Alignment to College and Career Ready Standards: Overall Summary

Benchmark Grades 3 through 5 materials partially meet the expectations of alignment. The materials meet most expectations of text quality and complexity, and many tasks and questions are grounded in evidence. The materials partially support students in building knowledge within the grade level, and it is noted that materials link knowledge-building topics across grade levels. 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. At appropriate grade levels, the 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. The materials partially meet expectations for building knowledge within the grade level. 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.

See Rating Scale
Understanding Gateways

Alignment

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Partially Meets Expectations

Gateway 1:

Text Quality

0
20
37
42
37
37-42
Meets Expectations
21-36
Partially Meets Expectations
0-20
Does Not Meet Expectations

Gateway 2:

Building Knowledge

0
15
28
32
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

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Gateway One Details

Grade 3 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.

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 for Grade 3 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 are of publishable quality and worthy of especially careful reading and consider a range of student interests.
2/4
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Benchmark Grade 3 partially meet the criteria for anchor texts to be of publishable quality, worthy of especially careful reading/listening, and including consideration of a range of student interests.

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

  • In Unit 1, the anchor sets in Weeks 1, 2, and 3 are “Working Together,” “Election Day,” “It Is My Right,” and “Winning the Right to Vote.” These anchor texts provide useful information and have rich vocabulary around the theme of government such as; government, volunteers, responsibility, citizens, candidates, ballot, campaign, election, amendment, strike, protest, boycott, segregated, vote, and taxes. The texts also provide illustrations, timelines, and primary sources in which students can engage and draw upon the information.
  • In Unit 5, the anchor text sets in Weeks 1, 2, and 3 are “Alexander Graham Bell: ‘It Talks!’”, “From Telephone to FaceTime,” “Thomas Edison: ‘It Sings!,’” and “From Phonograph to Playlist.” The anchor texts provide useful, relevant, and up-to-date information. The anchor texts have rich technology vocabulary, such as communication, revolutionary, invention, telegraph, phonograph, innovative, cassettes, discs, digital, and the iCloud. The texts also provide illustrations, timelines, and primary sources in which students can engage and draw upon the information.
  • In Unit 9, the anchor text sets in Weeks 1, 2, and 3 are “Making Choices: Benjamin Franklin’s ‘Two Cents’" and "The Ant and the Grasshopper," “Let it Grow:The Booming Business of Farmers’ Markets,” “Lazy Harry,” and “From Fruit to Jam: A Tasty List of Choices.” The texts incorporate Ben Franklin quotes and a Brothers Grimm fairy tale to explain the concept of time and money. Students are exposed to rich vocabulary such as goods, services, products, supply and demand, manufacturing, and employment.

Literary texts are written with simplistic language and syntax. Some examples include, but are not limited to:

  • In Unit 4, students have the opportunity to read two short reads and two extended reads: “Cinderella’s Very Bad Day,” “Cinderella: Too Much for Words,” “Jack and the Beanstalk,” and “The True Jack?” These texts provide revised versions of classic stories that are simplistic and may be less engaging for Grade 3 students.
  • In Unit 8, students have the opportunity to read two short reads and two extended reads. The short reads, Fairweather Clouds which is Poetry, Free Verse, and Water Sky, which is Realistic Fiction. The extended reads, Water Sky and The Tropical Rain Belt include some academic vocabulary but may not be engaging for 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 3 meet the criteria for materials reflecting the distribution of text types and genres required by the standards at each grade level.

The instructional materials provide a balanced mix of literature and informational text. Text genres represented include, but are not limited to, informational texts, biographies, folktales, historical fiction, poetry, realistic fiction, myths, fables, play, and fairy tales. Additional literary and informational texts are found within the leveled readers and Readers’ Theater. Anchor text selections include 21 literary text and 19 informational texts. Examples include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • “Election Day” by Nell Wilson (Unit 1, Week 1, Short Read 2, Informational Text)
  • “Two Fables from Aesop” retold by Gare Thompson (Unit 2, Week 1, Short Read 1, Fable)
  • “One Body, Many Adaptations” by Judi Black (Unit 3, Week 3, Extended Read 2, Informational Text)
  • “The True Jack?” by Gare Thompson (Unit 4, Week 3, Extended Read 2, Play)
  • “From Telephone to FaceTime” by Caleb Adams (Unit 5, Week 1, Short Read 1, Informational Text)
  • “Doctor Knowall” by the Brothers Grimm (Unit 6, Week 2, Extended Read 1, Folktale)
  • “Sarah and the Chickens” by Patricia MacLachlan (Unit 7, Week 3, Extended Read 2, Historical Fiction)
  • “Fairweather Clouds” by Carmen Corriols (Unit 8, Week 1, Short Read 1, Poetry)
  • “Let it Grow: The Business of Farmers’ Markets” by Lisa Benjamin (Unit 9, Week 1, Short Read 2, Informational Text)
  • “The Great Tug-of-War” retold by Beverly Naidoo (Unit 10, Week 2, Extended Read 1, Folktale)

Indicator 1c

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Benchmark Grade 3 meet the criteria for texts having the appropriate level of complexity for the grade according to quantitative analysis, qualitative analysis, and relationship to their associated student task.

In each Unit, the anchor texts have the appropriate quantitative level of complexity for the grade band (Grade 2-3 Band of Lexiles 420-820). The overall text measure is based on an analysis of four dimensions of qualitative text complexity. These four dimensions are: Purpose & Levels of Meaning, Structure, Language Conventionality & Clarity, and Knowledge Demands. The tasks of each anchor text is at the appropriate level for Grade 3 according to the ELA standards. Texts with the appropriate level of complexity for Grade 3 students include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • In Unit 1, Week 3, students read "Winning the Right to Vote” by T.P. Durban.
    • Quantitative: Lexile 760
    • Qualitative: The text contains complex concepts and a high level of detail. The text is ordered logically in sequential sections with sequence-of-events, compare-and-contrast, and cause-and-effect text structures. Graphic elements include photos and captions, a political cartoon, and timelines which serve as the basis for inferences regarding content. Simple and compound sentences with some complex constructions are included. The vocabulary includes some unfamiliar words that are supported contextually.
  • In Unit 4, Week 2, students read “Jack and the Beanstalk” by the Brothers Grimm.
    • Quantitative: Lexile 710
    • Qualitative: The purpose is straightforward, telling of the familiar folktale in which a boy’s pluck helps him overcome the odds. The narrative is classic folktale with repetitive sequences building to a satisfying conclusion. Sentence structure is often complex heightened fairy tale language which adds a degree of difficulty. The folktale will be familiar to most students and requires no prior knowledge.
  • In Unit 7, Week 1, students read “Exploring My Community” by Lisa Benjamin.
    • Quantitative: Lexile 630
    • Qualitative: The purpose is simple and the text structure is straightforward with facts about the community. Sentences are a mix of simple and complex, and the language is everyday usage with difficult words appearing with strong context. conversation.

Some anchor texts have text complexity features that are above the Grade 3 text complexity. Examples include:

  • In Unit 8, Week 3, students read “The Tropical Rain Belt” adapted from National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
    • Quantitative: Lexile 860
    • Qualitative: The purpose is simple (to explain the cause and effects of the tropical rain belt that occurs along Earth’s equator). The text has multiple text structures in order to convey information, compare and contrast, and cause and effect. Language is conventional science text usage with some complex and compound sentences and a few unfamiliar words. Some prior knowledge of geography, weather, and climate will aid in full comprehension of this piece. To help students access this text, students skim the text with a partner. Students tell a partner what they notice about the text including talking about the genre and graphic features.
  • In Unit 10, Week 3, students read “Investigate Magnetism” by Drake Conyers
    • Quantitative: Lexile 830
    • Qualitative: The text has a simple purpose, which is conveyed through many details to explain magnetism. Structure is sequential and explains different aspects of magnetism. Readers encounter a chart, one sidebar, and two experiments that require them to carry out a physical piece of work. Language is common usage, but includes a number of complex and compound sentences. Vocabulary includes familiar words, such as pole, field, and forces.

Indicator 1d

Materials support students' increasing literacy skills over the course of the school year. (Series of texts should be at a variety of complexity levels appropriate for the grade band.)
2/4
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Benchmark Grade 3 partially meet the criteria for materials supporting students’ increasing literacy skills over the course of the school year. (Series of texts should be at a variety of complexity levels appropriate for the grade band.)

The complexity of anchor texts that students read provide an 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. 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, all Short Read texts are shared and analyzed over Week 1, all Extended Read texts have one week each for analysis. 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 1, Weeks 1-3, students are engaged in reading informational texts ranging from 630L to 760L during whole group reading. In Week 1, students read and analyze the Short Read texts, “Working Together” and “Election Day.” For both “Working Together” and “Election Day,” students recount key details and determine main idea. In Week 2, students read and analyze the Extended Read 1 text, “It is My Right!,” and students recount key details and determine main idea. In Week 3, students read and analyze the Extended Read 2 text, “Winning the Right to Vote,” and students recount key details and determine main idea.
  • In Unit 5, Weeks 1-3, students are engaged in reading biographies and informational texts ranging from 590L to 800L during whole group reading. In Week 1, students read and analyze the Short Read texts, “Alexander Graham Bell: It Talks!” and “From Telephone to Facetime.” For both Short Read texts, students recount key details and determine main idea. In Week 2, students read and analyze the Extended Read 1 text, “Thomas Edison: It Sings!,” and students recount key details and determine main idea. In Week 3, students read and analyze the Extended Read 2, “From Phonograph to Playlist,” and students recount key details and determine main idea.

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, Lesson 14, students compare and contrast two texts, “Election Day” (Short Read 2) and “Winning the Right to Vote” ( Extended Read 2). The teacher reads the Close Reading Question: “Review paragraph 18 of ‘Winning the Right to Vote’ and paragraph 9 of ‘Election Day.’ Compare and contrast the key details each of these texts presents about the topic of young people and the right to vote. Annotate! Review your annotations and write margin notes about any comparisons and contrasts you notice.” During Guided Practice, students start to help the teacher complete the Compare and Contrast Chart. During Share, students discuss similarities and differences between key details presented in each text. In Apply Understanding, during independent time, students write a paragraph that explains how comparing their annotations of both texts added to their understanding of how people participate in government.
  • In Unit 9, Week 3, Lesson 14, students compare and contrast two texts, “Let it Grow” (Short Read 2) and “From Fruit to Jam” (Extended Read 2). The teacher reads the Close Reading Question: “Reread page 28 of “From Fruit to Jam” and paragraphs 1-3 of “Let it Grow.” Compare and contrast the information each text provides about the topic of consumer choice. What does this information tell you about each author’s point of view on the topic of consumer choice? Annotate! As you read, jot down notes in the margins about the information each author provides about consumer choice.” During Guided Practice, students participate in Collaborative Conversations: Peer Group to complete a Compare and Contrast Chart. During Share, students share the text evidence they have discovered. In Apply Understanding, during independent time, students write several sentences comparing how each author addresses the topic of consumer choice.

Indicator 1e

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Benchmark Grade 3 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.
  • Texts for Close Reading selections are designed to capture students’ interest and imagination. These texts state standards for achievement.

Each unit has a Guide to Text Complexity for the Short Reads and Extended Reads. A quantitative (Lexile score) and total qualitative measure based on analysis of the four dimensions of qualitative text complexity (purpose and levels of meaning, structure, language conventionality and clarity and knowledge demands) are provided. The four dimensions of qualitative text complexity form a rubric. Using this rubric, texts receive a score out of four for each dimension and those scores are added together to determine the overall score. Examples of analysis provided include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • In Unit 2, Week 1, the first Short Read is “Two Fables from Aesop,” which has a Lexile level of 600. The total qualitative measure is moderate complexity. The second Short Read is “Two Famous Poems” which has no Lexile level. The total qualitative measure is substantial complexity. In Week 2, the Extended Read is “The Tale of King Midas: A Greek Myth” with a Lexile level of 640. The total qualitative measure is moderate complexity. In Week 3, the Extended Read is “Snow White: A Russian Folk Tale” with a Lexile level of 760. The total qualitative measure is substantial complexity.
  • In Unit 8, Week 1 the first Short Read is a poem, “Fairweather Clouds,” which has no Lexile level. The total qualitative measure is substantial complexity. The second Short Read is “Earth’s Weather and Climate” with a Lexile level of 740. The total qualitative measure is moderate complexity. In Week 2, the Extended Read is “Water Sky” which has a Lexile level of 810. The total qualitative measure is substantial complexity. In Week 3, the Extended Read is “The Tropical Rain Belt” which has a Lexile level of 860. The total qualitative measure is substantial 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
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-
Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Benchmark Grade 3 meet the criteria that anchor and supporting texts provide opportunities for students to engage in a broad range of text types and disciplines as well as a volume of reading to achieve grade level reading proficiency.

The instructional materials provide clear opportunities and explicit supports for students to engage in a volume of reading. Each Unit offers students a variety of text types, topics and disciplines in order for students to become independent readers at the grade level. Students have an opportunity to participate in interactive read-alouds, silent reading, choral reading, echo reading, partner reading, and independent reading. Trade books for independent reading are available.

Each Unit provides students with multiple opportunities to engage with text. These opportunities include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • The focus of Unit 1 is Government for the People. Throughout Unit 1, students engage in two short reads and two extended reads. The genres and texts in Unit 1 are as follows: Week 1, informational text short reads (“Working Together” and “Election Day”); Week 2, informational social studies extended read (“It Is My Right!”); and Week 3, informational social studies extended read (“Winning the Right to Vote”). During small group reading, independent reading and conferring, students read from seven texts, such as the two argumentative texts We Need a Class Constitution and We Need to Play! We Need to Park!. Students can read and participate in Reader’s Theater with Cry Out Liberty or Battle for the Ballot. Trade books are available in the Unit, such as Lillian’s Right to Vote: A Celebration of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 by Jonah Winter and So You Want to be President? By Judith St. George and David Small.
  • The focus of Unit 5 is Advancements in Technology. Throughout Unit 5, students engage in two short reads: a biography called “Alexander Bell: It Talks!” and an informational social studies text called “From Telephone to FaceTime.” During Weeks 2 and 3, students read an extended read biography, “Thomas Edison: It Sings!” and an informational Social Studies text, “From Phonograph to Playlist.” During small group reading, independent reading, and conferring, students can read from seven texts, such as The Idea Machine: My Inventor’s Journal and The Chicago World’s Fair of 1893. Students can read and participate in Reader’s Theater with The Wright Brothers at Kitty Hawk or As the Mayan Calendar Turns. Trade books are available in the Unit, such as The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind by William Kamkwamba and Up, Up In a Balloon by Lawrence F. Lowery.

