Alignment to College and Career Ready Standards: Overall Summary

Alignment

|

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
26
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
34
30-34
Meets Expectations
24-29
Partially Meets Expectations
0-23
Does Not Meet Expectations

Gateway One

Text Quality & Complexity and Alignment to Standards Components

Meets Expectations

+
-
Gateway One Details

Grade 1 instructional materials meet the expectations for text quality and complexity and alignment to the standards. Most tasks and questions are text based and grounded in evidence. The instructional materials include some texts that are worthy of students' time and attention and provide many opportunities for rich and rigorous, evidence-based discussions and writing about texts to build strong literacy skills. Some speaking and listening activities may need to be supported with extensions to dive deeper into the text, but focus on teaching protocols and modeling academic language are in place. Materials address foundational skills to build comprehension and provide questions and tasks that guide students to read with purpose and understanding, making connections between acquisition of foundational skills and making meaning during reading. Materials also provide opportunities to increase oral and silent reading fluency across the grade level.

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.
16/20
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-
Criterion Rating Details

Materials partially meet the criteria for including anchor texts that are of publishable quality, are worthy of especially careful reading and/or listening, and consider a range of student interests. Texts meet the text complexity criteria for each grade. Students engage in a range and volume of reading to achieve grade level reading proficiency.

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.
2/4
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Benchmark Grade 1 partially meet the criteria for 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, are worthy of especially careful reading/listening, and consider a range of student interests.

Texts include vibrantly colored illustrations that help students to make meaning of the written text. Texts span a range of student interests.

Informational texts are of high quality. Some examples include the following:

  • In Unit 7, Week 1, “The Story of the White House” is a read-aloud historical article that utilizes photographs and a timeline to support the descriptive chronological structure. The text contains context dependent academic vocabulary and domain specific words such as the names of the presidents.
  • In Unit 10, Week 1, “Shadow Puppets” is a procedural text focusing on how to create shadow puppets. Each example of a puppet is supported by a photograph or illustration to assist the reader in visualizing the procedure.

While each unit has well known stories such as “The Princess and the Pea”, “The Gingerbread Man”, “The Ugly Duckling” and “Chicken Little," fiction texts are of lower quality as they are re-tellings of original stories that may have awkward syntactic construction and overly simplistic language, even for students at this age. Examples include, but are not limited to:

  • In Unit 2, Week 1, “The Ant and The Grasshopper” is a read-aloud fable about the importance of being prepared. The text contains some metaphors, but the version is simplistic. Explicit character descriptions are over-scaffolded for children to predict what may happen in the story.
  • In Unit 10, Week 1, “Sounds I Love!” is a poem describing sounds from two different points of view involving the city and the country. The language includes many examples of onomatopoeia, as well as alliteration, assonance, consonance, and imagery, although it may be less engaging for first grade students.

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 Benchmark Grade 1 meet the criteria for materials reflecting the distribution of text types and genres required by the standards at each grade level.

The materials in Benchmark reflect a balance of informational and literary reading selections reflecting the suggested balance of the standards. A variety of genres are represented in each unit including poetry, folktales, fables, nonfiction, historical, scientific and technical texts. Examples include, but are not limited to:

  • “Hello, Community Garden” (Unit 1,Week 1, Read-Aloud, Social Studies)
  • “Jim Henson!” (Unit 1, Week 3, Shared Reading, Biography)
  • “The Tortoise and The Hare” (Unit 2, Week 2, Shared Reading, Fable)
  • “A Smart Hen” (Unit 2, Week 3, Shared Reading, Animal Fantasy)
  • “An Apple Grows” (Unit 3, Week 2, Shared Reading, Informational Science)
  • The Ugly Duckling (Unit 3, Week 3, Extended Read, Fairy Tale)
  • “A Big Fish?” (Unit 4, Week 2, Shared Reading, Realistic Fiction)
  • Chicken Little (Unit 4, Week 2, Extended Read, Folktale)
  • “A Handy Machine” (Unit 5, Week 2, Shared Reading, Informational Science)
  • “Two Places at Once” (Unit 5, Week 2, Shared Reading, Realistic Fiction)
  • “The Strongest Things” (Unit 6, Week 1, Shared Reading, Poetry)
  • “Why Bear Has a Short Tail” (Unit 6, Week 3, Shared Reading, Pourquoi Tale)
  • “The Washington Monument” (Unit 7, Week 3, Shared Reading, Social Studies)
  • “An Amazing Sight” (Unit 7, Week 3, Shared Reading, Realistic Fiction)
  • “Why the Sun and the Moon Live in the Sky” (Unit 8, Week 1, Read-Aloud, Pourquoi Tale)
  • The Wind and the Sun (Unit 8, Week 3, Extended Read, Fable)
  • “From Dairy Farm to You” (Unit 9, Week 1, Read-Aloud, Procedural Text)
  • “A New Kind of Eggs” (Unit 9, Week 3, Shared Reading, Science)
  • “I Know All the Sounds That The Animals Make” (Unit 10, Week 1, Shared Reading, Poetry)
  • “Dogs Help the Deaf” (Unit 10, Week 1, Shared Reading, Social Studies)

Indicator 1c

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Benchmark Grade 1 meet the criteria for 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.

The anchor texts at the Grade 1 level contain quantitative and qualitative measures that are at the appropriate level of rigor/text complexity for Grade 1 and contain text components that support tasks and students’ literacy development to achieve grade level proficiency. The materials contain a variety of interactive read aloud texts with Lexile levels above 200, which are above the complexity levels of what most Grade 1 students can read independently.

  • In Unit 1, Week 2, the students listen to the text, “Being a Responsible Citizen” by Margaret McNamara.
    • Quantitative: Lexile 520
    • Qualitative: The text contains vocabulary that is dependent on the text such as citizen and community. The text is organized by main idea and details. The text features enhance the reader’s understanding of abstract concepts such as respect and honesty.
  • In Unit 4, Week 2, students listen to a text called “Chicken Little” by Barbara Parkes.
    • Quantitative: Lexile 600
    • Qualitative: The text is moderately complex. The organization is easy to predict with illustrations that support the interpretation of the text. The vocabulary is familiar, straightforward, and easy to understand. The sentence structure has some complex sentences, but sentences are mostly simple. The text contains a single theme that is obvious.
  • In Unit 6, Week 1, the Mentor Read-Aloud for the week is “The Boy Who Cried Wolf.”
    • Quantitative: Lexile 590
    • Qualitative: This fable has a simple moral that readers will already likely know. The narrative follows chronological order and the plot has a familiar structure. Language is common with only one or two compound or complex sentences. The text requires no prior knowledge and should be familiar. Plot events shape a straightforward, familiar structure.
  • In Unit 10, Week 3, the Extended Read for the week is “The Light Around Us” by Kathy Furgang.
    • Quantitative: Lexile 490
    • Qualitative: The text has moderate complexity. The text has a simple purpose: to explain how light works. The predominant text structure is chapters, each presenting facts that are used in succeeding chapters. Readers encounter multiple diagrams and photos that are critical to understanding subtle points in the text. Technical vocabulary words such as shadow and straight are also familiar and simple vocabulary. The subtlety of the concepts presented demands some prior understanding of how physical phenomena interact.

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).
2/4
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Benchmark Grade 1 partially meet the criteria for materials supporting 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).

The complexity of anchor texts students hear and/or read provide some opportunity for students’ literacy skills to increase across the year through a series of texts that include a variety of complexity levels. In the Teacher’s Resource System, lessons contain the gradual release of responsibility to guide teachers through teaching complex texts. Students may not have opportunities to practice reading independently with grade-level materials.

The scaffolded components of the lessons include teacher modeling and teacher think-alouds. In Guided Practice, scaffolds include rereading to find text-dependent evidence, note-taking in a graphic organizer with text details, and collaborative conversations between students about the text. Although scaffolded activities are provided throughout the materials, two Shared Reading texts are shared and analyzed over Week 1, two Mentor Read-Aloud texts get shared and analyzed over Week 1, two more Shared Reading texts are shared and analyzed over Week 2, an additional two Shared Reading texts are shared and analyzed in Week 3, and two more Extended Read texts are shared and analyzed in Week 3. More complex texts do not receive increased instructional and analysis time. There are specific weekly routines for close reading and rereading that do not allot additional time for more complex text.

  • In Unit 2, Weeks 1-3, students hear the reading of Mentor Read-Aloud texts and Extended Read texts from 520L to 650L during whole group reading. In Week 1, students hear and analyze the Mentor Read-Aloud texts, “The Ant and the Grasshopper” and “Little Red Riding.” For both “The Ant and the Grasshopper” and “Little Red Riding,” students listen and retell key details. In Week 2, students hear and analyze the Extended Read 1 text, The Princess and the Pea, and students listen and retell key details, describe major events and describe characters. In Week 3, students read and analyze the Extended Read 2 text, The Gingerbread Man, and students listen and retell key details, describe characters and describe major events.
  • In Unit 8, Weeks 1-3, students hear the reading of Mentor Read-Aloud texts and Extended Read texts ranging from 450L to 790L during whole group reading. In Week 1, students hear and analyze the Mentor Read-Aloud texts, “Why the Sun and the Moon Live in the Sky” and “A Walk on the Moon.” For both Mentor Read-Aloud texts, students listen and retell key details. In Week 2, students hear and analyze the Extended Read 1 text, Night and Day, and students listen and retell key details, describe major events, distinguish between information from pictures and text, and describe connections between events. In Week 3, students read and analyze the Extended Read 2, The Wind and the Sun, and students listen and retell story details, describe major events and determine central message.

The tasks students complete over the three week unit are similar, and there is a missed opportunity for the tasks to increase in rigor when the tasks are repetitious.

  • In Unit 1, Week 3, Day 4, students compare and contrast two texts, Being a Responsible Citizen (Extended Read 1) and People Who Made Contributions (Extended Read 2). The teacher models a Compare and Contrast Chart for the two texts to compare and contrast the texts. During Guided Practice, the teacher asks compare and contrast questions such as: “Which text tells about small contributions? Which text tells about large contributions?” During Show Your Knowledge, students tell the teacher one way the texts are similar and one way the texts are different.
  • In Unit 7, Week 3, Day 4, students compare and contrast two texts, “The Story of the White House” (Mentor Read-Aloud 1) and Memorials and Historic Buildings (Extended Read 2). The teacher displays a Compare and Contrast Chart for the two texts to compare and contrast the texts. During Guided Practice, the teacher can use directive and corrective prompts to guide students: “Which text gives more details about life inside the White House? Which text would help you more if you were writing a report about several historic buildings? Why?” During Show Your Knowledge, partners take turns telling each other that the two selections are similar and different.

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.
2/2
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-
Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Benchmark Grade 1 meet the criteria that anchor texts and series of texts connected to them are accompanied by a text complexity analysis and rationale for purpose and placement in the grade level.

The Program Reference Guide provides rationale for the texts in the materials.

  • Shared Readings connect to the unit topic and are intended to be used to model fluency.
  • Mentor Read-Alouds are short reads that connect to unit topics and are used to model making meaning in complex texts.
  • Texts for Close Reading selections are designed to capture students’ interest and imagination. These texts state standards for achievement.

The materials for Grade 1 contain a detailed text complexity analysis including quantitative, qualitative and reader and task information for Mentor Read-Alouds and Extended Reads throughout the year. The quantitative measure is provided in the form of a Lexile score. The qualitative measure (QM) is based on an analysis of four dimensions of qualitative text complexity. The scores for each dimension are added together to determine the overall score. The Grade Resources Section contains a Guide to Text Complexity with a rubric for the qualitative dimensions within the literary and informational texts. Examples of analysis provided include, but are not limited to:

  • In Unit 2, Week 1, the first Mentor Read-Aloud is “The Ant and the Grasshopper” which has a Lexile level of 620. The total qualitative measure is moderate complexity. The second Mentor Read-Aloud is “Little Red Riding Hood” which has a Lexile level of 650. The qualitative measure is moderate complexity. In Week 2, the Extended Read is “The Princess and the Pea” with a Lexile level of 560. The total qualitative measure is substantial complexity. In Week 3, the Extended Read is “The Gingerbread Man” with a Lexile level of 520. The total qualitative measure is substantial complexity.
  • In Unit 8, Week 1, the first Mentor Read-Aloud is “From Dairy Farm to You” which has a Lexile level of 760. The total qualitative measure is moderate complexity. The second Mentor Read-Aloud is “The Most Important Service” which has a Lexile level of 680. The qualitative measure is moderate complexity. In Week 2, the Extended Read is “In My Opinion...Goods and Services are Important” with a Lexile level of 560. The total qualitative measure is moderate complexity. In Week 3, the Extended Read is “The Shoemaker and the Elves” with a Lexile level of 600. The total qualitative measure is moderate complexity.

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 Benchmark Grade 1 meet the criteria that support materials for the core text(s) provide opportunities for students to engage in a range and volume of reading to support their reading at grade level by the end of the school year.

The materials for the Grade 1 reading program contain a 70-80 minute ELA block. The block allows time for Interactive Read-Aloud, Shared Reading, Reading Mini-Lessons with Mentor Read-Aloud and Extended Reads, and Small Group Reading. Each three-week unit provides two shared readings per week, two extended reading texts per unit, decodables, leveled readers to use within small group instruction and two reader’s theater texts per unit.

Different types of texts are included. The focus of Unit 8 is Observing the Sky. Throughout Unit 8, students engage in six shared readings, two mentor read-alouds, and two extended reads. The genres and texts in Unit 8 are: Week 1, a realistic fiction shared reading (“A Star Party”); Week 1, a science shared reading (“On Mars”); Week 1, a pourquoi mentor read-aloud (“Why the Sun and the Moon Live in the Sky”); Week 1, a science mentor read-aloud (“A Walk on the Moon”); Week 2, a science shared reading (“It’s a Comet!”); Week 2, a poetry shared reading (“The Moon’s the North Wind’s Cookie”); Week 2, a science extended read (Night and Day); Week 3, a realistic fiction shared reading (“Shapes in the Clouds”); Week 3, a science shared reading (“The Sun”) and Week 3, a fable extended read (The Wind and the Sun). During small group reading, students read from 12 texts such as Ready for Fall and Storms. Students can read and participate in Reader’s Theater with The Twinkling Stars and Why The Moon Changes In The Night Sky. Trade books are available in the unit such as The Flag We Love by Pam Munoz Ryan and Henry’s Freedom Box: A True Story from the Underground Railroad by Ellen Levine.

Criterion 1g - 1n

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

The Grade 1 instructional materials meet expectations for alignment to the standards with tasks and questions grounded in evidence. Most questions, tasks, and assignments are text-dependent and build towards a culminating task that integrates skills. The instructional materials provide multiple opportunities for discussion that encourage the modeling and use of academic vocabulary and partially supports student listening and speaking about what they are reading and researching. The materials include frequent opportunities for different genres and modes of writing. Materials meet the expectations for materials including explicit instruction of the grammar and conventions standards for the grade level as applied in increasingly sophisticated contexts, with opportunities for application both in and out of context.

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 Benchmark Grade 1 meet the criteria 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 are mainly text-based and support students’ literacy growth over the course of the year. Throughout each lesson, the teacher is directing students to go back to the text to support their answers to the questions. At the Grade 1 level, students are provided teacher modeling to develop these skills. The Teacher’s Manual provides support for planning and implementation of text-dependent questions that support writing and speaking activities. Text-based questions are asked during read aloud texts, shared reading texts and viewing of videos.

Shared readings begin by utilizing an essential question to set the focus of listening for key details in the text. Students then share this information with the class, while the teacher guides them back to the text to support their answers. During this time, there are opportunities for turn and talk as well as collaborative conversations that result in the creation of a whole group chart where students’ ideas are provided. Assignments and activities require students to stay engaged with the text. Text-based questions are varied and grow in complexity as the year progresses. Teachers frame questions to help students make sense of the read texts as well as use strategies such as inferring that supports student understanding of the texts that align directly to the weekly essential question.

Text-dependent questions and tasks that students answer include, but are not limited to:

  • In Unit 1, Week 1, on Day 1, students view a video relating to the essential question. After viewing the video, the teacher leads a discussion on being a member of multiple communities. Students are then asked to identify what communities to which they belong.
  • In Unit 4, Week 1, Day 4, students listen to the poem “Good Neighbors” and share what makes a good neighbor using sentence frames such as “The little old woman is a good neighbor because…” and “The little old mouse is a good neighbor because…”
  • In Unit 6, Week 2, on Day 3, during Shared Reading, students identify what the main character in the story learns about being small. Students engage in a collaborative conversation with a partner discussing their answer to the question. At the end of the lesson, in the Oral Language Transition, students are asked, “to stand and tell a partner the mistake Gus makes and what Gus learns from it”.
  • Unit 8, Week 2, on Day 4, during Guided Practice students work with partners to discuss, what earth does each day, when Earth rotates, and what does it do using evidence from the text.
  • In Unit 10 , Week 1, students engage with the text, “Dogs Help The Dea.” The teacher states, “This is an informational text. It gives facts about a topic. The title and the photo tell me that this text is going to be about dogs that help people who are unable to hear. As I read, I will look for important details about that topic.” This prompt draws students to look for important details to support their thinking.

Indicator 1h

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Benchmark Grade 1 meet the criteria for materials containing sets of 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).

Grade 1 materials provide culminating tasks for students to demonstrate their understanding of the concepts examined throughout each unit. Essential Questions guide student learning throughout every unit within the curriculum where sequences of high-quality text-based questions, activities, and tasks are synthesized by students into an integrated production of speaking and/or writing.

Examples of questions, activities, and tasks that meet the criteria for this indicator include, but are not limited to:

  • In Unit 1, the Essential Question is “Why do people get involved in their communities?” In Week 1, Day 1, students demonstrate understanding of community gardening by adding details to a chart. In Week 2, Day 3, students collaboratively discuss “Why do people get involved in their communities?” In Week 3, Day 5, Reflect on Unit Concepts, students rewatch the video from the first day of the unit and discuss how the video fits with the unit. In small groups, students share what they think about the Essential Question. As a whole class, students share ideas and the teacher collects the ideas for an anchor chart. At the end of Reflect on Unit Concepts, each peer group can record a short song about one of the important people they read about in the unit.
  • In Unit 4, the Essential Question is, “How do people create stories?” In Week 1, students draw inferences about characters and compare and contrast two characters. In Week 2, students compare and contrast stories and describe the setting of texts. In Week 3, students draw inferences and compare and contrast characters. In Week 3, during Reflect on Unit Concepts, students discuss the Essential Question and then partners interview each other about how to create stories. The teacher records the interviews and shares the interviews with the class.
  • In Unit 10, the Essential Question is “How would our lives be different without sound and light?” During the unit, students compare texts about sound and light and analyze how the types of energy affect everyday life. In Week 1, Day 5, students answer the following question: How the two selections are alike and how they are different?” In Week 3, Day 5, students answer the Essential Question and partners video record the other pointing to and explaining the ways sound or light helps humans.

