Alignment to College and Career Ready Standards: Overall Summary

The instructional materials for Grade 4 meet the expectations of alignment. The materials include high quality, rigorous texts for students to engage with questions and tasks. The materials support development of foundational skills and provide support for teachers to attend to students' literacy growth. The materials also support building knowledge and growing academic vocabulary as student demonstrate their integrated skills.

See Rating Scale
Understanding Gateways

Alignment

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Meets Expectations

Gateway 1:

Text Quality

0
20
37
42
39
37-42
Meets Expectations
21-36
Partially Meets Expectations
0-20
Does Not Meet Expectations

Gateway 2:

Building Knowledge

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

Usability

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Meets Expectations

Not Rated

Gateway 3:

Usability

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

Gateway One

Text Quality & Complexity and Alignment to Standards Components

Meets Expectations

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Gateway One Details

Materials meet the criteria for anchor texts being of publishable quality and worthy of especially careful reading. Text complexity analyses and rationales are not provided for every required trade book and article. The materials meet the criteria for text complexity and for support materials for the core text(s) provide opportunities for students to engage in a range and volume of reading to support their reading at grade level by the end of the school year. Materials include both text-dependent and text-specific questions and tasks that help prepare students for the each unit’s Extended Writing Task, which integrates writing, speaking, or both. The materials include frequent opportunities for different genres and modes of writing. Materials meet the expectations for materials including explicit instruction of the grammar and conventions standards for grade level as applied in increasingly sophisticated contexts, with opportunities for application both in and out of context.

Materials contain minimal evidence of explicit instruction of phonics and word recognition consistently over the course of the year. Materials provide limited opportunities to apply word analysis skills to connected texts. There are limited opportunities to practice speaking and receive feedback on fluency.

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.
19/20
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Criterion Rating Details

Materials meet the criteria for anchor texts being of publishable quality and worthy of especially careful reading. Students engage in a range and volume of reading in service of grade level reading proficiency, and consistent opportunities are provided for textual analysis. Text complexity analyses and rationales are not provided for every required trade book and article. The materials meet the criteria for text complexity and for support materials for the core text(s) provide opportunities for students to engage in a range and volume of reading to support their reading at grade level by the end of the school year.

Indicator 1a

Anchor texts are of publishable quality and worthy of especially careful reading and consider a range of student interests.
4/4
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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 4 meet the criteria that anchor texts are of publishable quality and worthy of especially careful reading and consider a range of student interests.

The texts provide content that is relevant and interesting to students. The literary texts portray fascinating stories through vivid illustrations and quality writing that would be of interest to students. The texts cover a variety of cultures and concepts including science. Anchor texts in the majority of chapters/units, and across the yearlong curriculum, are of publishable quality. Anchor texts consider a range of student interests and are well-crafted and content-rich, engaging students at their grade level. Examples include:

  • Module 1:
    • A River of Words by Jen Bryant has brightly colored illustrations in the book that are simple but catch students’ attention. The text has sentences that a student in Grade 4 would be able to read and the story talks about a boy who goes on adventures and explores different areas around him. The text contains such academic vocabulary as “slipping” and “sooth” to enhance student learning.
  • Module 2:
    • Can You Survive The Wilderness? by Matt Doeden helps students to learn about a variety of places around the world, including Alaska, Australia, and the Washington Cascades. It is an informative text that is designed to keep students engaged while learning interactively about different topics.
    • Venom by Marilyn Singer contains engaging text features, such as colored font for headings and compelling photos for poisonous animals. The text includes a creative play on words.
  • Module 3:
    • Colonial Voices: Hear Them Speak by Kay Winters is written in a poetic style to convey life in colonial times. The end pages contain illustrated maps of Boston in 1773. There are descriptive adjectives and verbs such as “gloomy,” “wealthy,” “linger,” and “sag.”
  • Module 4:
    • The Hope Chest by Karen Schwabach is a chapter book about the nineteenth amendment. The text contains creative chapter titles such as “It All Comes Down to Tennessee.” The writing has clear, descriptive wording and phrasing such as “soft-collared shirt,” “dwarfed by the enormous arched ceiling,” and “the woman’s face was drawn and gray.”

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 materials reviewed for Grade 4 meet the criteria for materials reflecting the distribution of text types and genres required by the standards at each grade level.

Students have the opportunity to read a mix of informational and literary texts. Genres include poetry, letters, a chapter book, and informational articles. There are no opportunities for students to read myths.

The following are examples of informational texts included within the materials:

  • Module 1: “Expert Group Poet Biographies: Robert Frost” by
  • Module 2: Venom by Marilyn Singer
  • Module 3: “Loyalists” by The New Book of Knowledge
  • Module 4: “Ten Suffragists Arrested while Picketing at the White House” from America’s Story from America’s Library

The following are examples of literary texts included within the materials:

  • Module 1: Love that Dog by Sharon Creech
  • Module 2: Can You Survive the Wilderness? by Matt Doeden
  • Module 3: Colonial Voices: Hear Them Speak by Kay Winters
  • Module 4: The Hope Chest by Caroline Schwabach

Indicator 1c

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

The materials reviewed for Grade 4 meet the criteria for texts having the appropriate level of complexity for the grade according to quantitative analysis, qualitative analysis, and relationship to their associated student task.

Many texts reviewed have Lexile scores above the Grade 4 range; however, the texts have qualitative features such as pictures or illustrations to help support student comprehension. Texts have the appropriate level of complexity for the grade according to quantitative and qualitative analysis and relationship to their associated student task. Anchor texts are placed at the appropriate grade level. Examples include:

  • Module 1:
    • "Love that Dog" by Sharon Creech is a poem and; therefore, does not have a Lexile. This text is a literary piece that does not have a quantitative measure because it is written in free verse style, which has unconventional punctuation. The text has multiple meanings that require students to read the entire text to discern some of the hidden meanings while other information within the text allows the reader to infer the meaning immediately. The text is not predictable and requires students to be able to understand what the backstory is and when Jack is in the backstory. Students have to be able to infer that this does not occur in real time, rather it is something that Jack has experienced prior, making it complex, at times, for students. The vocabulary and simple sentences make this text accessible for students to read, but, at times, the punctuation makes it difficult for students to understand the meaning in the text.
    • "A River of Words" by Jen Bryant has a Lexile of 820. The meaning and purpose of the text is moderately complex. The purpose of the text is to show the connection between William Carlos Williams’s life and his poetry. The text structure is moderately complex and is written in sequential order. The text includes numerous visuals, including images of William’s poems and drafts. The language features are moderately complex and include metaphors and some academic language in the author’s note. The knowledge demands are slightly complex. While some historical references are made, students should be familiar with the majority of the references in the text.
  • Module 2:
    • Animal Behaviors: Animal Defenses by Christina Wilsdon falls in the 4-5 complexity band and does not have a Lexile score. Students read excerpts from the book. According to the publisher materials, meaning and purpose, text structure, knowledge demands, and language features are moderately complex. The language is explicit and easy to understand, but the concepts presented are somewhat abstract. The text primarily uses simple and compound sentences with some complex constructions. Many academic and domain specific words are introduced, but most can be defined from context and examples.
  • Module 3:
    • Divided Loyalties: The Barton Family during the American Revolution by Gare Thompson is a play and does not have a Lexile score. Readers infer the central message from the character’s dialogue and interactions. The text structure is moderately complex since the play is chronological with complex characters and subplots. The language features are moderately complex with historical references that may be difficult to interpret. The knowledge demands are moderately complex since the text has many references to historical events.
  • Module 4:
    • The Hope Chest by Caroline Schwabach has a Lexile of 800. The meaning and purpose is moderately complex as scenarios across the text allow students to make connections about the meaning. There are multiple levels of meaning in the text. The text structure is moderately complex with complex characters, and there are subplots throughout the text that increase the complexity. The language features are moderately complex with figurative language, idioms, and vocabulary specific to time and place. The knowledge demands are very complex since the text is set in the early 1900s in the South, and the experiences portrayed are uncommon to most readers.

Indicator 1d

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

The materials reviewed for Grade 4 meet the criteria for materials supporting students’ increasing literacy skills over the course of the school year. (Series of texts should be at a variety of complexity levels appropriate for the grade band.)

As the year progresses, questions and tasks build literacy skills and student independence. Lessons contain scaffolding and Universal Design for Learning to support students’ increasing literacy skills. Throughout the Modules, the teacher reads aloud each of the complex texts. Students reread sections of the texts. There are few opportunities for students to read the grade level complex texts in the Modules independently without a prior teacher read aloud.

  • In Module 1, students hear and reread poems. Students analyze poems and free verse texts such as: "Love That Dog," "Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening," "The Pasture," and "River of Words." With teacher guidance, note-catchers, and anchor charts, students analyze the structure of poems and the author’s meaning behind the poem. This analysis prepares them for Unit 2, where students build on author’s meaning and write to inform where a poet finds inspiration. During an expert group, students read a short biography about a poet. Units are then synthesized together for Unit 3 where students write their own poem drawing on the previous analysis of poets and poems.
  • In Module 2, students build background knowledge on general animal defenses through close readings of several informational texts such as Animal Behavior: Animal Defenses, Venom, and The Fight to Survive. Students are supported in understanding Animal Behavior: Animal Defenses through read aloud by the teacher and rereading to complete close readings that focus on vocabulary and identifying main ideas and details. The Fight to Survive text is within the grade-level band; however, all elements of the text are moderately complex and students will need support in understanding the relationship between the focus of the article, the subsections and the examples given. While reading, students practice drawing inferences as they begin their research and use a research notebook to make observations and synthesize information. During Unit 3, students hear and reread a choose-your-own-adventure story, titled Can you Survive the Wilderness. This text is used throughout the unit as a model for students to use so they can write their own version of a choose-your-own-adventure story.
  • In Module 3, students hear and reread texts about the American Revolution and dig into the points of view of Loyalists and Patriots. The texts include, Divided Loyalties, American Indians and the American Revolution, and The Declaration of Independence. The complexity in the texts is high because students have to develop strategies for navigating language and meaning complexity through close readings. The text also refers to ideas and historical events that may be unfamiliar to students. While reading the text, students are supported in analyzing the structure of opinion writing and the opinions within the text.
  • In Module 4, Unit 1, students in triads begin reading The Hope Chest. Since the text requires background knowledge of key historical events and cultural elements of the early 1920s, as well as a general understanding of the process for approving constitutional amendments, students are supported in their literacy skills by peers and the teacher. Students hear and close read informational primary and secondary accounts of real-life responses to inequality and compare and contrast the information in both. In Unit 2, students dig deeper in The Hope Chest to determine the theme and summarize each chapter.

Indicator 1e

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

The materials reviewed for Grade 4 partially meet the criteria that anchor texts and series of texts connected to them are accompanied by a text complexity analysis and rationale for purpose and placement in the grade level.

Text complexity analyses and rationales are included in the program in the Curriculum Tools. The text complexity guides include a rationale for why they were placed in that grade at that particular place alongside an explanation of how the book can be used to enhance student understanding. However, text complexity analyses and rationales are not provided for every required trade book and article.

Most anchor texts and series of texts connected to them are accompanied by a text complexity analysis and rationale. Examples include:

  • In River of Words by Jen Bryant, the analysis includes text description, placement, quantitative measures, qualitative measures, considerations for reader and task, and rationale. The analysis includes a summary of the text within the text description. Within the placement, the analysis includes the following information: “This text falls solidly in the 4-5 range. The clear purpose, chronological structure and illustrations support student’s understanding of the more complex language and connections in the book.” The quantitative measures for this text are 820L and the associated band level 4-5. The qualitative measures include meaning/purpose, text structure, language features, and knowledge demands. The following guidance is provided for considerations for the reader and task: “In this lesson, the main text, written in a familiar narrative style and supported by illustrations, scaffolds an understanding of the Author’s Note, written in a more challenging expository style of informational writing. The Author’s Note is closely read to introduce strategies that students will need when they do more independent research on other poets.” The rationale states that this text lays the foundation as to what inspired William Carlos Williams to write. This helps students with poetry research.
  • In American Indians and the American Revolution by Colin G. Calloway, the analysis includes text description, placement, quantitative measures, qualitative measures, considerations for reader and task, and rationale. The analysis includes a summary of the text within the text description. Within the placement, the analysis includes the following information: “This text is complex, both qualitatively and quantitatively. However, because the text is part of a larger text set that includes other informational texts as well as more accessible literary text on the same topic, students build vocabulary and context they need.” The quantitative measures for this text are 1050L and the associated band level 6-8. The qualitative measures include meaning/purpose, text structure, language features, and knowledge demands. The following guidance is provided for considerations for the reader and task: “This article contains complex language features including many domain specific and academic vocabulary words. Students work to develop strategies for navigating language and meaning complexity through close readings.” The rationale states that this text builds background knowledge about the American Revolution.
  • In Divided Loyalties: The Barton Family during the American Revolution by Gare Thompson, the analysis includes text description, placement, quantitative measures, qualitative measures, considerations for reader and task, and rationale. The analysis includes a summary of the text within the text description. Within the placement, the analysis includes the following information: “This text fall solidly within the 4-5 band. The use of dialogue and grade appropriate reading level, as well as the strong, clear characterizations within the play make complex historical events understandable to fourth graders.” There is no quantitative measures for this text. The qualitative measures include meaning/purpose, text structure, language features, and knowledge demands. The following guidance is provided for considerations for the reader and task: this play explores colonial perspectives on the Revolutionary War. The text is used to practice reading, writing, listening and speaking skills. Students read and act out the play, developing an understanding of the differences between a drama and other literary texts. After reading each scene, they analyze the thoughts, feelings, and actions of characters, with a focus on the differing Loyalist and Patriot views within the family. They write a paragraph describing a character in detail, and also write a short narrative told from the point of view of a particular character. Eventually, the knowledge that they build is used to write opinion pieces in the form of broadsides that express differing perspectives on the Revolutionary War.

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 materials reviewed for Grade 4 meet the criteria that anchor and supporting texts provide opportunities for students to engage in a broad range of text types and disciplines as well as a volume of reading to achieve grade level reading proficiency.

In the materials, students access a variety and volume of texts that support students’ ability to read at their grade level. There is a Required Trade Book Procurement List and a Recommended Texts and Other Resources List. These lists contain a range and volume of informational and literary texts that students read during Module lessons. Throughout the Grade 4 sequence, students are exposed to a variety of fiction and nonfiction texts. Students study literary, fiction, and poetry texts in depth, as is the case with their analysis of Love That Dog in Module 1 and in Module 2 when students read informational texts for the purpose of writing their own research paper. Other opportunities include close reading strategies to support student learning and readers theatre activities. During the Module lessons, students can participate in Accountable Independent Reading as part of homework and during the ALL Block, students participate in a rotation of Independent Reading for 20 minutes. During this time, the teacher checks in with students to see how they are progressing towards their reading goal.

Instructional materials identify opportunities and supports for students to engage in reading a variety of texts to become independent readers and/or comprehenders and a volume of reading as they grow toward reading independence at the grade level. Examples include:

  • In Module lessons, students participate in Close Reading, which provides students with the opportunity to read complex texts.
    • In Module 1, Unit 1, students begin to build their close reading skills by reading the novel in verse, Love That Dog by Sharon Creech, and analyzing how the main character, Jack, feels in response to events that happen in the story. Alongside Love That Dog, students closely read and analyze the poems Jack reads and describes, including "The Red Wheelbarrow" by William Carlos Williams and "Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening" by Robert Frost. They analyze the poems to determine a theme and to identify characteristics of poetry in order to effectively summarize the poems.
    • In Module 2, Unit 1, they build background knowledge on general animal defenses through close readings of several informational texts. Students read closely to practice drawing inferences as they begin their research and use a research notebook to make observations and synthesize information. Students will continue to use the research notebook, using the millipede as a whole class model. They begin to research an expert group animal in preparation to write about this animal in Units 2 and 3, again using the research notebook.
  • During the ALL Block, students read 20 minutes. The purpose of their reading alternates each week with one week focused on research reading and the following week focused on reading for pleasure.
  • In Module 1, students learn about Accountable Independent Reading. Students are taught the structures of Accountable Independent Reading. Independent Reading is assigned for homework most nights. Teachers and students work together to set an independent reading goal, the teacher will check in once or twice a week to see how the student is progressing with their goal. Sample lessons for launching independent reading are also provided in the Module 1 Teacher Guide.

Criterion 1g - 1n

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

Materials meet expectations for alignment to the standards with tasks and questions grounded in evidence. Materials include both text-dependent and text-specific questions and tasks that help prepare students for the each unit’s Extended Writing Task, which integrates writing, speaking, or both. The instructional materials provide multiple opportunities for evidence-based discussion that encourage the modeling and use of academic vocabulary and support student listening and speaking about what they are reading and researching. The materials include frequent opportunities for different genres and modes of writing. Materials meet the expectations for materials including explicit instruction of the grammar and conventions standards for grade level as applied in increasingly sophisticated contexts, with opportunities for application both in and out of context. Materials reviewed provide many tasks and opportunities for evidence-based discussions and writing using evidence from texts to build strong literacy skills.

Indicator 1g

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

The materials reviewed for Grade 4 meet the criteria that most questions, tasks, and assignments are text dependent/specific, requiring students to engage with the text directly (drawing on textual evidence to support both what is explicit as well as valid inferences from the text).

Each module includes a set of trade books that students use throughout the lessons. Materials for the lessons and ALL Block provide graphic organizers and instructional support tasks for students to engage with the text and to collect textual evidence, building toward a performance task. Students are directed to make connections not only across texts, but also across units and lessons. Texts are used significantly during lessons focused primarily on writing. While most questions, tasks, and assignments draw the reader back into the text and support students’ literacy growth over the course of the school year, there are some questions, tasks, and assignments can be accomplished without use of the text.

