Alignment to College and Career Ready Standards: Overall Summary

The instructional materials reviewed for Kindergarten, Grade 1, and Grade 2 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 primary-level 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
27
52
58
54
52-58
Meets Expectations
28-51
Partially Meets Expectations
0-27
Does Not Meet Expectations

Gateway 2:

Building Knowledge

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

Usability

|

Meets Expectations

Not Rated

Gateway 3:

Usability

0
23
30
34
30
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

Texts are of quality, rigorous, and at the right text complexity for grade level, student, and task, and are, therefore, worthy of the student’s time and attention. A range of tasks and questions develop reading, writing, speaking, listening, and language skills that are applied in authentic tasks. Questions and tasks are text-dependent and engage students in rich and rigorous evidence-based discussions and writing. Overall, students have the opportunity to engage in quality instruction in foundational skills; although, some skills are only directly instructed in small groups.

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.
20/20

Indicator 1a

Anchor texts (including read-aloud texts in K-2 and shared reading texts in Grade 2 used to build knowledge and vocabulary) are of publishable quality and worthy of especially careful reading/listening and consider a range of student interests.
4/4
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-
Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Kindergarten meet the expectation that anchor texts (including read-aloud texts and some shared reading texts used to build knowledge and vocabulary) are of publishable quality and worthy of especially careful reading/listening and consider a range of interests. Many of the central texts are written by celebrated and award-winning authors. Central texts include a variety of genres and consider a range of students’ interests including, but not limited to animals, bugs, pets, family, transportation, cultural texts, traditional tales, folklores, and scientific non-fiction. Academic, rich vocabulary can also be found within selected texts.

The following are Kindergarten texts that represent how these materials meet the expectations for this indicator:

  • The Snow Day by Ezra Jack Keats is a Caldecott Medal narrative text with colorful illustrations and rich vocabulary such as piled, crunch, and s-l-o-w-l-y.
  • Anansi and the Moss Covered Rock by Eric A. Kimmel and illustrated by Janet Stevens is a humorous trickster tale. The character dialogue contains interesting, engaging conversation.
  • Freight Train by Donald Crews is a Caldecott Honor book. The text contains information about different train cars. Because the illustrations contain specific colors, readers learn the names of colors.
  • Chickens Aren’t the Only Ones by Ruth Heller is a rhyming text that provides information about animals that lay eggs. The illustrations are vibrant colors and detailed.

Indicator 1b

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Kindergarten meet the expectations for materials reflecting the distribution of text types and genres required by the standards. Each unit in Kindergarten provides students the opportunity to engage in above-level, complex read alouds as well as leveled readers, independent reading, and supplemental texts. The materials contain eight baskets of leveled readers and four baskets of read-aloud, “immersion” texts that are intended to engage all types of readers. Materials also provide thematic text sets centered around science and social studies themes as well as literary text sets aligned to material topics. These text sets, organized as baskets, are designed to accompany units in the form of research labs.

Anchor texts and supplemental texts include a mix of informational and literary texts reflecting the distribution of text types required by the standards (50% informational and 50% fiction). The texts include diverse topics and genres, such as realistic fiction, science and social studies informational text, traditional tales, personal narratives, classics, and historical fiction.

The following are examples of informational texts found within the instructional materials:

Unit 1:

  • The Family Book, by Todd Parr
  • Dim Sum for Everyone, by Grace Lin

Unit 2:

  • Why Do Birds Have Beaks? By Miles Kelly
  • Chickens Aren’t the Only Ones, by Ruth Heller

Unit 3:

  • What Eats What? In An Ocean Food Chain, by Suzanne Slade,
  • Why Living Things Need… Homes, by Daniel Nunn

Unit 4:

  • How Bugs and Plants Live Together, by Yvonne Misztal,
  • Ant Cities, by Arthur Dorros

The following are examples of literary texts found within the instructional materials:

Unit 1:

  • There Is a Bird on Your Head, by Mo Willems
  • Jamaica’s Find, by Juanita Havill

Unit 2

  • Zoo, by Gail Gibbons
  • George Flies South, by Simon James

Unit 3:

  • Over in the Ocean In a Coral Reef, by Marianne Berkes
  • The Moss-Covered Rock, by Eric A. Kimmel

Unit 4:

  • Up, Up, and Away, by Ginger Wadsworth
  • The Grouchy Ladybug, by Eric Carl

Indicator 1c

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Kindergarten meet the expectations 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 with flexibility so that consumers can choose and interchange multiple texts sets based on the topics and levels desired. Some accompanying task and resource materials are not text-specific so that they apply across multiple text sets and grade bands. The instructional year begins with a literacy lab that is intended to capture readers' attention with engaging text. Though some of these texts fall qualitatively at the grade band as measured by Lexile, the materials include text complexity analyses and IRLA levels for these texts that show that in a more holistic assessment of qualitative and reader/task features, the texts meet the demand of the standards that all read alouds be above grade-level. Students have access to numerous texts at multiple reading levels that are read in small and whole-group settings as well as independently. The philosophy of the publishers is self-directed learning and reading through literacy and research labs.

Quantitative and qualitative information for anchor texts is provided in the Teacher’s Edition or online in SchoolPace, and the numerous text sets that accompany each unit are leveled according to the publishers framework--IRLA. The publishers state: “The Independent Reading Level Assessment (IRLA) is a unified standards-based framework for student assessment, text leveling, and curriculum and instruction. The IRLA includes every Common Core Standard for Reading, both in literature and informational text, as well as those Language Standards key to reading success for students in grades PreK through 12.”

Some examples of text-complexity measures indicated by the materials include the following:

  • The read aloud, Goodnight, Goodnight Construction Site by Sherri Duskey Rinker has an 820 Lexile. This text contains rhyming poetry with slightly to moderately complex academic language, but comprehension is supported through pictures and context.
  • The read-aloud, Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day by Judith Voirst has a Lexile level of 970, however, qualitatively the text has one storyline and illustrations that support understanding. The language demands can be slightly to moderately complex, based on the run-on sentence structure to denote the narrator’s mood.
  • The book, This is the Way we Go to School by Laine Falk has a Lexile of 450. Qualitatively, the structure is slightly complex with illustrations to support understanding. The language demands are also slightly complex (with familiar vocabulary) for most readers. The knowledge demands present readers with different cultures, geography, and mapping that may be unfamiliar but are heavily supported with illustrations.

Indicator 1d

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Kindergarten meet the expectation for supporting students' ability to access texts with increasing text complexity across the year. The supplemental text baskets are leveled according to the publisher’s system, called the Independent Reading Level Assessment (IRLA). There are a topic and “immersion” baskets for teachers to select from for anchor read alouds, all leveled 2-3 years above the reading level of most Kindergarteners.

The CCSS text complexity Reading Standard for Kindergarten is to, “Actively engage in group reading activities with purpose and understanding.” Text options are at differing levels of material. The materials provide text sets (baskets) that are leveled and expose students to a myriad of levels and complexity. Students are provided access to the texts that are both of interest and are at the appropriately challenging level, according to the IRLA.

Materials provide students with access to leveled texts which address a range of science, social studies, history, and literary topics across all grade bands. Scaffolding of the texts to ensure that students are supported to access and comprehend grade-level texts from the beginning to the end of the year require careful monitoring, using the IRLA and suggested instruction based upon the IRLA results. The rigor of text is appropriate in aggregate over the course of the school year. Students will engage with texts at varying levels, unit to unit, according to their skill levels.

Students have access to multiple texts that measure below, at, or above grade level. The teacher companion to the research lab contains general instruction outlines, speaking and listening strategies, and general comprehension questions. Scaffolding is not text-specific, but focuses on the skills needed to access texts in that genre (informational text, fantasy novels, argument essays, etc).

Indicator 1e

Anchor texts (including read-aloud texts in K-2) and series of texts connected to them are accompanied by a text complexity analysis.
2/2
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Kindergarten meet the expectation that anchor (core) texts and series of connected texts are accompanied by a text complexity analysis and rationale for educational purpose and placement in the grade level. The American Reading Company's (ARC's) Comprehensive Core utilizes their own IRLA (Independent Reading Level Assessment Framework), drawing on the three measures of text complexity to level texts. “To determine reading level, every book is double-blind and hand-leveled using the three legs of text complexity and located on our developmental taxonomy of reading acquisition.” Any book found in the text boxes or thematic text sets has an identifying sticker on the cover to provide its IRLA placement.

An example of a text complexity analysis and purpose and placement for the core texts is as follows:

Title: This is the Way we Go to School, by Laine Falk

Text Complexity Level: Red (2th Grade)

Quantitative: 450L (2nd-3rd)

Qualitative: Lexile accurately reflects the difficulty of the text because:

  • Purpose/Structure: Slightly Complex. The text is organized topically with each section introducing a different mode of transportation used by school children in various parts of the world. The photographs and text features aid in comprehending the text.
  • Language: Slightly Complex. Simple sentence construction is seen throughout. Language use is familiar. There are opportunities to introduce domain-specific language related to world geography, cultures, and community transportation systems.
  • Knowledge Demands: Slightly Complex. Some of the terms for both modes of transportation and world geography and cultures will be unfamiliar to readers. Photographs provide significant support for these concepts. A world map at the end offers an opportunity to introduce students to the concepts of countries and mapping.
  • Reader and Task: The text is a suitable for an above-level Kindergarten read aloud that uses a common experience - traveling to school - to introduce children to the diversity of world cultures and experiences.

Indicator 1f

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Kindergarten meet the expectations for supporting materials providing opportunities for students to engage in a range and volume of reading. The instructional materials include opportunities for students to read daily across a volume of texts during various instructional segments including: Interactive Read Aloud, Readers' Workshop, and Read Aloud or Shared Reading.

Readers' Workshop includes a Read Aloud or Shared Reading segment in which:

  • Teachers model the reading/thinking strategies expected from a proficient, grade-level reader (i.e., using clues in the book to figure out new words, reading Power Words, etc.) through a read aloud.
  • Students then practice the modeled skills during independent reading from self-selected texts.
  • Students share how they used the modeled strategies in an Accountable Talk segment of Readers' Workshop.

