Developing Core Literacy Proficiencies for Grade 10 fully meet the expectations of alignment to the standards. The materials provide appropriate texts and associated tasks and activities for students to build literacy proficiency and advance comprehension over the course of the school year. Students engage in writing, speaking and listening, and language tasks to build critical thinking as they grow knowledge and build skills to transfer to other rigorous texts and tasks.
Text Quality and Alignment to the Standards
Overall, the Grade 10 materials meet the expectations for Gateway 1. A variety of high quality, complex texts support students’ growing literacy skills over the course of the year. However, some text types/genres called for in the standards are not fully represented.
Materials support students’ growth in writing skills over the course of the year using high-quality, text-dependent questions and tasks, though some writing types called for in the standards are not present. Students may need additional support with speaking and listening activities. Materials do not include explicit instruction targeted for grammar and convention standards.
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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.
The Grade 10 materials meet the expectations for Text Quality and Complexity. Students engage with rich texts that support their growing literacy skills as they read closely and attend to content in multiple genres and types (including multimedia platforms). Texts are organized to support students' close reading and writing, and guidance around quantitative, qualitative, and placement considerations is provided for teachers should they introduce other texts into the materials.
NOTE: Indicator 1b is non-scored and provides information about text types and genres in the program.
Anchor/core texts are of publishable quality and worthy of especially careful reading.
The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 10 meet the criteria for anchor texts being of publishable quality and worthy of especially careful reading and for considering a range of student interests. The anchor texts are of publishable quality and provide opportunities for rich analysis and modeling of the literacy skills focus for each unit. The materials consider a range of interests by providing a variety of text types--multimedia video, audio, visual, and printed text--to engage multiple learning styles in the topic focus for the content. Once students are engaged with the topic, the materials have a clear purpose identified in the introductory activities of each unit to demonstrate they are worthy of investing time and attention to careful reading of their content.
Anchor texts in the majority of chapters/units and across the year long curriculum are of publishable quality. Evidence is as follows:
- Unit 1 contains a wide variety of texts and text types--including visual, multimedia video, and printed text. The variety of text types allows for multiple entry points to the subject matter of this unit--World War I. The multimodal literacies allow for a wide range of students to find interest in the materials’ content for the purpose of developing close reading skills. In Unit 1, Part 4, Activity 2, students are given three texts with rich language, and a mixture of emotions to discuss in collaborative groups in later activities and develop a text-based multi-paragraph essay by Activity 4. The skills developed in the activities can be transferred to a wide variety of topics.
- Unit 3 focuses on two poems with rich uses of poetic devices and figurative languages worthy of close reading. The activities focus on developing students’ abilities to develop Evidence Based Claims (EBCs) after a close reading analysis of each poem. The poems focus on the topic of death which many students will find pertinent.
- Unit 5 provides a wide range of text types exploring the Fourth Amendment. Students analyze the texts to develop an evidence-based argumentative essay. The materials state that students are not required to read all the included texts. Texts use a high amount of domain specific language citing laws and civil rights. Unit 5, Part 1, Activity 3, provides students with a government document published by the Department of Justice, heavy in linguistic jargon, but “accessible [for students] through its clear organization, bold lettering, and numbered paragraphs.” At this time, the topic is prevalent in media and culture and would engage a range of student interests.
Materials reflect the distribution of text types and genres required by the standards at each grade level.
*Indicator 1b is non-scored (in grades 9-12) and provides information about text types and genres in the program.
The materials reviewed for Grade 10 partially reflect a distribution of text types and genres required by the standards for Grade 10. While this curriculum provides an abundance of informational text, including literary nonfiction, it does not fully address the literature component.Literary fiction texts are limited to personal narratives and poetry. Examples of text types and genres that are provided, include but are not limited to:
- Unit 1 focuses on a student’s ability to read closely for details. The materials include a common text set, a pair of extended readings, and a supporting multimedia text set for teachers to use as appropriate. The literary/fiction texts remain focused on personal narratives and include one narrative offered as an extended reading piece. The informational/non-fiction texts provide some diversity by blending a personal narrative and descriptive writing delivered through a poem. The multimedia texts supports include audio podcasts, videos, websites, scans of original government documents, and webpages for students to close read for details.
- Unit 2’s anchor texts are informational texts speeches. The speech genre is appropriate for the unit’s learning objective where students will analyze in reading and develop evidence based claims through writing. The unit focuses on the “Nobel Peace Prize Acceptance Speech” by Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and “Nobel Lecture: A Just and Lasting Peace” by President Barack Obama.
- Unit 3 tasks students with writing evidence based claims about literary technique. The central texts used are the poems, “Because I Could Not Stop for Death” and “Home Burial”.
- Unit 4 focuses on increasing the proficiency of a student’s research skills. The materials state that students may use the protocols to explore texts not included in the materials, however, there are common sources text sets designed to accompany the research process skills and activities. All the texts can be categorized as informational articles regarding technology, specifically topics on social media uses and the Internet’s impact on learning. In Unit 4, Part 1, Activity 2, students access the first informational source of the unit.The curriculum suggests a video or multimedia text (page 371 of the Teacher’s Edition).Later in the unit, the curriculum provides guidance via the Researching To Deepen Understanding Common Source Set.For this activity, the curriculum suggests “Did You Know 4.0 - Fall 2009” which is a video that “presents an overview of the impact that computer and communications technology has on the world”.The other common sources suggested within this guidance include “Americans Love Technology - but They Want Their Privacy Back” (Internet-based article), “We are All Cyborgs Now” (TED Talk), “The History of Social Networking” (article), “5 Ways New Media Are Changing Politics” (article), “What Would Jobs Do?” (article), “The Uses of Social Media” (blog post), “Tweet Me to Your Leader” (webpage), and “A Teen Take on Ed Tech” (blog post).
Texts have the appropriate level of complexity for the grade level (according to quantitative analysis and qualitative analysis).
The materials reviewed for Grade 10 meet the criteria for texts having the appropriate level of complexity for the grade according to quantitative analysis, qualitative analysis, and relationship to their associated student task. Most Grade 10 texts have the appropriate level of complexity according to quantitative and qualitative analysis and relationship to their associated student task. Anchor texts are placed at the appropriate grade level. Texts that are quantitatively above the stretch band are accompanied with appropriate supports (e.g. close reading and instructional notes to guide the teacher) and are appropriate for grade 10. Texts that are quantitatively within the grade level stretch band are paired with tasks that require students to use higher order thinking skills. Qualitative analysis of the texts supports placement at this grade level. According to CCSS, by the end of grade 10, students will need to be able to read and comprehend literary nonfiction at the high end of the grades 9–10 text complexity band independently and proficiently. Examples include, but are not limited to:
- Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s 1964 acceptance speech is listed as 1400L by the publisher (219). The Lexile level is slightly above the CCSS stretch band of 1080-1305. Students are guided through the process of using a text to make evidence-based claims. Throughout the activities in relation to the text, students will listen to the speech, utilize guiding questions to read a part of the speech independently, and the teacher will lead a class discussion guided by a series of text-dependent questions deepening students’ understanding of the text. The supports in place and guiding questions will assist students in accessing the complex text. To conclude Part 1, the teacher will model the forming of EBCs. The materials prompt the teacher to use the Attending to Details Handout (introduced in the Reading Closely unit) to help students think about the types of details they might be looking for and to introduce a three-step process for making a text-based claim, as represented on the Forming EBC Tool. Qualitative analysis of the text indicates it is appropriate for the grade level; for example, there are a variety of sentence structures and complex vocabulary which is woven into the ideas for discussion. For example, in Unit 2, Part 1, Activity 2, a question can be posed for consideration, such as the following: “What is the ‘genuine civilization struggling to be born’ King has the ‘audacity’ to believe in?” and “How does King use figurative language to describe the ‘creative turmoil’ that will lead to this civilization?” (173).
- Unit 3 targets poetry as the central text type for students to practice developing EBCs about literary technique. The materials use Emily Dickinson’s “Because I could not stop for Death” and Robert Frost’s “Home Burial.” Because these works are poems, a Lexile level is not available. The students’ activities associated with the texts are appropriate--students analyze the poems in order to develop EBCs about the literary techniques with a focus on Frost’s and Dickinson’s use of meter, imagery, and symbolism. The poems are appropriately complex for the grade level and activities. Each text offers abstract and symbolic concepts driven by dialogue. Dickinson’s narrator is conveying a complex and abstract fictional concept of death. The poem personifies Death and the narrator describes settings that provide multiple interpretations for the reader to infer. The archaic vocabulary provides an added layer of complexity for students to decipher. Frost’s poem is organized in a narrative style and driven by the narrator’s description and recounting of a dialogue that drives the narrative using poetic devices. The sentence structure is a diverse departure from Dickinson’s--longer sentences and dense stanzas--and less archaic vocabulary to decipher. Unit 3, Parts 1 and 2, has teachers model the EBCs reading and writing skill using Dickinson’s poem. Unit 3, Parts 3 and 4, has students practice the skills with increasing independence using Frost’s poem. Unit 4, Part 5, Activity 1, begins to bring the works together, tasking students to “reread the poems while thinking about elements they might compare between the two” still focusing on literary technique.
