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
56
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

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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 and task 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; however, 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 Grade 2 meet the expectations for anchor texts being of publishable quality and worthy of careful reading. The texts address a range of interests, and the reading selections would be interesting and engaging for Grade 2 students. Many of the central texts are written by celebrated and/or award-winning authors. Central texts include a variety of genres and consider a range of students’ interests including poetry, heroism, cultural diversity, insects and animals. Academic, rich vocabulary can also be found within selected texts.

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

  • The Bug in Teacher’s Coffee and Other School Poems, by Kalli Dakos and illustrated by Mike Reed contains funny poems about school life. Some poems include rhyming, and some poems are silly. Students will be able to relate to the poems.
  • The Stories Julian Tells, by Ann Cameron is engaging, positive text that contains humorous characters such as Julian. This character is mischievous, which makes him an interesting character to follow.
  • Aunt Flossie’s Hats (and Crab Cakes Later), by Elizabeth Fitzgerald Howard is a text with rich illustrations about visiting an aunt who takes pride in her hats. Students learn about how hats can contain a story about the past.
  • Come On, Rain! by Karen Hesse is a text about hoping for rain in a drought. The text contains interesting, engaging vocabulary such as endless, rumble, and sizzle.

Indicator 1b

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 2 meet the expectations for materials reflecting the distribution of text types and genres required by the standards. Each unit in Grade 1 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). Texts include diverse topics and genres such as realistic fiction, science and social studies informational text, traditional tales, personal narratives, classics, and a poetry anthology.

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

Unit 1

  • Teammates, by Peter Golenbock
  • Lizards, Frogs and Polliwogs, by Douglas Florian

Unit 2

  • Bug Out! The World’s Creepiest, Crawliest Critters, by Ginjer L. Clarke
  • Spiders, by Gail Gibbon

Unit 3

  • Let’s Classify Animals! By Kelli Hicks

Unit 4

  • What is a Government? By Baron Bedsky
  • How to Draw a Map, by Julia J. Quinla

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

Unit 1

  • My Rotten Redheaded Older Brother, by Patricia Polacco
  • Splish Splash, by Joan Bransfield Graham

Unit 2

  • James and the Giant Peach, by Roald Dahl
  • Hey There, Stink Bug, by Leslie Bulion

Unit 3

  • After Happily Ever After, by Tony Bradman
  • Berlioz The Bear, by Jan Brett

Unit 4

  • Frankly, Frannie, by AJ Stern

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
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-
Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 2 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 text 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 for text complexity. 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 Bug in Teacher’s Coffee and Other School Poems, by Kalli Dakos is quantitatively non-prose. It is moderately complex in structure with supporting illustrations and also moderately complex in language demands due to the amount of figurative language students are exposed to. Knowledge demands are slightly complex as there are multiple themes, but most are familiar to readers.
  • The Stories Julian Tells, by Ann Cameron has a 520 Lexile and qualitatively is slightly to moderately complex in knowledge demands with subject-specific terms and slightly complex structure with supportive illustrations and graphics. Some academic and figurative language use results in a moderately complex score.

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 Grade 2 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 core texts and complex read alouds for teachers to select from in each unit.

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
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 2 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 (ARC) 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.

Title: The Bug in Teacher’s Coffee and other School Poems, by Kalli Dakos

Text Complexity Level: 1R (Early 2nd Grade)

Quantitative: NP (Non-Prose)

Qualitative: Lexile does not currently assign a measure to books that “comprise more than 50% non-standard or non-conforming prose.”

Purpose/Structure: Moderately Complex. The text is organized around things you would see in a school, yet the connection between one poem and the next is not necessarily predictable. Illustrations do aid in interpreting the text.

Language: Moderately Complex. Registers largely contemporary but does employ a considerable amount of figurative language, especially personification, in each poem in the text.

Knowledge Demands: Slightly Complex. The text explores multiple themes yet does so with experiences that are common to most readers.

Reader and Task: This collection of poems includes only words at an early 2nd grade decodability, yet challenges readers as they explore poetry as both a genre and a text structure. Using humor and figurative language, the text is highly engaging for 2nd graders and complex enough to provide different, interesting perspectives on those shared school 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
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-
Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 2 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: Read/Write/Discuss Complex Text, Reader’s Workshop, and Read Aloud.

Reader’s workshop includes a Read/Write/Discuss Complex Text segment. Students reread and discuss core text and respond to questions such as:

  • Basic Comprehension: What is happening so far in this story?
  • Inference: Why? What makes you think that?
  • Reader Response: What is surprising, funny, confusing, etc.? Why? Do you like this story yet? Why or why not? Set the standard that students will use examples or details from the text to support all assertions.

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
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-
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 write both on demand and over extended periods throughout every unit. The focus for research and literacy labs is to collect textual evidence or information to compose an essay or an extended composition piece.

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 Grade 2 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 general format reading questions (Research Questions), graphic organizers and instructional tasks are designed to be used across multiple thematic units and across grade levels.

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:

  • “What lesson/message/moral do you think the author wants us to learn? What in the text makes you think that?"

Unit 2:

  • While reading Nature’s Patchwork Quilt, by Mary Miché, students are asked, “According to the text, how is a habitat like a quilt?” and “Does this author think bugs are essential to the survival of life on Earth? How do you know?”

