Alignment to College and Career Ready Standards: Overall Summary

The instructional materials reviewed for Grades 9-12 meet expectations for alignment and usability in all grades. Lessons and tasks are centered around high-quality texts. Texts provided with the materials are at the appropriate grade level text complexity, and are accompanied by quality tasks aligned to the standards of reading, writing, speaking, listening, and language in service to grow literacy skills. Materials build knowledge and skills through integrated reading, writing, speaking, listening, and language. The instructional materials meet expectations for use and design, teacher planning, learning of the standards for students and professional learning support for teachers. Standards-aligned assessment, differentiated instruction, and support for learners are accounted for within the materials. Suggestions for technology use are present. Overall, the 9-12 materials attend to alignment to the standards and to structural supports and usability.

See Rating Scale
Understanding Gateways

Alignment

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Meets Expectations

Gateway 1:

Text Quality

0
15
28
32
30
28-32
Meets Expectations
16-27
Partially Meets Expectations
0-15
Does Not Meet Expectations

Gateway 2:

Building Knowledge

0
15
28
32
30
28-32
Meets Expectations
16-27
Partially Meets Expectations
0-15
Does Not Meet Expectations

Usability

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Meets Expectations

Not Rated

Gateway 3:

Usability

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

Gateway One

Text Quality & Complexity and Alignment to Standards Components

Meets Expectations

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Gateway One Details

The materials meet the expectations of Gateway 1. The materials include texts that are of high quality and provide students the opportunity to read deeply and broadly across multiple genres and text types, and support access to increasing rigor and challenge over the course of the school year. Most questions and tasks are text-based as well as are the majority of written and spoken student tasks. Students have opportunities to learn and practice varied writing modes in different lengths, both on-demand and via process writing. The materials partially meet the expectations of supporting the language demands of the grade.

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.
15/16
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Criterion Rating Details

The materials include texts that are of high quality and provide students the opportunity to read deeply and broadly across multiple genres and text types, and support access to increasing rigor and challenge over the course of the school year. Materials partially meet the expectations for anchor texts and series of texts connected to them being accompanied by a text complexity analysis and rationale for educational purpose and placement in the grade level. Materials meet the criteria for materials supporting students’ increasing literacy skills over the course of the school year.

Indicator 1a

Anchor/core texts are of publishable quality and worthy of especially careful reading.
4/4
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 10 meet the criteria for anchor texts being of publishable quality and worthy of especially careful reading and consider a range of student interests.

Texts are written by well-known writers/authors. The texts provide high interest, relevant, and current topics appropriate for the grade level that encompass multiple universal and multicultural themes relevant to the units’ topics. Examples include:

  • In Unit 1, students read Ethical Debates: Privacy and Surveillance by Cath Senker. Published in 2011 by Rosen Central, the text explores real life stories of privacy issues at home, work, and media since 9/11.
  • In Unit 1, students read The House of the Scorpion by Nancy Farmer, National Book Award Winner for Young People's Literature, Newbery Honor Book, Printz Honor Book.
  • In Unit 2, students read Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe, a classic novel by the Nigerian author who won the Man Booker International Prize for literature for his body of fiction.This first of the core texts for the unit is worthy of reading for 10th grade with challenging themes and concepts. Cultural conflicts between the individual and society are thought-provoking and of interest to teenagers.
  • In Unit 2, students read A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier by Ishmael Beah. Nominated for the Quill Award in 2007, the novelist shares a first-hand account of being a child soldier in Sierra Leone. The topic is worthy of reading, relevant to teenagers, thought-provoking, and of high interest. The powerful images present American born teenagers with a life unlike their own.
  • In Unit 3, students read The Things They Carried, by Tim O’Brien. Considered one of the best books about the Vietnam War, the novel is thought-provoking with challenging soldier-specific vocabulary, concepts and themes for teenagers. The novel was a finalist for both the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Critics Circle Award when it was published in 1990. It was credited as the inspiration for a National Veterans Art Museum exhibit of the same name in Chicago.
  • In Unit 3, students read Heart of Darkness, by Joseph Conrad. The themes and concepts of racism and barbaric versus civilized societies are thought-provoking and of interest to students. The novel is often listed as one of the top 100 of twentieth century literature.
  • In Unit 4, students read The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference by Malcolm Gladwell. This text is interesting for students and requires close reading because of the vocabulary and concepts.

Indicator 1b

Materials reflect the distribution of text types and genres required by the standards at each grade level.
*Indicator 1b is non-scored (in grades 9-12) and provides information about text types and genres in the program.
0/0
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 10 reflect the distribution of text types and genres required by the standards at each grade level.

The materials reflect a balance of informational and literary reading selections. Teachers have a variety of options from which to select what material students read together in the class. Similarly, students have a variety of choices on what to read independently.

The materials include core texts that teachers use for instructional shared reading. In addition, there are a variety of anchor texts for teachers to use as read alouds and/or experts as shared reading in the classroom. There are a few short stories available in the texts provided.

The reading materials for Grade 10 include a variety of text types, including Autobiography, Biography, Drama, Economics, Guide, Historical Fiction, History, Investigation, Personal Viewpoint, Realistic Fiction, and Science.

Literary texts include, but are not limited to:

  • The House of the Scorpion by Nancy Farmer
  • Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe
  • The Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad
  • The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien
  • The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini

Informational texts include, but are not limited to:

  • Ethical Debates: Privacy and Surveillance by Cath Senker
  • Africa: Facts and Figures by William Mark Habeeb
  • A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier by Ishmael Beah
  • The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference by Malcolm Gladwell
  • It’s Your World: Get Informed, Get Inspired, Get Going! by Chelsea Clinton

Indicator 1c

Texts have the appropriate level of complexity for the grade level (according to quantitative analysis and qualitative analysis).
4/4
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 10 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.

The materials are designed for schools to determine which units they want to teach at which point in the school year. ARC Core has its own readability system (Independent Reading Level Assessment - IRLA), and, when cross-referenced with Lexile scores, the majority of texts align with the recommended Lexile grade bands.

Core texts for Grade 10 students fall within the recommended measurement levels. Texts that fall below the recommended grade band serve as informational resources or mentor texts for the unit task; texts which are quantitatively lower are typically paired with more rigorous texts. Grade 10 materials utilize multiple primary source texts, as well as renowned texts that are appropriate quantitatively and qualitatively.

Examples of grade level texts that fall within the appropriate Lexile band include:

  • It’s Your World: Get Informed, Get Inspired, Get Going! with a Lexile score of 1270L provides informational texts that are interesting for students and connects well to the topic and culminating task.
  • The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference, with a Lexile score of 1160L provides informational texts that are interesting for students and connects well to the topic and culminating task.

Examples of texts that fall below the Lexile band, but are still appropriate include:

  • Things Fall Apart, with a Lexile score of 890L, is considered a modern classic and is used as a core text for a unit on Africa.
  • A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier, with a Lexile score of 920L, is a paired text for a unit on Africa. The ideas connect well to the topic and can be used to support the culminating task.
  • The Things They Carried, with a Lexile score of 880L, is a modern classic considered the foremost text on Vietnam. As a core text, the content is sophisticated for teenagers.
  • The Kite Runner, with a Lexile score of 840L, is a paired text on a unit for war and is a modern fiction text about the Middle East.
  • The House of the Scorpion, with a Lexile score of 660L, is the first novel of the year and is engaging science fiction for readers. As a National Book Award Winner for Young People's Literature, Newbery Honor Book, and Printz Honor Book, it contains many literary devices that require careful reading to comprehend and analyze deeper themes.

Indicator 1d

Materials support students' literacy skills (understanding and comprehension) over the course of the school year through increasingly complex text to develop independence of grade level skills (Series of texts should be at a variety of complexity levels).
4/4
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 10 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 materials provide a wide variety of texts that are both grade band appropriate, as well as leveled ancillary texts that support the theme while helping students to continue to build their literacy skills. Students develop increasingly sophisticated writing skills over the course of the year as they use the texts from the unit as mentor texts for their culminating project. The materials' inquiry through apprenticeship process moves students through a gradual release model where the teacher models a variety of literacy skills and methods while working with students to build knowledge, practice skills in a carefully scaffolded setting, and eventually demonstrate their skills independently.

The program follows a pattern for all grade levels:

  • Unit 1 is a Literacy Lab where students are introduced to the program's structure. Students begin their year with core literary and informational texts referred to as “hook books”-- grade level texts that are high-interest and paired to build knowledge and engage students in topics that will provide a foundation for literary and informational text analysis conducted through both discussion and writing. During Unit 1, students also undergo initial assessments with the IRLA to determine instructional supports that may be needed and to help determine appropriately-leveled books for daily reading in self-selected texts. Students set goals with their teacher based upon their reading skill level to demonstrate their ability to read increasingly more complex texts and to write with greater sophistication. In this unit, students work with the Core fiction text, the paired informational texts, and their self-selected independent reading texts to build core analytical reading skills of theme, literary elements, authors (and bias), genres, and world knowledge. The unit is divided phases by weeks:
    • Phase 1: Initiate Academic Community and Phase 2: Initial Assessment and Goal Setting during which students analyze “What did the author say? Why?” through the specific learning targets: “Generate hypotheses on an author’s theme(s), determine the meaning of unfamiliar vocabulary, choosing flexibly from a range of strategies, analyze how an author’s word choices shape a text, and analyze the impact of specific word choice (figures of speech) on meaning, tone, and theme.”
    • In Phase 3: Strategic Instruction/Building Expertise, students shift to analyze author’s craft and the learning target: Evaluate and critique authors. Students practice evaluating author’s purpose in both literary and informational texts and write a literary essay.
  • Unit 2 is an informational research lab that focuses on the continent of Africa as students work entirely with informational texts to progress through two phases of research: Phase 1: Develop Expertise in Research Topics & Central Idea/Key Details and Phase 2: Research-Based Informational Writing. Phase 1 covers four weeks during which students “build knowledge in order to determine appropriate research topics” by analyzing different aspects of determining a central idea when reading informational text. All in-class reading comes from the Core informational text and the Research Lab books. Throughout Unit 2, students work to build skills to read and deeply analyze informational text, including:
    • Identification of the central idea of the text
    • Analysis of how the author develops the central idea over the course of the text
    • Identification and linking of key details and supporting ideas to the central idea of the text

Students also work to develop their own piece of historical fiction writing using mentor texts. Within their writing they learn to:

    • Develop a central idea with a focus on word choice (including an understanding of connotation vs. denotation)
    • Appropriately incorporate figurative language into their writing to add depth and texture to their writing
    • Work through the writing and revision process
    • Prepare visuals, edit, publish, and present their work
  • Unit 3 is a genre study focusing on world historical fiction. Throughout the unit, students develop their literary analysis skills through:
    • Character-theme analysis, setting-theme analysis, and plot-theme analysis
    • Exploration of author’s purpose/theme
    • Examination of the characters and their interaction with one another
    • Identification of elements of plot, including the central conflict, resolution, rising action, falling action, and the subplot

Midway through the unit, they begin work on a historical fiction writing of their own as well as a short story using the historical fiction texts from the unit as mentor texts.

  • Unit 4 is an argument research lab that focuses the topic of contemporary issues. Argument writing and research are the primary focus as students read increasingly complex texts as they begin working through a series of seven research tasks/questions that guide students as they prepare to compose their own argument piece. These tasks/questions guide the students as they read the unit’s texts, conduct research, and are designed to bring coherence to their writing. The research tasks/questions include:
    • Create a timeline of at least 10 milestones in the history of this issue. Discuss the significance of each.
    • Describe the most important national effects of this issue. How is it being handled in our country?
    • Describe the most important global effects of this issue. How is it being handled internationally?
    • What organizations are involved with this issue?
    • Who are the influential people involved with this issue?
    • How can people become informed about this issue?
    • Take and support a position on how we, as a world, should solve this issue.

Throughout all units, students receive instruction that meets the needs for remediation, growth, and challenge and are monitored closely to assure growth in reading, writing, speaking/listening, and literacy skills.

Indicator 1e

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 10 partially meet the expectations for anchor texts and series of texts connected to them being accompanied by a text complexity analysis and rationale for educational purpose and placement in the grade level.

Only the core texts that are provided by the publishers are accompanied by a rationale. The materials assign grade level core and accompanying texts based on the Independent Reading Level Assessment (IRLA) system that considers quantitative and qualitative text complexity.

The materials provide a color coding system for supplementary text that is found at the beginning of each unit (p. 30). This system provides a taxonomy of reading levels and corresponding colors at each level. This information is a guide for teachers in the use of reading baskets for the 100-Book Challenge reading activities for each unit. Resources at the end of each unit (p. 359) list the color coded levels for each “Hook Book” in the series. A one-page guide, “Text Complexity and Title Selection,” provides short rationales for how the publisher determined text complexity, the process for selecting paired core texts, and the requirements for Core Novels and Core Informational Text is also provided at the beginning of each unit (p. 50).

A text complexity analysis and qualitative information for the core and anchor texts is included with the materials. Qualitative information is included outlining the placement. For example, in Unit 2, the qualitative measure for Africa: Facts and Figures states, “Our qualitative analysis places this text at the 9th-10th grade level because:

  • Purpose/Structure: Moderately Complex. The organization of the range of ideas and concepts are oftentimes implicit. Text features can greatly enhance the understanding of the content.
  • Language: Very Complex. Sentence structure is dense and complex. Text contains abstract and overly academic language.
  • Knowledge Demands: Very Complex. The text requires discipline-specific knowledge in multiple areas including geographical, economic, and political terminology, as well as an understanding of the concept of colonialism/ postcolonialism” (Sample HS Core Text Complexity Analysis.pdf)."

Indicator 1f

Anchor and supporting texts provide opportunities for students to engage in a range and volume of reading to achieve grade level reading proficiency.
2/2
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 10 meet the expectations that anchor and supporting texts provide opportunities for students to engage in a range and volume of texts to achieve grade level reading.

Students are asked to read 100 books during the year and to participate in the 100 Book Challenge, which includes reading independently for 30 minutes a night. The instructional materials provide daily opportunities for students to read a variety of texts in and out of class, in order to become better independent readers. Core and accompanying texts, as well as the leveled library texts, encompass a diversity of topics in history, culture, science, technology, politics, geography, and current social issues. Most core texts in each unit are within or slightly above the recommended grade level band; however, the independent reading libraries are leveled, so that students can practice and build reading skills at their individual reading levels as indicated by the publisher’s IRLA leveling system.

The daily and weekly components of lesson plans contain high expectations for a range of reading tasks. Students read a substantial volume of literary and informational texts across each unit. Literacy blocks are designed around a variety of reading tasks such as reading and discussing, a Readers’ Workshop piece in which students apply reading strategies to texts they’ve read, as well as allotted time for independent reading from self-selected texts. Each unit includes a roster of lesson components with times allotted to each component, organized by 75-90-minute or 120-minute blocks. Each literacy block establishes a weekly goal of 5 hours of student reading. This includes “some time spent reading texts within the Thematic Unit and some time in complete free-choice.”