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Benchmark Grade 3 meet the criteria that most questions, tasks, and assignments are text dependent/specific, 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).

Teacher materials provide support for planning and implementation of text-dependent/specific questions, tasks and assignments for all learners through modeling, guided practice and applying understanding with scaffolding for light, moderate, or substantial support throughout the year. The Read Aloud Handbook, Build Reflect Write Handbook, and the E-book provide text-dependent questions, writing prompts, and speaking opportunities which require students to engage in the text and make real world connections. Text-dependent/specific reading mini-lessons are included each day requiring all students to cite text evidence to support their answers explicitly or use valid inferences from the text. During whole-group instruction, students are asked to answer a variety of literal, inferential, and evaluative questions by re-reading for evidence and or annotating key details.

  • In Unit 1, Week 3, Lesson 5, during Guided Practice, students recount key details to support the main idea and answer the following questions about “Winning the Right to Vote,” Extended Read 2: “How and why were the groups discussed in these sections prevented from voting? How did each of these groups win the right to vote?”
  • In Unit 5, Week 2, Lesson 1, students turn and talk with a partner to share knowledge and use the text to answer the following questions based on Advancements in Technology: “What did your readings about Alexander Graham Bell teach you about the process of innovation? What did your readings teach you about the value of innovation?”
  • In Unit 6, Week 3, Lesson 8, students close read “The Wolf and the Fox” rereading to explain how the characters' actions contribute to events by using a Character Action Chart and these directions, “Close Reading Prompt: Reread paragraphs 1-11. “What do Wolf and Fox do in the story? How do their actions help you better understand the story? Annotate! Underline words and phrases that give you information about what Fox and Wolf do that affects the events in the story.”
  • In Unit 9, Week 1, Lesson 5, students read Benjamin Franklin’s proverbs from “Making Choices.” During Guided Practice, students respond to the following text-dependent questions: “Which of Franklin’s statements uses repetition? One way to make something more memorable is to include a rhyme. Which of Franklin’s statements does this?” During Apply Understanding, students respond to the following prompt: “How and why do writers of proverbs use nonliteral language, repetition, and rhyme?”

Indicator 1h

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Benchmark Grade 3 meet the criteria for having sets of high-quality sequences of text-dependent/specific questions and tasks build to a culminating task that integrates skills (may be writing, speaking, or a combination).

Culminating tasks of quality are evident across a year’s worth of material. Teachers and students are provided with a unit Big Idea and a unit Essential Question. The Essential Question is restated at the beginning of each week of the unit. Tasks are supported with coherent sequences of text-dependent questions related to the Unit Big Idea which prepares students for success with the culminating tasks. Culminating tasks are varied throughout the year and provide opportunities for students to demonstrate what they know and are able to do in speaking and writing and integrates standards in reading, writing, speaking, listening, and language.

  • In Unit 2, the Big Idea and Essential Question are introduced with a video and discussion. Students read and compare stories, poems, and myths in preparation for the culminating task of fable writing in Week 3. Students may read their fables aloud, display them in the classroom or share them digitally. The culminating task integrates standards in reading, writing, speaking, listening, and language. In Week 1, Lesson 4 and Week 2, Lesson 11 students explain how characters’ actions contribute to events. Students compare and contrast fables in all three weeks and this skill builds from beginning to end. In Week 1, Lesson 14, students are asked to compare and contrast from plots of two Aesop fables. In Week 2, Lesson 14, students are asked to compare and contrast the plots of stories with similar characters. In Week 3, Lesson 14, students are asked to compare and contrast characters.
  • In Unit 3, Weeks 1, 2, and 3, students use a mentor text, “Animal Disguises,” which supports the culminating task of informational report writing using information from multiple sources including a digital source. In Week 1, teachers model how to gather and use information from multiple sources to write an informative report. In Week 2, students apply informative writing knowledge to plan and write informative reports based on the text “Fur, Skin, Scales, or Feathers” and a digital source. In Week 3, students write an opening paragraph for an informative report.
  • In Unit 6, Weeks 1, 2, and 3, student tasks include text character role play and a journal entry as if they were that character. In Week 1, the teacher models writing from a character point-of-view from the text “The Fox and the Geese”. The teacher models how to use text evidence to understand the fox’s character traits. Students practice with Sample Character Traits and Evidence Charts. In Week 2, students write three entries based on text events from Crabb’s point-of-view from the text, “Doctor Knowall.” In Week 3, students practice adding descriptive details to improve their narrative journal entries.
  • In Unit 10, Weeks 1, 2, and 3, students develop and create their own procedural multimedia presentations on a topic of their own choosing. The culminating task is a multimedia presentation which has been scaffolded with teacher modeling, guided practice and applied understanding with light, moderate, or substantial support. The culminating task integrates standards in reading, writing, speaking, listening, and language.

Indicator 1i

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Benchmark Grade 3 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.

Teacher materials provide support and direction needed for teachers to implement grade level standards in speaking and listening and help scaffold instruction for students who need extra support. Multiple modeling opportunities are supported across the year. Materials provide multiple opportunities, support of protocols, 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”.

During each unit, students have collaborative evidence-based discussions with a partner several times a day. Weekly lessons offer multiple collaborative opportunities daily, with modeling and explicit directions provided to facilitate evidence-based discussions with a focus on academic vocabulary and syntax. Students utilize graphic organizers that require students to cite their evidence in whole group, small groups, and peer work to use academic vocabulary and syntax. Each week, students apply the understanding of their evidence-based conversations and share their findings to the whole group. Examples include, but are not limited to:

  • In Unit 1, Week 1, Day 1, students participate in Collaborative Conversations: Peer Groups. Students are placed in peer groups to generate questions about the Essential Question. The teacher models sentence frames to support participation from all students: “I believe that…. What are your thoughts….? Further in the lesson, students learn how to agree or disagree with statements made by peers. The teacher models and share the following sentence speaking frames: “I agree with...because…., I would like to add…., I disagree with….because…., My reason for thinking this is….”
  • In Unit 2, Week 1, Lesson 10, partners use the text “The Village Blacksmith” to discuss how the illustrations set the mood and reinforce what the text information about the characters. Partners reflect using the following questions; “How do the colors and style of this illustration affect the mood of the poem?”, “What is the blacksmith doing in this illustration? How does this illustration support what you know about him from the text? How does it add new information?” and “What are the children doing in this illustration? How does this illustration support what you know about them from the text? How does it add new information?” Selected students share what was discussed in the partner discussions.
  • In Unit 3, Week 1, Lesson 1, students work in collaborative groups (Collaborative Conversation: Peer Group) to generate questions that will guide their study of animal adaptations. The teacher reminds students to think about their own knowledge of animals as they construct broad, open-ended questions rather than questions with single-word answers. Students can use sentence frames if that will help student participation: “I wonder [what, how, why].... I wonder how...affects….” In Week 3, Lesson 11, students recount text evidence with a group and share their ideas through collaborative conversation and in writing.
  • In Unit 5, Week 1, Lesson 5, students reread “Alexander Graham Bell: It Talks!” Students work with a partner to reread the text, use context clues and/or text evidence to determine the meaning of unknown words. A lesson objective is that students will be able to share word knowledge during collaborative conversations. The teacher is to monitor student discussions to determine if students need more help.
  • In Unit 6, Week 2, Lesson 2, students participate in Turn and Talk to Reflect on Strategies. Students work with a partner to review the texts and their annotations to answer questions about recounting story events and determining theme that they practiced in Week 1 using questions such as; “How do you decide what to include when recounting a story?” and “What story details help you determine the central message of a story?” Partners build on each other’s ideas and strengthen understanding of how strategies can help as they read other selections. Some students will be called to summarize their ideas. Students are reminded that they should speak in complete sentences.
  • In Unit 7, Week 2, Lesson 1, the teacher asks students to briefly discuss the following two questions with a partner during Turn and Talk to Share Knowledge: “What new content knowledge and insights did you learn from last week’s readings?” How does this new knowledge affect your thinking about the Essential Question?” Students are encouraged to refer to their Build, Reflect, Write notes for support. Students listen carefully to their partners and jot down notes and ask their partner questions so they are able to summarize their partner’s new knowledge and ideas in order to paraphrase, or summarize, what their partner learned.

Indicator 1j

Materials support students' listening and speaking about what they are reading and researching (including presentation opportunities) with relevant follow-up questions and supports.
1/2
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Benchmark Grade 3 partially meet the criteria for materials supporting students’ listening and speaking about what they are reading and researching (including presentation opportunities) with relevant follow-up questions and supports.

Examples of materials supporting students' listening and speaking about what they are reading and researching with relevant follow-up and support include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • In Unit 1, Week 1, Lesson 14, the teacher provides multiple modeling and discussion prompts for students to share their learning. Students explain their own ideas and link them to the ideas and comments of others. For example, "Partner A: 'Working Together' describes a single event where people worked together. Partner B: I agree. 'Election Day' doesn’t focus on only one event. It describes the history of voting in our country.” Furthermore, the teacher is provided with multiple modeling opportunities and is encouraged to “call on partners to share their ideas.”
  • In Unit 2, Week 1, Lesson 14, students complete a Cross-Text Analysis of two stories. The teacher models the setting and characters in each of the stories: “The Peasant and the Apple Tree” and “The Fox and the Crow.” In the guided practice, students complete the Compare/Contrast Chart by reviewing their annotations. Partners share ideas. A model for a productive conversation is given. For example, “Partner A: I think the problem in 'The Peasant and the Apple Tree' is solved by luck, while the problem in “The Fox and the Crow” is solved by the Fox’s sneakiness. Partner B: I agree. If that tree had not been filled with all of that honey, the farmer probably would have gone right on cutting it. In “The Fox and the Crow,' the fox gets what he wants because he is able to outsmart the crow.” While the activity is text-based, the focus of the activity is about developing speaking habits rather than engaging in speaking activities that show comprehension of the material.
  • In Unit 8, Week 2, Lesson 2, students reflect upon strategies used in a previous lessons to explain weather and climate. During review, partners build on each other’s ideas and support each other to understand how the strategies can help them read other selections. The lesson provides opportunities for partners to briefly summarize their answers, use complete sentences, and use share time to ensure that all students develop metacognitive awareness about their reading and that they should use these strategies today as they read new text. This lesson's focus, again, is on the practices and strategies, while the text evidence itself remains secondary.

Some speaking and listening work does engage students in work to support their growing literacy development in comprehension and defending positions with close text work. Some examples include the following:

  • In Unit 5, Week 1, Lesson 14, students complete a Cross-Text Analysis of two texts about the same topic. Peer groups review annotations to identify similarities and differences between texts and record ideas on Compare/Contrast Chart. Each group presents its findings. Sentence frames are given to students help them link their comments to the ideas shared by presenters. For example, “Our group also noticed that [similarity or difference]. In addition, we thought ___.”, “Our group interpreted that information differently. We thought that _____.” and “Our group agrees, and we found that [detail from the text] illustrates that point.” While the frame protocol is employed, the focus of the work is to link student opinion and position to direct text evidence.
  • In Unit 10, Week 3, Lesson 14, students work with a partner to discuss which type of force is described in different genres and supporting their ideas with text-specific evidence. The teacher encourages students to build upon the ideas of their peers. If a disagreement occurs, students are urged to find additional text-specific evidence to support their ideas. In this example, students are engaging in specific demonstration of understanding of the text, and directed to return to a close read of the text as they analyze and explain 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 3 meet the criteria for materials including a mix of on-demand and process writing (e.g. multiple drafts, revisions over time) and short, focused projects, incorporating digital resources where appropriate.

Materials include multiple, varied opportunities for both on-demand and process writing tasks that span the year’s worth of instruction. Writing projects, tasks and presentations are connected to texts of various genres, topics and themes. Each unit includes daily on-demand writing and the Performance Tasks have process writing over a three week span. Writing tasks are aligned to grade level standards, embedded into student work, provide occasions for short and extended writing and allow students to learn, practice, develop and apply writing skills throughout the year. Lessons culminate by having students respond to prompts in their Build, Reflect, Write manuals which lay the foundation for advanced writing tasks students will engage in throughout the unit. Students are provided the opportunities to work through various writing process stages throughout the year by writing to sources, answering text-dependent questions, taking notes (annotating), completing graphic organizers, completing research projects and presentations. Students write and revise informative, opinion, and narrative pieces focusing on topics such as ideas, voice, word choice, organization, and sentence fluency. Examples of the mix of on-demand and process writing include, but are not limited to:

  • In Unit 1, Week 1, in Lessons 3, 6, 9, and 12, students read and analyze the mentor text, Working Together,” which scaffolds student learning as they begin to write a personal letter throughout all four lessons. In Lesson 9, students plan the heading and greeting, organize events in the order they happened, and plan the closing using the Personal Letter Anchor Chart. In Lesson 12, students draft their own, personal letters based on events of the mentor text, Working Together.
  • In Unit 2 the culminating task is to write a fable. In Week 1, Lesson 3, students are introduced to a Quick Write. Students independently answer the question; “What are the features of a fable?” Students begin forming their own fables in Week 1, Lesson 6 and are supported by teacher modeling and the Fable Writing Checklist. In Unit 2, Week 1, Lesson 9, students choose their fable setting and characters as well as complete a planning guide outlining the elements of a fable. In Week 3, students focus on revise, edit and publish by using vocabulary to add vivid details in Week 4, revising to use temporal words to signal event order in Lesson 7, editing for correct form and use of regular past tense verbs in Lesson 10, editing for correct form and use of adjectives and adverbs and creating a title along with using technology to publish.
  • In Units 2, 5 and 9, a text to media integrated lesson is included. In each of these units, students are directed to publish and present their writing. For example in Unit 5, Week 2, Lesson 6, students complete a process writing task to incorporate research in their opinion using the Model Opinion Essay Planning Guide. Using research, students support their opinion and work to develop the body paragraphs of the essay.
  • In Unit 3, Week 1, Lesson 9, a Quick Write example is students independently write to answer the following question: “How is the process of taking notes from a digital source such as a video different from the process of taking notes from a print source?” Student responses to this Quick Write are used to assess their understanding of gathering information from a digital source.
  • In Unit 8, Week 1, Lesson 6, students evaluate online sources for credibility when working to write an informative report. This lesson incorporates digital resources to help students practice utilizing and evaluating online sources. In Week 1, Lesson 9, students expand upon using online digital resources to learn how to gather information and take notes from online sources. Additional graphic organizers include a Note-Taking Chart and an Informative Report Anchor Chart to guide student learning.
  • In Unit 9, Weeks 1, 2, and 3, students write and create a Multimedia Presentation. The process provides teacher modeling of a mentor presentation, discussions of features in procedural multimedia presentations, and support using an anchor chart to help students organize ideas and research. Discipline-specific tasks are incorporated throughout each of these three weeks to support the writing of this Multimedia Presentation. For example, in Week 1, Lesson 13, procedural steps are described in an informational text using sequential words and phrases.