Indicator 1i

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 1 meet the criteria for materials providing frequent opportunities and protocols for evidence-based discussions (small groups, peer-to-peer, whole class) that encourage the modeling and use of academic vocabulary and syntax.

This indicator supports students’ practice and application of speaking and listening skills in concert with practice in reading for understanding. Materials provide multiple opportunities and support of protocols and implementation focused on using academic vocabulary and syntax for evidence-based discussions as well as teacher guidance across the year’s curricular materials to support students’ increasing skills. These materials are found in the Review and Routines section titled “Build Respectful Conversation Habits” and “Turn and Talk”.

Examples include but are not limited to:

  • In Unit 1, Week 2, Day 4, students participate in Collaborative Conversation: Ask and Answer Questions. The teacher states: “The story says that Max finds a dollar and is going to buy a snack. But then, Max gives Ana the dollar he finds. Why do you think he does this?” Student pairs are to think about questions about the story. Partners take turns answering each other’s questions. After partners have shared and answered, the teacher calls on pairs to share their question and answer. The teacher expands the discussion so other students can answer the question.
  • In Unit 3, Week 1, Day 3, students participate in Collaborative Conversation: Determine Text Importance. The displays and reads the Essential Question: “Why do living things change?” The teacher asks students: “What is one detail from the text that says how butterflies change? Find a key detail in the text that says how butterflies change. Turn and tell a partner what detail you found and why you believe it is a key detail.” Students are to raise their hand if they would like to share their key detail with the whole class.
  • In Unit 5, Week 3, Day 2, students participate in Collaborative Conversations: Summarize and Synthesize. The teacher states: “To summarize this passage, I can put together all the key details I read and think of a few sentences that tell what the passage is mostly about. I might say: This passage is about a group of people who decided to unplug and take a break from technology. One day a week, they do not use cell phones, computers, or their TV. They find other fun things to do instead.” Students turn to a partner and tell what “Unplug” is mainly about using their own words. Pairs are to share their summaries with the class.
  • In Unit 7, students engage in activities that model peer collaboration. Students read aloud their published informational text and introduce another partner’s work. Students practice modeling how to add on to student’s work or give them a compliment about their work using sentence frames. Once students have completed the activity they return to their partners and read the passages practicing the three sharing characteristics.
  • In Unit 8, students work with a partner to recall key details from the story and write their ideas in the chart. Teachers are instructed to, “Remind students to build on partners’ talk by listening and linking their ideas to what their partners have said.” Teachers use the Observation Checklist for Collaborative Conversation as they walk around to evaluate student discussions.

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.
1/2
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-
Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Benchmark Grade 1 partially meet the criteria for materials supporting students’ listening and speaking about what they are reading (or read aloud) and researching (shared projects) with relevant follow-up questions and supports.

Commonly disbursed within the daily lessons, intentional occurrences for listening and speaking and practice with language is afforded to all students. Grade 1 students do practice discussion frequently; however, use of the speaking and listening work in service of comprehension and support of literacy development is not consistent.

  • In Unit 4, Week 2, Day 1, students engage in oral rehearsal for independent writing. After participating in Shared Writing about writing key details, students rehearse what they will write about the key details in Little Chicken. “Tell partners to discuss what details they should include in their writing. Encourage partners to think about using words that signal event order." In this instance, the lesson focus is more on the development of the writing work than on the text itself. It does support student writing practice, but it does not directly build understanding of the text.
  • In Unit 8, students work with a partner to recall key details from the story and write ideas on the chart. The teacher is instructed to, “Remind students to build on partners’ talk by listening and linking ideas to what partners have said.” An Observation Checklist for Collaborative Conversation is available for teacher use. In this instance, the focus is not on the text itself; rather it is on the recall and clarification of peers' statements.

Some speaking and listening work does support Grade 1 students in their comprehension of texts. Examples of materials supporting students’ listening and speaking about what they are reading and researching include items such as:

  • In Unit 10, Week 2, Day 4, after the teacher reads the selection “My Homemade Band,” students are directed to work with a partner to make an inference about Cam. Students make their inferences based on details they find in the text. After students have had an opportunity to discuss in pairs, they share their inferences and supporting details to the whole class. The focus of the discussion is deeply in the text, redirecting students to look at the text parts as well as the overall content. In this example, students do engage speaking and listening alongside growing their understanding.

Indicator 1k

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Benchmark Grade 1 meets the criteria for materials including a mix of on-demand and process writing, grade-appropriate writing (e.g. grade-appropriate revision and editing), and short, focused projects, incorporating digital resources where appropriate.

During each three week unit, the Grade 1 materials support students engaging in writing across the whole school year. This includes a mix of on-demand writing, in which students respond to a text. Students complete short and focused projects such as writing a letter and utilizing details from the text. The materials also contain process writing activities (e.g. shared writing, multiple drafts, revision processes, protocols, and review). The Response and Process Writing section includes skill introduction, practice, application, and refinement with teacher support and guidance over shorter periods of time with shared writing activities and extended periods of time where students learn the complete writing process (planning, revising, editing, publishing and sharing). Each three week unit also contains a Writing and Vocabulary section that explains types of writing including narrative, informative, and opinion and includes a mini-lesson. Examples of the mix of on-demand and process writing include, but are not limited to:

  • In Unit 1, Week 3, Day 2, students participate in a shared writing mini-lesson. The teacher models how to draft a response about a person who contributed to society from the texts with help from the students. Students orally rehearse their writing and then draft an opinion.
  • In Unit 3, Week 1, Day 1, students participate in a shared writing mini-lesson. The teacher models how to write key details from “The Amazing Life Cycle of a Frog” with help from the students. Students orally rehearse what they will write for key details. During independent time, students write their key details.
  • In Unit 6, Week 2, Day 2, students draw a picture that shows the meaning of greedy. This is done after the students have discussed the word greedy and read a story with the teacher. After reading Why Turtle’s Shell is Cracked, students complete a sequence chart with the teacher.
  • In Unit 7, Week 2, Day 1, students are read aloud “The U.S. in Space” and perform an on-demand writing assignment which involves creating a timeline of the activities from the text.
  • In Unit 8, during the connect across disciplines activity called, “Mythology TV Show, students use the internet to locate information about American Indian Folktales. They then create a TV show about the information they have found. Some of the students are prompted to be interviewers, while other students are interviewed. The TV show is then put together using technology.
  • In Unit 10, students spend two weeks going through the writing process. On Day 1, students reflect on narrative writing. The teacher gives them a rubric to use to review. Students are expected to review all the narrative writing completed over the year and select one that contains all of the items on the rubric. Day 2 is spent reflecting on informational writing using the rubric for informational writing. Day 3 is spent reflecting on opinion writing. Day 4 is spent reflecting on poetry. On Day 5, students will select a piece of their writing to share with the class. Students will share writing with a partner prior to sharing with the class.

Indicator 1l

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Benchmark Grade 1 meet the criteria for materials providing opportunities for students to address different text types of writing (year long) that reflect the distribution required by the standards.

During each of the three week units, the Grade 1 materials support authentic integration of writing with reading with teacher guidance and support. Writing is embedded across the school year with attention given to three different text types and purposes including narrative, informative/explanatory and opinion/persuasive. The Teacher Resources include well-designed lesson plans, models/exemplars and protocols to support student writing.

Students utilize literature, informational texts, poetry and non-print sources such as videos to complete writing assignments. Student choice is encouraged with activities that come from the learning such as choosing the characters to write about in response to a prompt in the text. Materials support teachers in planning writing development and provide opportunities for monitoring progress. Writing tasks increase in rigor throughout the school year and sufficient instructional time is dedicated to teaching, practicing, applying and presenting new writing skills. Examples of writing throughout the year include, but are not limited to:

  • In Unit 1, students write based on daily mini-lessons through response writings. Students learn to write a narrative, a first person narrative, a comparison, descriptions, a list, a rule, a key detail, and a play. In Week 1, Day 3, students see a short narrative modeled by the teacher. During independent time, students orally rehearse their writing and then write their narrative.
  • In Unit 3, Week 3, students write an informational text using the writing process. The teacher states: “This week, you are going to work on one piece of writing. You are going to write an informational text about a living thing from one of the texts we have read in this unit. Remember, informational texts give readers facts and true details. Your informational text will explain how that living thing grows and changes.”
  • In Unit 4, the connect across disciplines inquiry project ( in the additional resources section) allows students to create a play based on the phases of the moon. Students perform their plays and write reflections commenting on each of the plays.
  • In Unit 5, Week 3, students complete writing an opinion piece. The teacher uses two previously read texts as models (Technology Breakdown and Using Technology at Work) which are compared and contrasted and a two column chart to model brainstorming. Students use a two column chart to brainstorm about which of the two books are better. Students use the ideas written on the two column chart to plan, draft, revise, edit, and share student writing.
  • In Unit 7, Weeks 2 and 3, students write a personal narrative using the writing process. In Week 2, students read a personal narrative mentor text, brainstorm their narrative, and draft the narrative. In Week 3, students revise their writing in order to add time words and descriptive details.
  • In Unit 9, Week 2, Day 5 students complete an informational report using planning, drafting, revising and editing to respond to the writing prompt “What important good or service do you use every day? Explain why this good or service is important to you. Support your ideas with facts and definitions from In My Opinion… Goods and Services Are Important and We Use Goods and Services.

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 Benchmark Grade 1 meet the criteria for materials including regular opportunities for evidence-based writing to support recall of information, opinions with reasons, and relevant information appropriate for the grade level.

During each three week unit, the Grade 1 materials provide frequent opportunities across the school year for students to learn, practice and apply writing with evidence. Lesson plans are well-designed and include guidance to support student writing. Many daily writing opportunities are focused around students’ recall of information from reading closely and working with evidence from texts and sources.

Materials in the sections titled “Unit Writing and Vocabulary” and “Unit Strategies and Skills” support teachers in guiding students’ understanding of recalling information, claiming opinions with reasons, and using relevant information. Examples of opportunities for evidence-based writing include, but are not limited to:

Examples of opportunities for evidence-based writing include, but are not limited to:

  • In Unit 1,Week 2, Day 3, students are read aloud Being a Responsible Citizen. After the teacher models how to write a short story, students write a short story about the following prompt, “Write a story about a responsible citizen who finds a missing item.”
  • In Unit 2, Week 1, Day 5, students complete an opinion piece utilizing supporting evidence from the text after reading “The Ant and the Grasshopper” and “Little Red Riding Hood.” Students write about the character students like better, Little Red Riding Hood or the Ant.
  • In Unit 4, Week 1, Day 1, students write key events based on the Mentor Read-Aloud, “The City Mouse and the Country Mouse” based on Shared Writing. Students orally rehearse their independent writing of the key events.
  • In Unit 6, Week 1, Day 2, students read the story “The Boy Who Cried Wolf” and write a note of apology to the villagers from the story. Students include the reason for the apology and evidence from the text. Evidence should include, what the boy did wrong to the villagers, why his behavior impacted them and an offer of how to make it right.
  • In Unit 9, Week 3, Day 2, students find and write text evidence based on the text The Shoemaker and the Elves in the Challenge Activity: “Have students write down actions that show that a character is curious or grateful."

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 materials reviewed for Benchmark Grade 1 meet the criteria for materials including explicit instruction of the grammar and conventions standards for the grade level as applied in increasingly sophisticated contexts, with opportunities for application both in and out of context.

Grammar and conventions lessons are primarily addressed during the Shared Writing Mini-lesson portion of the Whole Group Materials. In each unit, during the writing and language mini-lessons, there is a portion of the mini-lesson called Build Language, that focuses on grade level grammar and conventions standards. All grammar and conventions standards are covered over the course of the year and most standards are revisited throughout the year in increasing complexity, such as application to the text. Each grammar and convention lesson is similarly structured with teacher modeling, partner share, graphic organizer/chart, and oral language practice. Students have opportunities to practice these skills in isolation during whole group instruction and then practice applying these skills with a partner during Oral Language Practice.

Handwriting was referenced in some writing lessons and printable practice pages were provided, however, explicit instruction for forming each letter was not provided. For example, when students are practicing writing f and t the teacher is simply told, “Point out the differences between how you form the letter t and the letter f in each word.”

Materials include explicit instruction of all grammar and conventions standards for the grade level. For example:

  • Students have the opportunity to practice printing capital and lowercase letters. For example:
    • In Unit 3, Week 2, Day 1, the teacher models how to write the title An Oak Tree Has a Life Cycle. The teacher points out how most of the words start with a capital letter. The teacher is to make practice pages available in a handwriting center during small-group rotations.
    • In Unit 4, Week 2, Day 2, Shared Writing Mini-Lesson, the teacher models how to write the sentence “‘GOODNESS GRACIOUS ME!’ he cried.” The teacher points out that capital letters are used to show that Chicken Little is shouting. The teacher is to make practice pages available in a handwriting center during small-group rotations.
  • Students have the opportunity to use common, proper, and possessive nouns. For example:
    • In Unit 1, Week 1, Day 4, during Build Language Review, students recall the difference between common and proper nouns. The teacher presents a list of words and has volunteers identify them as a common or proper noun. Students then retell Garrett Morgan’s story using common and proper nouns.
    • In Unit 7, Week 1, Day 1, the teacher explains what a possessive noun is and how to make a noun possessive. “A possessive noun tells who owns or has something. Adding an apostrophe and "s" to a noun turns the noun into a possessive noun. For example, I can make the noun teacher possessive by writing teacher’s. This is the teacher’s pen. The pen belongs to the teacher.” The class then practices turning nouns such as classroom, student, school and children into possessive nouns.
  • Students have the opportunity to use singular and plural nouns with matching verbs in basic sentences. For example:
    • In Unit 2, Week 1, Day 2, during Build Language Review, students are reminded that nouns tell who or what and verbs describe the action. Students are shown four sentences. Students are instructed to underline the singular noun and circle the matching verbs. Based on the illustration from “The Ant and the Grasshopper,” students describe what is happening using a singular noun and the matching verb.
    • In Unit 3, Week 1, Day 2, the teacher explains how to use singular nouns and verbs, “Explain that a verb is a word that tells about an action or what someone or something does. Whether a verb is singular or plural depends on whether the noun it modifies is singular or plural.” The teacher then demonstrates with a chart showing singular verbs and how the sentence will change with a plural verb. For example, “The frog swims,” becomes, “The frogs swim.” The students work on this skill again in Unit 7, Week 3, Day 1 in more complex sentences with irregular verbs. Students are provided a sentence such as, “The memorial has a lot of visitors.” and then must change it to, “The memorials have a lot of visitors.”
  • Students have the opportunity to use personal, possessive and indefinite pronouns. For example:
    • In Unit 3, Week 2, Day 1, the teacher introduces personal, possessive, and indefinite pronouns to students. “Explain to students that pronouns are special words that take the place of nouns. Personal pronouns replace the noun for a person. Possessive pronouns show ownership. Indefinite pronouns are used to talk about one or more unspecified objects, things or places.” The teacher shows students a chart with the three types of pronouns. Afterwards, students practice orally using the pronouns in sentences.
    • In Unit 3, Week 2, Day 2, students learn that some pronouns tell who owns something. The teacher writes the following pronouns on the board: I, me, my. “If I pretend I am the oak tree when I write, I am writing from the point of view of the oak tree. I can use the pronouns and to talk about myself.” The teacher leads students in rewriting each sentence by replacing the underlined word or words with the correct pronoun.
  • Students have the opportunity to use verbs to convey a sense of past, present and future. For example:
    • In Unit 1, Week 2, Day 1, the teacher reviews verbs and then creates a present, past, and future chart with the sentences, “I talk to Ben now. I talked to Ben yesterday. I will talk to Ben tomorrow.” Students then practice creating sentences about things that happened in the past, present and future.
    • In Unit 8, Week 2, Day 2, during Build Language Review, students are reminded that verbs are words that tell about actions, or what happens. Sentences are displayed and it is pointed out that sometimes a present tense verb ends with an s. Partners change the sentences in the previous activity by replacing the verb with another present-tense verb.
  • Students have the opportunity to use frequently occurring adjectives. For example:
    • In Unit 4, Week 1, Day 3, Shared Writing Mini-Lesson, students are reminded that adjectives are words that are used to describe people, places, and things. The class brainstorms some examples of adjectives that can be used when writing about the characters in the stories that have been read. These are documented on a chart. Partners then think of additional adjectives to describe their school or community.
    • In Unit 8, Week 2, Day 2, the teacher reads aloud the story Night and Day and tells students to listen for words that, “appeal to the senses.” As the teacher reads aloud the text, the students create a list of words that fit this criteria.The teacher then gives the students the words/phrases, “hot, rough, rocky, seems to change shape, bigger than Earth,” and students must decide whether each word/phrase describes the moon or the stars.
  • Students have the opportunity to use frequently occurring conjunctions. For example:
    • Unit 6, Week 1, Day 4, Shared Writing Mini-Lesson, the teacher displays the conjunctions and, or, and but. “Remember that a simple sentence has one subject, or naming part, and one predicate, or telling part, and a compound sentence has two subjects and two predicates. A compound sentence uses a conjunction such as or to join the two parts of the sentence. Have students volunteer two sentences from their writing that could be made into one compound sentence. If the examples work, have the student come up to the board and help the student write his or her sentences and convert them into one compound sentence.” During Oral Language Practice, volunteers identify simple sentences in their own writing. Students describe how they could combine two sentences to form a compound sentence.
  • Students have the opportunity to use determiners. For example:
    • In Unit 2, Week 2, Day 1, students learn about the articles a, an and the. “In my writing, I said “a princess” because I haven’t met her before this moment. But I said “the prince” because I’ve already met the prince and know exactly who he is.” Students then practice using articles in sentences they create about The Princess and the Pea.
    • In Unit 2, Week 2, Day 3, Shared Writing Mini-Lesson, the teacher displays the words a, an, and the. Students learn that these are special describing words called articles. The teacher displays the words that, this, these, and those and explains that these words are special describing words called demonstratives. The teacher displays sentences and underlines each demonstrative and askes students to identify the noun it describes as singular or plural.
  • Students have the opportunity to use frequently occurring prepositions. For example:
    • In Unit 5, Week 2, Day 1, during Partner Share of the Shared Writing Mini-Lesson, a student is selected to be the teacher’s partner and they model sharing their writing with a partner. As partners share, the teacher explains that prepositions are joining words that show connections between things. “We write during class” is placed on the board. The word during is underlined. This word tells when something is happening. “Anna hits baseball over the fence.” The word over is underlined. This word tells where the baseball is going. A chart with four sentences is shown to the class. Volunteers underline the prepositions. Partners then take turns generating oral sentences that include prepositions using details from Using Technology at Work for ideas.
    • In Unit 5, Week 2, Day 2, students learn prepositions are special words that show connections between things. Elicit that prepositions can tell when or where things happen. Students use the prepositions into, through, and around in sentences that tell where something happens. Students then are asked to use the prepositions during, before, and after to tell when something happens.
  • Students have the opportunity to produce and expand complete simple and compound declarative, interrogative, imperative, and exclamatory sentences in response to prompts. For example:
    • In Unit 5, Week 1, Day 5, Shared Writing Mini-Lesson, students help the teacher think of different kinds of sentences. Volunteers suggest sentences and other volunteers identify what punctuation mark should be used for that sentence type.
    • In Unit 6, Week 1, Day 1, students learn what makes a complete sentence and have the opportunity to orally practice making incomplete sentences complete. “Explain that a sentence is a group of words that tells a complete thought. Tell students that a complete thought must include a person, place, or thing and a verb that person, place, or thing does. If this thought is a statement, it should end with a period. If it is a question, it ends with a question mark.” Later in the week, students take this skill a step further and practice using conjunctions to create compound sentences. (Students use two sentences from their piece of writing to create a compound sentence
  • Students have the opportunity to capitalize dates and names of people. For example:
    • In Unit 1, Week 3, Day 2, Shared Writing Mini-Lesson, students write a list of both types of nouns and ask students to tell you in which column of the chart they belong: Cesar Chavez, workers, farm, Helen Keller, alphabet, Braille.
  • Students have the opportunity to use end punctuation for sentences. For example:
    • In Unit 5, Week 1, Day 1, Shared Writing Mini-Lesson, the teacher models sharing the sample writing. The teacher points out the key idea and the details that support it. The teacher shows how the closing sentence restates the key idea in the first sentence. Volunteers share their work. The teacher explains that all sentences have an end punctuation mark. Students suggest examples for each type of sentence.
  • Students have the opportunity to use commas in dates and to separate single words in a series. For example:
    • In Unit 4, Week 2, Day 2, Shared Writing Mini-Lesson, students learn about how to use commas. The teacher shows how commas are used in dates, such as March 3, 2018. Then the teacher points out that commas are also used to separate items in a series. Students practice adding commas to sentences.
  • Students have the opportunity to use conventional spelling for words with common spelling patterns and for frequently occurring irregular words. For example:
    • Unit 1, Week 1, Day 4, Shared Writing Mini-Lesson, students apply their phonics and high-frequency word knowledge during interactive writing. “‘Let’s write a sentence about Pat. What could we say?’ Have students propose sentences and select one for the class to write. Be sure the final sentence includes sight words and short a words the students have been practicing. Call on students to help write the final sentence. Have them come up to the board and write words or letters they know. As they write, have students say the words slowly and write all the sounds they hear.”

