Ambrosco's shoes. What do you think he should have done? Give your reasons" (p. 6).
  • In the First Nine Weeks of the Shared Reading Unit of Georgia: What's so Great about this State, in Week 1 on Day 1, students respond the written opinion response prompt: "Which one of the five areas is most interesting to you? Why? Give reasons for your opinion” (p. 3).
  • In the Second Nine Weeks of the Interactive Read-Aloud of Go Straight to the Source , on Day 5, students respond to the following written informative response prompt: "You could examine sources in a book bag. I would like each of you to take a few items out of your book bag and show them to your partner. Write about your partner's items. 1. What items do you see? 2. What do you think about the items? 3. What questions do you have?" (p. 22).
  • In the Second Nine Weeks of the Shared Reading Unit of Blood on the River, in Week 1, Day 2, students respond to the following written informative response prompt: "What do we know about this expedition so far? Make a list of key details that you can find, and then summarize and infer the link the facts together" (p. 5).
  • In the Fourth Nine Weeks of the Shared Reading Unit of Amazing Life of Benjamin Franklin, in Week 4 Day 20, students respond to the following written narrative response prompt: "Imagine that you were Ben Franklin in London. The people at home are counting on you to help them by getting the Penn family to pay taxes. Write a short letter home telling them what you're doing about it. Write from his point-of-view" (p. 34).
  • In the Second Nine Weeks of the Interactive Read-Aloud of Around the World in a Hundred Years, on Day 6, students respond to the following written narrative response prompt: "Pretend that you were one of his men. It is the night after everyone drank from the pool and nothing happened. Write a diary entry containing your thoughts about your leader. Remember to write as if you were one of them" (p. 35).

Students write without explicit instruction and no direct instruction for writing is provided.

Indicator 1m

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

The instructional materials for Grade 4 partially meet expectations that materials include frequent opportunities for evidence-based writing to support careful analyses, well-defended claims, and clear information. Most writing included is informational (responses to literature and nonfiction texts), and tasks are appropriate to grade level. Approximately 10 minutes a day is dedicated to writing, and students do have an opportunity to share their written work with a partner daily. Most writing is text-dependent.

Materials require students to respond daily in writing to the wide variety of text genres present in this curriculum. Most writing is expository, (responses to literature and nonfiction texts) with some narrative exceptions in which students must imagine themselves in a story (these do still require knowledge of the text). The reviewers note that opportunities to write to provide evidence, analysis, and make claims are present, however, teachers would need to develop their own models supports and protocols to guide students.

Writing prompts are a part of shared reading and interactive reading.

Shared Reading

The Grade 4 Manual (page 48) addresses that the written responses are to be completed as seat work during small-group time. The manual states that teachers should model for students at the beginning of the year to establish norms for length and quality. However the materials to not provide models or norms. This would need to be generated by the teacher.

For example,

  • In the first nine week, students read Steal Away Home. One of the writing prompts asks students to "begin two journals: one for James and one for Dana. Write an entry for each about the day's events. Imitate the author's style for each character and make sure that we can infer character traits.
  • In the third nine weeks, students will read the text Tangerine. Students are to write to the following prompt, "Paul is going to have a new chance to play soccer. Think about everything we know about Tangerine Middle. What do you think is going to happen? Provide reasons for your opinion." Rubrics are provided for the three types of writing (informative, opinion, narrative) in the Teacher's Guide, but no other models, graphic organizers or guidance is provided to write to the prompt.
  • In the fourth nine weeks, students are reading the novel, George Washington’s Socks. Students are to respond to a prompt requiring them to "write a paragraph that compares and contrasts Matthew’s life and Israel’s life. You will have to find key details that are similar and different." Graphic organizers are discussed in the Teacher's Guide

Interactive Read Aloud

Each day, the interactive read-aloud concludes with a prompt for writing that also can be done independently during small-group time. This writing is tied directly to the read-aloud for that day and is separate from the written response to the shared reading selection. Therefore, students will have the opportunity to complete one text-based response each day, and two on the days when doing the read-alouds. However the materials to not provide models or norms. This would need to be generated by the teacher.