The materials include graphic organizers that assist students in Close Reads of their text and citing evidence for specific questions or tasks they are asked to complete. Tasks for various lessons within each unit include teacher-led close reading of content-based text and text-dependent questions along with a focus question to drive a series of sessions on a complex text. Examples include, but are not limited to:

  • In Module 1, Unit 1, Lesson 3, students listen to a recording and follow along in their text to the poem, “The Red Wheelbarrow.” Students sketch what they heard and answer questions about the poem using evidence from the text to support answers.
  • In Module 1, Unit 2, Lesson 6, students complete a close reading using the Close Read Note-catcher “A River of Words, Author’s Note.” They answer the question, “What inspired William Carlos Williams to write poetry?” using text evidence from the close read.
  • In the Module 2, Unit 2, Lesson 1, Close Read for the text “Fight to Survive,” students answer various text-dependent questions, such as “What external structure do both the millipede and armadillo use to survive? Underline evidence from the text to support your answer.” Students must refer back to the text to respond to each question during the close reading portion.
  • In Module 2, Unit 3, Lesson 1, students engage in the purpose of the lesson by reading a choose-your-own-adventure story titled, “Can you Survive the Wilderness.” This text is used throughout the unit as a model for students to use, so that they can write their own version of a choose-your-own-adventure story. Students analyze the text to determine the structure and apply it to their own writing.
  • In Module 3, Unit 1, Lesson 3, students hear a read aloud from the text “Colonial Voices: Hear Them Speak.” Students analyze the vocabulary with the support of text features, “What is a ___________ midwife/barber/wigmaker/blacksmith/clockmaker/silversmith’s apprentice? How do you know? What do the pictures tell you?” and deepening their comprehension of the events in the text. During “Closing and Assessment,” students are directed to determine topic and theme of the text through answering the following questions: “What is a topic? What is a theme? What is the topic of Colonial Voices: Hear Them Speak?” Students complete an exit ticket with the following question: “What is the theme of Colonial Voices: Hear Them Speak? What big idea does the author want you to take away?” After completing the exit ticket, students discuss responses with peers.
  • In Module 3, Unit 2, Lesson 5, students close read an excerpt of the “Declaration of Independence” in order to participate in a text-based discussion about what the characters from the text “Divided Loyalties” would think of it. Students are asked the following questions: “What does it mean to declare independence? What did the colonies do? What would the character think of this excerpt? Based on his situation, would he agree? Why or why not?” Students work in small groups to discuss their responses to these questions. While participating in the discussion, students jot down questions and thoughts that they have as peers speak on sticky notes. After the initial discussion, the sticky notes are collected and added to a class anchor chart. Then, groups circulate around the room to look at the notes and continue to discuss what they see. The teacher brings students back together again to talk about what students learned about the topic through the class discussion. The teacher asks, “What did you learn from the discussion? How did the discussion change your thinking?”
  • In Module 4, Unit 1, Lesson 6, students read Chapter 5 of the text, “The Hope Chest.” There is a focus in this lesson on idioms, adages, proverbs, determining theme, and summarizing the text. The teacher begins the lesson by reading Chapter 5 aloud and draws students’ attention to the language used in the chapter. The teacher asks, “What is slang? What is an example of slang that you can think of?You’ve heard the term angelinas quite a few times since the beginning of the chapter. What can you infer angelinas are?” After reading the chapter, students utilize silent chapter reflection time to determine the gist of the chapter. Next, the teacher moves the lesson towards determining theme. The teacher asks, “What is a theme? How do you know what a theme of a text is? What themes have you seen so far? Which messages or main ideas keep coming up in the first five chapters that are relevant to the real world outside of the book? Is there anything the book is teaching you or helping you understand about life?” Student-suggested themes are recorded on chart paper. During “Closing and Assessment,” students review the themes and return to the text to find supporting evidence.
  • In Module 4, Unit 2, Lesson 11, students analyze the text, “The Hope Chest,” in order to determine theme. In Lesson 10, they use the text to identify evidence they will use in their writing to support the theme that they have determined for the text. In this Lesson, students begin to write the paragraph incorporating the evidence from the text. Students answer the following questions: “What does elaborate mean? What does it mean to elaborate on evidence in an essay? What is the first proof paragraph about? Look at your first piece of evidence for your first character. How does this show evidence of the theme you are writing about? What about this evidence makes you think of the theme you have chosen?”

Indicator 1h

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

The materials reviewed for Grade 4 meet the criteria for having sets of high-quality sequences of text-dependent/specific questions and tasks build to a culminating task that integrates skills (may be writing, speaking, or a combination).

Materials contain sets of high-quality sequences of text-dependent questions and activities that build to a culminating task which integrates skills to demonstrate understanding. Culminating tasks require students to gather details or information using text-dependent questions, anchor charts, and graphic organizers to write a specific genre of writing at the end of each Module. Each Module has a final Performance Task. Performance tasks are designed to help students synthesize and apply their learning from the unit in an engaging and authentic way. Culminating tasks are rich and provide opportunities for students to demonstrate what they know and are able to do using speaking and writing.

The Module 1 Performance Task requires students to write an original poem. Students also write a speech about the inspiration behind their poem and note where the reader/listener can locate this evidence within their poem. This culminating task includes supporting visuals. In Unit 1, Lesson 3, students read and analyze "The Red Wheelbarrow" by William Carlos Williams. Students identify the characteristics within the poem that they add to the “What Makes a Poem a Poem?” anchor chart. Students spend the unit deeply analyzing poems. They analyze the structure of poems along with the author’s meaning behind the poem. Students answer questions such as: “How does Jack feel when he says any words can be a poem? Why do you think so? What is the theme of this poem? What is the main idea or message the poet wants you to take away?” This deep analysis prepares students for Unit 2, where they build on author’s meaning and write to inform where a poet finds inspiration. Units 1 and 2 are synthesized for Unit 3 where students write their own poem and create a presentation explaining where they found inspiration for their poem. To synthesize this unit, the teacher asks the following questions: “What inspired you to write poetry, and where can you see evidence of this in your poem? How did you communicate this inspiration in your poem? What do you hope your audience will take away? Why?”

The Module 2 Performance Task requires students to write a Choose-Your-Own-Adventure Animal Defense Mechanisms Narrative. In this culminating task, students blend their research of animal defense mechanisms with narrative writing. The narrative begins with a short informational piece describing the student’s animal and its defense mechanisms. Then, students write a narrative in which their animal is featured as the main character. In Unit 1, Lesson 4, students complete a KWL graphic organizer to document their research of the defense mechanisms of animals. Students record information that they have gathered from a close reading of “Lying Low” and “A Life in Hiding” from Animal Behavior: Animal Defenses. In Unit 3, Lesson 3, students determine and share the audience and purpose of the narrative component of their writing piece. Students use their research notes to complete the Character Profile graphic organizer.

The Module 3 Performance Task requires students to discuss their opinion of the American Revolution. Students are required to consider both sides, Loyalist and Patriot, and decide which they would have supported if they had lived in colonial times. In Unit 1, Lesson 10, students independently write a summary of American Indians and the American Revolution. Students analyze the role and perspective of the Native Americans during the war through answering questions such as, “How does your understanding of this sentence add to your understanding of the effect of the war on American Indians?” In Unit 2, Lesson 10, students write in pairs about Robert in Act III, Scene 2 of Divided Loyalties. Students complete the Point of View handout about Robert and use this analysis to write a first person narrative as if they were Robert. In Unit 3, Lesson 3, students discuss the following: “How do people today share their opinion? How might people have shared their opinion during the American Revolution, before things like Twitter and blogs existed?” Students analyze the structure of opinion writing and the opinions within the text, which will then be used to write their own opinion. In Lesson 6, students use the Opinion Writing Graphic organizer and focus on stating an opinion that is supported through reasons and evidence. In Lesson 7, students draft their opinion introduction, which is followed by writing the body paragraphs in Lessons 8 and 9, and the conclusion paragraph in Lesson 10.

The Module 4 Performance Task focuses on responding to injustices and requires students to work as a class to share the results of their action plan by writing a press release. Within their report, students include what they did, when and where it occurred, the results, and the impact. In Unit 2, Lesson 9, students analyze the model of one of the themes from The Hope Chest. Students independently answer the following prompt: “Write an essay that explains one of the major themes of the book. Use evidence and examples from the text to support your interpretation.” In Unit 2, Lesson 13, students consider the how characters in The Hope Chest and Violet and the suffragists took action on the issue of women’s right to vote. Students use their analysis of The Hope Chest to write an essay that explains one of the major themes of the book. Students use evidence and examples from the text to support their interpretation. In Unit 3, students use what they read in Units 1 and 2 to find inspiration for how kids can take action and make a difference. To deepen their analysis, students respond to the following questions: “Can you identify a character in The Hope Chest who took action to make a difference? Describe how the character’s actions made a difference. Reread this text. Who took action? How did she take action? How did Daniel Vasquez contribute to a better world?” Students research ways that kids can make a difference and create a Public Service Announcement (PSA) to highlight one of the ways students can take action in the world.

Indicator 1i

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

The materials reviewed for Grade 4 meet the criteria for materials providing frequent opportunities and protocols for evidence-based discussions (small groups, peer-to-peer, whole class) that encourage the modeling and use of academic vocabulary and syntax.

The materials provide frequent opportunities and protocols throughout Modules and within lesson components for evidence-based discussions such as Turn-and-Talk, Think-Pair-Share and text-based discussions such as Socratic Seminars and Collaborative Discussions that support academic vocabulary and syntax. In the supporting materials, graphic organizers such as Academic Vocabulary Form and Domain-Specific Vocabulary Form and an Affix List are provided for students to use in their writing and speaking activities. Units include practices that encourage the building and application of academic vocabulary and syntax including total participation routines and Think-Pair-Share. Teacher materials support implementation of these standards in a clear and direct manner. Examples include, but are not limited to:

  • In Module 1, Unit 1, Lesson 1, the Teacher Guide explains that this lesson is the first in a series of two lessons that include built-out instruction for strategic use of the Think-Pair-Share protocol to promote equitable and productive conversation. Students use this protocol to discuss inferences regarding the Module topic. The Teacher Guide explains that this lesson uses cold calling as a total participation technique. Students participate through cold calling when discussing what it means to infer a topic.
  • In Module 1, Unit 1, Lesson 6, “During Work Time B, students participate in their first Language Dive, which guides them through the meaning of three lines from ‘dog.’ The conversation invites students to unpack complex syntax—or ‘academic phrases’—as a necessary component of building both literacy and habits of mind” (p.97).
  • In Module 2, Unit 1, Lesson 2, the Teacher Guide explains that students use the Think-Pair-Share protocol to discuss, “What questions should we try to answer as we research animal defense mechanisms?” Students try to answer the guiding question “How do animals’ bodies and behaviors help them survive?”
  • In Module 2, Unit 1, Lesson 11, the teacher focuses “students on the Discussion Norms anchor chart from Module 1. Ask them what it looks/sounds like to effectively participate with peers, listening for ideas such as: Wait my turn to speak, so I am heard, or Don’t shout/speak too loudly, or Make sure everyone gets a turn to speak, or No one person does most/all of the speaking, or Use information from the text to support my ideas, etc.” (p. 152).
  • In Module 2, Unit 3, Lesson 2, in the opening of the lesson, the teacher uses “equity sticks” to call on students to speak to the following questions: “How do animals’ bodies and behaviors help them survive? How can a writer use his or her knowledge on a topic to inform and entertain?” Students focus on how writers use their knowledge to entertain by writing a narrative choose-your-own-adventure story.
  • In Module 3, Unit 1, Lesson 7, students use the Think-Triad-Share protocol while analyzing the text “An Incomplete Revolution.” Each triad is given a number from 1–5. Each triad reads a different section of the text to determine the gist and the meaning of unfamiliar words and phrases:– 1 will read the Opening four paragraphs up to “The Struggle Begins” subheading; – 2 will read “The Struggle Begins”; – 3 will read “An Offer of Freedom”; – 4 will read “Patriot Soldiers”; – 5 will read “Free at Last.”
  • In Module 3, Unit 2, Lesson 5, the Text-Based Discussion is used to determine the character reactions to the "Declaration of Independence"– “What would the character think of this excerpt? Based on his situation, would he agree? Why or why not?” Students are in small groups of four or five and participate in a text-based discussion about the opinions of Robert and William about the excerpt of the "Declaration of Independence." Students are reminded that the purpose of the discussion is for them to talk to each other and learn more about the opinions each of them has about the story and why.
  • In Module 4, Unit 1, Lesson 8: Excerpt of “The Suffragists: From Tea-Parties to Prison,” students take one minute to look at the text. Turn and Talk answering the questions include “What do you notice? What do you wonder?” Students use the Think-Triad-Share protocol to answer questions about the text. Specifically, students answer the following questions: “What is the gist of this text? What is it mostly about? From the text, who do you think the people are?”
  • In Module 4, students work with a reading triad to select two characters whose actions in the book have repeatedly shown evidence of that theme. Students use the evidence on the anchor chart for their theme and choose two characters for which there are multiple pieces of evidence of that theme. Students use the work that they complete with their triads in the essays that they write.

Indicator 1j

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

The materials reviewed for Grade 4 meet the criteria for materials supporting students’ listening and speaking about what they are reading and researching (including presentation opportunities) with relevant follow-up questions and supports.

The individual lessons throughout the module units support students’ speaking and listening about what they are reading and researching. Each module overview outlines the Speaking and Listening standards that will be targeted throughout the unit and each lesson contains routines to engage students in speaking and listening. Unit lessons require students to share out their reflections and engage in follow-up questioning. Collaborative routines are included in the daily lessons along with protocol explanations and discussion structures described in the lesson section titled “Teacher’s Notes.” Examples include, but are not limited to:

  • In Module 1, Unit 1, Lesson 1, the Teacher Guide instructs that students will participate in the Infer the Topic protocol by engaging with the texts they will be reading throughout the module, including the module guiding questions, targeting Speaking and Listening Standard 4.1.
  • In Module 1, Unit 3, Lesson 13, students present their poems and visuals and explain the inspiration behind the poems. Students practice the listening and speaking standards through these presentations. After all students have presented, the teacher engages students in reflection by asking, “What was a highlight of this presentation for you? Why?”
  • In Module 2, Unit 1, Lesson 2, the Teacher Guide explains that students will use their Animal Defenses research notebook and Listening Closely note-catcher on pages 2-3 to record running notes during their read-aloud. Students share aloud and the teacher answers clarifying questions with the use of equity sticks. Students read the text twice and answer the question, “How do animals’ bodies and behaviors help them survive?” Students Turn-and-Talk, and the teacher then uses equity sticks to call on students for an answer to the discussion question: “What was the gist of these pages.”
  • In Module 2, Unit 1, Lesson 12, students conduct a science talk using the Preparing for a Science Talk anchor chart and Working to Become Ethical People anchor chart. They emphasize respect and remind students they discuss their ideas with one another, may have different ideas, and need to be respectful of each other’s thinking. Teachers “direct students to begin the Science Talk Round 1. Use the Grade 4 Collaborative Discussion checklist during the discussion to monitor student progression toward the learning targets. Quickly redirect and support students as needed but avoid leading the conversation. Remind students that their questions and comments should be directed to one another, not the teacher.”
  • In Module 3, Unit 1, Lesson 7, students complete reading for gist jigsaw of “An Incomplete Revolution.” Students work in triads to complete the reading of the text. Each triad is given a number from 1–5. For each section, the triad determines the gist and the meaning of unfamiliar words and phrases:– 1 will read the Opening four paragraphs up to “The Struggle Begins” subheading; – 2 will read “The Struggle Begins”;– 3 will read “An Offer of Freedom”; – 4 will read “Patriot Soldiers”; – 5 will read “Free at Last.” After approximately 8 minutes, students rotate around the room to share their gist and the meaning of unfamiliar vocabulary with those who have read other sections of text.
  • In Module 3, Unit 3, Lesson 3, students complete a Poster Walk using a total participation technique. Students study “broadsides” and how they were used during the Revolutionary War. The teacher informs students that the broadsides were written over 200 years ago and may include letters, words, phrases, and symbols that are not used today. Students walk around the room, and look and write comments on the broadsides. After the Poster Walk, students return to one broadside and read the comments written on it. The teacher uses total participation when posing the question, “What patterns or themes did you notice in all of the Poster Walk posters?”
  • In Module 4, Unit 1, Lesson 7, students read chapter 6 of The Hope Chest in reading triads. When done reading, students work with their triads to discuss the gist of the chapter and a possible theme. Students share out their thinking when the teacher asks, “Are there any new themes you are noticing now?” Triads locate text-based evidence for the suggested themes, “What evidence can you find for any of the themes we have identified so far?” Again, students share out and the information is collected and added to a class anchor chart.
  • In Module 4, Unit 2, Lesson 13, students work in triads to make connections to real life events using conversation cues. Students begin by looking at page 261 and reading through page 265 of The Hope Chest. Students are asked, “What does it tell you about the author’s opinion of these people when it says, ‘History has been too polite to record the real people’s names’?” Students share out answers to this question. The teacher then uses the conversation cue, “Do you agree or disagree with what your classmate said? Why?” to spark more discussion around the topic. Students are asked, “What does this paragraph tell us about the history of women’s right to vote? How does this informational text help you better understand The Hope Chest?” After students respond, the teacher uses a different conversation cue, “Who can tell us what your classmate said in your own words?”

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 materials reviewed for Grade 4 meet the criteria for materials including a mix of on-demand and process writing (e.g., multiple drafts, revisions over time) and short, focused projects, incorporating digital resources where appropriate.

There are opportunities for on-demand writing, process writing, and short, focused projects through a variety of instructional tasks. Students develop drafts for each individual paragraph or portion of a writing product over the course of several lessons. Students also spend time on self-revisions, targeted peer-critiques, and publishing of their work using digital resources and technology. The teacher provides direct instruction to guide students through the writing process, requiring them to analyze good writing models from the text sets they read. The writing lessons included in each module are based on text(s).

On-demand writing occurs each day when students write to what they have read in various formats. Intentional instruction (focus statement, checklist, etc.) is included to support students in writing to meet the criteria. Materials include short and longer writing tasks and projects and are aligned to the grade-level standards being reviewed. Examples of writing include note-catchers, graphic organizers, short answer, or paragraph construction.

Examples of writing include, but are not limited to:

  • In Module 1, Unit 1, Lesson 8, students are asked to summarize a poem and compare poetry and prose. They are reminded that they read “The Pasture” in the previous lesson and then teacher rereads the text aloud as a reminder. Students are to use the anchor charts they have been using in the lessons in this unit so far and refer to them during this assessment.
  • In Module 1, Unit 2, Lesson 4, students write an informative paragraph answering this focus question: “What inspires Jack to write poetry, and where can you see evidence of this in his poetry?” Students use their note catchers about “What Inspires Poets to Write Poetry?”. Students are asked to use accurate and relevant details and explain how each detail is evidence of what inspired Jack. “Remind students that for the mid-unit assessment, they are choosing just one of those inspirations to write about: either how his dog, Sky, or other poets inspired him.”
  • In Module 2, Unit 2, Lessons 1-12 provide students opportunities to learn to use writing in order to inform. Students spend the initial portion of the unit, Lessons 1-4, conducting research to gather information for their informational writing. In Lessons 5-7, students organize and categorize their research and begin planning by synthesizing their research. In Lessons 8-9, students craft their introduction and proof paragraphs. In Lesson 10, students revise their work for supporting details and word choice. Students close out the unit by editing for conventions and completing an on-demand writing assessment on “Writing an Informative Text about Puffer Fish Defense Mechanisms.”
  • In Module 3, the End of Unit 2 Assessment is on-demand narrative writing. For Part I, students write a short, first person narrative explaining what a character from Divided Loyalties is thinking and feeling at a specific point in a scene. In Part II, students answer selected response and short answer questions.
  • In Module 3, Unit 3, Lessons 6-10, students complete a process writing of a Broadside. In Lesson 6, students analyze a model of a Broadside and begin planning their own. In Lesson 7, students write the introduction paragraph for their Broadside. Students analyze the model and focus on forming and using prepositional phrases. For Lessons 8 and 9 students are working on their proof paragraphs. Students again use the model as a guide, and then write their paragraphs using evidence and details collected from the information and research. Lastly, in Lesson 10, student write the concluding paragraph of their Broadside. In the concluding paragraph, students are summarizing and restating the information from throughout the writing.
  • In Module 4, for the Mid-Unit 2 Assessment, students complete two parts of the assessment. First, students read a chapter of The Hope Chest and answer short response questions about similes, metaphors, idioms, adages, proverbs, relative pronouns, and relative adverbs. In Part 2, students summarize events in the chapter showing evidence of a theme, citing evidence to support the chosen theme.
  • In Module 4, for the End Unit 2 Assessment. students write an on-demand literary essay to respond to the following prompt, “The Hope Chest explores several themes. Write an essay that explains one of the major themes of the book. Use evidence and examples from the text to support your interpretation.” Students rely on their knowledge of the text from previous lessons and discussions.
  • In Module 4, students work through a process writing in Unit 2, Lessons 10-13. In Lesson 10, during “Work Time A,” students plan the introduction of their essays. Part of the introduction should include two characters from The Hope Chest whose actions show evidence of the theme. Students should reference the evidence from the text that they will use in their essays that show each character’s actions in relation to the theme. In Lessons 11 and 12, students are writing the proof paragraphs for their essay. These paragraphs explain how the two characters’ actions support the theme of the text. Students include specific details and evidence from the text. In Lesson 13, students are writing the concluding paragraph for the essay. The concluding paragraph should include a summary of the reasons and evidence that the actions of the characters support the theme of the text.