Materials support students' literacy skills (understanding and comprehension) over the course of the school year through increasingly complex text to develop independence of grade level skills (Series of texts should be at a variety of complexity levels).
The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 10 meet the criteria for materials supporting students’ increasing literacy skills over the course of the school year. Series of texts are at a variety of complexity levels appropriate for the grade band.
The materials include texts that appropriately represent the range of complexity and variety over the course of a school year to meet expectations for college-and-career readiness. Texts are chosen to align with specific literacy skills and achieve the learning goals set by the materials. The texts provided include a variety of complexity levels appropriate for the grade band. Guidance is provided to teachers and students to allow all readers to access the texts at a higher level of complexity through the use of a Questioning Path Tool and discussions. The materials provide opportunities for student growth and to support students in reading independently at grade level by the end of the year as required by the CCSS.
The complexity of anchor texts students read provides an opportunity for students’ literacy skills to increase across the year, encompassing an entire year’s worth of growth. For example:
- In Unit 2, Part 5, Activity 4, the students’ final draft of a multiparagraph essay is used to assess a student’s ability to develop evidence-based claims (EBCs). The assessment is connected to the texts analyzed in previous activities. Teachers assess the students’ use of the texts in their writing to determine an “accurate reading and insightful analysis” and development of “a supported claim that is clearly connected to the [texts]”
- Unit 4, Part 5: Summative Assessment Opportunities are centered around students’ research-based products--all centered around extensive close reading and analysis of common source texts. The texts are suggestions to be used for modeling and chosen to align with a specific topic for research, “Computer Technology: What Is Its Impact on Society?”
The complexity of anchor texts support students’ proficiency in reading independently at grade level at the end of the school year as required by grade level standards. Evidence of this is as follows:
- In Unit 1, Part 1, Activity 3, students will engage in a close read of their first print text, “Kings, Queens, and Pawns: An American Woman at the Front” by Mary Roberts Rinehart. The Teacher’s Edition includes Text Notes, stating that the text “provides an opportunity to move from close reading of details in visual images to close reading of visual details presented in a highly descriptive text.” The first text is listed as 870L, which places it below the grade level band and the text is placed to ensure all students can access successfully. (17)
- In Unit 3, Part 1, Activity 2, students will begin an independent reading of Emily Dickinson’s poem “Because I Could Not Stop for Death” using a question-based approach. The materials include a Questioning Path Tool, including text-specific questions to encourage students to think more deeply about the text while they are reading. Following the independent reading, in Activity 3 the teacher will read the first three stanzas aloud or play an audio recording. A discussion will follow the read aloud. The activities will support all readers to access the text.
Anchor texts and series of texts connected to them are accompanied by a text complexity analysis and rationale for purpose and placement in the grade level.
The materials reviewed for Grade 10 meet the expectations 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. Texts and lesson materials are accompanied by an analysis of the associated metrics and rationale for determining text placement. Additionally, there are included tools and metrics to assist teachers in making their own text placements should they need to introduce a new text or text set into the materials. The curriculum provides quantitative information for both anchor texts and text sets excluding photographs, videos, and websites. In the teacher edition, the curriculum explains the purpose and value of the texts in the Text Notes provided for teachers. For example, some texts are chosen for their value in reinforcing literary techniques while others were chosen as appropriate introductions to a particular time period. All texts were chosen because they were appropriate for 10th grade students while still allowing some flexibly for a variety of reading levels.
Examples of how the materials explain how texts are placed in the program include, but are not limited to:
In Unit 2, Part 1, Activity 4, students actively listen and discuss Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s "Nobel Peace Prize Acceptance Speech" which has a Lexile level of 1400L. In the TEXT NOTES, the teacher is provided with the rationale for selection of the piece and its value and purpose. The curriculum states, “This powerful interplay of words is characteristic of King’s rhetoric and provides an opportunity for students to note how he uses language to dramatize his claim about the importance of a nonviolent stance.” It also points out that once students can identify King’s descriptive words, they will be able to discuss how King “juxtaposes the idea of nonviolence” with his descriptions of racially driven violence located in the first paragraph of the piece.
In Unit 4’s Unit Overview, the curriculum briefly explains how it provides a text sequence focused on a particular Area of Investigation. These texts were chosen to “build background information, for teacher modeling, and as the focus for skill development lessons” (362). Later in the unit, the curriculum provides a Researching to Deepen Understanding Common Source Set. While these reference section provides a brief description, the location of the common source, an overview, and discussion questions, it does not provide Lexile levels for these sources because they are websites, blog posts, and internet-based articles.
Anchor and supporting texts provide opportunities for students to engage in a range and volume of reading to achieve grade level reading proficiency.
The materials reviewed for Grade 10 meet the criteria that anchor and supporting texts provide opportunities for students to engage in a range and volume of reading to achieve grade level reading proficiency. Units include a wide range of text types addressing multiple learning styles of students--including video, audio, interactive websites, and printed texts. Texts present diverse experiences and the literacy skills associated with each activity recursively build on each other as the year progresses. Text complexity also adjusts and increases as students continue through the curriculum and materials provide opportunities for teachers and students to incorporate additional texts.
Instructional materials clearly identify opportunities and supports for students to engage in reading a variety of text types and disciplines and also to experience a volume of reading as they grow toward reading independence at the grade level. Evidence includes, but is not limited to:
- Unit 1 covers a range of texts regarding World War I. The combined anchor texts and optional extended reading texts include multiple formats of Informational nonfiction and literature. The aligned activities and accompanying texts allow for a blend of experiences to grow reading stamina. For example, Unit 1, Part 1, Activity 2, allows students to practice close reading skills using visual texts and authentic photographs of World War I. In Unit 1, Part 3, Activity 2, students continue using close reading skills to comparing analyses of speeches. The sequence of units and activities is intended to develop students’ ability to independently read, analyze, and, by Unit 1, Part 5, Activity 3, lead a text-centered discussion.
- In Unit 2, Part 3, Activity 1, students read paragraphs 1-17 of “President Obama’s Nobel Lecture” independently. A Questioning Path Tool is provided to guide students to question and investigate the text, analyze the details, and deepen their understanding of the text. The teacher’s edition includes text notes to guide the teacher to facilitate the task: “Students will use the final question (#9) as a starting point for reading and analyzing the second section of the speech (paragraphs 18-26) as an independent activity at the end of Part 3 and the start of Part 4” (181). In Activity 4, a class discussion will take place utilizing the text-specific questions, and the teacher will facilitate.
- Unit 5 includes a wide range of text types and lengths, including short video clips, political cartoons, blog posts, online articles, and political texts.
Materials also include checklists, rubrics and student conference suggestions to assist in evaluating the development of literacy proficiency.
Materials provide opportunities for rich and rigorous evidence-based discussions and writing about texts to build strong literacy skills.
Overall, the instructional materials reviewed for Grade 10 partially meet the expectations of indicators 1g through 1n. The materials support students as they grow their writing skills over the course of the year. High-quality, text-dependent questions and task support students as they grapple with materials, participate in discussions of content, engage in a variety of writing types, and demonstrate their learning with evidence-supported arguments. However, speaking and listening protocols are not fully outlined throughout the materials to support teachers and students. Teachers may also need to add additional instruction to cover the full range of writing standards required for narrative writing. Materials do not include explicit instruction targeted for grammar and convention standards.
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).
The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 10 meet the criteria that most questions, tasks, and assignments are text dependent/specific and consistently support students’ literacy growth over the course of a school year.
The instructional materials include questions and tasks that require careful reading over the course of a school year, during which students are asked to produce evidence from texts to support claims. Materials introduce the text-dependent, inquiry basis called the Questioning Path Tool, which provides opportunities for students to ask and use questions to guide their close examination of the text. The Questioning Path Tool progresses from intensive practice and support in developing text-specific questions to gradual release of responsibility as students learn to develop high-quality questions on their own, deepening their understanding of the text. These questions require students to return to the text for evidence to support their answers to questions about the roles of specific details, the meaning of specific phrases, character development, and vocabulary analysis. The process supports a text-centric curriculum and approach to multiple literacy skills.
Students work independently and collaboratively to respond to and generate text-specific questions. Also, writing tasks provide the opportunity for students to conduct more text-dependent work. Models can be modified for existing content (i.e., novels) owned by a district.
Appropriate support materials for teachers to plan and implement text-dependent questions, tasks, and assignments are included in the curriculum.
The tasks and assignments asked of students are appropriately sequenced and follow a consistent routine. The materials require students to closely read the text, drawing on textual evidence to support both what is explicit as well as valid inferences from the text. The following are examples of this evidence:
- Unit 2, Part 1, Activity 1, begins with a clear step-by-step process for students to follow. Textual support is key to this unit as it is how students will support their claim. Included in the steps are to “organize your supporting evidence” and “paraphrase and quote.”