For example,

  • In the first nine weeks, students are also asked to respond to the poem, Zombies! Evacuate the School by composing their own poem. “Write a poem about what it means to be ___ [Given a choice of adjectives.] You’ll need to think of other words that go with the one you choose.”
  • In the second nine weeks, students will read "My Life in Dog Years" and are to write a diary entry pretending to be Gary Paulsen. They are to write how they would feel after being saved from drowning. They are to write from Gary’s point of view. Guidance for writing to a specific point of view may be challenging for students, but supports are not provided in the materials.

Indicator 1n

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 4 meet expectations for 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 the context.

The language standards are addressed both in small group lessons and during Interactive Read-Alouds (whole group) where students have opportunities to apply the skills in and out of context. Because the interactive read-aloud is teacher-directed and a whole-class activity, the teacher can target specific knowledge students need to attain . This can be done by pointing out features of sentences with which the class is working.

Application opportunities are found in the sentence composing component of the lesson. Bookworms teaches grammar and conventions through sentence combining.

“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.” (Bookworms, Grade 4 Manual, p. 88)

These routines include teacher modeling and can then be incorporated into daily written responses.

Examples of Sentence Combining include activities include:

1st Quarter

Sentence Composing - Alabama Moon – Day 4

  • Unscramble: at one point - I - heard - something moving - outside - and - fear - bolted - through me -and - I - hugged - my knees - together
  • Combine: My door opened. Mr. Gene grabbed me by the shoulder. He shook me gently. [Prompt them to create a chronological series using words like after and then.]

2nd Quarter

Sentence Composing – Around the World in a Hundred Years – Day 5

  • Imitate: As for John Cabot’s original map, no one knows what happened to it. As for ______’s ______, no one knows what happened to it. As for ______’s ______, ______ knows what happened to it.
  • Unscramble: lands in - the North Atlantic - were gradually - taking shape - and fortunately - John Cabot left - behind - a map - of where - he had been

3rd Quarter

Sentence Composing – Hatchet – Day 3

  • Expand: The plane fell into the wide place like a stone.
  • Combine: Brian eased back on the steering wheel. Brian braced himself for the crash. [Prompt use of the temporal words when, while, and as.]

4th Quarter

Sentence Composing - The Moon Book – Day 6

  • Expand: The Italian scientist, Galileo, used a telescope to study the moon.
  • Combine: Many craters have been discovered on the moon. The largest crater on the moon is 183 miles across. The largest crater on the moon is named Bailly. [Prompt use of words indicating instances or examples: like and such as.]

The following is a chart that includes the grammar/conventions skilled outlined in the standards and included in the 4th grade materials. It is located in the Grade 4 Teacher’s Manual for Bookworms. (p. 63)

Grade 4 Grammar/Sentence Construction

Skill

Sample Cue

Relative pronouns

(who, whose, which, that)

Imitating with pronoun omitted

What word goes here?

Relative adverbs

(where, when, why)

Expanding, teacher supplies adverb

Add to the beginning and start with why.

Progressive

(was walking, am walking, will be walking)

Choose sentence containing progressive

If I change was to am, would it be right?

Modal auxiliaries

(can, may, must)

Imitating, remove auxiliary

What if we put in may? Would that work?

Order adjectives

(small red bag)

Unscrambling, with two adjectives

Is it better this way or this way?

Prepositional Phrases

Unscrambling

Can we make a prepositional phrase?

Complete sentences

(recognize run-ons, fragments)

Combining, create a fragment

Is this a complete sentence? Let’s attach it!

Homonyms

(to, too, two; there, their)

Expanding, as you write suggested text

How shall we spell two here?

Use and identify 8 parts of speech

Imitating

Let’s start by removing 1 noun and 1 verb.

Correct capitalization

Unscrambling, when you finish

What do we need to do with the first word?