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 materials reviewed for Grade 4 meet the criteria for materials providing opportunities for students to address different text types of writing that reflect the distribution required by the standards.

Materials provide frequent opportunities across the school year for students to learn, practice, and apply writing using evidence. According to the curriculum map, provided at the beginning of each module, opinion writing is not addressed until Module 4. Each unit includes a multiple writing lesson and students engage with multiple genres and modes of writing. Throughout the modules students learn, practice, and apply writing using evidence. Every unit throughout the modules contains a minimum of 4-6 lessons during the unit that focus on developing the skills for producing a particular text type of writing. Materials provide experiences in writing across different genres, including narrative, informative, and opinion writing. Opportunities to address text types of writing that reflect the distribution by the standards include, but are not limited to:

  • The Module 1, Unit 3, Lessons 1-11 provide students opportunities to address writing poetry.
  • In the Module 1 Performance Task, students are asked to take their learning about what inspires poets to write a poem inspired by something meaningful. In the second part of the performance task, students write a speech about what inspired their poem.
  • The Module 2, Unit 3, Lessons 1-15 provide students opportunities to address writing narrative texts. For example, in Lessons 8-13, students write a narrative choose-your-own-adventure story.
  • The Module 2 Performance Task gives students a chance to use their research of animal defense mechanisms for narrative writing. Students use their research about a specific animal as the foundation for a choose-your-own-adventure story. The narrative story starts with a short informative paragraph describing the animals and their defense mechanisms. Then students write a narrative in which their animal is featured as the main character facing a dangerous predator which forces them to use their defense mechanism.
  • The Module 1, Unit 2, Lessons 3-14 provide students opportunities to address writing literary essays. For example, in Lesson 3, students write an informative paragraph about what inspires Jack to write poetry in the book, Love That Dog. During Lessons 9-14, students write a literary essay, beginning with analyzing a model to scaffolding the writing from introduction to conclusion to revising their essay. In Unit 2, Lesson 5, students complete: Finding the GIST and Unfamiliar Vocabulary: A River of Words Note-catcher.
  • In Module 1, Unit 2, Lessons 9-13, students analyze a model literary essay about William Carlos Williams using the Painted Essay structure in order to write their own literary essays. Each lesson takes students through different parts of writing the essay, beginning with the introduction, draft paragraphs, and conclusion.
  • In the Module 1, Mid-unit 2 Assessment, students are asked to write an informative paragraph to answer the question, “What inspired Jack to write poetry and where is the inspirational evidence in his poetry?” Students use notes from the unit to write an informative paragraph.
  • The Module 2, Unit 2, Lessons 1-12 provide students opportunities to address writing informative texts. For example, in Unit 2, Lesson 1, students complete a KWEL chart on Animal Defense Mechanisms. In Unit 2, Lesson 8, students begin drafting the introduction for the informative piece of their performance task.
  • In Module 3, Unit 3, students read and analyze opinion text about the American Revolution. While reading the text, they analyze the structure of opinion writing which will then be used to write their own opinion. In Lesson 6, students begin using the Opinion Writing graphic organizer, first focusing on stating an opinion that is supported through reasons and evidence. In Lesson 7, students draft their opinion introduction which is followed by writing the body paragraphs in Lessons 8 and 9, and the conclusion paragraph in Lesson 10.
  • In Module 4, Unit 3, Lesson 9, students write a public service announcement after researching text in previous lessons. “In this lesson, students write the body and conclusion paragraphs for their PSAs. They first analyze these paragraphs in the model PSA and compare them to the body and conclusion for the broadsides written in Module 3. They then use their planning from Lesson 7 to complete their PSA drafts.”

Indicator 1m

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

The materials reviewed for Grade 4 meet the criteria for materials including frequent opportunities for evidence-based writing to support careful analyses, well-defended claims, and clear information appropriate for the grade level.

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. Examples include:

  • In Module 1, Unit 1, Lesson 11, students prepare for a text-based discussion by completing “Preparing for a Text-Based Discussion Note-catcher.” For each question, they are instructed to write the evidence and elaboration.
  • In Module 1, Unit 2, Lesson 4, teachers explain to students that before they begin the mid-unit assessment, “they will be rereading pages 73–86 in Love That Dog to look for more evidence for the focus question: What inspires Jack to write poetry, and where can you see evidence of this in his poetry?” (pg. 228).
  • In the Module 2 Mid-unit 2 Assessment, Part 1, students watch a video and take notes. Then they paraphrase the video. In Part 2, students read a text about how some animals use their shells to protect themselves. They answer selected response text-dependent and short answer questions, demonstrating their ability to cite evidence, determine the main idea, identify supporting details, and determine the meaning of unknown words.
  • In Module 3, Unit 1, Lesson 8, students complete text-dependent questions such as: "Which side were the black slaves on in the American Revolution? Use details from the text to support your answer (RI.4.1). According to the text, why did both sides need black slaves to fight in the American Revolution? Use details from the text to support your answer (RI.4.1)."
  • In the Module 3, Mid-Unit 2 assessment, Part 1, students read Act II, Scene III of Divided Loyalties and answer selected response and short constructed response questions about the text. They also write a descriptive paragraph about the character, Mary, in this scene of the play. In Part II, after reading a line of the Declaration of Independence, students participate in a text-based discussion, responding to the question, “In your opinion, what would the characters in Divided Loyalties think of this line? Would they agree with the ideas in this excerpt? Why or why not?” Students use evidence and reasons from the text to support their opinion.
  • The Module 4, lessons and unit assessments build upon each other to gradually increase students’ writing abilities. In Unit 1, students work on answering questions about literary text by reading Chapter 4 of The Hope Chest and answering selected and short response questions about the meanings of unfamiliar words and phrases, and their synonyms and antonyms. Then, in Unit 2, students work on summarizing the events in a chapter and then writing a literary essay about a theme. In Unit 3, students work on researching and writing an opinion piece, ultimately drafting a script for a new PSA about the importance of kids taking action in which they clearly state the opinion that it is important for kids to take action to make a difference in one’s community and providing reasons to support their opinion with facts and details from their research.
  • In Module 4, Unit 2, Lesson 9, students are given the following prompt to answer in writing: “The Hope Chest explores several themes. Write an essay that explains one of the major themes of the book. Use evidence and examples from the text to support your interpretation.”

Indicator 1n

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

The materials reviewed for Grade 4 meet the criteria for materials including explicit instruction of the grammar and conventions standards for grade level as applied in increasingly sophisticated contexts, with opportunities for application both in and out of context.

Opportunities to learn language standards are in the Module lessons including Language Dives and lessons in the ALL Block. Materials include instruction of all grammar and conventions standards for the grade level. Examples of practice with language standards include:

  • L.4.1a
    • In Module 4, Unit 2, Lesson 6, students learn about relative pronouns. The teacher tells students that a relative pronoun is a specific type of pronoun. During a Language Dive Practice, students select from the relative adverbs where, when, and why to fill sentences such as: “I’m sure we can find a park ___ we can go for a run.”
  • L.4.1b
    • In Module 3, Unit 2, Lesson 11, students learn about possessive verb tense. During Language Dive II, the teacher focuses on the following sentence: “Also, I am worried about William, whom we will be leaving behind.” During practice, students change the sentence from the future progressive to the present progressive and then to the past progressive.
  • L.4.1d
    • In Module 2, Unit 3, Lesson 11, the teacher writes two phrases on the board: “a small, red bug” and “a red, small bad.” Students discuss: “What kind of words are red and small?” Which one of these two phrases is correct?” Students view the Adjective Order handout and use it to describe bears and pencils with adjectives in the correct order.
  • L.4.1e
    • In Module 3, Unit 3, Lesson 7, the teacher distributes the Prepositional Phrases handout. Students learn that a prepositional phrase is a group of words that describes the relationship between a noun or verb and another noun following the preposition. The teacher shares three examples from the handout. Students underline a sentence with a prepositional phrase from the Model Broadside: Quaker Perspective.
  • L.4.1f
    • In Module 1, Unit 2, Lesson 11, during Work Time, Mini Lesson: Recognizing and Correcting Fragments and Run-on Sentences, students review what a complete sentence is by reading their Writing Complete Sentence handout. Students share a complete sentence from their literary essay draft identifying the subject and predicate. The teacher explains that if a sentence is not complete it is either a fragment or a run-on sentence and models revising a sentence. Volunteers repeat the process. Students revise and edit their paragraph.
  • L.4.1g
    • In Module 3, Unit 3, Lesson 11, the teacher displays and distributes the Frequently Confused Words handout. The teacher instructed on its and it’s. Then the teacher asks: “What other words can you think of that writers might frequently confuse?” Students practice correcting words in sentence such as: “Won of our beliefs is to treat everyone equally.”
  • L.4.2a
    • In Module 2, Unit 2, Lesson 11, during Work Time C, the teacher models how to edit for spelling, punctuation, and capitalization of the millipede convention-less paragraph. The teacher can use a think-aloud such as: “I know that one of the rules for capitalization is to be sure the first word of each sentence is capitalized.” Students then participate in the Editing Stations.
  • L.4.2c
    • In Module 2, Unit 2, Lesson 11, during Work Time, Mini Lesson: Using Commas before Coordinating Conjunctions, the teacher writes, “They have many body segments. Two pairs of legs are on each segment.” And “They have many body segments, and two pairs of legs are on each segment.” Students discuss how the sentences are the same and different then explains simple sentences and compound sentence asking which flows better. Using the Parts of Speech anchor chart and the Coordinating Conjunctions handout with the acronym FANBOYS, students discuss coordinating conjunctions, compound sentences, and run-on sentences.
  • L.4.2d
    • In Module 2, Unit 2, Lesson 11, during Work Time C, the teacher models how to edit for spelling, punctuation, and capitalization of the millipede convention-less paragraph. The teacher can use a think-aloud such as “I’m not sure if I spelled the word decaying right in this sentence in the first paragraph: ‘They roll into balls and eat leaves or decaying vegetation.’ I think it ends with a suffix. I’m going to look at my Affix List and see if there’s a suffix on here that I hear in the word decaying. On this handout, I see the suffix -ing! That’s how the word decaying ends. I’ll circle ‘decayin’ on my draft with a colored pencil from this station and write -ing above it.” Students then participate in the Editing Stations.
  • L.4.3a
    • In Module 1, Unit 3, Lesson 3, the teacher helps students select words for precisely. The teacher asks: ““What does precisely mean? If we are precise about how we do something, how do we do it?” (We are very exact.) Students may need to use a dictionary to determine the meaning of this word. “What is an antonym for the word precise? Remember that an antonym is a word that means the opposite.” Then during a Mini-Lesson, students look for words that could be improved to convey the ideas more precisely. The teacher models changing the word red. Students work in triads to change wording of Model for Critique: Poem.
  • L.4.3c
    • In Module 2, Unit 3, Lesson 2, in Levels of support, to provide lighter support, a teacher may need to support students’ understanding of the difference between formal and informal writing. The teacher will invite students to create a T-chart and collect examples of formal and informal writing.

Criterion 1o - 1q

Materials in reading, writing, speaking, listening, and language targeted to support foundational reading development are aligned to the standards.
4/6
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Criterion Rating Details

Materials contain minimal evidence of explicit instruction of phonics and word recognition consistently over the course of the year. Materials provide limited opportunities to apply word analysis skills to connected texts. There are limited opportunities to practice speaking and receive feedback on fluency.

Indicator 1o

Materials, questions, and tasks address grade-level CCSS for foundational skills by providing explicit instruction and assessment in phonics and word recognition that demonstrate a research-based progression.
1/2
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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 4 partially meet the criteria that materials, questions, and tasks address grade-level CCSS for foundational skills by providing explicit instruction and assessment in phonics and word recognition that demonstrate a research-based progression.

According to information in the Appendix, foundational skills are integrated through Modules 1-4, yet explicit instruction in how to decode multisyllabic words is not explicitly and systematically taught. Teachers are informed during the Reading Foundational Skills assessment (found in the Appendix) that, “If, during this assessment, it is evident that students are unable to meet the grade-level expectations and require additional support with learning to read, consider using and/or adapting EL Education’s K–2 Reading Foundational Skills Block.” If a student receives EL Education as their primary core instruction prior to Grade 4 and is lacking in foundational skills in Grade 4, they will have already received the K-2 Foundational Skills Block instruction. There is no explicit instruction in phonics, since the ALL Block focuses on additional time to work with texts, ideas, and skills that are initially introduced in the Module Lessons (EL Education Your Curriculum Companion, p. 83). Some prefixes and suffixes are explicitly taught in Module lessons and during the ALL Block, but a systematic sequence of teaching decoding of Latin suffixes, multisyllable words, and irregularly spelled words is not present in the materials.

Materials contain some explicit instruction of syllabication patterns, morphology, and word recognition consistently over the course of the year. Examples include:

  • The Your Curriculum Companion states that their method of teaching phonics is structured phonics -- teaching spelling-sound patterns in a clear sequence based on the Alphabetic Principle (p. 201). However, the Teacher Guide also states that in Grades 3-5, their materials focus more on a contextualized approach to teaching phonics and word recognition (p. 85)
  • Opportunities are provided to practice phonics, syllabication, and morphology throughout the year through vocabulary games, vocabulary squares, and Frayer models (p. 85.) However, these opportunities are not consistent over the course of the year.
  • In the ALL Block, there is practice with word analysis, two new words per week, domain-specific words, and word study games and activities (p. 87).

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

  • In the modules, there is word study with an emphasis on morphology, syllabication, and vocabulary protocols, routines, and tools to figure out meaning of new words (p. 87).
    • In Module 1, Unit 1, Lesson 1, students break the word elaboration into syllables.
    • In Module 1, Unit 3, Week 2, ALL Block, students analyze the meaning of an academic word with the prefix in-.
    • In Module 2, Unit 1, Lesson 2, students clap the number of syllables in the word paraphrase.
    • In Module 2, Unit 1, Lesson 7, students clap the number of syllables in the word impenetrable.
    • In Module 2, Unit 1, ALL Block, there is an affix game that students play during their rotation time.
    • In Module 3, Unit 1, Week 2, ALL Block, students practice using the suffixes -ian, -er, and -or to make nouns.
    • In Module 4, Unit 1, ALL Block, there is a synonym/antonym game that students play during their rotation time, but it does not address phonics or RF skills. Students also play a vocabulary tree game about affixes and suffixes.

Minimal assessment opportunities are provided over the course of the year to inform instructional adjustments of phonics and word recognition to help students make progress toward mastery. Examples include:

  • The Reading Foundational Skills Assessment tests students knowledge of phonics through the use of word lists that the student reads aloud to the teacher. Some of the words that the student reads aloud include: underneath, mischief, dreadfully, and quietly. The teacher is informed that “If, during this assessment, it is evident that students are unable to meet the grade-level expectations and require additional support with learning to read, consider using and/or adapting EL Education’s K–2 Reading Foundations Skills Block” (Module 1 Teacher Guide Pg. 500).
  • In the ALL Block, students work on Word Study and Vocabulary, in which they practice sorting words into academic and domain-specific vocabulary to be able to record words in the appropriate place in their vocabulary log. The ALL Block contains no formal assessments of students’ learning of the identifying and knowing the meaning of words with prefixes and suffixes.

Materials contain some explicit instruction of word solving strategies (graphophonic and syntactic) to decode unfamiliar words. Examples include:

  • Instruction in finding the meaning of unfamiliar words is done through the use of a Close Readers Do These Things anchor chart. This chart is referenced and used throughout the course of the school year. Module 1, Unit 1, Lesson 3, “Underline the word theme in the first target. Explain that underlining or circling the meaning of unfamiliar words can help you find them quickly when you are ready to try and work out what they mean. Point out this strategy on the Close Readers Do These Things anchor chart.”
  • In Module 1, Unit 1, Lesson 3, the teacher underlines the word theme. The teacher explains that by underlining or circling the meaning of unfamiliar words can help you to find them quickly. The teacher asks, “What strategies can you use to figure out the meaning of new words such as theme?”

Indicator 1p

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

The materials reviewed for Grade 4 meet the criteria that materials, lessons, and questions provide instruction in and practice of word analysis skills in a research-based progression in connected text and tasks.

Grade 4 materials include instruction and practice in Word Study and Vocabulary that occurs as a component of the five components in the ALL Block. During each cycle, students have two teacher- guided sessions and two independent heterogeneous grouping sessions, which provides students the opportunity to participate in 20 minutes of Word Study and Vocabulary 4 times a week, every other week. The emphasis of Word Study and Vocabulary is context-driven word study. The Your Curriculum Companion states that “readers in intermediate grades benefit from a more contextualized approach to teaching phonics and word recognition" (p. 85). There is an increased focus on morphology of words related to word meaning. The Your Curriculum Companion describes Word Study and Vocabulary as working with words from complex texts and use of vocabulary protocols, routines, and tools to figure out meaning of new words (p. 87). When these trees were used, they provided an opportunity for students to analyze the prefix, root, and suffix of academic vocabulary words in a connected text and to use those words, and words like them, in their own sentences. In the Modules, there are some opportunities for students to analyze words when words are being added to the Academic Word Wall. Ongoing word analysis assessments are not used over the course of the Grade 4 sequence.

Some and varied opportunities are provided over the course of the year in core materials for students to learn, practice, and apply word analysis skills in connected texts and tasks. Examples include:

  • In Module 1, Unit 1, Lesson 11, students learn how to figure out the meaning of elaboration. Students use their Affix List to identify the suffix in the word elaboration. The teacher asks: “Using the Close Readers Do These Things anchor chart, what strategy could you use to determine the meaning of elaborate?”
  • In Module 2, Unit 1, Lesson 7, students focus on the word impenetrable from the text, “Fight to Survive!” Students discuss with a partner the following question: “Is there a word or part of a word within this word that you recognize? The teacher underlines the word penetrate. The teacher points out the suffix -able. The teacher asks: “What do you think the suffix -able means? How does it change the meaning of the word? When you add the suffix -able to penetrate, you get penetrable. What does that mean?”
  • In Module 3, Unit 2, Week 2, Day 2, ALL Block, students use a vocabulary tree to analyze the prefix, root, and suffix for the word destructive in the context of a line from the Declaration of Independence.
  • In Module 4 Unit 1, Week 2, Day 2, ALL Block, students use a vocabulary tree to analyze the word reinforcements from the text, The Hope Chest.

Indicator 1q

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

The materials reviewed for Grade 4 partially meet the criteria that instructional opportunities are frequently built into the materials for students to practice and achieve reading fluency in oral and silent reading, that is, to read on-level prose and poetry with accuracy, rate appropriate to the text, and expression.

Grade 4 materials provide students’ opportunities to practice fluent reading over the course of the school year during Module lessons and the ALL Block (starting in Module 1, Unit 2). During some weeks in the ALL Block, Reading and Speaking Fluency/GUM, students are provided a grade-level fluency poem or complex text excerpt for the week, and students self-assess their work to determine their fluency, or students have a peer assess their fluency. Students read with a partner and utilize sentence stems in order to discuss how they have improved their fluency.