Unit 3:

  • “How might this character’s background create a problem for him/her? What is the most important thing about this character? What is the first event in this story? What is the most important event from the beginning, middle, and end of the story? Why do you think that?" and “Why do you think these stories belong together?”

Unit 4:

  • Students participate in Accountable Talk with a partner when they answer the prompt, “The WOW! Fact I learned today was ___ I know this because in the text it said/in the picture it showed ___."

Indicator 1h

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 2 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. Across Units 2-4, the culminating tasks require students to gather details or information using research questions and graphic organizers to write a story or report instead of utilizing specific texts.

  • Unit 1, Week 3, Day 1: “Students, today we begin our study of poetry. We will read and write all different kinds of poetry. At the end of next week, we will publish our own anthologies of poems we’ve written.”
  • Unit 2, Week 3, Day 5: Each student will revise, edit, illustrate, and publish his/her informational piece. “Today, you will revise, edit, illustrate, and publish your section for RQ #2. You will revise to make sure you introduce a main idea that is developed and worth writing about.”
  • Unit 3: Students examine realistic fiction, fantasy, and traditional tales as they respond to and write about text-dependent questions. Culminating this unit, students will publish and present their short story animal collections.
  • Unit 4: Students complete text-dependent research questions using graphic organizers that prompt them to describe and analyze the most important facts of the their research topic in order to successfully produce the culminating task of publishing and presenting their information.

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 Grade 2 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, Literacy Lab, the teacher is directed to encourage thoughtful conversation about the text as appropriate, and listens in as students share responses to determine the next move. There are no steps explaining how to encourage conversation, what to listen for, or options for next moves.
  • In Unit 2, Accountable Talk Partner Share, each partner takes one minute to share. "Pick one of the books you read today. Identify and describe the main character’s background, using details from the text and the pictures."
  • In Unit 4, students work in pairs to practice forming and supporting opinions. The teacher models four complex protocols, and then students begin work without the provision of supports or explicit guidance.

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 Grade 2 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:

  • In Unit 1, the teacher reads from the core novel to the whole group, asking, “What is this story about? How do you know? What happens in the beginning, and why is that important to the sequence of events?" and "Which stories that read so far have a problem?”
  • In Unit 2, students are asked to hold discussions with the whole group or with a partner as part of the peer review in the writing workshop (block). Small groups during reader’s workshops allow for students to peer talk and again during writing time.
  • In Unit 3, students are asked to publish and present about story elements.
  • In Unit 4, following research reading, students tell a partner two things: a “WOW!” fact and one question they still have without the use of materials other than discussion.

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 Grade 2 meet the expectations that materials include a mix of on-demand and process writing and short, focused tasks. Students write both on demand and over extended periods throughout every unit. The focus, the research, and literacy labs are to collect textual evidence or information to compose an essay or extended composition piece.

Examples of on-demand writing are as follows:

  • In Unit 1, Literacy Lab, students complete a Constructed Response: “Write in response to one of the books you read today: I read the book by ____. One question I have is ____. I wonder this because in the text/pictures…“
  • In Unit 2, students write the 3-point response that was "shared with your partner.”
  • In Unit 3, students work individually (or in pairs) to fill out the “Response” and “Solution/Lesson” columns of the “Problem/Solution” graphic organizer for the major problem and at least one other problem in the Central Text.
  • In Unit 4, students write down a fact s/he learned today and give evidence from one of the Research Library books to support that learning.

Examples of extended writing:

  • In Unit 1, students review and select a previously published poem and rewrite it, replacing overused words for more interesting/precise verbs, adverbs, or adjectives.
  • In Unit 2, students re-read the informational piece they wrote on the prior day, evaluate it using the W.2 Rubric, and revise it to make sure it earns at least the first point with a great hook.
  • In Unit 3, students will practice turning their interesting and important comparisons into convincing opinions. By the end of the day, all students will have written a 5-point opinion piece in response to the question: What is the most interesting/important comparison in these two stories?
  • In Unit 4, students reread the opinion piece they wrote previously, evaluate it using the W.1 Rubric, and revise it to make sure it earns at least the first two points.

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 Grade 2 meet the expectations for materials providing opportunities for students to address different text types of writing 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.

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

  • In Unit 1, students write poetry and personal narratives. A rubric on page 270 is used to guide narrative writing. On Week 3, day 3, students have the option to write a poem that mimics the style/structure of a poem as a class or use Jack Prelutsky’s Read a Poem, Write a Poem as a support structure. On Week 6, days 1-2, students pairs pick an important relationship and an event that is/was important to both to write about.
  • In Unit 2, students use a rubric in the Introduction on page 28 to guide their informational text writing. On Week 7, day 5, students focus on using technical and academic language to make their piece interesting (which is the seventh item on the rubric).
  • In Unit 3, students use a rubric in the Introduction on page 23 as in uUit 1 to guide their narrative writing. On Week 2, day 4, students use a setting organizer to design a setting and write a story that takes place in that setting.
  • In Unit 4, students use a rubric in the Introduction on page 29 to guide their opinion/argument writing. Week 5, day 3 research question #4 is the focus. Students generate opinions based on evidence from their research and use transition words to connect opinions to the evidence.