Commas and quotation marks for dialogue

Unscrambling of a sentence with a quote

Which words are spoken? What punctuation do we need?

Comma before coordinating conjunction

Combining 2 sentences with and or but

Do we need a comma here?

Precise usage

Expanding when a poor word is suggested

Can we think of a better word here?

Punctuation for effect

Unscrambling an exclamatory sentence

This sentence is almost shouting. What should we put at the end?

Reviewers noted that there are limited opportunities for independent practice of language standards (these are teacher-directed and occur in small group settings).

Criterion 1o - 1q

Materials in reading, writing, speaking, listening, and language targeted to support foundational reading development are aligned to the standards.
6/6
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Criterion Rating Details

The instructional materials for Grade 4 fully meet the expectations for support of students’ foundational skills development. The materials support building students’ comprehension through targeted lessons with the component parts of reading instruction (including phonics, word recognition, reading fluency, etc.) in a clear progression. Small group, large group, and some individual instruction is supported so students can achieve literacy acceleration across the school year. Students are guided to read with purpose in shared reading, interactive read-alouds, and as they reflect in their writing.

Indicator 1o

Materials, questions, and tasks address grade-level CCSS for foundational skills by providing explicit instruction and assessment in phonics and word recognition that demonstrate a research-based progression.
2/2
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 4 meet expectations for materials, questions and tasks address grade-level CCSS for foundational skills that build comprehension by providing instruction in phonics, word recognition, vocabulary, morphology, and reading fluency in a research-based and transparent progression.

Foundational skills are presented to address phonics, word recognition, morphology, and vocabulary (strong opportunities for vocabulary development in each shared/read aloud lesson in every unit).There are word study lessons described in the Word Study document as well as in the Shared Lessons to guide teachers to instruct word study (which addresses decoding, spelling, and meaning vocabulary). According to the Grade 4 Teacher’s Manual, students learn multisyllabic decoding based on syllable types and correlate the connection to spelling and meaning (p. 12).

  • For example, Week 1 of the Shared Reading Lessons, students study the following words, which are from the read-aloud text: region, piedmont, sacrifice, monuments, traditions, resources, colonize, and symbols. Students learn how to break each word into syllables and study word morphology.
  • For example, in the First 9 weeks, Week 1, Day 1, students learn pied means foot and mont means mountain, so piedmont means the foot of the mountains (p. 2). Each week, students study particular words as part of the word study and then test their learning on the fifth day. Differentiation of foundational skills occurs in small groups. One type of the differentiation lessons addresses word recognition and fluency. Students are identified for this support with the diagnostic Informal Decoding Inventory.

Tier 2 Words are addressed in the Interactive Read-Aloud lessons. The Tier 2 vocabulary words are related to the read-aloud selection. For example, in the First Nine Weeks, Day 1 of the Alabama Moon lesson, the teacher directions emphasize stoop and reflection. “One of the words from our book today is stoop. What word? Stoop means to bend your head down and to the side so that you can get under something” (p. 3).

Fluency is addressed in Shared Reading Lessons and in differentiated lessons for small groups. In Shared Reading Lessons, students participate in choral reading, echo reading, and rereading. In small group lessons, students’ reading fluency will be addressed based on results of the informal Decoding Inventory.

Indicator 1p

Materials, lessons, and questions provide instruction in and practice of word analysis skills in a research-based progression in connected text and tasks.
2/2
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials meet expectations that materials, questions, and tasks guide students to read with purpose and understanding and to make frequent connections between the acquisition of foundational skills and making meaning from reading.

In the Grade 4 Manual, word study is described as a way “to move systematically across grade levels from sound to pattern to meaning” (p. 12). The focus of grade 4 word study is “to build on the foundation laid in third grade to emphasize multisyllabic decoding, based on syllable types, and the link between spelling and meaning” (p. 12). Words for study and analysis are selected from the meaning vocabulary in the shared reading selections. The manual contains explanations to the teacher about syllable types and word morphology such as common prefixes and suffixes. During Identify and Explain Syllable Types in the Shared Reading lessons, students learn how to use chunking to decode, spell, and make meaning of words.