- The materials include the Forming EBC (Evidence-Based Claims) Tool that has students record specifics from the text to support their emerging ideas.
- In Unit 2, Part 1, Activity 2, the Questioning Path Tool, the Deepening, and Analyzing focus is where students have to usually return to the text to answer questions. For example, “What do I notice about the verb tenses used throughout the poem? How are they compared throughout the stanzas and what do they tell me about the speaker’s perspective?”
- The materials also include text-specific questions.
- In Unit 2, Part 1, Activity 3, the Questioning Path tool for Dr. King’s "Nobel Peace Prize Acceptance Speech"provides text-specific questions. One example is, ”What do the examples and claims in the first section of the speech suggest about Dr. King’s view of the Nobel Peace Prize and what it recognizes?”
- In Unit 4, Part 5, Activity 2, the teacher models a text-centered review process. Students practice reviewing a model reflective research narrative using guiding questions, such as, “What is the writer’s perspective? How does the narrative tell the story of arriving at this perspective?” The materials provide instructions for the teacher to explicitly require students to “share text-based responses to the questions.” Students answer questions in review teams.
- In Unit 5, Part 1, Activity 2, there are text-specific questions to accompany the text, “Your Digital Trail: Does the Fourth Amendment Protect Us?”, such as, What details from the article best describe the words ‘persons, houses, papers, and effects’ as used in the Fourth Amendment?” An additional Extending Question is posed as an example: “What evidence does this text provide that builds my understanding of the issue of government surveillance and personal privacy?”
Students are supported in their literacy growth over the course of a school year. Examples include, but are not limited to:
- In Unit 1, Reading Closely for Textual Details, Part 1, Activity 2 focuses on the skill of attending to details, using visuals as the text. The activity provides student small groups a completed Questioning Path Tool to start discussions with text-specific questions that task students with locating and considering the purpose of details in the visual text. Students work toward developing original text-specific questions about the visual text. The activity is intended to demonstrate how “question-based examinations of texts leads to new questions.”
- In Unit 2, Making Evidence-Based Claims, Part 3 sequences three activities around the use of the Questioning Path Tool with the Forming EBC Tool. Students read with the support of the Questioning Path Tool and, if appropriate, are guided to use the Forming EBC Tool, which begins with a student-generated guiding question to direct their reread and annotation of the text for evidence.
- Unit 5 repeats the literacy skills that have been worked on throughout the school year: Identifying Relationships, Making Inferences, Summarizing, Questioning, Recognizing Perspective, Evaluating Information, Forming Claims, Using Evidence, Presenting Details, Organizing Ideas, Publishing and Reflecting Critically.
Teacher materials provide support for planning and implementation of text-dependent questions, tasks, and assignments through extensive Instructional Notes. Examples include, but are not limited to:
- At the beginning of each part of a Unit, the objective of the Unit is clearly stated, along with materials, targeted Literacy Skills, Academic Habits to be developed, and an overview of the activities.
- In Unit 1, Part 2, Activity 1, the teacher models how the use of the Approaching Texts Tool guides initial reading by thinking aloud and talking through how he or she would approach the text and focus on ideas and details. It also suggests why thinking about the author, type of text, and source can influence one’s reading and analysis of the text. Students then practice in pairs.
- In Unit 4 the materials outline the continuing role of the Literacy Toolbox by providing specific guidance for teachers in Researching to Deepen Understanding regarding the tools students will begin to use independently and new additions for upcoming activities, including the continued use of the Questioning Path Tool to focus their reading--now applying [it] more independently "to texts and discussions.” It also introduces research-specific tools and includes supplemental guides for teachers. The Student Research Plan outlines expectations for the unit, but can extend to additional research tasks and includes a comprehensive listing of the tools and handouts specific to research skills. The Teacher Research Guide includes notes and tasks specific to the responsibilities of the teacher, including time for introducing concepts and evaluating student work, to facilitate the planning in a school schedule.
Materials contain sets of sequences of text-dependent/ text-specific questions with activities that build to a culminating task which integrates skills to demonstrate understanding
The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 10 meet the criteria for materials containing sets of high-quality sequences of text-dependent and text-specific questions with activities that build to a culminating task which integrates skills to demonstrate understanding.
The materials include quality culminating tasks which are supported with coherent sequences of text-dependent questions and tasks and are present across a year’s worth of material. Examples include, but are not limited to:
- In Unit 1, Part 2 of the Final Assignments students are asked to write a multi-paragraph explanation of something they have come to understand by reading and examining the unit’s texts. The culminating writing task asks students to return to the text and use quotations and paraphrased references. To complete this extended writing, students will use the Guiding Questions and student-generated text-specific questions for each text in the unit as a resource. Like Unit 1, each unit’s culminating task is rooted in the reading of texts, the analysis of texts via text-dependent and text-specific questions, and students writing to show mastery of skills.
- In Unit 4, Part 1, Activity 2, students are asked to explore a topic to culminate in the form of a completed Exploring a Topic Tool to be used in subsequent activities. It is preceded by work with the text-dependent Questioning Path Tool and Analyzing Details Tool to guide students or a whole class to a topic worth exploring. The guidance provided by the teacher Instructional Notes includes general text-dependent questions to guide students’ summarization and analysis of the text: “What new ideas or information do I find in the text?” and “How do the text’s main ideas relate to what I already know, think, or have read?”
Evidence that sequences of text-dependent questions and tasks throughout each unit prepare students for success on the culminating tasks is as follows:
- In Unit 2, the culminating task is to communicate EBCs in writing. In order to achieve this objective, students must reread the texts in the unit and review their previous work. Both the answers to the text-dependent and text-specific questions and the students’ annotations are the basis for this final assignment. In Unit 2, Part 3, Activity 1, students prepare for the comparative discussion by rereading and considering a key quotation from Dr. King’s speech. Students also revisit the texts in Activity 4 as they prepare their final analysis of two Nobel Peace Prize speeches.
The culminating tasks are varied and rich, providing opportunities for students to demonstrate what they know and are able to do in speaking and/or writing. The following are examples of this evidence:
- In Units 1, 2, and 3, the varied culminating tasks are summative assessments requiring students to engage in discussions about texts and include drafts of their writing. Unit 1 focuses on text-centered discussions demonstrating a student’s ability to lead and participate in a text analysis. Students present their comprehension and provide evidence-based supports for claims. Discussions can be more question-focused through the inclusion of the Guiding Questions handout from previous build-up activities. The culminating summative task for Units 2 and 3 is focused on students presenting their evidence-based essays and using this as the text to center discussions. Students follow a student edition rubric to question and provide feedback demonstrating their academic habits and the teacher also makes notes using a rubric focused on academic habits promoted over the course of the unit.
- In Unit 5, Part 5, the culminating task is to develop, write, and revise an evidence-based argumentative essay. Information regarding Summative Assessment is provided in the teacher’s edition and includes Assessing Literacy Skills: “Having gone through peer review and revision, students’ final argumentative essays should provide evidence of the Literacy Skills targeted in the unit—especially the reading and thinking skills that have been the focus of instruction and that are involved in building an evidence-based argument.” Unit 5, Part 3 focuses on the analysis of Text Sets 3-5 so that students can evaluate arguments, determine which arguments are most convincing, and synthesize texts to establish positions. Students are asked to go back into the text as they work with the Evaluating Arguments Tool for each text. The tool asks questions such as, “Does the supporting evidence come from a range of credible sources? Is it believable?” and “How logical and reasonable are the conclusions drawn by the author?” Students are then asked to provide text-based observations. This process is designed to help students prepare for the final writing assignment by guiding them in an in-depth analysis of the text.
Materials provide frequent opportunities and protocols to engage students in speaking and listening activities and discussions (small group, peer-to-peer, whole class) which encourage the modeling and use of academic vocabulary and syntax.
The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 10 partially 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 promote twelve Academic Habits and twenty standards-aligned Literacy Skills. The materials intend for students “to develop, apply, and extend” Academic Habits “as they progress through the sequence of instruction.” Academic Habits include mental processes and communication skills sets such as, but not limited to, Preparing, Collaborating, Completing Tasks, Understanding Purpose And Process, and Remaining Open. Each Academic Habit is accompanied by general descriptors and most units include rubrics designed for teachers to conduct observational assessments of Academic Habits, thus providing another opportunity for assessment. By comparison, the twenty Literacy Skills articulated by the materials are focused on reading and writing skills; Academic Habits are mental and communication-based processes.
Throughout the curriculum, students are provided frequent opportunities to participate in evidence-based discussions. Many activities and some culminating tasks focus on students leading and participating in text-centered discussions. These discussions allow students to work in pairs to compare texts, listen to other students’ summaries, and ask other students to present evidence from texts to support their thinking. Some discussions are started in expert groups and finished in new discussion groups. Other discussions are completed in pairs, with some being led by the teacher. All discussions are connected to the units’ texts. While discussions are evidence-based, teachers and students are not provided with protocols or models for conversation. Also, evidence shows that conversation itself is not the goal of this curriculum. Conversation is a tool used throughout the curriculum, but is not ever explicitly taught or assessed.