There are limited opportunities for the teacher to listen to each student read orally and provide fluency feedback and instruction since fluency is not a consistent focus every week. Opportunities are missed to provide teachers with oral reading fluency assessment materials such as running records or miscue analysis to drive individualized fluency instruction. Teacher assessment materials consist of checklists, such as the Mid-Unit 1 Assessment, Part II: Reading Fluency Checklist. Further guidance as to what needs to happen next for teaching fluency with each student is not provided. According to EL Education, “Reading fluency is best practiced on text that is at or below the independent reading level. For students whose independent reading levels are below this excerpt, allow them to use an excerpt from their independent reading book to practice fluency.” For differentiation, a teacher must find texts outside of EL Education materials to help students reading below grade level improve in fluency. If a student is below grade level in fluency, EL Education states: “Consider using the Reading: Foundational Skills Informal Assessment: Reading Fluency Checklist to gather baseline reading fluency data from students’ independent reading books in Closing and Assessment A (see Module 1 Appendix).” In Module 1, the EL Education Teacher Guide states, “For students who may need additional support with reading fluency: Pair these students with a highly fluent reader such as a peer model and have them chorally read together.”

Opportunities are provided over the course of the year in core materials for students to demonstrate sufficient accuracy and fluency in oral and silent reading. Examples include:

  • In Module 1, Unit 1, Lesson 3, students practice their fluency by following along and reading silently in their heads as the teacher reads aloud pages 1-5 of Love That Dog.
  • In Module 1, Unit 3, there is a sequence of reading poetry aloud, which culminates in the unit assessment. In Lesson 5, students read “Danse Africaine” by Langston Hughes to themselves. Then students whisper read chorally with a partner.
  • In Module 2, Unit 1, Lesson 2, students practice their fluency by following along as the teacher reads a selection from Chapter 1 of Animal Behavior: Animal Defenses.
  • In Module 3, Unit 2, Week 1, ALL Block, students read an excerpt of Act II, Scene 1 of Divided Loyalties. Students are given a passage at the beginning of the week that they practice reading with a partner for fluency.
  • Module 4, Unit 1, Week 1, Day 3, students practice fluently reading a portion of The Hope Chest with a partner. In Module 4, Unit 2, Week 2, Day 3, ALL Block, students continue to practice whisper reading a portion of The Hope Chest with a partner to build fluency.

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

  • In Module 1, Unit 2, Week 1, Day 1, ALL Block, students practice reading the poem, Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening. The teacher models reading aloud the poem first and then students read the poem silently. Students then work with a partner to read the poem in whisper, angry, and excited voices.
  • In Module 1, Unit 3, Week 1, ALL Block, students practice fluent reading with the poem, The Wind and the Moon. The teacher tells students that they will focus on the following skills when reading the poem, “I can correct myself and reread when what I read was wrong or didn’t make sense. I can read my text at a speed that is appropriate for the piece. I can read smoothly without many breaks. I can notice and read punctuation.” The teacher models reading the poem focusing on those skills, students also read the poem aloud with the teacher and students practice whisper reading the poem to a partner.
  • In Module 3, Unit 3, Week 1, Day 3, students practice fluently reading a portion of the Declaration of Independence. The focus for this fluency lesson is, “I can use the appropriate tone to express the author’s meaning.” Students practice silently reading their passage and underlining key phrases they feel should be emphasized when read aloud. The teacher then models reading the passage aloud and students practice reading their passage aloud as well.

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

  • The Your Curriculum Companion describes how the EL materials support the development of fluency, by decoding with automaticity, following along in the text while a fluent reader is reading, and reading the same text multiple times. Students learn specific criteria for fluent reading and receive peer or teacher critique on their reading.
  • In Module 1, Unit 2, Week 1, Day 3, ALL Block, students work on self-correcting while reading the poem, Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening. The teacher models self-correcting by doing the following: “Miss a word in the first stanza. Once it is clear from the context that this doesn’t make sense, go back to read it correctly. Misread a word in the second stanza. Once it is clear from the context that this doesn’t make sense, go back to read it correctly.” After a class discussion about self-correcting, students work in groups of three to practice reading the passage with a focus on self-correcting.
  • In Module 2, Unit 1, Week 1, Day 1, ALL Block, the teacher reads aloud the text, Animal Behavior: Animal Defenses, in the following manner: “First read: quickly, not attending to punctuation. Second read: slowly, word by word, sounding out every fifth word or so, again not attending to punctuation. Third read: at an 'appropriate rate.' Make a mistake or two, but show how fluent readers would self-correct. Match your facial expression and body language to the piece. Change your rate, volume, pitch, and tone to reflect an understanding of the author’s intended message.”

Some assessment materials provide teachers and students with information of students’ current fluency skills and provide teachers with instructional adjustments to help students make progress toward mastery of fluency. While self-assessment is a regular part of fluency lessons over the course of the school year, opportunities for teachers to use a comprehensive, explicit rubric for assessing students’ fluency and how to help individual students make growth in fluency are missing. Examples include:

  • In Module 1, Unit 3, Assessment, students are provided an excerpt of a new poem called, “Good Hours” by Robert Frost, to read aloud and are assessed on their fluency and accuracy. The assessment criteria is based on the Fluent Readers Do These Things anchor chart.
  • Students frequently have the opportunity to self-assess their own fluency over the course of the school year and to set their own fluency goals. The students self-assessment contains the same items that were listed on the Grade 3 fluency self-assessment.
  • In Module 2, Unit 1, Week 1, Day 1, ALL Block, students self-assess their fluency in the following two categories: “I can read my text at a speed that is appropriate for the piece. I can notice and read punctuation.” Based on how students score themselves in those two categories, each student writes a fluency goal to work towards.
  • In Module 2, Unit 3, Week 1, Day 1, ALL Block, students self-assess their own fluency focusing on the skills, “I can read my text at a speed that is appropriate for the piece. I can notice and read punctuation.”
  • In Module 4, Supporting Materials, students are assessed on their ability to fluently read aloud an unfamiliar passage. While the student reads the teacher is instructed to “Time the student as he or she reads the text aloud, noting any miscues and self corrections as he or she reads on the Reading Fluency Checklist on the next page. Then ask students for a brief oral summary of the excerpt for Part II of this assessment.”

Gateway Two

Building Knowledge with Texts, Vocabulary, and Tasks

Meets Expectations

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Gateway Two Details

The instructional materials meet the expectations of Gateway 2. Materials partially meet the criteria that texts are organized around a topic/topics or themes to build students’ knowledge and their ability to read and comprehend and analyze complex texts proficiently. Most anchor texts, supporting texts, daily tasks, and Performance Based Assessments are centered on the topic(s) or theme(s) for each Module and Unit. The guiding questions and big ideas in the module overview and the individual unit lessons contain coherently sequenced sets of text-dependent questions that require students to analyze the integration of knowledge and ideas across and within texts. 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; however, not all culminating tasks demonstrate the same quality. Vocabulary is taught both implicitly and explicitly, using words in the core and supplementary texts. 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 provided with daily independent reading, research, and discussion during every lesson in the module. Most homework assignments include independent reading and tasks that require students to produce evidence of reading.

Criterion 2a - 2h

30/32

Indicator 2a

Texts are organized around a topic/topics (or, for grades 6-8, topics and/or themes) to build students' ability to read and comprehend complex texts independently and proficiently.
4/4
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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 4 meet the criteria that texts are organized around a topic/topics or themes to build students’ knowledge and their ability to read and comprehend and analyze complex texts proficiently.

Module 1 contains text sets that may need extra support to link them together into one coherent topic. Anchor texts, supporting texts, daily tasks, and Performance Based Assessments are centered on the topic(s) for each module and unit. The units in each module are built around a central topic. In each unit, the anchor text and supporting texts center around the topic to help students understand vocabulary and read and understand complex text.

  • As noted, in Module 1, students engage in a study on the topic of “Poetry and Poets and Becoming Writers.” The teacher may need to supplement the discussion to link these stories to specific topics versus the overall theme and topics about writing and poetry. In Unit 1, students analyze the literary text, Love That Dog, and closely read famous poems such as “The Red Wheelbarrow” and “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening.” Students prepare and practice a text-based discussion about the evidence of Jack being inspired by other poetry along with how his feelings toward poetry have changed since the beginning of Love That Dog. In Unit 2, students finish reading Love That Dog and take notes to answer the following question: “What inspires Jack to write poetry and where can you see evidence of this in his poetry?” Students read biographies about famous poets and consider what inspired them to write poetry and support their assertions utilizing evidence from their poetry. Students write an informative essay about what inspired a poet to write poetry and provide supporting evidence shown from his or her poetry. In Unit 3, students write original poems, create poetry presentation, and choose visuals to support their presentations.
  • In Module 2, students engage in a study on the topic of “Animal Defenses.” In Module 2, students build background knowledge on animal defenses by reading several informational texts such as Can You Survive the Wilderness? by Matt Doeden, Venom by Marilyn Singer, “Fight to Survive!” and Animal Behavior: Animal Defenses by Christina Wilsdon. While reading these texts, students gather and document information through noting inferences and observations within their research notebooks. Later in the module, students synthesize and apply the information gathered in their own informational writing piece. In Unit 1, students build background knowledge about animal defenses along with how the defenses help animals survive. In Unit 2, students dig further into the informational text about animal defenses and write their own informative piece about animal defenses that will accompany their narrative writing in Unit 3. In Unit 3, students read a choose-your-own-adventure story titled Can you Survive the Wilderness. Students use the information that they learned about animal defenses to write their own version of a where animal defenses are at the core of the plot.
  • In Module 3, students engage in a study on the topic of “The American Revolution.” In Unit 1, students closely read Colonial Voices: Hear Them Speak and other informational texts about the American Revolution to build background knowledge about what happened throughout this time period along with the reasons that people became Loyalists or Patriots. In Unit 2, students analyze Divided Loyalties for character thoughts, feelings, and actions. Then, students write character analysis paragraphs. Additionally, students closely read excerpts of “The Declaration of Independence” and make connections to characters in Divided Loyalties. In Unit 3, students analyze varied opinion texts. Students write and revise broadsides from the Patriot and Loyalist perspectives about whether to support the American Revolution. Then, students participate in a text-based discussion on this topic.
  • In Module 4, students engage in a study on the topic of “Responding to Inequalities.” The informational and literary texts introduce students to gender and racial inequality issues in the U.S. The primary text used in this module is The Hope Chest by Karen Schwabach. In Unit 1, students read both informational and literary texts focusing on answering questions regarding injustices and closely analyzing the images for meaning and purpose. In Unit 2, students dig deeper in the literary text, The Hope Chest, and deepen their understanding or idioms, proverbs, and adages. In Unit 3, students use what they read in Units 1 and 2 to find inspiration for how kids can take action and make a difference. Students research ways kids can make a difference and take action. Students then create a Public Service Announcement (PSA) highlighting one of the ways students can take action in the world.

Indicator 2b

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

The materials reviewed for Grade 4 meet the criteria that materials contain sets of coherently sequenced questions and tasks that require students to analyze the language, key ideas, details, craft, and structure of individual texts.

The instructional materials 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 collaborative pairs or groups, complete questions and tasks that require analysis of individual texts. The module lessons include close reading portions with questions that are sequenced and scaffolded, and the module lessons include tasks that require students to analyze the language, key ideas, details, craft, and structure of complex texts such as tasks requiring students to determine the meaning of unfamiliar vocabulary in a text and writing tasks requiring students to write informative paragraphs analyzing the message or lesson in a story. Examples of learning targets with sets of questions found in the instructional materials include the following:

  • In Module 1, Unit 1, Lesson 3, during the task titled “What Makes a Poem a Poem,” students analyze the poem, “The Red Wheelbarrow” by William Carlos Williams and notice structural elements within the poem, identifying the corresponding characteristics of poetry such as structure, rhyme and meter, and imagery.
  • In Module 1, Unit 2, Lesson 8, students are asked to analyze various poems and find evidence that these are poem with questions like, “What characteristics of poetry did this poem have? What evidence do you see in this poem of what inspired William Carlos Williams?”
  • The Module 2, Unit 1, Close Read of the text “Lying Low” from Animal Behaviors: Animal Defenses asks students coherently sequenced questions to help them analyze the details that best support the main idea of the text. Students are asked, first, to write the main idea in their own words and provide three supporting details. Then, the materials ask students to refer to paragraphs three and four and answer the questions, “What example does the author give to support the idea that large animals take advantage of the plants, rocks, and other parts of their habitat? According to the text, why is staying hidden for many hours not necessary for some animals?”
  • In Module 2, Unit 3, Lesson 1, students will analyze a choose-your-own-adventure story, “Can You Survive the Wilderness?” to write their own story. Some questions asked were “What did you notice about the format of Can You Survive the Wilderness? How does examining the format of this choose-your-own-adventure help us when writing our own narratives?”
  • In Module 3, Unit 1, lesson 7, students begin the lesson by rereading “The Blacksmith’s Slave” from Colonial Voices: Hear Them Speak. The focus for students is on the perspective of an African American slave during the American Revolution. “What does this page of the text tell you about what a slave is? From what you have read so far, how do you think the blacksmith’s slave’s freedom is different from the freedom the men who sit in the shop talk about? Is he a Patriot or a Loyalist?”
  • In Module 3, Unit 2, Lesson 10, during the Closing and Assessment part of the lesson, students work in pairs and use their analysis of Robert’s character during dinner in Act III, Scene 2 to write a first person narrative, as if they are Robert. “How can we set up the situation and let the reader know which of the Barton family is speaking? How does the narrator set up the scene? How did Robert feel when ...? What in the text makes you think that? How can we conclude the narrative? What happens at the end of the scene in Divided Loyalties?”
  • In Module 3, Unit 3, Lesson 1, students are reading and analyzing “William Barton’s Letter.” In this lesson they are focused on identifying William’s opinion and finding supporting evidence in the text to support his opinion. Students are asked to reread the first paragraph with a partner and locate the sentence that most clearly states William’s opinion. “Which sentence in this paragraph most clearly states William’s opinion? How do you know this statement is an opinion? Which sentence in this paragraph most clearly states a reason for William’s opinion? What evidence does William give to support his reason? Which sentence in this paragraph most clearly states a reason for William’s opinion? What evidence does William give to support his reason?”
  • In Module 4, Unit 1, Lesson 3, students are reading chapter 3 of The Hope Chest in triads and after reading, they are closely analyzing the images for meaning and purpose. “Look at the use of open space in this picture. What does this help you understand about the New York City street that Violet tumbled onto? Who can explain why your classmate came up with that response? What does it help you to understand about how Violet may have felt about New York City when she first arrived?” During the closing and assessment portion of the lesson, students are asked to make connections between informational text they have read and The Hope Chest. “What connections can you make between these excerpts of informational text and what you have read so far in The Hope Chest? How does this informational text help you better understand The Hope Chest?”
  • In Module 4, Unit 2, Lesson 13, students are writing their concluding paragraph by restating the theme and points of evidence from the proof paragraphs. “What can you learn from the way this theme is presented in The Hope Chest? Who else in the book said and did things that showed evidence of the theme you chose? Which other characters have said or done things to show evidence of this theme? What can you learn from this theme in The Hope Chest?”

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 materials reviewed for Grade 4 meet the criteria that materials contain a coherently sequenced set of text-dependent questions and tasks that require students to analyze the integration of knowledge and ideas across both individual and multiple texts.

The guiding questions and big ideas in the module overview and the individual unit lessons contain coherently sequenced sets of text-dependent questions that require students to analyze the integration of knowledge and ideas across and within texts. Questions are asked of both single and multiple texts to integrate and build knowledge in order for students to reach the module’s learning goals. Lessons include sequenced sets of text-dependent questions and tasks that require students to analyze the integration of knowledge.

The Module 1 guiding questions are coherently sequenced to require analyses of the integration of knowledge and ideas, including how students synthesize their learning from the three units about what inspires poets to write poetry by presenting their own original poems inspired by something meaningful, along with a speech, including supporting visuals, about what inspired their poem and where the teacher can see evidence of this in their poem.

  • In Unit 1, students analyze the structure of poems and the author’s meaning behind the poem, answering questions such as: “I can identify the characteristics of poetry in ‘Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening.’”
  • In Unit 2, students build on author’s meaning and write to inform where a poet finds inspiration, answering questions such as: “What inspired Jack to write this poem? Where can you see evidence of this in the poem?” In Unit 2, Lesson 8, students read some of William Carlos Williams’ poetry to identify evidence of what inspires him to write.
  • In Unit 3, students write their own poem and create a presentation explaining where they found inspiration for their poem. In order to complete this performance task, students must draw on the previous analysis of poets and poems from Units 1 and 2. In Unit 3, Lesson 6, students study the conclusion of multiple poems by answering, “What information has the poet included in the conclusion? Why?”. Then students write the conclusion on their own poem by answering the following: “What inspired you and why? How did you communicate this inspiration in your poem?”

The Module 2 guiding questions are coherently sequenced to require analyses of the integration of knowledge and ideas, including how students take their learning from throughout the units to write a choose-your-own-adventure story with animal defenses being an intrical part to the storyline.

  • In Unit 1, students build background knowledge about animal defenses and how the defenses help animals survive. Students are going through the research process which gives them the opportunity to gather information. During Unit 1, the teacher poses questions such as: “What can you infer about animal defenses from the pictures and/or text on this poster? How do animals’ bodies and behaviors help them survive?”
  • In Unit 2, students refer back to the research and information that was gathered during Unit 1 about animal defenses: “How did our work in Unit 1—research notebooks, informational texts, discussions about diagrams, and Science Talk—add to your understanding of animal defense mechanisms? The goal of Unit 2 is for students to dig in further to informational text about animal defenses in order to write an informational piece about animals and their defenses that will accompany their narrative writing in Unit 3. In Unit 2, Lesson 5, students use the Millipede: Organizing Research note-catcher to organize through categorization multiple pieces of evidence gathered from various sources. Some of the guiding questions used to help them organize the evidence are the following: “Can you figure out how to categorize the research you have collected? How could you label these columns to help you organize your information? Can you give an example that would fit that category?“
  • In Unit 3, students will use what they learned about animal defenses and their informational writing as background knowledge while they read a choose-your-own-adventure mentor text titled Can You Survive the Wilderness? Students use the structure of Can You Survive the Wilderness? to create their own story where animals use their defenses.

The Module 3 guiding questions are coherently sequenced to require analyses of the integration of knowledge and ideas, including the points of view of Loyalists and Patriots in the American Revolution.

  • In Unit 1, students read a text regarding the American Revolution and analyze the points of view of Loyalists and Patriots: “What is the topic of Colonial Voices: Hear Them Speak? What word can you see in the word loyalist? The text says the Patriots were ‘speaking out for liberty.’ What does this mean?" In Lesson 5, students use the text, Colonial Voices: Hear Them Speak to Think-Share-Pair about the following questions: “What does the title tell you this page is about? What does the first line, ‘We are journeymen, apprentices, merchants,’ tell you about Patriots? The text says the Patriots were ‘speaking out for liberty.’ What does this mean? What is liberty?”
  • In Unit 2, students use their understanding of the points of view of Loyalists and Patriots to read a play and analyzing the characters and their reactions to events, “From what you have read about the characters, what connections are you making to the title Divided Loyalties? What are the significant events in Act I, Scene 2?” In Lesson 5, students closely read an excerpt of the Declaration of Independence to prepare for a text-based discussion about what characters from Divided Loyalties would think of it : “What happens in the U.S. on the Fourth of July? Why? What connections have you made between what happens on that date and what we have been learning about? What does it mean to declare independence? What did the colonies do?”
  • In Unit 3, students read and analyze opinion text about the American Revolution. While reading the text, they are analyzing the structure of opinion writing and the opinions within the text. Synthesizing all the information that was learned throughout the module, students discuss their opinion of the American Revolution. Students must consider both the Loyalist and Patriot sides and decide which they would have supported if they lived in colonial times. They use their reasons and evidence from their research across the module to support their opinion. In Lesson 5, students read and analyze a model broadside using the Painted Essay structure to generate criteria for their own broadsides.