During the Word Study Scope and Sequence, 10 minutes are suggested for Decoding-Spelling-Meaning Vocabulary. For example, in Grade 4, First 9 Weeks, Week 1, students learn: “Mon u ments (closed, open, closed) are structure that are made to honor someone or something. They could be statues, or gravestones, or flags. They come in many forms” (p. 4). In Grade 4, Second 9 weeks, Week 6, students learn: “Mon ar chy (closed, r control, open) is a noun that means a government ruled by a king or queen. That person is called a monarch. Power is passed down inside the family. Even today, there is a monarchy in England, although the king or queen doesn’t have political power” (p. 42). On some days, students are asked to go back to the text and find the words in context and talk about their meanings. Otherwise students participate in word study practice with student notebooks during differentiated group time.

The materials provide differentiated small group lessons for teachers to provide support of foundational word analysis skills. After students are assessed using the Informal Decoding Inventory, the teacher places students in one of three or four small groups. Depending on placement, students receive more targeted support in specific foundational skills such as word recognition skills and multisyllabic decoding.

It should be noted that these word study lessons do not include student materials (such as the student notebook) which would need to be generated by the teacher.

Indicator 1q

Instructional opportunities are frequently built into the materials for students to practice and achieve reading fluency in oral and silent reading, that is, to read on-level prose and poetry with accuracy, rate appropriate to the text, and expression.
2/2
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials meet expectations that instructional opportunities are frequently built into the materials for students to practice and achieve reading fluency in oral and silent reading, that is, to read on-level prose and poetry with accuracy, rate appropriate to the text, and expression.

According to Walpole and McKenna of the Grade 4 Manual, “fluency is built through repeated reading” (p. 45). Students have the opportunity to read and reread one segment of text each day, which includes informational, narrative, and poetry. Students have the opportunity to become fluent readers of those styles of texts using choral reading, echo reading, and rereading. Students participate in silent reading during differentiated lessons. Once students complete their text-based reading, they may do self-selected silent reading.

In the Interactive Reading, students practice echo reading of poetry. In the First Nine Weeks, Poetry: Zombies! Evacuate the School!, students echo read parts of the poem first. Later students choral read the entire poem.

In the Shared Reading Lessons, students have the opportunity to practice oral reading through choral reading, echo reading, and rereading with a partner. In the Lesson Plan, teachers are provided with page numbers for having students echo or choral read. For example, in the First 9 Weeks, Week 1 Day 5 of students practice reading fluency of an informational text called Georgia-What's So Great About This State?. The teacher can have students echo or choral read page 31 of that text. In the Third 9 Weeks, students practice reading a narrative text called Tangerine. Students choral read Pages 12-22. After choral reading, teachers are to pair students up by reading achievement ranking. The teacher is directed to teach students how to participate as a reader and a coach. The expectation is that students will read with expression. When the reader makes an error, the coach should prompt the reader to reread. There is a missed opportunity to emphasize rate in the partner reading activity.

In order to assess students’ fluency, learning modules about screening and diagnosis are provided on the website. Teachers are directed to use DIBELS Next (which is free to access and to use) to assess each student’s fluency. It is suggested to do reading fluency 1-minute oral readings at least three times over the year. The materials suggest providing small group instruction around fluency and comprehension based on the results of the DIBELS assessment. Small group instruction around fluency can be found in the books by Walpole and McKenna, which the teacher will need to purchase.

In Walkthrough Observation Tool Designed to Enhance Implementation, teachers can utilize narrative text during small group time to help students build fluency. Students echo or choral read for 5-6 minutes and then reread with a partner or whisper read.