Reader’s Workshop includes a daily independent reading time for self-selected texts. In addition to Literacy Labs and Research Labs for core content, materials provide thematic text sets that can be chosen across content areas and grade levels. Text sets cover literary and informational topics in science, social studies, and culture. These text sets are organized by color-coded buckets and the IRLA levels indicated by the publishers. Students also have access to independent reading box sets in the 100 Book Challenge. The publisher describes the challenge as: “Students read 30 minutes in school and 30 minutes at home. Quantity practice targets are set, monitored, and rewarded, ensuring every student adopts the independent reading routines of academically successful students.”

Criterion 1g - 1n

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

Materials for the literacy and research labs provide graphic organizers and instructional support tasks for students to engage with text as well as collect textual evidence that builds toward a research topic or literary theme. The general format reading questions (Research Questions), graphic organizers and instructional tasks are designed to be used across multiple thematic units and grade levels. Questions and tasks are organized for students to gather details or practice skills needed for the culminating task which integrates skills to demonstrate understanding.

There are many opportunities and protocols throughout modules and within lessons that support academic vocabulary and syntax.

Speaking and listening tasks require students to gather evidence from texts and sources.

Each writing workshop includes interactive writing, independent writing, and writing centers. Students perform tasks such as responses to literature, drawing, and writing about a topic.

The materials provide opportunities for students to address different text types of writing (year-long) that reflect the distribution required by the standards. Materials provide frequent opportunities across the school year for students to learn, practice, and apply writing using evidence. Writing opportunities are focused around students’ analyses and claims developed from reading closely and working with sources.

Opportunities to explicitly learn grade-level conventions standards to apply those skills to writing are limited.

Indicator 1g

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Kindergarten meet expectations that most questions, tasks, and assignments are text-dependent/specific, requiring students to engage with the text directly (drawing on textual evidence to support both what is explicit as well as valid inferences from the text). Materials for the literacy and research labs provide graphic organizers and instructional support tasks for students to engage with text as well as collect textual evidence that builds toward a research topic or literary theme.

The evidence from Units 1-4 listed below demonstrates tasks and questions that require direct engagement with texts but do not call out or connect to specific texts. Most questions, tasks, and assignments are text-dependent and require students to engage with the text directly and draw on textual evidence to support what is explicit as well as valid inferences from the text.

For example:

Unit 1:

  • "Let’s compare and contrast _(character)_’s adventures in the two books we just read. Students share, first in pairs and then with the class: What is the same? What is different?" • Other Characters • Setting • Problem • Solution"

Unit 2:

  • "What did you learn from this book about the life cycles of mammals? How do you know this is true?"

Unit 3:

  • “Is ___ a plant or an animal? How do you know? Where is your evidence? What else did you learn? Who found any new information about ___? What is a topic of this book?" and "What key details can you find about this topic?”

Unit 4:

  • Students are asked, “Let’s go back into this book to learn more about how the ___ hunts. What else is interesting about it? What else did you learn about ___? What did you learn from this book about what makes a spider a spider?" and "How do you know this is true?”

Indicator 1h

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Kindergarten meet the expectations that materials contain sets of high-quality sequences of text-dependent questions and activities that build to a culminating task that integrates skills to demonstrate understanding. Questions and tasks are organized for students to gather details or practice skills needed for the culminating task, which integrates skills to demonstrate understanding.

  • Unit 1, Literacy Lab: "On this page/in this part, what are the words telling us? What are the pictures telling us? What can you tell us so far about the author/illustrator (e.g., the author writes funny stories, the stories are about animals, the stories have rhymes in them, the main character is always ___, etc)."
  • Unit 2, Lesson 4, Day 3: Give students clipboards with writing paper. Have the students create their own life cycle diagrams for one reptile, drawing each stage and labeling it with the right term. It’s okay if this is simply copied from a book. Encourage, but don’t require students to be resourceful and use class charts, labels, etc., to help them with spelling. Any student work should be saved in his/her science folder to become part of that child’s book for this topic.
  • Unit 3, Lesson 1, Day 1: “I am going to make a chart with two sections. I’ll draw a line down the middle. I will head one section Living and the other section Non-Living. Use Interactive Writing to add students’ examples of living organisms and non-living things to your T-chart: "What letter does ___ start with?” Lesson 2, Day 5: Present students with an opinion. Students work in teams to locate evidence to support this opinion. The team with the best/most evidence wins.
  • Unit 4, Lesson 2, Day 1: Have students compare their diagram with the diagram that you started together earlier. Have them check to make sure that their diagram contains every defining part of their insects’ bodies (legs, three body sections, and antennae). Any student work should be saved in his/her Science Folder to become part of that child’s scientific research.

Indicator 1i

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Kindergarten meet the expectations for evidence-based discussions that encourage the modeling of academic vocabulary and syntax.

There are many opportunities and protocols throughout modules and within lessons that support academic vocabulary and syntax. Units include practices that encourage the building and application of academic vocabulary and syntax, including accountable talk routines and think pair share. Teacher materials support implementation of these standards to grow students’ skills.

Examples include:

  • In Unit 1: Accountable Talk, Partner Share. Students work in pairs to rehearse oral responses for their Independent Reading to the question: "What is your favorite part of the book? Why?" Partner A, hold up one book you read today. For that book, tell your partner, “My favorite part of the book was ____ because ____.”
  • In Unit 2: Ask if any student read a great book she would like to share with the group. Select one student. Have all other students look at him/her. Ask him/her to hold up the book so everyone can see the cover. Ask him/her to tell one thing s/he liked about that book or to “read” one page s/he liked out loud.
  • In Unit 3: Accountable Talk. When everyone is finished, have students work in pairs to look at each other’s animal drawings and talk about what they have learned.

Indicator 1j

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Kindergarten meet the expectations for materials supporting students’ listening and speaking about what they are reading and researching (including presentation opportunities) with relevant follow-up questions and evidence.

Speaking and listening tasks require students to gather evidence from texts and sources. Opportunities to ask and answer questions of peers and teachers about research, strategies, and ideas are present throughout the year. The curriculum includes protocols and graphic organizers to promote and scaffold academic discussions.

The following are examples of materials supporting students’ listening and speaking about what is read:

  • Unit 1: Students work in pairs to rehearse oral responses for their Independent Reading to the question: What is your favorite part of the book? Why? Partner A, hold up one book you read today. For that book, tell your partner, “My favorite part of the book was ____ because ____.”
  • Unit 2: The entire class works together to compare and contrast two texts about fish.
  • Unit 3: Students are asked to share new learning in a whole-group setting.
  • Unit 4: As a whole group, students discuss what they learned from the first reading of the connected text.

Indicator 1k

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Kindergarten meet the expectations that materials include a mix of on-demand and process writing and short, focused tasks. The Common Core standards for Kindergarten call for students to combine drawing, dictating, and writing to be able to compose complete sentences or short pieces in which they state an opinion, explain a topic, or write about a single event. Each writing workshop includes interactive writing, independent writing, and writing centers. Students perform tasks such as responses to literature, drawing, and writing about the topic.

Examples include:

Throughout all Units: Encourage students to express themselves in drawing/writing in whatever ways they can. They will probably draw first. Then, as they write, typical forms to expect are: • Scribble • Magic line (a blank line to represent a word or whole thought) • Random letters • Letters that match sounds (See the Kinsey Developmental Writing Scale.)

  • In Unit 1: Students respond to writing prompts daily through drawing or writing. They fill out log sheets and begin to write (draw) responses about characters, events, and settings. They also engage in writing (drawing) stories. For example, “Each of you is going to draw a picture of you standing by your house and write, 'This is me and my family.' Model. Show students how you want them to set up their writing paper each day.”
  • In Unit 2: Today, we will write about mammals and their life cycles. Encourage students to express themselves in drawing/writing in whatever way they can. They will probably draw first.
  • In Unit 4: After modeling through an interactive writing lesson, students are asked to come up with their own writing topic. Teachers are guided to emphasize the use of: • Purposeful decisions about what to write. • Phonics-based spelling. • Initial consonant sounds. • Writing a word (or letter with a magic line) for each word spoken. • Known Power Words. "Who knows what information they are going to put in their report?" Give each student a dated sheet of writing paper as soon as s/he is able to say what s/he is going to write about.

Indicator 1l

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Kindergarten meet the expectations that the materials provide opportunities for students to address different text types of writing (year-long) that reflect the distribution required by the standards. The Common Core standards for Kindergarten call for students to combine drawing, dictating, and writing to be able to compose complete sentences or short pieces in which they state an opinion, explain a topic, or write about a single event. Each lesson consists of a daily writing component with a process of shared, guided, and independent practice in a mode of writing. Materials provide frequent opportunities across the school year for students to learn, practice, and apply writing using evidence.

The following are examples of the different text types of writing across the units:

  • In Unit 1, Week 3, students focus on opinions using a book from the author study collection and write what s/he likes about a particular text. In Week 4 Story Elements, students write about a character, setting, or event from stories they have read, or they can make up one of their own.
  • In Unit 2, Week 4, students create predictable charts with a reptile focus, and during independent writing, students write what they know about the topic.
  • In Unit 3, Week 5, students select a desert animal to write about. The teacher models the entire process before students begin independent writing.
  • In Unit 4, students are introduced the use of the “Wow” Fact Rubric, a tool students use to make sure their writing states what s/he has learned about a topic.

Indicator 1m

Materials include regular opportunities for evidence-based writing to support recall of information, opinions with reasons, and relevant information appropriate for the grade level.
2/2
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Kindergarten meet the expectations that the materials include frequent opportunities for evidence-based writing to support careful analyses, well-defended claims, and clear information. Materials provide frequent opportunities across the school year for students to learn, practice, and apply writing using evidence. Writing opportunities are focused around students’ analyses and claims developed from reading closely and working with sources. Materials provide opportunities that build students' writing skills over the course of the school year. Students are required to write daily with suggested writing prompts. Most writing prompts relate to text, but some do not require evidence-based writing.

  • In Unit 1, Week 3, students are asked to write about an author/illustrator that they are learning about. Teachers are guided to reinforce students with models and sentence organizers as they write their opinion.
  • In Unit 2, Week 6, Day 4, during Science Lab, students use text(s) to find pictures and read about different colored fish in order to write in Writer’s Workshop about these fish and how their colors help them survive.
  • Unit 3, Week 2, Day 5: Have students look through the library for books with good illustrations of food webs. Give students clipboards with writing paper. Have students spot information/diagrams of food webs, study them, and draw them. Have them create their own food web diagrams on the savanna.
  • Unit 4, Week 2, Day 1: Give students clipboards with blank paper and have them write at the top: What Makes an Insect an Insect? Have students look through the books in your collection and pick one insect photo/illustration to copy. Each student works to draw the defining parts of his/her insect’s body (legs, three body sections, and antennae).