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 3 meet the criteria for materials providing opportunities for students to address different text types of writing that reflect the distribution required by the standards.

Materials provide a progression of multiple opportunities across the school year for students to learn, practice, and apply narrative, opinion, and informative writing. The materials provide tasks for students to use different genres/modes of writing, which are both connected to texts and stand-alone writing projects. The instructional guide provides supports for teachers to assist students as they progress in writing skills such as: graphic organizers, checklists, and rubrics. Each unit has mentor and anchor texts to support student writing which is embedded daily.

Each week focuses on a different writing genre, appropriately aligned to the text. Mini-lessons are scaffolded throughout the week in order to support student outcomes. Exemplar writing samples and other instruction support accompany each unit. Examples include, but are not limited to:

  • In Unit 1, Week 1,, students write a personal letter using facts and details from a print source. Students are encouraged to use the Personal Mentor Letter as a model while writing their own narrative.
  • In Units 1, 2, and 6, narrative writing is incorporated. In Unit 1, students write a personal letter, in Unit 2, students write a fable and in Unit 6, students write narrative journal entries using events and details from a source text and develop a character using anchor charts, prompts, and a checklist. Students also develop character’s voice, use dialogue and description to develop events.
  • In Units 4 and 5, opinion writing is incorporated. In Unit 4, students write an Opinion Essay using a topic opinion and mentor and anchor text evidence to support the opinion. In Unit 4, Week 1, Lesson 3, teachers are given support to model how students brainstorm opinion writing topics and monitor students progress. In Unit 5, students write an Opinion Essay using print sources emphasizing formal voice. Modeling is provided to support editing and improve paragraphing. Students use an opinion writing checklist to write evidence-based opinions after reading “Alexander Graham Bell: It Talks!”. In Unit 5, Week 1, Lesson 3, introduces students to an Opinion Essay Writing Checklist. Writing exemplars for each writing type are given under the drop down menu “Writing Exemplars”.
  • In Units 3, 7, 8, and 9, informative writing is incorporated. In Unit 3, students write an informative report from a print and video source. In Unit 7, students analyze how writers incorporate facts, details, and direct quotes from a source and organize a report, revising to maintain a formal voice and sentence fluency. In Unit 8, students evaluate online sources, take notes from online sources, use linking words and phrases to connect ideas and include domain-specific vocabulary in the informative report. In Unit 9, students prepare a multimedia presentation which includes researching and preparing an explanatory text including many facets of multimedia.
  • On demand prompts and quick writes include opportunities for students to address different types of writing. For example, In Unit 2, Week 1, Lesson 12 students write a fable using a planning guide to organize the fable. In Unit 4, Week 1, Lesson 4 students are to write an opinion essay analyzing an author’s reason. In Unit 7, Week 3, Lesson 4 students are independently draft their news report. In Unit 10, Week 2, students are to draft a Haiku.
  • In Unit 7, Week 1, Lessons 3, 6, 9 and 12, students write an informative report. Students analyze how writers incorporate facts and details, use direct quotes, and analyze an author’s organization. Students use their observations to guide their work when writing an informative report.

Indicator 1m

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Benchmark Grade 3 meet the criteria for materials including frequent opportunities for evidence-based writing to support careful analyses, well-defended claims, and clear information appropriate for the grade level.

Materials provide frequent opportunities that are varied and build writing skills over the course of the school year. Materials provide opportunities for students to learn, practice and apply writing using evidence. Writing opportunities are focused around students’ analyses and claims developed from reading closely and working with texts and sources to provide supporting evidence. In each unit, the majority of writing opportunities are focused on students’ analyses and claims developed from reading closely and working with texts and sources to provide supporting evidence. Students are required to respond to evidence-based writing prompts in the Build, Reflect, Write notebook. Prior to responding to the text, students are provided pre-work that adequately supports their responses. Students frequently generate ideas by closely reading text. Instructional support for teachers is provided throughout the units to guide students’ understanding of developing ideas and components of structured writing. Examples of opportunities include, but are not limited to:

  • In Unit 1, Week 1, Lesson 2, students read a paragraph with a partner to identify and recount other key details and to explain how these details support the main idea. As students read and discuss the text with a partner, the teacher monitors discussions to assess students’ ability to recount and explain key details using text-dependent questions to provide corrective and/or directive feedback as needed. For example; “Who worked together to prepare for the flood?,” “What did they do to prepare for the flood?” and “Why did they work together?”
  • In Unit 3, Week 1, Lesson 14, students compare and contrast two texts, “Animal Disguises” and “Animals’ Tools for Survival.” Students will use Compare/Contrast Chart while close reading these two texts. Students use the information on the chart to write a short response explaining how two texts are similar and different.
  • In Unit 4, Week 1, Lesson 9, students support an opinion with evidence from the texts, “Cinderella’s Very Bad Day” and “Cinderella, Too Much for Words”. Students collect and organize evidence in an Opinion Essay Anchor Chart to organize and prioritize evidence that will support careful analysis and well-defended claims.
  • In Unit 7, Week 1, Lesson 6, students analyze how writers incorporate facts and details into an informative report. Students are provided with a model on how to gather information from “Exploring My Community”. Students utilize the Analyze Facts and Details Chart as well as the Informative Report Anchor Chart to support careful analysis and the gathering of information.
  • In Unit 8, Week 1, Lesson 13, students describe the cause and effect relationship between a series of scientific ideas. Students will read closely “Earth’s Weather and Climate” while utilizing the Cause/Effect Chart. Students write a short paragraph in which they identify at least two cause and effect relationships between ideas presented in text that helped them understand concepts of weather and climate.

Indicator 1n

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Benchmark Grade 3 meet the criteria for materials including 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.

The Grade 3 program has multiple opportunities for whole class instruction aligned to the Grade 3 language standards. All grammar and conventions standards are taught over the course of the school year through reading, language, vocabulary, and writing mini-lessons. These lessons provide opportunities for teacher modeling and guided student practice. Grammar lessons are also applied to independent writing projects students work on. After the specific language standard has been taught, students apply the skill to their own writing. Students receive direct instruction using the mentor text and dictionaries, and students have access to class charts.

Materials include instruction of all grammar and conventions standards for the grade level. Examples of each language standard include:

  • L.3.1a:
    • In Unit 1, Week 1, Lesson 15, Writing Mini-Lessons and Independent Writing and Conferring, students are reminded that nouns are words that describe people, places and things, like a book or an idea.
    • In Unit 6, Week 3, Lesson 13, Writing to Sources, in the Word Study and Vocabulary lessons, students learn irregular plural forms. A text is displayed and the teacher reads aloud, thinking aloud as they read and edit irregular verbs and nouns. Students work in partners to access dictionaries to review each other’s drafts to check their use and spelling of irregular nouns and verbs.
  • L.3.1c:
    • In Unit 9, Week 1, Lesson 7, Short Read 1 Mini-Lesson, students learn about abstract nouns. Working in partners, students reread the proverbs in Ben Franklin’s Two Cents and identify whether the nouns used in each are concrete or abstract.
  • L.3.1d:
    • In Unit 2, Week 2, Lesson 15, Process Writing, students learn how to form regular verbs in the past. The teacher employees a think-aloud and demonstrates how to add -ed to verbs.
    • In Unit 7, Week 3, Lesson 10, Writing to Sources, students review what has been learned about verbs and apply this knowledge as they edit their informative report drafts. An Irregular Verb chart is displayed and partners refer to it as they review each other’s drafts to identify and correct any irregular verb errors.
  • L.3.1e:
    • In Unit 1, Week 2, Lesson 15, Performance Task, students learn about verb tenses. The lesson includes a four-column chart to explain how each verb is conjugated.
    • In Unit 2, Week 2, Lesson 15, students are told that fables, like most narrative stories, are most often told in the past tense. Therefore, it is important for students to make sure that they know how to form and use the past tense of verbs when writing their own fable. The class reviews the rules for forming the past tense verbs and use past tense verbs in their writing.
  • L.3.1f:
    • In Unit 1, Week 3, Lesson 15, students practice subject/verb agreement with singular and plural subjects. For example - “The girl jumps.” “The girls jump.”
    • In Unit 3, Week 2, Lesson 15, a Pronoun Chart is displayed. Students are reminded that a pronouns are used to identify who is performing an action, receiving an action and to show ownership. Students then receive the Pronoun-Antecedent Agreement Modeling Text. Working with partners, students fill in the blank in each sentence with the appropriate pronoun or pronouns.
  • L.3.1g:
    • In Unit 4, Week 1, Lesson 15, Writing to Sources, a Comparative and Superlative Practice text is displayed as the teacher reads the first four sentences aloud and uses a think aloud to model how to form comparative and superlative adjectives. Students then work independently to complete the remaining six sentences.
    • In Unit 6, Week 2, Lesson 15, the teacher models forming and using comparative and superlative adverbs. Students then work with a partner to complete sentences by filling in the correct comparative or superlative form of each adverb.
  • L.3.1h:
    • In Unit 5, Week 1, Lesson 15, Process Writing, students learn how to use coordinating conjunctions to make complex sentences.
    • In Unit 8, Week 2, Lesson 10, Process Writing, the teacher reads the Linking Words and Phrases Text to the students and thinks aloud to model how to strengthen the connections between ideas within an informative report by including linking words and phrases. Students then work with a partner to improve the flow of their rough drafts by incorporating linking words and phrases.
  • L.3.1i:
    • In Unit 5, Week 3, Lesson 13, Process Writing, students apply what they have learned about combining sentences to help them edit and improve their opinion essay drafts. The teacher models how to use coordinating and subordinating conjunctions to improve two sentences. Partners then review each other’s writing to use coordinating and subordinating conjunctions, including their comma placement.
  • L.3.2a:
    • In Unit 2, Week 3, Lesson 15, Process Writing, students create a title while publishing their fable. The teacher displays a text and models creating an effective title. The teacher models using the rules for capitalization in titles. Students work with a partner to brainstorm titles for their fables. During independent writing students finalize their titles using what was just taught.
  • L.3.2b:
    • In Unit 1, Week 1, Lesson 9, Writing to Sources, when writing a personal letter as part of the Personal Letter Anchor Chart for the lesson students need to include, “a heading that includes the writer’s address and a date.” The objectives for this lesson also include, “Use commas properly in a personal letter.” The teacher also models correct comma usage in a letter.
    • In Unit 1, Week 1, Lesson 12, Writing to Sources, students write a draft of their personal letter. The teacher models how to draft a letter using the Personal Letter Anchor Chart, which includes “A heading that includes the writer’s address and a date.” As students write independently, the teacher reminds them to follow the rules for using commas in addresses.
  • L.3.2c:
    • In Unit 2, Week 2, Lesson 10, Process Writing, using a modeling text, the teacher reviews the specific rules of quotation marks and comma usage as they relate to dialogue.
    • In Unit 6, Week 3, Lesson 10, Writing to Sources, students revise and improve their dialogue and check to make sure that they have inserted it into their journal entries correctly. The teacher models how to evaluate writing in order to improve it.
  • L.3.2d:
    • In Unit 3, Week 3, Lesson 13, Writing to Sources, the teacher displays and reads aloud the Possessives Practice and thinks aloud how coverings and them are plural, so the word animals should be plural and written animals’. Partners read the remaining text to identify the mistakes and underline the corrections. As students review their each other’s writing, they look for proper use of possessives.
  • L.3.2e:
    • In Unit 4, Week 3, Lesson 10, Writing to Sources, students use comparative and superlative adjectives by adding suffixes to the base word. Students read the text and revise the adjectives by adding suffixes to improve the writing. (nice- nicer and mean - meanest).
  • L.3.2f :
    • In Unit 1, Week 3, Lesson 12, Word Study & Vocabulary, students learn about spelling patterns for long o (VCe, oa, ow, o) and long u (VCe, ue, ew, u) and locate them in the text to add to their graphic organizer. “ The word close ends with an o-consonant-e combination. When I see this combination, I know that the e is silent and that the o should be pronounced with its long sound.”
  • L.3.2g:
    • In Unit 4, Week 2, Lesson 15, Writing to Sources, students learn how to use a dictionary to look up unknown words.
  • L.3.3a:
    • In Unit 8, Week 3, Lesson 7, Process Writing, students learn to revise their informative writing for domain-specific vocabulary for effect and to demonstrate knowledge about a topic.
  • L.3.3b:
    • In Unit 5, Week 3, Lesson 7, Process Writing, the teacher introduces using formal voice in writing and compares this type of writing to everyday speech. The teacher explains informal language and reviews rules for formal writing. Students have the opportunity to edit their own essays to ensure they used formal language.

Criterion 1o - 1q

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

The materials reviewed for Benchmark Grade 3 meet the criteria for materials, questions, and tasks addressing grade-level CCSS for foundational skills to build comprehension by providing instruction in phonics, word recognition, and reading fluency in a research-based and transparent progression. Materials meet the criteria for materials, questions, and tasks guide students to read with purpose and understanding and to make frequent connections between acquisition of foundation skills and making meaning from reading. The instructional materials reviewed for Benchmark Grade 3 meet the criteria for instructional opportunities being frequently built into the materials for students to practice and achieve reading fluency in oral and silent reading, that is, to read on-level prose and poetry with accuracy, rate appropriate to the text, and expression.

Indicator 1o

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

The materials reviewed for Benchmark Grade 3 meet the criteria for materials, questions, and tasks addressing grade-level CCSS for foundational skills to build comprehension by providing instruction in phonics, word recognition, and reading fluency in a research-based and transparent progression.

Over the course of the year, lessons include the introduction of new foundational skills through teacher modeling, guided practice, partner work, graphic organizers/charts, and application to short read texts. Teacher instruction and student practice provide many opportunities over the course of the school year for students to work with prefixes, suffixes, irregularly spelled words and multisyllabic words. Each week the teacher models how to decode a syllable using different vowel sounds, compound words or syllable rules. When teaching prefixes and suffixes, students identify how the prefix or suffix changes the meaning of the base word. Lessons are primarily taught during the Word Study and Vocabulary portion of the core reading materials. The Word Study and Vocabulary lessons provide students an opportunity to learn word analysis that is then applied in and out of context. The lessons frequently include how the word is understood through word analysis and proper pronunciation. The skill of decoding and understanding the meaning of words is introduced early in the week and applied later in the week during word study and vocabulary lessons. Foundational skill lessons build in complexity over the course of the year and there is a clear progression for students to work towards grade-level comprehension.