Over the course of the year’s worth of materials, grammar/convention instruction is provided in increasingly sophisticated contexts. At the beginning of the school year, students are focused on learning to identify nouns and verbs, then students work on making sure the noun and verb agree by changing noun/verb forms and by the end of the year, students are working on more complex possessive nouns. For example:

  • In Unit 1, Week 1, Day 1, students learn what a common noun is and practice coming up with a proper noun to replace it. “I used the common nouns and in my sentence because that is the information I have from the text. They name a person, place, or thing but not their special names, such as the exact names of the people or city.”
  • In Unit 1, Week 2, Day 4, students review what a verb is and practice changing the verb tense in the sentence “I clean my room.”
  • In Unit 7, Week 2, Day 3, students are provided singular nouns and matching verb phrases and must change the noun and verb to the plural form so the two agree. For example, “diagram shows,” changes to “diagrams show.”
  • In Unit 7, Week 3, Day 4, students are also working on more complex possessive nouns that end in -s. Students practice adding ‘s to words like - teachers, class, babies, mother, bus.

Materials include opportunities for students to demonstrate application of skills both in- and out-of-context. Writing Mini-Lessons often contain mentor texts or are tied back to the shared read alouds. This creates a very cohesive curriculum where students can apply the foundational skills they are learning about the subject matter or focus of the week. For example:

  • In Unit 5, Week 2, Day 5, students use the text Using Technology at Work and their knowledge of prepositions to generate sentences. “Ask partners to choose a career from Using Technology at Work and explain that career using complete oral sentences. Encourage them to use prepositions in their sentences as they are able. For example: Pilots sit in the front of the plane.They guide the plane into the air.”
  • In Unit 6, Week 1, Day 3, after a lesson on compound sentences, students are instructed to look back at the illustrations from the Mentor Read Aloud, “The Ant and the Pigeon,” and create their own compound sentences to describe what is happening in the pictures.

Criterion 1o - 1t

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 1 meet the expectation that materials, questions, and tasks directly teach foundational skills to build reading acquisition by providing systematic and explicit instruction in the alphabetic principle, letter-sound relationships, phonemic awareness, and phonological awareness (K-1), and phonics (K-2) that demonstrate a transparent and research-based progression with opportunities for application both in and out of context. Materials meet expectations that materials, questions, and tasks provide explicit instruction for and multimodal practice to address the acquisition of print concepts including alphabetic knowledge, directionality, and function (K-1), structures and features of text (1-2). Materials meet 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. 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.Materials meet the expectations 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. Materials meet the expectation that materials, questions, and tasks providing high-quality learning lessons and activities for every student to reach mastery of foundational skills.

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 materials reviewed for Benchmark Grade 1 meet the criteria for 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 both in and out of context.

The materials at Grade 1 encompass all phonics and phonemic awareness standards over the course of the school year. Students are provided multiple opportunities to practice these skills through daily phonics mini-lessons. While phonics and phonemic awareness skills are often taught out of context, these skills were tied back into decodable readers and other texts students are working with over the course of the week. For example, when learning about the short u vowel sound in Unit 2, students practice blending short u words from the decodable reader “Big Bus.” In Unit 4, Week 1 when learning about consonant digraphs and after reading the poem “Neighbors” to students, the teacher reminds students of the digraphs they have been learning about over the course of the week and references the word “she” in the poem.

Students have frequent opportunities to learn and understand phonemes (e.g. distinguish long and short vowels, blend sounds, pronounce vowels in single-syllable words, and segment single-syllable words). For example:

  • In Unit 1, Week 1, Day 1, Phonics & Word Study, students practice orally blending the words has, sags, and tack. “This is the letter h. It stands for /h/. This is the letter a. It stands for /a/. Listen as I blend the two sounds: /haaa/. This is the letter s. The letter s can stand for /z/ at the end of a word. Listen as I blend all three sounds: /haaazzz/, has. Say the word with me, sags, tack.” Students place the following letter cards on their desks: a, c, g, k, s, t and then blend and read each word with the teachers
  • In Unit 1, Week 2, Day 1, during Spelling-Sound Correspondences, students are introduced to the short i. The picture side of the short i frieze card is shown to the students. Students say the label for each picture. It is explained that the short i sound is in the middle of each word. The teacher says the word sit and asks what sound is heard in the middle of the word. Students are asked which letter stands for this sound. This is repeated for sip, wick, and rip.
  • In Unit 2, Week 2, Day 1, Phonics & Word Study, students practice identifying the /u/ sound in the middle of words. The teacher shows students the picture side of the short u frieze card. Students say the name of the animal and the objects in the pictures. The teacher explains that short u is in the middle of each name such as tub, mud, bug, and hut.
  • In Unit 5, Week 1, Day 3, Phonics & Word Study, students practice identifying short and long vowel sound a. The teacher models substituting the medial sound in cap to make cape. “I am going to say a word: /k/ /aaa/ /p/, cap.” The teacher repeats this medial sound change with: snack/snake; mad/made;back/bake.
  • In Unit 9, Week 1, Day 1, Phonics & Word study, students practice blending and segmenting one syllable words. “This is the letter p. It stands for /p/. This is the letter r. It stands for /r/. Listen as I blend the two sounds: /prrr/. These are the letters ou. The letters ou together stand for /ou/. Listen as I blend the sounds: /prrrou/. This is the letter d. It stands for /d/. Listen as I blend all four sounds: /prrroud/, proud. Say the word with me: proud.” Students practice with crowd and ground.

Lessons and activities provide students opportunities to learn grade-level phonics skills while decoding words. Over the course of 10 units, students practice phonemic awareness skills each day within each unit. Teachers and students begin each lesson with a phonemic awareness activity that leads to application on Day 4 of the week. Standards are repeated over the course of the year and build in sequence to promote application of skills. Skills are practiced within the phonics and word study portion of the whole group material. For example:

  • In Unit 2, Week 1, Day 3, Phonics & Word Study, students practice application of previously learned blending routine for single syllable decodable words in a decodable reader. The teacher models with red, hen, is, wet, can, hop and then displays page 2 of the Decodable Reader Get Well, Red Hen! The teacher models how to blend decodable words. Students echo-read from the Get Well, Red Hen!
  • In Unit 5, Week 1, Day 1, Phonics & Word Study, students learn about final -e through phoneme categorization. “Listen carefully as I say three words. One is from “Robots at Work”: face, take, mat. The words face and take have the /a/ sound in the middle. The word mat has the /a/ sound in the middle. It does not belong.” The teacher repeats the learning of long /a/ and short /a/for the words shade, had, rake. “Listen carefully as I say three words. Tell me which word does not belong and why.”
  • Unit 7, Week 3, Day 5, Phonics & Word Study, when reviewing open syllables that students have been learning about over the course of the week, the teacher reminds students that each syllable contains a vowel sound. “Remind students that every syllable must have a vowel sound. Some words are divided into two syllables after the first vowel. The first syllable in those words is called an open syllable. Open syllables end with a vowel and usually have a long vowel sound. Write the word spider on the board.”

Materials have a cohesive sequence of phonemic awareness instruction to build toward application. Over the course of 10 units, students practice phonemic awareness skills each day within each unit. Students begin each lesson with a phonemic awareness activity that leads to application on Day 4 of the week. Standards are repeated over the course of the year and build in sequence to promote application of skills. Skills are practiced within the phonics and word study portion of the whole group material.

Materials have a cohesive sequence of phonics instruction to build toward application. Over the course of 10 units, students practice phonics skills necessary for grade level mastery. Each unit builds within the weeks, allowing for application of phonics skills within a decodable reader. The sequence over the year includes: short vowels, blends, final consonant blends, consonant digraphs, final -e, vowel teams, r controlled, vowel patterns, and silent letters. Within the units, there is also a built in spiral review that allows students to review and revisit previously learned phonics skills. For example:

  • In Unit 1, the phonics instruction includes short a, short i, and short o.
  • In Unit 2, the phonics instruction includes short e, short u, and l- blends.
  • In Unit 3, the phonics instruction includes r blends (br, cr, dr, fr, gr, pr, tr), s blends (sk, sl, sm, sn, sp, st, sw) and final consonant blends (nd, nk, nt, mp, st).
  • In Unit 4, the phonics instruction includes consonant digraphs (th, sh, ng), (ch, tch, wh) and 3 letter blends (scr, spl, spr, squ, str).
  • In Unit 5, the phonics instruction includes long a with final e, long o with final e, and soft c, g.
  • In Unit 6, the phonics instruction includes long i with final e, long e with final e, long u with final e, and long a vowel teams (ai, ay).
  • In Unit 7, the phonics instruction includes long o vowel teams and single letters, long e vowel teams and single letters, long i vowel teams and single letters.
  • In Unit 8, the phonics instruction includes r controlled vowels /ar/, /or/ and /ur/.
  • In Unit 9, the phonics instruction includes vowel patterns /ou/, /oi/, /oo/.
  • In Unit 10, the phonics instruction includes silent letters and long e spelled -y and -ey.

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 Benchmark Grade 1 meet the criteria 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).

In the Grade 1 materials, teachers are reminded over the course of the school year to model print concepts when completing shared writing activities.

Text features such as glossary, table of contents and the use of indexes were also taught throughout the course of the school year. Students compared and contrasted two different texts on a regular basis. Students also had frequent opportunities to identify the key details and retell stories over the course of the school year. Opportunities to identify cause and effect were also provided. Lessons provided opportunities for teacher modeling, guided student practice and the opportunity for students to show their knowledge.

Materials include frequent, adequate lessons and tasks/questions about the organization of print concepts. For example:

  • In Unit 1, Week 1, Day 1, Shared Writing Mini-Lesson, after writing a complete message, students help convert the message into a written list. “Take this opportunity to review print concepts and ensure students recognize the distinguishing features of a sentence, such as the first word, capitalization, and ending punctuation. When you have finished, have the class read the list with you.”
  • In Unit 3, Week 2, Day 4, as the teacher works with students to develop sentences in the answer, the teacher shows how to start with a clear statement of your answer. Then the teacher shows how each additional sentence provides support for the answer. As the teacher writes, the teacher models how to apply knowledge of print concepts.
  • In Unit 5, Week 1, Day 2, Shared Writing Mini-lesson, the teacher reviews that there are different types of sentences, and asks students to suggest sentences for an opinion that could end with a period. Then the teacher asks students to suggest other sentences for an opinion that could end with a question mark and, finally, an exclamation point.

Students have frequent and adequate opportunities to identify text structures (e.g. main idea and details, sequence of events, problem and solution, compare and contrast, cause and effect). For example:

  • In Unit 1, Week 1, Day 4, Mentor Read 2 Mini-Lesson, the teacher starts by introducing the concept, and explains that the cause is the reason something happens. The effect is what happens because of the cause. To help students, the teacher can demonstrate an example: let go of a pencil (cause) and it drops (effect). Then the teacher opens up the discussion for the class by posing some general cause and effect questions. “If you cause a glass of milk to drop from the table, what will the effect be? What might cause an ice pop to melt? When it rains from the sky that’s a cause what effects do you notice?” Students then fill out a cause and effect chart based on the text, Safe to Go.”
  • In Unit 1, Week 3, Day 4, Cross-Text Mini-Lesson, students compare and contrast the the two texts, Being a Responsible Citizen and People Who Made Contributions. The teacher models comparing and contrasting the two texts and then provides students with guided practice comparing and contrasting the two texts. A helpful chart with examples is also provided for teacher use.
  • In Unit 5, Week 3, Day 4, Cross-Text Mini-Lesson, students compare and contrast the two texts, Using Technology at Work and Technology Breakdown. After going through modeling and guided practice to complete a compare and contrast chart, the teacher then completes a Show Your Knowledge, activity with students about the two texts. “Say the following sentences and ask students to raise one hand if it tells about Using Technology at Work, clap once if it tells about Technology Breakdown, and raise both hands if it tells about both books.”

Materials include frequent and adequate lessons and activities about text features (e.g. title, byline, headings, table of contents, glossary, pictures, illustrations). For example:

  • In Unit 1, Week 2, Day 4, Extended Read 1 Mini-Lesson, the teacher models how to use a table of contents, glossary, and index in the text, Being a Responsible Citizen. The teacher displays and points to the table of contents on page 1. The teacher explains that the table of contents shows how the book is organized. The teacher shows where the chapter title and page numbers can be found as well as special features indicated by the table of contents, such as the glossary and index.
  • In Unit 3, Week 1, Day 4, Mentor Read 2 Mini-Lesson, students learn about how illustrations help determine an author’s purpose. The teacher skims through “The Fox and the Robin” with students and reminds them that some illustrations can help readers understand the events described in the text, while other illustrations give information that is not in the text. The teacher stresses that skillful readers always pay attention to the illustrations to help them understand what they are reading. The teacher helps students list clues from the illustrations and text in a chart.
  • In Unit 3, Week 2, Day 2, Extended Read 1 Mini-Lesson, students learn about the text feature of flowcharts, and students learn how to use flowcharts to answer text-dependent questions and locate important information. “The question asks what happens after roots grow. First I will locate on the flowchart. I look for the arrow that points to the next picture: the one that follows the photo of the roots. I see that the stem and leaves grow after the roots. This information answers the question.”
  • In Unit 5, Week 2, Day 4, Extended Read 1 Mini-Lesson, students learn how to use sidebars to locate text evidence. The teacher displays and reads aloud a question that requires text evidence. The teacher rereads Chapter 2 and the sidebar. The teacher points out the heading of the sidebar, the photo, and the text.
  • In Unit 7, Week 1, Day 2, students review the use of captions in the texts, “School Days” and “The First Cars.” The teacher starts the lesson by reviewing what a caption is with students, “Point to the photograph on page 14 in “School Days.” Show students that both “The First Cars” and “School Days” include historical photographs. Students are reminded that the words underneath the photograph are the picture’s caption. Students are informed that, sometimes, captions provide information you cannot get just from looking at the picture. “Look at the caption on page 15. What information does the caption give you that you cannot see clearly in the photograph?” The teacher then models using captions, leads students through guided practice with captions and finally has students share their knowledge of captions by adding a caption to a drawing they complete of something they like to do at school.

Indicator 1q

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Benchmark Grade 1 meet the criteria for 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.

Over the course of the year, students are provided with multiple opportunities to read on-level texts in the Shared Reading and Phonics & Word Study portions of the whole group materials. Students practice reading with the teacher as they model to practice accuracy, rate, and expression and then practice rereading with partners. Students have multiple opportunities to practice fix-up strategies of rereading, self-correction, and context clues during the Fluency portion of the shared reading text. Students practice reading and spelling irregular words from the decodable readers. During Phonics and Word Study mini-lessons, which are included in each five-day sequence in each unit, students have the opportunity to write and read words with the phonics focus and high-frequency word focus. Each unit has Reader’s Theater texts to provide students opportunities to read grade-level texts with fluency.