Gateway Two

Building Knowledge with Texts, Vocabulary, and Tasks

Partially Meets Expectations

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Gateway Two Details

The instructional materials for Grade 4 partially meet the expectations of the Gateway 2. Texts are organized to support students' building knowledge of different topics and there is much support for students to engage with and grow their academic vocabulary over the course of the school year. Sets of text-dependent questions and tasks provide opportunities for students to analyze ideas within and across texts. The materials do not include comprehensive culminating tasks for students to demonstrate integration of the literacy standards and skills, nor is there full support for students' independent reading.

Criterion 2a - 2h

22/32

Indicator 2a

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 4 meet the expectations for texts organized around topics to build students’ ability to read and comprehend complex texts independently and proficiently. Materials are organized to build students’ knowledge through topic-focused texts.

For example, in Grade 4 during the first nine weeks the topic focus is history and landforms. Some texts include:

  • Georgia - What’s So Great About this State? Students explore regions, landforms and history,
  • In Steal Away Home - focus on history with connections made to social studies and the Underground Railroad: Suggested that a brief lesson is taught on, the historical setting of Bleeding Kansas

Unit 2 in Grade 4 includes texts that take place during early colonization of the eastern coast of North America:

  • Blood on the River is historical fiction. The author, Elisa Carbone, has taken real people and events of the past and has added a story with details, conversations, and emotions to bring them to life.
  • Can’t You Make Them Behave King George? by biographer Jean Fritz is about King George III, King of England in the 1700s.

Also, in Grade 4 the fourth nine weeks is centered around learning about American Presidents, and texts include:

  • George Washington’s Socks
  • The Amazing Life of Benjamin Franklin

Indicator 2b

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

The Grade 4 instructional materials meet expectations that the materials contain sets of coherently sequenced questions and tasks that require students to analyze the language, key ideas, details, craft, and structure of individual texts. Through the Comprehension Discussion Questions, Model Comprehension Strategies and Ask Questions During Reading, and Written Responses (in some places called Written Follow-Up) students address facets of this indicator with nearly every text. As students read and engage in large class, small group, and individual work, they engage in study of words and components of texts.

The following examples demonstrate how students analyze author’s craft and language:

  • Students analyze author’s craft in the first Shared Reading Unit, Week 5, Day 21 of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory with: Why do you think the author creates such a terrible situation for the Bucket family? Give specific details that make the situation terrible (p. 37).
  • Students also author’s craft and language in the Third Nine Weeks in Interactive Read-Aloud Unit, Day 1 of My Life in Dog Years: What do you think the author means when he says that Cookie was like a “dogsister” or “dogmother” to me? Why do you think the author did not take another person along for safety reasons when he went trapping for beaver?
  • Students analyze author’s craft and language in the Third Nine Weeks in Shared Reading Unit, Week 1, Day 1 of Tangerine: What does the author mean on page 4 when the author says that Paul can see things that others can’t or won’t see? Is this literal or figurative language? (p.3)

These demonstrate a few of the frequent opportunities for students to analyze key ideas, details, and structure are also part of daily analysis. For example:

  • In the First Nine Weeks of Shared Reading, students read Steal Away Home and are asked to create timelines and story maps to help them to understand the complexity of this structure.
  • In the Third Nine Weeks of Interactive Read-Aloud, students read Hatchet and are asked to analyze key details: Brian feels as if he’s only been sleeping for a short time. What things in the story lead you to believe that he has been sleeping for a longer time? What do you think caused the mosquitoes to come out so quickly and then go away just as quickly? (p. 8)
  • In the Last Nine Weeks of Shared Reading, students read George Washington’s Socks and are consistently asked to recall and review key ideas to summarize events without the use of graphic organizers.

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 for Grade 4 meet expectations that 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. Students encounter many opportunities to analyze knowledge within texts.

The majority of the questions and tasks are coherently sequenced, as they require students to analyze the integration of knowledge and ideas. On page 17 of the teacher’s manual, it is stated: “Nearly all questions provided for in shared reading are inferential, meaning that students have to combine information from within the text, or between the text and prior knowledge to answer.” Page 18 states: “Students will have the opportunity to complete one text-based written response per day.” This relates to standards RI.4.1 and RL.4.1.