The consistent design of the curriculum provides a focus on using textual evidence and contains sequenced tasks for most discussions to support the demonstration of academic vocabulary and analysis of syntax. This is maintained by the consistent use of a questioning path system and explicit modeling instructions for teachers to follow with students. The modeling instructions and handouts are text-specific, but can be used with other texts. Some texts are not immediately available and extra guidance is provided to pull materials from the internet. Although opportunities for consistent explicit guidance for teachers or students to use academic vocabulary and syntax to occur do exist, this guidance is not always evident.
Materials provide multiple opportunities and questions for evidence-based discussions across the whole year’s scope of instructional materials. Examples of this evidence are the following:
- In the Unit 1 Literacy Toolbox, A Reading Closely Final Writing and Discussion Handout is provided describing the Final Assignments. Students are asked to lead and participate in a text-centered discussion. This discussion is text based; 3b says, “Reread the other two final texts so that you are prepared to discuss and compare them.” During the process, students will meet with their expert group, join a new discussion group, listen to other students’ summaries, pose questions, and ask students to present evidence from the texts to support their thinking. Protocols for discussion are not provided for expert groups, for how to join a new discussion group, or even for how students will take turns presenting texts and posing questions.
- In Unit 1, Part 2, Activity 1, the teacher is asked to model how to use a text-dependent guiding question and reveal “what it suggests a reader might pay attention to.” The discussion questions can be taken from the pre-filled Questioning Path Tool or an original new question, supported by the included Guiding Questions handout, taken from work completed in previous activities. Students practice using the question-based discussion techniques to collaborate on annotating the text. During this process, students focus on textual details to build on their individual annotations.
- In Unit 2, Part 2, Activity 2, the Instructional Notes ask students to work in pairs or reading teams to analyze the text guided by text-specific questions provided in the Questioning Path Tool. In this part, students utilize pairs to find supporting evidence for their EBCs. There is an alternative instruction approach where the teacher provides erroneous claims that contradict textual evidence and asks students to find places that disprove the claim.
The opportunities provided do not always adequately address and promote students’ ability to master grade-level speaking and listening standards. The following are examples of this evidence:
- In Unit 2, Part 1, Activity 4, “students follow along as they listen to the text being read aloud, and the teacher leads a discussion guided by a series of text-specific questions.” The Instructional Notes prompt the teacher to lead a class discussion based on students’ independent reading of paragraphs 1 through 5 of the speech. The four focus questions are drawn from the model Questioning Path Tool and are text-specific. All questions can either be discussed as a whole or in smaller groups; if the questions are assigned to small groups, each group would report back to the class. This activity uses speaking and listening to support reading and analyzing text. Speaking and listening are not the focus of the activity nor are these skills assessed. Also, the teacher’s edition gives no guidance on protocol, which could allow students to merely reiterate how they answered the questions in the “discussion.”
- In Unit 2, Part 3, Activity 6, Class Discussion of Student EBCs, the instructions include “have pairs volunteer to present their claims, subpoints and evidence to the rest of the class” and to “discuss the evidence and organization, evaluating how each piece supports and develops the claim.” However, the instructions do not provide discussion protocols for the teacher or students.
Grade-level-appropriate opportunities occur for evidence-based discussions that encourage the modeling and use of academic vocabulary and syntax within the materials, but the materials and supports within the curriculum do not always utilize the opportunities. For example:
- In Unit 2, Part 2, Activity 4, students have class discussions of the EBC, which the teacher’s edition states are “essential for the development of Literacy Skills and related Academic Habits.” However there are no explicit instructions on the use of academic vocabulary and syntax, nor are those skills highlighted in the student edition Habits to be Developed in reference to the text-centered discussions.
- In Unit 5, Part 2, Activity 2, students identify elements of argumentation and the teacher is asked to create a model Delineating Arguments Tool for one of the model arguments; this particular model is not provided by the publisher or included in the Instructional Notes. Teachers are provided a list of terms and prompted to provide students with Independent Practice with the Tool and “Encourage students to use the vocabulary terms they have learned. Write the new vocabulary on the board so they can use the words as references for discussion. Once students have some facility with the elements, explain to them that they will be using the terminology to analyze and compare various arguments related to the unit’s issue” (532). No additional stems or assessment tools are provided for the activity in the Instructional Notes.
Materials support students' listening and speaking (and discussions) about what they are reading and researching (shared projects) with relevant follow-up questions and supports.
The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 10 meet the criteria for the materials supporting students’ listening and speaking about what they are reading and researching (including presentation opportunities) with relevant follow-up questions and evidence.
Materials embed evidence-based academic discussions focused on listening and speaking skills in reading and writing processes. Students are often asked to engage in discussions about texts through activities, such as note taking, annotating texts, and capturing what their peers say. Students then transfer the practice to their own writing through collaborative revision workshops with peers.
Speaking and listening instruction is applied frequently over the course of the year and includes facilitation, monitoring, and instructional supports for teachers. Evidence of this is as follows:
- In Unit 1, Part 5, Activities 1-3, students understand, prepare, and lead a text-centered discussion. The end goal of these activities is to participate in a discussion with other students who have read and analyzed different texts. In Activity 3, students are placed into jigsaw groups so that each of the final texts is represented in each group by at least one student expert. As part of the discussion, students will take a turn presenting about their text, summarize what the text is about, and share their explanations of key ideas. Students will also ask other students questions, reference the texts, and share new understanding.
- In Unit 2, Unit Overview relating to Academic Habits, “students will have opportunities to further develop habits associated with productive text-centered discussion and will begin working on habits applied when generating and revising their writing.” The focus of the academic habits developed include engaging actively, collaborating, communicating clearly, listening, revising, understanding purpose and process, and remaining open.”
- In Unit 5, Part 5, Activity 1, students participate in a Text-Centered Discussion and will have an opportunity to work in review pairs. Discussions follow this process:
- Reading partners initially listen to each draft as it is read aloud by the writer.
- Partners then exchange papers with no additional discussion of what they have written.
- Readers analyze the draft, looking especially for textual evidence that expresses the writer’s understanding of the issue, perspective, and position. Readers do not evaluate or make suggestions for improvement at this stage.
- Readers share their analyses with writers, striving to be non-evaluative and specific, constructive, and text-based in their observations. (Model observations that either meet or do not meet these criteria for a good response, which will become even more important in later activities.)
Materials include a mix of on-demand and process writing grade-appropriate writing (e.g. grade-appropriate revision and editing) and short, focused projects.
The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 10 meet the criteria for materials including a mix of on-demand and process writing (e.g., multiple drafts, revisions over time) and short, focused projects, incorporating digital resources where appropriate. Throughout the units, the instructional materials require students to produce short, informal on-demand and longer process writing tasks and essays. Instructional materials include opportunities for students to conduct short as well as more sustained research projects based on focused questions, demonstrating an understanding of the subject under investigation. In addition to the longer, summative writing tasks throughout the instructional materials, students are presented with opportunities for shorter writing tasks.
On-demand writing tasks consist of completing the worksheets/handouts/tools from the Literary Toolboxes and evolve into students composing sentence-length, evidence-based claims and paragraphs. Several tools are available for on-demand opportunities, including the Approaching Texts Tools and the Analyzing Details Tool. Examples of on-demand writing tasks include:
- In Unit 1, Part 3, Activity 3, students participate in on-demand writing in an explanatory paragraph using a question from the Deepening section of the Questioning Path or a self-generated, text-specific, comparative question. This on-demand writing asks students to explain their analysis of Text 5 and Text 6 and identify a connection between the two texts that answers their comparative question. Students are asked to introduce the topic, organize their information clearly, and develop the topic with appropriate supporting details. Students are also asked to use transitional words, precise language, and an academic writing style.
- In Unit 2, Part 4, Activity 2, students consider text-based review questions, and “articulate and share their text-based responses and constructive reviewers claims” that they have generated based on the reading.
- In Unit 5, Part 2, Activity 1, to build background knowledge, students are asked to analyze and write about political cartoons using the Guiding Questions Handout.
Opportunities for process writing tasks include:
- In Unit 1, Part 5, Activity 3, the teacher’s edition explains how students are tasked with constructing paragraphs that address their comparative questions and the elements that they need to include in these paragraphs. Then, in small groups, students engage in peer review activities with their comparative paragraphs. Questions are included to guide their reviews and revisions.
- In Units 2 and 3, students are tasked with writing an evidence-based interpretive essay. Teachers and students follow the same collaborative criteria-based process to develop and improve essays. The activities are focused on process writing through peer review protocols guided by the Literacy Toolbox handouts. Units 2 and 3 make the claim that this “may be the first piece of more formal writing that students have done in the Developing Core Literacy Proficiencies sequence.” This claim is a result of the materials’ organization. The materials are organized in such a way that teachers do not have to follow it in a linear way, but can choose the skills, or Academic Habits, that need to be focused on.