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
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-
Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 1 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 for 15 to 20 minutes using suggested writing prompts. Most writing prompts relate to text, but some do not require evidence-based writing.

  • In Unit 1, Week 6, Days 3-4, students recall a life event and write a story.
  • In Unit 2, Week 2, Day 5, students review their reading and write their own notes related to Research Question #6: Identify and describe threats to the bug’s survival. Theorize about what might happen to the bug’s ecosystem were it to become extinct.
  • In Unit 3, Week 4, Day 1, students draw and write in response to the questions: What did you learn about ____ from this text? How does what you learned relate to ____ (Central Text/Core Novel)?
  • In Unit 4, Week 5, Day 3, students generate an opinion worth writing about based on their research. For example, Research Question #4: "How has this job changed over time?”

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
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 2 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.

Students engage with grammar and conventions as they complete editing tasks through the units, but the editing tasks are often not based in Grade 1 Language standards, and the tasks include only general checklists.

The following evidence provides examples of how the program encourages engagement with grammar and conventions in context, but does not indicate explicit instruction in Grade 2 standards:

  • In Unit 1, students work in pairs to edit their papers for mechanics, usage, and structure.
  • In Unit 2, students work in pairs to edit their papers. Students focus on editing ONLY for the following: • Quotation marks indicate direct quotations. • If quoting, proper citation is used. • Proper punctuation (capitals, end marks).

Criterion 1o - 1t

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

The instructional materials for Grade 2 provide high-quality lessons and activities that allow for differentiation of foundational skills. Lessons include modeling, guided practice, games, and hands-on activities. Materials support ongoing and frequent assessment to determine student mastery and inform meaningful differentiation of foundational skills, including a clear and specific protocol as to how students performing below standard on these assessments will be supported. Materials, 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.

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 as well as to provide explicit instruction for and regular practice to address the acquisition of print concepts, including structures and features of text.

The 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 phonics that demonstrate a transparent and research-based progression.

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.
4/4
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials for Grade 2 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.

Small group lessons based in the Foundational Skills Toolkit provides students with the opportunity to learn grade-level phonics skills.

  • In Grade 2, the Foundational Skills Toolkit 1R (pages 17-21) provides four lessons on 3-syllable words, three lessons on 6 common suffixes, four lessons on 3-letter blends (8 beginning blends and 4 ending blends), and seven lessons on tricky sounds like /kn-/. In addition, Guided Reading texts support the phonics learning. For example in Lesson 21, the Independent Reading text by James Marshall is suggested as well as four other books from the same basket. The texts provide students opportunities to practice the phonics skills.
  • In Grade 2, Foundational Skills Toolkit 2R (pages 15-19) provides five lessons on eight additional sounds and eight lessons on 11 affixes. In Lesson 1-5, students learn Flexible Decoding for:
    • i says /ee/, long i, short i, i in patterns like -ion, -iest.
    • ch=k, ci=sh, c=s
    • Vowel splits
  • In Lessons 7-14, students learn affixes. Students learn -tion/-sion, -ier/-iest, -ful/-fully, ily, -able, un-, re-, mis-.

The 2R toolkit provides teacher-friendly coaching tips:

  • “If necessary, briefly clarify the meaning of any words with which students are unfamiliar (write, say, define student-friendly example, ask).”

Foundational skills are reinforced in Unit 1, Day 4. “Reinforce the Foundational Skills, Language, and Writing Skills students will be using in their reading and writing. On-level beginning of the year 2nd grade readers use words and patterns they know to read and write (2- and 3-syllable words). Have a few students take turns holding the marker and coming up to point out things in the writing. 'I need to write the word disagreed. What little words do you hear inside this word? Who can tell me how to spell the first part? Which part of this word means didn’t?'”

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 Grade 2 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).

Students have frequent and adequate opportunities to identify text structures:

  • In Unit 1, Week 3, students analyze the structure of a poem. During Morning Meeting, the teacher sets the focus as: “Today, as we read and write poems, we will examine how poets use ____ (an element of structure/style).
  • In Unit 1, Weeks 5 and 6, students analyze sequence of events and story structure. In Week 6, students use the writing of personal narratives to recount events. In the Week 5, Day 1 CCSS mini-lesson R.3), the teacher states: “For the next two weeks, we will read and write narratives. Most of these will be personal narratives, people writing about their own lives. Today, we will begin to talk about the ingredients of narratives.” During Read/Discuss Complex Text, students read the Core Novel and discuss story elements. Students respond to the following questions:
    • Identify and describe the characters in this story. Did they encounter a challenge? How did they respond?
    • Retell the major events. What is a problem in this story? What evidence supports your opinion?
    • Identify the setting of the story, using the text and pictures as evidence. What is the most important thing about the setting? Why? Identify three ways the setting shapes the story (reasons the story could only take place in this setting).
  • In Unit 2, Weeks 2-4, students learn about main topic, main idea, and key details:
    • In Week 2, Day 3, students are informed they will be able to identify main topic, main idea, and key details in an informational text. The teacher models through think aloud how to determine the topic, locate details, and determine main idea from the details. During Guided Practice, students work in pairs to find main topic, main idea, and key details.
  • In Unit 3, Weeks 1-4, students describe story elements:
    • In Week 1, students learn to describe characters.
    • In Week 2, students learn to describe setting.
    • In Week 3, students learn to describe plot.
    • In Week 4, students learn to describe central message/lesson.