Instruction, spelling lists, and vocabulary tasks/word work includes common prefixes and derivational suffixes, multisyllable words, and grade-appropriate irregularly spelled words. For example:

  • In Unit 1, Week 1, Lesson 11, the teacher displays and reads aloud paragraph 1 of “Robert’s Rules of Order” as students follow along. The word together is highlighted and the teacher thinks aloud to model how to identify and read aloud short vowels. Together is broken into syllables and the teacher notices that the second syllable has the vowel e in the middle, and ends with the consonant pair th. Based on this the vowel e needs to be pronounced with its short sound. Students read paragraphs 2-4 of “Robert’s Rules of Order” aloud with a partner highlighting the short vowel sounds in each of the words. Students use their knowledge of short vowels to help them pronounce and understand each word. The class comes together and shares the words underlined and their understanding of the word. This is repeated in lessons:
    • Repeated Unit 1, Week 2, Lesson 12, decoding syllables with long vowel a sound.
    • Repeated Unit 1, Week 3, Lesson 12, decoding syllables with long vowel o sound.
    • Repeated Unit 2, Week 1, Lesson 11, decoding syllables with long vowel e sound.
    • Repeated Unit 2, Week 2, Lesson 12, decoding syllables with long vowel i sound.
    • Repeated Unit 2, Week 3, Lesson 12, syllables in compound words.
    • Repeated Unit 2, Week 1, Lesson 11, decoding syllables with r controlled vowels.
  • In Unit 5, Week 2, Lesson 12, Word Study & Vocabulary, students learn how to apply their new knowledge of vowel-r syllable pattern to context in the reading of “George Eastern and the Kodak Camera.” “Have students turn to ‘George Eastman and the Kodak Camera.’ Ask students to read the text. Then have them reread the text with a partner, looking for examples of multisyllable words and underlining those that contain an r-controlled vowel. Ask partners to divide the words into syllables and circle the syllable that has the r-controlled vowel. Students will encounter the following words in the text: cameras (paragraph 1), photographers (paragraph 2); simpler, performed, experiments, mother’s (paragraph 3); smaller, portable, general, over, first (paragraph 4); popular, workers, factories, fathers (paragraph 5).”
  • In Unit 8, Week 3, Lesson 12, the teacher reviews the diphthongs oy, oi, ow and ou with students. “In the words ' out' and ' shower,' the diphthongs ' ou' and ' ow' both make the /oi/ sound. Similarly, in the words ' destroy' and ' soil,' the diphthongs ' oy' and ' oi' both make the /ou/ sound.” Students encounter some of these words with multiple syllables in the text “Predicting Hurricanes,” including joined, destroy, destroyed, and avoid.

All tasks and questions are sequenced to application of grade-level work (e.g., application of prefixes at the end of the unit/year; decoding multi-syllable words). For example:

  • In Unit 5, Week 3, Lesson 12, Word Study & Vocabulary, students apply previous knowledge of inflectional endings to text. Students locate words with inflectional endings in the text, “From Snapshots to Selfies” and record them in a chart. “Have students read the remaining paragraphs in “From Snapshots to Selfies.” As they read, ask them to find words with inflectional endings -ed and -ing in the text. Ask them to: Identify the base word. Discuss how the spelling of the base word changed with the addition of the inflectional ending. Discuss the meaning of the base word and the change in meaning when the inflectional ending was added.”
  • In Unit 6, Week 1, Lesson 11, Word Study & Vocabulary, students apply previous knowledge of irregularly spelled plural nouns to text. Students read “The Incredible Goose” and circle irregular plural nouns. “Ask students to read ‘The Incredible Goose.’ As they read, ask them to circle all irregular plural nouns they see. Students should use their knowledge of how regular plurals are formed to help them identify irregular plurals. Have them jot in the margin the singular form of each circled plural. Point out that in this text, students will find some plurals that are irregular because they are spelled exactly like the singular form.” Students’ spelling lists also focus on noun suffixes for that week. In Unit 8, Week 3, Lesson 9, the teacher introduces the diphthongs ou, ow, oy and oi to students. Some of the words students read with diphthongs are multisyllabic such as, disappoint, flower, oyster, loyal, and thousand.
  • In Unit 9, Week 2, Lesson 9, when students study the prefixes dis- and un-. “Prefixes are word parts attached to the beginning of words. Attaching a prefix creates a new word with a new meaning. The prefix dis- means “not, or opposite of.” When we attach the prefix dis- to a word, we get a word with the opposite meaning. The word disliked means “not liked.” Students also complete a word sort with dis- and un- words. Words with these prefixes also appeared in students weekly spelling words: disappeared, unblemished, disbelief, unrivaled, displeasure, unsalted, disassembled, and unhappy.
  • In Unit 9, Week 3, Lesson 9, students learn about the prefixes re- and pre-, “The prefix pre- means “before,” and the prefix re- means “again.” If I add the prefix pre- to the word packaged, it means that something is packaged before it is sold. The word stocking in this paragraph means putting things on the shelves. If I add the prefix re- to the word stocking, it means that things are being put on the shelves again.” These prefixes also appear in students’ spelling words for the week: prearrange, prepackaged, restock, prekindergarten, reconsider, rethink, preorder, and recycled.

Indicator 1p

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Benchmark Grade 3 meet the criteria for materials, questions, and tasks guiding students to read with purpose and understanding and to make frequent connections between acquisition of foundation skills and making meaning from reading.

Over the course of the year, materials provide students with multiple opportunities to demonstrate mastery of word analysis skills and apply word knowledge to grade level texts. Opportunities occur in core materials during Word Study and Vocabulary lessons through teacher modeling. Within the Word Study and Vocabulary Lessons, Process Writing and Writing to Sources Lessons, students have opportunities to identify word parts that allow them to decode the word properly and understand the word through word analysis, which then allows them to comprehend the text. The lessons provide opportunities for students to practice the word analysis with grade level text and encode through spelling. Students apply new skills to text through the use of partner work, independent work, and graphic organizers. Lessons increase in complexity to allow students access to apply word analysis skills to grade level text and support meaning of text. Lessons also include opportunities for students to demonstrate their understanding of a text through the use of an Apply Understanding portion at the end of reading lessons.

Multiple and varied opportunities are provided over the course of the year in core materials for students to demonstrate mastery of the application of word analysis skills to grade level text. For example:

  • In Unit 4, Week 1, Lesson 8, the class reads the first three lines on page 8 of “Cinderella, Too Much for Words.” Students circle the word befallen in their text. The teacher models how to identify words with open syllable patterns. Students read ladies, music, lazy, human, silent, begin. Student break each word into individual syllables using their knowledge of open syllables.
  • In Unit 7, Week 1, Lesson 8, the teacher models how adding the suffixes -or and -er change the meaning of a word, “The suffix -er is added to base word The suffix means “one who does something.” The word worker means “someone who works.” Now look at the word visitor. The suffix -or also means “one who does something.” The word visitor means “someone who visits.” Students then work with a partner to practice identifying the base word, suffix and meaning of a series of words such as farmer director and counselor.
  • In Unit 9, Week 1, Lesson 11, Word Study & Vocabulary, students review their previous learning of suffixes -able, -ful, and -less and apply their learning to context to determine the meaning of new words in the text, “The Milkmaid.” Students first participate in a teacher model, then work with a partner to complete a graphic organizer. “In the second paragraph, I read that the milkmaid dreams of helping the baker make wonderful cakes. I know that a wonder is something that is really great, and that the suffix -ful means “full of.” So, when I combine the word and suffix to create the new word, wonderful, I can conclude that the new word is an adjective that means ‘full of really great stuff.’”

Materials include supports for students to demonstrate they have made meaning of the grade-level text. For example:

  • In Unit 6, Week 1, Lesson 5, Short Read 1 Mini-Lesson, students annotate a short read for unfamiliar words, work in a peer group to determine the meaning of unfamiliar words, and complete a word meaning chart. “Ask students to skim and scan “The Fox and the Geese” to circle any unfamiliar words. Make a class list of these words and read them aloud. Peer Group-Based on the words students circle, identify focus words for this mini-lesson. For example, you might choose cackled, piteously, vigorous, and anticipation. Display and/or distribute a word meaning Chart with the focus words listed. Have students reread “The Fox and the Geese” and identify all the words listed. Provide students with copies of print dictionaries or access to online dictionaries to use in finding the meaning of each word. Have students write a sentence for each word to demonstrate their understanding of its meaning. Circulate among groups and help students determine how to find a word with an inflected ending,such as cackled or piteously. Make sure they know they will have to look up cackle and piteous and extrapolate the meaning of the inflected form.”
  • In Unit 9, Week 1, Lesson 4, Short Read 1 Mini-Lesson, students reread and annotate a short read and use context clues to help determine the meaning of new words. Students work with partners to complete a graphic organizer that includes the word, context clues, and a definition. “Reread and Annotate-Ask students to skim the selection and circle the words annual and proverbs on page 4, and moral on page 5. Ask them to underline any context clues or information that might help them define these words. Have them write their definitions in the margins of the text. Partner-Display and/or distribute the Word Meaning Chart. Have partners share their annotations and definitions to complete the chart. Allow partners access to print and/or online dictionaries to help them confirm their definitions. As students engage in the task, observe and monitor their work to determine whether they need additional support to use the strategy.”

Indicator 1q

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Benchmark Grade 3 meet the criteria for instructional opportunities being frequently built into the materials for students to practice and achieve reading fluency in oral and silent reading, that is, to read on-level prose and poetry with accuracy, rate appropriate to the text, and expression.

Fluency practice is included once a week in the whole group mini-lessons. Students have opportunities to build fluency of the grade-level text. These lessons are provided consistently each unit during Week 1, Lesson 2 and Week 2, Lesson 3. Routines are included for teachers to reference during the lesson. Fluency extends to small group Reader’s Theater during Week 3 of each Unit.

Over the course of the school year, students practice fluency through the use of Small Group Reader’s Theater scripts. When students perform Reader’s Theater, they practice reading fluently with expression, accuracy, and rate. Fluency lessons are explicitly modeled during Reader’s Theater. Reader’s Theater is during the 15-20 minute block of Small-Group Independent Reading Conferring. Some Reading-Mini Lessons include fluency lessons and students are learning how to read with accuracy.

Opportunities are provided over the course of the year in the small group Reader’s Theater materials for students to demonstrate sufficient accuracy and fluency in oral and silent reading. For example:

  • Materials provide multi-level Reader’s Theater scripts for small group instruction that allow students to practice fluency and comprehension skills. “Multi-leveled Reader’s Theater scripts build fluency and comprehension. The five-day lesson plans provided in the Reader's Theater Teacher's Handbook support students in building fluency, developing oral expression, and increasing vocabulary.”
    • In Unit 4, Week 3, the Reader’s Theater Script is Hansel and Gretel: The True Story. The fluency objectives listed include: “Students will: Build fluency through echo-reading, choral-reading, and repeated reading. Read with dramatic expression.”
    • In Unit 9, Week 3, teachers choose from options in the differentiated instruction planner during small-group reading and independent reading time. An option during this time includes Reader’s Theater. Teacher guidance includes, “Group students heterogeneously for multi-leveled reader’s theater experiences that build fluency and comprehension. Use the 5-day lesson plans provided, pages 104–115.” Directions include suggestions for Modeling, preparing, and feedback for performances. For example, the Handbook teacher notes state, “Model Fluency: Read with Phrasing—High-Frequency Word Phrases:
      • Explain that fluent readers make their reading sound like talking. One way they do this is by grouping words into phrases. Direct students’ attention to page 4. Ask them to identify words they recognize. Demonstrate how to use context to con rm or self- correct word recognition and understanding.
        • Next, read aloud the section, grouping the high-frequency words into phrases.
        • Say: Turn and talk to a partner. Did my reading sound like talking? How did this help you understand what Vicki is saying?
    • Reader’s Theater materials provide independent reading time of the script for students to practice silent reading fluency. “Have students reread the script as a small group, with a partner, or independently by following along with the interactive e-book.”

Materials support reading or prose and poetry with attention to rate, accuracy, and expression, as well as direction for students to apply reading skills when productive struggle is necessary. For example:

  • In Unit 1, Book 2, Lesson 2, Reader’s Theater, students first listen to a teacher model reading fluency with dramatic expression and then practice reading the script with dramatic expression. Students then reread the script and apply what they have learned to a section of the script. “Practice Fluency: Read with Dramatic Expression Characterization/Feelings. Have students choral read the same section, paying attention to the punctuation and using it to help them read with fluent expression. Provide general corrective feedback and/or validate students' efforts.”
  • In Unit 2, Week 1, Lesson 7, Short Read 2 Mini-Lesson, students practice skimming and partner read the poems “Two Famous Poems” during whole group instruction.
  • In Unit 4, Week 3, Lesson 6, Extended Read 2 Mini-Lesson, when practicing reading a play titled “The True Jack,” the teacher models reading with and without expression. For a second reading, the teacher reads with expression. Students are placed in pairs and assigned portions of the play to practice reading with expression.
  • In Unit 6, Week 2, Lesson 3, students practice building fluency. The Teacher Edition states, “ Explain that fluent reading requires readers to read with characterization and feeling. Follow the fluency routine to model this skill and provide guided practice. Use paragraphs 3-6 of ‘Doctor Knowall.’ During independent time, have students partner-read this paragraph for additional practice. “ The fluency routine is Read with Expression–Characterization/Feelings. The routine includes:
    • Model: Explain that fluent reading requires readers to show a character’s personality and feelings. Ask students to listen and follow along as you read a short excerpt in two different ways. First read aloud the text using a flat, emotionless tone. Next read aloud the same text, this time altering your voice to reflect the character’s feelings. Say: Turn and talk to a partner. How did your understanding of the character(s) change during my second reading? Based on your monitoring of partners’ conversations, you may wish to read the section again with appropriate expression.
    • Practice: Have students choral-read the same section, paying attention to the character’s feelings and using their understanding to read with appropriate expression. Provide general corrective feedback and/or validate students’ efforts.
    • Independent Time: Have students reread the text as a small group, with a partner, or independently by following along with the interactive e-book. Prompt them to monitor their comprehension.”
  • In Unit 8, Week 1, Lesson 2, Short Read 1 Mini-Lesson, the teacher reads aloud the poem “Fairweather Clouds,” to students for the first reading and tells students to, “pay particular attention to words and phrases that appeal to the five senses.” For the second reading, the teacher is instructed to, “ask students to reread the poem independently or with a partner and to underline words and phrases that helped them visualize the natural setting described in the poem.” A challenge activity that would provide additional fluency practice is also provided.
  • In the Informal Assessments K-6, Section 3, a rubric for assessing students’ phrasing/fluency, intonation, pace, and accuracy.
  • In the Intervention materials, there are Fluency Quick Checks with a Reader’s Theater Assessment Rubric and fluency quick checks for Grade 3. Also in the Intervention materials, there is Intervention Fluency with passages at different levels.