Students read daily from either literary, nonfiction, or informational texts. While all but two of the Core texts are below the 9-10 Lexile grade band, the quantitative measures for those texts makes them appropriate for the grade level and tasks that they accompany. In Phase 1 and/or 2 of each unit, a typical day includes in-class read alouds and independent reading time. The same pattern and structure of daily lessons occurs from the beginning of the year to the end of the year. A specific example from a unit includes:

  • In Unit 2, students read the core text, an informational book about Africa, supplemented by additional readings from the Research Lab to support daily research about the topic. Every day for four weeks of the nine-week unit, students read teacher-chosen pieces from the Core text. A typical daily reading time begins with 10-30 minutes of Read Complex Text which is broken into: Establish Learning Goal, Model, Guided Practice, Wrap-up. During the 20-40 minute Reader’s Work, students read independently-selected books from the Research Library followed by a brief Accountable Talk discussion with a small group. Each week, students become increasingly independent as they work towards proficiency and mastery of the week’s objective. On Day 1 one of each week, teacher work is more model and guided practice, but by the end of the week, teachers introduce the work for the day and students work more independently toward their Research Question.

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

Most questions and tasks are text-based as well as the majority of written and spoken student. Students have opportunities to learn and practice varied writing modes in different lengths, both on-demand and in process. The materials partially meet the expectations of supporting the language demands of the grade.

Indicator 1g

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).
2/2
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 10 meet the criteria that 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; this may include work with mentor texts as well).

Materials for the literacy and research labs across all four modules provide an inquiry-based structure for students to engage with informational and literary texts directly. Teachers are provided discussion starters, key questions, writing prompts, graphic organizers, and instructional support tasks for students to collect and analyze textual evidence that builds toward a research topic or literary theme. The directions for teachers set the focus and purpose for reading, so students are prepared to discuss text dependent questions. Students are asked to work in small groups or partners first, then questions are discussed with the whole group.

The questions are not text-specific, but are text-dependent. The publisher is transparent about the philosophy to build students’ “habits of mind” by providing a framework of inquiry; instead, the reading/writing questions (Research Questions), graphic organizers. and instructional tasks follow a general format that is designed to be used across multiple thematic units and across grade levels. Each of the four units per grade level provides a uniform set of text-dependent questions for the Core Text for that unit. Questions require students to read closely and to make inferences drawing on textual evidence. Teachers and students have reading choices within the four units, and text-dependent questions may be universally applied to texts throughout the school year. The materials specify that teachers decide when and how to use text-dependent questions. Moreover, the materials provide example questions to support the process and prompt teachers to create text-specific questions, as well.

  • In Unit 1, Week 1, Day 5, students engage with a partner in discussing their background knowledge. Working in pairs, students prepare to answer each question with their partners and be ready for a cold call. Students respond to questions including: "What other real-world topics has the text referenced? What do you or your partner currently know about this topic? Is that enough for this topic in this book right now? If not, how will you learn what you need to know? Based on what you know, why do you believe the author mentioned this topic? What does it have to do with his/her text? Theme(s)?" After each question, teachers are instructed to “use student responses to determine your next move” (p. 111).
  • In Unit 2, Informational Research Lab: Africa, student are asked: "What did we just read? Summarize/retell the most important details. Why do you think the author wrote this part this way? What might s/he be suggesting/inferring here? Determine the author’s central idea. What KEY key detail best supports this central idea? Analyze how the author uses content, structure, and word choice to develop and refine central ideas over the course of the text. Which structure is the writer using in this text? Why does it matter that the author used this structure? Did you notice any examples of bias in this text?"
  • In Unit 3, Week 1, students are reading Complex Text, the Central Text/Core Novel and are asked: "What generalizations can you make about settings in this genre? How might settings be important to this genre as a whole?" (p. 50). In Week 3, students are tasked to focus on the social setting of their independent reading novel. Some guiding questions to answer include: "What is the most important part of the social setting in your novel? Why do you think it matters? What quote best illustrates that? How is the social setting important to the character? How does the author use the social setting to communicate a theme?" (p. 147).
  • In Unit 4, Week 3, Day 1, while researching a contemporary issue, students complete an independent reading from one of the Research Lab books. After the 15-30 minute reading time, students share with a partner using the following protocol: “Claim: The most important thing I learned about today’s Research Question was ___. Evidence. Reasoning.” Next, the class shares as a group to the following questions: “Who learned something really important about this Research Question (or our Unit)? Who found something related to an issue/ controversy we’ve discussed? Another issue/controversy?” The partner discussion is based on text-dependent questions, but in the whole class share, the teacher may need to ask follow-up questions if a student is not providing specific answers.

Indicator 1h

Materials contain sets of sequences of text-dependent/ text-specific questions with activities that build to a culminating task which integrates skills to demonstrate understanding
2/2
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 10 meet the criteria that materials contain sets of high-quality sequences of text-dependent and text-specific questions with activities that build to a culminating task which integrates skills to demonstrate understanding.

Daily, students read, write, and discuss about texts guided by questions and tasks that are organized for students to gather details or to practice skills needed for the culminating task. Culminating tasks, which are generally smaller weekly tasks as well as significant writing pieces or presentations, provide opportunities for students to demonstrate knowledge and ability of what they have learned. Generally, tasks require students to gather details or information using research questions and graphic organizers to craft an essay, report, debate, narrative, or dramatic interpretation. Tasks are supported with coherent sequences of text-dependent questions and tasks.

In Unit 1, students read their paired core texts The House of the Scorpion by Nancy Farmer and Ethical Debates: Privacy and Surveillance by Cath Senker and select independent texts for study to build their stamina for reading and text analysis skills to “read and write like an expert.” The introductory materials outline the unit framework and the sequence of student study (p. 52). Each week builds student skill in analyzing informational and literary texts. Instructional materials provide models of sequenced questions for students to use across multiple texts. An example of sequenced text-dependent questions in this unit is:

  • Recommended Model for unit Culminating Task, Critiquing the Core Text (Week 6, Days 1-2): Compose own review of the Core Informational Text: What do you believe to be this author’s purpose for writing this text? How effective do you think s/he is in accomplishing that purpose? Is this book worth reading? Why or why not? What details, events, or analyses does the author include to accomplish his/her purpose? Which, if any, are ineffective? What word choice/language, figures of speech, and/or structures does the author use effectively to accomplish his/her purpose? Which, if any, were ineffective? To what is the author blind? What matters to her? How does this effect [sic] her writing? How does she use rhetoric to advance her point of view/purpose? Refer to the Identifying Bias chart and Aristotle’s Rhetorical Devices chart. Does the author give sufficient, relevant evidence and logical reasons to support his/her claims? Why or why not? How might any gaps/fallacies relate to his/her point of view or purpose? Should people read this book? Is it relevant to issues that society grapples with today? Or is there another book in the same genre/on similar themes that does a better job?

In Unit 2, students continue building reading and text analysis skills as they study the continent of Africa and a country of their choice through informational texts. The introductory materials outline the unit framework and the sequence of student study which is guided by seven sequenced research questions that help students study the ecosystems, politics, and economy of a country in Africa. Though these questions are not text-dependent, the daily student tasks require students to engage in multiple texts to answer the research questions. Each week builds student skills in analyzing informational texts and practicing informative writing based on models and peer collaboration. Examples include:

  • Practice in Identifying Structure to Write to Text (Week 3, Day 4): Which structure is the writer using in this text? How do you know? Map out the supporting ideas/key details on the appropriate graphic organizer. Is this organizing structure typical for this mode/discipline? If there are multiple structures, combine/modify the organizer as necessary. How does the structure of the text relate to the author’s central idea? Why do you think that? Why did the author put ____ first? How does the choice of leaving ___ to the end shape the reader’s understanding of the central idea? How do the text features clarify or confuse the organizing structure? Why does it matter that the author used this structure? Is this choice appropriate to the central idea of this text? Is this the most appropriate structure for the content? Why or why not? Does the author use this structure effectively? Why or why not? If you could change one thing about the structure of this text to make it more clear or to better support its central idea, what would you change and why?

In Unit 3, Week 1: Day 2, students begin constructing their understanding of the “levels and dimensions” of setting in historical fiction. This activity, which is in preparation for the culminating comparative writing task, is based on self-selected novels and uses a graphic organizer to help students arrange and share information. After completing the organizer, students engage in both writing about and discussing their findings using guiding, text-specific question sequences including physical (place, locality, country, political situation); temporal (era, duration); and culture/society. In Day 3, students respond to a series of text-specific questions around their self-selected novels. The questions relate to the culminating writing task in that students reflect on aspects of characterization. Questions include: "Who are the characters in this story so far? Have we been introduced to a protagonist and an antagonist? What other character types have we met so far? What is each of these characters like? What can you learn about each of these characters through his/her thoughts? Actions? Body language? Reactions to other characters? How does the author use events and/or dialogue to tell you about this character? How/why do you think these characters will matter to the story? What evidence from the text best supports your answer?"

In Unit 4, Week 1, Day 1, students are introduced the concept of making a judgment claim, a key skill in drafting their culminating writing project, a final argumentative essay. Students are required to identify, elaborate, and defend a specific judgment claim. The activity includes teacher modeling and contains a sharing opportunity in which students make and share a claim. Instructional materials direct students to “Model making a Judgment claim and supporting your claim with reasons and text evidence, e.g., The most interesting thing I learned about ___ was... It was the most interesting because…”

Indicator 1i

Materials provide frequent opportunities and protocols to engage students in speaking and listening activities and discussions (small group, peer-to-peer, whole class) which encourage the modeling and use of academic vocabulary and syntax.
2/2
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 10 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.

The materials set the expectation that students will talk daily with peers about what they are reading. In each lesson, students discuss text dependent questions. In addition, the instructional materials provide protocols and steps for partner, small group, and large group discussions in which students communicate with peers around shared texts and independent reading selections. Speaking and Listening standards are highlighted within instructional materials, including the use of Accountable Talk methods, sentence stems, and rubrics for reflecting on discussion. Lessons prompt teachers to model patterns for daily practices that establish student discussion routines. Teachers are given strategies and tips on how to address struggling students’ needs.

Instructional materials and supports provide grade level appropriate opportunities for student discussions that encourage the modeling and use of academic vocabulary and syntax. While addressing key concepts of the embedded research questions, students are frequently prompted to re-read texts to identify technical vocabulary and to share definitions and examples with a partner. The materials prompt teachers to have students highlight high-leverage vocabulary during group share and provide lesson call outs that highlight how lessons are designed intentionally to support and to enhance the oracy and literacy skills of all students, including English language learners at all levels of language proficiency.

Most activities are either partner talks followed by whole class share out or, during the modeling phase, the materials suggest the teacher cold call students. Overall, there are relatively few support structures for small group, whole class discussion, presentation activities, or other opportunities for larger group discussion (e.g.,debate, Socratic Seminar).

The Unit 1 Scope and Sequence document of the ARC Core Overview outlines Speaking and Listening task across all 4 units, specifically:

  • Speaking & Listening #4: Present information, findings, and supporting evidence such that listeners can follow the line of reasoning and the organization, development, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.
  • Speaking & Listening #5: Make strategic use of digital media and visual displays of data to express information and enhance understanding of presentations.
  • Speaking & Listening #6: Adapt speech to a variety of contexts and communicative tasks, demonstrating command of formal English when indicated or appropriate.

Specific examples include:

  • In Unit 1, Week 1, Day 1, teacher instructions for Constructed Response Practice direct instructors to “[t]each your students to begin all of their answers by including the key words from the question” (p. 88). Day 2: Accountable Talk Partner/Group Share instructs students to “[s]hare your objective summary and your hypothesis on what might be your author’s theme(s). Invite a few students to share out with the whole group” (p. 104). As a formative assessment, teachers listen to decide if/what to clarify or re-teach, on the spot. On Day 3 during the Accountable Talk Partner Share, instructions direct students to “[t]ell your partner what you learned about an author in our library. Then share your objective summary of the author’s book and your hypothesis on what might be his/her theme(s)” (p. 114). On Days 4-5 as students Read/Discuss Complex Text, students are tasked to “[p]ractice noticing new vocabulary, categorizing it by Tier, and discussing what each word might mean based on evidence from the text" (p. 179).
  • In Unit 3, Week 7, Day 3, students complete a peer review with provided sentence starters to support peer discussion, including: "What I like about this scene is ___; What I am struggling with is ___." Student responses are supported with sentence structures, including: "What I like about your scene is ___; One thing that might improve it/question I have is ___." This activity and framework promotes critical thinking as students are required to listen and to respond thoughtfully.
  • In Unit 4, Week 3, Day 1, students read independently to learn about a topic related to their research question. After reading, students conduct Partner Share following the Accountable Talk protocol to provide claim and evidence. Student directions call for each partner to take 1 minute to share: "The most important thing I learned about today’s Research Question was ___ because ____." This is a frequently used partner share that requires evidence.

Indicator 1j

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 10 meet the criteria for materials supporting students’ listening and speaking about what they are reading (or read aloud) and researching (shared projects) with relevant follow-up questions and supports.

The materials provide opportunities for students to talk and to question peers and teachers about ideas, texts, research, analytical strategies, and writing throughout the year. Materials across all labs present discussion as a daily expectation, and at times a rubric is provided to evaluate or to structure discussion. Speaking and listening instruction that support student growth over the course of the school year is applied frequently and includes facilitation, monitoring, and instructional supports (such as clear directions for implementation) for teachers. Most unit lesson structures provide opportunities for teachers to pose questions, model, and guide class discussion as well as opportunities for students to share with peers. Speaking and Listening activities that demonstrate student comprehension of the texts associated with daily lessons are linked to the readings and to larger projects. Speaking and listening work requires students to marshal evidence from texts and sources. Students are encouraged to work both independently and together in the creation of various artistic, spoken, written, and digital representations of information. Student discussions are often based on text-dependent questions where they must use textual evidence to support their answers. At the end of each unit, students are asked to present their compositions or learning products through speaking and listening. In addition, the Teacher’s Edition of the Argument Research Lab, Unit 4, provides teacher guidelines to engage students in a debate that demonstrates student end-of-year proficiency in analyzing author’s argument and use of literary elements. Moreover, Accountable Talk structures are embedded within the materials as students employ academic talk through partner share, small group discussions, conferences, peer reviews, and whole class discussions. Throughout the debate process, students use the Toulmin’s Argument Framework to ensure that they provide both evidence and reasoning to support their claims.