Multiple opportunities are provided over the course of the year in core materials for students to purposefully read on-level text. For example:

  • In Unit 1, Week 1, Day 5, Shared Reading, students practice reading fluency of grade-level text through the whole group shared reading of “Kind Hearts and Gardens.” “On the first reading, ask students to read aloud the poem with you in a fluent, expressive voice.”
  • In Unit 3, Week 2, Day 5, Shared Reading, students practice reading fluency of the shared reading text, “Sunflower.” “On the first reading, ask students to read aloud the poem with you fluently, with an expressive voice. Have students match your rate. On the second reading, divide students into pairs. Have students alternate reading lines. As time allows, have partners switch order so that they read a different set of lines.”
  • In Unit 9, Week 2, Day 2, Shared Reading, the class reads the shared reading text, “Animal Dentists.” In reading this text the class works on building fluency, reading /oi/ words in context and counting syllables.
  • In Small Group E-book, A New Friend (G/11), students read the emergent text that includes the phonics focus of r-family blends. Partners read the story to each other and practice using appropriate phrasing.

Multiple opportunities are provided over the course of the year in core materials for students to demonstrate sufficient accuracy, rate, and expression in oral reading with on-level text and decodable words. For example:

  • In Unit 2, Week 1, Day 2, Shared Reading, students read “A Pet for Meg,” together with an emphasis on fluency and expression. The teacher models reading with expression and then has students practice reading with expression as well.
  • In Unit 6, Week 3, Day 5, Phonics & Word Study, students use phonics skills to read the decodable text A Snail in May. Students read aloud the text together and then partners read.
  • In Unit 9, Week 1, Day 2, Shared Reading, students read “Almond Milk.” Students work on reading with correct pacing, paying close attention to punctuation. The teacher reminds students not to read too fast or too slow and to pause at commas and periods.

Materials support reading of texts with attention to reading strategies such as rereading, self-correction, and the use of context clues. For example:

  • In Unit 6, Week 2, Day 3, Shared Reading, students practice rereading to correct misreads/mistakes during the shared reading of the text, “Pete Saves the Day.” “Read the last paragraph of “Pete Saves the Day” aloud, asking students to follow along. Purposely substitute had for the word hand. Reread the sentence slowly, correcting the misread word. On the second reading, divide students into two sections. Each section takes turns reading the last paragraph while the other section follows along in the text, listening carefully for any mistakes. If a mistake occurs, ask the students to reread the sentence accurately. On the third reading, have groups switch so that they read a different paragraph.”
  • In Unit 7, Week 2, Day 1, Shared Reading, students practice using fix-up monitoring strategies after the teacher models think-alouds of monitoring strategies. “The text says John Glenn “orbited” Earth three times. I’m not sure what that means. What exactly did John Glenn do? I’ll reread the text and see if I can find an answer to my question.”
  • In Unit 10, Week 2, Day 3, Shared Reading, students read “Rainbow.” Students complete an activity to practice catching errors. “Read the last two lines of Rainbow aloud, asking students to follow along. Purposely substitute points for the word paints. Stop and explain that points does not make sense in the sentence. Reread the lines slowly, correcting the misread word.” Students then complete a group activity where they listen for other’s mistakes while reading the poem.

Students have opportunities to practice and read irregularly spelled words. For example:

  • In Unit 1, Week 1, Day 5, Phonics & Word Study, students practice reading and spelling high-frequency words (the, see, go, she, and).
  • In Unit 2, Week 1, Day 1, Phonics & Word Study, students are introduced to the irregularly spelled high-frequency words said and two. Students review the irregularly spelled words, one and have.
  • In Unit 6, Week 1, Day 3, Phonics & Word Study, students practice reading and spelling irregularly spelled words from the decodable reader. “Practice/Dictation: after, call, her, large. Display and read each word. Have students read and spell each word together.”
  • In Unit 7, Reader’s Theater, students read London Bridge Has Fallen Down. This book has six parts for readers at level A, D, E and H. The following high-frequency words are in the text for students to read: again, down, know, look, make, what, who, yes.

Indicator 1r

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Benchmark Grade 1 meet the criteria for materials, questions, and tasks providing systematic and explicit instruction in and practice of word recognition and analysis skills in a research-based progression in connected text and tasks.

Over the course of the year, materials support students’ development to learn grade level word recognition and analysis skills in connected text and tasks. This is done through the use of weekly decodable readers and shared read-alouds. During shared reading lessons, teachers are frequently provided with “Transfer Skills to Context,” segments that link phonics skills students are working on mastering to the story being read. Decodable readers connect to weekly phonics skills and high-frequency words that are being taught. Students are provided the opportunity during weekly decodable reading lessons to complete an interactive writing activity relating to the story. These writing activities provide students with the opportunity to apply phonics and high-frequency skills to their work.

Materials support students’ development to learn grade-level word recognition and analysis skills in connected text and tasks. For example:

  • In Unit 3, Week 3, Day 2, Phonics & Word Study, the teacher displays the letter cards for lamp and models blending the sounds together. Students then practice by blending sand, best, drink.
  • In Unit 4, Week 1, Day 4, Phonics & Wordy Study, students apply their knowledge of consonant digraphs and fluency words learned from that week to the decodable reader, A Fish Wish. Students decode words with the following consonant digraphs: th, sh, or ng. Students read the following high-frequency words in the text: were, our, could, these.
  • In Unit 6, Week 1, Day 4, the teacher models reading bit and adding an e to make bite. Students practice reading pin/pine, rip/ripe, spin/spine. The teacher reads page 2 in Why Kittens Hide, and students echo read the sentences that contain the words five, nice, pine. Students write mine, hide, nice, rice five times each and checking the spelling.

Materials provide frequent opportunities to read irregularly spelled words in connected text and tasks. For example:

  • In Unit 3, Week 1, Day 5, Phonics & Word Study, students practice reading irregularly spelled words. Students read high-frequency words in the decodable reader Fran Grabs It. The teacher shows and reads each high-frequency word. Students read and spell each word orally. Students read aloud the decodable reader.
  • In Unit 6, Week 1, Day 5, Phonics & Word Study, students practice reading and spelling high-frequency words. Students read the high-frequency words in the decodable reader Why Kittens Hide.
  • In Unit 10, Week 1, Day 4, Phonics & Word Study, students apply their knowledge of silent letters and the high-frequency words they learned that week to the decodable reader, Know About Storms. Students are reminded they know the following high-frequency words: better, carry, learn, very. Students have also been learning about decoding words with silent letters. When students encounter a word with a silent letter, the teacher is to remind students to not pronounce the silent letter as they read the word.”

Lessons and activities provide students many opportunities to learn grade-level word recognition and analysis skills while encoding in context and decoding words in connected text and tasks. For example:

  • In Unit 2, Week 1, Day 4, Phonics & Word Study, students practice applying knowledge of short e words and high-frequency words (are, said, two, look, my) to the decodable reading text. “When they come to a word with a letter e, remind them to use what they know about the short e sound to read the word. The teacher also supports students to apply their phonics and high-frequency word knowledge during interactive writing. Let’s write a sentence about Red Hen and Meg. What could we say? Have students propose sentences and select one for the class to write. Be sure that the final sentence includes sight words and short e words students have been practicing. Call on students to help write the final sentence. Have them come up to the board and write words or letters they know. As they write, have students say the words slowly and write all the sounds they hear. Display pictures of the decodable words to provide a visual cue for their writing.”
  • In Unit 2, Week 2, Day 1, Phonics & Word Study, students will use Elkonin boxes to blend cut and rub. As the student hears the /k/ sound, a circle is placed in the first box. Students listen for the second sound /u/ and place a circle in the second box. After the /t/ sound is made, students place a circle in the last box. Next students sound out the word and write the word.
  • In Unit 4, Week 1, Day 4, Phonics & Word Study, after reading the decodable reader, A Fish Wish, students complete an interactive writing activity about the wish. The teacher is reminded to make sure that the sentence the class writes includes sight words and words with the consonant digraphs students have been working on.
  • In Unit 5, Week 1, Day 4, Phonics & Word Study after reading the decodable reader, Shade Lake, students complete an interactive writing activity about the story. The teacher is instructed to make sure the sentence the class writes includes words with long a (spelled with a final -e) and sight words students have been working on.
  • In Unit 9, Week 1, Day 5, Phonics & Word Study, students read and write words that include /ou/. The teacher shows In Our Town, and students read aloud the text together.

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 Benchmark Grade 1 meet the criteria for materials supporting 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.

Materials provide students with multiple assessment opportunities over the course of the year that allow students to demonstrate progress towards mastery as well as provide teachers with feedback for instructional adjustments. Teachers are provided with a resource map they can use based on how students perform on the quick checks. The map directs teachers to specific lessons to use with students who struggled to pass a given quick check. Teachers are provided with informal and formal assessment materials within the core reading program. Assessments include a pre- and post- assessments, foundational skills screeners, weekly assessments, unit assessments, interim assessments, and weekly informal assessments of foundational skills taught within that week.

Weekly informal and formal assessment opportunities directly correlate with the standard focus for that week. Many of these are observational in Kindergarten and the program provides checklists to support this. The checklists show a student’s strengths and needs. Each week there is a chart to reference specific re-teaching lessons to support foundational skills included as a link in the Mini-Lessons at a Glance. These Lessons are labeled Reteaching/Intervention Lessons. These lessons give guidance to teachers to support students performing below grade-level standard for the week’s Shared Reading Mini-Lessons as well as the Phonological Awareness and Phonics Mini-Lessons. Unit assessments provide additional opportunities for teachers to monitor student progress towards mastery of the foundational skills taught within the given unit and directly correlate to the standards taught over the course of the unit. There are Language Development Assessment materials that help teachers to determine the language proficiency level of their students in different domains. There are instructional suggestions in the units that address how to differentiate for students within these levels.

Multiple assessment opportunities are provided over the course of the year in core materials for students to demonstrate progress toward mastery and independence of foundational skills. For example:

  • Weekly assessments of foundational skills are provided in the Assessments portion of the Core Materials. Examples include:
    • In Unit 1, Week 1, students complete a foundational skills assessment on ending sounds and rhyming words. “Look at the picture of a book. Which word has the same ending sound as book . . . book? Look at the picture of a dad. Which word rhymes with dad . . .dad?”
    • In Unit 5, Week 2, students complete a foundational skills assessment on locating words in print, vowel sounds, and beginning sounds. “Which word has the same vowel sound as game. . .game?”
    • In Unit 7, Week 1, students complete a foundational skills assessment on vowel sounds. “Which word has the same vowel sound as coast?”
  • Each Unit contains an End of Unit assessment that assesses the foundational skills taught within the unit. Examples include:
    • Unit 3 End of Unit Assessment: Students complete foundational skills questions from the skills taught within that unit. “The bird makes a nest. Which word has the same ending sounds as nest?”
    • Unit 10 End of Unit Assessment: Students complete foundational skills questions from the skills taught within that unit. “Which word has the same sound as the y in hairy?”
  • Interim Assessments are taken throughout the year. Interim Assessment 1 is taken twice; once at the beginning of the year as a pretest and then again as a posttest. Interim Assessment 2 is based on the standards taught in Units 1-3. Interim Assessment 3 is based on the standards taught in Units 1-6.
  • Quick check assessments also provide teachers with information about the students’ current level of understanding in the areas of fluency, phonics and word recognition, phonological awareness and print concepts. An example includes:
    • Phonological Awareness Quick Check #21 assesses a student’s ability to “Distinguish Syllables in Spoken Words.” The teacher reads the student a word, then has the student say the word and clap out the number of syllables in the word. The students does this for the following seven words: told, reading, movement, dishwasher, science, television, celebrate.” Again, as was the case in Kindergarten if a student scores below 66% the teacher is instructed to “Use additional resources shown in the Resource Map to provide the student with opportunities to remediate skills.”

Assessment materials provide teachers and students with information of students’ current skills/level of understanding. For example:

  • Teachers are provided with a weekly outline to record observations of students' progress towards mastery on the foundational skill and high frequency words taught that week and record any additional notes.
  • In the Informal Assessments portion of the Core Reading materials, teachers are provided with checklists to help observe student growth throughout the year. “Use these assessment tools periodically throughout the year to record observations and notations of student growth.”
  • Grade 1 Foundational Skills Screeners are assessments to provide a general proficiency in letter recognition, letter sounds, consonants, vowels, word recognition and print concepts. If a student scores 100% - 81% the student is on or above grade level and intervention is not necessary. If a student scores 80%-65% the student is meeting grade-level expectations and more focused instruction in a specific skill area may be needed. If a student scores 64% and below, extra instruction and intervention are needed. Teachers are asked to refer to foundational lessons in the core program and in the Reader’s Theater Handbook.
  • There are five, Skill-Area Specific Quick Checks- Phonological Awareness, Print Concepts, Fluency, Phonics and Word Recognition.. These skill based assessments assist teachers in evaluating student proficiency in key skill and knowledge areas. This data is used to inform decisions on implementing intervention steps.
  • Teachers are provided specific instructions in the Weekly and Unit Assessment introduction for interpreting student scores. Teachers were given the same scoring breakdown as they were in Kindergarten where a score of below 50% would, “indicate a need for reteaching before the student moves to the next week or unit.” Teachers are also advised to consult the answer key for further information about where a student struggled on the test, “the Answer Key indicates the tested standard or skill. Most standards and skills are tested by more than one item. Identifying which items the student answered incorrectly can help determine whether more focused instruction on particular standards or skills is needed.” Teachers are also advised to go over the test individually with students, “Reviewing a student’s assessment with the student may also be helpful. It can provide an opportunity for students to see which questions they answered incorrectly and why their answers were incorrect. This kind of review will help them be more successful next time.”
  • On page 6 of Kindergarten Weekly and Unit Assessment resource book, it is explained how the information from the weekly assessments should be used. They are to be used as a guide to support the teacher in providing students more time or help.
  • The Individual Reading Retelling Rubric provides the teacher with information of what the students; instructional needs are to provide an oral or written retelling of what has been read.
  • Anecdotal notes are the observations teachers made. On page 3 of Grade K-6 Informal Assessments, it is suggested teachers analyze these to inform instructional moves.

Materials support teachers with instructional adjustments to help students make progress toward mastery in foundational skills. For example:

  • Teachers are provided with Interim Assessments to help make instructional adjustments, including a pre and post test. Examples include:
    • Interim Assessment 1: Teachers are provided with 15 questions to assess foundational skills. “Look at the words. Which word rhymes with bit. . .bit?”
    • Interim Assessment 2: Teachers are provided with 15 questions to assess foundational skills. “Which word has the same vowel sound as the word bed?”
  • Teachers are given specific instructions in the Weekly and Unit Assessment introduction for interpreting student scores. Teachers were given the same scoring breakdown as they were in Kindergarten where a score of below 50% would, “indicate a need for reteaching before the student moves to the next week or unit.” Teachers are also advised to consult the answer key for further information about where a student struggled on the test, “the Answer Key indicates the tested standard or skill. Most standards and skills are tested by more than one item. Identifying which items the student answered incorrectly can help determine whether more focused instruction on particular standards or skills is needed.” Teachers are also advised to go over the test individually with students, “Reviewing a student’s assessment with the student may also be helpful. It can provide an opportunity for students to see which questions they answered incorrectly and why their answers were incorrect. This kind of review will help them be more successful next time.”
  • In addition to the weekly and unit assessments teachers are also provided with foundational skills screeners. In Grade 1, teachers use the Level B screening tests which assesses: letter recognition, letter sounds, consonants, vowels, word recognition and print concepts.
  • There are five, Skill-Area Specific Quick Checks- Phonological Awareness, Print Concepts, Fluency, Phonics and Word Recognition. These skill based assessments assist teachers in evaluating student proficiency in key skill and knowledge areas. This data is used to inform decisions on implementing intervention steps.

In Unit 1, Week 1, Phonics Mini-Lessons include phoneme building, phoneme segmentation, phoneme substitution, and high-frequency words: the, see, go, she, and. Also spelling words are: bake, black, can, had, has, pack, ran, see, she, track. The Reteaching/Intervention lessons for the week include:

  • Phoneme Blending: PA Lesson 15; pp. 30-31, PA QCs 9-10, pp. 10-11
  • Recognize and Produce Rhyme: PA Lessons 9, 10; pp. 16, 18, PA QCs 1-4, pp. 2-5.
  • Phoneme Segmentation: PA Lesson 7; pp. 14-15, PA QCs 13-14, pp. 14-15
  • Phoneme Substitution: PA Lesson 19; pp. 38-39, PA QCs 17-18, pp. 26-27

In Unit 3, Week 2, Phonics Mini-Lessons include phoneme categorization, phoneme blending, phoneme substitution, phoneme segmentation, and high-frequency words: was, there, then, out. Also spelling words are: last, skip, step, sleep skin, smell, fast, stop, out, was. The Reteaching/Intervention lessons for the week include:

  • Phoneme Categorization: PA Lesson 16, pp. 32-33, PA QC 15, pp. 16-17
  • Phoneme Blending: PA Lessons 9, 10; pp. 16, 18, PA QCs 1-4, pp. 2-5.
  • Phoneme Segmentation: PA Lesson 7; pp. 14-15, PA QCs 13-14, pp. 14-15
  • Phoneme Substitution: PA Lesson 19; pp. 38-39, PA QCs 17-18, pp. 26-27

In Unit 5, Week 3, Phonics Mini-Lessons include phoneme categorization, phoneme blending, phoneme substitution, phoneme segmentation, and high-frequency words: far, give, too, try. Also spelling words are: gem, cent, race, page, dance, strange, face, cage, far, try. The Reteaching/Intervention lessons for the week include:

  • Phoneme Categorization: PA Lesson 16, pp. 32-33, PA QC 15, pp. 16-1
  • Phoneme Blending: PA Lesson 15; pp. 30-31, PA QCs 9-10, pp. 10-11
  • Phoneme Segmentation: PA Lesson 7; pp. 14-15, PA QCs 13-14, pp. 14-15
  • Phoneme Substitution: PA Lesson 19; pp. 38-39, PA QCs 17-18, pp. 26-27

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 materials reviewed for Benchmark Grade 1 meet the criteria for materials, questions, and tasks providing high-quality lessons and activities that allow for differentiation of foundational skills.

For each unit, there are different leveled texts used for small group lessons. These texts include foundational skills lessons, so that all students can practice foundational skills in context. For each unit, there are Reader’s Theater activities that allow students at different levels to have access to the high-frequency words and the opportunity to read text for a purpose. There are intervention lessons for fluency, phonics and word recognition, phonological awareness, and print concepts to support all students in mastery of foundational skills.