- In Unit 5 tasks, students are to write an evidence-based argumentative essay. Tasks leading up to the writing are appropriately sequenced with practices with common sources, leading up to extended sources not provided in the texts. Opportunities for peer-revision to develop and improve writing is consistent with previous units and grades.
Materials include digital resources and are incorporated where appropriate when students produce and publish writing as well as when gathering relevant information from digital sources and integrating the information into their writing.
- For example, in Unit 5, a table includes digital sources available for free on the Internet. Electronic sources include both introductory videos and informational texts, such as “Dark Knight Cell Phone Surveillance” by Christopher Nolan (posted by Critical Commons Manager as an introductory video), and “Your Digital Trail: Does the Fourth Amendment Protect Us?” by Daniel Zwerdling, published by National Public Radio as an informational text.
Materials provide opportunities for students to address different types/modes/genres of writing that reflect the distribution required by the standards. Writing opportunities incorporate digital resources/multimodal literacy materials where appropriate. Opportunities may include blended writing styles that reflect the distribution required by the standards.
The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 10 partially meet the criteria for materials providing opportunities for students to address different text types of writing (yearlong) that reflect the distribution required by the standards.
Writing is embedded throughout the curriculum and provides multiple opportunities across the school year for students to learn, practice, and apply most standards. However, the writing does not fully reflect the distribution of the standards, in particular the various elements of narrative writing, even though narrative writing is at times included as a follow-up reflection to longer research projects. The 9-12 standards state within narrative writing that students write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, well-chosen details, and well-structured event sequence. In particular, students are to use narrative techniques such as dialogue, pacing, description, reflection, and multiple plot lines, to develop experiences, events, and/or characters. Students are not provided opportunities to engage in narrative writing tasks allowing sufficient practice for specific narrative techniques as required by the standards. Writing tasks, which are almost entirely expository and argumentative, build on one another, as does the writing for the overall curriculum. However, the curriculum does not reflect the distribution required by the standards in that it leaves out opportunities for narrative writing.
The curriculum provides a variety of unit-specific checklists and rubrics so that students and teachers can monitor progress in literacy skills (including writing) and academic habits such as such as collaborating and clearly communicating. This curriculum is based in reading grade-appropriate texts and responding to these texts in both formal and informal writing.
Materials provide multiple opportunities across the school year for students to learn, practice, and apply different genres/modes of writing that reflect the distribution required by the standards.
- Unit 1, Part 1, Activity 1, introduces and establishes a link among questioning, close examination, and deepening understanding through analogies from other fields that require these skills. The teacher’s edition suggests using the analogy of a crime scene investigator asking general questions like, “What evidence suggests how the perpetrator came and went from the scene?” and moving to more specific questions such as, “What are the size and type of shoes that left these muddy footprints?” The link to writing, however, is expository as guided by the tools they will use for this unit: the Reading Closely graphic and the Guiding Questions handout. This part misses the potential that narrative writing could have in asking students, not only to play with techniques, such as dialogue, pacing, and plot lines, but also to show the same link between the skills emphasized by this unit.
- As part of Unit 4’s final assignments, student are asked to write a short reflective research narrative as a summative assessment. The curriculum guides students by stating, “Your narrative should clearly express your understanding of the topic and “tell the story” of how you have developed your new knowledge.” When brainstorming, students are also encouraged to consider the question, “What do I now think about the topic I have investigated, based on the research and reading I have done?” In this type of writing, students will connect their ideas to the sources used during their research; however, due to the nature of this assignment, it does not fulfill the requirements of specific CCSS: Students are not able to use narrative techniques such as dialogue and multiple plot lines. This assignment also does not allow to students to create and build toward a particular tone such as mystery or growth. Finally, the nature of this short reflective research narrative does not allow students to develop settings or characters.
- In Unit 4, Part 5, Activity 2, the Instructional Notes relating to the narrative state “Because this may be the first time in the Developing Core Proficiencies program sequence that students have written a narrative, they may want to consider the specific expectations of CCSS W.3 at tenth grade…” and list these standards for the teacher. There is no additional guidance to assist teachers and ensure students have practiced and reached proficiency of all narrative techniques for the grade level.
Materials provide opportunities for students/teachers to monitor progress in writing skills. Examples include, but are not limited to:
- In Unit 1, Part 1, Activity 2, the supporting Instructional Notes walk students through the thinking/writing process in working with a specific text. Students move from questioning in small groups, to analyzing, to deepening by writing text-specific questions, and to summarizing in the writing of a caption.
- Formative assessments following each part of Unit 2 ask for short, informal writing samples about targeted skills.
- In Unit 2, Part 3, Activity 1, students read “paragraphs 1-17 of President Obama’s speech, guided by a Guiding Question(s) from the model Questioning Path Tool and use the Forming EBC Tool to make a claim and support it with evidence.” Following the reading, “students record key details, connections, and an initial evidence-based claim on the tool.” The Instructional Notes provide teachers with reminders in Part 3: Formative Assessment Opportunities: “Students should now be beginning to develop more complex claims about challenging portions of the text. Their Forming EBC Tool should demonstrate a solid grasp of the claim-evidence relationship, but do not expect precision in the wording of their claims.” Tools are provided to both teachers and students to assess Academic Habits.
- In Unit 2, the curriculum provides a Making Evidence-based Claims Literacy Skills rubric. This rubric allows the teacher to assess skills in four areas: Reading Skills, Thinking Skills, Writing Skills, and Essay Content. Various checklists also appear in the other units and are modified to assess skills in those units.
- Unit 2, Part 4 aligns to students’ ability to draw evidence to support analysis, research, and reflection. The teacher models this with students, pulling from work done in Parts 2 and 3. Students write in pairs and then, after practicing the collaborative review process to improve their writing, independently draft a 1-2 paragraph EBC in Activity 7. The materials suggest using the revised work as a formative assessment opportunity. Part 5 tasks students with developing a multi-step, evidence-based essay to present to the class and used as a summative assessment.
- By the end of Unit 4, Part 2, students will have produced Research Frame Tools, Potential Sources Tools, and Taking Notes Tools which can be commented on and evaluated in the Formative Assessment Opportunity.
Where appropriate, writing opportunities are connected to texts and/or text sets (either as prompts, models, anchors, or supports). Examples include, but are not limited to:
- Unit 1 provides opportunities for students to summarize, paraphrase, and develop questions to increase close reading skills in multiple text types (including multimedia videos and websites). In Unit 1, Part 3, students develop an explanatory paragraph using close reading questions developed in previous activities. By the end of Unit 1, Part 5, students will have included multi-paragraph, text-based explanations to produce a complete explanatory essay. This is used in a summative text-centered discussion with their class. The materials suggest teachers use the written piece and observations from the discussion as evidence of learning. Rubrics are provided to support gathering of evidence to track students’ proficiency.
- To end Unit 2, students engage in a Class Discussion of Final EBCs: “The class engages in a final reflective discussion of the texts read, the skills and habits worked on, and what they have learned about making evidence-based claims.”
- As part of Unit 5’s final assignments, student are asked to write an evidence-based argumentative essay. Students are required to develop a position on an issue and then write an essay that makes a case for the chosen position. In this type of writing, students will review the texts they have read and use the tools they completed earlier in the unit. They will also reread arguments related to the chosen position looking for evidence; students will also read text to find counterarguments.
Materials include sufficient writing opportunities for a whole year’s use.
- Materials include numerous writing opportunities that span the entire year. Each final writing task includes formal, usually multi-paragraph essay writing. Students also write throughout each unit in preparation for these final writing tasks. These shorter, informal writing tasks can be found in the form of writing EBCs in pairs, independent writing of EBCs, making and recording notes, and writing to analyze arguments.
- Unit 3 is focused on students developing a publishable interpretive essay, again, using EBCs. The materials maintain the consistency and formula from previous units and grades--teacher modeling and the gradual release toward independent writing to be evaluated in a collaborative review. Students work with poems as the model texts for this unit.
- Unit 4 is based in a text set that revolves around the question, “Computer Technology: What is Its Impact on Society?” Writing is based on research to deepen understanding. The skills required for this writing/thinking have built from the skills practiced beforehand.
Materials include frequent opportunities for evidence-based writing to support sophisticated analysis, argumentation, and synthesis.
The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 10 meet the criteria for materials including frequent opportunities for research-based and evidence-based writing to support analysis, argument, synthesis and/or evaluation of information, supports, claims.
Instructional materials include frequent opportunities for students to write evidence-based claims (EBCs) relating to various topics and in response to text sets organized around the topic. Students are asked to analyze text, develop claims, and support those claims with evidence from the text. Tools, such as Questioning Path Tools, Approaching Text Tools, and Analyzing Details Tools, are provided to help students analyze and organize text to be used in later writing. The checklists and rubrics also include criteria for Using Evidence which asks students to support explanations/claims with evidence from the text by using accurate quotations, paraphrases, and references. Opportunities for writing to sources include informal writing within the units and formal writing in the form of culminating tasks.