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

  • In Unit 2, Week 1, students learn about text features:
    • In Week 1, Day 4, students are shown different text features such as a print feature, an organizational/graphic aid, or a visual. The teacher models how to use text features to evaluate if the text will be a good source.
  • In Unit 2, Week 5, students learn about illustrations:
    • Students learn how authors use illustrations to teach about their main ideas and key details. The teacher introduces the different types of illustrations: drawn pictures, photographs, timelines, maps, graphs, charts, and diagrams.
    • On Day 3, students close read a text and analyze the illustrations.
    • During Formative Assessment, One-on-One Conferences, the teacher is to ensure students are able to identify different types of illustrations and explain what illustrations communicate.

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 Grade 2 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.

Students have opportunities to read grade-level text. For students in 1R and 2R, they read 2R Guided Reading Texts, Series/Author Study (6 Fox titles, 6 James Marshall), and additional chapter books (2 series, 6 books each).

The materials contain information for teachers about how to help students with fluency. The information is a section called Fluency: The Bridge from Decoding to Reading Comprehension. Choral reading, echo reading, “buddy” or “paired" reading are defined so a teacher can use those strategies to help students read with accuracy, rate, and expression. In the Foundational Skills Toolkit, fluency practice is always after comprehension activities. For example in 2R, Lesson 14, students can practice automaticity through Word Work. Then students can practice prosody through phrasing. For homework, students can read Top 10 Most Disgusting Facts About the Human Body with their Home Coaches or a reading buddy.

In 1R and 2R, students learn word attack skills to figuring out tricky words. Strategies include:

  • Stop if something doesn’t look right, sound right, or make sense.
  • Look at the picture.
  • Say the first letter sound.
  • Reread: Go back and try again.
  • Blend: Say the first two letters.
  • Cover part of the word.
  • Chunk: Look for parts you know.
  • Think of a word that looks the same and rhymes.
  • Say “blank,” read on, and come back.
  • Try a different sound for the vowel.

In 1R, students learn word strategies to read three-syllable words. In 2R, students learn how to decode multisyllabic and irregularly spelled words. For example in Lesson 13, students learn to read words with re-. During guided practice, students work with the teacher to:

  • Generate a list of words they know that begin with the prefix re-.
  • Add the prefix re- to base words to create new words.
  • Add a suffix to those words to create additional new words.

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 Grade 2 meet the expectations that the 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 Foundational Skills 1R, students have opportunities to practice word recognition and analysis skills during the Guided Reading. In Lesson 2, students read George and Martha. This is an opportunity for students to practice using Word Attack Strategies. First, students read Story Number One: Split Pea Soup on their own using a whisper voice. The teacher listens to students read. “If a student hits a decoding challenge, s/he should stop and move chunk by chunk to repair/solve the challenge. If a student is UNABLE to figure out the word independently, give her specific steps that may help (e.g., Cover up the first half of the word. Do you see anything you know?).” Students also have opportunities to create words using roots and suffixes. In Lesson 2, students participate in How Many Words Can You Make? which is a task for students to create words using a list of roots and a list of suffixes.

In Foundational Skills 2R, students have opportunities to practice word recognition and analysis skills during Guided Reading. In Lesson 10, students read a book which contains suffixes. First, students independently read Top 10 Most Disgusting Facts About the Human Body. The teacher visits each student to listen to the student read. “Expect students to try to solve any hard words themselves, only helping when they are really stuck.” Students then practice reading difficult words from the text during Word Work. Students also practice reading words that end with -able. Students develop automaticity of -able by working with a partner to:

  • Read and reread -able words, developing automaticity with the suffix.
  • Give each other clues and play Jeopardy with the word lists.

Students can also play Spelling Champs with the list of -able words and/or students can select a word from the -able list and write why that word describes them.

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 Grade 2 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’ 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 Grade 2 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. A teacher will assess a Grade 2 student for different stages of acquisition. In Grade 2, a teacher can assess students for different levels of foundational skills. According to IRLA, Grade 2 students are in 1R and 2R, which include the following stages of acquisition: syllabication and chapter books. For 1R entry, a student can decode most 3-syllable words that follow a regular vowel pattern, can recognize and read 1R irregularly spelled words, can use a combination of decoding skills, sight words, and context clues to read 1R text with 98-100% accuracy, and can determine what a 1R text says explicitly. The teacher also documents a student’s reading during a running record. IRLA contains many assessment opportunities for the teacher to assess each student.

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 1R, for a student in 1R, the teacher documents a student’s ability to read 3-letter blends, to read suffixes, to read tricky words, to use reading strategies, and to demonstrate reading comprehension.

Coaching Tips and Warning Signs are included in the Foundational Skills Toolkit lessons. For example in 1R, a teacher can assess students’ ability to read 3-syllable words. “Students just learning to decode 3-syllable words will not yet be fluent readers of 1R text. Make sure they get coaching and practice with 1R phonics so that decoding becomes automatic before worrying about their fluency.”