Materials support students’ fluency development of reading skills (e.g., self-correction of word recognition and/or for understanding, focus on rereading) over the course of the year (to get to the end of the grade-level band). For example:

  • In Unit 3, Week 1, Lesson 2, students practice building fluency. The Teacher Edition states, "Explain that fluent reading requires readers to self-correct word recognition and understanding. Follow the fluency routine to model this skill and provide guided practice. Use paragraph 2 of “Animal Disguises.” During independent time, have students partner-read this paragraph for additional practice.” The fluency routine is Confirm or Correct Word Recognition and Understanding. The routine includes:
    • Model: Explain that fluent readers monitor their reading to make sure they read words correctly, using what they know about word families and word parts, and making sure that the words they read make sense in context. Read aloud a section of text, stopping at a word and modeling how you use your word knowledge to read it correctly. Model wow you think about the meaning of the word in context to confirm that you read it correctly. Say: Turn and talk to a partner. What did you notice me doing to self-correct my word recognition? Based on your monitoring of partners’ conversations, you may wish to model with another word in the text.
    • Practice: Have students choral-read the same section, paying attention to the punctuation and using it to help them read with appropriate phrasing. Provide general corrective feedback and/or validate students’ efforts.
    • Independent Time: Have students reread the text as a small group, with a partner, or independently by following along with the interactive e-book. Prompt them to monitor their comprehension and reread, pay attention to word parts, and use context to confirm their word recognition and understanding.
  • In Unit 7, Week 2, Lesson 12, Word Study & Vocabulary, the teacher models using context clues to determine the meaning of homophones in a text, “I see the word past, spelled p-a-s-t. I know that there is another word that sounds the same: passed, spelled p-a-s-s-e-d. If I were to hear this sentence read aloud, I could use the context clue “old” and the fact that the word is being used as a noun to understand that the correct form here is p-a-s-t.” Students read “The Levi Coffin House” and use context clues to interpret homophones.
  • In Unit 10, Week 1, Lesson 10, when reading the text “What Makes Things Move” the teacher discusses how to use context clues to determine the meanings of scientific terms, “This paragraph tells me that a force is what causes movement or “any change in the position of an object.” This context clue is somewhat clear, but I’m not positive I understand. Let’s imagine that the text didn’t define these terms. To get a better idea of what force means, I can consult a dictionary.”

Gateway Two

Building Knowledge with Texts, Vocabulary, and Tasks

Partially Meets Expectations

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Gateway Two Details

Grade 3 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 (or, for grades 6-8, topics and/or themes) to build students' ability to read and comprehend complex texts independently and proficiently.
2/4
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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Benchmark Grade 3 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 4, Comparing Points of View, the Essential Question is: “What makes people view the same experience in different ways?” Students have several opportunities to read a series of texts and compare points of view. Texts include: “Cinderella’s Very Bad Day,” “Cinderella, Too Much for Words,” and “The True Jack?” Connect Across Disciplines Inquiry Projects deepen students’ understanding of the Essential Question through inquiry-based learning. Projects utilize connected texts to answer the Essential Question. Projects include: expressing a point of view and writing diary entries.
  • In Unit 6, Making Decisions, the Essential Question is: “What helps us solve problems?” Examples of texts that align to this topic are: “The Fox and the Geese,” “The Three Spinsters,” “Doctor Knowall,” and “The Wolf and the Fox.” Over the unit’s three weeks, students learn to analyze characters’ actions and understand how actions influence story events.

While these units explore literary themes, they do not focus on the topical knowledge-building called for in the standards.

Some sets provide students access to learning more deeply about topics. Some examples include:

  • In Unit 3, Animal Adaptations, the Essential Question is: “How do living things adapt to change?” Students read and compare selections to learn about animal adaptations. In Week 1, the teacher explains to students that over the next three weeks, they will read informational texts that describe how living things adapt to different climates and habitats. During Weeks 1-3 students use the following texts to dig deeper into the content and grow their vocabulary about animal adaptations: “Twinkie Tells All,” “Coyote and the Birth of the Moon,” “Only on an Island,” “Something Told the Wild Geese,” and “The Runaway and Swan Lake.” Short reads include: “Animal Disguises” and “Animals’ Tools for Survival.” Extended reads include: “Fur, Skin, Scales, or Feathers” and “One Body, Many Adaptations.”
  • In Unit 8, Weather and Climate, the Essential Question is “How can we predict the unknown?" Students have several opportunities to read a series of texts on weather and climate. Texts such as “Fairweather Clouds,” “Earth’s Weather and Climate,” and “The Tropical Rain Belt” help build vocabulary. Connect Across Disciplines Inquiry Projects deepen students’ understanding the Essential Question through inquiry-based learning. Projects utilize connected texts to answer the Essential Question.

Indicator 2b

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Benchmark Grade 3 meet the criteria that materials contain sets of coherently sequenced questions and tasks that require students to analyze the language, key ideas, details, craft, and structure of individual texts.

Short reads, extended reads and independent readings assist students in developing a deeper understanding of key ideas. Language lessons provide opportunities for students to explore word choices and text structure. Sequences of questions and tasks support students’ skill development in analyzing components of texts, so students may navigate the content, draw conclusions and articulate their evidence-based opinions.

Opportunities are provided for students to analyze language, key ideas, details, craft, and structure of texts in order to determine main idea, describe text structures, and explain author’s reasoning. To support students in developing a deep conceptual understanding of texts in each unit, questions and tasks are scaffolded, becoming progressively more complex. Questions accompanying the texts require students to use inferential knowledge to deepen their understanding of the texts. Questions and tasks push students’ thinking around the text structure, language and author’s craft.

  • In Unit 1, Week 1, Lesson 2, teacher models paragraph one of the informational text, “Working Together”, on how to read and determine main idea, recount key details, and explain how these details support the main idea. Guided practice with a partner follows using text-dependent questions: “Who worked together to prepare for the flood?,” “What did they do to prepare for the flood?,” and “Why did they work together?” For a reread of paragraph two in “Working Together.” Students use a graphic organizer to help organize their evidence with key details from the text on the right side and the main idea on the left side of the paper.
  • In Lesson 7, the teacher models how to read and determine main idea using paragraphs 1-3 of “Election Day.” Again, students are provided with guided practice using paragraphs 4-6 and the following guiding questions: “Which sentence in paragraph 5 tells you one reason why African Americans had to fight for the right to vote?,” “Which sentence in paragraph 6 tells you another reason?,” “Which events in paragraphs 5 and 6 helped African Americans get the right to vote?,” “What two dates are mentioned?,” “Why are they important?,” and “What main idea could these details, and the details presented in paragraphs 1-3, support?” Weeks 2 and 3 have Extended Reads that follow the same format scaffolding to independence on key details and main idea.
  • In Unit 4, Lesson 1, students are provided with an overview of the essential question, “What makes people view the same experience in different ways?” The teacher explains that over the next three weeks, students will read literary texts that will help them explore how characters’ points of view affect the way characters react to story events. Students work collaboratively to analyze text specific word choice, focusing on perspective, outlook, opinion, and position.
  • In Unit 6, Week 1, Lesson 4, students look at words describing an action and the teacher asks how this action influences the outcome of the story: “I see you have underlined the words describing the action of the goose speaking up. How does this action influence what happens in the rest of the story?”
  • In Unit 10, close reading questions require students to analyze the structure of the text, author’s intent and language. For example in Short Read 1, poems of movement, “The Swing” and “The Wind,” students reread lines 7–8 of “The Wind” finding the meaning. In Extended Read 2, “Investigate Magnetism,” students reread paragraph 10 to figure out the meaning of the word “repel” through context clues. In Lesson 14, students closely analyze two previously read texts and use textual evidence to answer a question. Teachers ask students to recall the experience of reading poetry from the Week 1 readings “The Swing” and “The Wind.” Students use the scientific knowledge they gained from “Investigate Magnetism” to discuss forces that cause movement.

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 3 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 3 contain some coherent questions and tasks that support students’ development in 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 supported by the texts.

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

  • In Week 1, Lesson 2, the teacher models how to determine the main idea, how to recount the key details, and how to explain how these details support the main idea in paragraph one of “Working Together.” Guided practice is provided for paragraph two of “Working Together” with guided text-dependent questions such as: “Who worked together to prepare for the flood? What did they do to prepare for the flood? Why did they work together?” These questions are text-based, but students only learn about the text itself rather than extensions of knowledge about the flooding.
  • In Week 2, Lesson 8, students are provided a close reading task in which they analyze how story details and illustrations in “Lazy Harry” help establish the character of Lazy Harry. Questions include: “How do the details in these paragraphs, and the illustration that accompanies them, reinforce the idea that Harry is lazy? How do the details and illustration contribute to the mood of this story?”

In other examples from the Grade 3 materials, students do engage in building knowledge with cohesive sets of questions about texts. An example includes the following:

  • In Unit 5, Week 3, Lesson 14, students compare and contrast the important points in two texts on the same topic using the texts “From Phonograph to Playlist” and “Thomas Edison: It Sings!” The teacher provides the students a Close Reading Prompt: What new details about Edison’s life does the author of From Phonograph to Playlist include? Why do you think he chose these details? How do they relate to the main idea of the essay?” These questions work to bolster students' understandings of the texts themselves and the content topic supported by the texts.
  • In Unit 9, Lesson 5, the teacher models how a map supports and extends the information in the first and second paragraphs of "Working Together" and uses a Graphic Features Chart to guide their thinking with text-dependent questions such as: “What does the information in the photo tell you about whom or what the passage is about? Does the photo give you any information about where, when, why, or how key events of the passage occurred?”
  • In Unit 9, Week 3, Lesson 14, the teacher reminds students that “Let It Grow” and “From Fruit to Jam” are both informational texts that tell about products people buy. Students compare and contrast how the food is alike and different from the food in the other selection. Students compare and contrast the information in the two selections. In this example, students do work through a series of text-focused questions and tasks to grow their knowledge around food production.

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 3 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 (or, for grades 6-8, a theme) through integrated skills (e.g. combination of reading, writing, speaking, listening).

Each Unit concludes with culminating tasks requiring students to draw from multiple texts across the Unit. These tasks reflect students’ understanding of the unit strategies or skills. Daily tasks prepare students for the culminating tasks and provide teachers with feedback. Students demonstrate an integration of skills to demonstrate mastery of the unit skill or strategy. However, completion of culminating tasks does not always demonstrate knowledge of a topic.

There are tasks provided during Small-Group and Independent Reading. Materials contain a Build, Reflect, and Write reflection sheets that take place during Reader’s Workshop: Texts for Close Reading. Students reflect upon the unit’s topic and essential question.

Materials contain Connect Across Discipline Inquiry Projects which require students to read, write, think, speak, and listen to apply the content knowledge they have gained. These projects can be found in the Additional Resources section of the Teacher’s Resource System volume. However, these projects are optional, and time is not allotted in planning to complete the tasks.

Examples of culminating tasks that reflect students understanding of unit skills and strategies through integrated skills include the following:

  • In Unit 1, Weeks 1, 2, and 3, teachers scaffold the skill “finding key details and main ideas through a variety of texts.” The culminating task in Week 3, Lesson 14, asks students to review paragraphs 3-7 of “Winning the Right to Vote” and paragraphs 4-6 of “Election Day.” Students are asked to “Compare and contrast the key details each of these texts presents about the topic of how African Americans won the right to vote.” In the applied understanding, students are asked to “write a paragraph that explains how comparing their annotations of both texts added to their understanding of how people participate in government.” In their writing, students respond to the following question: “If you read only one of these texts, what details would you miss?” While students integrate skills to successfully complete the culminating tasks, they do not clearly demonstrate knowledge of a topic within their responses.
  • In Unit 5, Weeks 1, 2, and 3, teachers scaffold the skill “compare and contrast of important points in two texts on the same topic.” The culminating task in Week 3, Lesson 14, asks students to reread paragraphs 5-8 of “From Phonograph to Playlist.” Compare these paragraphs to “Thomas Edison: ‘It Sings!’” Students are asked to respond to the following questions: “What new details about Edison’s life does the author of ‘From Phonograph to Playlist’ include? Why do you think he chose these details? How do they relate to the main idea of the essay?” In the applied understanding, students independently write a paragraph that compares the two texts. While students apply the learned skill of comparing and contrasting, they do not demonstrate their knowledge of a topic.
  • In Unit 9, Weeks 1, 2, and 3, teachers scaffold the skill “compare and contrast key details” in two texts on the same topic. The culminating task in Week 3, Lesson 14, asks students to reread page 28 of “From Fruit to Jam” and paragraphs 1-3 of “Let It Grow,” and compare and contrast the information each text provides about the topic of consumer choice. As students compare and contrast information in accordance with the Unit’s objectives, they utilize the skills that are learned in this Unit, but they do not clearly demonstrate knowledge of a topic. Students answer the following question: “What does this information tell you about each author’s point of view on the topic of consumer choice?” In the applied understanding component of the Lesson, students write a short paragraph in which they answer the following question: “Pretend you decided to start your own marmalade company. Which method of making marmalade would you choose?” The teacher ensures that they “point out that students should support their opinions with specific reasons and evidence from the text.”

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 3 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 instructional materials include a cohesive, year-long plan for students to interact and build key academic vocabulary words in and across texts. A scope and sequence is provided allowing for identification of the academic and domain-specific vocabulary for each week within the unit of study. Vocabulary instruction is highlighted throughout each unit and is addressed both explicitly and embedded in context. Teachers are provided guidance and suggestions outlining differentiated support in order to meet the needs of various learners that is cohesive and spans across the year.

Opportunities are provided for students to use and respond to the words they learn through playful, informal talk, discussion, reading or being read to, and responding to what is read. Word study and vocabulary mini-lessons are a part of the instruction each week with a text to accompany the lessons. Vocabulary builds throughout the week and across texts within a one-week period. Specific texts are used which focus strictly on domain specific vocabulary. Academic vocabulary is also a part of the unit assessment as well as the weekly assessment.