The Module 4 guiding questions are coherently sequenced to require analyses of the integration of knowledge and ideas, including:

  • In Unit 1, students read both informational and literary text focusing on answering questions such as, “What does inequality mean?" Students dig deeper in the literary text from Unit 1, The Hope Chest, to determine the theme and summarize each chapter: "How does your understanding of this sentence add to your understanding of the chapter theme of injustice is inequality?” Students use their analysis of The Hope Chest to write their own essay that explains one of the major themes of the book. Students are required to use evidence and examples from the text to support their interpretation.
  • In Unit 2, Lesson 2, students identify the similes and metaphors in the text: “Think about what happens when something falls. Does darkness actually fall? How does this description, ‘darkness had fallen,’ help you as a reader?”
  • In Unit 3, students use what they read in Units 1 and 2 to find inspiration for how kids can take action and make a difference: “Can you identify a character in The Hope Chest who took action to make a difference?" Students research ways kids can make a difference and take action and then create a PSA highlighting one of the ways students can take action in the world.

Indicator 2d

The questions and tasks support students' ability to complete culminating tasks in which they demonstrate their knowledge of a topic (or, for grades 6-8, a theme) through integrated skills (e.g. combination of reading, writing, speaking, listening).
2/4
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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 4 partially meet the criteria that the questions and tasks support students’ ability to complete culminating tasks in which they demonstrate their knowledge of a topic through integrated skills (e.g. combination of reading, writing, speaking, listening).

The curriculum addresses all literacy standards, including reading, writing, speaking, and listening throughout each individual lesson, and each unit has a mid-unit and end-of-unit assessment that build upon one another culminating in a final performance task. The final unit ultimately assesses all of the standards addressed throughout the module. 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. The culminating tasks in Module 1, which represents one quarter of the school year, do not demonstrate the same quality as the tasks in Modules 2-4, and therefore do not meet the criteria for this indicator.

At the culmination of Module 1, students write their own poem and create a presentation about the inspiration behind their poem. Though this Module has student integrating skills, the culminating task does not demonstrate students building knowledge of a topic. For example:

  • In Unit 1, students analyze poems for their structure and the author’s meaning behind the poem.
  • In Unit 2, students focus on the inspiration behind the poem using the information from Unit 1 regarding the meaning of the poem.
  • In Unit 3 students complete the Performance Task, where students write their own poem and create a presentation about the inspiration behind their poem. The culminating task does not demonstrate students building knowledge of a topic.

At the culmination of Module 2, students write their own version of a choose-your-own-adventure story. While not all tasks accomplish this, the tasks that support and demonstrate knowledge through integrated skills include the following:

  • In Unit 1, students build background knowledge about animal defenses and how the defenses help animals survive by going through the research process.
  • In Unit 2, students refer back to the research and information that was gathered during Unit 1 about animal defenses and dig in further to informational text about animal defenses and write their own informative piece about animal defenses that will accompany their narrative writing in Unit 3.
  • During Unit 3, students read a choose-your-own-adventure story titled Can You Survive the Wilderness? This text is used throughout the unit as a model for students when they write their own version of a choose-your-own-adventure story at the conclusion of the Module.

At the culmination of Module 3, students discuss their opinion of the American Revolution stating their opinion, giving reasons and evidence to support their point. While not all tasks accomplish this, the tasks that support and demonstrate knowledge through integrated skills include the following:

  • In Unit 1, students are provided background knowledge on different perspectives on the American Revolution. In Lesson 1, students listen to a read-aloud of the first half of Colonial Voices: Hear Them Speak by Kay Winters. The purpose of this text is to encourage them to want to learn more about the American Revolution and the Boston Tea Party to better understand this text. In Lesson 5, students share the informative paragraphs they wrote about the Loyalists in the previous lesson to contribute to a whole group informational paragraph about the Loyalists.
  • In Unit 2, students read different perspectives on the American Revolution in literature. Students begin reading Divided Loyalties and they analyze it for character thoughts, feelings, and actions. Then, they write character analysis paragraphs. Students closely read excerpts of the Declaration of Independence and make connections to the characters in Divided Loyalties. They prepare for, and participate in, text-based discussions.
  • In Unit 3, students use writing to share an opinion. Students read opinion texts, determine the author’s opinion, and explain how the author uses reasons and evidence to support his or her opinion. Students analyze a Broadside and write and revise Broadsides from the Patriot and Loyalist perspectives about whether to support the American Revolution. Students prepare for and participate in a discussion about whether to support the American Revolution.

At the culmination of Module 4, students use what they have read about in the units to find inspiration for how kids can take action and make a difference. While not all tasks accomplish this, the tasks that support and demonstrate knowledge through integrated skills include the following:

  • In Unit 1, students read both informational and literary text focusing on answering questions regarding injustices.
  • In Unit 2, students dig deeper in the literary text from Unit 1, The Hope Chest, to determine the theme and summarize each chapter. Students use their analysis to write their own essay that explains one of the major themes of the book. Students use evidence and examples from the text to support their interpretation.
  • In Unit 3, students use what they read in Units 1 and 2 to find inspiration for how kids can take action and make a difference. In the performance task, students work as a class to share the results of their action plan by writing a press release. In the press release, students report on their plan, explaining what they did, when and where it occurred, the results, and the impact.

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 materials reviewed for Grade 4 meet the criteria that materials include a cohesive, year-long plan for students to interact with and build key academic vocabulary words in and across texts.

Opportunities to build vocabulary are found throughout the instructional materials. Vocabulary is taught both implicitly and explicitly, using words in the core and supplementary texts. As texts are read multiple times, students gain new vocabulary. Materials focus on elements of vocabulary, such as abstract or multiple meanings, connotation, relationships among words, and morphology. Definitions are provided in student-friendly language, and word meanings are taught with examples related to the text as well as examples from other contexts with which students would be more familiar. Throughout the modules and units, students discuss and clarify language of learning targets to build academic vocabulary.

Throughout the Modules, there is intentional vocabulary building from content-based text, attention to figuring out words from context, decoding, and an emphasis on academic (Tier 2) vocabulary. The Academic Word Wall (words one might find in informational texts on many different topics) is a permanent Word Wall that will be added to throughout the year. The Domain-Specific Word Wall will change from module to module, as the topic changes. Teachers will record words and definitions clearly in student-friendly language. Teachers may also record translations in home languages in a different color next to the target word or invite students to write the translations.

In the Curriculum Tools there is a section on Focus on Building Academic Vocabulary Protocols. These protocols include the following:

  • Contextual Redefinition- students find unambiguous information in a text selection and synthesize it with the author’s intent. Students pay attention to other “keys” to word meaning such as grammar.
  • Frayer Model- a four part graphic approach to analyzing and understanding vocabulary.
  • Word Sort- this builds upon students’ background knowledge and experiences and works to organize and synthesize that knowledge.
  • Vocabulary Square- this helps students to deepen their understanding of key words.
  • List/Group/Label- this includes critical thinking for identifying relationships between words.
  • Semantic Webbing
  • SVES (Stephens Vocabulary Elaboration Strategy)- this is a vocabulary notebook that allows students to write down any new vocabulary word that they note.

The ALL Block gives students opportunities to practice with morphology of words as it relates to word meaning and syllabication patterns and more complex spelling patterns in a variety of activities, including vocabulary games, vocabulary squares, and Frayer Models.

"Vocabulary: Explicit vocabulary instruction is a key feature of our Grades 3–5 Language Arts Curriculum. Besides this explicit vocabulary instruction, students get a great deal of implicit instruction in general academic and domain specific vocabulary through exposure to many complex (and less complex) informational texts, and some literary texts as well. In the ALL Block students, have additional time to practice module-related word analysis through word study games and activities."

Language Dives are included throughout the modules and units. The purpose of the Language Dive to provide students with strategies to analyze, understand, and use the language. During a Language Dive, teachers and students slow down the reading of a text to deeply analyze the meaning, purpose, and structure of a specific part of the text. The Language Dive supports ELL students acquire language and help them to deconstruct complex text. Language Dives follow the routine of Deconstruct-Reconstruct-Practice. In the Deconstruct phase, teachers guide students to deconstruct a sentence for meaning and purpose. Students are guided into chunking the sentence to analyze the importance and purpose of the words used in the sentence. In the Reconstruct phase, students put the sentence back together and discuss possible variations of the sentence that could be formed and then analyze how the meaning and purpose changes with the varied sentences. In the Practice phase, students practice using different language structures (Curriculum Resources-Language Dives)

In the teacher notes for each lesson within a unit/module, there is a section titled “Vocabulary” and a Key: (L): Lesson-Specific Vocabulary, (T): Text-Specific Vocabulary (W): Vocabulary Used in Writing is used to breakdown the vocabulary students come in contact with in order to help the teacher instruct the vocabulary and to help students keep track of the type of vocabulary in their vocabulary logs.

Specific examples include, but are not limited to:

  • In Module 1, Unit 1, Lesson 3, students are given vocabulary logs and use the logs to collect new academic and topical vocabulary words in lessons and during independent reading.
  • Module 1, Unit 1, Lesson 6, during Work Time B, students participate in their first Language Dive, which guides them through the meaning of three lines from “dog.” The conversation invites students to unpack an academic phrase. Students apply their understanding of subject-predicate structure as they complete future writing and speaking tasks. The Language Dive routine is critical in helping students to learn how to unpack complex sentences and write their own.
  • In Module 2, Unit 2, Lesson 2 (L): Lesson-Specific Vocabulary-cite, evidence, modal auxiliaries (L); (T): Text-Specific Vocabulary-physical, behavior, could, external, internal, toxic (T).
  • In Module 3, Unit 1, Lesson 7, in Work Time B, students participate in a Language Dive that guides them through the meaning of a sentence from “An Incomplete Revolution.” The focus of this Language Dive is on identifying and understanding meaning of the sentence. Students apply their understanding of the meaning and structure of this sentence as they discuss the reasons for the Revolutionary War, particularly focusing on the perspective of an African American slave.
  • Module 3, Unit 3, Lesson 1 (L): Lesson-Specific Vocabulary-perspectives, influenced, opinion, reason, evidence (L); (T): Text-Specific Vocabulary-Patriot, determined, words, treated, Parliament, respect (T)
  • Module 4: Word Study and Vocabulary: Students find antonyms and synonyms for words in the text. They analyze two academic vocabulary words and their affixes (using Vocabulary Trees) and practice using the suffixes -ment and -ness to make nouns.
  • In Module 4, Unit 1, Lesson 2, Lesson Specific vocabulary words are synonyms, antonyms, inspired. Text Specific vocabulary words are hope chest, surreptitiously, unaccompanied.
  • Module 4, Unit 2, Lesson 5, in Work Time A, students participate in a Language Dive that guides them through the meaning of a sentence from The Hope Chest. The focus of this Language Dive is on using relative adverbs. Students apply their understanding of the meaning and structure of this sentence when using relative adverbs in their summaries and during the Mid-Unit 2 Assessment.

Indicator 2f

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

The materials reviewed for Grade 4 meet the criteria that materials support students’ increasing writing skills over the course of the school year, building students’ writing ability to demonstrate proficiency at grade level at the end of the school year.

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 writing stamina by writing frequently and for various purposes. 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. Students are supported through the writing process with mentor text.

Each unit lesson contains a section titled “Down the Road” that outlines the writing structure of the module units. Feedback is provided through peers, the teacher, and self-evaluations to ensure that students’ writing skills are increasing throughout the year. Within each module, students produce, present, and publish writing pieces as part of a final project. Module units are scaffolded to provide increasing support and build students’ writing abilities culminating with the most advanced writing happening in the final module unit. At the end of each module, students complete a performance task, which is a writing piece.

Examples from each Module include, but are not limited to:

  • In Module 1, Unit 1, students spend the unit deeply analyzing poems. They analyze the structure of poems and the author’s meaning behind the poem. This deep analysis prepares them for Unit 2, where they build on author’s meaning and write to inform where a poet finds inspiration. Both units are then synthesized together for Unit 3 where students write their own poem and create a presentation explaining where they found inspiration for their poem.
  • In Module 2, the Unit Overview explains how students’ writing instruction is scaffolded to build their writing skills. The last unit of each module, Unit 3, includes the performance task which is an extended, supported writing task or presentation where students need to successfully bring together what they know about this topic, in this case, writing choose-your-own adventure stories, bringing together what they know about the armadillo and what defenses it has to help it survive (and what they know about writing). In order to do so, in Unit 1, students read, discuss, dramatize, draw, and write so that they acquire strong and specific content and background knowledge, as well as the literacy skills that they need to do so. Students learn to read closely, reread carefully for meaning, gather evidence, and develop a paragraph.
    • In Unit 2, students do more research and discuss with one another what defenses specific animals might have and they respond to a prompting question to write a full multi-paragraph essay about animal defenses. For homework throughout the module, students independently read research texts at their own level.
    • By Unit 3, students should be fully equipped to write their choose-your-own adventure stories about how the armadillo uses its defenses to survive.
  • In Module 3, the Unit Overview explains that students work up to a performance task, in which students discuss their opinion of the American Revolution. They consider both the Loyalist and Patriot perspectives and decide which they would have supported if they had lived in colonial times. They consider their reasons and gather evidence from their research across the entirety of the module and they participate in collaborative discussions stating their opinion, giving reasons and evidence to support their point. The lessons in the module units build up students’ skills. For example, in Module 3, Unit 1, Lesson 4, the teacher guide explains that, at the beginning of Lesson 5, students will use the Loyalist paragraphs from Lesson 4 to help write a class paragraph about the Loyalists, which models what an effective paragraph about the Loyalists looks like. Students also research to gather information about who the Patriots were and what they believed in preparation for their Mid-Unit Assessment which will take place during Lesson 6.
  • Module 4 focuses on responding to injustices. In Unit 1, students read both informational and literary text focusing on answering questions about the text and determining the theme. Students dig deeper in the literary text from Unit 1, The Hope Chest, to determine the theme and summarize each chapter. Students use their analysis to write their own essay that explains one of the major themes of the book. Students are required to use evidence and examples from the text to support their interpretation. Finally, in Unit 3 students use what they read in Units 1 and 2 to find inspiration for how kids can take action and make a difference. Students research ways kids can make a difference and take action and then create a PSA highlighting one of the ways students can take action in the world.

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 materials reviewed for Grade 4 meet the criteria that materials include a progression of focused research projects to encourage students to develop knowledge in a given area by confronting and analyzing different aspects of a topic using multiple texts and source materials.

Modules are divided into three units that build knowledge of a topic using multiple texts. Each module is designed for students to act as researchers and to gather details or ideas from texts throughout the unit to build a body of evidence for the culminating task. Students begin each module with whole class research followed by an individual research project. By the end of each module, students write a piece demonstrating their increased knowledge about their selected topic. Students are provided with daily independent reading, research, and discussion during every lesson in the module. Examples include, but are not limited to:

Throughout Module 2, students research about animal defense mechanisms.

  • In Unit 1, students build background knowledge about animal defenses and how the defenses help animals survive by going through the research process. They build background knowledge on general animal defenses through close readings of several informational texts. Students read closely to practice drawing inferences as they begin their research and use a research notebook to make observations and synthesize information.
  • Unit 2 begins with students referring back to the research and information that was gathered during Unit 1 about animal defenses and dig further into informational text about animal defenses and write their own informative piece about animal defenses that will accompany their narrative writing in Unit 3.
  • During Unit 3, students will be reading a choose-your-own-adventure story, titled “Can you Survive the Wilderness.” This text is used throughout the unit as a model for students so they can write their own version of a choose-your-own-adventure story at the conclusion of the module. For their performance task, students plan, draft, and revise the introduction and one choice ending of the narrative with the support of both peer and teacher feedback.

Module 4 introduces students to gender and racial inequality issues in the United States during the first half of the 20th century. It also informs students about how the process of ratifying the 19th Amendment can show us how people were responded to gender and racial inequality at that time.

  • In Unit 1, students begin reading The Hope Chest by Karen Schwabach. Students also read informational primary and secondary accounts of real-life responses to inequality and compare and contrast the information in both.
  • In Unit 2, students dig deeper in the literary text from Unit 1, The Hope Chest, to determine the theme and summarize each chapter. Students use their analysis to write their own essay that explains one of the major themes of the book. Students are required to use evidence and examples from the text to support their interpretation.
  • Finally, in Unit 3, students use what they read in Units 1 and 2 to find inspiration for how kids can take action and make a difference. They research how students around the world have made a difference. At the end of the unit, students write PSAs encouraging others to make a difference, and they write a press release sharing with the local media what the class did to take action and the impact of their work.

Indicator 2h

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

The materials reviewed for Grade 4 meet the criteria that materials provide a design, including accountability, for how students will regularly engage in a volume of independent reading either in or outside of class.

In the Modules, students engage in an independent reading protocol with independent research reading books that relate to the topic they are studying. Additionally, most homework assignments include independent reading and tasks that require students to produce evidence of reading. One of the five components of the weekly ALL Block, include Accountable Independent Reading/Volume of Reading. This is designed for students to have free choice in reading and read content-related texts at their independent reading level. During this time, they have student tasks card that they are required to complete and also sharing of their books to the group. Students are also accountable to independent reading through nightly homework. Examples include, but are not limited to:

  • Throughout all the modules, there are 5 components of the ALL Block and Independent Reading is one of the components. Accountable Independent Reading includes research reading books related to the topics of the units and free choice reading. Through research reading, students build background knowledge and vocabulary, both domain-specific and academic. Free choice reading builds knowledge and vocabulary, but primarily builds students’ motivation and love of reading. The ALL gives students additional time for both research and free choice reading.
  • Each day in the ALL Block, students spend 20 minutes engaged in Accountable Independent Reading. The goal of this time is to provide additional time for independent reading at a range of levels, build more content and domain-specific knowledge, give some free choice reading (every other week), and build on students’ motivation and interests in hopes of creating a love of reading.
  • During independent reading time, students read both research texts (related to the topic of learning challenges) and free choice texts (on any topic of their interest), and they practice completing a Student Task Card. They work with partners, and in small groups, to share new vocabulary and learning from their texts.
  • During the Module lessons, students practice Accountable Independent Reading and read through 20 minutes of nightly homework where they not only read, but also respond to a prompt in their reading journal. In addition to responding in their reading journals, students are held accountable through peer and teacher discussions of their reading journals.
  • Module homework includes both research reading and choice reading. Research reading is where the student is expected to independently research a topic by reading topic-related books of his or her choice for approximately 20 minutes each day and responding to a prompt of choice in the front of the independent reading journal. Choice reading is for students that would also like to independently read and respond to a book of free choice, using the back of the independent reading journal.
  • In Module 1, Unit 1, Lesson 2, an independent reading program is launched. Students choose independent research reading books and discuss why they chose those particular books in small groups. They continue to read different books throughout the lessons. The daily independent reading homework requires students to read and write in a journal answering different prompts.
  • In Module 1, Unit 1, Independent Research Reading is launched. Students receive independent reading journals to record information about the time they spend reading, as well as to respond to prompts about their reading. They are given vocabulary logs for recording new vocabulary. For Modules 1, Module 3, and Module 4 students respond to the following reading research prompts: “What is the main idea of the text you read? What are some of the key details, and how do they support the main idea?”
  • Throughout the Units in Module 2, students follow the independent reading routines set in Module 1. They select new texts based on the new topic for the Module, read them independently for homework, and engage in frequent research reading shares during the Module lessons for accountability. After every lesson, students’ homework is to select a prompt to respond to in the front of their independent reading journal.
  • In Module 2, Unit 1, Lesson 2, ALL Block, students follow a task card to independently read research texts (Module-related) for 10 minutes and log their reading in their independent reading journals.
  • In Module 2, Lessons 1–7, homework focuses on research reading and determining the meaning of unfamiliar words using context and reference materials. In Lessons 8–12, homework focuses on finding connections between sentences and paragraphs of text in independent research reading texts. For example, research reading prompts in Module 2, Unit 2 include the following instructions: “From the pages you read in your research reading book, choose two paragraphs next to each other. Respond to this question: What questions do you have about frogs or frog adaptations after reading?” Examples of independent reading prompts throughout all 4 modules include: “What challenges are faced? How are they overcome? What is the main idea of the text? What are some of the key details and how do they support the main idea? What do the illustrations (photographs, maps) tell you? How do they help you to understand the words? What questions do you now have after reading? What would you like to learn more about? Why?”