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 Grade 2 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, Bugs in their Ecosystems, Animal Stories and Animals, and Jobs in my Community). 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. Students placed in the 1R are ready to decode regular 3-syllable words, common suffixes, three-letter blends, and tricky letter sounds. Students have access to 1R Guided Reading Books. If a student is not ready for 1R small group, the IRLA materials help place students in a small group teaching prerequisite skills for 2R. For students who place higher in foundational skills, they can start in 2R small group. These students learn how to decode multisyllabic words.

During Literacy Lab Grade 2 lessons, the materials contain an ARC Literacy Lab Routine Teacher Checklist. During Morning Message, the teacher and students compose a Morning Message together, which is an opportunity to practice and reinforce Foundational Skills. In Day 1 Lesson Focus, Readers are Thinkers, the Morning Message is for students to use their reading and writing: “On-level beginning of the year 2nd grade readers use words and patterns they know to read and write (2- to 3- syllable words).” Students take turns with the marker and pointing out things such as: “Who can find a word that begins with the sound spr-?”

Opportunities for differentiated learning within a skill group are provided. In 2R, there are multiple ways for a student to practice learning to read 3-syllable words. Students can use Multiple Modality Encoding (Kinesthetic, Auditory/Visual/Tactile) and association (Sound Sort and Crazy, Crafty, Connections). For Crazy, Crafty, Connections students can create picture cards of blends they know with a picture that they associate with the sound.

In the Independent Reading Level Assessment, there are Action Plans for a teacher to provide additional practice. For example, for students in 1R, the Action Plan contains: “At least one other 1R reader (could be a small group) who will read through the same basket of books in the same two days. Have them compare notes, decide which are the best books in the basket and why, and report to the class on their progress and evaluations.”

Foundational Skill Toolkit lessons provide guidance to teachers for scaffolding and adapting lessons. Within the lessons, there are recommendations to the coaches (teachers). In 2R, Lesson 1, the Coaching Tip is: “Phonics in Context: If students hit a word that they have trouble decoding, challenge them to be independent problem solvers with questions like: 'What other word do you know that could help you with this?'” Another example of how the materials provide guidance to teachers is in the front matter of 2R. Coaches ask students: "Does that sound almost like a word you’ve heard before? What else might you try?”

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 Grade 2 meet the expectations for texts organized around topics to build students’ ability to read and comprehend complex texts independently and 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 bugs, animals, community, literary stories, personal narratives, and more.

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, animals, and poetry that provide differentiated reading practice.

  • Unit 1 uses themes of education, diversity, justice and heroism instead of topics. The poetry text set has 20 text parts. No list of books for the three read-aloud collections or the leveled boxes was provided.
  • In Unit 2, the topic Bugs uses research questions and informational writing to guide content and literacy skills learning. Students actively engage in group reading activities with purpose and understanding. For example, on Week 4, Day 1, students close read (a first read and second read for building comprehension, repeated reading, and independent reading). The read-aloud collection includes both fiction and nonfiction texts such as James and the Giant Peach, Bugs, and poetry, Hey There Stink Bug!
  • In Unit 3, the topic Animal Stories is used for a genre study. The read-aloud collection includes both fiction and nonfiction texts such as Alexander and the Wind-up Mouse and Turtles.
  • In Unit 4, the topic Jobs in My Community uses research questions and informational opinion writing to guide content and literacy skills learning. The read-aloud collection includes both fiction and nonfiction texts such as Frankly Frannie and Communities.

Indicator 2b

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 2 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 2, students are asked, “What strategies do you already use for figuring out new words? What do you think that word might mean? What makes you think that? What questions do you have? What do you remember about this book? Listening to this book again, what are you thinking, now?” and “Which books should we all know about? Why?”
  • In Unit 2, Week 1, students are asked, “Did we find the answers to any of our questions we had before reading today? What new questions do we have? Who can define ___ in your own words? Who learned something really interesting? Who learned something that changed your thinking about _(topic)_?" In Week 8: “Today we will look back at different sections of text to see how authors use concluding statements within a text. The author writes his/her conclusion right here...I know this is his/her conclusion because... Evaluate the conclusion: This is a strong conclusion because... (e.g., The author reminds us about his/her main idea by....)”
  • In Unit 3, Week 7, students are asked, “What makes this a short story collection? What do the stories have in common? Why do you think these stories belong together? Does this author earn ALL the points on our narrative rubric? Why or why not?” and “How do you think the author could change his/her story to make it more interesting/better/fun to read?”
  • In Unit 4, Week 3, students are asked, “What is the author saying? How does this relate to RQ#__? What do you wonder about this? What questions does it raise for you?” and, “Who learned something really important about this RQ (or our Unit)?”

Indicator 2c

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 2 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 reading, students engage in analyzing parts of text(s) 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 are asked, “What happened in the story? How do you know? • What did you learn about ___? What in the pictures/text taught you that? • What is surprising, funny, confusing, etc.? Why?" Students return to the text as they work with partners to answer each question.
  • Unit 2, Week 8. “The text is all about ___. The author’s main idea is___. The author writes his/her conclusion right here: ___. I know this is his/her conclusion because ___.” Which conclusion is best? How does this compare to what you already knew/thought about ___?” and “How does this relate to what other authors have written about ___?”
  • In Unit 3, students are asked, “How might this character’s background create a problem for him/her? What is the most important thing about this character? What is the first event in this story? What is the most important event from the beginning, middle, end of the story? Why do you think that?" and “Why do you think these stories belong together?”
  • Unit 4, Week 2. “Let’s re-read this text to learn more about the key concepts/technical vocabulary related to this Research Question. • Define • Explain • Give an example. How does this compare to what you already knew/ thought about ___? How does this relate to what other authors have written about ___?”