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 1, students have the opportunity to interact and the learn the word citizen(s) in four different texts (“Working Together,” “Election Day,”, “It is my Right!,” “Winning the Right to Vote”) during the Build Vocabulary lesson.
  • In Unit 2, Week 1, students interact with noble (“Two Fables from Aesop”), anonymous & forge (“Two Famous Poems”), and attitudes (“Build, Write, Reflect”). Since those four words are in the Short Reads and the Build, Write, Reflect, the teacher is directed to use the following activities: “Use the Vocabulary Routines on pages AR8-AR9 to introduce these words. Have students complete the “Making Meaning with Words” glossary on the inside of the back cover of their Texts for Close Reading.”
  • In Unit 3, Week 1, Lesson 4, the teacher reminds students that when they read informational texts, they will come across unfamiliar words (survive, behave, adaptation, undetected, reptiles, frigid) that are specific to the topic or content of what they are reading. Students practice how to use context clues to help them determine the meanings of these words. In Week 3, Lesson 6, students discuss building vocabulary by determining the meaning of domain specific words (frigid, projections, blubber) and using that vocabulary appropriately when speaking and writing. Students used a domain-specific vocabulary chart to help them with definitions and context clues.
  • In Unit 6, Week 2, the vocabulary from “Doctor Knowall” is advice, magnificent, bellowed and nudged. These words appear in the Short Reads and the Build, Write, Reflect. Students use activities outlined in the units to build word knowledge. Students complete the “Making Meaning with Words” glossary on the inside back cover of their Texts for Close Reading.
  • In Unit 7, Week 1, Lesson 4, the mini-lesson focuses on using context clues in the text to help understand vocabulary used in informational text as well as an author’s ideas. Students learn to recognize signal words such as is or are. Students use a context clue chart to help them with understanding and organization. In Week 2, Lesson 9, homophones are introduced to students using the text “All Kinds of Communities.” In Lesson 12, partners share the homophone pairs they identified. Students are encouraged to add words they found. Students engage in a discussion of the text to reveal how understanding homophones helped them understand the whole text using question prompts such as: “What was the Underground Railroad?, Why did Levi Coffin help with the Underground Railroad?, How was the red brick house used?, and How did your knowledge of homophones help you understand this text?”
  • In Unit 10, Week 2, Lesson 12, students use context clues and what they know about suffixes to explain the meaning of the words. Students read paragraphs in “The Merchant’s Donkey.” As they read, they circle words they find with suffixes. Students use the context and the meaning of the suffixes to determine the word meanings and write their definitions in the notation column next to the word. To support instruction a sample model is given detailing how to use derivational suffixes to determine the meaning of unfamiliar words.

Indicator 2f

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Benchmark Grade 3 meet the criteria that materials support students’ increasing writing skills over the course of the school year, building students’ writing ability to demonstrate proficiency at grade level at the end of the school year.

The instructional materials include embedded writing across the year using a variety of well-designed guidance, protocols, models, and support for teachers to implement and monitor students' writing development. The writing instruction supports students’ growth in writing skills over the course of the school year, building students’ writing ability to demonstrate proficiency at grade level at the end of the year. Students write to address multiple topics over both short and extended time frames and are provided with mentor texts, writing prompts, and rubrics to help them self-evaluate writing, as well as give teachers a clear picture to evaluate and give feedback. The required time the weekly lesson would take, along with the amount of writing students are responsible for, is balanced and takes place during each three week unit. Students are provided time to adequately refine and reflect on their writing before moving on to a new topic. Discussion regarding writing also takes place with peers and with the teacher.

Students participate in both on-demand and process writings throughout the year. Students are required to respond to evidence-based writing prompts in the Build, Reflect, Write notebook. Prior to responding to the text, students have done pre-work to support their response. Students read and reread texts, use annotation, cite text evidence to support their ideas and opinions, and write short analytical responses. Students are provided objectives directly related to the writing process during the lessons. Writing requires students to synthesize information gathered while engaging with text sets and use the writing to demonstrate comprehension of complex texts. Writing is used as a vehicle for research and building knowledge, and range of writing activities and increase in rigor from the beginning to the end of the school year. To provide comprehensive support, teacher materials support students’ writing development by providing well-designed lesson plans, models and/or exemplars, and protocols to support student writing. Materials attend to not just end results of writing work, but also provide guidance for practicing, revising, and creating.

  • The Benchmark Program Reference Guide includes a component that outlines writing alignment: Writing Aligned to Common Core Expectations. This resource shows the writing progression and distribution of writing types and skills for grades K-6.
  • In Unit 2, Week 1, Lesson 3, students plan and write a fable. Students read and analyze a mentor text. In Lesson 6, students use brainstorming to come up with a moral of the fable. In Week 9, students choose characters and setting. In Lesson 12, students use a planning guide to organize their writing. In Week 2, Lesson 4, students establish a situation and introduce characters. In Lesson 7, students start drafting the beginning of their fables by developing the events of the story using descriptive language and characters using dialogue. In Lesson 13, students provide a sense of closure. In Week 3, Lesson 4, students use vocabulary to add vivid details to their fables. In Lesson 7, students revise to use temporal words to signal event order. In Week 10, students edit for correct form and the use of regular past tense verbs. In Week 13, students edit for use of adjectives and adverbs. In Week 15, students create a title and use technology to publish. The teacher confers and monitors students using conferring prompts such as: “Directive feedback, look at the page, does it look like all the words are bunched together? Do you need to add more space between the lines? Self-monitoring and reflection, Does your story look easy to read? Do you notice anywhere you can add extra space? Is there anywhere you have too much space? Validating and confirming, Your story looks easy to read. Your title reflects what is in the story. Well done!” A copy of the student’s writing is placed in the portfolio to be used at the end of the writing program for reflection.
  • In Unit 7, Week 2, Lesson 7, students read “All Kinds of Communities” and respond to the following prompt; Plan and write an informative report describing everyday life in one of the communities covered in “All Kinds of Communities.” Students organize their news report in an opening paragraph, main paragraph, and closing paragraph, incorporating facts and quotations from their source. Students begin reading and analyzing the prompt in Unit 7, Week 2, Lesson 4. They are supported in Lessons 7, 10 and 13 by gradually building a coherent product.
  • In Unit 8, Week 1, Lesson 3, students write an informative report beginning with topic brainstorming. In Lesson 6, students evaluate online sources that are credible and reliable. In Lesson 9, students gather information and take notes from online sources. A note-taking graphic organizer is used to help students organize their notes and have discussions. In Lesson 12, students begin to organize their informative report. In Week 2, Lesson 4, students introduce their topic by writing an opening paragraph. In Lesson 7, students turn their focus to writing body paragraphs that develop their topics with facts, definitions, and details. Students are provided a model body paragraph to review while the teacher reads it aloud and discusses. In Lesson 10, students learn the process of how to fit facts and details together in order to support a larger idea and make clear connections using linking words and phrases. In Lesson 13, student draft a conclusion and the teacher uses a model conclusion as an example for them to follow. In Week 3, students revise and edit their informative report. In Lesson 4, students revise to improve sentence fluency, length, and structure. In Lesson 7, students revise to include domain-specific vocabulary. In Lesson 10, students edit for correct use of verb tense. In Lesson 13, students edit to correct coordinating and subordinating conjunctions and in Lesson 15, students publish the writing which includes illustrations to aid comprehension.
  • In Unit 10, students write a haiku, a newly introduced genre of writing in the materials. To support students in completing this task they engage in the following progression: In Week 1, students organize ideas by being introduced to the genre, understanding the haiku form, brainstorming ideas for a Haiku, evaluating ideas and narrowing to the focus and developing ideas through freewriting. In Week 2, students draft a haiku, revise to use imagery and strengthen the Haiku, use a checklist to edit and use keyboarding skills to publish. In Week 3, students reflect on narrative, informational/explanatory and opinion writing, prepare to share their writing and then share their writing.

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 3 meet the criteria that materials include a progression of focused research projects to encourage students to develop knowledge in a given area by confronting and analyzing different aspects of a topic using multiple texts and source materials.

The instructional materials provide a Program Reference Guide component that outlines writing alignment. This resource shows the writing progression and distribution of writing types and skills for grades K-6. In Units 8, 9 and 10, students conduct research independently or with a peer. In each unit, students conduct research to write in a different mode. Daily research and writing process mini-lessons support students’ independent work. In addition to a progression of writing tasks that increase in complexity across the grade levels, tasks also increase over time vertically through the grade levels. In Grade 3, students participate in independent/peer research projects. Research opportunities are sequenced throughout the year to include a progression of research skills that build to student independence. Opportunities are provided for students to integrate their language skills across units and topics. Students are provided with robust instruction, practice, and application of research skills throughout their grade level reading, writing, speaking, listening, and language skills. These skills are supported and put into practice as they build knowledge about a topic or topics. Support for students to develop and apply research skills are explicitly provided throughout each unit. The mini-lessons and topic-driven text sets support teachers in employing projects that develop students’ knowledge of different aspects of a topic.

  • In Unit 1, Connect Across the Disciplines, students can participate in a short research project called “Design a New Way to Vote.” Students look over books and website about electronic voting and note details they observe about electronic voting machines. Students consider the benefits and problems with electronic voting machines. Based on their research, students create new ways of voting. Students draw their new voting method and label the drawing.
  • In Unit 2, Week 1, Lesson 3, explicit teacher support is provided by giving a sample think aloud on the topic and an informative report anchor chart. The following are examples of purposefully sequenced mini-lessons to support students in completing the task. Week 1, the focus is Analyze the Text Type and mini-lesson tasks are: read a mentor informative text, analyze facts and details from a print source, analyze facts and details from a video source, analyze an author’s organization and form and use of possessives. In Week 2, the focus is Organize Ideas and the mini-lessons are: read and analyze the prompt, find facts and details in a print source, gather evidence from a video source, organize ideas and pronouns and pronoun-antecedent agreement. In Week 3, the focus is Draft, Revise and Edit and the mini-lessons are: draft an effective opening paragraph, incorporate facts and details from sources, improve fluency by using pronouns, form and use possessives and evaluate and reflect on writing.
  • In Unit 3, Week 1, Lesson 3, students respond to the following research prompt: Write an informative report in which you explain the different ways camouflage helps animals survive. Support your ideas with facts and details from “Animal Disguises” and “Camouflage Creatures.” Mini-lessons support students in analyzing the writing prompt and understanding the features of an informative report. In Week 1, Lesson 9, while viewing the video “Camouflage Creatures,” students gather information from the video and share their ideas in collaborative conversation and in writing.
  • In Unit 6, Connect Across Disciplines Inquiry Projects, students can participate in the short research project, “Develop Environmental Solutions.” Students review books and websites about threats to the environment. The teacher encourages students to think about how methods of preventing and containing environmental threats could be improved. In groups, students brainstorm a new solution for preventing or containing threats. Students present their ideas to the class.
  • In Unit 8, Week 1, Process Writing, students brainstorm their idea and evaluate online sources to determine credibility. Students gather information and take notes from the online sources and organize their informative report. In Week 2, students begin the writing process by developing the introduction of the topic and then use the details from the research to support the topic. In Week 3, students revise and edit the writing and ensure they have included domain specific vocabulary. Students also use illustrations to aid in comprehension.

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 materials reviewed for Benchmark Grade 3 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 and 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.” For Fluent Readers, the Five-Finger Method is recommended for book selection:

  1. Choose a book that you would like to read.
  2. Turn to any page and begin reading.
  3. If there are five words 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. 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 is 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 texts 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 in supporting 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 are able to demonstrate independence with grade-level standards and provide 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 3 meet the expectations for being well-designed and taking into account effective lesson structure and pacing. The Read Aloud Handbook, Build Reflect Write Handbook, and the E-book provide text-dependent questions, writing prompts, and speaking opportunities requiring students to engage in the text and make real world connections. Daily, specific, text-dependent reading mini lessons are included requiring all students to cite text evidence to support their answers explicitly or use valid inferences from the text. 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 3 meet the criteria that materials are well-designed and take into account effective lesson structure and pacing. Examples of effective lesson structure and pacing include, but are not limited to:

  • The Read Aloud Handbook, Build Reflect Write Handbook, and the E-book provide text-dependent questions, writing prompts, and speaking opportunities requiring students to engage in the text and make real world connections. Daily specific text-dependent reading mini lessons are included requiring all students to cite text evidence to support their answers explicitly or use valid inferences from the text.
  • There are ten units of study. Many units focus on a Science or Social Studies themed topic. Within these topic-driven units, there are three lessons. These lessons include two short reads and two extended reads designed to build knowledge and vocabulary around the identified topic. Supplemental and leveled texts also support this topic with a balance of literary and nonfiction texts.
  • Materials provide explicit details for conducting whole group instruction. Culminating tasks for each unit build student engagement with the text and depth of understanding of the topic. To promote inquiry-based learning and reinforce topics across disciplines, each unit includes a section entitled, Connect Across Disciplines: Inquiry Projects Introduction. These interdisciplinary projects can be found under the Additional Resources tab. These projects are designed to deepen students’ understanding of the unit concepts and essential questions through inquiry-based learning.
  • In Unit 3, Week 1 outlines a suggested time frame for addressing the read aloud (10 minutes), mini-lessons (15 minutes), small group/ independent reading (15-20 minutes), writing (15 minutes) and word study (10 minutes).



Indicator 3b

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Benchmark Grade 3 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 instructional materials include a cohesive, year-long plan for students to interact and build academic skills across texts. A scope and sequence is provided allowing for identification of the units and lessons within the year. Supplemental and leveled texts also support this topic with a balance of literary and nonfiction texts. The balance of genres with extensive topics across units serve to build student knowledge and vocabulary at various levels of depth and meaning. Students read across text sets organized around a topic. Texts gradually increase in difficulty over the course of the year and resources provided scaffold support for all students in order to move students toward grade level proficiency. Teachers are given guidance and suggestions outlining support to meet the needs of various learners across the year. For example:

  • There are 10 units that are each broken into three weeks. Each week contains 15 lessons. There are a total of 450 lessons and students cover 2-3 lessons each day.
  • Lessons are set up for 365 minutes per week and/or 73 minutes per day which includes interactive read alouds, reading mini-lessons, small group and/or independent reading, writing mini-lessons, and word study mini lessons.
  • A unit includes two Short Reads and two Extended Reads designed to build knowledge and vocabulary around the identified topic. Each unit also includes three vocabulary mini lessons and leveled readers for independent and small group reading.
  • In Unit 7, Communities Then and Now, the knowledge strand is History and Culture. The essential question is “What is a Community?” Students read and compare selections about different types of communities. During Week 1, students read informational texts that will present them with different ideas about community. In Weeks 1-3 students use the texts to dig deeper into the content and grow their vocabulary. Read alouds include: Fish in a Bowl, Market Day in Mexico, Celebrating the First Laugh, Yaya’s Town, and At the Telegraph Office. Short reads include; Exploring My Community and A New Life in Vermont. Extended reads include; All Kinds of Communities and Sarah and the Chickens.