Indicator 1n

Materials include explicit instruction of the grammar and conventions standards for grade level as applied in increasingly sophisticated contexts, with opportunities for application both in and out of context.
0/2
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Kindergarten do not meet expectations for explicit instruction of the grammar and conventions standards for grade level as applied in increasingly sophisticated contexts, with opportunities for application both in and out of the context. Opportunities to explicitly learn grade level conventions standards to apply those skills to writing are limited.

The following evidence provides examples of how the program encourages engagement with grammar and conventions in context, but does not indicate explicit instruction in Kindergarten standards:

  • Unit 1: Students identify and mark items such as periods, beginning letters, high frequency words, longest word, longest sentence.
  • Unit 2: “Have students take turns holding the marker and coming up to point out things in the writing. Have students point out things they notice (e.g., letters, words, punctuation). Who can draw a circle around the end marks?”

Criterion 1o - 1t

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

Overall, the materials provide high-quality lessons for foundational skills for every student to reach mastery through the Foundational Skill Toolkit lessons and within the four Units. Instructional opportunities are frequently built into the materials for students to practice and gain decoding automaticity, sight-based recognition of high-frequency words, and reading fluency in oral reading once phonics instruction begins. Materials, questions, and tasks provide systematic and explicit instruction in and practice of word recognition and analysis skills in a research-based progression in connected text and tasks. Through the Independent Reading Level Assessment Framework (IRLA), a teacher can assess students’ progress toward the learning of foundational skills. The materials provide support for the acquisition of print concepts, including alphabetic knowledge, directionality, and function, and structures and features of text. Phonics and phonemic awareness instruction is generally strong. Knowledge of vowel sounds, an expectation for Kindergarten students to learn for isolating and pronouncing medial phonemes in three-phoneme words, are first taught in the Foundational Skills Toolkit 2G. This kit is labeled as a Grade 1 resource, though students may advance through the materials at a quicker rate depending upon their skill level.

Indicator 1o

Materials, questions, and tasks directly teach foundational skills to build reading acquisition by providing systematic and explicit instruction in the alphabetic principle, letter-sound relations, phonemic awareness, phonological awareness (K-1), and phonics (K-2) that demonstrate a transparent and research-based progression with opportunities for application both in and out of context.
2/4
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-
Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials for Kindergarten partially meet the expectations that materials, questions, and tasks directly teach foundational skills to build reading acquisition by providing systematic and explicit instruction in the alphabetic principle, letter sound relationships, phonemic awareness, and phonological awareness (K-1), and phonics (K-2) that demonstrate a transparent and research-based progression.

There are opportunities for students to learn phonemic awareness and phonological awareness. Nursery rhymes and oral rhyming practice are provided.

For example:

  • In Literacy Lab, Week 1, Day 1, the teacher is directed to play games with the students to develop their ear for the sounds of words. Suggestions of songs include Hello Song, Teach Us Your Name Chant, and Good Morning Chant.
  • In Literacy Lab, Week 1, Days 2-5, students sing Willaby Wallaby; as children learn the rhyming pattern they can make the rhyme using other names.
  • In Literacy Lab, Week 2, the teacher can use a rhyme (or poem, song, or jingle). An example of a variation is when students are asked to recite the rhyme in whispers, but say the rhyming words aloud.
  • In Literacy Lab, Week 3, students can play Hopscotch, Body Rhymes, and Rhyming Word Sit Down.

In all the units, as part of the Morning Meeting, the teacher is directed to have students practice syllables by clapping them. In Savanna Animals, the teacher can have students do Clap-Clap-Clap to practice syllables of longer words.

In Unit 2, Science Lab 1.1, there are phonological/phonemic awareness opportunities. Students are directed to listen to sounds and name the different sounds they hear. Students are to listen to the sequence of sounds and identify sounds. In Science Lab 1.5, students identify short and long words based on hearing the words. In Science Lab 2.2, students identify initial sounds of baby mammal pictures.

In ARC, the sequence of phonics is as follows: 8 starter consonants (b, t, d, j, k, p, v, z), 7 ending consonants (f, l, m, n, r, s, x), 2 consonants (c, g), and remaining consonants (h, q, w, y). If a teacher would prefer a different sequence, 3 alternate sequences are suggested: familiar names/key words, continuous vs. stop-letter sounds, and Spanish speakers. The materials also address initial blends and digraphs, and finally vowel sounds and rhyming patterns/word families

Opportunities to practice learning phonics of consonants include: picture cards, read-alouds, yellow books, alphabet books, letter books, book titles, Beat the Teacher, initial sound-spelling champs, dictation, partner games (Memory, Go Fish, Speed), Whisper Down the Lane, I Spy, speed list, tongue twisters, Old MacDonald Had a______, andI’m Going to _______,

Knowledge of vowel sounds, an expectation for Kindergarten students to learn for isolating and pronouncing medial phonemes in three-phoneme words, are first taught in the Foundational Skills Toolkit 2G. This kit is labeled as a Grade 1 resource, though students may advance through the materials at a quicker rate depending upon their skill level.

Indicator 1p

Materials, questions, and tasks provide explicit instruction for and regular practice to address the acqusition of print concepts, including alphabetic knowledge, directionality, and function (K-1), structures and features of text (1-2).
2/2
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials for Kindergarten meet the expectations that materials, questions, and tasks provide explicit instruction for and regular practice to address the acquisition of print concepts, including alphabetic knowledge, directionality, and function (K-1), and structures and features of text (1-2).

Print concepts are taught in the Foundational Skills Toolkit starting in 1Y:

  • In Lesson 1, students are taught to “read”: “You are going to be able to read Yellow-level books. All you need is the first sentence. Let me show you how they work. You remember the sentence that repeats and then use the pictures to read the book” (p. 25).
  • In 2Y, Lesson 4, students learn one-to-one correspondence/tracking. In Lesson 5, students learn the concept of a word. In Lesson 6, students learn tracking.
  • Additional opportunities to practice tracking

In Literacy Lab, Morning Meeting, the teacher is instructed to model the following in writing:

  • “writing words from left to write (as cited on page 85), top to bottom”
  • “putting spaces between words”

In Literacy Lab Readers’ Workshop: Identify Read-to-Me students, where the teacher models how to read Yellow books. “Select a Yellow book that is large enough for the students to clearly see the pictures and text. Read the first few pages aloud. Point to the words as you read. After the first page or two, most of the children will be able to read the book without you” (page 74).

The recognition and naming of letters is taught in the both the Foundational Skills Toolkit as well as within the Literacy Lab (Unit 1). The materials indicate that while some students may already come to school knowing the letters of the alphabet, there are learners who are not ready and are classified by ARC as "Read-to-Me students". “Some (or most) of your students don’t arrive with this literary experience from home. You must go into emergency mode. Immediately set up systems to ensure people read fun books to them, one-on-one, at least 10-20 books a day….Read-to-Me students must learn to name all the letters in the alphabet as soon as possible” (page 17), indicating that some students will need more intensive instruction to assure they acquire the knowledge of print concepts, including alphabetic knowledge, directionality, and function, and structures and features of text.

Indicator 1q

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

The instructional materials for Kindergarten meet the expectations that instructional opportunities are frequently built into the materials for students to practice and gain decoding automaticity, sight-based recognition of high-frequency words, and reading fluency in oral reading once phonics instruction begins.

In Foundational Skills 3Y, Kindergarten students learn that letters represent speech sounds. In Lesson 7, students start to learn the consonant sounds. The teacher states: “We are going to learn the letter sounds. Let’s start with the consonants. Does anyone already know any of the sounds these letters tell us to make? Let’s say them. Does anyone have a name that begins with one of these letters?” In Lesson 8, students start to learn eight consonant sounds, which the materials refer to as "starter consonants." By learning the consonant sounds, students are able to start decoding words that begin with consonants. In Lesson 8, students read the “B” book together. With the Yellow books, the teacher can play, What Could it Say? The teacher is to cover up the new word on a Yellow book. “Have students supply possible words. Reveal the first letter. Now, what might it be?” During Independent Reading, students try to use the first letter sound for the new word they read in Yellow books.

In Lesson 9 in Foundational Skills 3Y, students learn /t/. By knowing /b/ and /t/, students can start to decode words in the song, Take Me Out to the Ball Game. After learning the consonants, students have opportunities to use their decoding skills to read Letter books and Yellow books.

In Foundational Skills 1G, Kindergarten students learn 60 high frequency words. For example, in Lessons 1-6, students learn 10 power words in order to read the text, I Love Basketball. To assist students in learning high-frequency words, the teacher is to post the words in prominent places. Each student gets a Power Word name. The teacher teaches a silent signal for students to show when they hear the Power Word used or written. To make Power Words meaningful, the teacher is to label parts of the room with the words or phrases with the words. Students collect words in their own Power Word Wall. During Power Word lessons, students have multi-sensory opportunities to learn the words. Students see and hear the word. Students say the word, trace the word, sky-write the word, write the word, and play word games.

Indicator 1r

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

The instructional materials for Kindergarten meet the expectations that materials, questions, and tasks provide systematic and explicit instruction in and practice of word recognition and analysis skills in a research-based progression in connected text and tasks.

In the Foundational Skills Toolkit for lessons in 3Y, students read alphabet books, letter books, and book titles to practice phonics skills in context. Students also practice phonemic awareness and phonics skills in context when they help build tongue twisters. For example, “Let’s see how many words you can string together that begin with /b/ and make sense. I’ll go first: "Big boys buy bicycles. Blue bugs bite billionaires.” Students also have the opportunity to build their own letter books. “Today, you will each make your own ___ book of things you like. On each page, draw a picture that starts with ___ and label it.”