For example, as students read Georgia: What’s so Great about this State? (First Nine Weeks Shared Reading), the questions and tasks students are asked to answer and write about include:

  • Analyzing questions in the subheadings, sections organized by the author, and changes to the subheadings.
  • Synthesizing what they’ve read by creating a Top Ten List of what makes Georgia special.

As students read The Moon Book (Last Nine Weeks Interactive Read-Aloud), some questions and tasks include:

  • Analyzing how Seymour Simon organized the book
  • Locating the San Andreas Fault on a map
  • Analyzing a diagram and then writing a paragraph about the diagram and using the words plate, crust, and mantle.
  • To complete these tasks, students must marshal previous learning from content to text features, access academic vocabulary, and synthesize reading and writing skills to demonstrate their understanding. The most important knowledge that is integrated across texts is text structure knowledge. In all texts, we teach text structures explicitly, through direct explanation and the creation of anchor charts. Text structures emphasized in narrative text include sequence of events and story maps. In informational text, they include repeated instruction in sequence, topic/subtopic, and compare/contrast.
  • One connection across texts is the link between the fictional text, Hatchet, and the autobiographical, My Life in Dog Years, which immediately follows it.
  • Knowledge of American history is built with questions and tasks in shared reading (Can You Make Them Behave, King George?)and in read-alouds (Worst of Friends).

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 materials for Grade 4 partially meet the expectations of indicator 2d. Materials provide some supports for students to demonstrate their knowledge of topics through integrated skills (e.g., a combination of reading, writing, speaking, and listening) after they have followed text-dependent questions and tasks. As students read rich texts across the year, they frequently interact in discussions and writing about the materials.

At the end Tangerine, a shared reading book, provides 5 specific research topics to build knowledge that was integral to the novel: the effects of an eclipse, the citrus industry in Florida, sinkholes, the growth of soccer in the US, and dealing with bullying. (See 3rd 9 weeks, Day 25.)

To fully support students’ work with culminating tasks over the course of the school year, the teacher will have to identify and /or create supporting resources. The materials do provide some examples and guidance as to external resources for this purpose.

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 for Grade 4 fully meet the expectations of this indicator, with a year-long plan to build academic vocabulary. For these materials, academic vocabulary is defined as words that are traditionally used in academic dialogue and text. Specifically, it refers to words that are not necessarily common or frequently encountered in informal conversation.

Academic vocabulary practice is embedded throughout the fourth grade materials, and is prominently featured in the Interactive Reading lessons, under the headings “Model a Comprehension Strategy and Ask Questions During Reading.” For example, in the fourth nine week unit of Interactive Reading, the lesson plans for reading The Moon Book include the following:

  • “This book will introduce some important words that we will need to understand the moon. Let's make a diagram and I will show you a few of the most important of them.
  • [Sketch or project the diagram below and briefly define the words as you do so. Use the globe or tennis ball to demonstrate the difference between rotate and revolve.]

In addition, the sections of Interactive Reading entitled Teach Tier 2 Words do include some academic vocabulary. For example, in the third nine week unit when reading My Life in Dog Years, the lesson plans include the following:

  • “One of the words from our book today was analyze. What word? Analyze means to logically break down a problem or situation. The police try to analyze the evidence at a crime scene. In this chapter, we read: "she saw me drop, instantly analyzed the situation, got the team up – she must have jerked them to their feet – got them pulling, and they pulled me out." Analyze means to break down a problem using logic. What word?”

Finally, in the Word Study Scope and Sequence lesson plans included in the Shared Reading, academic vocabulary is again included amongst Tier 2 words. For example, in the first week, the following is written:

  • “Collaborate is a verb that means work together to get something done. Authors and illustrators collaborate to write books. Children collaborate when they work in groups.”

Indicator 2f

Materials support students' increasing writing skills over the course of the school year, building students' writing ability to demonstrate proficiency at grade level at the end of the school year.
2/4
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials for Grade 4 partially meet expectations that materials support students’ increasing writing skills over the course of the school year, building students’ writing ability to demonstrate proficiency at grade level at the end of the school year. There is consistent, daily time for writing practice over the course of the year. During the differentiation block, students have as many as 30 minutes each day to complete text-based writing tasks.