Activities are not stand-alone tasks. Each is intended to follow a gradual release model and builds upon literacy skills to accomplish the development and refinement of a culminating writing task. Units dedicated to specific modes--research and making evidence-based analysis--include opportunities for students to engage in other evidence-based modes. For example, the argumentative unit (Unit 5) includes the opportunities for students to first write an analysis about other writers’ arguments.
Texts include a variety of sources (print and digital). Materials meet the grade level demands of the standards listed for this indicator.
Materials provide frequent opportunities across the school year for students to learn, practice, and apply writing using evidence. Examples of this are as follows:
- Unit 1 tools support students in linking their reading with their writing. These tools include the Questioning Path Tool with specific questions about the text, the Analyzing Details Tool, and the Supporting Evidence-Based Claims Tool.
- Unit 4 provides multiple opportunities focused on research-based writing tasks through the inclusion of the ongoing research journal and portfolio. The evidence-based collection of sources is used for the culminating writing, a reflective research narrative. The supporting Literacy Toolbox handouts strengthen this unit’s score; each handout is focused on an aspect of the research process and students complete handouts by composing EBCs attributed to sources read for the research narrative.
- Unit 5 activities contain evidence-based reading, and therefore, writing skills. In Part 2, students compile evidence from common sources provided by the materials to evaluate arguments. In Activity 7, students compose an essay analyzing the arguments with EBCs.
Writing opportunities are focused around students’ analyses and claims developed from reading closely and working with texts and sources to provide supporting evidence. Examples of this are as follows:
- In Unit 1, Part 2, Activity 5, students write an explanation of their analysis of a text and reference supporting textual details. The details support an explanation of a student's analysis, but it is not being used to support an evidence-based argument or persuasive piece. The students are reading for details to increase understanding and to identify a central idea, but not to conduct research.
- In Unit 2, Part 2, the objective states, “Students develop the ability to make evidence-based claims through a close reading of a second section of text.” The activities center around King’s "Nobel Peace Prize Acceptance Speech;" Activity 5 asks students to write an original EBC.
- In Unit 3, Part 5, “students develop the ability to express global evidence-based claims in writing through a rereading of the texts in the unit and a review of their previous work.” This writing will be based on the two poems, “Because I could not stop for Death” and “Home Burial”. At the end of Part 5, students write a final essay that can be used by the teacher as an assessment of their reading and writing skills.
- In Unit 5, Part 2, Activity 3, “students read and analyze an additional background text from Text Set 2 to expand and deepen their understanding of an issue.” Students are asked to read additional nonfiction sources that provide information about government surveillance and specific government policy. Students are encouraged to annotate and make notes as they read, analyze, and discuss the texts.
Materials provide opportunities that build students’ writing skills over the course of the school year. Evidence is as follows:
- In the instructional materials, the teacher’s edition shares the Unit Design and Instructional Sequence: students are presented with a topic and “begin learning to read closely by first encountering visual images, which they scan for details, and then multimedia texts that reinforce the skills of identifying details and making text-based observations from those details” (xxxiii). Therefore, students are provided an opportunity to learn about the topic before exposure to the more complex grade-level texts and then move forward to more challenging texts.
- In Unit 3, Part 1, Activity 1, the “teacher presents the purpose of the unit and explains the proficiency of making evidence-based claims about literary technique” (264). The activities assist students through the use of guided questions to focus their independent reading, read aloud, and class discussion utilizing text-dependent questions, and teacher modeling of the forming of EBCs. Opportunities for formative assessment and collaborative partner/group work are included to ensure student understanding of creating EBCs prior to the culminating writing activity. In the Summative Assessment in Part 5, the teacher is provided guidance for Assessing Literacy Skills utilizing an EBC Writing Task Rubric: “Students’ final EBC essays, having gone through peer review and revision, should provide evidence of each student’s development of the Literacy Skills targeted in the unit—especially the reading and thinking skills that have been the focus of instruction and that are involved in making the evidence-based claim.”
- Unit 5, Part 2, Activity 4 connects the exploration of perspective by referring back to a model argument used for instruction and guidance.
Writing opportunities are varied over the course of the year. Evidence is as follows:
- In Unit 1, Part 1, Activity 1, students are introduced to the topic through an analogy from another field. Examples listed are as follows:
- "Compare the process of close reading to the analytical process used by experts in other fields, such as musicians, scientists, or detectives.
- Present a CSI video that demonstrates how a detective asks herself questions when first approaching a crime scene."
- In Unit 1, Part 1, Activity 2, students are presented with an opportunity to access the topic through the use of visual images. In the instructional notes, teachers are asked to “scan the images, then assign specific images to groups or individuals for closer analysis.”
- In Unit 1, Part 1, Activity 3, students are presented with a descriptive excerpt from war correspondent Mary Roberts Rinehart during World War I, which will be used for close reading and exploration and to assist students in furthering their understanding of the topic.
- In Unit 1, Part 1, Activity 4, students “look closely for details in the multimedia text, “1916 Battle of the Somme,” by the History Channel.
- In Unit 1, Part 1, Activity 5, students explore a multimedia website and answer guiding questions.
- All the activities in Unit 1, build to a two-stage culminating activity. Students will do the following: 1) Analyze one of three related texts and draft a multi-paragraph explanation of their text and 2) Lead and participate in a comparative discussion about the three texts. Students are writing informative/explanatory texts to examine and convey complex ideas, concepts, and information clearly and accurately through the effective selection, organization, and analysis of content. In addition, students are drawing evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research.
Materials include instruction and practice of the grammar and conventions/language standards for grade level as applied in increasingly sophisticated contexts, with opportunities for application in context.
The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 10 partially meet the criteria for materials including instruction of the grammar and conventions/language standards for grade level as applied in increasingly sophisticated contexts, with opportunities for application context.
The materials present tables in the initial overview of each unit and sub-sections outlining the alignment to Common Core State Standards. The materials are focused on select standards for the reading, writing, and speaking and listening standards and do not state a direct alignment to the language standards. However, the materials do provide opportunities for students to demonstrate some, but not all, language standards. This occurs in the form of reading and demonstrating understanding of the text and intentions of word choices by the authors. The provided rubrics direct students and teachers to expect standard English language conventions and punctuation to be demonstrated in writing assignments. However, the materials are not as specific for these expectations as specified by the Common Core State Standards for language conventions. The materials do not clearly provide opportunities for students to practice all language and grammar expectations outlined by national college-and-career readiness standards.
Materials promote and build students’ ability to apply conventions and other aspects of language within their own writing. Instructional materials provide opportunities for students to grow their fluency language standards through practice and application. Materials do not include explicit instruction of all grammar and conventions standards for Grade 10, and the instructional materials do not include Conventions of Standard English, Knowledge of Language, or Vocabulary Acquisition and Use as specific CCSS Anchor Standards Targeted in Developing Core Literacy Proficiencies Units.
Evidence to support this rationale are as follows:
- In the teacher’s edition, the Alignment of Targeted CCSS with Odell Education Skills and Habits in Grade 10 materials, includes “the anchor Common Core State Standards that are targeted within the five Developing Core Literacy Proficiencies units and indicates the Literacy Skills and Academic Habits that are derived from or are the components of those standards” (xxx). Using Language and/or Using Conventions is tied to writing standards W.3, W.4, and W.5. CCSS for language are not listed as targeted specifically in Developing Core Literacy Proficiencies Units.
- In Unit 1, Part 1, Activity 1, the Instructional Notes include the following: “Discuss the four domains in which we often examine texts: Language, Ideas, Perspective, and Structure. This organization for questions (which can be referred to with the acronym LIPS) can be used to help students focus on specific aspects of any text they are reading and also to see the relationships among the domains, as when, for example, language is a key to understanding perspective” (12). Students are asked to identify words or phrases that stand out and how those specific words or phrases affect the meaning or tone of the text.
- In Unit 1, Part 4, Activity 4, teacher modeling takes place using a short teacher or student paragraph to model the criterion-based writing and review process. In the Instructional Notes, the teacher is asked to “model how to analyze the written explanation using one or two of the Literacy Skills descriptors (criteria) from the informal Student RC Literacy Skills and Discussion Habits Checklist (in the RC Literacy Toolbox and student edition). The Literacy Skills addressed are as follows: Attending to Details, Summarizing, Identifying Relationships, Recognizing Perspective, and Using Evidence. There is no explicit instruction and notes to ensure students practice and eventually demonstrate command of standards of English grammar and usage when writing or speaking as required by the CCSS at Grade 10. The teacher can use the students’ writing to assess their use of “precise language and domain-specific vocabulary to manage the complexity of a topic” as included in W.9-10.2 and suggested as a summative assessment opportunity.