In the Foundational Skills Toolkit lessons for 1G, students read high-frequency words in connected texts and isolated texts. When students are learning the first 60 high-frequency words (Power Words), they read those words in context. For example, in Lesson 2, students learn love, I, my. Then students read those words in a passage called My Pets. Then the teacher asks students to share something they love, so that information can be placed in sentence in the pocket chart. Students read and reread the sentences. In Lesson 7, students read the Power Words in a text called I Love to Sleep.

To make the high-frequency words more meaningful, the teacher is directed to make the words more meaningful. Instruction for the teacher includes: “Use phrases or sentences to label parts of the classroom. Underline the Power Words (e.g., my desk; the fish tank; back of the room). When possible, introduce new words with a concrete object (e.g., We have desks.).”

Indicator 1s

Materials support ongoing and frequent assessment to determine student mastery and inform meantingful differentiantion of foundational skills, including a clear and specific protocol as to how students performing below standard on these assessments will be supported.
4/4
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials for Kindergarten meet the expectations that materials support ongoing and frequent assessment to determine student mastery and inform meaningful differentiation of foundational skills, including a clear and specific protocol as to how students performing below standard on these assessments will be supported.

Through the Independent Reading Level Assessment Framework (IRLA), a teacher can assess students’ progress toward the learning of foundational skills. These are the following steps to using IRLA:

  • Identify IRLA Reading Level.
  • Use the IRLA to diagnose specific instructional needs.
  • Use corresponding Foundational Skills Toolkit Lessons to teach and model specific skills.
  • Provide guided and independent practice differentiated to support students who learn at different paces.

IRLA helps provide the teacher with baseline data about each Kindergarten student’s reading proficiency. This gives teachers information about which foundational skills each student needs to learn, and the teacher can use the data to sort students into similar groupings for optimal learning. A teacher will assess a Kindergarten student for different stages of acquisition. The first grouping a teacher can assess for is Yellow 1, which is about sentence pattern and picture reading. The teacher also completes a running record. Based on the Yellow 1 entry data, the teacher can decide if the student is best placed in Yellow 1 or needs to be assessed for a different group. Yellow 1-3 is typically Kindergarten, First Half and 1-Green is typically Kindergarten, Second Half.

With IRLA, a teacher can assess students’ progress toward learning grade level standards. In IRLA, there are Coaching Records for teachers to document students’ learning. For example, for Coaching Record 1-3Y, for a student in 3Y, the teacher documents the student's ability to get his/her mouth ready to say the sound of each letter.

Coaching Tips are included in the Foundational Skills Toolkit lessons. For example, in 2Y, a teacher can assess students’ ability to track based on the following Coaching Tip: “You will know students get this when they stop on their own and start over to ensure a one-to-one voice/print match as they read on their own.”

Foundational Skills lessons include opportunities for students to progress quicker if students know the skills based on the Passing Lane: Assessment. This helps a teacher make instructional adjustments, so students can make progress in learning foundational skills. In 1Y, Lesson 2, there is a Passing Lane: Assessment: “2Y Students already have the ability to track each word as they read. 1G Students already know the high-frequency words in Yellow books.”

Indicator 1t

Materials, questions, and tasks provide high-quality lessons and activities that allow for differentiation of foundational skills.
4/4
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials for Kindergarten meet the expectations that materials, questions, and tasks provide high-quality lessons and activities that allow for differentiation of foundational skills. Lessons include modeling, guided practice, games, and hands-on activities.

Instructional materials provide high-quality lessons for foundational skills for every student to reach mastery through the Foundational Skill Toolkit lessons and within the four Units (Literacy Lab, Zoology, Ecology, Entomology). After placing students into skill-based groupings based on assessment results from IRLA (Independent Reading Level Assessment), students are provided learning opportunities at their individual levels. For students in the Pre-Reading Stage, they are placed in the Yellow Level. These students know most of the letters of the alphabet. Students have access to Y Guided Reading Books and Alphabet Books. If students are not ready for the Yellow small group, the materials suggest those students have access to a one-on-one situation and be read 10-20 books a day. For students who place higher in foundational skills, they can start in the Green small group. These students learn high-frequency words.

During Literacy Lab Kindergarten lessons, all students have access to foundational skills lessons and participate in learning nursery rhymes, which helps students learn the sounds of words for rhyme. For example, in Days 2-5, students hold hands and walk in a circle while the teacher sings a rhyme called, Willaby Wallaby.

Opportunities for differentiated learning within a skill group are provided. In 2Y, there are Additional Practice Activities for Integrate/Coordinate: Think/Say/Move. For example, the teacher can have students play How many? or Mother May I? In 1G, there are multiple ways for a student to practice learning Power Words. A student can learn Power Words through association and multiple modality encoding. Students can practice learning Power Words through Speed Games.

In the Independent Reading Level Assessment, there are Action Plans for the teacher to provide additional practice. For example, for students in 1-3Y, the Action Plan says, “Have an older student come down at the same time every day to read with his 1-3Y book buddy. Consider using an older student who is seriously behind in reading, but is at least a 1B. Both students can afford to miss everything else for this activity.”

Foundational Skill Toolkit lessons provide guidance to teachers for scaffolding and adapting lessons. Within the lessons, there are recommendations to the coaches (teachers). In Yellow, Lesson 8, the Coaching Tip is: “Coach students to notice HOW the sound is made.” This is referring to the consonant sounds and how the sound is made. In Yellow for Lessons 7-9+, the materials suggest a particular letter- sound learning sequence. The materials also provide alternative sequence options such as Familiar Names/Key Words, Continuous vs. Stop Letter Sounds, and Spanish Speakers.

Gateway Two

Building Knowledge with Texts, Vocabulary, and Tasks

Meets Expectations

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Gateway Two Details

The instructional materials integrate reading, writing, speaking, and listening through comprehensive texts sets organized around grade-appropriate topics. Students engage in developmentally-appropriate research as they build and demonstrate knowledge and skills in tasks that integrate all areas of ELA.

Criterion 2a - 2h

32/32

Indicator 2a

Texts are organized around a topic/topics to build students knowledge and vocabulary which will over time support and help grow students' ability to comprehend complex texts independently and proficiently.
4/4
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Kindergarten meet the expectations for texts organized around topics to build students’ ability to read and comprehend complex texts proficiently. Each unit and the texts within as well as boxed text sets are organized around specific topics and guiding questions to build student knowledge around topics such as zoology, ecology, entomology, and literary stories.

Teachers can also utilize read alouds and boxed sets (Hook Books, 100 Book Challenge, thematic sets) that are labeled according to the publisher’s self-determined readability levels (IRLA) and organized by topic. Teachers can also access thematic text sets organized around topics in science, social studies and literary genres including the subjects of family, culture, school, transportation, and animals, that provide differentiated reading practice.

  • In Unit 1, the topic of beginning school uses themes of family, transportation, and animals to build a reading community and establish routines and individual student literacy levels.
  • In Unit 2, the topic of Zoology uses themes of animals, mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians and fish. Students actively engage in group reading activities with purpose and understanding. For example, lesson 3.4 (page 204) provides opportunities for all students to listen to reading or individual reading during the Interactive Read-Aloud (page 201), Science Lab (page 207), Readers’ Workshop (page 212), and the Music/Drama/Literature (page 213) blocks. Texts students use to build content knowledge and build literacy skills are based on their individual reading levels and build in vocabulary, sentence length, and volume of text to meet the needs of students.
  • In Unit 3, the topic of Ecology uses themes of savannas, forests, oceans, deserts and rainforests. Texts students use for research questions are based on their individual reading levels and build in vocabulary, sentence length, and volume of text to meet the needs of students. Texts students use to build content knowledge and to build literacy skills are based on their individual reading levels and build in vocabulary, sentence length, and volume of text to meet the needs of students.
  • In Unit 4, the topic of Entomology uses the themes of the world of bugs, insects, social insects, spiders and why we need bugs. Texts students use for to build content knowledge and build literacy skills are based on their individual reading levels and build in vocabulary, sentence length, and volume of text to meet the needs of students.

Indicator 2b

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Kindergarten meet the expectations for materials containing sets of coherently sequenced questions and tasks that require students to analyze the language, key ideas, details, craft, and structure of individual texts in order to make meaning and build understanding of texts and topics.

Throughout the units, students independently and in pairs complete questions and tasks that require analysis of individual texts. Examples of sets of questions found in the instructional materials include the following:

  • In Unit 1, Week 3, after reading a teacher-selected story, students are asked, “What happened? What did you learn about? On this page/in this part, what are the words telling us? What are the pictures telling us?” and “What can you tell us so far about this author/illustrator?”
  • In Unit 2, Week 4, students are asked, “What is a reptile? True or False questions like, What else did you learn from this book? Who found any new information on the characteristics of reptiles? Did anyone come up with a really good question?" and “What type of text is this?”
  • In Unit 3, Week 5, students are asked, “What is a desert like? What did you learn from this book about desert ecosystems? How do you know this is true? Where is your evidence? What else did you learn from this book?" and "Does anyone see anything in the picture(s) on this page that might support this point? Why?”
  • In Unit 4, Week 1, students are asked, “What was the coolest/grossest/most amazing fact about bugs that you learned from this book? What evidence in the book proves this is a fact? What type of bug is a ___? How do you know?” and “Whose hypothesis was proved to be correct?”

Indicator 2c

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Kindergarten meet the expectations for materials containing a coherently sequenced set of text-dependent questions and tasks that require students to analyze the integration of knowledge and ideas across both individual and multiple texts. During interactive and/or independent reading, students engage in analyzing parts of texts frequently for class discussion, addressing any given number of questions that may include responses in the form of graphic organizers, quick writes, or quick draws that involve drawing on textual evidence to support their answers. The general format of the reading questions (Research Questions), graphic organizers, and instructional tasks are designed to be used across multiple thematic units and grade levels.