While prompts are tied to texts of gradually increasing rigor (all within the grade level), there is minimal explicit support for students to practice revision, editing, and for moving from single parts to comprehensive written pieces. Writing tasks at the end of the year are very similar to the beginning of the year. Rubrics are available to support teachers as they determine students’ writing level and assess growth.

In the Focus on Text Structure portion of the shared reading selections, there is support guiding teachers to think aloud and create anchor charts, demonstrating the composing process and then transcribing. The skill of summarization is reinforced many times during this modeling portion of shared reading. The Grade 4 Teacher Manual does provide an overview of writing purpose, but there is little explicit guidance providing teachers with plans, protocols, and other models.

In the Grade 4 Teacher’s manual (p. 11), it states: “You will see that there are not as many interactive read aloud lesson plans as there are shared reading lesson plans. This difference is deliberate. Nearly half of the 45-minute time segments for interactives must be reserved for process writing so that students learn to compose, revise, and edit their own writing pieces. We have not designed this portion of the curriculum. Teachers should work together to use consistent process writing procedures and language and to sequence the three writing genres (narrative, informative, and persuasive/argumentative) across the school year.

In the materials, writing tasks are all on-demand and are text-dependent, which is a strength. However, there is no plan for modeling or support materials for a writing process present in materials. For example, on page 48 the Teacher’s Manual states “Model for students at the beginning of the year to establish norms for length and quality," but no models are provided in the instructional materials.

Many writing prompts ask students to use the skill of summarization or to write summaries, models of summaries or protocols for how to write a summary are not included. Teachers would need to find or develop their own lessons, models or protocols of how to write a summary. For example, during the Second Nine Weeks of Shared Reading, Week 5, Day 21, Blood on the River, the following task is included: “Write a summary of the events when Newport went to visit Powhatan.”

Writing topics chosen are appropriate and engaging for the grade level in which they are presented and varied in type of writing asked to do.

Examples of the writing tasks present (which include the protocol of including text evidence) for Grade 4 students include the following:

  • In the First Nine Weeks of the Shared Reading, Day 22 of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory: “Think about Willy Wonka’s decision to close and then reopen the factory. Do you think he was in the right? Give reasons for your opinion.”
  • In the Second Nine Weeks of Interactive Read-Aloud, Day 3 of Go Straight to the Source: “Just like last time, I will give each of you a sheet of paper with a picture of an artifact. It’s not a Ferris Wheel, but a ___. There is plenty of room in the margins around the picture to write what you notice, questions you wonder about, and thoughts you might have. I want you to write at least two things you notice, two questions you wonder about, and two thoughts you have about what you see in the picture. Be sure to draw arrows from what you write to something in the picture.”
  • In the Third Nine Weeks of Shared Reading, Day 15 of Tangerine by Edward Bloor: “Both Antoine and Paul saw Arthur hit Luis with a blackjack. What actions do you think each one will take? Give reasons.”
  • In the Fourth Nine Weeks of the Interactive Read-Aloud, Day 1 of The Moon Book: “Try to imagine that you were looking up at the night sky thousands of years ago. You know nothing about the moon or the stars except what you can see in the sky. A friend asks you what you think the moon is. What would you tell your friend? Write a paragraph from an ancient person’s point of view. Give yourself a name if you like!”

Teachers would need to create their own supports for some students to write to the prompt. Some writing prompts require students to use organizational skills. For example, “This story has multiple problems. Different characters have different problems, and some characters have more than one problem. Describe two characters and their problems. Tell what the author’s purpose is for including multiple problems” (My Life As A Book, Third Nine Weeks of Shared Reading, Week 7, Day 32).