Examples from specific units include:

  • In Unit 2, Week 2, Day 4, students work in pairs to complete a chart called a “Thinking Map” while analyzing the central idea of a text. Students are instructed to share their maps with another pair of students, who grade them on a 4-point scale. Then the teacher does a group share asking for a great example of a 4-point response. This activity promotes speaking and listening as students discuss the text to complete the chart.
  • In Unit 3, Week 6, Day 5, lesson plans provide a roster of presentation options as students complete the final stages of the writing process. As part of the peer review process, students are instructed to “read each other’s essays, sign their names to a list of readers, and make one or two positive comments about each essay.” As part of student evaluation and reflection, students “reflect on their own writing and score it using the W.1 Rubric” and “think about their goals for the next project.” In an oral presentation to a small group, “[e]ach student plans and delivers an oral presentation on his/her topic.” Other student opportunities include a classroom swap in which each student has an opportunity to “read his/her essay to a student from the new classroom,” and a gallery in which students “plan displays and/or dress in costume and invite other students and/or families in for a visit.” Final Projects can be on display or presented in small groups.
  • In Unit 4, Week 3, Day 1, students read independently to learn about a topic related to their research question. After reading, students conduct Partner Share following the Accountable Talk protocol, Student instructions state that “[e]ach partner takes 1 minute to share. Claim: The most important thing I learned about today’s Research Question was ___. Evidence. Reasoning.”

Indicator 1k

Materials include a mix of on-demand and process writing grade-appropriate writing (e.g. grade-appropriate revision and editing) and short, focused projects.
2/2
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 10 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.

The ARC Core framework sets the expectation that students will write daily and includes rubrics, guidelines, lesson structures, amd prompts for writing. Each unit of the materials embeds a variety of writing types and genres to allow students to engage in a mix of both on-demand and process writing as well as to participate in individual teacher conferences about their writing. Students often have choices on what to write in response to their reading, such “Opinions about the Text (Opinion/Argument), Personal Connections to the Text (Personal/Nonfiction Narrative), and/or Creative Writing Inspired by the Text (Fiction Narrative).” Writing is done independently and collaboratively with frequent opportunities for students to share and review writing with peers.

Teachers are encouraged to use exemplar texts as models for students or model the writing type for students. Daily writing practice and quick writes on constructed responses typically build to a constructed response or weekly writing task that prepares students for a final writing project in each unit that requires students go through the phases of the writing process (drafting, revising, editing, and publishing). The framework does not include digital resources as a tool for teachers and students to use when writing. However, it does use digital resources as a platform for publishing student work, such as Twitter, Goodreads, Amazon, etc. Examples include:

  • In Unit 1, Week 2, Days 4-5, the teacher overview states that the writing goal for a 2-week period is for students to “write on a variety of prompts while they practice using the new vocabulary they are learning in their writing. Each day, choose 1-3 prompts that relate to the reading work in some interesting way (see Writing Prompts Suggestions after this lesson).” Unit 1, Week 5, Days 3-5 contains evidence of process writing. Students begin the initial phase of the writing process to create a final literary critique piece by engaging with the following prompt: “As we’ve worked to develop a critical lens, we’ve analyzed what an author says, why we think she says it, and how she uses literacy techniques to do it. Now we are going to move beyond analysis to evaluation: does the author accomplish his/her purpose? Is the book worth reading? Why?”
  • In Unit 2, Week 1, Day 2 Students work in pairs to edit their papers. Students focus on editing for quotation marks, indicate direct quotations, and correctly cited sources. The focus of Unit 2, Week 6 is the drafting stage of the writing process, in which students are encouraged to examine the writing they have completed and begin conceptualizing a final project such as an illustrated dictionary, a visual encyclopedia, or a collection of quotes.
  • In Unit 3: Genre Study World Historical Fiction, students study and write to multiple literary genres to write a model narrative in that genre. Though the focus is on narrative writing, students will write literary analysis responses to the texts they are reading. In the introductory materials, teachers are provided a daily framework for lessons which include 15-30 minutes for writing to texts. Daily writing tasks for students include, but are not limited to:
    • Week 1, Day 2: “What about the setting will be most important to this book? Why? Use evidence from the text to support your answer.”
    • Week 3, Day 1, Collaborative Writing: “What generalizations can you make about the factual basis of texts in this genre? What makes you think that? How is research important to our genre as a whole?”
    • Week 3, Day 5, Constructed Response: “What is a central theme in our Core Novel? How does the author use literary elements to develop this theme?”
    • Week 5, Day 1, Quick Write: “Over the next two weeks, you will each write an essay in which you make a claim based on a connection you’ve discovered between our Central Text and one of the texts in the genre you read independently. Today, we practice comparing texts in order to prepare to write this essay. By the end of the day, you will have:
      • Used the R.9 Thinking Map to analyze two texts and generate a theme statement that works for both.
      • Determined which texts you will use and a focus for your comparative essay."
  • In Unit 4, students write an argumentative essay on a researched contemporary issue. Before the unit, students complete a writing pre-assessment for teachers to gauge student capacity with argumentative writing. The prompt for this pre-assessment is teacher created and based on a text students have read. The instructional materials direct teachers to “Ask students to write an argument related to the text they have just read. Eg. Should school administrators be able to go into students’ lockers without students’ permission? Take a position and provide 3 good pieces of evidence in support of that position.”

To prepare for their argumentative essay on a contemporary issue during the unit, students engage in frequent writing tasks such as:

    • Week 1, Day 5: “Take a position. Write a short argument where you state your claim and support it with evidence and reasoning.”
    • Week 2, Day 2, Collaborative Writing: “Students review the written answers of all group members and then either nominate an individual answer or work together to combine their work into a new answer.”
    • Week 4, Day 2, Writing Prompt: “What is the author’s purpose? What in the text supports your answer? What types of appeals does s/he use? Cite examples. What can you infer about the relationship between an author’s purpose and his/her choices in rhetoric?”
    • Week 6, Day 4, Modeling: “Think aloud as you reread your draft and then write a rebuttal.
      • Generate potential counterargument.
      • Fairly present that argument.
      • Argue why it is incorrect, point by point.”

By the end of Week 9 in the unit, students will have practiced writing and revising as well as debating about their chosen topic to complete the full writing process to craft an argumentative essay on a contemporary issue they studied in the unit.

Indicator 1l

Materials provide opportunities for students to address different types/modes/genres of writing that reflect the distribution required by the standards. Writing opportunities incorporate digital resources/multimodal literacy materials where appropriate. Opportunities may include blended writing styles that reflect the distribution required by the standards.
2/2
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 10 meet the criteria for materials providing opportunities for students to address different text types of writing (year long) that reflect the distribution required by the standards. May include “blended” styles.

In the four units (Literacy Lab, Research Lab, Genre Study, Research Lab), students have multiple opportunities across the school year to focus on a variety of different types of writing, to learn from models, and to practice. Each unit at each grade level contains opportunities for students to both read, discuss, and write texts from different genres. Students write in a variety of modes using mentor texts. The final writing projects for each unit provide students with options for publishing. During these writing experiences (formal writing, quick writes, constructed responses) students learn, practice, and apply different genres/modes of writing that reflect the distribution required by the standards.

Throughout the framework, the teacher serves as a Writing Coach during student writing time: checking for understanding, observing students writing, and making sure students are making adequate progress. Teachers are provided monitoring prompts and activities for their PLC time with their colleagues, which guide them to monitor the progress of students' writing. Students are provided with rubrics and collaborative structures which provide them the opportunities to monitor their own progress. Writing prompts are connected to texts as prompts, models, anchors, and supports.

By the end of the year, students will have written a substantial composition across the three main writing types: informative, argumentative, and narrative in tasks that include literary analysis, debates, personal narratives, research reports, peer reviews, reader’s response journals, and more. Examples include:

  • In Unit 1, Week 1, as students write daily, teachers use student writing as evidence and feedback loop for assessing success of literacy block instruction. In Unit 1, Week 5, the materials pose the following question to teachers and students, “If the State Test Were Today, Who Would Pass?” (p. 308). Teachers go through a series of questioning to meet the needs of their students, such as, “Which students respond accurately to the prompt in terms of both Reading content and Writing structure in this mode? Which students respond accurately to the prompt in terms of Reading content but were missing key elements of proficient writing in this mode?” Subsequently, the materials provide suggestions as to what should be done if students are not doing well, including:
    • Continue to coach students to be proficient in all ELA Standards.
    • Coach on improving writing in this mode/Writing Standards.
  • In Unit 2, student work to incorporate figurative language into writing foci on how such language is used differently according to text type. Instructional materials acknowledge that “Authors use figurative language to clarify difficult concepts and make their writing more interesting. In a science text, for example, we might find, 'The human body has its own electricity, plumbing system, central heating, and power plants.'"
  • In Unit 4: Argument Lab-Contemporary Issues, Week 1, Day 2, students are introduced to their final argumentative essay for the unit. Instructional materials prompt teachers to tell students: “By the end of this Unit, each of you will write a well-reasoned, well-researched argument essay on your research topic. We will use this Argument Framework to help us practice and improve our argument skills over the course of the unit. By the end of today, you will be able to identify the basic elements of an argument: claim, evidence, reasoning.” Students research a current contemporary issue by choosing texts from the book basket, reading and writing to those texts, and preparing an argument about that issue. By the end of Week 9 in the unit, students will have practiced writing responses to texts, short argument claims, constructions responses, and peer reviews. After drafting and revising as well as debating about their chosen topic in economics to complete the full writing process to craft an argumentative essay on a contemporary issue they studied in the unit.

Indicator 1m

Materials include frequent opportunities for evidence-based writing to support sophisticated analysis, argumentation, and synthesis.
2/2
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 10 meet the criteria for materials including frequent opportunities for research-based and evidence-based writing to support analysis, argument, synthesis and/or evaluation of information, supports, claims.

The materials meet the expectations for frequent writing opportunities across every unit. Each unit prompts teachers to use the daily instructional model which includes generally 20-40 minutes of writing. Each day students identify text evidence to support various research questions across the year. Each inquiry-based unit is organized around a series of research questions that helps students become knowledgeable about a specific topic through reading a variety of texts on that topic. The program addresses research-based and evidence-based writing through whole class and independent tasks across every unit.

The materials require students to demonstrate sophisticated analysis, argumentation, and synthesis of text in a number of written tasks at each grade level and across units. Students receive comprehensive supports as they use textual evidence to craft arguments such as the use of exemplars, writing workshops, and teacher feedback as they move through the writing process. The supports are designed to engage students in careful analysis of text using clearly articulated arguments.

Throughout all units, students practice narrative, argumentative, and informative writing based on using evidence from texts. Unit 4, the argument research lab, specifically teaches students the Toulmin Argument Framework for supporting claims and rebuttals. Various graphic organizers and rubrics are provided to help students organize their writing.

During Unit 1, students write daily and teachers collect writing as baseline samples. By the end of Unit 1, students will have practiced writing in a variety of genres, both in response to text and writing like the authors they read. Students will take at least 2 pieces of writing through to publication (one narrative and one argumentative).

By the end of Unit 2, students publish a well-researched informational text for a meaningful audience that demonstrates their expertise on a given topic.

By the end of Unit 3, students write four very short essays (constructed responses) and one longer literary essay analyzing multiple texts in the genre study. Students write and publish a short story/picture book in the genre of study.

By the end of Unit 4, students write four short essays (constructed responses) and one longer literary essay analyzing multiple texts in this genre. Students also write and publish a short story/picture book in the genre of study (Grade 10 - contemporary issues). Other examples include:

  • In Unit 1, Week 1, Day 4, a collaborative writing assignment has students analyze different genres they have read. Students write about what they have learned and make book recommendations to peers. Student prompts include, “What have you learned about the genres that you and your classmates like? Based on what you’ve learned, what book recommendations can you make?” The writing task for Unit 1, Week 3, Days 1-3 requires students to analyze an author’s use of vocabulary using textual evidence. Students are instructed to “Pick the three most important words used by the author and explain what role they played in shaping the text (Meaning? Tone? Theme?). Use evidence to support your answer.” Students are supported by a teacher-written exemplar and read the piece to a partner while receiving focused feedback.
  • In Unit 2, Week 1, students read about their research topics. During Day 2, students first discuss what they have read, then they will write for 10-30 minutes using the 5-point response in which they are expected to introduce the text/topic: (I read___ by ___), give an objective summary (It is about... ), provide an opinion (The most interesting thing... ), and provide evidence about the text in regards to their opinion (Use text evidence to prove the truth/accuracy of your statement), and then provide a citation (title, author, page number). In Week 5: Day 5, students write independently for 20-40 minutes to create an opinion piece. The written work is modeled upon an exemplar with an emphasis on writing “like the author of (today’s complex text).” Students use the prompt: “Today we read (today’s complex text) and agreed that we really liked the section where the author…”
  • In Unit 3, Week 4, Day 5, students apply skills they have practiced to complete Constructed Response #4, which is to write a short essay that answers the prompt: "What is a central theme in our Core Novel? How does the author use literary elements to develop this theme?" Students are provided a handout titled “CCSS RL.2/3 Thinking Map” that helps them make and support a precise claim to answer the question. In Week 5, students draft a comparative essay that requires them to apply all the skills from the previous four weeks to make a literary analysis claim about theme that is supported with evidence from two different texts. The writing process and supports help students write the essay with evidence-based claims.
  • In Unit 4: Argument Research Lab-Contemporary Issues, students spend 9 weeks reading, writing, and arguing about big ideas. Each student is expected to select a topic on which to become an expert demonstrated by writing a research-based argument essay. In Week 3, Day 2, students are instructed to “Outline two conflicting viewpoints on the issue of _____. Use evidence from our Central Text and at least one other text to support your answer.”

Indicator 1n

Materials include instruction and practice of the grammar and conventions/language standards for grade level as applied in increasingly sophisticated contexts, with opportunities for application in context.
1/2
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 10 partially meet the criteria for materials including instruction of the grammar and conventions/language standards for grade level as applied in increasingly sophisticated contexts, with opportunities for application context.