The materials do provide high-quality learning lessons and activities for students to reach mastery of foundational skills. For example:

  • In Unit 4, Week 1, Day 5, Phonics & Word Study, students use letter cards to blend words. “Spiral Review: Practice: tent, dump, sand, best, drink. Display letter cards t, e, n, t. Blend the sounds. What sound do each of these letters stand for? Let’s blend the sounds together: Let’s read the word together. Repeat using letter cards to display the words dump, sand, best, and drink.”
  • Materials include opportunities for application of foundational skills from both the shared reading story and the decodable reader that provide students with additional support towards mastery of foundational skills in and out of context.
  • Materials include multimodal activities for students to progress towards mastery of foundational skills that include say/spell/read/write, Elkonin boxes, partner work, and letter cards.
  • Over the course of the year, teachers are provided with a Differentiated Instruction Planner for all 10 units that provide Unit-Specific Leveled Text, Reader’s Theatre, English Language Development, and Intervention materials with guidance on how to use the materials. “Group students by instructional level to support their reading development. Use the lesson-specific Teacher’s Guide and Text Evidence Question Card for each title.” Examples include:
    • Unit-Specific Leveled Texts for Differentiated Instruction - “Group students by instructional level to support their reading development. Use the lesson-specific Teacher’s Guide and Text Evidence Question card for each title.” (Two level C texts, four level D texts, three level E texts and two level F texts are provided for this unit)
    • Reader’s Theater - “Group students heterogeneously for multi-leveled reader’s theater experiences that build fluency and comprehension.” (two reader’s theater scripts are provided)
    • Reading Strategy Instruction - “Group students for additional modeling and guided practice with specific strategies from the unit.”
    • Intervention - “Select appropriate intervention lessons based on data from your weekly, unit, and interim assessments as well as informal assessments.”

Students have multiple practice opportunities with each grade level foundational skill component in order to reach mastery. For example:

  • Over the course of the year, foundational skills are taught primarily in the Phonics & Word Study portion of the whole group materials. Each week addresses a new foundational skill with opportunities to apply to context on Day 4 and spiral review on Day 5. Skills are taught daily and reviewed in and out of context. Lessons include a focus skill and student objectives. Students also review and apply frequency words from the decodable reader each week. Each week students focus on a skill and practice using that skill through various phonics activities and the use of a weekly decodable reader. An example includes:
    • In Unit 4, Week 1, Day 1, students have multiple opportunities to practice the focus skill of the week consonant digraphs th, sh and ng. On Day 1, students complete phoneme identification, spelling-sound correspondence, blending and spelling activities all relating to sh, th and ng. Students continue to complete phonics activities with the consonant blends throughout the week and on Day 4 read the decodable reader A Fish Wish, that uses all three consonant digraphs that students have been learning about.
  • High-frequency word instruction is also a daily part of students’ instruction. High-frequency words are reviewed and/or introduced on a daily basis throughout the school year. An example includes:
    • In Unit 4, Week 2, Day 2, the teacher introduces the new high-frequency words - once, upon, hurt, and that and reviews the previously taught words - were, our, could, and these.

Gateway Two

Building Knowledge with Texts, Vocabulary, and Tasks

Partially Meets Expectations

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Gateway Two Details

Grade 1 instructional materials partially meet expectations for building knowledge with texts, vocabulary, and tasks. The instructional materials partially support the building of knowledge through repeated practice with appropriate grade-level complex text organized a topic. Academic vocabulary is addressed in each module. There is partial evidence of the materials providing coherently sequenced questions and tasks to support students in developing literacy skills. Culminating tasks partially meet the criteria for requiring students to read, discuss, analyze, and write about texts while students participate in a volume of reading to build knowledge. Materials meet the criteria 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.

Criterion 2a - 2h

26/32

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.
2/4
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Benchmark Grade 1 partially meet the criteria 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.

Each three week unit contains shared reading, mentor reading and extended reading texts covering a variety of genres related to an essential question which sometimes focuses on a topic and other times focuses on a genre or issue.

Examples of text sets that are not centrally focused on units to build knowledge include, but are not limited to:

  • In Unit 1, the Essential Question is, “Why do people get involved in their communities?” The texts in the shared reading section are, “Surfing for Change,” Voting Day,” and “A Visit to The Library.” Each text helps students to understand ways that people get involved in their community and help others.
  • In Unit 4, the Essential Question is, “How do people create stories?” Students listen to texts such as “A Big Fish.” The focus is understanding narrator and plot and how authors plan to write a story.
  • In Unit 6, the Essential Question is, “What can we learn from a mistake?” Students listen to read alouds such as, “Sticking With it,” and Throwing Beans,” Both stories contain lessons learned from making mistakes.

While these units explore literary themes, they do not focus on the topical knowledge-building

Other units do focus on topics that build students' knowledge; examples include

  • In Unit 8, the Essential Question is, “Why do the sun and moon capture our imagination?” Students listen to a unit opener that discusses, how observing the sky can be interesting and how we can see a variety of objects depending on the time. During Week 2, Day 2, students learn about parts of a comet in “It’s A Comet.”
  • In Unit 10, the Essential Question is “How would our lives be different without sound and light?” Students read a variety of texts during the mini lessons including, “Day or Night?,” Rainbow,” and “I Know All the Sounds That the Animals Make.”

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 Benchmark Grade 1 meet the criteria that materials contain sets of coherently sequenced questions and tasks that require students to analyze the language (words/phrases), key ideas, details, craft, and structure of individual texts in order to make meaning and build understanding of texts and topics.

Mentor Read-Alouds, Shared Reading, and Extended Reads provide opportunities for students to analyze words/phrases and or author’s word choice according to grade level standards. Tables and charts are created to help students determine word meaning in various ways. Texts are used for comprehension strategies like key ideas and details, structure, and craft according to grade level standards. By the end of the year, components like language, word choice, key ideas, details, structure, and craft are embedded in students’ work rather than taught directly. Each three week unit focuses on an Essential Question that combines direct instruction with independent practice of skills.

  • In Unit 1, Week 3, Day 3, Mentor Read 2 Mini-Lesson, students use illustrations and photos to describe key ideas. The teacher models how to use the first sentence of the text with the photo and caption to describe key details. During Guided Practice, the teacher uses directive prompts such as: “How does the illustration help you understand what the text means when it says that Morgan’s signal had signs? What words are in the picture?” During Share Your Knowledge, students suggest other visuals that could be included in a biography of Garrett Morgan.
  • In Unit 2, Week 2, Day 3, Shared Reading, with the text “Nan and Blue,” students, in partner groups, answer questions about visualizing and imagining Blue as a character. Students answer questions about the details that helped to better understand the text. Also in Week 2, Day 3, during the Extended Read 1 Mini-Lesson, students analyze the text by analyzing other details that were not mentioned in the story, but that were in picture format to assist in the understanding of the meaning.
  • In Unit 3, Week 1, Day 3, Mentor Read 2, students make inferences about characters. The teacher models making an inference about the robin: “The author tells us that the robin ‘built a sturdy nest, strong and safe for her babies.’ I know that when a mother takes extra special care for her children it is because she really loves them and cares for them. The actions of the robin show me that she has a caring personality.” During Guided Practice, students are prompted to think critically about story clues with questions such as: “What did the fox do to show he is clever? What did the robin do that shows she is even more clever than the fox?” During Show Your Knowledge, students use a sentence frame about one of the characters: “The [robin/fox] is [sneaky, patient, clever] because….”
  • In Unit 6, Week 3, Day 2, the Extended Read 2 text, Why Mosquitos Buzz In People’s Ear, is read to answer questions about story events. To develop this objective, the teacher asks students to listen carefully for signal words. To model, the teacher states, “The words Iguana walked past tell me about the next event. I can answer the question like this: ‘Iguana gets a drink and walks past Python before Python hides in the rabbit hole.’” Through analyzing the words used in this text, the teacher supports students’ comprehension of the text. Following up on this learning, students then write to add details to their description of the setting or events in a story they have written. Teachers monitor students progress with language, word choice, key ideas, details, structure and craft components through conferring and monitoring procedures within the lesson plan.
  • In Unit 7, Week 2, Day 2, Extended Read 1 Mini-Lesson, the teacher models using a timeline to help understand the order of events in the text. The teacher models using the Text Evidence Question: “How are events ordered on a timeline?” The teacher connects the timeline to a timeline from Chapter 1. During Guided Practice, students use the Text Evidence Question: “How do timelines give details about events?” During Share Your Knowledge, students tell which timeline format they find easiest to read and understand.
  • In Unit 8, Week 1, Day 3, students and teacher read “Why The Sun and The Moon Live In The Sky.” Objectives for this day’s reading are to identify words that have more than one meaning to help students comprehend. Some words analyzed in the story are room and rose. Writing for this day’s reading task entails students summarizing the story using the words first, next, and last. The teacher is able to gauge students grasp of definitions and concepts of the components
  • In Unit 10, Week 1, Day 2, students read the story, “Sounds I Love!” Students draw a picture about the sounds heard in the story. During the Mentor Read 1 Mini-Lesson, students work to make inferences about the texts. Students answer the following 4 questions during the guided reading, “Where do the sounds that we read about on this page take place? Who makes these sounds? What are the sounds? What can you infer about this place based on these details?”

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.
2/4
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Benchmark Grade 1 partially meet the criteria 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.

The materials for Grade 1 contain many coherent questions and tasks that support students’ development in the analysis of knowledge and ideas as well as providing opportunities for students to analyze across multiple texts as well as within single texts, but texts are often focused on basic understanding of the texts and not on building knowledge.

Examples of text-based questions and tasks that do not necessarily build knowledge include, but are not limited to:

  • In Unit 2, during Small Group, students listen to the story, “Hercules and the Stables.” Students answer the following questions, “Identify Characters, Setting, and Events: In a myth, the hero usually has some kind of "superpower." What is Hercules's super power?” and Identify Key Details: What task does the king give Hercules to do?” These questions do not lead students to understandings beyond the text.
  • In Unit 4, Week 2, Day 1, students listen to Chicken Little. During Collaborative Conversation: Peer Groups, students collaborate to retell key details from the story. During Share, students contribute their group’s ideas. On Day 2, students identify words and phrases that appeal to the senses. The teacher models answering: “Which word on page 2 is something you can hear?” During Guided Practice, students answer: “What words or phrases in this story are things you can see or hear?” On Day 3, students find evidence to describe setting. The teacher models answering: “What are the settings in Chicken Little? During Guided Reading, students answer: “What details in the story describe the setting?” On Day 4, students describe major events in the text and answer questions such as: “What story events take place on pages 3 to 9? What happened when Chicken Little met Henny Penny?” On Day 5, students compare and contrast Chicken Little and “A Quiet Camping Trip.”
  • In Unit 6, during small group reading students listen to the story, “The Tiger, the Brahmin, and the Jackal” and show their knowledge of the text by answering the following text-based questions:
    • Retell Key Details: Why does Tiger ask others if he should eat Brahmin?
    • Identify Key Details: What reason does Tree give for why people be mean?
  • In Unit 7, Week 3, Day 1, students listen to Memorials and Historic Buildings. During Collaborative Conversations: Partners, students are asked to retell key details from the text about memorials and historic buildings. During Share, students share the key details and the teacher documents the key details. On Day 2, the teacher models answering: “How does the caption on page 4 help you understand the photograph above it?,” and during guided practice, students answer “How do the caption and picture help you understand the main text on page 4?” On Day 3, students distinguish between information in pictures and text. The teacher models answering: “What does the little picture on page 5 show?” During Guided Practice, students answer: “What do the numbers in red circles and small pictures mean on pages 6-7?” On Day 4, students compare and contrast two informational texts, Memorials and Historic Buildings and “The Story of the White House.”

Some question sets that do support students building knowledge are present inconsistently. For example:

  • In Unit 3, Week 2, Day 1, students are asked to give a key detail with the class after listening to “An Apple Grows.” On Day 2, during Collaborative Conversations: Signal Words, students learn what signal words are and present examples of signal words. On Day 3, during Collaborative Conversations: Determine Text Importance, students answer: “What is one key detail from the text that tells how apples change?”

On Day 5 of Week 1 and 2 and on Day 4 in Week 3, students have the opportunity to compare and contrast two texts. For example:

  • In Unit 1, Week 3, Day 4, Cross-Text Mini-Lesson, students compare and contrast two fairy tales, The Princess and the Pea and The Gingerbread Man. The teacher displays a Compare and Contrast Chart for the two texts.The teacher models through a think aloud how to compare and contrast the characters. During Guided Practice, the students collaborate with the teacher to compare and contrast the settings and add information to the chart. The teacher asks guiding questions such as: “How can you tell that both stories take place long ago? In what ways are the settings the same in both texts? In what ways are they different?” During Show Your Knowledge, students draw pictures to show one story element that was different in the two stories.
  • In Unit 10, Week 3, Day 4, Cross-Text Mini-Lesson, students compare and contrast a rhyming narrative, I Hear with My Ears, and an informational text, The Light Around Us. The teacher displays a Compare-Contrast Chart for the two texts.The teacher models through think aloud how to compare and contrast the genre and purpose of each selection. During Guided Practice, the students collaborate with the teacher to compare and contrast the text structure, graphics, and text features. The students are encouraged to use signal words such as both, also, too, however, and but. The teacher asks guiding questions such as: “How are both of these selections organized? What graphic features do these selections have? ” During Show Your Knowledge, students orally complete sentence frames: “The two selections are alike because…. The two selections are different because….”

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 Benchmark Grade 1 partially meet the criteria that the questions and tasks support students’ ability to complete culminating tasks in which they demonstrate their knowledge of a topic through integrated skills (e.g., combination of reading, writing, speaking, listening).

The materials for Grade 1 contain tasks that integrate some knowledge and ideas from the provided sources. Culminating tasks support students’ ability to demonstrate their integrated skills (reading, writing, speaking and listening) but tasks don't consistently show students' building knowledge.

During Day 5 of Weeks 1 and 2, students compare and contrast aspects of two of the texts read aloud during the week. For example:

  • In Unit 2, Week 1, Day 5, students compare and contrast “The Ant and the Grasshopper” and “Little Red Riding Hood” Students compare and contrast the two texts using the Compare and Contrast Chart. The teacher models how to use the chart and during Guided Practice, students complete the chart with teacher directive and corrective prompts. Students share with a partner one way the characters are the same and one way the characters are different.
  • In Unit 6, Week 2, Day 5, students compare and contrast two literary texts (“The Boy Who Cried Wolf” and Why Turtle’s Shell is Cracked) for character and central message. The teacher displays a Comparison-Contrast Chart and models how to compare and contrast characters. During Guided Practice, students contribute ideas about character flaws based on questions such as: “Why does the shepherd boy’s trick make the villagers so angry? What promise does Turtle make at the end of Why Turtle’s Shell is Cracked?” Students draw two pictures side-by-side to show a comparison of the two characters in the two texts. Students demonstrate their understanding of these texts but not extending into the topics of the texts.
  • In Unit 9, Week 1, Day 5, students compare and contrast two texts (“From Dairy Farm to You” and “The Most Important Service”) read over the week. Students watch the teacher model comparing and contrasting with a Compare and Contrast Chart. During Guided Practice, students compare and contrast the graphic and text features of the texts. To close, the teacher reads aloud from the compare and contrast chart, and students respond by raising their hands to show if the feature was in “From Dairy Farm to You” or “The Most Important Service.” The majority of student work does not extend to understanding the core topics; rather it expresses their work with the discrete texts.

During Day 5 of Week 3, students participate in Reflect on Unit Concepts, which provides students the opportunity to demonstrate their knowledge of a topic through integrated skills. For example:

  • In Unit 3, Week 3, Day 5, the teacher engages students’ thinking by stating: “In this unit, we have read and listened to poems, informational texts, and stories about how plants and animals grow and change. What were some interesting details or facts you learned?” Students converse in a whole-group conversation. Next the teacher reads aloud the Essential Question: “Why do living things change?”” Students view the short video shown at the beginning of the unit. Students participate in Collaborative Conversation: Peer Group. Students discuss the Essential Question. During Share, each group’s spokesperson shares the group’s answer. The teacher records students’ answers on an anchor chart. Each group is asked to act out the life cycle of the animals or plants feature in the unit. The teacher is to help each group record a video of its role-playing using a phone or computer.
  • In Unit 7, Week 3, Day 5, the teacher engages students’ thinking by stating: “Over the past three weeks, we have read stories, informational texts, and a poem about the past. We studied time lines that showed how to trace events over time. What texts did you find most interesting. Students share with a partner. Next the teacher reads aloud the Essential Question: “Why is the past important?” Students view the short video shown at the beginning of the unit. Students participate in Collaborative Conversation: Peer Group. Students discuss the Essential Question. During Share, each group’s spokesperson shares the group’s answer. The teacher records students’ answers on an anchor chart. Each group is asked to record a short play about one of the past events, people, or places that was studied in the unit. The teacher is to remind them to include facts.

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 Benchmark Grade 1 meet the criteria that materials include a cohesive, year-long plan for students to interact with and build key academic vocabulary words in and across texts.

The vocabulary instruction for Grade 1 provides opportunities for students to learn academic vocabulary in Shared, Mentor, and Extended Texts. Additionally, vocabulary is reinforced through activities completed in the Grammar, Spelling and Vocabulary Workbook. Throughout each unit, students read, write, illustrate, manipulate and complete fill-in the blank prompts for practice and to gain competency with learned vocabulary words. Materials provide teacher guidance on the unit opener page for each unit. Routines, procedures, and lessons guide the appropriate use of vocabulary used in each unit. Vocabulary is repeated in contexts and across multiple texts. Attention is given to essential vocabulary supporting students comprehension of texts. Students are supported to accelerate vocabulary learning with vocabulary in their reading, speaking, and writing tasks.