Examples include:

  • In Unit 1, Week 1, students ask and answer questions as they read. The teacher introduces texts to the students by showing the cover and asking, “On the cover of this book I see...; that makes me wonder... Tell your partner: What are you thinking? What questions come to your mind?” During repeated reading, the teacher asks students to share with the person next to them, then as a group, “What did you notice? What questions did this book/section/page make you think about? Did you hear any new words? What do you think that it means?” and “What makes you think that?”
  • In Unit 2, Week 2, during the first read of a pre-selected book on mammals with text that includes illustrations and descriptions of immature/baby mammals, students are asked, “What did you learn from this book about baby ____? Is there another name for a baby____? What does it look like? What else is interesting about it? How do you know this is true?” and “What else did you learn?”
  • In Unit 3, Week 5, the teacher guides the discussion of the text, “I think the author wants us to know __ (the author’s point/message – either read directly from the text or inferred)__. Let’s think about what reasons the author gives to support his/her point that __(same point/message)__. Does anyone see anything in the picture(s) on this page that might support this point? Why? Listen as I reread this page." and "Raise your hand when you hear something that you think might support the author’s point that __(author’s point)__.”
  • In Unit 4, Week 4, students are asked to, “Use a Venn Diagram to notice, discuss, and compare/contrast the adventures and experiences of two characters in the book. • Let’s think about two of our favorite characters from the story. What happened to ____ in this story? • And what happened to ____ in this story (or in a different story)? • How are their experiences the same? How are they different?”

Indicator 2d

The questions and tasks support students' ability to complete culminating tasks in which they demonstrate their knowledge of a topic (or, for grades 6-8, a theme) through integrated skills (e.g. combination of reading, writing, speaking, listening).
4/4
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Kindergarten meet the expectations 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, and listening).

Within the materials, students have the opportunity to demonstrate comprehension and knowledge of a topic or topics through completion of culminating tasks and/or final projects. Students are asked to produce work that shows mastery of several different standards (reading, writing, speaking, and listening) at the appropriate grade level throughout their thematic units of study.

Examples include:

  • Unit 3, Week 4. “Who found any new information on ocean animals and how they are adapted to the ocean? Did anyone come up with a really good question? Add new information to your chart.” Using a good illustration from one of the books, show students how to draw an animal diagram, labeling physical adaptations. Give students clipboards with a blank, unlined, piece of paper. Have students look through the books in your collection and select one animal to diagram and label. Bring them back to share their illustrations and speculations about adaptations with each other and the group.
  • Unit 4, Week 4. “Re-read (portions of) the text, commenting on and emphasizing today’s key concepts (what makes a spider a spider) and inviting students to join you in observing carefully, making connections, speculating, and asking questions. Using Interactive Writing, complete the Spiders side of the Insects vs. Spiders chart, recording the key characteristics that make a spider a spider (eight legs, two body parts— cephalothorax and abdomen; no antennae, yes exoskeleton). Today, we will write about what makes a spider a spider. Several children take turns sharing their writing. Other children ask questions of the sharing child relating to the content of the piece (who, what, when, where, why).”

Indicator 2e

Materials include a cohesive, year-long plan for students to interact with and build key academic vocabulary words in and across texts.
4/4
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Kindergarten meet expectations for including a cohesive, year-long plan for students to interact with and build key academic vocabulary words in and across texts. Opportunities to build vocabulary are found throughout the instructional materials. The established Literacy Lab routines state, “Teacher uses daily Read Aloud as an opportunity to increase students’ academic vocabulary, background knowledge, and speaking & listening skills.” Each lesson has Interactive Read Alouds to bolster students’ receptive vocabulary, and strategies quickly teach/clarify the meaning of a few unknown words. Vocabulary instruction calls for students to think about the meaning of words. Definitions are provided in student-friendly language, and word meanings are taught with examples related to the text as well as examples from other, more familiar contexts.

  • In Unit 1, Week 1, the teacher selects a text above grade level to build academic vocabulary and background knowledge. Teachers should take 1-2 seconds to introduce drop-in words by providing a synonym/definition during the read aloud to bolster comprehension. Words are teacher-selected. The teacher may start a class Word Wall or Words We Love Chart to record Tier 2 and Tier 3 vocabulary highlighted during Read-Aloud time.
  • In Unit 2, Week 1, during the Repeated Reading block, instructions in the teacher guide are to highlight key vocabulary and add key words to the Vocabulary Wall. In the sidebar, key vocabulary is listed.
  • Unit 3, Week 4. “Reread the text, commenting on and emphasizing today’s key concepts (ocean food webs) and inviting students to join you in observing carefully, speculating, and asking questions. Highlight key vocabulary. Add new words/ideas to your Ocean Food Webs chart.”
  • Unit 4, Week 4. “Use and discuss basic science terms and topic-related vocabulary: adaptation, physical features, characteristics, function, silk, gland, fang. Highlight key vocabulary related to today’s concepts as well as high leverage vocabulary.”

Indicator 2f

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Kindergarten meet the expectation for materials supporting students’ increasing writing skills over the course of the school year, building students’ writing ability to demonstrate proficiency at grade level at the end of the school year. Students are supported through the writing process, and various activities are placed throughout units to ensure students' writing skills are increasing throughout the year.

Students are encouraged to develop stamina and a positive attitude towards writing by writing daily and for various purposes, which include composing opinion pieces, informational/explanatory texts, and simple narratives. Each lesson contains protocols for students to share their writing and receive feedback from both the teacher and his/her peers.

  • In Unit 1, Week 3, as students learn how authors and illustrators work together, students then "will write about the author/illustrator's work together. Students then "will write about the author/illustrator we are studying. We will each write about something we like that s/he does."
  • In Unit 2, Week 3, students use their information and drawings of bird beaks from the Science Lab block during writer’s workshop. Students write about how bird beaks are very different, using this information.
  • In Unit 3, Week 6, after drawing pictures of rainforest animals during the Science Lab block, students write about rainforest animals in writer’s workshop. The teacher uses the think-aloud strategy to model planning of writing, drawing, and writing emphasizing the use of purposeful decisions about what to write, sentences, titles, and correct spellings of any Power Words used.
  • In Unit 4, Week 5, during the Science Lab block, students use interactive writing and/or simple drawings, to work together to fill in a Problem Solution chart identifying the problem, possible solutions, and writing about how bugs help people. The teacher models the process using the think-aloud strategy.

The daily literacy block includes a 20-60 minute writing segment. The teacher models how the day’s focus will be applied to writing. Students are provided time to practice while the teacher confers with students in one-to-one conferences or small groups to provide coaching and feedback. By the end of each unit, students will have practiced writing in a variety of genres, both in and out of context, and will have produced at least twenty unique pieces of writing per unit within that range of genres. By the end of each unit, students will have practiced writing in a variety of genres, both in and out of context, and will have produced at least twenty unique pieces of writing per unit within that range of genres.

Indicator 2g

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Kindergarten meet the expectations that materials include a progression of focused research projects to encourage students to develop knowledge in a given area by confronting and analyzing different aspects of a topic using multiple texts and source materials.
Units are designed for students to act as researchers and gather details or ideas from texts throughout the unit to to complete a culminating writing task in each lesson. Writing tasks ask students to interpret, analyze, and/or synthesize information from above grade-level interactive read alouds and texts from independent leveled libraries from a range of sub-topics within the larger context of a literary or scientific field of research. Students are provided with daily independent reading, research, and discussion times of about 20 to 40 minutes. Additionally, students engage in research writing daily for about 20 to 40 minutes and write about what they are reading.

  • Unit 1, Week 4. “We have been thinking about characters, settings, and events in stories. Today, you will write about a character, setting, or event—either from stories we have read, or one you make up of your own. Each of you will: • Draw and write for 15 minutes. • Leave a big “meatball” space between each word you write. Who would like to share their writing today? Invite the student/s to sit in the Author’s Chair.”
  • Unit 2, Week 2. “Today, we are going to find a picture of a mammal and copy it. • Look very closely at the picture. • Tell what you see. Look really closely. What’s there? What’s not there? Use descriptive language (five senses). • Hypothesize: Why might _(body part)__ be important? • Do your best to copy the illustration or one part of it. • Label the parts you know. Star the hair that proves it is a mammal." As they finish a diagram (independently) have them cut it out and tape/glue it up on the class mural.
  • Unit 3, Week 1. “Divide the class into five groups. Give each student “ecologist” a clipboard, a T-chart (like the one you just used) with the name of the group’s ecosystem at the top, and a pencil. Have each student record observations by drawing (and labeling, if possible) something that is living and something non-living. Focus on the scientific thinking involved. Do not emphasize correct spelling or letter formation.”
  • Unit 4, Week 1. “Give each entomologist a clipboard, a piece of paper, and a pencil. Have students make three columns and label them: 6 Legs, 8 Legs, and Many Legs. Take the class on an Observation Safari looking for bugs. The goal today is to find as many bugs as possible to classify. It is ideal if students can explore individually or in pairs so they are all able to see the bugs. When students find a bug, have them count its legs and make a quick sketch in the correct column.“

Indicator 2h

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

The instructional materials for Kindergarten meet the expectations that materials provide a design, including accountability, for how students will regularly engage in a volume of independent reading either in or outside of class. Texts are of publishable quality and worthy of close reading. There is a wide variety and volume of motivating content and Lexile levels from which students can select. Students can use text features and visual cues within the books to help him/her read and understand. Sufficient teacher guidance/support from the teacher includes modeling the thought process, guided practice, using mnemonic devices/chant, and when students are proficient, there are opportunities for them to help other students.

Procedures are organized for independent reading using the Independent Reading Level Assessment (IRLA) and the teacher’s guide. There is scheduled independent reading time daily. The 100 Book Challenge is an instructional system that addresses independent reading done in and out of school. Students select from a library of leveled readers and select texts of their choice in school to read daily (“eye on the page” independent reading) for fifteen to thirty minutes; any book counts for the 100 Book Challenge. The goal of the 100 Book Challenge is for every student to have 800 steps a year: 60 minutes a day/200 days a year (1 step is equal to 15 minutes of reading). A Home Coach is provided (a parent, guardian, or older sibling) to monitor reading done at home. Additionally, skill cards are provided to the Home Coach to support students. Each unit also provides students with reading logs to record their in class and independent reading as well as track their reading levels and growth.