The materials do not teach the language standards explicitly, but rather integrate them into the reading and writing instruction. Students do have opportunities to practice and to apply grammar and conventions/language skills at grade-level in a variety of contexts; however, there is little evidence of direct instruction of these skills other than the modeling of grade-level writing conventions during the editing phase of the culminating task. The language standards for word meaning and usage are included more frequently throughout the unit as students read and analyze texts. Students demonstrate their understanding in writing responses to questions and in the culminating tasks. Grammar and conventions are taught in a sequence consistent with the demands of the standards and are integrated with the reading and writing instruction. The materials provide opportunities for students to grow their fluency with these standards through practice and application. Across a school year, materials have students apply conventions and other aspects of language within their own writing. However, over the course of the year’s worth of materials, grammar/convention instruction is not used in increasingly sophisticated contexts but rather within a framework structure. Examples include:

  • In Unit 1, the instruction of the language standards is found mostly within the first three weeks of the unit and includes determining the meaning of words in texts; demonstrating an understanding of figurative language, word relationships, and nuances; and identifying and correctly using patterns of word changes that indicate different meanings or parts of speech. The rest of the weeks use the language standards related to analyzing literary devices and determining author use and meaning created by devices such as euphemism and hyperbole. There is mention of conventions on a Writing Rubric for a Proficient Answer and while editing the final essay.
  • In Unit 2, the focus standards do not include any Language standards. However, in Week 4 the language standard, Word Choice: Denotation and Connotation, is the focus, and students write a constructed response showing their understanding. Students are reminded to use correct grammar, punctuation, and spelling when writing the response, but the grading rubric reflects the RI 2 standard for reading, not writing. Also, in Week 5, a Rubric for a Proficient Informational Text that includes two language standards, language (use precise language and domain-specific vocabulary to demonstrate expertise on a topic and keep the reader engaged/entertained) and conventions (attend to the norms and conventions of the discipline) (p. 38) is provided for the final essay. Also, in Week 8, students edit on Days 1-5 (p. 457). Each day has a part of the lesson that includes a modeling section where the teacher uses the work of a student volunteer and the Editing Skills Card for a different section of the language standard. After modeling how to edit elements such as noun-verb agreement and sentence structure, students read their work out loud to a partner looking for the specific elements modeled by the teacher.
  • In Unit 3, Week 1, Day 2, students focus on direct quotations and citations as part of Mechanics: Usage & Structure. Student instructions indicate, “When you want to copy a phrase, a sentence, or an entire passage that someone else wrote, you must use quotation marks and you must cite your source, including page number.” Teachers are directed to review use of bibliographic citations when using someone else’s work. As part of the Collaborative Writing/Peer Review process, students read aloud their pieces to their partners, with pencils in hand, as they make corrections to their own work. Partners use the rubric “CCSS W.1 Rubric for a Proficient Answer” which includes Syntax, Style, Tone, Conventions to provide feedback. Additionally, students work in pairs to edit each other’s work while focusing on editing for quotation marks indicating direct quotations and correctly cited sources. Finally, there is an MLA Works Cited Format with examples for books, periodicals, or websites for student reference.
  • In Unit 4, Week 1, Day 2 students work in pairs to edit their papers for mechanics, usage, and structure. Teacher are directed to introduce or reinforce conventions as necessary. Teachers are also asked to hold students responsible to properly format citations (including underlining/italicizing the book title, use of quotation marks to indicate direct quotations, etc.). In Unit 4, Week 1, Day 4, students read their paragraph to their partner to check that there are quotation marks to indicate direct quotations and that sources are cited correctly.

Gateway Two

Building Knowledge with Texts, Vocabulary, and Tasks

Meets Expectations

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Gateway Two Details

The Grade 10 materials meet the expectations of Gateway 2. Texts are cohesively organized into sets and are engaged alongside a comprehensive writing and research plan. The partially meet the criteria that materials contain a coherently sequenced set of text-dependent and text-specific questions and tasks that require students to build knowledge and integrate ideas across both individual and multiple texts. Questions and tasks support students’ ability to complete culminating tasks. 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

30/32

Indicator 2a

Texts are organized around a topic/topics or themes to build students' knowledge and their ability to comprehend and analyze complex texts proficiently.
4/4
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 10 meet the criteria that texts are organized around a topic/topics to build students’ knowledge and their ability to read and comprehend complex texts proficiently.

Each unit is centered around a topic and/or genre, and students build knowledge through inquiry via a variety of literary genres and different types of informational text. Each unit has a core text, anchor texts, and leveled libraries that students read focused around a particular genre. Students read, analyze, and write about a grade-level novel for each unit. Anchor texts are additional texts centered around the genre/topic. Teachers can use these as read alouds and/or copied excerpts for shared reading experiences. Leveled libraries also center around a genre and/or topic. Students read independently at least four novels in the genre, or about the topic, within each unit.

Unit 1 materials indicate that the purpose of the Literacy Lab is for students to “fall in love with reading through books.” During this unit, students read modern pieces of literary and informational literature as their core texts as well as practice writing in a variety of genres. Teachers also launch the 100 book challenge for students’ independent reading engagement across the year. In this unit, students build knowledge of literary elements, word choice, text analysis, discussion methods, and healthy writing practices while addressing texts that are engaging to the reader. Though schools can incorporate their own choice of texts, the grade level texts recommended for study address current technology issues: The House of Scorpion by Nancy Farmer by Joseph Bruchac and Privacy and Surveillance by Cath Senker.

On Week 1, Day 1, teachers share the purpose of the unit with students: “to spend the next nine weeks reading, writing, and talking about the big ideas... Each of you will pick one topic on which to become an expert. You will research this topic and write an informational book about it. By the end of this Unit, you will: 1.Be an expert on __(Unit)__. 2.Be an expert on your research topic. 3.Write and publish an informational text on your topic.” Students read core texts Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe, A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier by Ishmael Beah, and Africa: Facts and Figures by William Mark Habeeb. Students then choose a more narrowed focus and select from a variety of additional texts about various aspects of Africa such as the treatment of women, exploration, political systems, and modern Africa. During the unit students will research a chosen African country and collect information from multiple sources to write about the country’s history, government, religion, economics, culture, and social issues.

In Unit 2, students learn about the “geography, historical timelines, ecosystems, ethnic groups, culture, economy, government, and current issues related to the continent of Africa. They also will compare their life, country, current issues, etc. to that of the people of the African continent. Students read two classic literature texts: Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe and A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier by Ishmael Beah. They are paired with Africa: Facts and Figures by Mark Habeeb. These core and paired texts build knowledge around the topic of Africa from both literary fiction, literary nonfiction, and informational text. The additional texts are mostly informational texts to provide context for Africa or a different perspective (The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind by William Kamkwamba). They also build student’s knowledge on the topic.

In Unit 3, students read texts set in a “variety of eras throughout world history” as they learn about the historical fiction genre. The beginning of Unit 3 establishes the distinction between a topic and a theme. Throughout the unit, students work to comprehend complex texts in the historical world fiction genre by exploring themes: “The author’s perspective, position, lesson, moral, or message.” Students also explore literary elements and how they contribute to the theme. Additionally, students learn about the real events behind the historical fiction they are reading.

During Unit 3, students read The Things they Carried by Tim O’Brien, Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad, and The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini. From these texts, as well as books selected for independent reading from a Genre Library in which texts are organized by difficulty level, support them as they learn about the historical fiction genre. Students select a minimum of 4 novels from the historical fiction genre and must choose from at least 2 reading levels. Students read for 15-30 minutes during Independent Reading.

In Unit 4, students learn about the topic of contemporary issues “by examining the causes, effects, and possible solutions to issues such as poverty, biotechnology, human rights, climate change, and terrorism.” As students work through this research lab, they “will take a position on their issues, examine the reliability of information sources, and have numerous opportunities for passionate debate, discussion, and writing.” During Unit 4, students read The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference by Malcolm Gladwell, It’s Your World: Get Informed and Get Inspired & Get Going! by Chelsea Clinton. This texts build knowledge around the topic of economics through the reading of informational text. The additional texts are primarily informational texts to provide additional information about economics. There is also a book of poetry entitled, This Same Sky: Poems from Around the World by Naomi Nye.

Indicator 2b

Materials contain sets of coherently sequenced higher order thinking questions and tasks that require students to analyze the language (words/phrases), key ideas, details, craft, and structure of individual texts in order to make meaning and build understanding of texts and topics.
4/4
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 10 meet the criteria that materials contain sets of coherently sequenced higher order thinking questions and tasks that require students to analyze the language (words/phrases), key ideas, details, craft, and structure of individual texts in order to make meaning and build understanding of texts and topics.

The Literacy and Research Lab units are structured so that students engage with texts to build understanding through sequenced graphic organizers and question sets, and to analyze all aspects of the Common Core Standards. Materials include coherently sequenced sets of of questions that teachers use for modeling and student practice around determining central idea, word study, author’s purpose, text organization, and other features. Questions are general for all units and provide a framework for teachers to build questions for individual texts. Most question sets are coherently sequenced and give students ample opportunity to analyze language and author’s word choice, key ideas and important details, author’s craft and structure, and other components of text.

In Unit 1, Week 3, Days 1-3, students focus on differentiating connotative and denotative. During the first read of the text, students identify one new interesting word and provide a synonym. For the second read, students consider what the author said and why by examining diction and determine the connotations of these words. Students also consider why the author chose specifics words over other options with similar denotations but different connotations. Finally, students then discuss the effect the word choice has on the text. This process exemplifies how complexity increases within the lesson and questioning.

In Unit 2, Week 2, Day 2, students close read an informational text to determine the central idea. The teacher models and then has students work through a guided practice. Students work in pairs to reread the text and to identify the key details that support the central idea. Students also work together to prioritize the one detail that best supports this central idea. This activity is text-dependent and asks students to return to the text to support their analysis.

In Unit 3, Week 4, Day 3 students are asked to identify the most essential episodes in the plot. This activity is similar to an activity performed in Grade 9; however, in Grade 10, students are instructed to analyze the plot episodes rather than simply describe them. Students work together to create a list of five essential episodes, to rank them in order from most to least important, and to justify their choices with text evidence. In their independent reading, students identify where an episode begins and ends. explain what makes the episode important, and how the author uses it to advance the plot, develop a character, and or communicate his/her theme (pp. 187-188).

In Unit 4, Week 6, Day 4, students conduct research to learn how an author writes a rebuttal. Before reading independently, the teacher models guiding questions that focus on knowledge, analysis, evaluation, and comparison across texts: Where does the author address a counterargument? How does s/he address it? Is the presentation fair? Is the rebuttal convincing? What could the author have done better? Compare and contrast the handling of counterarguments in these essays. How are they all similar? Which one is the most effective? Why?

Indicator 2c

Materials contain a coherently sequenced set of text-dependent and text-specific questions and tasks that require students to build knowledge and integrate ideas across both individual and multiple texts.
2/4
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 10 partially meet the criteria that materials contain a coherently sequenced set of text-dependent and text-specific questions and tasks that require students to build knowledge and integrate ideas across both individual and multiple texts.

The ARC Core framework is designed intentionally to be text-dependent rather than text specific allowing teachers the freedom to choose select their own readings and related questions. No question is tied to a specific text, rather each unit is structured to take students through a series of research questions around chosen subtopic within the overall topic being studied, or a series of analysis questions related to standards. The publisher does offer one set of text-specific questions for the Unit 1 Core novel, but there are no other text-specific questions offered throughout the curriculum.

Most analytical questions and tasks within the lessons apply to individual texts, however, student discussion and graphic organizers help students cross-reference multiple texts to prepare for their unit tasks. With the exception of the research questions, all other questions and tasks are general, so that teachers and students can transfer them across any texts. Because of this, opportunities for students to analyze knowledge and ideas across specific texts is limited and little guidance is provided for how the texts may relate and would be left to the teacher to interpret. Additionally, teachers may need to create models and examples of well crafted text specific questions to accompany the lessons.

In Unit 1, students are reading like a critic. When students are reading the core text they are instructed to, “Identify one new or particularly interesting word. Tell your partner what you think its denotation might be and why. Give a synonym for that word. Make sure your synonym has a similar denotation AND is the same part of speech.” Later, when students are reading independently, they apply the same skill to their reading: “Share one new or interesting word the author used and explain why you think that word was important to the text.” They will then apply this to their literary critiques later in the unit. However, these tasks are very general and not in depth.

In Unit 2, students are asked to have “Repeated Readings” during which they practice “Identifying Bias,” Teachers are directed to “Have students work in pairs and go back to the text to investigate for bias- instances where the author’s opinion/perspective influences what is in the text. Model only as much as necessary; your goal is to get students excited to independently read for bias. The fastest way to do that is to get them practicing. Guide students to investigate using questions like: Who wrote the text? What is his/her purpose? How is s/ he qualified to write about this topic? Is it related to his/her personal identity? Is it related to his/her field of expertise? How do you know? How could we find out?”

In Unit 3, Week 3, Day 1, students use the following questions to analyze their independent readings: “Factual Basis: What about this novel is based on facts? How do you know? Why might that matter to the text? Theme: How does the author’s use of facts relate to his/her theme(s)? Generalization: What generalizations can you make about the factual basis of texts in this genre?”

In the Unit 4 Argument Research Lab, the teacher directions for Week 2, Day 1 read, “As student build information they need for their argument, they engage with the research questions almost daily. For example, teachers set the expectation for student analysis as they read: “What is the author saying about RQ #__? How do you know? Why does it matter to our study of...? Key Concepts: Define, Explain, Give an example, Cite the best piece of text evidence.” In Week 5, Day 2, teachers provide a series of questions on evidence, reasoning, and rebuttal to analyze an argument, including “Is all of the evidence included relevant? Is any irrelevant evidence introduced? Is the evidence sufficient to prove the claim? Why or why not? Is the reasoning sound? Does s/he include any fallacious reasoning? Is the reasoning clearly stated? Does the author present a possible counterargument? Do you think his/her presentation is fair, clear, unbiased, etc? Why or why not? Which rebuttal strategies does s/he use (e.g., expose weaknesses, provide more evidence, concede the point)? How effectively does s/he argue against (rebut) this counterargument? Does s/he respond in a way that convinces you s/he is correct? Why or why not?”

Indicator 2d

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 10 meet the criteria that the questions and tasks support students’ ability to complete culminating tasks in which they demonstrate their knowledge of a topic through integrated skills (e.g. combination of reading, writing, speaking, listening).

The materials provide multifaceted, culminating tasks in which students are asked to demonstrate proficiency in multiple reading and writing standards. In the materials, students read, write, informally speak, and listen by participating in think-pair-shares and accountable talks, and by revising and editing drafts. Prior to writing formally in the unit culminating task, students read mentor texts and work collaboratively through activities and questions that provide opportunities to develop comprehension and knowledge of a topic or topics through integrated skills. Throughout the program, “Teacher Work & Monitor for Engagement” directions prompt teachers to document and record their observations as students write and discuss as formative assessment evidence that informs their instruction and provides qualitative and quantitative information about student readiness to complete culminating tasks. Once students finish the final written culminating tasks they are given presenting/publishing options.

The introductory materials indicate in which units the reading, writing, and speaking and listening standards are addressed. While each unit focuses on a specific type of writing and may address certain reading standards aligned to that writing type, the materials indicate that the majority of writing, reading, and speaking and listening standards are addressed across all four units. Though each unit culminating task requires a significant piece of writing, the teacher can recommend how students will present their work such as peer reviews, oral presentations, slide shows, drama, blogs, debates, brochures, etc.

Unit 1 is designed to increase student reading stamina and analytical skills. The culminating task expects students to write an essay critiquing an author’s work after engaging in a teacher modeled example with the core text. Each week, students study a different aspect of text analysis, such as author’s theme, word choice, and word meaning and complete smaller tasks that provide practice of the week’s focus of study. Students are also introduced to reading, discussion, and writing structures that will be used daily across the year. The lesson framework like the example on page 171 of the instructional materials guides teachers to set expectations for the lesson and provide a standards-aligned mini-lesson. Students then read, write, and discuss complex core texts and engage in a reader’s workshop on self-selected texts. Students independently write to that text before spending time reading the core text for the unit. On page 330, materials indicate that the student outcome for this unit is “Compose a literary critique that includes valid reasoning and sufficient text evidence.” Students spend time reviewing peer work and discussing their own before publishing their writing.