- Unit 2, Part 1, Activity 4, is focused on a class discussion over paragraphs 1-5 guided by the completed Questioning Path Tool from the previous activity. The Questioning Path Tool includes questions regarding the use of language and this aligns with national standards expectations. For example, questions 5 states, “In paragraphs 2 and 3, what language and details does Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. use to describe and characterize the state of the civil rights movement at the time of his speech?” The teacher edition provides detailed guidance for each question for teachers to use when observing and facilitating discussions. The guidance provided for this question suggests the analyzed anchor text sets students up to “interpret” the sentences and find “descriptive details” used by King. This question and its intended learning outcomes as described by the materials aligns well with national standards for Vocabulary Acquisition and Use, such context--”the overall meaning of a sentence, paragraph, or text” and “checking the inferred meaning.” Additionally, the materials suggest students should also note the imagery depicting the “two sides...those for equal rights and those for segregation.” This is depicted in the text implicitly and requires students to closely analyze the “nuances of meaning” as is an expectation of the national standards. Alignment to national expectations for language use and analysis is present. The materials do not explicitly provide alignment to any language standard, but explicit alignment is provided for other standards in the opening of the unit.
- In Unit 3, Part 5: Summative Assessment, the student work will include a final written EBC (Evidence-based Claim) interpretive essay. The teacher’s edition includes a Making Evidence-Based Claims Literacy Skills Rubric to assess the following criteria: Reading Skills Criteria, Thinking Skills Criteria, Writing Skills Criteria, and Essay Content Criteria. The CCSS for Grade 10 to assess students’ ability to use conventions is included in the rubric, relating specifically to “effective sentence structure, grammar, punctuation, and spelling to communicate ideas” (348). Materials promote and build students’ ability to apply conventions and other aspects of language within their own writing.
- In Unit 4, Part 5, Activity 2, students write a reflective narrative about their research experience and outcomes. Like the previous units, the materials do not provide an explicit alignment to national expectations or standards for grammar and language skills. However, the materials provide explicit guidance for teachers to evaluate the skills and habits intended to be demonstrated in the students’ reflective research narratives. Among these habits and skills is the expectation to “Use research concepts and terms” in their final draft and during class discussion. This aligns to the national standards expectation to “use accurately general academic and domain-specific words” and “demonstrate independence in gathering vocabulary knowledge” through the research process sequenced in this unit.
- In Unit 5, students create a research portfolio and write a reflective research narrative. When completing a final writing task, students are asked to “Use a clear narrative structure to sequence sentences and paragraphs to present a coherent explanation of the perspective” and “Use an informal narrative voice (first person) and effective words and phrases to communicate and connect ideas.” Students are not asked to demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English grammar and usage when writing specifically during the writing process. Instructional materials do include that students can “complete any additional drafts and peer reviews of your paper as instructed.” The Researching to Deepen Understanding Literacy Skills and Academic Habits Rubric is included in the teacher’s edition to assess the following: Reading Skills, Research Process Skills and Habits, Evidence-Based Writing, and Final Assignment Criteria. The rubric does not include an assessment of students’ ability to use conventions as included in the CCSS for Grade 10. The rubric does include an opportunity to assess whether the student “Selects and combines words that precisely communicate ideas, generate appropriate tone, and evoke intended responses from an audience” (483).
Building Knowledge with Texts, Vocabulary, and Tasks
The instructional materials meet the expectations of Gateway 2. Texts and tasks are organized around topics and themes that support students' acquisition of academic vocabulary. Comprehension of topics and concepts grow through text-connected writing and research instruction. The vocabulary and independent reading plans may need additional support to engage students over a whole school year.
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The instructional materials meet the expectations of the building knowledge criteria. Texts and tasks are organized around topics and themes that support students' growing academic vocabulary and understanding and comprehension of topics and concepts. The materials partially support a comprehensive vocabulary plan and independent reading plan over the course of the year. The materials include cohesive writing and research instruction that is interconnected with texts to grow students' literacy skills by the end of the school year.
Texts are organized around a topic/topics or themes to build students' knowledge and their ability to comprehend and analyze complex texts proficiently.
The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 10 meet the criteria that texts are organized around a topic(s) or themes to build students’ knowledge and their ability to read and comprehend complex texts proficiently. The materials are structured to build on to Literacy Skills and Academic Habits which provide students practice in learning to read closely a variety of high-quality and challenging literary and informational texts over the course of a school year. This cycle begins with close reading for details, transitions into using this skill to analyze supporting details for research essays, and culminates into reading for details to support opposing sides of an argument in the final unit. The texts are chosen to specifically address the skills and each unit organizes anchor texts around a topical focus.
The materials provide five units with a different topical focus and appropriately aligned texts for each. Within each unit, students work toward independence in their work and using texts to complete increasingly complex tasks. Evidence that the materials meet the criteria are as follows:
- In the Unit 1 Overview, the materials include information in the teacher’s edition relating to Topic and Texts. The Grade 10 materials in Unit 1 specifically include a series of texts for students to read closely for textual details relating to World War I. The series of texts includes “a range of texts including personal narratives, history websites, and poems. Students also read speeches by American President Woodrow Wilson and British Prime Minister Lloyd George” (2). In Unit 1, Part 1, Activity 3, students read closely for details utilizing guiding questions included in the Questioning Path Tool for textual details with the text, Kings, Queens and Pawns: An American Woman at the Front, by Mary Roberts Rinehart. The tool includes both text-dependent and text-specific questions as well as an opportunity to pose their own questions, such as “What was Rinehart’s overall impression of the war?” (18). The materials and texts scaffold students to reading more complex texts independently.
- Unit 2, Part 3, Activity 1 provides a compare and contrast between the two anchor texts read and analyzed in the unit. The texts are Nobel Peace Prize recipient speeches by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and President Barack Obama. The materials explicitly state that the speeches touch on similar themes addressed with different styles and perspectives. Dr. King addresses the theme of peace by discussing the Civil Rights Movement and nonviolence. President Obama addresses the theme of peace by referencing American history and supporting the “necessity of war.”
- The topical focus for Unit 4 is the impact of technology on society. The materials provide text sets to be used as Common Source Sets for teachers to model the inquiry-based research process. The material’s use of Common Source Sets provides students and teachers appropriate guidance when moving into independent research tasks. Teachers and students can peer- and self-assess more accurately if common sources are being evaluated. The materials also state that other texts can be incorporated into the unit and provides a vetting process through the Assessing Sources Tool and Potential Sources Tool to maintain consistency with the topical focus.
- The Unit 5 Overview includes information in the teacher’s edition relating to Topic and Texts. The Grade 10 materials in Unit 5 include text sets that “focus on the governance of upholding the Fourth Amendment and more specifically on the issues and controversies."
Materials contain sets of coherently sequenced higher order thinking questions and tasks that require students to analyze the language (words/phrases), key ideas, details, craft, and structure of individual texts in order to make meaning and build understanding of texts and topics.
The materials reviewed for Grade 10 meet the criteria that materials contain sets of coherently sequenced higher order thinking questions and tasks that require students to analyze the language (words/phrases), key ideas, details, craft, and structure of individual texts in order to make meaning and build understanding of texts and topics. The materials recursively use inquiry-based tools and habits to analyze texts, outline writing tasks, and self- and peer-assess writing. Questions and tasks are consistently presented in a way to inform the next step of the process to culminate in a final essay for each unit. For example, students continue to utilize similar questioning techniques introduced in Unit 2 to incorporate into the research process on which Unit 4 focuses. The questions help students increase and clarify their understanding of concepts within and between texts. In the evidence documented, students applied the inquiry process during multiple activities to analyze and understand language, ideas, and the details informing such concepts. Inquiry was also used for students to plan and understand the expectations of craft and structure for their individual culminating writing task.
By the end of Grade 10, most items are embedded in students’ work rather than taught directly, increasing student independence. Finally, the questions and tasks will assist students to make meaning and build an understanding of texts and topics. Evidence that supports this rationale:
- In Unit 1, Part 1, Activity 3, students read closely for details relating to Text 2, Kings, Queens, and Pawns: An American Woman at the Front, by Mary Roberts Rinehart. Text-dependent questions are included to assist students in analyzing key ideas and details, such as the following:
- How are key ideas, events, places, or characters described?
- What do the author’s words and phrases cause me to see, feel, or think?
- What details or words suggest the author’s perspective?
- What seems to be the author’s (narrator’s) attitude or point of view? (18).
- In Unit 2, Part 3, Activity 1, students independently utilize the close reading skills modeled and practiced in preceding activities with the guidance of the Questioning Path Tool. Students independently close read a portion of the second anchor text and respond to the questions about ideas, perspective and then consider the language choices. Questions are designed to move student analysis from concrete details to more deeply embedded ideas. The question responses are also intended to provide evidence to fulfill the demands of follow-up tasks in this activity and future units. This is evident in the questions that contain multiple parts. For example, question 8 contains four sub-questions sequenced with the intention for students to analyze President Obama’s claims and make a comparison to the previously analyzed text. By the end of this activity, students demonstrate their understanding by using their analysis of language, ideas, and perspective to record connections between the evidence and claims presented in the speech.