Vocabulary lessons highlight the most relevant vocabulary words aimed at building knowledge of the unit topic and support comprehension. To support students’ understanding of complex texts, the following vocabulary words and mini-lessons are targeted. Opportunities to interact and build vocabulary include:

  • In Unit 2, Week 3, Day 2, the teacher models how to notice shades of meaning among verbs in The Gingerbread Man. “Authors often use the verb to show when characters are speaking to each other. The verb said doesn’t really tell me anything about how the characters feel. However, on page 11, the author uses the verb cried.” During Guided Practice, students learn three more verbs, and students reread each example with expression. Students are asked critical thinking questions such as: “What does the verb cried tell us about how the characters feel? How would the meaning of a sentence change if the author used the verb whispered instead of said?
  • In Unit 3, Week 3, Day 1, students learn what realistic fiction is. Academic vocabulary words used in the discussion are realistic fiction, characters, setting, events.
  • In Unit 4, Week 3, Day 3 students hear the text, The Fox and The Little Red Hen, and students used context clues to figure out the meaning of, stealthily, perched and rafters. During Guided Practice, students answer the following prompts: “What does the word (perched, rafters) mean? How did the words near (perched, rafters) help you figure out its meaning? What did the illustration show to help you?”
  • In Unit 5, Week 2, vocabulary learning on Day 2 involves affixes in Using Technology at Work. Students learn -ers and -ists. On Day 3, students sort the words (cartoonists, pilots, computer, computer tools, flight controls, wheel, headsets, radios) from Using Technology at Work into two groups: the kind of workers who use technology, and the type of technology they use.”
  • In Unit 6, Week 2, students read the story, Why Turtle Shell’s Crack, and work with the vocabulary words shiny, greedy, gaze, look, reflections, peer and groom. Students use affixes during the vocabulary part of the lesson. The teacher models strategies in how to decode unknown words and determine the meaning of the words.
  • In Unit 7, Week 3, Day 3, students learn how to use context clues to figure out the meaning of words they encounter in a text that they do not know. The words independence, memorials, and law are used in the task. In Show Your Knowledge, “Ask students to draw a picture to give context clues about the meaning of a difficult word from the text. Have them label the picture with the word. Invite volunteers to explain their context clues.”
  • In Unit 9, Week 1, the vocabulary instruction for Build Vocabulary includes milk and good from “From Dairy Farm to You” and “The Most Important Service.” The teacher engages students’ thinking with: “Can you think of any multiple-meaning words?” During Model, students learn how to use the context to figure out the meaning of milk. During Guided Practice, the teacher uses prompts to help students figure out the meaning of good. For Show Your Knowledge, students write two sentences demonstrating the different meanings of the word milk.

Indicator 2f

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Benchmark Grade 1 meet the criteria 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.

The Benchmark materials include support for Grade 1 students’ writing instruction for a whole year’s worth of instruction engaging students with the grade level writing standards. Writing lessons, tasks, and projects authentically integrate with reading, speaking, listening, and language. Writing tasks and projects are varied and include learning, practice, and application of writing skills. The teacher materials provide models, protocols, and plans to support implementation of the writing tasks, projects, and supports as well as guidance or support for pacing of writing over shorter and extended periods of time appropriate to the grade level. Examples of materials containing a year long, cohesive plan of writing include but are not limited to:

  • In Unit 2, students focus on Writing to Sources by writing a key detail about a character, a description of a character, a dialogue and a new ending to a story. Students wrap up the week’s writing assignments by writing an opinion about the stories that have been read during the unit. During Week 2, day 4, students write a narrative about the story, The Princess and the Pea.
  • In Unit 3, Week 1, Day 2, students write a narrative about a frog using facts learned in the informational text, “The Amazing Life Cycle of a Frog.” The teacher models how to select a character to write about as the first step in this writing activity. The next step is to determine a setting for the story. Once this is done, the teacher talks about writing events in sequence and models “describing events in sequence.” Students give examples of events in sequence related to the story. The final step is to model creating an ending. This is all done orally before the teacher models the writing. Then, the teacher models the writing. After the modeling, students work with a partner to discuss their own story about a frog. In this discussion, students are asked “to start from what they learned in the text and use their imaginations to add events to their story.” The students write a story and the teacher monitors and confers with students during this time. Once the writing is finished, the teacher models sharing writing with a student as a partner. The focus of this sharing activity is to give compliments to one another. Once the teacher is done sharing, students are paired up to do the same activity.
  • In Unit 4, Week 3, Day 4, students learn how to revise and edit writing to make it the strongest it can be. The teacher reads his/her draft of process writing done throughout the week. To revise and edit, the teacher uses a think aloud strategy. Criteria the teacher looks at in his/her writing is: Does my story have a beginning, middle, or end? Did I use enough adjectives to make my writing more vivid and detailed? Is my ending strong? Refer to the editing checklist.
  • For partner share, students read their writing to a peer. Students are encouraged to give one way to improve the writing shared. Students independently write. The teacher uses this time for Building Language Review: Use Adjectives and confer and monitor prompts to gauge students’ progress with the task. An Integrated ELD is provided for teachers to support students having varied levels of need. In Unit 5, Week 1, Day 2, students fill out a key details chart using the familiar text “Robots at Work.”
  • In Unit 6, Week 1, Day 1, students read the story, “The Boy Who Cried Wolf.” Students write an apology note. Students first write a note of apology to the villagers as a shared writing document and then complete one independently.
  • In Unit 7, Week 3, Day 4, students complete a Compare and Contrast chart on two informational texts, titled “Memorials and Historic Buildings” and “The Story of the White House.” Students compare and contrast how the authors of these texts present information about a similar topic.” The teacher models comparing and contrasting two texts by reviewing the chart and explaining what information goes in each column on the chart. The teacher discusses how texts are alike and different and writes that information on the chart. The teacher also fills in the middle column with information that both texts share with the reader. Students are guided to add more information into the chart and share writing with a partner.
  • In Unit 10, Week 1, Day 1, students are introduced to the mentor text, “Sounds I Love.” The purpose for the process writing task this week is to write a sensory poem. Before writing, the teacher reads the mentor text. Students and the teacher analyze the poem identifying what they hear, see, smell, taste, touch and think when they read the poem. After reviewing each line of the poem, the teacher models how to describe the features of a sensory poem. Students practice orally with a peer and discuss what they might see, smell, touch, hear, taste, and think about the poem. Students engage in a quick write to provide an end to the poem. Support for teachers to help students is provided in the Integrated ELD. Completed work is placed in a writing portfolio.

Indicator 2g

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Benchmark Grade 1 meet the criteria 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.

Benchmark Materials include shared research and writing projects to encourage students to develop knowledge and understanding of a topic using texts and other source materials. In the core materials, students have opportunities to participate in writing tasks that develop students’ knowledge on a topic via provided resources. Shared research is found in the Connect Across Disciplines Inquiry Projects section. The teacher will have to provided the resources for research in Connect Across Disciplines Inquiry Projects. Research skills requires students to focus on a routine of investigation, creating, presentation, reflection, and responding. Each unit includes three connect across disciplines inquiry projects. Most require a week to complete, and some extend beyond a week’s time. Over the course of a year, tasks within the inquiry project routines increase in the depth and difficulty of assigned tasks. Teachers have to use and provide supplemental resources such as websites, books, and pictures. A recommended trade books tab gives teachers additional books to potentially use and incorporate throughout the specific unit of study. Materials also provide opportunities for students to apply reading, writing, speaking & listening in addition to language skills for students to synthesize and analyze grade level readings.

  • In Unit 1, Connect Across the Disciplines Inquiry Projects, students can participate in the short research project called “Create a Community Map. As a class, students view maps of neighborhoods, towns, a country, and the world. Students create a large classroom map based on their shared research. Students add symbols to the map to represent key locations such as the library, school, or city hall.
  • In Unit 3, Week 3, students develop informational text over the course of the week. Students write an informational text about a living thing from one of the texts we have read in this unit. Day 1 is devoted to brainstorming topics to write about. After the teacher models the brainstorming process using a brainstorming chart, students begin a brainstorming chart with a partner. Students brainstorming individual topics, “Write a list of living things that you could write about for your own informational text. When you are finished, circle the idea you like the best.” Students discuss the best idea chosen with a partner. On Day 2, students plan what will be written. On Day 3, students begin a draft and Day 4 is revising and editing. On Day 5, students share writing.
  • In Unit 4, Connect Across Disciplines Inquiry Projects, students create an Old West comic book in “Create an Old.” Students view and read books and websites about children’s lives in the Old West. Materials required are books and websites about children’s lives in the old west, paper, colored pencils, and a stapler. Students create a comic book, as well as compare and contrast the everyday lives of children of the old west with children of modern times. As a class, students and the teacher develop a story based upon information learned through the readings from within the unit. Groups produce illustrations for the story and share with peers for observation and analysis. Students pay attention to details portrayed in the illustrations to make determinations of how life was similar and different from old west and modern times.
  • In Unit 7, Week 2, students write informational text. Students work on revising and adding more information over the course of the next two weeks. Day one is spent reading a mentor informational text, “Dogs Are Special.” The teacher takes the students through an analysis of the text to develop an anchor chart for informative papers. Students then complete a quick write where they will “have five minutes to write a true-life topic you care about. Write about facts you know are true.” Students share writing with a partner.
  • In Unit 9, Week 1, Day 2, students read through a previously read mentor text, “From Dairy Farm to You.” The text is utilized to gather information for the informational text. Students will be using a text source note-taking form to add the facts found in the text. After filling out the note-taking form for two pages with the teacher, students will do the same thing with the next two pages of the text.
  • In Unit 10, Connect Across Disciplines Inquiry Project, students learn how to use sound to communicate at a distance in “Make a Megaphone. Students make a megaphone to demonstrate this learning. Teachers provide the following materials: picture books and websites about sound, cardboard, stiff paper, or cardboard tubes, tape, stapler, or glue, crayons and markers, a large indoor or outdoor space. Unspecified websites and books are required as presentation materials needed for teacher instruction. Students also investigate kinesthetically using their cupped hands to figure out that sound can be directed. This activity leads students to making a megaphone using stiff paper or cardboard to roll into the shape of a megaphone. In partner pairs, students stand at opposite ends of the classroom to test out their findings and compare communication with and without their communication devices. To complete the project, students and teacher reflect on their learning discussing noticings from their investigation.

Indicator 2h

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Benchmark Grade 1 meet the criteria 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.

Benchmark materials provide the opportunity for students to read independently throughout the school year. The materials include a resource in Program Support titled, “Managing Your Independent Reading Program,” which details the expectations for teachers and students to be reading both in class and independently at home. The “Managing Your Independent Reading Program” includes: resources for organizing independent reading, the classroom library, room arrangement, anchor charts, mini-lessons for promoting independent reading, reading response journals and logs, discussion groups, book recommendations, guidance for conferring with students, and information on growing your classroom library. According to Benchmark materials, “Students should also be encouraged to develop a routine of reading daily at home for a minimum of 20 minutes, either independently or with a parent.” In the independent reading stage, students are required to self-select and to read materials at their own ‘just-right’ levels.” The Three-Finger Method is recommended for Emergent and Early Readers, which includes:

  1. Choose a book that you would like to read
  2. Turn to any page and begin reading
  3. If there are three words that you can’t pronounce or that you don’t understand, the book is too difficult for you
  4. Repeat the process until you find a “just-right” book.

A tracking system is recommended in the “Managing Your Independent Reading Program” to track students’ independent reading in the form of a reading log and reading response journal. Reading response journals are kept by students and used to record personal responses to texts they have read or will read. It is suggested that young students can draw pictures as a means of reflecting their reading. Teachers demonstrate proper techniques, provide mini-lessons on how to respond to literature and model several prompts by listing them on chart paper, and hang the paper on the wall. The reading log is also suggested as an independent reading tracking tool. In reading logs, students keep a record of what they have read by writing the book title, author, illustrator, genre, and date read.

There is sufficient teacher guidance to foster independence for all readers and procedures are organized for independent reading included in the lessons, for example, as stated in the text, “Within Benchmark Advance, students may participate in daily independent reading during the Independent and Collaborative Activity block, while the teacher meets with small groups of students to conduct differentiated small-group reading instruction, model fluency skills through reader’s theater, or reteach skills and strategies.” Students complete a variety of reading activities in the reading block. Students have shared reading and mentor read-alouds each week. There are also a set of small group texts that will be used in small group time. Each set of texts is leveled according to Guided Reading levels. Student independent reading materials span a wide volume of texts at grade levels. These text titles are included as a teacher resource, Recommended Trade Books.

Gateway Three

Usability

Not Rated

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Gateway Three Details

The materials reviewed meet the expectations for usability. Materials are well-designed and include support for implementation over the course of a school year. Materials include clearly labeled navigation and support to aid teachers to support students’ literacy growth. The design of the materials supports effective lesson structure and pacing. Student resources include review and practice, clear directions, and explanations, and correct labeling of reference aids. Visual design is not distracting to students and support students’ learning.

The materials support teachers in helping students to learn and understand the concepts in the standards. Teacher’s editions explain the role of specific ELA/literacy standards in the context of the overall curriculum. Materials include strategies for communicating with stakeholders about the program and how they can support students in their learning.

There are a variety of assessment opportunities that genuinely measure student progress. There is sufficient guidance for interpreting student performance on assessments and suggestions for follow-up. Materials also provide routines and guidance that point out opportunities to monitor student progress. Students are accountable for independent reading.

Materials meet expectation for providing teachers with strategies for meeting the needs of a range of learners so that they demonstrate independent ability with grade-level standards and opportunities for teachers to use a variety of grouping strategies. There are clear supports for students who struggle as well as those who work above grade level.

Instructional materials include useful technology to enhance student learning. They include materials to support students’ personalized learning via navigable online platforms. The digital platform offers opportunities to enhance student learning as well as opportunities for both student and teacher collaboration.

Criterion 3a - 3e

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8/8
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Criterion Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 1 meet the expectations for being well-designed and taking into account effective lesson structure and pacing. There are several components within the ELA block including: Interactive Read-Aloud, Shared Reading, Reading Mini-Lesson, Small Group Reading, Writing and Language Mini-Lessons, and Phonics Mini-Lessons.The materials meet the expectations for the teacher and student reasonably being able to complete the content within a regular school year with the pacing allowing for maximum student understanding. The materials meet the requirements for resources including ample review and practice resources, clear directions, and explanations, and correct labeling of reference aids (e.g. visuals, maps, etc). The materials include publisher-produced alignment documentation of the standards addressed by specific questions, tasks, and assessment items. The visual design is not distracting or chaotic, but supports students in engaging thoughtfully with the subject.

Indicator 3a

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Benchmark Grade 1 meet the criteria that materials are well-designed and take into account effective lesson structure and pacing.

Each Grade 1 Unit in the Benchmark materials is well-designed and takes into account effective lesson structure and pacing per lesson. Common Core Standards are utilized, so students have access to the components they need to be effective readers. The Components at a Glance section contains a unit opener that provides a detailed explanation of the ELA block. There are several components within the ELA block including: Interactive Read-Aloud, Shared Reading, Reading Mini-Lesson, Small Group Reading, Writing and Language Mini-Lessons, and Phonics Mini-Lessons. In addition, the Mini-Lessons at a Glance contains a weekly schedule and materials list as well as materials to teach a variety of learners during small group reading. For example:

  • In Unit 3, Week 2, Day 3 the Reading Mini-Lessons are broken into three sections and are 10 minutes each. The students write an opinion for 10 minutes and the phonics Mini-Lesson is 10 minutes.
  • In Unit 6, Week 1, Day 2 the Reading Mini-Lessons are broken into three sections and are 10 minutes. The students write a note for 10 minutes in the Writing and Language Mini-Lesson and the Phonics Mini-Lesson is 15 minutes.
  • In Unit 10, Week 3, Day 5 the Reading Mini-Lessons are broken into two sections: the first is 10 minutes and the second session is 20 minutes long. The students take part in a shared writing piece in the Writing and Language Mini-Lessons for 10 minutes and the Phonics Mini-Lesson is 20 minutes.
  • The program contains a link for the teacher to spend the first 20 days of the school year reviewing and teaching the routines and procedures that students will utilize before teaching academic tasks.
  • The materials contain a planner for differentiated instruction. The teacher is provided a list of unit-specific leveled text for small-group reading instruction options. Examples include: reader’s theater, shared readings, reading strategy instruction, English language development, and intervention for small-group reading instruction. The materials include independent and collaborative activity options. Examples of collaborative activity options include, read independently, read collaboratively, write independently, conduct research, apply understanding, answer questions using text evidence, skills practice, and shared readings.

Indicator 3b

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Benchmark Grade 1 meet the criteria that the teacher and student can reasonably complete the content within a regular school year, and the pacing allows for maximum student understanding.

The Benchmark Grade 1 materials meet the criteria that the teacher and student can reasonably complete the content within a regular school year, and the pacing allows for maximum student understanding. The materials begin with a 20 day Review and Routines section to prepare students for the procedures and protocols that will be taught within each lesson. The program provides lessons that cover 150 days of teaching which include 10 Units that are each 3 weeks long. For example:

  • Students spend 20 days at the beginning of the year learning the procedures and protocols available in The Review and Routines section that will be utilized in collaborative learning situations such as whole group, small group and learning pairs.
  • There are 150 lessons available over the course of the year that are divided in 10 units that are each 3 weeks long. Each lesson contains content for instruction in whole group, small group, phonics/word study, intervention, assessment and opportunities for practice.
  • Lessons are set up in 70-100 minute blocks with time built in for small group instruction.

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.).
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Benchmark Grade 1 meet the criteria that the student resources include ample review and practice resources, clear directions and explanation, and correct labeling of reference aids (eg. visuals, maps, etc.)

The materials for Grade 1 meet the criteria for student resources that include ample review and practice. Students have access to E-books, trade books, an e-pocket chart used to build words, as well as an inquiry project that builds on skills. Students interact and complete a reader’s theater activity to reinforce reading skills. Students work in small groups to read decodable readers and use a workbook to practice skills. The program contains reference aids within the Review and Routines section that provides anchor charts as well as thinking maps that can be utilized during whole group and small group reading discussions. For example:

  • Grade 1 practice materials are: handwriting practice pages; grammar; spelling; vocabulary; and phonics and high-frequency words.
  • The whole group weekly presentations are linked to the lesson on the specific day of the week the presentation is to be given and available under whole group weekly presentations on the grade level page.
  • The directions for each activity are divided between telling the teacher what to say and offering suggestions for the teacher to follow.
  • In Unit 4, students learn about “How people create stories.” E-Books and a short video are utilized. Students listen to a mentor read aloud to help expand on skills, and vocabulary. Students read the story, “A Fish Wish,” in order to expand on phonological skills. This is done in whole group and is a part of the main lesson.

Indicator 3d

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Benchmark Grade 1 meet the criteria that materials include publisher-produced alignment documentation of the standards addressed by specific questions, tasks, and assessment items.