  • In Unit 1, Week 1, Day 1, the teacher sets the focus for reading. As a whole group, the teacher introduces the rules for Independent Reading. "There are 3 rules for our reading time. The first rule is READ. The second rule is READ. And the third rule is… (Students will respond “READ”). What do you do if you finish all of your books? Read them again."
  • In Unit 1, Week 1, Day 1, the independent reading goal for the week is to get as much eye-on-page independent reading each day as possible, in as many short sessions as it takes to reach 30+ minutes. Students should be able to achieve 30 minutes of in-school independent reading daily. The teacher will provide time as needed (e.g., at the end of the literacy block, after lunch, etc.) to ensure every student reaches this goal.
  • Unit 1, Week 3, Day 1. The 100 Book Challenge begins. Directions, log sheets and online SchoolPace instructions are found here. Suggestions for engaging families as Home Coaches is found here. Steps build gradually. For example, Week 3 begins with 1 step a day instead of 2, Week 4 increases to 2 steps a day, Week 5, 3 steps a day- 2 in school, 1 at home, and Week 6, 4 steps a day- 2 in school and 2 at home. This will continue the rest of the school year.
  • Unit 2, Week 1, Day 1. Partner and Independent Reading: Side-by-Side and Back-to-Back strategy is modeled and practiced during partner reading routines. Instruction is explicit. For example: Side-by-Side: Sit beside your partner. Students take turns as reader and coach. (Having the coach wear a sticker or necklace or hold something that helps with this distinction.) Back-to-Back: Sit with backs touching. Students read independently. Have two students model the process for the class. The teacher reminds students they can read either the pictures or the words. The teacher picks students by twos and make sure they all select books, return to their spots/desks/tables, and “read” them. As students finish with their books, carry a basket of books to each pair and have them select another book. If time remains, read the first page to the pair. Continue this only as long as all students remain engaged. Ten minutes is a good time, but it can be shorter at first.
  • In Unit 3, the Unit Overview offers a guide of daily reading activities including: the Interactive Read Aloud, wherein students experience connected text during a first read and a repeated read, Science Lab, where students do independent research reading practice, Reader’s Workshop, where there are read alouds, shared reading, and partner and independent practice. Additional read alouds and independent reading time are included, although this is not consistent in the daily schedule.

Gateway Three

Usability

Meets Expectations

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Gateway Three Details

Overall, the materials provide good structural support and consistent routines. Use of technology is encouraged, but supplemental support may be needed for students for whom English is a new language and students or teachers with limited technology skills or adaptive needs. Materials provide evidence of connections between the parts of the program, the assessments, and the college and career-ready standards.

Criterion 3a - 3e

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8/8
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Criterion Rating Details

Kindergarten materials are well designed, taking into account effective lesson structure and pacing. The four units and 36 weeks of instruction provide flexibility for teachers to adjust lessons as needed while still being able to complete the materials within a normal school year. Materials are well-aligned to the standards and provide documentation for that alignment. Student resources are clear, well-designed, correctly labeled and do not distract from the lessons. There is adequate support for all included resources.

Indicator 3a

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Kindergarten meet the expectations that materials are well-designed and take into account effective lesson structure and pacing. There are four units in Kindergarten: the Literacy Lab and three Research Labs- Zoology, Ecology, and Entomology. The materials contain daily opportunities for whole and small-group instruction, including flexible grouping based on learning needs as determined by the IRLA assessments. The materials emphasize their daily routine as including a basic structure and multiple opportunities for self-directed learning, including opportunities to have personalized instruction to meet their specific needs, read books that are appropriate for their reading skills/level as well as books that are self-selected (from within a teacher-directed menu of choices), work with other students, and spend time researching and writing on topics of interest, for multiple purposes and audiences.

The materials list four weekly literacy goals for students:

  • Students listen to at least 25 above-level read-alouds and discuss both the content and the vocabulary.
  • Teacher meets with a minimum of 10 students 1:1 or in small groups to focus on their Power Goals.
  • Students spend 2.5 hours a week in school reading and enjoying books independently or with a partner/buddy.
  • Students spend 2.5 hours a week enjoying reading and listening to books at home.

The materials clearly list the components of each day (Morning Meeting, Interactive Read-Aloud, Science Lab, Phonological Awareness, Phonics/Word Work, Readers’ Workshop, Centers, Writing, Music/Drama, and Read-Aloud) for a 120 minute reading block and offer flexibility for the order in which the components are completed. Each day’s lesson plans have a clear set of directions and are supported by educative materials within the lesson plans that explain why certain practices are supported or not supported by research and recommendations for carrying out the evidence-based practices.

Indicator 3b

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

The materials reviewed meet the expectations that the teacher and student can reasonably complete the content within a regular school year, and the pacing allows for maximum student understanding. Each unit comes complete with a pacing guide. There are four units designed for 36 weeks of instruction. This will allow flexibility for teachers to adjust lessons as needed.

The Teacher’s Guide states, “Our curriculum is a FRAMEWORK, not a script. What should students argue about while they study the Civil War? What lessons should they take away from a study of Science Fiction? It depends. It depends on the children in your classroom. It depends on you. 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.”

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 Kindergarten meet expectations 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.).

Materials provide review and practice resources such as note catchers, reference charts, anchor charts, checklists, graphic organizers, rubrics, and blackline masters.

Student resources include clear explanations and directions. Activities that are completed with teacher guidance have directions included in the teacher lesson plan notes. Resources that are completed independently or in small groups without direct teacher guidance include clear directions and explanations so that the task can be completed. Examples include:

  • In Unit 1, Week 2, Materials include: “Words We Love” Chart, One-to-One Correspondence Tools: blocks, sentence strips cut up, magic pointer fingers • Songs/Rhymes you are using this week on chart paper (See lesson for sample songs/rhymes.)”
  • In Unit 2, Week 4, “Return to the Reptile Stages Chart. Yesterday, we identified the stages in a reptile’s life. Today, we will look at how a reptile grows and changes. Graphic Organizer: Reptile Life Cycle Chart As you discuss this with the children, use Interactive Writing to draw and write a basic reptile life cycle on a large chart.”
  • In Unit 3, Week 1, “Think aloud as you set up a two-column chart to record students’ observations. Label the columns: Living and Non-Living.”
  • Unit 4, Week 2, “Graphic Organizer: Insect Physical Adaptations Chart On a large chart paper, write the title: Insect Physical Adaptations. Draw three columns and label them Insect, Body Parts, Use. Start recording insects and their interesting body parts. Model distinguishing between known facts and speculation by putting question marks to note the things that you aren’t yet sure are true.”

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

Instructional materials reviewed for Kindergarten meet the criteria that materials include publisher-produced alignment documentation of the standards addressed by specific questions, tasks, and assessment items. The Unit 1 Teacher’s Guide contains a chart listing the Common Core State Standards Scope & Sequence for every unit broken down by unit theme and the weeks in which they are addressed. It includes Reading, Foundational Skills, Writing, Speaking/Listening and Language.

Each Unit also contains a Unit Overview that lists Best Practices and Focus Standards. The Pacing Guide includes the Week and the CCSS Focus of that week and each week begins with a “Daily Framework” that also lists the standards being addressed in the learning that week.

  • Unit 1, Week 3, “RL.K.6: With prompting and support, name the author and illustrator of a story and define the role of each in telling the story.”
  • Unit 2, Week 5, “• Retell the story to me. Include the title, main character, problem and solution. (Prompt for key details of story if necessary.) CCSS RL.K.2”
  • Unit 3, Week 2, “Main Topic/Key Details (RI.K.2) What do you think is the main topic of the book we just read? Solicit answers. Clarify as needed.”
  • Unit 4, Week 2, “Discuss (RI.K.1, RI.K.2) • What did you learn from this book about the body parts of a __(insect)___? How do you know this is true?”

Indicator 3e

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

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

The material design is simple and consistent. Units are comprised of materials that display a simple design and include adequate space. The font, size, margins, and spacing are consistent and readable. Units include graphic organizers, charts, worksheets, tables and other blackline masters that are easy to read and understand. There are no distracting images, and the layout of the student consumables is clear and concise.

Criterion 3f - 3j

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

The Teacher edition contains many useful annotations and suggestions to support teachers who may not be as familiar with the material or content; however, there are places in the materials where additional support for the teacher, particularly for students who are not responding to specific aspects of instruction, would be helpful.

Abundant educative materials are included in the program to support teachers’ professional learning, including outlines for Professional Learning Communities. Additionally, the materials clearly define the role of research in the development and improvement of the program, and consistently delineates research-based best practices and the source of those practices for teachers who wish to learn more on the topic.

The role of the standards in the materials is well-defined and aligned to college and career ready standards.

There is a clear plan for engaging all stakeholders, including students, parents, or caregivers in the goals and work of the program.

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 Kindergarten partially meet the expectations 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. "Building Instruction in Units of Study" is presented in the back of the Unit 1 Teacher Edition for Kindergarten. This section details such topics as Questions Worth Asking, Questioning Frameworks, Bloom’s Taxonomy, Learning Domains, Webb’s Depth of Knowledge, Words Worth Teaching, and creating lessons.

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.

  • Unit 2, Week 1, “Reinforce the Foundational Skills students are using in their reading and writing. Have students take turns holding the marker and coming up to circle, box, and underline things in the writing that will support their ability to express ideas in print.”

Teachers may need more guidance on which foundational skills they should be reinforcing; it is also unclear how this writing will support their expression of ideas in print.

  • Unit 4, Week, 3, “Choose a book about bee life cycles to read aloud. Read the book(s) once through, giving students enough time to think and absorb, but without interrupting the flow with too many comments or clarifications. Use scientific thinking to develop a question and speculate/form a hypothesis about bee life cycles.”

Much of the scope of lessons center around the teacher choice of book. There is no guidance about what types of information teachers should be interjecting in the asides to help students determine what the author is saying. Also, in this example, there are no examples of the scientific thinking and/or sample questions to help lead the teacher, students, and or lesson.

During Research Labs, the Teacher Work section gives an overview of what the teacher should be doing, for example, the Teacher Edition asks teachers to, “Monitor for Engagement: Ensure all students are on task. Formative Assessment/Writing Coach: Check for Understanding: Observe students as they write. Make sure students are making adequate progress. Share Good Examples: As you locate great examples in students’ work, point them out to the class.” Teachers may need more guidance as to what would constitute adequate progress at that point in the unit as well as what a great example might look like.

There is minimal guidance and support for the use of embedded technology. For example, in Unit 2, Week 2, the Teacher Edition suggests the use of technology but does not give any other information to support the use and enhance student learning. The Teacher Edition states, “Identify and use basic tools and technology to extend exploration in conjunction with science investigations.”

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 materials reviewed for Kindergarten meet expectations 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.