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 Grade 2 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 1, Week 3. “Today, as we read and write poems, we will examine how poets use ___ (an element of structure/style [e.g, shape])." Each day, introduce a new element of structure/style, and add it to your What Makes a Poem chart. Students write a poem that mimics the style/structure of a poem you read together as a class.
  • In Unit 2, Week 3, Each student will revise, edit, illustrate, and publish his/her informational piece. “Today, you will revise, edit, illustrate, and publish your section for RQ #2. You will revise to make sure you introduce a main idea that is developed and worth writing about.”
  • In Unit 3, Students examine realistic fiction, fantasy, and traditional tales as they respond to and write about text-dependent questions. Culminating this unit, students will publish and present their short story animal collections.
  • Unit 4, Week 2. Use peer reviews, student-friendly rubrics, accountable talk, etc. so that students are working to impress the audience that matters most to them – their peers. • Instead of memorization, ask students to explain things in relationship to each other. For example, instead of asking them for the specific dates of the Boston Tea Party, the Stamp Act, Lexington & Concord, and the drafting of the Constitution, ask them to put the events in order and explain why this must be the sequence of events.

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 Grade 2 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.

  • Unit 1, Week 2. Have students point out new/interesting vocabulary, especially words with prefixes. Discuss: What do you think that word might mean? What makes you think that?”
  • Unit 2, Week 1. “The author uses the words piece/pieces/pieced several times. Circle them. What are two meanings for the word piece as used by this author? What in the text supports your answer?”
  • In Unit 4, Week 1, as students bring closure to their research, technical vocabulary words encountered are discussed. Students are responsible for being able to define and correctly use these terms. The teacher is responsible for selecting the words and adding them to the class word glossary.

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 Grade 2 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. Students engage in activities that include reading and discussing writing similar to that which they are planning to write, examine, and identify a range of text structures, and they are guided to assess the effectiveness of their own and others’ writing. At the end of each unit, students produce, present, and publish writing pieces as part of a final project.

  • In Unit 1, Week 6, students edit their personal narratives and draw illustrations to prepare for publishing. “Students publish their pieces in a way that will be meaningful to them.”
  • In Unit 2, Week 2, using a Final Project Rubric, students focus on one research question each week to develop expertise, mentor text, draft, and revise and edit. Students begin to plan their book layout. Once students have a plan, they begin to turn their notes and graphic organizer information into paragraphs. The teacher shares good examples. Some students will share with the whole group, others will share with a partner.
  • In Unit 3, Week 1, students use a rubric for a Constructed Response Baseline by story retelling including the story introduction and main character description. After reviewing the main character Character Study graphic organizer and partner think pair share, students watch the teacher model the process, practice with a partner, and then do independent practice.
  • In Unit 4, a research unit, students use several graphic organizers to research a job. Students use the information on the organizers to write information in paragraph form using opinion as a focus of their research writing. In Week 5, Day 3, students generate an opinion about their reading and provide evidence and reasons from the text to convince the audience of their opinion.

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. Additionally, they will take a fiction piece and an informational piece of writing to publication.

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 Grade 2 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 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 3. “Collect poems students write over the next few weeks into a Poetry Anthology of their own. 2. Model: Think aloud as you compose a poem. Voice how you: • Choose a topic. • Choose style/organization. • Decide upon visuals to use/not use. • Decide on word choice.”
  • In Unit 2, students begin to research a topic. “1. Classify the bug. Identify the group it belongs to, and describe the characteristics they have in common. 2. Describe the bug’s ecosystem. Explain how the bug relies on its habitat to meet its basic needs. 3. Describe the bug’s physical characteristics. Explain how these adaptations help the bug survive. 4. Describe the bug’s social behavior and explain how these adaptations help it survive. 5. Identify organisms that rely on the bug for their own survival. 6. Identify and describe threats to the bug’s survival. Theorize about what might happen to the bug’s ecosystem were it to become extinct. In Week 8, Day 4, students convert their notes and graphic organizer information into paragraph form.”
  • In Unit 3, Week 7, students work in pairs to compare and contrast two stories from the collection, using a graphic organizer. Teacher listens to and observes students. Students read independently and end with a partner share of which books he/she read that would go into a short story collection. During the writing block, students look back at stories they have written and decide which ones to include in a short story collection. Students will revise/edit and write new stories.
  • Unit 4, Week 8. “Decide how you want students to publish their final pieces. Consider different formats as the weeks progress: • Formal essay (cover page, typed, bound, etc.) • Letter to selected audience (principal, parent, etc.) • Blog entry • Class/school website • Submit to relevant newspaper • Class newspaper/ periodical/journal • PowerPoint • Create a book.”

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 Grade 2 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.