Indicator 3c

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Benchmark Grade 3 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.).

Materials provided include trade books, shared readings, mentor read alouds, scaffolded activity strategies, close-reading texts, performance tasks, a leveled text library, Reader’s Theater, and interventions. All of these are digitally interactive, i.e. where annotation is required, it is done digitally. Each of these resources include ample opportunity to review and practice, clear directions (in some interactive tools directions are also given orally), and correct labeling. For example:

  • In Unit 1, Week 2, Lesson 14, scaffold strategy activities are clearly outlined for moderate intervention support. “Read the Close Reading Question aloud. Say: We will compare and contrast two readings to find the different ways people have acted to change voting laws and segregation laws.’ Draw a compare/contrast chart as above. Have partners reread paragraphs 9-18 of “It Is My Right!” and paragraphs 4-8 of “Election Day.” Ask: What did people do to change voting laws/ segregation laws? Encourage partners to reread and find sentences where people helped make changes happen. Ask volunteers to read the sentence aloud and write it on the chart.”
  • In Unit 5, Week 2, Lesson 2, directions are provided to remind students that during Week 1, they examined sequential text connections, the role of text and graphic features, and the purpose of direct quotations in a text. “Say: ‘This week you will incorporate those strategies, as well as others, to help you read a long informational text about innovation. Before we move on to that text, let’s reflect on the strategies you used.’ Ask students to work in groups of three, if possible. Each student in the group should be responsible for answering one of these questions: How do readers identify a sequential structure? What types of graphic features support a sequential text? Why do authors of informational text include direct quotations in their writing? Students should review the text and their annotations and marginal notes to help them answer the question they have been assigned. Group members should build on one another’s ideas and support one another to understand how the strategies can help them read other selections.”
  • In Unit 9, Week 3, Lesson 10, directions provided tell students that they will practice delivering their presentations. Distribute the Multimedia Presentation Speaking Checklist and read it aloud. “Say: ‘You will focus on these things when you rehearse your presentation today. I will show you the wrong way and the right way to speak when you give your presentation.’”

Indicator 3d

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Benchmark Grade 3 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 Advance 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 1, Week 3, Lesson 4, students ask and answer questions to demonstrate understanding of a text, referring explicitly to the text as the basis for the answers which is aligned with RL 3.1. In this lesson, students are reminded how to approach and answer Performance Task questions about individual texts. Students are told that some Performance Task questions will ask them to compare elements of two stories or texts. These are called “cross-text” questions because they ask a question about more than one text. Students will begin to gather details to answer a cross-text question that compares the characters in the two stories they read last week.
  • In Unit 9, Week 1, Lesson 6, students review that procedural multimedia presentations are based on a topic or activity that the writer is an expert on, and that the reader can apply to his or her own life. In this lesson, students brainstorm effective topics for their presentations. This is aligned to the following standards:
    • W.3.4 With guidance and support from adults, produce writing in which the development and organization are appropriate to task and purpose.
    • W.3.5 With guidance and support from peers and adults, develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, and editing.

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 3 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 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 digital student text allows space for annotations and close reading notes to be added during reading. The paragraphs are numbered for students to easily locate text passages as needed during time spent with the text.
  • In Unit 7, week 1, Lesson 5, students identify an author’s point of view in an informative text. A Point of View graphic organizer is provided and does not include any distracting or chaotic features.

Criterion 3f - 3j

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 3 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.
2/2
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Benchmark Grade 3 meet the criteria that 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.

Materials include a Teacher’s Resource System (TRS) that includes a clear outline of each unit as well as notes and suggestions about presenting content. The TRS also includes the objectives of the lesson, explanations of where to find descriptions of routine, and suggested ways to present content as well as possible questions to ask. Each question asked is followed by a sample student answer. The TRS includes scaffolded instruction boxes to address learners needs with suggestions and ideas on how to differentiate instruction for those students who may be struggling.

  • In Unit 1, Week 2, Lesson 3, the teacher has instructions on how to model and preview the text in order to draw inferences. Guided Practice has a guide for teachers to follow as they guide students in this skill and strategy. Teachers refer to the “Ways to Scaffold the First Reading” sidebar on page 40 of this book for students who need extra support to read the assigned paragraphs. This program is all digital and, therefore, if teachers need more guidance with the digital process they can access the Exploring the Program Digitally in the teacher resources.
  • In Unit 5, Week 2, Lesson 5, teacher instructions state, “Have students read paragraphs 8-17. Have them underline the key details and write notes in the margin about the main ideas. Observe students’ annotations to assess students’ ability to identify key details that support the main idea of a text. Ask partners to share their annotations and recount the key details from paragraphs 8-17. Have them identify the key details in each section and determine the main idea. Monitor student conversations and use your observations to identify students who may need support to identify and recount key details and main ideas. Students will encounter the following key details about Edison in the text. If your students need support to read the assigned paragraphs, refer to “Ways to Scaffold the First Reading, at left.” Provide modeling and/or engage students in self-reflection to build metacognitive awareness of their reading strategies.” This program is all digital and, therefore, if teachers need more guidance with the digital process they can access the Exploring the Program Digitally in the teacher resources. In Week 3, Lesson 15, the teacher says: We’re nearing the final steps in writing a strong opinion essay. Today we’ll learn about creating a title and using technology to publish writing.”
  • In Unit 9, Week 3, Lesson 5, students are instructed to read paragraphs 10-13 and the sidebar on page 28, underlining the key details. Teachers observe their annotations to assess their individual ability to identify important versus unimportant information. If your students need support to read the assigned paragraphs, refer to “Ways to Scaffold the First Reading.” Provide modeling and/or engage students in self-reflection to build metacognitive awareness of their reading strategies.

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 3 meet the criteria that 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.

To develop teachers’ ability to improve their own knowledge of the subjects, ongoing teacher support is provided throughout each unit, including: sample modeling, if/then strategies, strategies for differentiated support and ways to scaffold the first reading. To provide comprehensive support, teacher materials support students’ writing development by providing well-designed lesson plans, models and/or exemplars, and protocols to support student writing. Teacher materials provide support for planning and implementation of text-dependent/specific questions, tasks and assignments for all learners through modeling, guided practice and applying understanding with scaffolding for light, moderate, or substantial support throughout the year. The instructional materials include embedded writing across the year using a variety of well-designed guidance, protocols, models, and support for teachers to implement and monitor students writing development. Materials provide guidance to teachers in supporting students’ literacy skills. For example:

  • In Unit 2, Week 1, Lesson 12, teachers are provided an exemplar think aloud, modeling how to compare and contrast setting and character.
  • In Unit 6, Week 2, Lesson 6, after reading “Dr. Knowall,” teachers are provided an example of modeling to show how differences between your point of view and a character’s point of view heighten the drama of the story.
  • In Unit 10, teachers are provided an if/then strategy to reinforce determining the main idea. This strategies targets common barriers for students and gives the teacher a suggested think aloud to address the barriers.
  • To provide comprehensive teacher support, teachers are provided a sample think aloud in Unit 10, Week 1, Lesson 3. Additionally, teachers are provided a Haiku Evaluation Chart in Unit 10, Week 1, Lesson 12 and a Haiku Writing Checklist in Unit 10, Week 2, Lesson 13. In Unit 10, Week 2, Lesson 10, during Conferring and Monitoring, teachers are provided support in validating students’ efforts and supporting students who get stuck by prompting them with suggested questions as needed. Guidance in writing the haiku is provided throughout the unit, including a checklist in Unit 10, Week 2, Lesson 13.

Indicator 3h

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Benchmark Grade 3 meet the criteria that materials contain a teacher’s edition that explains the role of the specific ELA/literacy standards in the context of the overall curriculum.

Each unit is designed 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. A Skills and Strategies grid that lists the standards used in each unit which correlates to texts and activities for reading, writing, speaking, and listening can be found in the Program Reference Guide. Each week contains a Comprehensive Literacy Planning Guide which lists the lessons covered and corresponds to the standards and skills. 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 Strategy grids for Grade 3 can be found on pages 68-89 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.
2/2
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Benchmark Grade 3 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 Advance 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 and comprehensive solution, Benchmark Advance 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 Advance 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 are 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.
0/0
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Benchmark Grade 3 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.

The Benchmark Program contains strategies for informing all stakeholders, including students, parents or caregivers about the ELA/literacy program. 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 6, 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, ‘Making Decisions.’ In ‘Making Decisions,’ we’ll be meeting a variety of characters from fables and folktales. As we study character traits, we’ll be drawing conclusions about the lessons characters learn and the themes we can infer. For example, in ‘The Kid and the Wolf,’ a foolish young goat thinks he’s so strong he doesn’t have to worry about predators. However, a hungry wolf comes along and threatens to eat him, and the kid learns how to outwit an enemy to save his skin. Your child will also be meeting other characters like Doctor Knowall, who manages to become rich and famous without really knowing much at all. Although we’ll be talking a lot about themes and morals, we’ll also be laughing, I’m sure, at some of the humorous characters and plot twists.”
  • 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 1, Week 1, the following information is provided for Monday: “Working Together pages 4-5 invite your child to read aloud the selection. Discuss the different tasks the volunteers performed. Why was filling sandbags so important?”

Criterion 3k - 3n

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 3 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.
2/2
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Benchmark Grade 3 meet the criteria that materials regularly and systematically offer assessment opportunities that genuinely measure student progress.

Benchmark for Grade 3 provides several opportunities for student assessment during each unit both formative and summative which include: informal assessments, four interim assessments per unit, performance tasks, and also end of Week 1 assessment, end of Week 2 assessment and then a unit assessment after the end of Week 3. Each assessment is located in a separate ancillary document located under the “Assessment” tab. Included in the guide for each of these assessments are overviews, types of questions, and instructions on how to administer the tests. For example:

  • Page 4 of the informal assessment guide provides information to teachers about a wide variety of informal literacy assessments that enable teachers to:
    • obtain multiple perspectives on the literacy growth occurring in their classrooms;
    • monitor and reflect on their teaching and students’ learning;
    • make informed decisions about students’ progress and needs;
    • select appropriate materials and instructional techniques that match students’ current level of development;
    • document progress over time through a cumulative portfolio;
    • report progress to students, parents/caregivers, and administrators
  • Page 5 Rhodes and Shanklin (1993) outlined the eleven principles of literacy assessment. Each of these principles is supported in Benchmark's informal assessments. A chart is included on page 5.
  • Overview of the interim assessment program is found in the Interim Assessment and Performance Task guide. On page 5 the overview states “This book provides a set of Interim Assessments and Performance Tasks designed 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”.
  • Overview of the weekly and unit assessment can be found in the Weekly and Unit Assessment guide. On page 5, the overview reads, “This book provides a set of Interim Assessments and Performance Tasks designed 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.”

Indicator 3l

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

Indicator 3l.i

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Benchmark Grade 3 meet the criteria that assessments clearly denote which standards are being emphasized.

Benchmark identifies standards in the formative and summative assessments. Standards are an explicit component of the test and questions are directly correlated to the standards. Evidence of this can be found in the answer key of the informal assessment, performance tasks, interim assessments, end of week and end of unit assessments. For example:

  • In the Interim Assessment and Performance Task Information Guide, standards are found on page 69 for interim assessments and on page 105 for performance tasks. Information on standards are also found in a chart which include DOK for each question.
    • The Assessment key for Interim assessment includes question number, answer, standard addressed, and DOK level (begins on page 69)
    • Performance task example found on page 105: 2-Point Scoring Rubric (Claim 1, Targets 1 and 4, RL.3.1, RL.3.3)
  • Standards for each of the questions on the weekly and unit assessments can be found in the Weekly and Unit Assessment Guide in the Answer Key. The answer key is found at the end of the list of units and each unit contains question number, answer, standard tested and DOK level.

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 3 meet the criteria that assessments provide 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. For example:

  • Interim and Performance Based Assessments provide teachers with notes and guidance regarding administration of assessments. The information provided guides teachers to allow students to complete the assessment over multiple lessons, to review the Essential Questions, and revisit the main selection texts. Sample responses are provided for what a 2/2 response would resemble. As a part of the Interim Assessment and Performance Guide, teachers are provided information on how to administer, score, and use assessment data.
    • Directions for administering interim assessments is on page 9 of the guide.
    • How to score interim assessments is on page 10 of the information guide.
    • On page 11 of the guide it states, “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”.
  • Guidance is provided for teachers in administering and scoring assessments, along with interpreting student assessment scores on Weekly and End-of- Unit Assessments. For example, in the Weekly and End-of-Unit Assessment Information Guide, an assessment overview is provided and in that overview on page viii assessment administration information is provided. On page x, How to Score Assessments is provided. On page xii, How to Use Assessment Results is provided. A rubric for scoring the extended response items of the End-Of-Unit Assessment can be found in the answer key.
  • Instruction and guidance are provided for administering the Oral Reading Assessment found in the informal Assessment Guide and an overview is found beginning on page 4 of the guide. Information on oral reading assessment begins on page 19 of the guide. Small group reading assessment can be found on page 40 of the same guide.

Indicator 3m

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Benchmark Grade 3 meet the criteria that materials should include routines and guidance that point out opportunities to monitor student progress.

Students’ volume of reading is reinforced through encounters with short reads, extended text, leveled texts and suggested texts from the classroom library. Materials include mechanisms for teachers to monitor student progress toward grade level independence. Students are assessed using informal assessments, weekly formal assessments and performance tasks. Each assessment is located in a separate, ancillary document located under the Assessment tab. Additionally, students are required to respond to evidence-based writing prompts in the Build, Reflect, Write notebook. Prior to responding to the prompt, students are provided pre-work to support their response. For example:

  • To support students and teachers in monitoring progress in writing skills, Unit 5, Week 1, Lesson 3 introduces an Opinion Essay Writing Checklist. Writing exemplars for each writing type are given under the drop down menu Writing Exemplars.
  • During small group reading, independent reading and conferencing, students select from seven additional texts at varying reading levels and genres, including two argumentative texts “We Need a Class Constitution” and “We Need a Park! We Need to Play.” During this unit, students are also assessed using informal assessments, weekly formal assessments and performance tasks found in the Assessment tab.
  • Students are assessed through informal assessments, weekly formal assessments and performance tasks. Each assessment is housed as a separate ancillary document located under the Assessment tab. Performance tasks are outlined for Units 2, 5 and 8. In the performance task in Unit 2, students read a text and write a narrative based on the characters and events in the stories.
  • In Unit 4, Week 2, Lesson 3, students read “Jack and the Beanstalk” and engage in a lesson on recounting story details. At the conclusion of the lesson, during independent time, students read paragraphs 13-19. As they read independently, students annotate key events and then write brief sentences that recount these events in the margin. Teachers use students’ writing to assess their ability to summarize story events and to determine characters’ points of view.