In Unit 2, the culminating task is a research-based informational book on a specific topic. Students read and research to gather information about different research questions that are used in the culminating task. The speaking/listening activities are all collaborative discussions or share-outs with partners or small groups in activities/tasks that lead up to publishing of the culminating task. Multiple standards from reading, writing, speaking/listening, and conventions are evaluated on the culminating task and throughout the unit.

In Unit 3, Week 5 shows one moment of many where students engage in speaking and listening during their culminating task. In the activity, student Discussion Groups: Analyze the Argument, the directions instruct students to “work as a small group to analyze the organization of this essay.” Students answer prompts evincing “Knowledge:” How many paragraphs does the author have? Which paragraph(s) is the introduction? The conclusion? The body paragraphs?; “Analysis:” What is the purpose of each body paragraph? Why do you think the author grouped these specific pieces of evidence/reasons together into this paragraph?; and “Evaluation:” Is the organization clear and logical? Why or why not? What could the author have done to improve the organization of this argument? During this same lesson, teachers are directed to observe for content knowledge: Observe as students discuss to identify gaps in content knowledge or text comprehension. Use what you learn to inform your instruction.

In Unit 4, students are encouraged to publish their final argument in a variety of ways, including: formal essay (cover page, typed, bound, etc.), blog entry, class/school website, submission to relevant periodical/newspaper, class newspaper/periodical/journal/portfolio, PowerPoint presentation, or create a book.

Indicator 2e

Materials include a cohesive, consistent approach for students to regularly interact with word relationships and build academic vocabulary/ language in context.
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 10 meet the criteria that materials include a cohesive, year-long plan for students to interact and build key academic vocabulary words in and across texts.

Materials include a consistent approach for students to regularly interact with word relationships and build academic and figurative language in context. Overall, students are provided support in accelerating vocabulary learning with vocabulary in their reading and speaking tasks.

In the ARC Core Framework, the foundation for studying language is a significant part of the Unit 1 Literacy lab designed to build student skills in determining word meaning, identifying denotation and connotation, studying word relationships, and analyzing figurative language in the context of literary and informational text.The IRLA toolkits guide students as they learn roots and affixes to support their ability to determine word meanings as they encounter unfamiliar vocabulary.

The Unit 1 materials provide teacher guidance outlining a cohesive, regularly-occurring vocabulary development component, including an emphasis on interaction with key academic vocabulary with and from a variety of text types. Students engage with new vocabulary and have frequent opportunities for practice in discussion and written work.

Students are provided frequent opportunities to identify and study unknown words and technical vocabulary from texts, using context clues. Additionally, there are lessons within the units where students analyze the purpose of author's word choice. There is a lesson in each unit providing an opportunity for students to use powerful language in their writing tasks. Teachers model and use academic vocabulary necessary for building literacy and analytical skills. Students discuss vocabulary in groups, utilize it in writing tasks, and track new words in a notebook regularly.

In Unit 1, Week 2, Days 4-5 students learn “Why Vocabulary Matters” (p. 179) about the three tiers of vocabulary and how they will apply the tiers to their reading and vocabulary study. The vocabulary lesson framework for teachers includes the following tasks as well as opportunities for students to write from texts to practice using the new vocabulary. This serves as a framework for units going forward. During Weeks 3-4, students study word choice and figurative language to practice becoming good literary critics. Some sample tasks are: “Writing Focus #1: Pick the three most important words used by the author and explain what role they played in shaping the text (Meaning? Tone? Theme?). Use evidence to support your answer” (p. 211).

In Unit 2, students extend their learning of language from Unit 1 to research informational texts and write an informational book. As students practice analyzing complex text and synthesizing information across texts, they also focus on author’s word choice, denotation and connotation, and figurative language. Lesson frameworks provide time for teachers to model and students to practice highlighting new words in texts, determining meaning, and understanding how those words impact the meaning of the text. Students also track their word learning in a notebook and the class maintains a glossary as a group. Though this occurs throughout the unit, Week 4 focuses on word choice and language in texts for students to model in their own writing. The following are a few examples of vocabulary tasks across the unit. Page 11: The teacher sets the expectations for vocabulary instruction that will happen across all texts: “As we research, we will encounter new vocabulary words. Words that are specific to our Unit and help us become experts on our Unit are called technical vocabulary words. You will each be responsible for being able to define and correctly use these terms. Today, as we read, I noticed the word _____. Everyone find that word. Which sentence or phrase in the text do you think best defines ___? Why? Who can define ___ in your own words?” Page 57: “Let’s re-read this text to learn about the key concepts/technical vocabulary related to this Research Question.

  • Define
  • Explain
  • Give an example”

In Unit 3, students are encouraged to add new domain-specific words to a glossary. The teacher is to use the “Gradual Release of Responsibility/ Apprenticeship, I do/You watch: Model Clear Goal” The teacher models the behavior or the use of key vocabulary, concepts, and thought processes as s/he wants students to do it.

In Unit 4, Week 4, Day 4, there is “Guided Practice” where students work through a second section/new passage, using text evidence to identify the author’s perspective and examples of logos, ethos, and pathos.

Indicator 2f

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 10 meet the criteria that materials contain a year long, cohesive plan of writing instruction and tasks which support students in building and communicating substantive understanding of topics and texts.

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 10 meet the expectation for materials supporting students’ increasing writing skills over the course of the school year though engagement with texts. Each of the four units is built on a series of research questions that allow students to read, write, and discuss daily to develop substantive understanding of the texts and topics. Some of the topics covered in-depth by 10th grade are Africa, the genre of world historical fiction, and contemporary issues in society. Writing lessons and projects are authentically integrated with reading, speaking, listening, and language throughout the units providing students with a variety of tasks and prompts; however, he daily instructional model and unit structures are similar across units allowing students understand the expectations and process of writing across the year. Students learn and practice writing skills during the beginning of the units and then formally apply what they have practiced at the end of the units, writing formal pieces using the writing process.

The materials contain a year-long, cohesive writing plan that engages students in the use of textual evidence to support analysis, arguments, and claims. Most of the writing tasks provide scaffolding for crafting strong and clear written pieces through the use of the writing process as well as teacher and peer feedback. Most written tasks require students to make meaningful connections between texts and their own writing. Writing instruction supports students’ writing ability to demonstrate proficiency at grade level at the end of the year, and the instructional materials include a variety of guidance, protocols, models, and support for teachers to implement and monitor students’ writing development. Teachers are asked to model writing through think alouds and to use mentor texts as supports for student writing. Also, teachers engage in weekly PLC meetings to discuss the progress of student writing and are provided a variety of questions and activities to monitor writing.

In Unit 1, Week 4, students are introduced to the “Figures of Speech—Beyond Metaphors” chart. Students work to find examples of figurative language from their own speech or familiar images/commercials/lyrics to see if they can categorize these examples by type. Later in the lesson, students write a constructed response that uses evidence from the text to answers “Which figure of speech was the most important word choice the author made? Why?” Instructional materials refer students to Toulmin Framework to structure their arguments. As part of the instructional practice of the lesson, teachers employ think aloud to model an exemplar argument for students. Students then collaborate and share their writing with partners, provide feedback, and some share with the group. Teachers are directed to use evidence from students’ work to decide what to teach/review/clarify tomorrow

In Unit 3, Week 5, teachers model writing all the components of a comparative essay. In Day 5, teachers model crafting a conclusion that restates the claim in different words and extends the claim to answer the question ‘so what?’ After the model, students have guided/independent practice to write their own conclusions as teachers conference one-on-one with students.

During Unit 4: Argument Research Lab - Sports and Society, students answer a series of research questions based on their in-depth study of a chosen sport and a controversial issue within that sport. For the first five weeks students use provided rubrics and the Toulmin Argument Framework to study author’s perspective and purpose, conflicting viewpoints, Aristotle’s rhetoric, and analyzing arguments in texts. After practicing writing different types of claims and supporting or refuting those claims, students spend weeks 6 and 7 drafting and revising their own argumentative essay. During Weeks 8 & 9, students publish and present their arguments through a debate or mock trial. Throughout the unit, students write analytical responses to the texts they are reading and share their writing with peers for feedback. The unit also includes teacher modeling of writing types and building arguments.

Indicator 2g

Materials include a progression of focused, shared research and writing projects to encourage students to develop and synthesize knowledge and understanding of a topic using texts and other source materials.
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 10 meet the criteria that materials include a progression of focused, shared research and writing projects to encourage students to synthesize knowledge and understanding of a topic using texts and other source materials.

Over the course of the year, the four units of the ARC Core Framework require students to explore ideas and gather information to write informational reports, literary analyses, genre pieces, and arguments. Students develop knowledge of topics through research, and the three units that include research projects culminate with essays. While the materials do not provide a structure for including research from sources other than the books included with the materials, there is an expectation that students will find information online.

In each unit, students read core texts, teacher chosen texts, and independent reads selected from the publisher-provided leveled text sets to build a body of evidence. Unit activities require students to synthesize information by utilizing multiple graphic organizers, writing tasks, reader response tasks, and structured discussions completed as a whole group, within small groups, or as individuals. Generally, lessons allow time for students to engage in all three learning settings. Instructional materials provide students with daily independent reading, research, writing, and discussion opportunities per the model lesson framework.

The instructional materials provide opportunities for both “short” and “long” projects across grades and grade bands. Each grade level in Unit 4 has similar skills, objectives, and standards addressed. The progression of research skills do not change from grade level to grade level; however progression is achieved through the complexity of text and topics students are reading about within each unit and the application those skills applied to the topics.

While there are no research activities in Unit 1, students engage in a Literacy Lab. Instructional materials indicate that the purpose of the Literacy Lab is for students to “fall in love with reading through books,” (48). During this unit, students do not engage in a substantial research project, but instead read modern pieces of literary and informational text to practice writing in a variety of genres and to build knowledge of literary elements, word choice, text analysis, discussion methods, and healthy writing practices.

In Unit 2, students research the continent of Africa and choose a specific country to study closely. Teachers are prompted on Week 1, Day 1 (9) to tell students that they will become experts and write an informational book on the topic. Teachers can also recommend various ways for students to publish and present their findings such as blogs, news articles, slideshows, or dramatic interpretations. For this unit, students answer the following guiding questions (3) across the 9-week research study: “In this unit, students are to select an one African country to research and be able to:

1. Draw a map of the country from memory and label the 15 most important human and physical features.

2. Compare and contrast the various ecosystems in your county.

3. Place 10 milestones in your country’s history on a timeline. Discuss the significance of each. 4. Describe the ethnic groups and cultures of your country.

5. Describe the current government of your country and compare it to that of the USA.

6. Describe the economy of your country and some of the economic issues it faces.

7. Discuss the current issues facing your country and how they impact the rest of the world.”

At the beginning of Unit 3, students read a volume of text on their topic and process the sub-topics with mini claims, evidence, and reasoning details. Students then conduct mini debates. The first four weeks prepare students for the culminating research at the end of the unit, which is to write an argument integrating all the information their researched topic and skills learned in the four weeks prior.

In Unit 4, during the first week, students read a multitude of books on the general topic with the goal in mind to narrow down their choice to a specific area of focus within that topic. Students also write and discuss the information read this week on the general topic. On Day 4, students engage in a “Topic Trial” in which they read and “try on” three topics to see if they like them. With instructions to look-out for any issues, controversies, or problems related to each of their three research topic choices, students read for five minutes on each topic to decide which one to study for the next several weeks. Guiding questions include: Which topic has the most? Which ones are most interesting to you? Students then have an “Accountable Talk” and share what topics they might research and why they might research it. As a “Group Share,” students share who found an author’s opinion or something controversial? Students then write about their idea using an argumentative format: “Claim: ____ would be a good research topic for me because.... Evidence • Reasoning Include at least one direct quote. Cite your source(s)” On Day 5, coached by and with final approval from the teacher, students make their final research topic selections.

Indicator 2h

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 10 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.

Though students read a core set of texts in each unit, the materials are designed to offer students a voluminous amount of independent reading; students read independently every day in each unit. The publisher created its own text leveling and student reading leveling system called the IRLA (Independent Reading Level Assessment), in which students are able to choose books for Independent Reading at their appropriate level. The Teacher’s Guide offers an overview of the reading program and page 30 of the Unit 1 Literacy Lab shows how each reading level from early grades to 12th builds on a specific reading skill.

Students have “Independent Reading in Leveled Libraries” daily in class for 20–40 minutes. In all four units students are expected to read at least four novels in the genre/topic of study on his/her own (these can be any levels, from the Genre Library or elsewhere). Reading homework for all units is suggested to be at students’ independent reading level. A reading culture is outlined in the prefatory materials, which strives for 100% on-target in-class reading and 95% on-target home reading through specific routines. The framework provides two leveled texts sets - the 100 Book Challenge and the Hook Book Library - both of which are designed to help students find a book that is engaging and at their reading level. The independent reading books from these libraries may be below grade level, but the texts read during in-class independent reading are at or above grade level.

In Unit 1, during each daily Literacy Block laid out by the framework, students participate in 15-30 minutes of sustained independent reading in class. “Students practice applying today’s Focus to self-selected texts at a variety of levels. At least a portion of the reading is spent with texts within the Thematic Unit” (61). The framework also suggests a Weekly Goal: “Students read for 5 hours a week, with some time spent reading texts within the Thematic Unit and some time in complete free-choice. Reading time can be spread across the school day and/or at home” (61). Unit 1, Week 4, introduces the Home Coach as a system to help students engage and remain accountable for their at home reading. Teachers are instructed to “establish a connection with each student’s home coach. Organize a parent information session. Call homes. Use this week to: Determine who will serve as home coaches (parents, grandparents, older siblings, etc.). Help home coaches understand the goals of home reading, and ways to ensure success. Set up in-class support systems (e.g., enlisting volunteers) for students who may need a surrogate home coach. Build routines for taking books home.” (297).

Unit 2, the Informational Research Lab, follows the same expectations outlined in Unit 1. Students engage in daily independent reading of core texts and student-selected texts. At the beginning of the unit, students sample the leveled texts sets to help determine their topic of study and choice of texts. The Unit 2 Introduction shares the expectation for reading in the inquiry based units (2-4): “Read at least 30-60 minutes a day from self-selected texts, including texts on the topic and general wide reading.” (14). Unit 2 also explains the framework for the Reader’s Workshop as the purpose of moving students to independence including a Focus for Independent Reading/Accountable Talk, and IRLA Conferences/Strategy Groups for Today (33).