  • 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.
  • In Unit 1, Independent Reading, students read for 15–30 minutes from self-selected books while teacher “kidwatches.” If students are unable to sustain 30 minutes of Independent Reading now, the teacher will provide time at the end of the literacy block so each student completes 30 minutes today. During this time, teachers conduct one-on-one conferences and establish baseline reading levels using the IRLA/ENIL. The baseline reading level for each student is entered in SchoolPace by the end of Week 3.
  • In Units 2 and 4, the research units, a Resouces Check Sheet is provided for students to record the number of good books they find in each color level.
  • Unit 3, Week 1, Day 1. Homework Reading: Students need to read independently every night from books they both can and want to read. This does not mean students should only read books in their IRLA levels or with IRLA-level tape on the spines. Any book a student is interested in reading and motivated to read can serve as homework reading. Homework reading does not need to be in the genre. If a student is really hooked on a book from the Genre Library, you might decide to make an exception and allow the student to take it home.

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

Grade 2 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 Grade 2 meet the expectations that materials are well-designed and take into account effective lesson structure and pacing. There are four units in Grade 2: the Literacy Lab and three Research Labs- Bugs in their Ecosystems, Animal Stories, and Jobs in the Community. 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. Each unit is accompanied by specific goals. For example, the materials list six literacy goals for students for the Literacy Lab (Unit 1) as:

Students will

  • Listen to and discuss dozens of above-level read-alouds and discuss both the content and the vocabulary.
  • Read and discuss at two grade-level shared reading texts, one poetry and one narrative.
  • Read at least 30-60 minutes a day from self-selected texts.
  • Write every day, for a variety of purposes and in a variety of modes.
  • Take both a collection of poems and a personal narrative through the writing process to publication.
  • Practice applying a variety of Grade-Level Standards to both reading and writing.

The materials clearly list the components of each day (Morning Meeting, Mini-Lesson/Interactive Read-Aloud, Readers’ Workshop, Writing, Read-Aloud, and Reflection) 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 Grade 2 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 5, “Introduce Personal Narrative Unit Post the Narrative Writing Rubric. Distribute copies to students.”
  • In Unit 2, there is a “Final Project Rubric” for the project on Bugs. Included in the rubric are points for Authentic Voice, Information, Text Features, Effort, and Quality of Writing.
  • In Unit 3, students are provided sentence starters in the Retelling a Story Rubric. Examples of the sentence starters include, “The main character is ____ and he/she is _____.” And “At the end, the problem is resolved by ____.”
  • In Unit 4, Week 1, there is a Fact vs. Opinion Rubric for Facts, Reasons/Evidence, and Opinion.

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 Grade 2 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 5, “Common Core Standard L.5 Demonstrate understanding of figurative language, word relationships, and nuances in word meanings.”
  • Unit 2, Week 2, “Now, you will re-read the informational piece you wrote yesterday, evaluate it using our W.2 Rubric, and revise it to make sure it earns at least the first point with a great hook.”
  • Unit 3, Week 7, “CCSS W.3 Rubric: This rubric will help us write strong _(genre)_ stories. You will recognize each of the points as something we practiced earlier in this Unit.”
  • Unit 4, Week 1, “Post the R.1/W.1 Rubric. In this Unit, each of you will become really good at writing opinion pieces. To do this, we first need to be clear on the difference between a fact and an opinion. Today you will practice forming opinions and using reasons to support it.”

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 Grade 2 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 Grade 2 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 second grade. 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 2, “Select a rich text from the Central Text that will build students’ knowledge of the key Science or Social Studies concepts at the heart of today’s Research Question. The class will read and re-read this selection over the course of the next two days, so select a text (or set of texts) that is worth the time and attention. Read the text in appropriate chunks (1–2 pages at most).”

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 the above example “a text that is worth time and attention” is not defined.

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, Unit 4 lists the standard for use of technology, “With guidance and support from adults, explore a variety of digital tools to produce and publish writing, including in collaboration with peers.” However, that is the only mention of it in the Teacher Guide in regards to lessons.

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 Grade 2, 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 1, Week 1, “'Successful with just a little bit of help from the teacher' is the Zone of Proximal Development, also called the student’s instructional or guided reading level. It is not the independent level, and it is not the level at which students must work most of the day or during state testing.”
  • Unit 3, Week 5, “Teach students the conventions and have them edit to the best of their abilities, but don’t spend your evenings editing for them. Students’ own authentic approximations are the goal.”
  • Unit 4, Week, 4, “Using a mentor text (ideally the same mentor texts as last week), model how you identify and analyze the author’s use of a concluding statement to convince the reader to agree with his/her opinion.”

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 Grade 2 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 (One) and which unit or units (Literacy, Bugs, Animal Stories, Community) it is measured in. There is also a Common Core Scope and Sequence Chart that lists the standards that are related to.

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 1, “Read aloud as many above-level, engaging books as your class will listen to.” Is followed by an aside that states, “A Note on Text Complexity & Reading Aloud For the majority of the rest of the year, Read-Aloud should be from texts that are at or above grade level to ensure all students engage with grade-level complex text and its academic vocabulary regularly.”

• Unit 2, Week 3, “Post and refer to standard RI.2. By the end of this week, each of you will have written an informational text about RQ #2. By the end of today, you will be even better at identifying the topic, a main idea, and key details in an informational text.”