Daily lessons and Performance Based Assessments specifically denote the standards to which the lessons and tasks are aligned. This publisher-produced alignment to standards is provided in Benchmark Program Reference Guide under the heading of ELA Correlations to the Common Core Standards. It is also provided within each lesson within each Unit. For example:

  • In Unit 3, Week 1, Day 4, students work on the following standards during the writing tasks: RF.1.1a, W.1.2, L.1.1a, L.1.1b, L.1.2b
  • In Unit 5, Week 2, Day 2, during the phonics lesson, students work on the following standards through tasks: RF.1.2a, RF.1.2b, RF.1.3b, RF.1.3c, RF.1.3g, L.1.2d
  • In Unit 10, Week 1, Day 3, during shared reading, students are working on the following standards through tasks: RL.1.2, RF.1.4a, RF.1.4b, RF.1.4c

Indicator 3e

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Benchmark Grade 1 meet the criteria that the visual design (whether in print or digital) is not distracting or chaotic, but supports students in engaging thoughtfully with the subject.

The instructional materials included utilize a digital visual design that is not distracting or chaotic, and supports students in engaging thoughtfully with the subject. The digital materials are easily navigated through a clear design and interface. For example:

  • The digital materials in the Benchmark program are easily navigated through clicking the grade level and specific unit from the My Library. The teacher’s online resource includes easily clickable tabs for navigation throughout the program. A Unit timeline is also provided across the top in order to easily navigate from unit to unit.
  • The Shared Reading Texts are colorful with illustrations and large font. The texts are not chaotic or distracting. Student practice pages in the Grammar, Spelling, & Vocabulary E-Book are not overwhelming. The pages are black and white with a few images. The font is consistent with bold font for directions.
  • In Unit 3, Week 1, Day 1, students fill in a Key Ideas Web. The web the title of the text (“The Amazing Life Cycle of a Frog”) and six detail bubbles to be filled in by students. The web is not chaotic.

Criterion 3f - 3j

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 1 meet the expectation for materials containing a Teacher's Guide 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.The materials contain a Teacher's Guide that contains full, adult-level explanations and examples of the more advanced literary concepts so that teachers can improve their own knowledge of the subject, as necessary. The materials reviewed meet expectations for materials containing a teacher’s edition that explains the role of the specific ELA/literacy standards in the context of the overall curriculum. Materials reviewed contain explanations of the instructional approaches of the program and identifying research-based strategies. The materials reviewed 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.Specific materials are provided, including a Family Welcome Letter (available in English and Spanish) for the program, School-To-Home letters for each unit, and daily take-home activity calendars.

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.
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Benchmark Grade 1 meet the criteria that materials contain a Teacher 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.

The Teacher’s Resource System (TRS) has ample useful annotations and suggestions on how to present the material. The Teacher’s Resource System (TRS) contains recommendations in each unit and lesson on how to present the material as well as an Observation Checklist for Collaborative Conversation for the teacher to utilize as students are collaborating. There are routines and procedures that the students can practice for 15 days to teach specific classroom management routines. The teachers also have access to pre teach/teach routines. There is an integrated ELD support on each page that helps teachers to scaffold information as well as giving Sample Think-Alouds for the reading lessons and Sample Modeled writing for writing lessons. For example:

  • On the right hand side of the Review and Routines section, there are support tips teachers can utilize to enhance the lesson. On Day 5, the teacher is prompted to add pictures to the chart students are working on which shows pictures of the students and the teacher engaged in each established routine.
  • In Unit 3, Week 1, Day 3, the teacher is provided instructions on how to help students build fluency through multiple readings of a story. Directions for collaborative conversations provides questioning strategies to discuss the Essential Question.
  • During Unit 7, Week 3, Day 5, the teacher has access to 3 layers of ELD support based on student need during the shared reading. Light support instructions are provided that include the teacher making a list of words from the story with silent e and students writing sentences using the words.
  • In Unit 9, Week 2, Day 4, the teacher is provided directions on introducing and reading the text titled “Double Trouble” providing guidance such as, “Read aloud the title as you run your finger under the title. Explain that the word double means “two of something.” Point to the two boys in the illustration; they are twins. Tell students that “Double Trouble” also means “two problems.”” Scripts are provided to teach students how to visualize while reading.

Indicator 3g

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Benchmark Grade 1 meet the criteria that materials contain a Teacher Edition that contains full, adult-level explanations and examples of the more advanced literacy concepts so that teachers can improve their own knowledge of the subject, as necessary.

The Grade Resources tab provides articles and key information to assist teachers in implementing the Benchmark program. Materials contain resources and articles that discuss phonics information and how to improve students overall reading, as well as resources that cover supporting students with disabilities and providing differentiated learning in the form of other articles.

The materials contain professional resources, such as the Read-Aloud Professional Guide which provides information for the teacher on the reasons for using read-alouds. Materials also provide information on making content comprehensible for English learners. The Read-Aloud Handbook is designed to provide information to the teacher.

The “Advancing Phonics Skills features instructional routines for phonological/phonemic awareness, phonics, high-frequency words, spelling, and dictation. These time-saving routines help maintain consistently high instructional standards and offer familiar structures that enable students to focus on content. The routines also provide a built-in formative assessment opportunity. These routines appear once at the beginning of each grade-level book and contain target elements and words, which appear with gray shading. As teachers use these routines in the classroom, they replace the shaded sample elements and words with others that correspond to a given week’s phonics focus.”

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.
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Benchmark Grade 1 meet the criteria that materials contain a Teacher Edition that explains the role of the specific ELA/literacy standards in the context of the overall curriculum. Each lesson contains the standards addressed for each activity. For example:

  • When each unit is opened, there are two tabs that introduce the teacher to the unit: Unit Strategies and Skills overview and Components at a Glance which gives the teacher a three week glance of the texts used for each unit.
  • Skill and Strategies grid for Kindergarten can be found on pages 24-43 of the Program Reference Guide which is an online tool of the program.
  • The Comprehensive Literacy Planning Guide for each weekly lesson reflects the order of the week's mini-lessons in the Teacher Resource System.
  • Each weekly lesson also includes a Reading and Writing workshop planner and writing and vocabulary grids that outline lessons for writing and vocabulary.

Indicator 3i

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Benchmark Grade 1 meet the criteria that materials contain explanations of the instructional approaches of the program and identification of the research based strategies.

Materials include an Implementation Guide that provides a walkthrough of the curriculum citing and explaining the rationale and research-based strategies including but not limited to the principles of backwards design and the design principle of backward mapping. For example:

  • The Program Reference Guide states, “This program was built to address key shifts in curriculum and instruction that reflect research on how best to prepare students for success in the globally competitive society of the 21st century. Benchmark enables all students to master rigorous learning goals with the support of strong differentiated instruction, focused English language development, and responsive teaching based on ongoing assessment. As a flexible comprehensive solution, Benchmark meets the needs of districts implementing a reading collaborative, balanced approach, or workshop model. A careful backward-mapping process was applied in the creation of lessons that promote meaning-making strategies in Week 1 and close reading opportunities in Weeks 2 and 3. Each Essential Question, is crafted to support the tenets of Understanding by Design, promotes thinking about a topic or concept from many perspectives simultaneously. Benchmark is a forward-thinking program that reflects a 21st-century vision. A state-of-the art digital portal provides access to online planning tools, interactive, customizable e-books built for annotation and accessible on any device, weekly teacher presentations, online assessments that prepare students for tech-enabled and tech-enhanced tests, and reporting features that enable teachers to identify and respond to the learning needs of every student.”
  • In the additional resources tab there are clear explanations of the instructional approaches of the program. These explanations include information about: connecting content across disciplines, pre-teach and reteaching routines, small group strategies, and the collaborative conversation approach. Research based approaches are mentioned throughout the additional resources. The program contains supportive information on expanding the reading skills of learners, under the tab titled, Literacy and Language to Advance All Learners. The Access and Equity document discusses how to support students with disabilities and references “Strategies for Teaching Students with Learning and Behavior Problems [Vaughn, S. & Bos, C. (2012). Boston, MA: Pearson]”, which has provided many of the strategies used within the materials.

Indicator 3j

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Benchmark Grade 1 meet the criteria that 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.

Specific suggestions are provided for how they can help support student progress and achievement outside of the school day. Specific materials are provided, including a Family Welcome Letter (available in English and Spanish) for the program, School-To-Home letters for each unit, and daily take-home activity calendars. For example:

  • In the Home-School materials, a Family Welcome Letter is provided that helps to inform all stakeholders, including students, parents, or caregivers about the ELA/Literacy program and suggestions for how they can help support student progress and achievement. For example, the opening letter states, “Each book is meant to be used for just three weeks. After three weeks of reading and working with the texts in class, students will bring the annotated book home. Your student’s annotations will allow you to see exactly how they are interpreting and engaging with the readings. As your student is working through each unit, you’ll notice that all of the readings are centered on one topic. These topics include social studies and science content as well as literary subjects such as point of view, theme, and character. Every three weeks, you’ll receive a school-to-home letter that will provide additional activities you can do at home with your student. These activities connect to the unit topic as well as the vocabulary, comprehension, and phonics/word study skills being taught during the unit.”
  • In Unit 3, the School-to-Home letter provides specific information about the unit and additional suggestions to integrate the home-school connection. “Welcome to our next unit of study, ‘Plants and Animals Grow and Change….In this unit, students will learn how living things grow and change. For example, they will read informational texts about the life cycle of a frog as well as that of an oak tree. They will also explore fiction, fables, and poetry featuring living things that grow and change.
  • A Daily Take-Home Activity Calendar is included in each unit. This resource provides daily activities for each day, Monday-Friday, for weeks 1, 2, and 3. For example, in Unit 5, Week 1, the following information is provided for Monday: “Carrier Pigeons pp. 2-3 Read aloud the text. Ask your child to point to and read the first of each sentence. Ask: Which words begin with th-?”

Criterion 3k - 3n

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 1 meet expectations for regularly and systematically offering assessment opportunities that genuinely measure student progress. Materials have phonics screeners, weekly and unit assessments, informal assessments and interim assessments. Assessments are in paper format as well as online format. Materials reviewed meet the expectations for assessments clearly denoting which standards are being emphasized. Materials meet the expectations for assessments providing sufficient guidance to teachers for interpreting student performance and suggestions for follow-up. Materials provide teachers with guidance for administering assessments and interpreting results through rubrics and scoring guidance documents.The materials contain information to guide teachers in analyzing assessment as well as foundational checklists to help guide the assessment material. The materials include a developmental writing checklist for teachers to use to analyze students’ skills to determine students’ level of writing and how to implement lessons and mini lessons. Instructional materials meet the expectations for including routines and guidance that point out opportunities to monitor student progress. Materials indicate how students are accountable for independent reading based on student choice and interest to build stamina, confidence, and motivation.

Indicator 3k

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Benchmark Grade 1 meet the criteria that materials regularly and systematically offer assessment opportunities that genuinely measure student progress.

The materials contain weekly and unit assessments that can be taken online or using a paper and pencil format. The assessments are available in English and Spanish and contain formal and informal writing and reading assessments to analyze student understanding of skills taught. Examples of regular and systematic assessment opportunities include, but are not limited to:

  • In Unit 1, weekly and unit assessments evaluate students’ ability to listen to a story read by the teacher and then answer questions. The story is called “Handy Helpers.” Students read a passage and answer 10 different questions about the story.
  • In Unit 3, Week, Day 2, an online assessment is utilized to determine students level of understanding informational text. There are diagrams utilized to support student learning.
  • In Unit 5, the interim assessment is online. Students read a passage and answer questions about the text, “Bear’s Fire.” Teachers analyze the students’ answers to adjust instruction.
  • The materials contain weekly assessments for each unit. “Benchmark literacy offers an array of assessments to inform and support the instructional program. In keeping with the Common Core State Standards and the best of current assessment practices, Benchmark assessments use a variety of item types, as described below. All of the questions in the Weekly Assessments are selected-response items, but there are several different item types. The program provides teachers with a detailed explanation on each type and how to analyze the responses.
  • Four interim assessments are available to assess students’ progress in reading and writing, based on the standards and skills taught across the units. Both types of assessment are aligned to the Common Core State Standards for each grade level. Descriptions of the Interim Assessments and the Performance Tasks are provided in the following sections, along with directions for administering and scoring the assessments, and directions for interpreting scores.”
  • In the unit-based assessments, skills must be taught at least twice before the skills are tested. Thus, a skill taught in two lessons in Week 1 will be tested in Week 1. A skill that is introduced in Week 2 and taught only once will be tested in Week 3 or in a later unit after it has been taught again.

Indicator 3l

The purpose/use of each assessment is clear:
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Indicator 3l.i

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Benchmark Grade 1 meet the criteria that assessments clearly denote which standards are being emphasized.

The Benchmark materials for Grade 1 meet the standard for denoting which standards are going to be assessed on in the informal and formal assessments. The standards are broken down into one or two word skills. Unit assessments have a reading strategy checklist which mentions the skills and specifies the standards in the Unit answer keys. The materials contain a document that explains the skills to be assessed in Weeks 1-3 during the weekly and unit assessments. The answer key of the Interim assessments specify standards taught and assessed. For example:

  • Interim assessments help determine reading comprehension when the teacher analyzes answers completed by students after reading a passage. Interim Assessment 3 assesses standards, R.L. 1.2, R.L. 1.3, RF.1.3b, L.1.5, L.1.6 and RI.1.4, L.1.4a. The material explain the DOK level of the questions. For example, question 4 is assessing standard RL.1.3 and is a DOK level of 2.
  • Informal Assessment 5, assesses students’ skills in retelling fiction and nonfiction stories. Teachers are prompted to determine which comprehension standard will be assessed based on what has been taught.
  • In Unit 7, Week 1, students are assessed on standards, RI.1.2, RF.1.4c, L.1.4a, L.1.6, RI.1.5, RI.1.3, RI.1.6, RI.1.7, RF.1.3c, RF.1.3g, and RF.1.4. The DOK levels range from a DOK 1 - 2.

Indicator 3l.ii

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Benchmark Grade 1 meet the criteria that assessments provide sufficient guidance to teachers for interpreting student performance and suggestions for follow up.

The materials contain information to guide teachers in analyzing assessment as well as foundational checklists to help guide the assessment material. The materials include a developmental writing checklist for teachers to use to analyze students’ skills to determine students’ level of writing and how to implement lessons and mini lessons.

The materials contain an Informal Assessment Appendix, which includes a guide to the assessments. This guide explains how assessments can guide learning and provide responsive feedback information for teachers after they administered an assessment and how this can help shape what teachers are doing with students and support their learning. The program guide contains a phonics skills guide that shows which sounds and letters students are learning in each unit. Teachers utilize this material in order to better analyze whether students are on track and what the next step may be if the students already can identify the letters and sounds and what support to provide if they do not.

Examples include but are not limited to:

  • In Lesson 38, the Intervention activity helps students who are struggling to decode words with common suffixes er and est. This is a short and targeted lesson to help students gain this skill.
  • In Lesson 10, phonics intervention works with students who are struggling with identifying letters versus other print materials.
  • The interim assessment guidelines provides a pre and post assessment for the students. The assessments within the materials are aligned to each of the standards, for example in interim assessment 2 students are being assessed on RI.1.2, RI.1.3 and a series of other standards.The teacher can go back and pull from the intervention activities that align to the standards.

Indicator 3m

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Benchmark Grade 1 meet the criteria that materials should include routines and guidance that point out opportunities to monitor student progress.

The Benchmark materials for Kindergarten meet the criteria that include routines and guidelines that allow the teacher to monitor student progress in a variety of areas. The materials provide materials for teachers to monitor reading tone, intonation and pace as well as writing, foundations, phonics and students’ ability to answer text-based questions. For example:

  • The materials contain Quick Check Assessments that are aligned to interventions. Students demonstrate ability to identify words, number of words in a sentence and groups of words in a sentence. An example of an intervention that can be utilized after giving the Quick Check Assessment would be for students to identify and understand that a word is made up of letters, is on page 12 of the intervention tasks.
  • In Quick Check 4, Print Concepts, the teacher has the opportunity to evaluate a student’s ability to identify all of the skills on page 9, such as identifying the front cover, table of contents and identifying the index.
  • The materials contain fluency quick checks. In Quick Checks 9 and 15, students read with understanding, intonation, and expression. The Quick Check provides a rubric for the teacher to document student progress.

Indicator 3n

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Benchmark Grade 1 meet the criteria that materials indicate how students are accountable for independent reading based on student choice and interest to build stamina, confidence, and motivation.

The instructional materials reviewed detail how students are held accountable for independent reading. This outline is based on student choice and interest. It supports students in building stamina, confidence, and motivation. The materials provide a resource called Managing Your Independent Reading Program that provides guidance on setting up an independent reading area and tracking student progress. Guidance is available to teachers throughout each unit for incorporating the independent reading program. Materials are provided for teachers, students, and parents/guardians to track the reading activities students do both inside and outside of school. With each lesson, students engage in 20 minutes of daily independent reading while small group reading is taking place.

The instructional materials reviewed detail how students are held accountable for independent reading. This outline is based on student choice and interest. It supports students in building stamina, confidence, and motivation. The materials provide a resource called Managing Your Independent Reading Program that provides guidance on setting up an independent reading area and tracking student progress. Guidance is available to teachers throughout each unit for incorporating the independent reading program. Materials are provided for teachers, students, and parents/caregivers to track the reading activities students do both inside and outside of school. With each lesson, students engage in 20 minutes of daily independent reading while small group reading is taking place.

Teachers are able to assign independent reading to students if necessary to help them gain deeper knowledge in the objectives. An independent reading log is kept for each student so that students and teachers are able to track self-selected texts used for independent reading. The Managing Your Independent Reading Program includes: resources for organizing independent reading, the classroom library, room arrangement, anchor charts, mini-lessons for promoting independent reading, reading response journals and logs, discussion groups, book recommendations, guidance for conferring with students, and information on growing your classroom library. To support independent reading outside the classroom, students are given a Daily Take Home Activity Calendar.

In the Differentiated Instruction Planner, Independent and Collaborative Activity Options include:

  • Read Independently: The teacher is to make a range of informational and literary texts available for students to self-select based on their interests.
  • Read Collaboratively: Students engage in partner reading of previously read leveled texts, partners listening and reading along in an e-book, or small group rehearsal of Unit 1 Reader’s Theater scripts.

Criterion 3o - 3v

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 1 meet expectations for providing teachers with strategies for meeting the needs of a range of learners so that they demonstrate independent ability with grade-level standards and opportunities for teachers to use a variety of grouping strategies. Materials meet the expectations for providing all students, including those who read, write, speak, or listen below grade level or in a language other than English, extensive opportunities to work with grade level text and meet or exceed grade-level standards.The materials contain a differentiated instruction planner, as well as, an integrated ELD component. A recommendation of light, moderate or substantial support for students is available. Materials provide opportunities for teachers to use a variety of grouping strategies.