In Unit 3, teachers are given a focus for student’s independent reading during Week 1. “Transfer to Independent Reading” Focus for Independent Reading/Accountable Talk Ask and answer the Key Question (or part of it). Will constraints need to be placed on student choice to ensure they have texts that work with the Key Question/Concepts? (Common constraints: read at least one fiction book or one informational text on ____, or one biography, etc.) Don’t constrain choice for all 30 minutes. IRLA Conferences/Strategy Groups for Today, Teacher coaching focuses on: 1st: reading engagement, 2nd: strategic instruction to move reading levels Allocate time equitably, not equally—spend more/more frequent time with students who are furthest behind/making the least reading growth.

Gateway Three

Usability

Meets Expectations

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Gateway Three Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 10 meet the criteria that materials are well-designed and take into account effective lesson structure and pacing. The framework is designed to allow teachers the freedom to adjust the pacing of daily lessons within weekly plans as needed. ARC Materials provide review and practice resources such as evidence and reading logs, reference charts, task checklists, constructed response rubrics and writing rubrics for larger writing projects, graphic organizers, masters, research cards (which include questions), and informational writing cards. Standards connect to all areas of the program and are included in the introductory materials for each unit, as well as on the writing rubrics, lesson planners, and assignment. All directions and explanations provide adult-level suggestions for how to teach the content. Materials include instructions to parents/guardians as to how students are to incorporate the independent reading at home and the role of the parent/guardian in that success.

The prefatory materials, teacher instructional notes, and sidebars contained within the daily lessons provide thorough explanations that refer regularly to the standards. The IRLA gives a framework for assessing and tracking student reading level and the teacher determines what skills or strategies should be addressed in differing types of instruction. The materials contain ample resources and guidance for student accountability with independent reading based on student reading choice and motivation. Materials meet the criteria that materials provide teachers with strategies for meeting the needs of range of learners so the content is accessible to all learners and supports them in meeting or exceeding the grade-level standards. The ARC materials provide regular opportunities for all learners to engage with grade-level text.

Materials are compatible with a variety of web-based internet browsers and follow universal programming style. While students regularly are invited to use technology to research topics, there is little explicit support for teachers to guide students in developing navigation skills for this area. The IRLA leveling system provides teachers the ability to digitally track how individual students are gaining proficiency in reading grade-level literary and informational texts. The lessons provided can be easily adapted to a variety of classrooms. At the end of each unit, materials prompt teachers to use technology for students to publish their work to share with the class.

Criterion 3a - 3e

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8/8
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Criterion Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 10 meet the criteria that materials are well-designed and take into account effective lesson structure and pacing. The framework is designed to allow teachers the freedom to adjust the pacing of daily lessons within weekly plans as needed. ARC Materials provide review and practice resources such as evidence and reading logs, reference charts, task checklists, constructed response rubrics and writing rubrics for larger writing projects, graphic organizers, masters, research cards (which include questions), and informational writing cards. Standards connect to all areas of the program and are included in the introductory materials for each unit, as well as on the writing rubrics, lesson planners, and assignments.

Indicator 3a

Materials are well-designed (i.e., allows for ease of readability and are effectively organized for planning) and take into account effective lesson structure (e.g., introduction and lesson objectives, teacher modelling, student practice, closure) and short-term and long-term pacing.
2/2
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 10 meet the criteria that materials are well-designed and take into account effective lesson structure and pacing.

The materials demonstrate effective lesson structure and take into account pacing. An ARC Literacy Lab Overview is provided for each unit. Components of the lesson are available for 120- or 75-90-minute literacy blocks and offer ranges of minutes within. The suggested times allotted for activities gives teachers flexibility in pacing lessons across days, weeks, and units according to the needs of students. A number of other supports give teachers options to effectively pace and structure learning.

The blocks of time for English in materials are for 90-120 minutes. The publisher materials state, “ARC frameworks are intended to be flexible structures that educators adjust as needed. Although the Literacy Lab is organized into “6 weeks,” it is common for educators to need 8 or 9 weeks in the first year.”

Each unit begins with students reading and analyzing texts based on the unit’s topic. Then students turn that analysis into a formal writing process. The first unit is a Literacy Lab where students focus on components of literature the first four weeks and then write literary critiques the last two weeks being a 6 week unit. Units 2, 3, and 4 are all 9 week units. Unit 2 is a research units where students are researching information based on a social studies or science topic. Unit 3 focuses on researching a specific genre. Every unit has a similar daily structure. Students read complex text, they write to the text, they read independently, and then write independently. Students read the complex text daily for about 15-30 minutes. They read independently for about 20-40 minutes. They write for about 20-40 minutes daily.

There are also checklists, rubrics, and reading logs for teachers to track student progress through the lessons. Focus Standards are provided each week, as well as an overview of the daily lesson plans. During Week 1 there is a day by day detailed instruction, after that there is a framework in the following weeks. Daily lessons provide teachers the outline of the lesson, as well as prompts for what the teacher may say or how to present tasks. These plans also include a column of teacher notes for additional guidance and research. The Literacy and Research Lab instruction includes parts such as CCSS Mini-Lessons, Read-Discuss Complex Text-Readers’ Workshop, Writing, Read-Alouds, Small group and whole group work, Text-based discussions, and reflection opportunities. The Research Labs instruction includes goals for expertise, reading, writing, vocabulary, art, and final projects. Each unit also comes with a series of graphic organizers for collecting text evidence, independent reading support, task rubrics, and discussion rubrics/guidelines.

In the prefatory materials in each unit, the materials explicitly state that the framework provides teacher self-direction: “There is no perfect script that will work for all personalities and all classrooms. Instead, we give you a highly structured framework that works in general from which you will need to create the version that works for you, in your district, in your school, in your classroom, with your students” (Unit 1 p. 41).

A Pacing Guide provides a breakdown of each daily literacy block, either the 120 or 75-90 minute block. There are three parts to each daily block: Read/Write/Discuss Complex Text, Reader’s Workshop, and Writing. The Guide reminds teachers there is flexibility in the pacing: “Depending on the lesson and student energy, teachers may spend more time writing or more time reading” (Unit 1 p. 60-61).

Additional pacing support is provided for the weekly lesson topics. For example, In Unit 1, the suggested time frame is 6 weeks. In Unit 2, the suggested time frame is 9 weeks. The curriculum is broken into three phases: Phase 1: Initiate Academic Community, Phase 2: Initial Assessment and Goal Setting, Phase 3: Strategic Instruction/Building Expertise. The first two phases are the reading portion of the unit while the third phase is for the larger writing/research project. The Guide reminds teachers there is flexibility in pacing: “*Weeks are approximate. Teachers should be welcome to expand or condense as needed” (Unit 1 p. 56).

In Unit 1, the typical daily time routine is:

  • Lesson Focus: Read Like A Critic For Theme Introduction/Mini-Lesson 10–20 minutes
  • Read/Discuss Complex Text 15–30 minutes
  • Readers’ Workshop Goal: 20–35 minutes
  • Writing 15–30 minutes

In Unit 3, the instructional materials provide teachers a “Research Lab Daily Structure,” document (p. 10) to guide them through the pacing of research activities throughout the unit and a “Genre Study Research Lab Pacing Guide,” (19) to organize learning activities throughout the unit. In addition, an organizer that outlines the focus activities by the day of the week prefaces the Week 1 lesson plans.

Indicator 3b

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 10 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.

ARC publishers indicate that the materials are inquiry based and encourage self-directed learning with an emphasis on independent reading and study. Though there are guidelines for 165 lessons which can be completed in a school year, the publishers also indicate that the curriculum should be considered a framework. On Page 59 of the unit introduction, publishers indicate that there is “no perfect script that will work for all personalities and all classrooms. Instead, we give you a highly structured framework that works in general from which you will need to create the version that works for you, in your district, in your school, in your classroom, with your students.”

The framework is designed to allow teachers the freedom to adjust the pacing of daily lessons within weekly plans as needed. In the prefatory materials in each unit, a Pacing Guide is provided with the weekly lesson topics. For example, In Unit 1, the suggested time frame is 6 weeks. In Unit 2, the suggested time frame is 9 weeks. The curriculum is broken into three phases: Phase 1: Initiate Academic Community, Phase 2: Initial Assessment and Goal Setting, Phase 3: Strategic Instruction/ Building Expertise. The first two phases are the reading portion of the unit while the third phase is for the larger writing/research project. The Guide reminds teachers there is flexibility in pacing: “*Weeks are approximate. Teachers should be welcome to expand or condense as needed” (Unit 1 p. 56).

Also in each unit, a Pacing Guide provides a breakdown of each daily literacy block, either the 120 or 75-90 minute block. There are three parts to each daily block: Read/Write/Discuss Complex Text, Reader’s Workshop, and Writing. The Guide reminds teachers there is flexibility in the pacing: “Depending on the lesson and student energy, teachers may spend more time writing or more time reading” (Unit 1 p. 60-61).

Unit 3 contains an “Example Yearlong Scope and Sequence” (p. 10) which implies that teachers may pace the content so as to maximize what students are able to learn throughout the year.

In Unit 4, students are able to become an expert on a contemporary issue by reading as much material as possible and focusing only on the following Research Questions/Prompts:

  • 1. Create a timeline of at least 10 milestones in the history of this issue. Discuss the significance of each.
  • 2. Describe the most important national effects of this issue. How is it being handled in our country?
  • 3. Describe the most important global effects of this issue. How is it being handled internationally?
  • 4. What organizations are involved with this issue?
  • 5. Who are the influential people involved with this issue?
  • 6. How can people become informed about this issue?
  • 7. Take and support a position on how we, as a world, should solve this issue.

Indicator 3c

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 10 meet the criteria that the student resources include ample review and practice resources, clear directions, and explanation, and correct labeling of reference aids (e.g., visuals, maps, etc.)

ARC Materials provide review and practice resources such as evidence and reading logs, reference charts, task checklists, constructed response rubrics and writing rubrics for larger writing projects, graphic organizers, masters, research cards (which include questions), and informational writing cards. The lessons provide teacher guidance for modeling, as well as opportunities for independent or small group practice. Teachers are prompted to give clear directions, and directions are also found on the graphic organizers or checklists provided in the units. The materials provide teachers with directions and guidance on usage and how to direct student use and also provide blackline masters that teachers copy and distribute to students.

The practice resources are specifically designed for each unit to help students to complete the culminating project. All other practice resources, such as questions posed by the teacher that students either speak or write about, are teacher directed. The reference aids and resources are correctly labeled. Teacher directions are very clear and an appendix in each unit provides lesson planning materials general to the unit. In the prefatory materials, all the worksheets for students are compiled together.

In Unit 1, students are provided with a reading survey, the Toulmin’s Argument Framework, a College- Ready Reader Scale, a Writer’s Log, a Genre Record Chart, a Genre Profile Chart, an Interest Inventory, Editing Checklist, etc. In the first section of the daily lessons of Unit 1, Week 1, Day 4, teacher’s lead a lesson on the CCSS standard that connects genre and theme. Students use the handout, Genre Profile, in small groups while reading/discussing the Core novel. In the second section of the daily lesson, students determine the genre of their chosen books and consider “why it matters to the text.” Students fill in the Genre Profile independently with the characters, setting, plot/events, theme, structure, and language of their books. There are no directions provided to students on the worksheet. All the directions for completion are in the teacher’s edition and are part of the first section of the day’s lesson: Read/Discuss Complex Text. There are suggested questions to guide students in understanding how character, setting, etc. are related to genre. This is similar for all handouts in all units.

Units 3 and 4 include a number of resources and documents related to the content, including graphic organizers, mapping documents, genre cards, sequencing organizers, thinking maps, rubrics, reading surveys, and other visuals and graphics that support student learning of specific content. Some of the resources, such as the reading surveys, are offered in several languages. Each of the resources is designed in a uniform fashion in terms of fonts and font size. The resources have visual appeal and are clearly labeled and titled.

Indicator 3d

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 10 meet the criteria that materials include publisher-produced alignment documentation of the standards addressed by specific questions, tasks, and assessment items.

Alignment documentation is provided for all questions, tasks, and assessments as a framework with general guidance for the teacher. Standards connect to all areas of the program and are included in the introductory materials for each unit, as well as on the writing rubrics, lesson planners, and assignments. An instructional focus is articulated at the beginning of each week. Within the daily lessons, standards are repeated and are connected to specific activities. Culminating performance projects are connected to standards as well, and several handouts provide students with teacher explanations of their connection to the standards. Teachers are provided a rubric for scoring these tasks.

The Unit 1 Literacy Lab requires students to address W.1 by writing a literary critique. Students are reminded of the CCSS Reading Literature standards (RL.2, RL.3, RL.4, RL.5, RL.6, RL.7, RL.9) covered in the unit. Some examples of how this instruction is achieved over the unit include:

  • In Unit 1, Week 4, in the Week 4 Framework pages, different figurative language devices are explained in great detail with mini-lessons that are connected to different standards for the unit. For example, one of the devices is hyperbole and the mini-lesson states: “Teacher Work: Post the 9-10 Common Core Language Standard #5. Introduce the figure of speech hyperbole,” followed by a definition and lesson to help students understand and practice the device before reading a passage that contains hyperbole (p.317).
  • In Unit 1, Week 5, the culminating writing task is introduced and a rubric for writing a proficient answer is provided that directly connects to CCSS W.1. Students follow the writing process: “Claim: Introduce a precise, knowledgeable claim that is debatable, defensible, narrow, and specific. Establish the significance of the claim” through “Conclusion: Provide a concluding statement or section that follows from and supports the argument presented.” Each aspect is connected to the language of the standards.
  • In Unit 1, Week 6, students go through the edit/revise process with a rubric designed to connect to CCSS W.5/W.6/L.1/L.2.

The Unit 2 Research Lab requires students to synthesize information across texts in their research study of Africa to write an informational book on their country of choice. Students refer back to the CCSS Reading Information standards (RLI.1, RI.2, RI.3, RI.4, RI.5, RI.6, RI.7, RI.9, RL.9) they covered in the unit with a focus on RI.7, creating visuals for their informational book.

Unit 4 (p. 23) provides a document “All Students Master Common Core Standards” that describes how the different components of the unit connect to the standards and includes an explanation of the purpose of “Common Core Mini-Lessons” within the plans. To illustrate, Week 2, Day 2 targets standards R.6: Assess how [an author’s] point of view or purpose shapes the content and style of a text; RI.9-10.6: Determine an author’s point of view or purpose in a text and analyze how an author uses rhetoric to advance that point of view or purpose; and W1: Write arguments to support claims in an analysis of substantive topics or texts using valid reasoning and relevant and sufficient evidence.

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 Grade 10 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.

All materials contain a simple, clean visual design that is neither distracting nor chaotic. The font, size, margins, and spacing are easily legible and with little variation. The consumable handouts present a neat, consistent layout that easy to understand with sufficient space for student notation. The supporting documents and resources engage students with a clearly labeled and focused purpose for the task.