Gateway Three

Usability

Meets Expectations

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Gateway Three Details

Grade 4 EL Language Arts Curriculum materials meet the criteria for being well designed. Materials take into account effective lesson structure and pacing. Materials can reasonably be completed within an academic year. There are ample resources as well as publisher produced standards alignment documentation.

Criterion 3a - 3e

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8/8
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Criterion Rating Details

Materials meet the criteria for being well-designed and utilize effective lesson structure and pacing. Daily lessons include structures and resources for both whole group and small group literacy instruction. The program allows flexibility for teachers to rely on professional judgment to modify pacing. Materials include trade books, text collections, scaffolded strategy activities, performance tasks, a Life Science Module, homework that includes additional strategies for family support and practice, and the ALL Block that contains Modules for study and practice in independent reading, fluency, grammar/usage/mechanics, writing practice, word study/vocabulary, and additional practice with complex text. Daily lessons, tasks, and assessments specifically denote the standards to which the lessons and tasks are aligned. The student materials have clear instructions and have simple designs that do not distract the student.

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 materials reviewed for Grade 4 meet the criteria for being well-designed and utilize effective lesson structure and pacing. Daily lessons include structures and resources for both whole group and small group literacy instruction. The year is divided into three Modules of Study, with Modules lasting 8-9 weeks. Each Module is divided into three units. Each Module is two hours (one hour for Module lesson and one hour for Additional Language and Literacy block [ALL Block]). For additional flexibility, a flex day is built into every two weeks of instruction. In Module 2, there is an optional Life Science Module which lasts approximately 8 weeks.

  • The ALL Block is comprised of five separate components: independent reading, additional work with complex text, reading and speaking fluency/GUM (grammar, usage, and mechanics), writing practice, and word study/vocabulary. Rotation pacing for the ALL Block is as follows: 20 minutes - accountable independent reading (heterogeneous groups), 20 minutes - independent work in an ALL Block component (heterogeneous groups), and 20 minutes - teacher-guided work in an ALL Block (homogeneous groups). During each two-week cycle, students have two sessions of teacher-led instruction and two independent sessions in each of the ALL Block components (except for Accountable Independent Reading, which happens every day).
  • Each 60 minute Module lesson follows the structure of Opening, Work time, Closing and Assessment, with time allotments provided for each. During each of the four Modules, lessons are listed with CCSS, Daily Learning Targets, Anchor Charts & Protocols and an agenda for the lesson.
  • Each Teacher Guide contains two 20-minute blocks of teacher-guided instruction for a component, which are differentiated for students working at different levels, including English Language Learners (ELLs).

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 for Grade 4 meet the criteria for the teacher and student reasonably being able to complete the content within a regular school year with the pacing allowing for maximum student understanding. The program allows flexibility for teachers to rely on professional judgment to modify pacing. Examples include, but are not limited to:

  • There are four Modules spanning approximately 9 weeks of instruction, which are each broken into three units. Each unit contains 10 to 12 lessons. There are approximately 120 to 130 lessons in the Grade 4 materials. Lessons are set up for 60 minutes each and contains opportunities for direct instruction, work time, and closing/assessment. These sections have time frames attached to support pacing.
  • In addition to the Module units, there is an additional 60 minutes of instruction in the ALL Block. The 60-minute ALL Block has three units parallel to the three units of the Module lessons. There is one flex day built in every week that the teacher has the flexibility to meet the specific needs of students. For example, this time may be utilized to provide additional time for work started in Module lessons, practicing literacy skills, informally assessing reading skills, or offering additional time for ELLs. The ALL Block contains three units to be taught alongside the Module units; however, the Units in the ALL Block last for only two weeks, so there is flexibility in the pacing of the ALL Block based on teacher and student need. There is an optional one hour Life Science Unit that would make a third hour of instruction to accompany Module 2. Each Life Science Module is designed to last 8 weeks with about three hours of science instruction per week, giving flexibility to pacing.
  • As noted on page 65 of the Your Curriculum Companion, each Module is structured for students to complete specific activities throughout the units. In Unit 1, students read, discuss, dramatize, draw, and write. Then in Unit 2, students do more research and are involved in discussions. In Unit 3, students complete a performance task. The ALL Block and the Module Lessons are complementary, working together to accelerate the achievement of students (p.65). “[W]e have responded to feedback from teachers and leaders and added additional components that give you the opportunity to teach a curriculum that is comprehensive. In addition to explicitly teaching and formally assessing all of the standards, the curriculum also offers time to reinforce and give students additional practice with important skills, time for creativity and play, and time to help them be leaders of their own learning by developing strong habits of characters.”

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 materials reviewed for Grade 4 meet the criteria that the student resources include ample review and practice resources, clear directions, and explanation, and correct labeling of reference aids (e.g., visuals, maps, etc.)

Teacher materials include the explanation of the “why” behind the student resources and work. Materials provided include trade books, text collections, scaffolded strategy activities, performance tasks, a Life Science Module, homework that includes additional strategies for family support and practice, and an ALL Block that contains Modules for study and practice in independent reading, fluency/grammar/usage/mechanics, writing practice, word study/vocabulary, and additional practice with complex text. Each of these resources include ample opportunity to review and practice with clear directions and correct labeling. ALL Block Modules include teacher-guided activities that are differentiated based on student need with teaching notes explaining the purpose of the lesson. Examples of useful annotations and suggestions include, but are not limited to:

  • In Module 1, Unit 1, Lesson 3, the following guidance is provided: “This lesson is the first in a series of two that include built-out instruction for strategic use of the Think-Pair-Share protocol to promote productive and equitable conversation.”
  • In the ALL Block Module 1, Week 1, Day 3, directions are given for “Differentiation: — For students who may need additional support with participating in conversations, post sentence stems. (Examples: ‘We read independently because _____.’ ‘I notice _____.’ ‘I wonder _____.’ ‘I observed that _____.’) For students who may need additional support with verbalizing their thoughts, invite them to sketch. Point to the sketch and verbalize for them, inviting them to confirm and then repeat what you say.”
  • On pg. 139 of the Teacher Guide, teachers are directed to “Focus students on the ‘Theme’ box at the bottom of the I Notice/I Wonder Note-catcher: ‘The Pasture.’ Remind students of what a theme is and how it differs from a subject.” Students then complete the graphic organizer on page 18 of the student edition.
  • On pg. 281 of the Teacher Guide, Levels of Support, for “Lighter Support” teachers are given the following scaffolding suggestions: “During the Language Dive, challenge students to generate questions about the sentence before asking the prepared questions.” Students use this scaffold to respond to questions from the text and complete the Language Dive.
  • In Module 3, Unit 1, Lesson 7, the teacher’s notes state, “During Work Time B, students participate in a Language Dive that guides them through the meaning of a sentence from “An Incomplete Revolution” using the same format as Lesson 5. The focus of this Language Dive is identifying and fixing run-on sentences (L.4.1f ). Students then apply their understanding of the meaning and structure of this sentence as they discuss the reasons for the Revolutionary War, particularly focusing on the perspective of an African American slave.”
  • In Module 3, Unit 3, Lesson 1, the teacher’s notes for ELL support states, “ELLs may find it challenging to determine the opinion, and reasons and evidence for the opinion, in William’s letter. Model and think aloud the process for students as needed and assure them that they will have more opportunities to practice this work in future lessons."
  • In Module 4, Unit 2, Lesson 1, teacher’s notes for levels of support. For the heavier support notes, it states: “Consider reading aloud Chapter 8 of The Hope Chest to students before the lesson to help them comprehend this complex text. Additionally, consider allowing students to practice reading a section of the chapter in advance that they can then be responsible for reading aloud when working in their triads during the lesson.Consider enlarging the model summary (see Unit 1, Lesson 6) and displaying it for students to refer to during Work Time A."
  • In Module 4, Unit 3, lesson 8 the teacher directions for the Opening of the lesson state: “Distribute Organizing the Model: Introductory Paragraph strips. Tell students that each pair has been given only one part of the introduction, and they will find the other parts to create a complete introduction. Invite pairs to find pairs with the other parts of the introduction and put them together in the right order. Model an example as necessary. Display the model PSA and tell students that when they have finished, they will check their work against it. Invite students to begin and circulate to support them in reading and sorting the strips of the introduction. After 5 minutes, refocus whole group.”

Indicator 3d

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

The materials reviewed for Grade 4 meet the criteria for including publisher-produced aligned documentation of the standards addressed in questions, tasks, and assessment items. Daily lessons, tasks, and assessments specifically denote the standards to which the lessons and tasks are aligned. Examples include, but are not limited to:

  • Alignment to the CCSS is documented in the Module At-A-Glance, Unit, and Assessment Rubric. For example, publisher-produced alignment documentation of the standards is provided in the writing rubric for opinion writing. The Module At-A-Glance provides alignment of standards for each Unit and how those standards are assessed. Each Unit details how the standards and assessment for each lesson are addressed. In Module 2, Unit 1, and Lesson 3, the standards are written as “I can” statements, setting the expectation for students as “I can determine the main idea of a text and explain how it is supported by key details (RI.4.1, RI.4.2).”
  • In the Module 1 Unit 3 Mid-Assessment, students are asked to revise a poem that they have written to include stronger words and phrases and to convey ideas more accurately. Students have to explain why they made the changes and how those changes improve the effect of the poem. This assessment focuses on CCSS W.4.2a; W.4.5; L.4.1f; and L.4.2b.
  • In the Curriculum Guide for Module 1, a writing task asks students to revise a Literary Essay (W.4.2a, W.4.5, L.4.1f, and L.4.2b) and a Poetry Presentation (SL.4.4 and SL.4.5).
  • In Module 1, Unit 2 Overview, there are assessments and a performance task: Mid-Unit 2 Assessment: Answering Questions and Identifying the Main Idea of an Informational Text (RI.3.1, RI.3.2, RI.3.4, RI.3.10, and L.3.4) and End of Unit 2 Assessment: Informative Paragraph: The Challenge of Accessing Books (RI.3.1, RI.3.2, W.3.2, W.3.4, W.3.8, and W.3.10).
  • In Module 3, Unit 2, Lesson 5, students closely read an excerpt of the Declaration of Independence to prepare for a text-based discussion about what characters from Divided Loyalties would think of it (RL.4.1, RL.4.3, RI.4.1, RI.4.4, SL.4.1, L.4.4).
  • In Module 4, Unit 1, Lesson 10, in Work Time A, students complete the end of unit assessment, in which they read a firsthand account of an event to compare and contrast it with the secondhand account they read in the previous lesson (RI.4.1, RI.4.4, RI.4.6, L.4.4.)
  • In Module 4, Unit 3, Lesson 5, the Daily Learning Targets state, “I can discuss with my peers issues in our community and decide on an issue to take action on and improve. (SL.4.1); I can develop an action plan with my peers outlining how we will address an issue in our community. (SL.4.1)”

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 materials reviewed for Grade 4 meet the criteria that the visual design (whether in print or digital) is not distracting or chaotic, but supports students in engaging thoughtfully with the subject. Materials are not distracting or chaotic, but support students in engaging thoughtfully with the subject. The materials contain many visual aids to support student learning, including Anchor Charts, Graphic Organizers, Response Sheets, and Real Images that accompany text related to the content of the Module. Additionally, illustrations and clipart utilized on student workbook pages is uncomplicated and appealing to the eye. The design of the materials is simple and consistent across grade levels. The font, margins, and spacing provided for student work are appropriate. The material design is simple and consistent. Modules are set up the same displaying 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 forms that are easy to read and understand. There are no distracting images, and the layout of the student workbook is clear and concise. Examples include, but are not limited to:

  • In Module 1, Unit 2, Lesson 9, the student workbook provides an Informative Writing Checklist with the standards, list of Characteristics of Effective Informative Writing, Characteristics of My Informative Writing, and a simple Yes or No column.
  • In Module 1, Unit 3, Lesson 5, the student workbook provides a Proof Paragraph Planning Graphic Organizer that the students answer the question “Which parts of your poem are the best to support your description of what inspired you in the introduction of your presentation?” The chart provides space for evidence, inspiration, and the textual evidence citation.
  • The Table of Contents contains a breakdown of each unit, first with a unit overview that gives the page numbers for Week-at-a-Glance and assessment information and then a lesson by lesson breakdown that includes not just the labeling Lesson 1, but more details, such as Lesson 5: Analyzing Poetry: Pages 8–11 of "Love That Dog" and “The Tiger.”
  • Icons are used throughout the the Teacher Guide to draw the teacher’s attention to key elements of the curriculum design and aid teacher’s in locating specific information in the curriculum.
  • In the Student Edition, all pages are clearly labeled with the Module/unit/lesson and the CCSS that are being addressed with the assignment/activity. The pages in the Student Edition provide direct instruction without including unnecessary wording that could distract or confuse the student.
  • In the Teacher Guide, the curriculum uses red text to identify the parts that are meant to be said aloud by the teacher to the students.

Criterion 3f - 3j

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

The materials meet the criteria that materials contain a Teacher Guide with ample and useful annotations and suggestions on how to present the content in the student edition and in the ancillary materials. A text analysis tool is provided for every central text in the curriculum. Materials contain a Teacher Guide that explains the role of the specific ELA/literacy standards in the context of the overall curriculum. A rationale of the research that impacted the design of the curriculum, including explanations of the instructional approaches of the program, is provided. Materials reviewed meet the criteria that materials contain strategies for informing all stakeholders, including students, parents or caregivers about the ELA/literacy program and suggestions for how they can help support student progress and achievement.

Indicator 3f

Materials contain a teacher's edition with ample and useful annotations and suggestions on how to present the content in the student edition and in the ancillary materials. Where applicable, materials include teacher guidance for the use of embedded technology to support and enhance student learning.
2/2
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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 4 meet the criteria that materials contain a Teacher Guide with ample and useful annotations and suggestions on how to present the content in the student edition and in the ancillary materials. Where applicable, materials include teacher guidance for the use of embedded technology to support and enhance student learning.

Suggestions on how to present the content are contained in the Week at a Glance in each Overview including Lessons, CCSS, Agenda, Daily Learning Targets, Ongoing Assessments, and Anchor Charts and Protocols. There are also Teaching Notes for each unit that provide teacher guidance and suggestions on how to present the content. Each module lesson also contains a Technology and Multimedia section that offers guidance on using technology that is directly accessible through a link to support student learning in anticipated areas requiring additional student support or to offer extensions for additional enhancements to the content. Examples of useful annotations and suggestions include, but are not limited to:

  • In the Grade 4 Module Overview, there is a section titled “Technology & Multimedia.” This section provides teachers with a technology and multimedia chart for the unit. The chart lists digital tools, the purpose of the tool in the module, how the tool should be used within the module and a website URL to access the tool.
  • Within each lesson, there are more specific technology and multimedia suggestions that connect a section of the lesson with a piece of technology. For example, in Unit 1, Lesson 3, teachers are given the suggestion that during Work Time if there are students that would benefit from “hearing the text read aloud to consider using a text-to-speech tool such as Natural Reader.” In the Module 2, Unit 3, Lesson 13, Technology and Multimedia section, teachers are advised that during Work Times A and C, if students are “creating their writing on a shared doc such as a Google Doc, ask them to color code the revisions they make in red text or highlight revisions in red.”
  • In the Unit overview Week-at-a-Glance for each Lesson, teachers are provided with the CCSS standards that are the focus of the lesson, daily learning targets, assessments, anchor chart suggestions, and protocols for instruction.
  • The unit overview includes a section for supporting English Language Learners. In this section, teachers are provided information on how to prioritize lessons in the unit for ELL students. Teachers are also given teaching strategies, such as Language Dives and ways to add diversity and inclusion to the lessons.
  • Each unit contains a Preparation Overview section that gives a list of prep work teachers will need to complete in order to teach the lessons.
  • Every lesson within a unit follows a similar routine: Opening, Work Time, Closing & Assessment, and Homework. Within each section teachers are given time frames and teaching notes all directly labeled with CCSS. Within each section teachers are provided guiding questions to ask (written in red) and actions to take within the lesson. For example, in Unit 2, Lesson 9, the following guidance is provided: “Using a total participation technique, invite responses from the group to the question 'What does structure mean?'”
  • Teachers are given suggestions on how to meet students’ needs throughout the lesson. For example, teachers receive scaffolded instructions on how to reteach the lesson or parts of the lesson for students in need of additional support. For example, in Grade 4, Module 2, Unit 2, Lesson 7,Teaching Notes, teachers are advised that students that need additional support “may have the defense mechanisms for the proof paragraphs determined for them,” and those that require extensions may “plan an additional paragraph for their informative piece, using their Informational Writing Planning graphic organizer, extension research question developed in the first half of the unit, and their research notes.”

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 4 meet the criteria that materials contain a Teacher Guide 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 materials also include the Your Curriculum Companion that provides specific research, rationale, and explanations that will help teachers build knowledge of the content. The materials provide a K-5 Text Analysis tool that includes “an analysis of every central text used in the EL Education K-5 Language Arts Curriculum, focusing on four specific qualitative aspects of complexity: meaning, structure, language features, and knowledge demands.” The tool provides teachers examples of advanced literary concepts. Examples include, but are not limited to the following:

  • The Text Analysis for the central text, “Love That Dog,” provides an adult-level explanation of the unusual structure and embedded integration of classic poems. The text analysis explains that the embedded poetry makes this text, “an excellent vehicle for learning about the structural elements of poems (R.L.4.5) and determining theme (RL.4.2).” The analysis also explains that “because the text is told entirely from the first person point of view, the main character, Jack, offers a concrete and accessible introduction to analysis based on the character’s words, actions, and thoughts (RL.4.3 and RL. 4.1)."
  • In the Your Curriculum Companion, on pages 141-145, teachers are provided Module lesson planning task cards. Each task card has guiding questions and provides specific information to teachers to help build their knowledge in order to plan for each part of the Module.
  • Chapter 5, section 5A of the Your Curriculum Companion provides teachers with guidance on text complexity. Teachers are given information on what makes a text complex, how to determine text complexity, and the rationale behind the importance of text complexity (pages 260-262).
  • Chapter 6 of the Your Curriculum Companion provides teachers with information on writing, specifically evidence-based writing, the writing cycle, and strengthening student writing. It provides charts that correlate the reading and writing CCSS standards, student examples, and evidence-based instructional strategies.
  • Each chapter in the Your Curriculum Companion provides a Frequently Asked Questions section, which builds teacher knowledge by providing information on the standards, how the program addresses the standards, and best practices for implementation. The Your Curriculum Companion includes notes that give adult-level explanations and examples. Examples include, but are not limited to:
    • The Engaging Students with Protocols section of Chapter 3 states that “[p]rotocols are an important feature of our curriculum because they are one of the best ways we know to engage students in discussion, inquiry, critical thinking, and sophisticated communication. A protocol consists of agreed-upon, detailed guidelines for reading, recording, discussing, or reporting that ensure equal participation and accountability in learning.”