Indicator 3o

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 1 meet the criteria that materials provide teachers with strategies for meeting the needs of range of learners so the content is accessible to all learners and supports them in meeting or exceeding the grade-level standards.

The materials contain a differentiated instructor planner, as well as, an integrated ELD component. A recommendation of light, moderate to substantial support for students is available. The integrated ELD support is embedded in each lesson. For example:

  • The Differentiated Instruction planner helps to guide teachers through meeting the needs of all learners. It provides Small-Group Reading Instruction Options: Unit-Specific Leveled Texts for Differentiated Instruction, Reader’s Theater, My Shared Readings, Reading Strategy Instruction, English Language Development, and Intervention. It provides Independent and Collaborative Activity Options: Read Independently, Read Collaboratively, Write Independently, Conduct Research, Apply Understanding, Answer Questions Using Text Evidence, Skill Practice, and My Shared Readings.
  • The Advancing Foundational Skills for English Language Development provides guidance and support for students. It is recommended that foundational skills instruction for English Learners be adapted based on the student’s age and level of schooling, the student’s previous literacy experiences in his or her native language, the student’s level of oral proficiency in the native language and in English, the native language writing system used, and how closely the student’s native language is related to English. Therefore, students’ language and literacy characteristics need to be taken into consideration and individualized instruction may be needed in order to provide the appropriate foundational skills instruction.
  • Each lesson includes Integrated English Language Development with specific guidance for multiple levels of support: Light Support, Moderate Support, and Substantial Support. As noted in the Program Guide, Strategies to support ELLs are embedded into every core lesson at three levels of scaffolding intensity. The goal of these strategies is to target the most cognitively or linguistically challenging task in each lesson with substantial, moderate, or light support so that all learners benefit from the core instruction. Therefore, teachers are able to consider and provide the level of support students need in relation to specific lessons, and to use the strategies flexibly. For example:
    • Unit 4 contains ELD Support for light support during Week 2, Day 3, while reading the text “A Big Fish.” During reading, the teacher is utilizing a checklist to observe and assess skills such as, context clues, and circling unfamiliar words.
  • Additional resources are provided in the Grade Resources regarding Access and Equity: Meeting the Needs of Students with Disabilities and Meeting the Needs of of Students Who Are Advanced Learners.

Indicator 3p

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Benchmark Grade 1 meet the criteria that 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.

The materials include ELD support in each unit and lesson that is differentiated based on students needing light support to substantial support. Each lesson includes Integrated English Language Development with specific guidance for multiple levels of support: Light Support, Moderate Support, and Substantial Support. As noted in the Program Guide, “Strategies to support ELLs are embedded into every core lesson at three levels of scaffolding intensity. The goal of these strategies is to target the most cognitively or linguistically challenging task in each lesson with substantial, moderate, and light support so that all learners benefit from the core instruction. Therefore, teachers are able to consider and provide the level of support students need in relation to specific lessons, and to use the strategies flexibly.

Differentiated learning plans include grade level material that are differentiated for learners including different lexile level materials that support students learning. Intervention lessons can be assigned that are based on the standards and provides students with extra support in a certain skill. These lessons include letters and sound work as well as foundational reading materials. The materials include a vocabulary list of Spanish cognates. Other examples include but are not limited to:

  • In Unit 4, Week 2, Day 4, the Integrated ELD support is for students to identify facts and opinions using “My Mom, the Vet” while the other students are making inferences and predictions.
  • In Unit 9, Week 1, Day 2 the Integrated ELD support is for students to identify and practice using the ou and ow sounds using “Almond Milk” while the other students are practicing visualizing,
  • Grade 1 materials contain an ELL intervention book that students can be assigned. It includes mini lessons to help expand students skills. In Unit 6, there are also texts included that build students reading ability.

Indicator 3q

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 1 meet the criteria that materials regularly include extensions and/or more advanced opportunities for students who read, write, speak, or listen above grade level.

The Grade 1 materials contain Reader’s Theater activities that expand on students’ reading, writing and listening skills. Differentiated reading lessons that include high Lexile levels during small group can expand on student’s learning.

A Differentiated Instruction Planner is available under the Teacher’s Resource System. This planner provides the teacher with information on unit-specific leveled texts for differentiated instruction; Reader’s Theater; My Shared Readings; Reading Strategy Instruction; English Language Development; Intervention; and Intervention and Collaborative Activity Options. The Intervention and Collaborative Activity Options include the following: Read Independently; Read Collaboratively; Write Independently; Conduct Research; Apply Understanding; Answer Questions Using Text Evidence; Skill Practice; and My Shared Readings. Each of these provides the teacher with greater opportunities for differentiating instruction in order to meet the needs of all students.

The Access and Equity section contains an article titled, “Meeting the Needs of Students Who Are Advanced Learners”. The article discusses how to recognize students who are advanced learners and provides guidance to the teacher for differentiating instruction for students in this group. Some of the suggestions for differentiating instruction are: “flexible grouping and small-group instruction for most reading and writing activities allows teachers to group student with similar levels of advancement or similar talents/interests. Flexible pacing and If/Then "Reinforce or Reaffirm the Strategy" instruction within the mini-lessons allow teachers to compact the content and accelerate the instruction in each lesson, within each standard, as needed.

Each unit offers support for accelerated learners. For example:

  • The focus for the trade books for Unit 1 is being a good community member. Some of the titles include, “We March,” and “Can We Help,” and “Drum Dream Girl.” Teachers can create a variety of activities in the literature circle that supports students in reading,speaking and listening.
  • In Unit 2, the Connect Across the Disciplines Project requires students to make a culture mobile. Students expand on understanding of other cultures, as well as expanding knowledge by sharing picture books that support their mobile.
  • In Unit 6, Week 2, Day 4, Finding Text Evidence: Understand the Central Message activity, the challenge activity is provided. For example, students read Why Turtle’s Shell is Cracked and students draw a picture of Turtle and write the lesson he learns under the drawing. Give them a sentence frame: Turtle learns that _____.

Indicator 3r

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Benchmark Grade 1 meet the criteria that materials provide opportunities for teachers to use a variety of grouping strategies.

Students participate in partner and small group Think/Pair/Share, Whole Class Discussion, Small Group Discussion, Read Alouds, Shared Reading, Literature Circles, Independent Reading for both Informational and Literary texts and Leveled Texts. The Teacher’s Resource System provides small group options for teachers to meet the needs of their students. Teachers are encouraged to use information gained from whole group instruction to help determine where students need additional supports or extensions during small groups. For example:

  • In Unit 3, Week 2, during phonics lessons, students are working on s blends. Students could be paired up based on understanding of s blends. Students could be grouped and complete different activities that reinforce their skill.
  • Unit 5 contains trade books for literature circles that allows the teacher to group students in small groups.
  • In Unit 6, small group reading lessons are based on Lexile reading levels from 60/l to 390/L. This also includes reading lessons that can help expand and keep students in small groups.
  • Teachers can use the small group materials for each group as determined by student performance. The teacher can select specific small group materials by unit and week. The teacher can then assign students specific texts to read during their small group block.
  • According to the Advancing Phonics Skills Handbook, “The Advancing Phonics Every Day spread offers a consistent instructional sequence for every day of the week. These activities can be used to reinforce core instruction, to provide additional practice, or to accelerate and deepen instruction.”

Indicator 3s

0/
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Benchmark Grade 1 meet the criteria that digital materials (either included as supplementary to a textbook or as part of a digital curriculum) are web-based, compatible with multiple internet browsers (eg. Internet Explorer, Firefox, Google Chrome, etc.), “platform neutral” (ie., Windows and Apple and are not proprietary to any single platform), follow universal programming style, and allow the use of tablets and mobile devices.

Materials are available to access with a sign-in and password. Once signed in, an educator can access a Quick Start Guide that provides information on using all components of the system. Teachers can also access a table of contents for the resources. Pieces for teachers include accessing information in Spanish, messages, student management, assessments, reports, e-planner, and a blog. When students sign in, they have access to the program components, assignments, reading log for students, and a my library tab for independent reading and trade books. All materials are web-based, compatible with multiple internet browsers and platform neutral. Components can be accessed on PC’s, tablets, and a mobile device. On the website, teachers can create classes to assign work, check on the status of assignments, create groups, and post class calendars. Videos are used to introduce the units and also throughout units to help with student comprehension.

In the Quick Start Guide, it reads, “This guide will help you get started with your new digital materials for Benchmark Advance and Adelante. You’ll discover how to use interactive e-books and access your teacher resources.” The introduction goes on to say, “Benchmark Universe includes all your content, planning, and management tools. You have everything you need to integrate technology into your reading/language arts curriculum, with tools to differentiate and personalize learning for your students.”

Indicator 3s3v

0/
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 1 include digital materials (either included as supplementary to a textbook or as part of a digital curriculum) that are web-based, compatible with multiple Internet browsers , “platform neutral”, follow universal programming style, and allow the use of tablets and mobile devices. Materials reviewed meet expectations for supporting effective use of technology to enhance student learning, drawing attention to evidence and texts as appropriate. They include digital materials that provide opportunities for teachers to personalize learning for all students, using adaptive or other technological innovation. Materials can be easily customized for local use. The instructional materials reviewed meet the criteria that 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.)

Indicator 3t

0/
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Benchmark Grade 1 meet the criteria that materials support effective use of technology to enhance student learning, drawing attention to evidence and texts as appropriate.

The Benchmark materials for Grade 1 meet the criteria that materials support effective use of technology through videos, websites, e-books, interactive online games, online assessments and a reading log that can be accessed from home. While the program does miss out on opportunities to support student learning for online shared projects, there are technology opportunities for students.

In the beginning of each three week unit, there is a short video introducing the focus of the unit and the Essential Question. For example, in Unit 3, Plants and Animals Grow and Change, the short video introduces that living things change and shows images of a child growing up.

During Connect Across the Disciplines Inquiry Projects, students need to use online resources to research. For example, in Unit 5, students need to use technology for the project, Write a Product Review. Students need two pieces of a single type of technology (two different cell phones, a laptop computer and a desktop computer). Students act as product testers and create a product review.

The materials contain online leveled readers for independent reading, as well as, online e-books that students read during the shared reading as well as during the small group reading lessons.

The materials contain online sound/letter games for struggling readers, as well as interim and unit assessments that students take online throughout the curriculum.

Indicator 3u

0/

Indicator 3u.i

0/
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Benchmark Grade 1 meet the criteria that digital materials include opportunities for teachers to personalize learning for all students, using adaptive or other technological innovations.

Materials can be easily customized for individual learners. An online Screener Assessment is used to pinpoint students' area(s) of struggle. Digital materials provide Informal, Weekly, and Unit assessments. Teachers can view data individually by student from the class assignment list. Teachers can customize their leveled texts and personalize this learning for each student. There is a Quick Start Reference that helps both teachers and students how to navigate in the digital program. There is also interactive close reading texts so that each student will be able to annotate the text digitally.

Students are able to access E-Books at their instructional or independent level. The teacher can assign particular books for students to read. The teacher is able to model highlighting and annotating on the smartboard or screen.

The decodable passage E-Book contains several books that can be read aloud to students or annotated. Stories can be highlighted and notes can be taken with different colored pens, and different sizes. Struggling readers have the option to have the text read aloud or highlighted.

Indicator 3u.ii

0/
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Benchmark Grade 1 meet the criteria that materials can be easily customized for local use.

Materials can be easily customized for local use. The online tool, Benchmark, allows teachers to use the customization tools in each e-book to differentiate instruction. When the e-book launches, the student can fill in a name for the customized e-book and click Yes. The teacher can also utilize the ePlanner for lesson planning. In the Manage Students component, the teacher can keep track of student learning in classes and groups. The teacher can customize the Reading Log for each student. The Reports component is customizable for each teacher. Assignments can be selected and assigned by the teacher.

Using the Edit Tools, the teacher can zoom in on any area, add window shades, highlight text, add diagrams and links.The teacher can add new pages, YouTube videos, and more.

Indicator 3v

0/
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Benchmark Grade 1 meet the criteria that 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.)

The materials contain E-Books and videos to access the learning. Students can interact with the teachers using the online components such as assignments or reading logs. The materials do not reference other technology opportunities for students to work on projects collaboratively utilizing websites, discussion groups, or webinars.

Professional development is available online through tutorials, onsite orientations, and online trainings. Access to professional development can be found on the Benchmark website.

Criterion 3s - 3v

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 1 include digital materials (either included as supplementary to a textbook or as part of a digital curriculum) that are web-based, compatible with multiple Internet browsers , “platform neutral”, follow universal programming style, and allow the use of tablets and mobile devices. Materials reviewed meet expectations for supporting effective use of technology to enhance student learning, drawing attention to evidence and texts as appropriate. They include digital materials that provide opportunities for teachers to personalize learning for all students, using adaptive or other technological innovation. Materials can be easily customized for local use. The instructional materials reviewed meet the criteria that 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.)

Indicator 3s

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Benchmark Grade 1 meet the criteria that digital materials (either included as supplementary to a textbook or as part of a digital curriculum) are web-based, compatible with multiple internet browsers (eg. Internet Explorer, Firefox, Google Chrome, etc.), “platform neutral” (ie., Windows and Apple and are not proprietary to any single platform), follow universal programming style, and allow the use of tablets and mobile devices.

Materials are available to access with a sign-in and password. Once signed in, an educator can access a Quick Start Guide that provides information on using all components of the system. Teachers can also access a table of contents for the resources. Pieces for teachers include accessing information in Spanish, messages, student management, assessments, reports, e-planner, and a blog. When students sign in, they have access to the program components, assignments, reading log for students, and a my library tab for independent reading and trade books. All materials are web-based, compatible with multiple internet browsers and platform neutral. Components can be accessed on PC’s, tablets, and a mobile device. On the website, teachers can create classes to assign work, check on the status of assignments, create groups, and post class calendars. Videos are used to introduce the units and also throughout units to help with student comprehension.

In the Quick Start Guide, it reads, “This guide will help you get started with your new digital materials for Benchmark Advance and Adelante. You’ll discover how to use interactive e-books and access your teacher resources.” The introduction goes on to say, “Benchmark Universe includes all your content, planning, and management tools. You have everything you need to integrate technology into your reading/language arts curriculum, with tools to differentiate and personalize learning for your students.”

Indicator 3t

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Benchmark Grade 1 meet the criteria that materials support effective use of technology to enhance student learning, drawing attention to evidence and texts as appropriate.

The Benchmark materials for Grade 1 meet the criteria that materials support effective use of technology through videos, websites, e-books, interactive online games, online assessments and a reading log that can be accessed from home. While the program does miss out on opportunities to support student learning for online shared projects, there are technology opportunities for students.

In the beginning of each three week unit, there is a short video introducing the focus of the unit and the Essential Question. For example, in Unit 3, Plants and Animals Grow and Change, the short video introduces that living things change and shows images of a child growing up.

During Connect Across the Disciplines Inquiry Projects, students need to use online resources to research. For example, in Unit 5, students need to use technology for the project, Write a Product Review. Students need two pieces of a single type of technology (two different cell phones, a laptop computer and a desktop computer). Students act as product testers and create a product review.

The materials contain online leveled readers for independent reading, as well as, online e-books that students read during the shared reading as well as during the small group reading lessons.

The materials contain online sound/letter games for struggling readers, as well as interim and unit assessments that students take online throughout the curriculum.

Indicator 3u

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

Indicator 3u.i

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Benchmark Grade 1 meet the criteria that digital materials include opportunities for teachers to personalize learning for all students, using adaptive or other technological innovations.

Materials can be easily customized for individual learners. An online Screener Assessment is used to pinpoint students' area(s) of struggle. Digital materials provide Informal, Weekly, and Unit assessments. Teachers can view data individually by student from the class assignment list. Teachers can customize their leveled texts and personalize this learning for each student. There is a Quick Start Reference that helps both teachers and students how to navigate in the digital program. There is also interactive close reading texts so that each student will be able to annotate the text digitally.

Students are able to access E-Books at their instructional or independent level. The teacher can assign particular books for students to read. The teacher is able to model highlighting and annotating on the smartboard or screen.

The decodable passage E-Book contains several books that can be read aloud to students or annotated. Stories can be highlighted and notes can be taken with different colored pens, and different sizes. Struggling readers have the option to have the text read aloud or highlighted.

Indicator 3u.ii

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Benchmark Grade 1 meet the criteria that materials can be easily customized for local use.

Materials can be easily customized for local use. The online tool, Benchmark, allows teachers to use the customization tools in each e-book to differentiate instruction. When the e-book launches, the student can fill in a name for the customized e-book and click Yes. The teacher can also utilize the ePlanner for lesson planning. In the Manage Students component, the teacher can keep track of student learning in classes and groups. The teacher can customize the Reading Log for each student. The Reports component is customizable for each teacher. Assignments can be selected and assigned by the teacher.

Using the Edit Tools, the teacher can zoom in on any area, add window shades, highlight text, add diagrams and links.The teacher can add new pages, YouTube videos, and more.

Indicator 3v

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Benchmark Grade 1 meet the criteria that 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.)

The materials contain E-Books and videos to access the learning. Students can interact with the teachers using the online components such as assignments or reading logs. The materials do not reference other technology opportunities for students to work on projects collaboratively utilizing websites, discussion groups, or webinars.

Professional development is available online through tutorials, onsite orientations, and online trainings. Access to professional development can be found on the Benchmark website.

Additional Publication Details

Report Published Date: Fri Mar 16 00:00:00 UTC 2018

Report Edition: 2018

Title ISBN Edition Publisher Year
Benchmark Advance Teacher Resource System Gr 1 Unit 1 and 2 978-1-5125-2289-1 Copyright: 2018 Benchmark Education Company 2018
Benchmark Advance Teacher Resource System Gr 1 Unit 3 and 4 978-1-5125-2290-7 Copyright: 2018 Benchmark Education Company 2018
Benchmark Advance Teacher Resource System Gr 1 Unit 5 and 6 978-1-5125-2291-4 Copyright: 2018 Benchmark Education Company 2018
Benchmark Advance Teacher Resource System Gr 1 Unit 7 and 8 978-1-5125-2292-1 Copyright: 2018 Benchmark Education Company 2018
Benchmark Advance Teacher Resource System Gr 1 Unit 9 and10 978-1-5125-2293-8 Copyright: 2018 Benchmark Education Company 2018

About Publishers Responses

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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.

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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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