Units are organized in a similar structure. The lessons are provided in a clear outline format and are accompanied by graphic organizers, charts, rubrics, worksheets, tables and other blackline masters that are easy to read and understand. Materials to be printed for students contain no distracting images and are user-friendly for students.

Criterion 3f - 3j

Materials support teacher learning and understanding of the Standards.
7/8
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Criterion Rating Details

The instructional materials for grade 10 contain the ARC Teacher’s Edition, which contains a volume of information, including annotations and suggestions for presenting unit content, as well as guidance on the use of embedded technology to enhance student learning. All directions and explanations provide adult-level suggestions for how to teach the content. The introductory materials of each Teacher Edition outline the standards that are addressed in each Literacy and Research lab, and the Teacher Editions explain the purpose of the ELA/Literacy standards for instruction and how they support the curriculum across the year. Materials include instructions to parents/guardians as to how students are to incorporate the independent reading at home and the role of the parent/guardian in that success.

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.
1/2
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 10 partially 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.

The ARC Teacher’s Edition contains a volume of information, including annotations and suggestions for presenting unit content, as well as guidance on the use of embedded technology to enhance student learning. The IRLA school pacing guide provides supports for how to engage with the curriculum. The instructional materials regularly prompt teachers to model learning tasks and to share explicit directions with students. Teachers are also provided general questions, writing prompts, rubrics, and examples of how to address standards, vocabulary, discussion, and other topics. The teacher materials provide guidance for tracking student reading progress, recommendations for student projects, and rubrics or guidance for scoring student work and holding conferences with students

There are prefatory materials that thoroughly explain the purpose of each unit and how/when instructional handouts/graphic organizers should be presented to students. The weekly lessons have annotated sidebars with suggestions and recommendations for teaching different skills and standards; in fact, many annotations in the curriculum function as examples from outside experts and sources that might be provided in a professional development setting. Finally, the curriculum provides an online resource, SchoolPace, where teachers can visit the IRLA Resource Center.

Annotations and suggestions are presented within the Literacy Lab and Research Lab Teacher Editions. These annotations and suggestions present the structure of the lesson; however, some teachers may need more support and guidance with presenting material. Guidance in analyzing or teaching the unit texts is not provided; the materials do not contain specific answers or anticipated student responses.

Indicator 3g

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 10 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.

There is educational research found throughout this program providing the rationale and background knowledge for teachers as professionals and life long learners. The Teacher Editions for each unit contain ample descriptions, explanations, and examples of instructional literacy concepts that help students to deepen their understanding of the content being presented. All directions and explanations provide adult-level suggestions for how to teach the content. Prefatory materials thoroughly explain the purpose of each unit and how the literary concepts connect to the instruction. The weekly lessons have annotated sidebars for teaching different literary skills and standards, and many annotations in the curriculum function as examples from experts and resources that might be provided in a professional development setting.

The teacher materials contain multiple ways for teachers to build their own knowledge, including recommending external online resources for teacher development and literacy instruction support. Materials routinely offer supports and ideas for teacher PLCs, building data walls, and building student literacy.

ARC is an inquiry-based, program/framework. Jeffrey Wilhelm, a contributor to the research, writes, “Inquiry is the daily craft of teachers as reflective practitioners and professional knowledge-makers, as well as part of our work as collaborative fellow learners with students being apprenticed into the expert practices of readers, composers, and problem-solvers of all kinds. And that is why inquiry through apprenticeship is the smartest way to teach: because it makes both students and teachers smarter in ways that count in school, in real disciplinary work, and in that most authentic of all testing situations—out in the world of democratic work and living. —Jeffrey Wilhelm”

Indicator 3h

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 10 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.

The introductory materials of each Teacher Edition outline the standards that are addressed in each Literacy and Research lab, and the Teacher Editions explain the purpose of the ELA/Literacy standards for instruction and how they support the curriculum across the year. The Teacher Edition routinely offers CCSS mini-lessons with teacher guidance for what that looks like and how to engage students. Each weekly overview indicates what the focus standards for the week are and the first two weeks of instruction provide a one to two page framework for the teacher and student work in order to address the focus standards. This framework is used throughout the unit, and the curriculum emphasizes how the units, weekly lessons, and daily lessons, and individual parts within the daily lessons connect to the standards. Typically the specific wording of the standard is listed with each activity. Within weekly lesson plans, there are standards listed next to lessons; in every unit, there is a “Pacing Guide” at the beginning of each unit that states the week and the standard being focused on; and in Unit 1, there is a Scope and Sequence page that includes the CCSS included in each unit.

An example of the standard being listed next to the lesson is in Unit 1, CCSS Mini-Lesson: What Are Proficient High School Readers Like & Why Does It Matter? (R.2/R.10)

An example of a planning page in Unit 3, Week 1 Day 1, lists “Focus Standard(s) R.9: Analyze how two or more texts address similar themes or topics in order to build knowledge or to compare approaches that the authors take.”

Indicator 3i

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 10 meet the criteria that materials contain explanations of the instructional approaches of the program and identification of the research based strategies.

The ARC curricular materials provide descriptions of the instructional approaches featured. Throughout the program, instructional reasoning is explained and ELA experts are cited. This information is accompanied by the emphasis of evidence-based strategies and references to their origins. Many teacher-facing annotations serve as examples vetted by prominent academics in the field and as resources delivered in professional development settings. The introductory materials for the Literacy and Research Labs, for example, provide a series of explanations and research-based approaches such as inquiry, literacy development, reading culture, school success, and social purpose, to support the publisher rationale for the curriculum. Moreover, research-based strategies are embedded within units as lesson sidebars, and Works Cited/Consulted sections highlighting the foundational research used to design the program are included in each unit as well.

Several pages are devoted to explaining the program rationale for building student knowledge through teachers and students as researchers. The program also emphasizes student choice and ownership in learning as seen in this provided quote by Mike Anderson, author of Learning to Choose; Choosing to Learn: “When students leave school, they will enter a world where self-motivation, creativity, autonomy, and perseverance are all critically important, and these are characteristics that are hard to practice in an environment centered on standardization and compliance.”

The “Big Idea” pages of the ARC Core Overview contain explanations of instructional approaches. Unit 1, for example, describes the writing-intensive nature of the program (p. 25). The information also explains the theoretical approach of connecting writing and reading tasks.

Indicator 3j

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 10 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.

Materials provide reading logs and supports for parents/guardians who are embraced as “home coaches” and encouraged to sign contracts to support student reading. Signed contracts, as well as student progress reports, are logged into the online tracking system, School Pace. Teachers are provided with letters outlining guidelines for the 100 Book to send home for a signature; these letters are printed in English, Spanish, and Chinese. The concluding materials for the Unit 1 Literacy Lab offer teachers in-depth guidance for sharing the reading program with parents to create a partnership that include recommendations for rallies, assemblies, parent meetings, and incentives. Teachers are prompted to include the outside community and are given model letters that can be used to request sponsors for the reading program. Materials also provide several pages to send to parents or home coaches as a guide for supporting reading, understanding phonics, and clarifying the IRLA color/coding system.

In addition, ARC provides a letter to parents/guardians about the purpose of each unit. Materials include instructions to parents/guardians regarding how students are to incorporate the independent reading at home and the role of the parent/guardian in that success. Parents/guardians are provided with instruction for what to observe in their student’s independent reading, how to assess if they are making progress, and evaluation/checklists to track progress.

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 10 meet the expectations that materials regularly and systematically offer assessment opportunities that genuinely measure student progress. The prefatory materials, teacher instructional notes, and sidebars contained within the daily lessons provide thorough explanations that refer regularly to the standards. The IRLA gives a framework for assessing and tracking student reading level and the teacher determines what skills or strategies should be addressed in differing types of instruction. Both the IRLA Framework and the weekly units consistently provide opportunities for teachers to observe student progress in specific standards, whether reading or writing. The materials contain ample resources and guidance for student accountability with independent reading based on student reading choice 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 Grade 10 meet the expectations that materials regularly and systematically offer assessment opportunities that genuinely measure student progress.

The Independent Reading Level Assessment (IRLA) Conferencing & Formative Assessment Independent Reading Levels & Student-Teacher Conferences consistently assess student progress. The teacher materials indicate that the IRLA introduced in the Literacy Lab in Unit 1 is used to diagnose student reading levels and track their progress over the year. The assessment system helps teachers to identify what skills and strategies students have mastered or need to focus on.

Students are also assessed by a unit task that generally requires a substantial writing piece in the mode that they have studied in the unit. Teachers are provided with checklists, rubrics, notetakers, protocols for conferencing, and student exemplars. The daily framework for lessons prompts teachers to monitor students and provide immediate feedback given through student and teacher conferencing.

Unit 3: World Historical Fiction, pages 22 & 23 provide a rubric for W.3 to score student work and short answer responses for the unit task of writing a memoir. Page 24 offers guidelines for teachers to complete a pre-assessment of students and use the provided rubric to score:

  • “Part 1: Have students read a short text in the genre. The text should be at grade level.
  • Part 2: Ask students to write a response to the question: What is a central theme of this text? How does the author use literary elements to develop this theme?”

In Unit 4: Contemporary Issues, page 5 provides the Final project rubric to score student work for the unit task of writing an argument. To support student learning around W.1, page 27 provides a detailed rubric for assessing student work as they practice argumentative writing.

Page 26 offers guidelines for teachers to pre-assess students based on the provided rubric:

  • “Ask students to write an argument related to the text they have just read. E.g., Should school administrators be able to go into students’ lockers without students’ permission?
  • Take a position and provide 3 good pieces of evidence in support of that position.”

Teachers are provided with checklists, rubrics, notetakers, protocols for conferencing, and student exemplars. There are pre and post assessments, writing rubrics, and assessment guides. Students are constantly assessed with immediate feedback given through student and teacher conferencing.

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 Grade 10 meet the criteria that assessments clearly denote which standards are being emphasized.

The IRLA Framework state the standards clearly, and each assessment component found in the materials articulates the learning standards assessed. The prefatory materials, teacher instructional notes, and sidebars contained within the daily lessons provide thorough explanations that refer regularly to the standards.

The materials provide teachers recommendations for daily assessment or monitoring of student work that are connected to standards-aligned units. Unit pre-assessments are recommended for teachers to assess students based on the writing standard addressed. Rubrics assessing the writing standards are provided in each unit, as well as rubrics or checklists for editing, discussion, and student responses.

In the ARC Core Informational Research Lab Pacing Guide Grades High School, week 2, students are learning Central Ideas, Central Ideas and Key Details, Supporting Ideas, CCSS RI.2 HS Constructed Response Thinking Map Constructed Response to Key Question RQ 1.

The “CCSS W.2 Rubric for a Proficient Informational Text” (p. 289) provides clear denotation of the standards. The preceding page also contains a breakdown of the standard by grade 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 Grade 10 meet the criteria that materials the criteria that assessments provide sufficient guidance to teachers for interpreting student performance and suggestions for follow up.

ARC materials present teachers with rubrics and suggestions for assessments. The IRLA gives a framework for assessing and tracking student reading level and the teacher determines what skills or strategies should be addressed in differing types of instruction. As part of the curriculum, teacher work includes “1-on-1 Conferences: Baseline Reading Levels Use the IRLA/ENIL to conduct 1-on-1 formative assessment conferences to identify student baseline reading levels. Document Use the Status of the Class/eIRLA to document your observations about individual students’ levels. Goal: Baseline reading level for each student entered in SchoolPace by the end of Week 3. Accountable Talk Partner/Group Share Share a summary of a section/text that proves you understood what you read. Invite a few students to share out with the whole group.”

Most of the interpretation and follow up from assessment is done during the Monitor Engagement section of the daily lesson, as well as one-on-one student conferences. Teachers are given frameworks for these conferences, rubrics for scoring student work, and general recommendations for sharing work or grouping students. The culminating tasks in each unit have generic grading rubrics used for multiple tasks throughout the unit. There are tips for how teachers can use information from unit formative assessments in their PLC work.

In Unit 1, Week 2, teachers perform 1-on-1 Conferences to determine student baseline reading levels. Teacher directions read “continue with your 1-on-1 formative assessment conferences to identify student reading levels. Use student writing as evidence of comprehension.”

In Unit 1, Week 5 (p. 310) offers teachers guidance on reviewing writing samples with a teacher review team, “Look for patterns within and across classes. Discuss implications for grade-level instruction/planning.”

In Unit 2, Week 4: Day 5 contains a formative assessment piece in which teachers “Observe students as they write. Make sure students are making adequate progress” (pg 192). There is no additional guidance as to what kind of progress should be determined.

In Unit 3, materials prompt teachers to monitor students while completing the pre-assessment. This page also gives brief guidelines for scoring and sorting student work to determine small/whole/or individual instruction (p.24).

Indicator 3m

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 10 meet the criteria that materials should include routines and guidance that point out opportunities to monitor student progress.

The materials regularly provide routines and guidance that indicate opportunities to monitor student progress on a variety of skills and concepts being learned throughout each unit. Both the IRLA Framework and the weekly units consistently provide opportunities for teachers to observe student progress in specific standards, whether reading or writing. Individual or small group conferencing opportunities are provided for reading progress checks. Writing progress checks are offered in the form of small formative writing tasks that build to the larger culminating tasks.

The Materials are designed to track student progress daily through the Independent Reading Level Assessment (IRLA) that guides teachers to assess and monitor student reading levels. Teachers determine those skills and strategies that students have mastered and need to learn. Materials to document student progress through logs, class charts, and an online tracking system are provided. Teachers and students set Power Goals and routinely monitor these through assessment and one-on-one conferencing. Both small group and writing protocols and rubrics are provided. The unit tasks come with scoring rubrics and are presented to the class. Each lesson includes specific formative assessment opportunities for teachers to monitor student progress with side notes about addressing instruction or further assessment opportunities. Materials prompt teachers to monitor and conference with students frequently.

The materials provide an “ARC Literacy Lab Routines: Teacher Checklist” that offers guidance for monitoring student progress on a number of facets of the curriculum framework: e.g., it outlines the rationale for each component and how it is used to inform instruction.

Indicator 3n

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 10 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 framework is designed to build students’ independent reading. The materials contain ample resources and guidance for student accountability with independent reading based on student reading choice and motivation. Materials are designed to build student reading stamina across the year. Shared and independent reading are built into the daily lesson framework via the recommended 20-40 minutes for independent reading. Students are held accountable through conferences with peers, groups, and whole class, as well as individual check-ins with the teacher. Students also track their reading though logs that are shared with their parent or home reading coach. Independent reading is provided through the texts used for class research, as well as the 100 Book challenge found in Unit 1 (p. 372) which includes the rationale, how the program works, the home reading portion, the incentives,and goals (for schools and district); these include Back to School Night skits, Family Workshop ideas, using parents & families as volunteers, and Year-End Awards Celebration ideas. This material includes having parents and families as partners in ongoing education. There are sample letters to enlist volunteers for reading coaches.