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 4 meet the criteria that materials contain a Teacher Guide that explains the role of the specific ELA/literacy standards in the context of the overall curriculum. Examples include, but are not limited to:

  • The Teacher Guide for each module lesson contains a Teaching Notes section that provides the purpose of the lesson and standards alignment and explains the role of the specific ELA/literacy standards in the context of the overall curriculum. For example, in the Module 2, Unit 1, Lesson 9 Teaching Notes, teachers are provided the following explanation of the standard alignment in the lesson outlining how the specific literacy standard is addressed: “In this lesson, students listen to new pages of 'Venom' read aloud. The class works together to identify the main idea and the supporting details before orally paraphrasing and writing a written summary of the text. They then apply this whole group practice to write a summary of the 'Fight to Survive!' text (RI.4.2).”
  • On page 9 of the Your Curriculum Companion, it states “We believe the standards invite us to build in our students critical skills for life--for career success and civic contribution. What is important is not just what the standards say, but how they are used.” On pages 25-27, it explains how the curriculum addresses each CCSS shift in the aspect of reading, writing, language, and speaking/listening. The Your Curriculum Companion provides more specific details in pages 29-35 that explain how the backwards design approach to the curriculum connects to each CCSS shift.
  • In the Module Overview in the Teacher Guide for each Unit, all standards covered in the entire module are listed, separated into Reading-Literature, Reading-Informational Text, Foundational Skills, Speaking and Listening, Language, and Writing. It further provides information regarding which standards are assessed per unit, the instructional focus for each unit, and the assessments and performance tasks for each unit. An explanation is provided for the emphasis on reading, writing, language, and speaking and listening standards.
  • On page 18 of the Module 1 Teacher Guide, a CCSS correlation chart is provided. The chart shows all 4 CCSS areas (Reading, Writing, Language, Speaking and Listening) and correlates the shift with EL’s curriculum.
  • On page 24 of the Module 1 Teacher Guide, there is a curriculum plan for Grades 3-5, which explains the focus standards of each module for each grade within the categories of writing tasks and required trade books.

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 materials reviewed for Grade 4 meet the expectations for materials containing explanations of the instructional approaches of the program and identifying research-based strategies. A rationale of the research that impacted the design of the curriculum, including explanations of the instructional approaches of the program, is provided. Examples include, but are not limited to:

  • Chapter 1B of the Your Curriculum Companion explains how research impacted the design of the curriculum. On page 19, Your Curriculum Companion provides an analysis of the research on the literacy achievement gap and, on page 20, uses charts to explain what is already known about the literacy achievement gap and how the EL curriculum addresses it. The Your Curriculum Companion continues to provide this for the research behind knowledge building, syntax, fluency, and decoding making the connection to the EL curriculum. It provides information regarding the five elements of literacy instruction most critical for addressing the literacy achievement gap: vocabulary, knowledge-building, syntax, fluency, and decoding. This is based on the presentation by David Liben, Student Achievement Partners, July 2015.
  • Page 27 of Your Curriculum Companion states that the design of the curriculum uses the guiding principles of backward design, which required curriculum designers to consider three questions: “1. At end of a sequence of instruction, what will students know and be able to do? 2. What will proficiency look and sound like? 3. How will we know when students are proficient?”
  • Pages 83-85 of Your Curriculum Companion explain how the parts of the ALL Block promote proficiency and growth in students. In these explanations, the Your Curriculum Companion cites research to support the curriculum, such as the following explanation: “Research tells us that readers in intermediate grades benefit from a more contextualized approach to teaching phonics and word recognition” (pg. 85).
  • The Research Behind EL Education Language Arts Curriculum and Professional Services Guide provides a “high level summary of the research that informed the Language Arts curriculum design (e.g., content-based literacy, phonics, supports for ELLs) and our professional development (e.g., focus on leadership, coaching, common implementation challenges).”
  • The Language Dives in the K-5 Language Arts Curriculum Overview contains an explanation of the Language Dive and the research behind this instructional technique. The guide “describes what a language dive is, criteria for a good language dive sentence, when students do language dives, what the benefits of language dives are, and the principles and research base that underlie language dives.”

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 materials reviewed for Grade 4 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. Examples include, but are not limited to:

  • Each Module Unit provides a Homework Resources (For Families) section that includes a description of what students learn at school and ways to support their learning at home. In this section, there is a unit overview that provides families with guiding questions, big ideas, a summary of what students will be doing at school, specific tips of how parents can support at home, an overview of the homework assignments that correlate with each lesson in the unit, a guide for supporting independent reading, and additional practice pages.
  • In the Module 1 Teacher Guide, there is a section titled Optional: Experts, Fieldwork, Service, and Extensions that provides teachers with suggestions of ways to connect the learning to the community. For example, to bring in the community, the curriculum states to invite family members into the classroom to read their favorite poems or to bring experts, like poets, to share their poetry with students.
  • The Module 1, Unit 3, Homework Resources (For Families) section informs families that, in this unit, “students students prepare for the performance task by writing original poems about something meaningful to them, and writing a presentation explaining what they were inspired by and why, and where you can see evidence of this in their poems.”

The curriculum includes sample letters teachers can send home to describe what students will learn during a given module and unit and how guardians can support that learning and specific homework assignments. Students are encouraged to share what they are learning with the family. For example in Grade 5, Module 1, Unit 1, parents are informed the following:

“What will your student be doing at school?

  • In Unit 1, students are introduced to poetry through Love That Dog, a novel written in verse by Sharon Creech. As Jack, the main character in the novel, reads famous poems, students analyze what is happening in the novel and how Jack feels about it, and they also read and analyze those famous poems to identify characteristics of poetry and to determine their theme. They then use the characteristics of poetry they have identified to summarize the poems, and to compare poetry to prose. Throughout the unit, students are introduced to routines and anchor charts that will be used throughout the rest of the module, as well as the rest of the year. Students generate discussion norms and receive their independent reading journals and vocabulary logs. At the end of the unit, students participate in a text-based discussion about how Jack’s feelings about poetry have changed from the beginning of the book.

How can you support your student at home?

  • Read poetry aloud with your student and invite him or her to find poems or a poet that he or she particularly likes.
  • Help your student practice reading aloud fluently and accurately.
  • Talk to your student about the meaning of the poems he or she is reading and what inspired the poet. Encourage your student to find evidence of that inspiration in the poems.
  • Talk to your student about what inspires him or her and what is meaningful to him or her in preparation for writing poetry. Some examples might include a place, a person, an animal, a vehicle, a sport, or an event.”

Criterion 3k - 3n

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

Materials meet the criteria that materials regularly and systematically offer assessment opportunities that genuinely measure student progress. Assessment materials clearly denote which standards are being emphasized. The Assessment Overview in the Teacher Supporting Materials and the Assessment Overview in the Teacher Guide contain the standards addressed within each unit. Materials provide teachers with guidance for administering assessments, ways to scaffold assessments, areas of focus, connections to learning building towards the assessment, and suggestions for lessons in the future. Each assessment is broken down into sections to help support teacher understanding. Materials include routines and guidance that point out opportunities to monitor student progress and indicate how students are accountable for independent reading based on student choice and interest to build stamina, confidence, and motivation.

Indicator 3k

Materials regularly and systematically offer assessment opportunities that genuinely measure student progress.
2/2
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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 4 meet the criteria that materials regularly and systematically offer assessment opportunities that genuinely measure student progress.

Materials include multiple formative assessments, pre-assessments, performance-based assessments, a mid-unit assessment and end-of-unit assessments. Opportunities are provided during daily lessons for monitoring student progress in reading and writing, as well as opportunities are provided to assess oral reading fluency. Teachers are provided with tracking process forms, checklists, rubrics, note-catchers, protocols, and exit slips for formatively measuring student progress. The teacher guide provides an assessment overview, which outlines the following for each unit: final performance task, mid-unit assessment, and end of unit assessment. Examples include, but are not limited to:

  • In Module 1, Mid-Unit 2 Assessment: Writing an Informational Paragraph about What Inspires Jack.
    • “Focus students on the Working to Become Effective Learners anchor chart and remind them of perseverance, as they will be working independently on their mid-unit assessment, which may be challenging.”
  • In Unit 2, Week 1, Day 1: Teacher Guide for ALL Block, students read the poem, “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening,” from the back of their copy of Love That Dog for fluency. This is the same text students utilize in a close read during the Unit 1, Lesson 4, Module Lesson.
  • In Module 2, the End of Unit Assessment is answering questions and writing a choose-your-own-adventure story featuring another animal defense mechanism. The format is selected response and short constructed response. The CCSS are RI.4.9, W.4.3b, W.4.3c, W.4.3d, W.4.3e, W.4.4, W.4.9b, W.4.10, L.4.1d, L.4.2a, L.4.2b, L.4.2d and L.4.3a, L.4.3b, L.4.3c, and L.4.6.
  • Performance-Based Assessment tasks are included with each module. Students complete a task that requires analysis and demonstrating their knowledge in writing. For example, in Module 1, the performance-based assessment requires students to practice their poetry presentations. Students will read their poem aloud and rehearse their presentations with the visuals (SL.4.4, SL.4.5). Teacher assessment includes rotating throughout students to assess their presentation to peers.
  • Teacher Guides include mid-assessments, for example, in Module 3, Unit 1, Lesson 6, students “read pages of the informational text Divided Loyalties and answer selected response questions for the mid-unit assessment. They also use the text to research in order to write an informational paragraph to answer a question (RI.4.1, RI.4.3, W.4.7, W.4.8, W.4.9b, L.4.2b).

Indicator 3l

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

Indicator 3l.i

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

The materials reviewed for Grade 4 meet the criteria that assessments clearly denote which standards are being emphasized.

The assessment materials clearly denote which standards are being emphasized. The standards are clearly labeled in the Assessment Overview of each module. Standards are clearly labeled in the daily lessons and are also found on the performance based assessments for each unit. For each module, the standards formally assessed are indicated with a check mark on a chart containing all ELA standards. Examples include, but are not limited to:

  • In the Teacher Guide, Grade 4, Module 1, pgs. 11-13, it is clearly noted which standards are being emphasized for each assessment. For example, the final performance task states, “In this performance task, students synthesize their learning about what inspires poets to write poetry by presenting their own original poems inspired by something meaningful, along with a speech, including supporting visuals, about what inspired their poem and where you can see evidence of this in their poem. Their speech answers the question: What inspired you to write poetry, and where can you see evidence of this in your poem? This task centers on CCSS ELA SL.4.4 and SL.4.5.”
  • The mid- and end of unit assessments specifically note the standards that are addressed. For example, students complete the mid-unit assessment, in which they are tracking progress toward anchor standard R.1. Students must read closely to determine what the text says, make inferences, cite specific textual evidence, in addition to R.10: read and comprehend literary and informational texts.
  • In Module 2, End of Unit 3 Assessment: Narrative Writing: Choose-Your-Own-Adventure Conclusion, assesses the following standards: CCSS ELA RI.4.9, W.4.3b, W.4.3c, W.4.3d, W.4.3e, W.4.4, W.4.9b, W.4.10, L.4.1d, L.4.2a, L.4.2b, L.4.2d and L.4.3a, L.4.3b, L.4.3c, and L.4.6.
  • In Module 3, the Mid Unit 1 Assessment: Researching Perspectives of the American Revolution: Patriots, assesses the following standards: CCSS ELA RI.4.1, RI.4.3, RI.4.10, W.4.7, W.4.8, W.4.9b, and L.4.2b.
  • In Module 4, the End of Unit 1 Assessment: Comparing Firsthand and Secondhand Accounts of the Same Event, assesses the following standards: CCSS ELA RI.4.1, RI.4.4, RI.4.6, and L.4.4.

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 4 meet the criteria that assessments provide sufficient guidance to teachers for interpreting student performance and suggestions for follow up.

The materials provide teachers with guidance for administering assessments, ways to scaffold assessments, areas of focus, connections to learning building towards the assessment, and suggestions for lessons in the future. Each assessment is broken down into sections to help support teacher understanding. The first section is titled “Purpose of lesson and alignment to standards.” The EL curriculum refers to assessments as an additional lesson, so in this section it explains which standards the assessment aligns to, the purpose behind the assessment, and information about tracking progress. The second section is titled “How it builds on previous work.” In this section, the EL curriculum explains how the unit and lessons build upon each other in order to bring students to this place of learning. The third section is titled “Areas where students might need additional support.” This section anticipates barriers that students may face and offers suggestions to teachers on how to move students past the barriers. The fourth section is titled “Assessment guidance.” In this section, the assessment is broken down for teachers, typically by standard and explains how the assessment addresses each standard. There is also additional information regarding feedback for students. The last section is titled “Down the road.” In this section the EL Curriculum explains how the knowledge students have now will be used as they move forward in the curriculum.

In Your Curriculum Companion, pgs. 396-397, there are examples of student work and how they should be graded using the rubric found in the Teacher Guide. Further guidance is provided on the following:

  • Choosing evidence for analysis, pg. 401
  • Organizing the evidence, pg.403
  • Identifying the patterns and trends that can inform instruction, pg. 403
  • Creating an action plan based on the data (next steps), pg. 404

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 materials reviewed for Grade 4 meet the criteria that materials should include routines and guidance that point out opportunities to monitor student progress.

The instructional materials provide routines and guidance that point out opportunities to monitor student progress. There are informal checklists to help collect evidence of progress as you observe students working. Progress monitoring formative assessments are integrated within every module by using mid- and end of unit assessments, performance tasks, ongoing assessment suggestions within each lesson, and scaffolded instruction. Examples include, but are not limited to:

  • In the Your Curriculum Companion, on pgs. 393-395, there is an overview of how the curriculum supports ongoing progress monitoring. For example, pg. 393 has description of how each lesson within the module includes formative assessments that align with the learning targets.
  • In the Your Curriculum Companion, on pg. 394, it describes the use of informal checklists. The informal checklist is a tool that provides teachers with a way of tracking student progress while making observations. Some of the informal checklists are as follows: reading fluency, writing process, collaborative discussion, presentation of knowledge and ideas, and speaking and listening comprehension.
  • The EL Curriculum also uses text-dependent questions as an ongoing progress monitoring tool. This takes place by having students answer the questions independently while reading additional text.
  • Writing routines are also built with ongoing formative assessments. The EL Curriculum uses exit tickets, note-catchers, and graphic organizers to assess student learning. These activities are used in conjunction with text pieces and provide a formative assessment more frequently when students are reading a lengthy text.
  • In Your Curriculum Companion, p. 394, writing routines are repeated and appear frequently throughout the modules. Exit tickets, note-catchers, and graphic organizers are repeated multiple times in a unit.
  • In Your Curriculum Companion, p. 395, there is an explanation on Tracking Progress Forms: “Students review their assessments for evidence of mastery of standards and add sticky notes to their work to point to this evidence. After students track their progress, the teacher then reviews and adds to the form.”
  • In the Teacher Guide, p. xxi, it notes that students should engage in daily goal-setting and reflection. “Teachers help students check back in with their progress during the lesson."
  • In the Student Workbook, Module 1, pg. 20, there is a Tracking Progress form for students to track their own progress.

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 materials reviewed for Grade 4 meet the criteria that materials indicate how students are accountable for independent reading based on student choice and interest to build stamina, confidence, and motivation.

In the Module Block there is 20 minutes daily accountable independent reading for homework at a range of levels; students respond to a prompt in their independent reading journal and are held accountable for their reading through discussion with their peers. In the ALL Block, additional time for independent reading at range of levels, building more content and domain-specific knowledge and some free choice reading (every other week), to build on students’ motivation and interests.

In the Module 1, Student Workbook, pg. 20, students are provided with an independent reading tracking form. Students have an independent reading journal to record time reading and prompts. On pg. 39, it indicates that students are to independently read a choice, topic-related book for homework and they may read a free choice book for extra independent reading. An example of the reading task during independent reading is located on pgs. 42-43 of the Student Workbook. In Unit 1, Lesson 2, students begin working on independent reading routines as part of explicit instruction. This begins by teaching students about book selection with the lesson goals of students being able to select a research reading book they have interest in and also being able to explain to peers why they selected the book.

In addition to explicit lessons in the language arts block, the ALL Block also has the component of accountable independent reading/volume of reading. In the Your Curriculum Companion on pg. 83, it describes this routine as “content-related reading at each student’s independent reading level; including free-choice in reading.”

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.
9/10
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Criterion Rating Details

The materials meet the criteria that materials provide teachers with strategies for meeting the needs of range of learners so the content is accessible to all learners and supports them in meeting or exceeding the grade-level standards. The Teacher Guide for each module provides a section supporting English Language Learners that includes various scaffolds and levels of support recommendations, which often include allowing students to grapple with complex texts and tasks before providing necessary adjustments based on targeted observation. The materials partially meet the criteria that materials regularly include extensions and/or more advanced opportunities for students who read, write, speak, or listen above grade level and meet the criteria that materials provide opportunities for teachers to use a variety of grouping strategies.

Indicator 3o

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

The materials reviewed for Grade 4 meet the criteria that materials provide teachers with strategies for meeting the needs of range of learners so the content is accessible to all learners and supports them in meeting or exceeding the grade-level standards.

In the Module Blocks in each lesson, there is a section called Universal Design for Learning. It is divided into three different parts: Multiple Means of Representation (MMR), Multiple Means of Action and Expression (MMAE), and Multiple Means of Engagement (MME). The Teacher Guide for each module anticipates areas where students might need additional support and provides a section geared toward supporting English Language Learners that includes various scaffolds and levels of support recommendations. Each lesson includes a section on Universal Design for Learning, an educational framework based on research in the learning sciences that promotes the use of flexible learning environments in order to accommodate individual learning differences. For example, in Module 2, Unit 2, Lesson 10, the Teacher Guide suggests using multiple means of representation through a variety of visual anchor to cue students’ thinking and to continue to support students by creating additional or individual anchor charts for reference and charting student responses during whole class discussions to aid with comprehension. In Module 2, Unit 2, Lesson 8, the Universal Design for Learning - Multiple Means of Engagement (MME) instructs teachers to “Practice finding and writing focus statements by providing students who may need additional support with writing the chance to meet in a small group to look at sample introductions. Ask students to highlight the focus statement in each introduction and discuss what the focus question may have been. Remind students that their focus statement will be answering the question ‘How do _____ use their bodies and behavior to help them survive?’”