The Literacy and Research Lab Teacher Editions include notes that give adult-level explanations and examples. Examples include but are not limited to:

  • Unit 2, Week 2, “At this stage of K, students should write lots of words with an initial letter and a magic line. The initial letter might not be correct, but it should make sense (“s” instead of a soft “c,” “j” instead of “g,” a letter that actually represents the second sound in the word, etc.).”
  • Unit 3, Week 2, an aside in this lesson is titled, “Associative Learning” and explains the meaning to teachers; “Associative learning, like sandwiching (see Power Word Action Plans in IRLA), uses low-meaning, high-frequency words in association with concrete things the children like to help store the words in long-term memory.”
  • Unit 4, provides “Background Information” for the Research Unit; “The six most common invertebrate groups are: arthropods (e.g., insects, crustaceans, and arachnids), mollusks (e.g., snails, octopuses, and clams), cnidaria (e.g., jellyfish, sea anemones, and corals), sponges (porifera), worms, and echinoderms (e.g., starfish and sea urchins).” (p23)

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 materials reviewed for Kindergarten meet the expectations that materials contain a teacher’s edition that explains the role of the specific ELA/literacy standards in the context of the overall curriculum. Standards are addressed throughout the front material of each Literacy and Research lab. The Teacher Editions explain the role of the specific ELA/Literacy standards and how they shaped the reviewed curriculum.

The beginning of each unit also contains a table detailing the specific standard for the grade (Kindergarten) and which unit or units (literacy, zoology, ecology and entomology) it is measured in. There is also a Common Core Scope and Sequence Chart that lists the standards that are related to specific weeks of instruction.

The materials state, “The books in the Literacy/Research Lab Libraries are leveled and organized by IRLA (Independent Reading Level Assessment) levels.

The IRLA is a color-coded Developmental Reading Taxonomy that integrates Common Core State Standards for reading acquisition with a deep knowledge of the demands of literature and informational text for students, grades PreK through 12. Each book’s IRLA level is a result of multiple reading experts independently assessing the specific combination of quantitative, qualitative, and reader/task challenges presented by that title.”

The Teacher Edition also include Standards Mini Lessons which give explanations of what the teacher work looks like based on the standard being taught. For example:

  • Unit 1, Week 6, “Asking students to think, share, and write about opinions/preferences supports their ability to do CCSS W.K.1.”
  • Unit 2, Week 2, “Today, as you walk around, notice who is able to use the cover, title page, and/or other parts of the book to find books about mammals. (RI.K.5)
  • Unit 3, Week 1, “Review RI.K.5, RL.K.5 and/or RI.K.9 as necessary. Make note of students who might need small group interventions with these Focus Standards. • RI.K.5: Review the front cover, back cover, and title page of the book. • RL.K.5: Discuss what type of text you are reading (informational, story, poem, etc.) and how you know.”
  • Unit 4, Week 1, “Review the Focus Standards from Ecology as necessary: CCSS RI.K.2, RL.K.2 RI.K.8, and RI.K.1 Make note of students who might need small group interventions with these Focus Standards.”

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 Kindergarten meet the expectations that materials contain explanations of the instructional approaches of the program and identification of the research-based strategies. The front material of each Research Lab includes multiple citations and explanations of instructional approaches. Research based strategies are included throughout the program in lesson sidebars. There are also a Research Lab works Cited/Consulted pages that lists all research materials cited or consulted for the program.

  • Unit 1, Core Overview, “Research Labs: Standards-Based Thematic Instruction Teachers use the Research Labs structure to orchestrate highly engaging, content rich inquiry units in which students are the drivers of their own learning, preparing them for 21st century success.”
  • Unit 3, Week 3, Lesson Sidebar, “As you work with individuals and facilitate the discussion, use the Focus Reading Standards Assessment Record to note observations about proficiency with RI.K.2: topic/key details.”

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 Kindergarten meet the expectations 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. Throughout all of the units, students are expected to read every night at home as part of “The 100 Book Challenge” and parents/caregivers are given an involved role. Examples include but are not limited to:

  • “The classroom teacher—in collaboration with the student, parent, and school reading specialist—should be the final arbiter of whether or not a reader can handle a given reading level.”
  • “The parent is the Home Coach and in charge of deciding what “counts” for 100 BOOK CHALLENGE reading at home.”
  • “Today, you are going to learn how to fill out your logsheet. Next week, you will teach your parents about logging Steps, so you will need to be an expert.”
  • Engage Home Coaches, “Determine who Home Coaches are (parents, grandparents, older siblings, etc.). • Help Home Coaches understand the goals of home reading, and ways to ensure success.”

Each Research Lab Unit includes parent letter templates that are sent home to inform caregivers about what students are learning and how they can help support student progress.

  • In Unit 4, “Dear Parents and Guardians, We are ready to begin an exciting nine-week reading, writing, and science inquiry unit called ENTOMOLOGY.”

Criterion 3k - 3n

Materials offer teachers resources and tools to collect ongoing data about student progress on the Standards.
7/8
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Criterion Rating Details

The materials use the IRLA Conferencing & Formative Assessment Independent Reading Levels & Student-Teacher Conferences to consistently assess student progress. Most assessments clearly denote their alignment to the standards. Further, the materials provide good guidance for teachers to determine student performance and implications for instruction. Independent reading is clearly a strong and present focus throughout the materials, with emphasis on helping students to select books of interest and to engage in experiences that build stamina, confidence, and motivation. Students are accountable for their independent reading, supported by strong communication with their families or caregivers for supporting students in their independent reading.

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 Kindergarten meet the expectations that materials regularly and systematically offer assessment opportunities that genuinely measure student progress.

The materials use the IRLA Conferencing & Formative Assessment Independent Reading Levels & Student-Teacher Conferences to consistently assess student progress. The Teacher Edition states, “The IRLA is used to determine, monitor, and research the full continuum of each student’s reading spectrum, from independent to instructional to frustration levels. Teachers’ careful research of their students’ reading competencies, by means of the IRLA, allows them to determine just what skills and strategies each student has mastered and which he needs to learn next. Teachers then address those needs using the full range of instructional formats (e.g., whole-group, small-group, one-on-one), documenting success and progress in the IRLA. The skills/strategies taught may be essential for enhancement of the student’s current reading level, or they may prepare him for the next. The goal of all reading instruction is to produce successful independent readers; therefore, all of this work is designed to advance the students’ independent levels.”

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.
1/2
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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Kindergarten partially meet the expectations that assessments clearly denote which standards are being emphasized. Daily formative assessments are connected to each lesson, and while the beginning of the lesson includes standards being emphasized, they are not always clear or explicit as to how the assessments are measurable.

  • Unit 1, Week 5, “Formative Assessment/Underwriting Check for Understanding Observe students as they write. Make sure students are making adequate progress.”
  • Unit 3, Week 1, “Assessment and Record-Keeping Do a quick and informal scan to see if everyone can explain the difference between plants and animals and give examples of each.”

There are also rubrics such as the Final Project Rubrics and/or WOW Facts that do not denote the standards being emphasized.

  • Unit 4, Week 1, “We know scientists give evidence to support what they say and write. We will use this rubric to remind us how to give evidence.”

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 materials reviewed for Kindergarten meet the expectations that assessments provide sufficient guidance to teachers for interpreting student performance and suggestions for follow-up. Teachers are often directed to conference with students during small group time.

The 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. There is guidance for teachers to assist students in reaching the goal set. A chart of Common Blockers is provided for teachers to help provide follow-up for students who struggle at specific levels. Both small group and writing protocols and action plan documents are provided. Final projects are presented to the class, a rubric is used to help teachers interpret student performance.
Teachers are prompted to use the formative assessment protocol and questions throughout daily lessons, examples include, but are not limited to:

  • In Unit 1, Week 5, “Formative Assessment/Underwriting: Check for Understanding; Observe students as they write. Make sure students are making adequate progress.”
  • In Unit 2, Week 2, “Reading Standards Assessment and Record-Keeping: As you work with individuals and facilitate Independent Research/ Reading Practice, use the Focus Reading Standards Assessment Record, located at the end of Topic 1, Lesson 1, to note observations about proficiency.”
  • In Unit 3, Week 2, “Assessment and Record-Keeping: Do a quick and informal scan to see if everyone can name a few living organisms and non-living things found on a savanna. Make a quick record of who has it and who doesn’t on your Status of the Class Chart.”
  • In Unit 4, Week 1, “Power Word Assessment Continue collecting information about how many Power Words each child knows.”

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 Kindergarten meet the expectations that materials indicate how students are accountable for independent reading based on student choice and interest to build stamina, confidence, and motivation.

Independent Reading is built into every daily lesson during Reading Workshop. Students build stamina in early units to read 15-30 minutes daily. Students are held accountable in many ways, including reading logs, accountability talks with partner, groups, and whole class, as well as individual check-ins with the teacher. Rules for independent reading are presented on a class chart and posted in the classroom.

  • In Unit 1, Week 1, the Teacher Edition states, “Your goal this week is to get in as much eye-on-page Independent Reading each day as possible, in as many short sessions as it takes to reach 30+ minutes. Ultimately, students should be able to achieve 30 minutes of in-school Independent Reading daily. Provide time as needed (e.g., at the end of the literacy block, after lunch, etc.) to ensure every student reaches this goal.”
  • Unit 2, Week 1, Reading Logs “If you are tracking Steps, have students record one book on each line of their Reading Logs for every 15 minutes of reading they completed today.”
  • Across the Units, “Organize systems for Home Reading to ensure all students get to practice at home each night. Give each child a folder and have children place the books and their Reading Log in their folders.”

Students are given a focus to think about as they read independently:

  • Unit 2, Week 2, the students are instructed, “As you read today, practice getting your mouth ready to make the sound of the first letter in the new word and THEN look at the picture for something that matches that sound and makes sense.” The Teacher Edition then states, “Have students read as many Yellow books as their attention spans allow. Have them read beside their partners or to stuffed animals or plants (living organisms or non-living objects). Have them try to read the titles. “

The 100 Book Challenge Library rotates weekly or biweekly. Students are encouraged to read whatever they want. 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 redirect students.

Teachers document student status daily, as engaged, compliant, resistant, or challenged. The Teacher Edition gives suggestions and follow up to keep students engaged during independent reading time.