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 3 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.

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 and 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. For example:

  • The Comprehensive Literacy Planner outlines 20 minutes per day of independent reading and usually occurs between mini-lessons 2 and 3. This time is specified for independent reading and conferring and small group reading.
  • During mini-lessons, students read or reread by themselves to deepen understanding of the lesson objectives. In Unit 3, Week 1, Lesson 2, students read the first two entries of “Camouflage Q and A” on with a partner. During independent time, students read the remaining entries of “Camouflage Q and A,” and annotate information in the text that answers the Guided Practice questions.
  • In Unit 6, Week 2, Lesson 3, students read paragraphs 1-15. During independent time, students reread paragraphs 1-15 and use their annotations to write 3-4 sentences summarizing the key story events.

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 3 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 instructor 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 Benchmark Grade 3 meet the criteria that materials provide teachers with strategies for meeting the needs of a range of learners so the content is accessible to all students and supports them in meeting or exceeding the grade-level standards.

The Differentiated Instruction Planner and Advancing Foundational Skills for English Language Development provide multiple resources and strategies to meet the needs of a range of learners so the content is accessible to all students and support them in meeting or exceeding the grade-level standard. 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, Close Reading of Complex Text, Reader’s Theater, Literature Circles, Reading Strategy Instruction, English Language Development and Intervention, Independent and Collaborative Activity Options: Read Independently, Read Collaboratively, Write Independently, Conduct Research, Apply Understanding, Answer Questions Using Text Evidence, Practice and Build, Reflect, Write.
  • 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, or 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.
  • 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 3 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 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. For example:

  • The Teacher’s Resource System provides daily scaffolding for immediate opportunities to support students during lessons, and the Scaffolded Strategies Handbook provides more extensive follow up to support students whose primary language is something other than English.
    • In Unit 1, Week 1, Lesson 5, Integrated ELD:
      • Light Support: Ask students to point out the photo in Working Together. “Say: Photos and charts can show useful information. Distribute a Graphic Features Chart to partners and have them complete it. Provide guidance by asking questions if needed. What does the photo show? What information do you learn from reading the photo caption?
      • Moderate Support: Ask students to point out the photo in Working Together. Say: Photos and charts can show useful information. Have students answer the following questions. What does the photo show? What information do you learn from reading the photo caption? Fill out the Graphic Features Chart as a group.
      • Substantial Support: Ask students to point out the photo in Working Together. Say: Photos, and charts can show useful information. Help students answer the following questions. What does the photo show? Model how the photo supports and extends the information in the first paragraph. Help students fill in the Graphic Features Chart.”
  • 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.
  • According to the Program Guide, the English Language Development Teacher's Resource System is designed to develop students’ awareness of how English works in both spoken and written language, and allows teachers to provide English Learners with the skills necessary for learning, thinking, and expressing in the English language. The texts for English Language Development are excerpted and supported, not adapted. Benchmark ELD takes a large piece of grade-level ELA content and amplifies it for the Learner. Amplification is done through visuals/pictures/graphic elements, leveling, and explanations to scaffold meaning. The English Language Development Assessment provides teachers the tools to evaluate and document English Learners' growth in language proficiency over time using formative assessment tools that are directly related to learning activities and tasks from the TRS lessons and are based on the program’s informational and literary texts.
  • The Advancing Foundational Skills for English Language Learners provides additional support to accelerate foundational skills, print concepts, phonological awareness, phonics and word recognition, and fluency for English Learners at Grades 3−6. The Think-Speak-Listen Flip Books work to engage students in academic conversations with the conversation sentence starters provided in the Think-Speak-Listen Bookmarks and Flip Books.

Indicator 3q

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Benchmark Grade 3 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 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 in the Independent Writing Time and/or Apply Understanding and the Connect Across Disciplines Inquiry Project. The small group options provided in the Differentiated Instruction Planner provides opportunities that include; Unit Specific Leveled-Text for Differentiated Instruction, Reader’s Theater, and Independent Reading. Managing an Independent Reading is outlined in the Grade Resources and has guidance for setting up and managing a classroom reading program, strategies to help students self-select books and texts, ideas to support book-sharing, partner-reading, and discussion circles, activities to promote reflection and writing in response to reading, prompts, questions, and strategies to support engaging one-on-one conferring between teacher and student and home-school letters. For example:

  • In Unit 1, Week 3, Lesson 14, in the Apply Understanding of the Teacher’s Resource System, there is a Challenge Activity which is different from the required activity for students.” Challenge Activity, Ask students to refer to their annotations in order to write a paragraph explaining which text would be more helpful for someone who has just moved to our country and wants to learn about participating in government. In Unit 1, in the Connect Across Disciplines Inquiry Project, there is a challenge project that students Design a New Way to Vote. Students are asked to research problems with the new voting technology, propose a solution, and discuss multiple solutions.
  • In Unit 5, Week 2, Lesson 8, in the Apply Understanding of the Teacher’s Resource System, there is a Challenge Activity provided which is different from the required activity for students. “Challenge Activity, Ask students to write a short paragraph describing how the direct quotation in paragraph 9 helps connect the author’s ideas in paragraphs 8 and 10.” In Unit 5, in the Connect Across Disciplines Inquiry Project, there is a challenge project that students Invent the Next ‘Big Thing’. Students are asked to identify an everyday problem and invent a cell phone app to help solve the problem.
  • In Unit 9, Week 3, Lesson 14, in the Apply Understanding of the Teacher’s Resource System, there is a Challenge Activity provided which is different from the required activity for students. “Challenge Activity, Ask students to write a short paragraph in which they answer the following question: Pretend you decided to start your own marmalade company. Which method of making marmalade would you choose? Point out that students should support their opinions with specific reasons and evidence from the text.” In Unit 9, in the Connect Across Disciplines Inquiry Project, there is a challenge project that students are asked to Tell a Tale of Different Climates. Students are asked to learn about the weather in their state and write a story in which they describe a weather event.

Indicator 3r

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Benchmark Grade 3 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 1, Week 1, Lesson 2, students read paragraph 2 with a partner to identify and recount other key details, and to explain how these details support the main idea. In Week 1, Lesson 6 students work with a partner to reread the third paragraph of the mentor personal letter and then bring students together and invite them to share their findings.
  • In Unit 5, Week 3, Lesson 2, students turn to a partner and discuss the following questions about sequential texts with a partner. They should be ready to share their own ideas and summarize the ideas of their partners. In Week 3, Lesson 13, partners review each other’s writing to their use of coordinating and subordinating conjunctions, including their comma placement.
  • In Unit 9, Week 3, Lesson 10, partners take turns practicing their presentations and use their speaking checklist to evaluate what they did well and what they need to work on. Students come together and teacher will invite partners to share the results of their first rehearsal. During independent time, students will rehearse their entire presentation with a partner or in a small group.

Indicator 3s

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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Benchmark Grade 3 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

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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 3 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

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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Benchmark Grade 3 meets the criteria that materials support effective use of technology to enhance student learning, drawing attention to evidence and texts as appropriate.

Materials in Benchmark support effective use of technology to enhance student learning. At the beginning of each unit, a short video is used to introduce the unit and discuss the Essential Question for each unit. Technology is used to enhance learning through research as students organize projects or just as enhancement to reading and writing assignments. Technology is also used to publish writing and aid in student presentations to enhance speaking and listening skills. The home school connection component is used to bring parents/guardians into the learning by providing activities for the students and parents to use together at home. Daily activities, anchor texts, support materials, assessments, home-school activities, word study tools, and other components are all in digital form and user friendly to enhance student learning. Examples include but are not limited to:

  • A video is used to open each unit. In Unit 6, Week 1, Lesson 1 the teacher displays the Unit 6 video and while students are watching, they are asked to draw responses or write questions and ideas they might have about the video. The teacher introduces vocabulary words and or words related to the narrative text such as central message, theme, and moral. After viewing, discuss then takes place about the essential question and the teachers asks if there were any other words that students were not familiar with.
  • In Unit 3, Week 2, Lesson 10 students use video to enhance learning. Students are asked to gather information from a video source and organize their notes into 2 categories: what they see and what they hear. To organize, the teacher hands out a Video Source Note-Taking Chart. The teacher will use the first part of the video to model how to gather evidence from a video source.
  • In Unit 9, Week 3, Lesson 13 students are to present their multimedia project, answering questions to provide detail. Students are reminded to speak clearly in complete sentences and at an understandable pace. The prompt for the presentation is to “think of an activity you are familiar with that might be unfamiliar to other people. Create a multimedia presentation in which you explain how to perform this activity. Make sure you include photographs, illustrations, and/or diagrams to help you explain this activity”.
  • Unit 2 in the Home School Connection gives parents an overview of the unit (Ways Characters Shape Stories) and the Essential Question and then breaks down information into the following topics with explanations and suggestion for an activity at home within each: Topic connection, vocabulary connection, comprehension connection, and word study connection. Under the comprehension connection, it suggests that at home, while watching television or reading, that parents ask students, “Which events in the story are most important and why”?

Indicator 3u

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Indicator 3u.i

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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Benchmark Grade 3 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" struggles. 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 to navigate the digital program. There are 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.

Indicator 3u.ii

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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Benchmark Grade 3 meet the criteria that materials can be easily customized for local use.

Materials can be easily customized for local use. The online tool, Benchmark Universe, 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 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

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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Benchmark Grade 3 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 Universe 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
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Criterion Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 3 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.
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Benchmark Grade 3 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.
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Benchmark Grade 3 meets the criteria that materials support effective use of technology to enhance student learning, drawing attention to evidence and texts as appropriate.

Materials in Benchmark support effective use of technology to enhance student learning. At the beginning of each unit, a short video is used to introduce the unit and discuss the Essential Question for each unit. Technology is used to enhance learning through research as students organize projects or just as enhancement to reading and writing assignments. Technology is also used to publish writing and aid in student presentations to enhance speaking and listening skills. The home school connection component is used to bring parents/guardians into the learning by providing activities for the students and parents to use together at home. Daily activities, anchor texts, support materials, assessments, home-school activities, word study tools, and other components are all in digital form and user friendly to enhance student learning. Examples include but are not limited to:

  • A video is used to open each unit. In Unit 6, Week 1, Lesson 1 the teacher displays the Unit 6 video and while students are watching, they are asked to draw responses or write questions and ideas they might have about the video. The teacher introduces vocabulary words and or words related to the narrative text such as central message, theme, and moral. After viewing, discuss then takes place about the essential question and the teachers asks if there were any other words that students were not familiar with.
  • In Unit 3, Week 2, Lesson 10 students use video to enhance learning. Students are asked to gather information from a video source and organize their notes into 2 categories: what they see and what they hear. To organize, the teacher hands out a Video Source Note-Taking Chart. The teacher will use the first part of the video to model how to gather evidence from a video source.
  • In Unit 9, Week 3, Lesson 13 students are to present their multimedia project, answering questions to provide detail. Students are reminded to speak clearly in complete sentences and at an understandable pace. The prompt for the presentation is to “think of an activity you are familiar with that might be unfamiliar to other people. Create a multimedia presentation in which you explain how to perform this activity. Make sure you include photographs, illustrations, and/or diagrams to help you explain this activity”.
  • Unit 2 in the Home School Connection gives parents an overview of the unit (Ways Characters Shape Stories) and the Essential Question and then breaks down information into the following topics with explanations and suggestion for an activity at home within each: Topic connection, vocabulary connection, comprehension connection, and word study connection. Under the comprehension connection, it suggests that at home, while watching television or reading, that parents ask students, “Which events in the story are most important and why”?

Indicator 3u

Materials can be easily customized for individual learners.
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Indicator 3u.i

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Benchmark Grade 3 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" struggles. 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 to navigate the digital program. There are 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.

Indicator 3u.ii

Materials can be easily customized for local use.
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Benchmark Grade 3 meet the criteria that materials can be easily customized for local use.

Materials can be easily customized for local use. The online tool, Benchmark Universe, 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 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.).
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Benchmark Grade 3 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 Universe website.

Additional Publication Details

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

Report Edition: 2018

Title ISBN Edition Publisher Year
Texts for Close Reading Unit 2 978-1-4900-2642-8 Benchmark Education Company 2015
Texts for Close Reading Unit 2 978-1-4900-3973-2 Benchmark Education Company 2015
Texts for Close Reading Unit 2 978-1-4900-3975-6 Benchmark Education Company 2015
Texts for Close Reading Unit 9 978-1-4900-9189-1 Benchmark Education Company 2015
Texts for Close Reading Unit 4 978-1-4900-9192-1 Benchmark Education Company 2015
Texts for Close Reading Unit 5 978-1-4900-9193-8 Benchmark Education Company 2015
Texts for Close Reading Unit 6 978-1-4900-9194-5 Benchmark Education Company 2015
Texts for Close Reading Unit 3 978-1-4900-9199-0 Benchmark Education Company 2015
Texts for Close Reading Unit 9 978-1-4900-9205-8 Benchmark Education Company 2015
Benchmark Advance Teacher Resource System Gr 3 Unit 1 and 2 978-1-5125-2299-0 Benchmark Education Company 2018
Benchmark Advance Teacher Resource System Gr 3 Unit 3 and 4 978-1-5125-2300-3 Benchmark Education Company 2018
Benchmark Advance Teacher Resource System Gr 3 Unit 5 and 6 978-1-5125-2301-0 Benchmark Education Company 2018
Benchmark Advance Teacher Resource System Gr 3 Unit 7 and 8 978-1-5125-2302-7 Benchmark Education Company 2018
Benchmark Advance Teacher Resource System Gr 3 Unit 9 and10 978-1-5125-2303-4 Benchmark Education Company 2018
Texts for Close Reading Unit 1 978-1-5125-7850-8 Benchmark Education Company 2015

About Publishers Responses

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

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

Educator-Led Review Teams

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

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

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

ELA 3-8 Rubric and Evidence Guides

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

For ELA, our rubrics evaluate materials based on:

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

  • Building Knowledge with Texts, Vocabulary, and Tasks

  • Instructional Supports and Usability

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

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