Within every lesson, the EL curriculum provides information under the title Meeting Student’s Needs. In this section, the curriculum provides specific scaffolding strategies to support learners at different levels. For example, in Module 1, Unit 2, Lesson 1, it points out to teachers that some students may not feel comfortable sharing their learning targets publicly and to help students feel more comfortable the teacher should provide a confidential method, such as a recording form.

In the Teacher’s Notes section of the lesson, there is a section titled “Areas in which students may need additional support.” In this section, teachers are given suggestions of how to support the needs of learners who may struggle.

Indicator 3p

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

The materials reviewed for Grade 4 meet the criteria that materials regularly provide all students, including those who read, write, speak, or listen below grade level, or in a language other than English, with extensive opportunities to work with grade level text and meet or exceed grade-level standards.

The Teacher Guide for each module provides a section geared toward supporting English Language Learners that includes various scaffolds and levels of support recommendations which often include allowing students to grapple with complex texts and tasks before providing necessary adjustments based on targeted observation. The materials also contain a section on Meeting Students’ Needs in each unit lesson with suggestions for adjusting the delivery of content or task to meet learners’ needs without changing the content itself. In the Module Blocks, levels of support are provided at the beginning of each lesson in the Supporting English Language Learners section. Lesson-specific ELL supports also are added to the Meeting Students’ Needs section. There are protocols for Conversation Clues and Language Dives that scaffold ELL students and students who may need additional support in that specific skill to meet or exceed the grade-level standard.

In the Teacher Guide, symbols are embedded based on the four levels - below level (square), on level (circle), above level (diamond), and ELL (triangle). These symbols prompt teachers to differentiate instruction based on the needs of each level. ELL students’ Additional Work with Complex Text involves the Language Dive (work on the words used in sentences and how sentences are constructed). During certain activities, students working below level are combined with ELL students because they need the same support.

Language Dives are included in the EL curriculum. The purpose of the Language Dive is to provide students with strategies to analyze, understand, and use the language. During a Language Dive, teachers and students slow down the reading of a text to deeply analyze the meaning, purpose, and structure of a specific part of the text. The Language Dive supports ELL students to acquire language and help them to deconstruct complex text (Your Curriculum Companion pgs. 99-100). Language Dives follow the routine of Deconstruct-Reconstruct-Practice. In the Deconstruct phase, teachers guide students to deconstruct a sentence for meaning and purpose. Students are guided into chunking the sentence to analyze the importance and purpose of the words used in the sentence. In the Reconstruct phase, students put the sentence back together and discuss possible variations of the sentence that could be formed and then analyze how the meaning and purpose changes with the varied sentences. In the Practice phase, students practice using different language structures.

Within each lesson, there is a section titled Meeting Students’ Needs. This section provides specific ELL strategies that are directly tied to that particular lesson. For example, in Module 1, Unit 2, Lesson 10, teachers are advised to “Review the learning targets introduced in Opening A. Ask students to give specific examples of how they worked toward achieving them in this lesson.”

Indicator 3q

Materials regularly include extensions and/or more advanced opportunities for students who read, write, speak, or listen above grade level.
1/2
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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 4 partially meet the criteria that materials regularly include extensions and/or more advanced opportunities for students who read, write, speak, or listen above grade level.

Within the material itself, there are multiple modalities of learning addressed as well as multiple exposures to content. Teacher notes throughout the curriculum rarely offer extensions or opportunities for advanced learners. Each unit includes ways to extend the learning beyond the classroom linking home, community, and experts in their fields to share their experiences. However, there are no specific extensions or opportunities to compact the curriculum.

The Teacher Guide for each module provides homework tasks that include an independent reading journal through which students have the opportunity to select reading material that is above grade-level. In the Modules, materials do not supply, on a regular basis, extensions and/or more advanced opportunities for students who read, write, or listen above grade level.

  • The Module 2, Unit 3, Lesson 9 Teacher Guide advises that, in order to expand, teachers should invite students to add a line of correctly punctuated dialogue where the toad responds to Marty’s question.
  • In the ALL Block, teachers are directed to use the module lesson ongoing assessments to determine students that would be working above grade level. As the lessons are broken down for the teacher, the curriculum provides a symbol key for each type of grouping with above level students being represented by a diamond. Throughout the lessons, teachers can easily locate information about how to enrich for students working above grade level by looking for the diamond shape. For example, in the Module 1, Unit 3, Day 1 explanation for small group instruction, students are analyzing a piece of text and each group has a different start and end point. For the group working above grade level it states, “From the beginning of the excerpt to the very end of the excerpt.” It also provides teacher guided activity cards that are differentiated to target students working above grade level. On the activity card there is a section titled More Challenge and this provides an extension beyond what a teacher would do with students working on grade level. For example, the extensions and/or more advanced opportunities for students who are above grade level includes increased responsibility as they practice peer support and coaching of ELL students during ALL Block. In addition, extensions are provided on the task cards for students that can work independently.
  • In the ALL Block, the materials provide More Challenge activities in the Student Activity cards that provide some extension activities for students who are more advanced.
    • In the ALL Block, Module 1, Unit 1, Week 1, Day 2, the materials states: “MORE CHALLENGE: If you finish early, make up a sentence using as many of the words in bold as you can. Write the sentence on the back of this task card.”
    • In the ALL Block, Module 1, Unit 2, Week 1, Day 2, the materials states: “MORE CHALLENGE: Write a new sentence for each of the words on the back of this card.”
  • The Module 4, extension activities include, “Students research local history about voting rights and/or segregation and students perform additional service projects in the community and write about what they have done.”

Indicator 3r

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

The materials reviewed for Grade 4 meet the criteria that materials provide opportunities for teachers to use a variety of grouping strategies.

The Teacher Guide for each module provides lesson structures and tasks that allow teachers to use a variety of grouping strategies depending on the task at hand. Materials provide opportunities for teachers to use both homogeneous and heterogeneous grouping strategies. Students participate in partner and small group Think/Pair/Share, Whole Class Discussion, Small Group Discussion, Read Alouds, Shared Reading, Independent Reading, and Language Dives for both informational and literary texts. Teachers are encouraged to use information gained from the ongoing assessments in the lessons to help determine where students need additional supports or extensions during small groups. In the Modules, a variety of grouping strategies are encouraged where students work in pairs or triads and are strategically paired in advance to create productive and supportive work time. In the ALL Block, student groupings are dependent on activities that are differentiated based on student need.

The curriculum provides teachers with different groupings to help students engage in and discuss text. The suggested strategies include Think-Pair-Share, Back to Back and Face to Face, and Pinky Partners. Think-Pair-Share promotes productive and equitable conversations, giving all students the opportunity to share and consider the views of others. Back to Back and Face to Face is designed to give students the opportunity to hear several different perspectives on a topic and/or to engage in critical thinking about a topic.

In the Your Curriculum Companion, pg. 113, a chart is provided that explains all the grouping strategies for each component of the curriculum. In the module lessons, teachers are given suggestions to group students based on similar needs. Ongoing assessments throughout the module lessons are used to make grouping decisions about who should be grouped together. In the ALL Block, students are grouped in either below grade level, on grade level, above grade level or English Language Learner groups. These groups are formed for a two week period using the data from the module lessons. Students rotate through the activities and are provided the necessary scaffolds or enrichment depending on the group.

In the ALL Block, students rotate through three components: Accountable Independent Reading, Independent Activity in heterogeneous groups with a task card to guide their work, and teacher-guided activities in homogeneous groups (differentiated based on student need). In addition, these groups are flexible because a student may be below grade level in one area, but on grade level in another area.

Indicator 3s

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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 4 meet the criteria that digital materials (either included as supplementary to a textbook or as part of a digital curriculum) are web-based, compatible with multiple internet browsers (eg. Internet Explorer, Firefox, Google Chrome, etc.), “platform neutral” (ie., Windows and Apple and are not proprietary to any single platform), follow universal programming style, and allow the use of tablets and mobile devices.

The instructional materials include suggestions to enhance lessons with the use of technology and multimedia. Located in each Module Overview, the “Technology and Multimedia” section gives general recommendations for how to utilize resources on the internet for classroom projects, such as the production of student work or to research a topic further. In a review of the suggested activities, it appears that different internet browsers and operating systems would not prove to be a challenge for accessibility. For example, in the Grade 4, Module 1, Unit 3, Lesson 1 Teacher Guide, “Technology and Multimedia” section, teachers are encouraged to allow students to use a web-based word processing platform such as Google Docs.

The curriculum materials are available to access online. An educator may access and download teacher materials and student materials for each unit along with the assessments, protocols, and videos modeling the protocols.The optional Life Science Module and components of this module are also available on the site and contain similar parts as the ELA module. These teacher and student materials include the big ideas, the Four T’s, texts, assessments, performance task, materials and module-at-a-glance.

Accessibility was tested successfully on Internet Explorer, Chrome, Safari, Windows, Mac Air, iPhone, and iPad.

Indicator 3s3v

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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials meet the criteria that digital materials are web-based, compatible with multiple internet browsers , “platform neutral”, follow universal programming style, and allow the use of tablets and mobile devices.The Teacher Guide for module lessons provides a Technology and Multimedia section that supports teachers in extending lessons into digital experiences to deeply engage students in their learning. Materials partially meet the criteria that digital materials include opportunities for teachers to personalize learning for all students, using adaptive or other technological innovations. Curriculum components contain student materials that can be downloaded in Microsoft Word and customized for individual learners or classroom use. The Teacher Guide for module lessons provide a Technology and Multimedia section that supports teachers in extending lessons into digital experiences to deeply engage students in their learning which include technology platforms that facilitate collaboration among students and teacher as well as students with each other.

Indicator 3t

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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 4 meet the criteria that materials support effective use of technology to enhance student learning, drawing attention to evidence and texts as appropriate.

The Teacher Guide for module lessons provides a Technology and Multimedia section that supports teachers in extending lessons into digital experiences to deeply engage students in their learning. Within this section, teachers are given suggestions on methods to incorporate technology, along with websites to utilize and an explanation of the manner in which technology can be used to scaffold instruction. For example, in the Grade 4, Module 1, Teacher Guide, Module Overview, the Technology and Multimedia section suggests that students use Google Docs to complete Note-Catchers and produce writing. It also suggests Google Forms for online exit tickets. It gives speech-to-text suggestions, such as Dragon Dictation and the National Geographic map site to explore places that students read in the texts. In the Unit 3, Lesson 1, Teacher Guide, Technology and Multimedia section, teachers are instructed to share examples of student poetry from EL Education’s Models of Excellence website during the Opening of the lesson, providing two specific poems to access.

Indicator 3u

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Indicator 3u.i

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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 4 partially meet the criteria that digital materials include opportunities for teachers to personalize learning for all students, using adaptive or other technological innovations.

Digital materials include a digital planning guide, step-by-step lesson plans and online materials with additional support for differentiated instruction. However, while digital materials include opportunities for teachers to personalize learning for students through the use of Microsoft Word, it is limited in accessibility to innovative technology. The Teacher Guide for module lessons provides a Technology and Multimedia section that supports teachers in extending lessons into digital experiences to engage students in their learning which include adaptive technology; however, opportunities for creativity and innovation with technology were not widely present.

  • In the Grade 4, Module 1, Unit 3, Lesson 1, Teacher Guide,Technology and Multimedia section, teachers are instructed to let students use Speech-to-Text facilities activated on devices, or using an application or software such as Dragon Dictation during Work Time C.
  • The curriculum materials are available to access online. Teachers may download the materials in .pdf or .doc format. When using .doc form, teachers can edit, change, and/or add to documents to customize the materials as needed for students. However, utilizing these customized materials in conjunction with additional technology is not included as part of this program.

Indicator 3u.ii

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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 4 meet the criteria that materials can be easily customized for local use.

The Module and ALL Block curriculum components contain student materials that can be downloaded in Microsoft Word and customized for individual learners or classroom use. In Your Curriculum Companion, Chapter 3, strategies are provided to customize the lessons for local use. For example, on page 127, under the Refining Lessons heading, teachers are informed that “you can spend time preparing the materials in such a way that your students, who have been struggling with transitions, will have them at their desks when they come in from recess.” When accessing resources online, teachers can download the materials in .pdf or .doc format. When using the .doc form, teachers can edit, change, and/or add to documents to customize the materials as needed for students.

Indicator 3v

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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 4 meet the criteria that materials include or reference technology that provides opportunities for teachers and/or students to collaborate with each other (e.g. websites, discussion groups, webinars, etc.).

The Teacher Guide for module lessons provide a Technology and Multimedia section that supports teachers in extending lessons into digital experiences to deeply engage students in their learning which include technology platforms that facilitate collaboration among students and teacher as well as students with each other. Teachers are often prompted to use collaborative documents such as Google Docs to collaborate during class.

Professional development videos are available on the Expeditionary Learning website; however, the videos are not linked to the resources. Teachers need to search through video topics for specific videos.

On the EL Education website under Resources, teachers are provided with digital tools to connect with other educators via online Professional Development (PD Packs).

Criterion 3s - 3v

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

The instructional materials meet the criteria that digital materials are web-based, compatible with multiple internet browsers , “platform neutral”, follow universal programming style, and allow the use of tablets and mobile devices.The Teacher Guide for module lessons provides a Technology and Multimedia section that supports teachers in extending lessons into digital experiences to deeply engage students in their learning. Materials partially meet the criteria that digital materials include opportunities for teachers to personalize learning for all students, using adaptive or other technological innovations. Curriculum components contain student materials that can be downloaded in Microsoft Word and customized for individual learners or classroom use. The Teacher Guide for module lessons provide a Technology and Multimedia section that supports teachers in extending lessons into digital experiences to deeply engage students in their learning which include technology platforms that facilitate collaboration among students and teacher as well as students with each other.

Indicator 3s

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

The materials reviewed for Grade 4 meet the criteria that digital materials (either included as supplementary to a textbook or as part of a digital curriculum) are web-based, compatible with multiple internet browsers (eg. Internet Explorer, Firefox, Google Chrome, etc.), “platform neutral” (ie., Windows and Apple and are not proprietary to any single platform), follow universal programming style, and allow the use of tablets and mobile devices.

The instructional materials include suggestions to enhance lessons with the use of technology and multimedia. Located in each Module Overview, the “Technology and Multimedia” section gives general recommendations for how to utilize resources on the internet for classroom projects, such as the production of student work or to research a topic further. In a review of the suggested activities, it appears that different internet browsers and operating systems would not prove to be a challenge for accessibility. For example, in the Grade 4, Module 1, Unit 3, Lesson 1 Teacher Guide, “Technology and Multimedia” section, teachers are encouraged to allow students to use a web-based word processing platform such as Google Docs.

The curriculum materials are available to access online. An educator may access and download teacher materials and student materials for each unit along with the assessments, protocols, and videos modeling the protocols.The optional Life Science Module and components of this module are also available on the site and contain similar parts as the ELA module. These teacher and student materials include the big ideas, the Four T’s, texts, assessments, performance task, materials and module-at-a-glance.

Accessibility was tested successfully on Internet Explorer, Chrome, Safari, Windows, Mac Air, iPhone, and iPad.

Indicator 3t

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

The materials reviewed for Grade 4 meet the criteria that materials support effective use of technology to enhance student learning, drawing attention to evidence and texts as appropriate.

The Teacher Guide for module lessons provides a Technology and Multimedia section that supports teachers in extending lessons into digital experiences to deeply engage students in their learning. Within this section, teachers are given suggestions on methods to incorporate technology, along with websites to utilize and an explanation of the manner in which technology can be used to scaffold instruction. For example, in the Grade 4, Module 1, Teacher Guide, Module Overview, the Technology and Multimedia section suggests that students use Google Docs to complete Note-Catchers and produce writing. It also suggests Google Forms for online exit tickets. It gives speech-to-text suggestions, such as Dragon Dictation and the National Geographic map site to explore places that students read in the texts. In the Unit 3, Lesson 1, Teacher Guide, Technology and Multimedia section, teachers are instructed to share examples of student poetry from EL Education’s Models of Excellence website during the Opening of the lesson, providing two specific poems to access.

Indicator 3u

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

Indicator 3u.i

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

The materials reviewed for Grade 4 partially meet the criteria that digital materials include opportunities for teachers to personalize learning for all students, using adaptive or other technological innovations.

Digital materials include a digital planning guide, step-by-step lesson plans and online materials with additional support for differentiated instruction. However, while digital materials include opportunities for teachers to personalize learning for students through the use of Microsoft Word, it is limited in accessibility to innovative technology. The Teacher Guide for module lessons provides a Technology and Multimedia section that supports teachers in extending lessons into digital experiences to engage students in their learning which include adaptive technology; however, opportunities for creativity and innovation with technology were not widely present.

  • In the Grade 4, Module 1, Unit 3, Lesson 1, Teacher Guide,Technology and Multimedia section, teachers are instructed to let students use Speech-to-Text facilities activated on devices, or using an application or software such as Dragon Dictation during Work Time C.
  • The curriculum materials are available to access online. Teachers may download the materials in .pdf or .doc format. When using .doc form, teachers can edit, change, and/or add to documents to customize the materials as needed for students. However, utilizing these customized materials in conjunction with additional technology is not included as part of this program.

Indicator 3u.ii

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

The materials reviewed for Grade 4 meet the criteria that materials can be easily customized for local use.

The Module and ALL Block curriculum components contain student materials that can be downloaded in Microsoft Word and customized for individual learners or classroom use. In Your Curriculum Companion, Chapter 3, strategies are provided to customize the lessons for local use. For example, on page 127, under the Refining Lessons heading, teachers are informed that “you can spend time preparing the materials in such a way that your students, who have been struggling with transitions, will have them at their desks when they come in from recess.” When accessing resources online, teachers can download the materials in .pdf or .doc format. When using the .doc form, teachers can edit, change, and/or add to documents to customize the materials as needed for students.

Indicator 3v

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

The materials reviewed for Grade 4 meet the criteria that materials include or reference technology that provides opportunities for teachers and/or students to collaborate with each other (e.g. websites, discussion groups, webinars, etc.).

The Teacher Guide for module lessons provide a Technology and Multimedia section that supports teachers in extending lessons into digital experiences to deeply engage students in their learning which include technology platforms that facilitate collaboration among students and teacher as well as students with each other. Teachers are often prompted to use collaborative documents such as Google Docs to collaborate during class.

Professional development videos are available on the Expeditionary Learning website; however, the videos are not linked to the resources. Teachers need to search through video topics for specific videos.

On the EL Education website under Resources, teachers are provided with digital tools to connect with other educators via online Professional Development (PD Packs).

Additional Publication Details

Report Published Date: Tue Mar 06 00:00:00 UTC 2018

Report Edition: 2017

Title ISBN Edition Publisher Year
Grade 4 Bundle: Language Arts + Additional Language and Literacy Block, Teacher Materials: Additional Language and Literacy Block: Module 4: Reading and Analyzing The Hope Chest, Teacher Guide and Supporting Materials 978-1-6836-2374-8 Copyright: 2017 Open Up Resources 2017
Grade 4 Bundle: Language Arts, Student Workbooks: Language Arts: Module 4: Responding to Inequality: Ratifying the 19th Amendment, Student Workbook (Second Edition) 978-1-6836-2377-9 Copyright: 2017 Open Up Resources 2017
Grade 4: Life Science: Structure and Function in Terrestrial Animals and Plants, Student Science Notebook n/a Copyright: 2017 Open Up Resources 2017

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

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ELA 3-8 Rubric and Evidence Guides

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

For ELA, our rubrics evaluate materials based on:

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

  • Building Knowledge with Texts, Vocabulary, and Tasks

  • Instructional Supports and Usability

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

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