The 100 Book Challenge Library rotates weekly or biweekly. Students are encouraged to read anything they want and the leveling system guides them to select texts at their reading level. Students complete a Reading Survey and are provided with a Reading Level Checklist that helps them to determine if a text is too hard, too easy, or in the Reading Zone. Teachers are given specific instruction on how to monitor, encourage, and adjust. Teachers frequently document student reading status and teacher materials gives suggestions and follow up to keep students engaged during independent reading time.

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 10 meet the criteria that materials provide teachers with strategies for meeting the needs of range of learners so the content is accessible to all learners and supports them in meeting or exceeding the grade-level standards. The ARC materials provide regular opportunities for all learners to engage with grade-level text. Within the framework, there are suggestions for students who are reading above grade level. The daily instructional framework for ARC requires that students spend time in small-group and whole group discussion.

Indicator 3o

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 10 meet the criteria that materials provide teachers with strategies for meeting the needs of range of learners so the content is accessible to all learners and supports them in meeting or exceeding the grade-level standards.

The ARC materials thoroughly support teachers to use the Independent Reading Level Assessment (IRLA) to evaluate, monitor, and increase student reading levels. Using the assessment helps teachers to determine the skills and strategies needed or mastered and to document them on paper and an online tracking system. Teachers then address student needs using whole-group, small-group, and one-on-one conferencing. Based on the reading data, teachers and students set Power Goals and follow conferencing protocols to support each student. Materials offer guidance to teachers to help students who are stuck or need additional support. Both small group and writing protocols and action plan documents are provided.

In Unit 1, a “College-Ready Readers Scale” (p. 96) for assessing a student’s current independent reading practices. While the sheet would be useful for teachers to offer strategies for more reluctant readers, there is no such evaluation tool for writing. The framework provides little guidance on writing strategies for diverse learners, including those who struggle.

In Unit 2, the question is posed to the teacher, “Reading Levels: Are there students whose reading levels will prevent them from succeeding when responding to grade-level text? What is the plan to accelerate these students’ reading growth?”

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 Grade 10 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 ARC materials provide regular opportunities for all learners to engage with grade-level text. The framework is structured so that teachers can use the Independent Reading Level Assessment (IRLA) to assess, monitor, and augment a student reading levels. Students also have daily practice with Core, Anchor, and Independent Reading texts; these text sets help students move towards grade-level reading. Within the weekly and daily lessons, all students read a grade-level Core text together and work to understand and to analyze the text through specific reading standards. Independent reading opportunities give students access to reading at their assessed level of reading to build to independence at grade level. Students who read below grade level can become engaged in reading texts that interest them to help them improve their reading level. The framework allows teachers to track student progress in meeting grade-level reading standards.

The ARC Core Literacy Block is designed to embed all the best practices of culturally and linguistically responsive teaching into a literacy framework centered on meeting the needs of the unique students in each room, in order to ensure that each child reads, writes, and collaborates on grade level. All students are provided with the same grade level texts and questions. There are opportunities for partner and small group work, and teachers may strategically place students into specific partnerships or groups. There are opportunities in the materials for the teachers use the “Formative Assessment/Writing Coach Check for Understanding” to observe students as they write to ensure students are making adequate progress in their note-making. Teachers are routinely prompted to support learners who are stuck or struggling with the material or content.

This statement is provided in the introductory materials of each unit: “English Language Learners The WIDA Can Do Descriptors are included as potential ways to scaffold English language learners’ successful participation in grade-level reading, writing, and conversation with their peers around grade-level complex text.”

The ARC Literacy Lab Pacing Guide (pp. 52-53) outlines reading and writing goals that underscore students being able to read and understand increasingly complex text. The guide is carefully organized to include a variety of informational and literary reading of grade-level texts.

In Unit 2, the materials indicate that “Class graphic organizers and other predictable, routine sections of the lesson are safe places for language learners to take risks in front of their peers. These are some of the techniques you can use to enable language production from language learners in front of the whole group: • Have the student tell you their question, “WOW!” fact, etc., then paraphrase it/repeat it for the whole group to hear.”

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 Grade 10 meet the criteria that materials regularly include extensions and/or more advanced opportunities for students who read, write, speak, or listen above grade level.

Independent Reading Level Assessment (IRLA) is used to determine, monitor, and research a student's reading level. The teacher determines the skills and strategies each student has mastered and which he needs to learn next. Teachers then address those needs using whole-group, small-group, and one-on-one conferencing. Materials are provided for documenting student progress in the IRLA. Teachers are provided with reading level guides and formative assessment conferencing protocol that is used daily to monitor and interpret student performance. Teachers and students set Power Goals at the student’s level. There is guidance for teachers to assist students in reaching the goal set.

Both small group and writing protocols and action plan documents are provided.. Every lesson includes specific formative assessment opportunities for teachers to monitor student progress. Teachers meet with students, monitor progress, and document student performance daily. Students are encouraged to choose books from the Book Boxes to reach beyond their reading levels. Students who complete a task early are often instructed to work with a peer to better help the peer understand the process. Within the framework, there are suggestions for students who are reading above grade level.

The Unit 1 “Reading Survey” (p. 93) is provided to help teachers gauge student perceptions of their enjoyment of reading and its relative difficulty. Advanced students with a score in the high range of 20-24 are labeled “Engaged Reader” and told to “Keep reading!”

A “College-Ready Readers Scale” is provided in Unit 1 (p. 96) a tool for assessing a student’s current independent reading practices.

Indicator 3r

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 10 meet the criteria that materials provide opportunities for teachers to use a variety of grouping strategies.

The daily instructional framework for ARC requires that students spend time in small-group and whole group discussion. Reading often takes place as whole class with the Core text, and while independent reading is always an individual activity, conferencing with students begins as individual and moves to small group as teachers feels comfortable with student engagement in independent reading.

The introductory materials indicate that ”students participate in intellectual discourse around the text, genre and Focus Standards: Partner Share, Discussion Groups, [and] Whole Group Debrief.” Each unit offers some guidance around being instructionally strategic in one-on-one and small-groups. The materials suggest that students discuss with a partner, small group, or whole class during the Read/Discuss portion of the daily lesson. Teachers are prompted daily to engage students in Accountable Talk through pair-share, small- and whole- group discussion. Students also work frequently in peer-review or peer-conferencing settings. There are also partner or small group writing opportunities.

In Unit 1, “Students return to the text as they work with partners to answer each question. Listen in as students share to determine if you need to return to the text with the whole class.”

A “Protocol for Small-Group Power Goal Instruction” (p. 319) is geared to providing effective small-group instruction based on students with similar Power Goals.

Indicator 3s

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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 10 are web-based, compatible with multiple internet browsers (e.g., Internet Explorer, Firefox, Google Chrome, etc.), “platform neutral” (i.e., Windows and Apple and are not proprietary to any single platform), follow universal programming style, and allow the use of tablets and mobile devices.

The materials are compatible with a variety of web-based internet browsers and follow universal programming style. Reviewers able to access materials on Chrome, Explorer, and Safari and to view materials on iPhone and iPad.

Indicator 3s3v

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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 10 are compatible with a variety of web-based internet browsers and follow universal programming style. While students regularly are invited to use technology to research topics, there is little explicit support for teachers to guide students in developing navigation skills for this area. The IRLA leveling system provides teachers the ability to digitally track how individual students are gaining proficiency in reading grade-level literary and informational texts. The lessons provided can be easily adapted to a variety of classrooms. At the end of each unit, materials prompt teachers to use technology for students to publish their work to share with the class.

Indicator 3t

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Indicator Rating Details

While students regularly are invited to use technology to research topics, there is little explicit support for teachers to guide students in developing navigation skills for this area.

The Introductory materials for many of the units indicate that one of the ARC focus standards is R7: “Integrate and evaluate content presented in diverse media and formats, including visually and quantitatively, as well as in words.” For the unit performance tasks, students are invited to use technology to perform research and publish their work. However, there is little guidance for students or teachers in developing technological skills for this area, and specific media is not highlighted for use.

The Teacher Edition prompts teachers to seek help from librarians and other resources to help with using technology. There is a section called “Digital Solutions;” however, its purpose is not clear. In the research units there is a page called “Works Consulted Page” where students list the sources used for their research. It is assumed that students use the internet to become “experts” on their research topics because the materials provide no substantive guidance in this area.

Some of the guidance provided to teachers misses opportunities to suggest relevant digital platforms for using technology to enhance student learning; page 348, for example, suggests a series of print books by Ed Emberley as a source of simple drawing instruction.

Indicator 3u

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Indicator 3u.i

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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 10 include opportunities for teachers to personalize learning for all students, using adaptive or other technological innovations.

Lessons are personalized for all learners through independent reading and Reader’s Workshop. There is also a Building Instruction of Units of Study section of the Teacher’s Edition that provides the framework for teachers to plan and build their own personalized units of study. The use of adaptive or other technological innovations is not present in materials.

The IRLA leveling system provides teachers the ability to digitally track how individual students are gaining proficiency in reading grade-level literary and informational texts. The materials provide extensive guidance on entering reading levels into SchoolPace (pp. 166-167).

Indicator 3u.ii

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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 10 meet the criteria that materials can be easily customized for local use.

The materials provide teachers and students ample flexibility within the outlined structure. As ARC units are designed to be transferable across multiple texts and/or topics, the materials are designed to be customized to local contexts.

The lessons provided can be easily adapted to a variety of classrooms. Teachers can personalize lessons for all learners via independent reading and the Reader’s Workshop. Text-Based questions and tasks found throughout the units are applicable across multiple texts. Students have an abundance of choice in terms of selecting reading materials; the Book Boxes can be customized to address students’ needs and reading levels.

Indicator 3v

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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 10 meet the expectations that materials include or reference technology that provide opportunities for teachers and/or students to collaborate with each other (e.g., websites, discussion groups, webinars, etc.).

Teachers use a digital platform from ARC to track student reading progress based on the one-on-one conferencing and assessments. At the end of each unit, materials prompt teachers to use technology for students to publish their work to share with the class. In Unit 1, Week 6, for example, the Teacher Edition states, “Teacher Work: Decide how students will publish their literary critiques. For example,

  • Create a book
  • Blog entry
  • Class/school website
  • Submit to relevant periodical/newspaper
  • Class newspaper/periodical/journal/portfolio
  • PowerPoint
  • Social Media.”

Criterion 3s - 3v

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 10 are compatible with a variety of web-based internet browsers and follow universal programming style. While students regularly are invited to use technology to research topics, there is little explicit support for teachers to guide students in developing navigation skills for this area. The IRLA leveling system provides teachers the ability to digitally track how individual students are gaining proficiency in reading grade-level literary and informational texts. The lessons provided can be easily adapted to a variety of classrooms. At the end of each unit, materials prompt teachers to use technology for students to publish their work to share with the class.

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. This qualifies as substitution and augmentation as defined by the SAMR model. Materials can be easily integrated into existing learning management systems.
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 10 are web-based, compatible with multiple internet browsers (e.g., Internet Explorer, Firefox, Google Chrome, etc.), “platform neutral” (i.e., Windows and Apple and are not proprietary to any single platform), follow universal programming style, and allow the use of tablets and mobile devices.

The materials are compatible with a variety of web-based internet browsers and follow universal programming style. Reviewers able to access materials on Chrome, Explorer, and Safari and to view materials on iPhone and iPad.

Indicator 3t

Materials support effective use of technology to enhance student learning, drawing attention to evidence and texts as appropriate and providing opportunities for modification and redefinition as defined by the SAMR model.
0/0
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Indicator Rating Details

While students regularly are invited to use technology to research topics, there is little explicit support for teachers to guide students in developing navigation skills for this area.

The Introductory materials for many of the units indicate that one of the ARC focus standards is R7: “Integrate and evaluate content presented in diverse media and formats, including visually and quantitatively, as well as in words.” For the unit performance tasks, students are invited to use technology to perform research and publish their work. However, there is little guidance for students or teachers in developing technological skills for this area, and specific media is not highlighted for use.

The Teacher Edition prompts teachers to seek help from librarians and other resources to help with using technology. There is a section called “Digital Solutions;” however, its purpose is not clear. In the research units there is a page called “Works Consulted Page” where students list the sources used for their research. It is assumed that students use the internet to become “experts” on their research topics because the materials provide no substantive guidance in this area.

Some of the guidance provided to teachers misses opportunities to suggest relevant digital platforms for using technology to enhance student learning; page 348, for example, suggests a series of print books by Ed Emberley as a source of simple drawing instruction.

Indicator 3u

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

Indicator 3u.i

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 10 include opportunities for teachers to personalize learning for all students, using adaptive or other technological innovations.

Lessons are personalized for all learners through independent reading and Reader’s Workshop. There is also a Building Instruction of Units of Study section of the Teacher’s Edition that provides the framework for teachers to plan and build their own personalized units of study. The use of adaptive or other technological innovations is not present in materials.

The IRLA leveling system provides teachers the ability to digitally track how individual students are gaining proficiency in reading grade-level literary and informational texts. The materials provide extensive guidance on entering reading levels into SchoolPace (pp. 166-167).

Indicator 3u.ii

Materials can be easily customized by schools, systems, and states for local use.
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 10 meet the criteria that materials can be easily customized for local use.

The materials provide teachers and students ample flexibility within the outlined structure. As ARC units are designed to be transferable across multiple texts and/or topics, the materials are designed to be customized to local contexts.

The lessons provided can be easily adapted to a variety of classrooms. Teachers can personalize lessons for all learners via independent reading and the Reader’s Workshop. Text-Based questions and tasks found throughout the units are applicable across multiple texts. Students have an abundance of choice in terms of selecting reading materials; the Book Boxes can be customized to address students’ needs and reading levels.

Indicator 3v

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 10 meet the expectations that materials include or reference technology that provide opportunities for teachers and/or students to collaborate with each other (e.g., websites, discussion groups, webinars, etc.).

Teachers use a digital platform from ARC to track student reading progress based on the one-on-one conferencing and assessments. At the end of each unit, materials prompt teachers to use technology for students to publish their work to share with the class. In Unit 1, Week 6, for example, the Teacher Edition states, “Teacher Work: Decide how students will publish their literary critiques. For example,

  • Create a book
  • Blog entry
  • Class/school website
  • Submit to relevant periodical/newspaper
  • Class newspaper/periodical/journal/portfolio
  • PowerPoint
  • Social Media.”

Additional Publication Details

Report Published Date: Mon Sep 17 00:00:00 UTC 2018

Report Edition: 2017

Title ISBN Edition Publisher Year
IRLA CCSS Version 8 978-1-63437-885-7 American Reading Company 2017
IRLA CCS Version 8 Conference Notebook 978-1-63437-982-3 American Reading Company 2017

About Publishers Responses

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

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

Educator-Led Review Teams

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

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

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

ELA HS 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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