• Unit 3, Week, 2, “Model Applying R.3: Identify & Describe the Physical Setting Let me show you how I use the text and the pictures to describe the first setting... Use a combination of modeling and pair/share to describe the first setting. Don’t worry about addressing every bullet. Only address the ones that are applicable to this setting.”

• Unit 4, Week, 4, “Establish Today’s Learning Goal: W.1 & RI.8 By the end of today, you will have a completed draft of an opinion piece for RQ #3. We will start by looking at an example of a great opinion piece as inspiration for our own writing- we will pay careful attention to how much evidence the author uses to support his/her opinions.”

Indicator 3i

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 2 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 5, Lesson Sidebar, “Encourage students to read from the Informational Library this week. Informational texts regularly include linking words, conclusions, and other specific elements of writing craft that are not unique to opinion writing.”

Indicator 3j

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 2 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 3, “Dear Parents/Guardians: “During the upcoming weeks, your child will investigate animal stories from the ¬Three Little Pigs to Little Bear to ¬ the Velveteen Rabbit. Students will become experts in the genre, examining the characters, the plots, and the lessons learned.”

It is also suggested that parents and caregivers be included in class presentations.

  • In Unit 4, Week 2, “Give students opportunities to share their work with their peers/the community. • Author’s Chair • Presenting to other classrooms • Inviting in parents/families.”

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 Grade 2 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 Grade 2 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 1, “Embedded Formative Assessment Record on your Status of the Class what you learned about individual readers and their interests/preferences.”
  • In Unit 2, the Pre-Assessment for Reading and Writing Informational Text, does not denote specific standards. For Example, “How is a water bug able to eat a frog? What in the text supports your answer? 2. What does the word mush mean in this text? Use evidence from the text to support your answer.”

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

  • Unit 4, Final Project Rubric, “Authentic Voice • Text was clearly composed by the student and not copied from other books. Information • The project is packed with factually accurate and interesting information about the topic. • The project demonstrates an understanding of the plant. Text Features • Text features are used effectively. • Illustrations demonstrate knowledge of the plant. Effort • The author was clearly invested in making this a work of high quality. • The author feels that this is one of the best things he or she has done. • The project is beautiful”

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 Grade 2 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 1, “Embedded Formative Assessment Record on your Status of the Class what you learned about individual readers and their interests/preferences.”
  • In Unit 2, Week 1, “Formative Assessment/Writing Coach; Check for Understanding: Observe students as they write. Make sure students are making adequate progress.”
  • In Unit 3, Week 1, “Formative Assessment/Writing Coach Check for Understanding Observe as students write, looking for gaps in understanding of the standard and/or text.”
  • In Unit 4, Week 2, “Formative Assessment 1-on-1 Conferences During the Collecting phase, start with brief check-ins. Try to get to every student every day, focusing on keeping everyone moving in the same direction.”

Indicator 3m

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 2 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 1, Week 3, the Teacher Edition states, “Readers do not have to write anything to “prove” that they have actually read. Home Coach signatures are good enough. Any book counts for 100 Book Challenge.
  • 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 3, Week 4, the students are instructed, “After you read today, be ready to explain a lesson/message the story teaches and what in the pictures and text supports your opinion.”
  • 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 Grade 2 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 1, Week 3, the Teacher Edition states, “Readers do not have to write anything to “prove” that they have actually read. Home Coach signatures are good enough. Any book counts for 100 Book Challenge

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 3, Week 4, the students are instructed, “After you read today, be ready to explain a lesson/message the story teaches and what in the pictures and text supports your opinion.”

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 Grade 2 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 Grade 2 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.
2/2
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Indicator Rating Details

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 2 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

0/
+
-
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

0/
+
-
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

0/
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The instructional material 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

0/

Indicator 3u.i

0/
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 2 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

0/
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 2 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

0/
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 2 meet the expectations that materials include or reference technology that provide opportunities for teachers and/or students to collaborate with each other (e.g. websites, discussion groups, webinars, etc.). Teachers and/or students collaboration using technology comes into the form of Publishing. For example, in Unit 3, Week(s) 5 and 9, the Teacher Edition states, “Publishing Decide how you want your students to publish their essays. The following ideas are only to get you thinking. Publishing Ideas, Formal essay (cover page, typed, bound, etc.), Blog entry, Class/school website, Submit to relevant periodical/newspaper, Class newspaper/periodical/journal/portfolio, PowerPoint, or Create a book.”

Criterion 3s - 3v

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

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
+
-
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
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The instructional material 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.
0/0
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 2 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.
0/0
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 2 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
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 2 meet the expectations that materials include or reference technology that provide opportunities for teachers and/or students to collaborate with each other (e.g. websites, discussion groups, webinars, etc.). Teachers and/or students collaboration using technology comes into the form of Publishing. For example, in Unit 3, Week(s) 5 and 9, the Teacher Edition states, “Publishing Decide how you want your students to publish their essays. The following ideas are only to get you thinking. Publishing Ideas, Formal essay (cover page, typed, bound, etc.), Blog entry, Class/school website, Submit to relevant periodical/newspaper, Class newspaper/periodical/journal/portfolio, PowerPoint, or Create a book.”

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
1R-2R Foundational Skills Toolkit 978-1-63437-497-2 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

About Publishers Responses

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

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

Educator-Led Review Teams

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

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

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

ELA 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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