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 Kindergarten meet the expectations that materials indicate how students are accountable for independent reading based on student choice and interest to build stamina, confidence, and motivation.

Independent Reading is built into every daily lesson during Reading Workshop. Students build stamina in early units to read 15-30 minutes daily. Students are held accountable in many ways, including reading logs, accountability talks with partner, groups, and whole class, as well as individual check-ins with the teacher. Rules for independent reading are presented on a class chart and posted in the classroom.

In Unit 1, Week 1, the Teacher Edition states, “Your goal this week is to get in as much eye-on-page Independent Reading each day as possible, in as many short sessions as it takes to reach 30+ minutes. Ultimately, students should be able to achieve 30 minutes of in-school Independent Reading daily. Provide time as needed (e.g., at the end of the literacy block, after lunch, etc.) to ensure every student reaches this goal.”

Unit 2, Week 1, Reading Logs “If you are tracking Steps, have students record one book on each line of their Reading Logs for every 15 minutes of reading they completed today.”

Across the Units, “Organize systems for Home Reading to ensure all students get to practice at home each night. Give each child a folder and have children place the books and their Reading Log in their folders.”

Students are given a focus to think about as they read independently:

  • Unit 2, Week 2, the students are instructed, “As you read today, practice getting your mouth ready to make the sound of the first letter in the new word and THEN look at the picture for something that matches that sound and makes sense.” The Teacher Edition then states, “Have students read as many Yellow books as their attention spans allow. Have them read beside their partners or to stuffed animals or plants (living organisms or non-living objects). Have them try to read the titles. “

The 100 Book Challenge Library rotates weekly or biweekly. Students are encouraged to read whatever they want. 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 redirect students.

Teachers document student status daily, as engaged, compliant, resistant, or challenged. The Teacher Edition 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.
8/10
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Criterion Rating Details

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, including opportunities for extensions and advanced learning. There are some explicit support within the materials for English Language Learners; however, the bulk of instructional strategies falling into the same strategies applied for all students with the use of the IRLA. Flexible grouping strategies are used throughout the materials to facilitate student processing and 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 Kindergarten meet the expectation 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 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. There is guidance for teachers to assist students in reaching the goal set. A chart of Common Blockers is provided for teachers to help provide follow-up for students who struggle at specific levels. 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. The Teacher uses evidence from students’ work to decide if/what to clarify or reteach on the spot, and to plan for next day’s instruction through, “Embedded Formative Assessment.”

Students use the 100 Book Challenge books to read at multiple levels, from below, at, and above their mastery levels. This provides students with opportunity to exceed grade level standards, while allowing those who need more time with at-level texts to reach grade-level standards.

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.
2/4
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Kindergarten partially meet the expectation that materials 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 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. There is guidance for teachers to assist students in reaching the goal set. A chart of Common Blockers is provided for teachers to help provide follow-up for students who struggle at specific levels. 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 use the 100 Book Challenge books to read at multiple levels, from below, at, and above their mastery levels. This provides students with opportunity to exceed grade level standards,while allowing those who need more time with at-level texts to reach grade-level standards.
Support for Language Learners can be found in lesson annotations, for example, in Unit 1, the Teacher Edition states, “Support for Language Learners, Find opportunities to support beginning English Language Learners with partners who speak the same native language. Encourage students to use their home language as a support for learning the new language. Speaking, reading, and writing in another language, even during ELA time, will only help, not hurt, students’ English language growth. If this is not possible, try to find these students partners who have previously had the experience of having to learn English or other students who are sensitive to the challenge of trying to learn new content in a new language.” Another example can be found in Unit 1, Week 3, Day 3 the Teacher Edition states, “Accommodating ELLs and Remedial Readers, Ideally all students do Independent Reading in the genre. However, it is paramount that students experience success-level reading: reading where their own skill base is self-extending (i.e., learning to be better readers by reading). When faced with the choice between having a student do his/her Independent Reading with success level books or with books in the genre that are too hard for her/him, choose success level first.“

Indicator 3q

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Kindergarten meet requirements for regularly including extensions and/or more advanced opportunities for students who read, write, speak, or listen above grade level. Extension activities are provided throughout materials.

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.

Student who complete a task early are often instructed to work with a peer to better help the peer understand the process.

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 Kindergarten meet the expectations of providing ample opportunities for teachers to use grouping strategies during lessons. Students work in pairs, small groups, as a whole group, and one on one with the teacher during Reading Workshop.

Partner work is embedded as part of the Literacy Lab Routine across the Units:

  • “Accountable Talk: Students share with a partner and a few share out to class. Teacher coaches appropriate Speaking & Listening skills. Teacher uses Accountable Talk as feedback loop for assessing success of literacy block instruction.”
  • “Partner Share: Model the partner share routine you expect students to participate in every day. Spend extra time establishing this now. Explicit direction on how to share appropriately (e.g., turn to face your partner, one person speaks at a time, active listening, etc.) is important for making this run smoothly.”

Reader’s Workshop also includes partner work across the Units:

  • “Partner and Independent Reading: Side-by-Side and Back-to-Back Model and practice partner reading routines: • Side-by-Side: Sit beside your partner. Students take turns as reader and coach. • Back-to-Back: Sit with backs touching. Students read independently.”

Students also work and share with peers in collaborative writing and discussion groups across the Units.

  • “Collaborative Writing Students share their work with a partner. Author: • Describe your lesson/message. • What I like most about my story is ___. Partner: • What I like about your story is ___. • A question I have is ___.”
  • “Discussion Groups: Genre Have students share with partners and then work as a small group. Use this time to teach/reinforce sharing and discussion group routines. The content of students’ conversation today is less important than that everyone understands HOW to do pair share/discussion groups so that later days the focus can be on the content of the conversations.”

Indicator 3s

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Indicator Rating Details

The materials 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. Accessibility was tested on Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer, Safari, an Android phone, an iPhone, and an iPad. All access was successful.

Indicator 3s3v

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Indicator Rating Details

Materials are compatible with multiple internet browsers. While there are regular suggestions that students use digital technologies for research or publication, there is little explicit guidance for teachers to scaffold these activities. Adaptive technology considerations were not found in the materials. Materials are easily customizable for local use and a broad variety of topics and texts are available.

Indicator 3t

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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional material for Kindergarten does not meet the expectations that materials support effective use of technology to enhance student learning, drawing attention to evidence and texts as appropriate.

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 Teacher Edition notes that teachers should pull in help from librarians and other resources to help aid the use of technology. It is also mentioned in the Unit 1 ‘Daily Routine: “Students work together, listen to each other talk, draw, use technology, arts, music, etc.” However, there is no guidance, or support to initiate effective use of technology in the lessons.

Indicator 3u

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Indicator 3u.i

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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Kindergarten partially meet the expectations that digital materials 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.

Indicator 3u.ii

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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Kindergarten meet the expectations that materials can be easily customized for local use. 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. Teachers are given autonomy for choosing the appropriate core text for their classrooms. Text-Based questions and tasks found throughout the units can be used across multiple texts. The Book Boxes can be customized to address local students’ needs.

Indicator 3v

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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Kindergarten 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.). For Kindergarten, the Teacher Edition recommends using the school website to post resources; “Post parent reading tips, sample questions, and word attack and comprehension strategies on the school website and/or in the school newsletter.” In Unit 4, for Topic One, the Teacher Edition lists interactive websites that would be helpful for resources for teaching ‘Entomology’. Those websites include, but are not limited to, “www.insectidentification.org (Identify the bugs you find by searching by state or description) http://bugscope.beckman.uiuc.edu/ (Students control a scanning electron microscope to view insects over the web by working with students at the University of Illinois.)”

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

Materials are compatible with multiple internet browsers. While there are regular suggestions that students use digital technologies for research or publication, there is little explicit guidance for teachers to scaffold these activities. Adaptive technology considerations were not found in the materials. Materials are easily customizable for local use and a broad variety of topics and texts are available.

Indicator 3s

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

The materials 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. Accessibility was tested on Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer, Safari, an Android phone, an iPhone, and an iPad. All access was successful.

Indicator 3t

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

The instructional material for Kindergarten does not meet the expectations that materials support effective use of technology to enhance student learning, drawing attention to evidence and texts as appropriate.

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 Teacher Edition notes that teachers should pull in help from librarians and other resources to help aid the use of technology. It is also mentioned in the Unit 1 ‘Daily Routine: “Students work together, listen to each other talk, draw, use technology, arts, music, etc.” However, there is no guidance, or support to initiate effective use of technology in the lessons.

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 Kindergarten partially meet the expectations that digital materials 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.

Indicator 3u.ii

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Kindergarten meet the expectations that materials can be easily customized for local use. 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. Teachers are given autonomy for choosing the appropriate core text for their classrooms. Text-Based questions and tasks found throughout the units can be used across multiple texts. The Book Boxes can be customized to address local students’ needs.

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 Kindergarten 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.). For Kindergarten, the Teacher Edition recommends using the school website to post resources; “Post parent reading tips, sample questions, and word attack and comprehension strategies on the school website and/or in the school newsletter.” In Unit 4, for Topic One, the Teacher Edition lists interactive websites that would be helpful for resources for teaching ‘Entomology’. Those websites include, but are not limited to, “www.insectidentification.org (Identify the bugs you find by searching by state or description) http://bugscope.beckman.uiuc.edu/ (Students control a scanning electron microscope to view insects over the web by working with students at the University of Illinois.)”

Additional Publication Details

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

Report Edition: 2017

Title ISBN Edition Publisher Year
Y-2R Foundational Skills Toolkit 978-1-63437-494-1 Copyright: 2017 American Reading Company 2017
Y-2G Foundational Skills Toolkit 978-1-63437-495-8 Copyright: 2017 American Reading Company 2017
IRLA CCSS Version 8 978-1-63437-885-7 Copyright: 2017 American Reading Company 2017
IRLA CCS Version 8 Conference Notebook 978-1-63437-982-3 Copyright: 2017 American Reading Company 2017

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ELA K-2 Rubric and Evidence Guides

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

For ELA, our rubrics evaluate materials based on:

  • Text Quality and Complexity, and Alignment to Standards with Tasks Grounded in Evidence
  • Building Knowledge with Texts, Vocabulary, and Tasks
  • Instructional Supports and Usability

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

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