If teachers would like to incorporate the writing process into lessons (in order to meet the standards), they would need to generate their own materials and allocate more time than originally budgeted by the

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 for Grade 4 partially meet expectations that materials include a progression of focused research projects to encourage students to develop knowledge in a given area by confronting and analyzing different aspects of a topic using multiple texts and source materials. Students do engage with components of the research process over the course of the year and complete short projects. There are minimal opportunities for students to complete full research projects independently that have gone through a process of revision. The component pieces included, however, do support student practice in research tasks. Teachers will have to identify outside materials for students to complete full research projects. There is some guidance to support teachers as they identify time within their schedules to build research work (e.g., in the Fourth Grade Manual, page 88, it is recommended teachers plan brief research units with the days remaining in each quarter of the school year’s shared reading.)

The standards for 4th grade ask that students engage in “short research projects that build knowledge about a topic.” In the yearlong materials, students are asked to “recall relevant information from experiences or gather relevant information from print (W.4.8)” Students do work to build independence and apply skills into new context as they read and explore texts as well as record their findings. The research tasks for 4th grade are in labeled in the lessons as “Follow Up” for shared reading and “Written Response” for interactive reading. Most writing prompts in the grade 4 Bookworms can be answered with one paragraph in length (all in response to texts), and many are followed over the next several days by related prompts on the same topic for the duration of the book. Rather than being built into separate culminating tasks, these short research projects are connected by texts, and students receive one after each reading until the text has been completed. Students are expected to complete the task during the language arts block.

Examples of some of the short research projects are as follows:

In the first nine weeks, students read, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and have the following writing prompt: (Week 7, Shared Reading)

  • Watch the 1971 film: Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. The film is 100 minutes, so break it into three parts. After watching each segment, discuss how the movie is different than the book and speculate about why the maker of the movie made the change.
  • Assign a written response each day so that the students argue that either the book or the movie was a better composition.

In the 2nd nine weeks, students read, Around the World in a Hundred Years (Day 4, Interactive Read-Alouds). The written expression prompt at the end of the lesson has students explore the text to answer the following prompt.

  • Take a close look at the map showing the Line of Demarcation. Remember that Portugal got all the lands to the east of the line, and Spain got all the lands to the west. Write a paragraph telling which country got the better bargain and why. [Remember that students will need to view page 45 as they write.]

In the 3rd nine weeks, students respond to the following prompt after reading, My Life as a Book (Week 8, Shared Reading).

  • Write a brief news story that tells the real events on South Beach.

In the 4th nine weeks, students respond to the following prompt while after reading Earthquake (Day 5, Interactive Read-Alouds)

  • Make a list of safety rules for our school in case of an earthquake. We will post them so everyone can see them in an emergency.

Research projects that extend across texts and use various sources would need to be developed by the teacher. No research guidelines such as categorizing information, taking notes or providing lists of sources are provided. (W.4.8) Teachers would need to develop organizational tools and research protocols to assist students with more in-depth research projects that span across texts or sources as well as to assist in investigation of different aspects of a topic. (W.4.7)

It is also noted that there are few opportunities to research using digital sources (W.4.8), so teachers would need to be supplement this component in order to fully support students’ success with the research standard.

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.
0/4
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials for Grade 4 do not fully meet 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. There is some guidance for the teacher to engage a program of independent reading; for example, in the Fourth-grade Manual, page 50: "The most beneficial homework may be wide reading. Teachers may opt to adopt a reading log for homework, provided that books from the library are sent home with all children."

It is also noted in the Fourth grade Manual that students first work on their on-demand writing, and then engage in self-selected reading with a reading log (page 10).

Gateway Three

Usability

Not Rated

Criterion 3a - 3e

null
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

Title ISBN Edition Publisher Year
Bookwormsreading.org Copyright: 2016 0

About Publishers Responses

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

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

Educator-Led Review Teams

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

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

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

ELA 3-8 Rubric and Evidence Guides

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

For ELA, our rubrics evaluate materials based on:

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

  • Building Knowledge with Texts, Vocabulary, and Tasks

  • Instructional Supports and Usability

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

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