- In Unit 3, Part 3, Activity 1, students read lines 1-47 independently in Robert Frost’s “Home Burial” and analyze both the language and the poem’s structure using the Questioning Path Tool. Examples of questions to assist students in analysis are as follows:
- How does context define or change the meaning of key words in the text? [L]
- What words and phrases are used to represent something else such as an idea or character?
- What do I notice about how the poem’s lines are organized and developed? [S]
- What is the poem’s meter?
- How does the poem’s rhythm and meter affect how it is read?
- How does the structure bring out or stress specific language?
In addition, students have the opportunity to develop an initial EBC independently before moving into a comparison of those EBCs with partners during Activity 2 and modeling by the teacher during Activity 3 (290-291).
- In Unit 4, Part 5, Activity 2, students develop a “multipage reflective research narrative” utilizing evidence and work from their research portfolios. Over the course of the unit, students are “recording not only what they find but also what they did to find it” to inform their narrative. At this point, students are analyzing and crafting the structure of their writing with guidance from the activity. The materials include explicit expectations to be addressed in the writing and a series of questions to guide students in organization and development. The questions begin by addressing the impression of the topic and the sequence taken by students to study it. The questions conclude by addressing whether or not the students’ perspective changed and students reflect on the research process, including points of struggle and success. The materials intend for the responses to the questions to culminate into a draft basis for their essay. This sequence of inquiry allows students to clarify understanding of their topic and build understanding of the expectations for the culminating research product.
- In Unit 5, Part 2, Activity 5, students delineate and compare arguments utilizing Texts 4.2 and 4.3. Text 4.2 is a Letter to Attorney General Eric Holder by Representative James Sensenbrenner. Text Notes suggest, “As a part of their reading, students might compare the authors’ backgrounds and relationship to the issue prior to or while reading these texts. Either or both can provide an interesting text for students to use in analyzing and comparing perspectives” (537). The Questioning Path Tool will assist students to deepen their understanding of the text by posting the following questions:
- "According to Sensenbrenner, what are the 'implications' of the government’s interpretation of Section 215?
- How does Sensenbrenner’s use of the word apparently in the last sentence of paragraph 4 help you understand his position?
- How does Sensenbrenner use logic to come to his opinion?"
Students are also presented with the opportunity to extend and pose their own questions. An example of one such question is the following: "What evidence does this text provide that builds my understanding or perspective of the issue of government surveillance and personal privacy?" (539).
Materials contain a coherently sequenced set of text-dependent and text-specific questions and tasks that require students to build knowledge and integrate ideas across both individual and multiple texts.
The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 10 meet the criteria that materials contain a coherently sequenced set of text-dependent and text-specific questions and tasks that require students to build knowledge and integrate ideas across both individual and multiple texts.
The materials are designed with a formulaic, inquiry-based approach centered around the included texts and this can be applied to texts not included in the materials. Every task begins with a question or set of questions to guide reflective thinking and discussion about a topic that is connected to the texts. Questions move from general, broad sharing to text-centered to text-specific in order to guide students’ thinking and develop extended written essays to demonstrate understanding. The inquiry process is guided by multiple handouts and documents included in the Literacy Toolbox. Although the basis for each remains consistent throughout each unit: the Questioning Path Tool is used in every unit. Tools are adjusted to meet the increase in complexity of tasks and texts: the Evidence-based Claims Tool is adjusted for students to format their original EBCs through writing. In addition, the materials provide guidance to teachers in supporting students’ literacy skills. By the end of Grade 10, integrated knowledge and ideas are embedded in students’ work. Finally, the questions and tasks included in the instructional materials provide opportunities to analyze across multiple texts as well as within single texts. Evidence that supports this rationale:
- In Unit 1, Part 1, Activity 2, students approach Images of World War I by focusing on ideas and supporting details; students utilize a Questioning Path Tool to allow students the opportunity to investigate the text and guide students’ analysis, such as the following text-dependent questions:
- "What details stand out to me as I examine this collection of images?
- What do I think these images are mainly about?
- How do specific details help me understand what is begin depicted in the images?" (14).
Instructional Notes are provided to assist teachers in supporting students’ literacy skills. Teachers are asked to “Lead a discussion on what the groups noticed about the images and the questions they had. Introduce them to text-specific questions for each image set...Discuss how these questions are text specific and do the following: Emerge from looking closely at the image; Prompt a reader to look for more details; Lead to a greater understanding of the image” (15). Examples of text-specific questions the teachers will introduce are as follows: "What do I notice about the conditions of the men and their surroundings? What sort of men do they appear to be?" (14).
- Unit 2, Part 5, Activity 1 begins a culminating task of students reviewing both texts analyzed over the course of this unit to inform a class discussion. The unit focuses on texts that model the development of a global EBC. Students draw from the now completed previous tasks of analyzing the two texts using guidance documents from the Literary Tools. To lead the discussion, the materials direct students to reread two excerpts from the speeches and use this analysis as a comparative “backdrop” to setup discussion. The materials encourage sharing to start with open-ended, broad observations to allow the integration of multiple perspectives and then become more text-centered with the question, “What evidence can you point to in the text(s) that is the basis for and supports your observation?” Follow-up questions intentionally provide the opportunity for students to compare and analyze literary elements present between the two texts. The questions are very explicit in this goal; one such question (“How does the author’s perspective and presentation of the text compare to the other?”) requires students to incorporate details from both texts and some elaboration beyond a single sentence response.
- In Unit 3, the Making Evidence-Based Claims About Literary Technique, the Unit Overview section in the Teacher’s Edition shares the following: “This unit extends students’ abilities to make evidence-based claims into the realm of literary analysis. The unit explicitly focuses on teaching students to attend to the ways authors use literary techniques to shape textual meaning and reader experience” (256). The questions and task included in each activity of Unit 3 build to the culminating task included in the Literacy Toolbox; students will develop and write an EBC and write a final multi-paragraph Global Evidence-Based Claims Essay relating to the reading they have completed. The notes provided circle back to the goals introduced at the beginning of the unit, explaining, “In this unit, you have been developing your skills as a reader who can make text-based claims about literary techniques and prove them with evidence from the text” (335) The specific skills students have practiced throughout the unit are included and the instructional materials share that the final writing assignments will require students “to use all of these related skills and to demonstrate your proficiency and growth in making evidence-based claims about literary technique” (335).
- In Unit 4, Part 3, Activity 3, students use their original Inquiry Questions to analyze research sources. This activity incorporates skills developed in the previous units and adjusts each for research work. In order to appropriately sequence the research process, the materials provide common source texts to model thinking and inquiry associated with research analysis. The Literacy Tools provided in the materials are flexible for students to incorporate with other sources and remain text-centered. This process is guided by the Forming Evidence-Based Claims Research Tool. It is designed to be driven by an overarching Inquiry Question, developed after students explore topics and the provided source sets in previous activities, and guided by the text-centered Questioning Path Tool and Guiding Questions first introduced in Unit 1. The Tool provides guidance for analyzing resources by looking for key details based on words or phrases, then interrelated ideas or concepts between the sources, and summarizes the work by tasking students to develop a “conclusion” or “claim” that can be supported by evidence from the texts.
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 instructional materials reviewed for Grade 10 meet the criteria that the questions and tasks support students’ ability to complete culminating tasks in which they demonstrate their knowledge of a topic through integrated skills (e.g. combination of reading, writing, speaking, listening).
The instructional materials are designed from grade-to-grade with the same goals and intended outcomes based on standards for college-and-career readiness addressed at the onset of each unit. The materials state that the units do not necessarily require a linear following, but the skills between units do build upon each other and lead to culminating tasks within the unit and across the overall curriculum. For example, Unit 1 is focused on the development of students’ abilities to close read for details. This Academic Skill is honed further in each succeeding unit to accomplish specific culminating tasks. In Unit 3, students close read for evidence-based claims (EBCs) and imitate it in their own writing. In Unit 5, students add another final layer by close reading for EBCs and then incorporating this as support for an argument. Speaking and listening is also prevalent in each unit as a way for students to demonstrate knowledge of the topics in the materials. It is frequently used for class discussions about the findings from close readings and is an essential stage in the collaborative writing process fostered by the materials.
Questions and tasks provide the teacher with usable information about the students’ readiness to complete the culminating tasks. The culminating tasks are multifaceted, requiring students to demonstrate mastery of several different standards at Grade 10; in addition, these culminating tasks provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate comprehension and knowledge of a topic through integrated skills and throughout the course of each unit. Evidence to support that the materials meet the criteria include:
- In Unit 1, Part 5, the Summative Assessment Opportunities section focuses on explanation and discussion-based culminating tasks. In Unit 1, Part 5, Activity 3, the main culminating task is a student-led, text-centered discussion. Unit 1, Part 4 includes prerequisite Activities leading up to this task including the development of a final multi-paragraph explanation of a text. The essays are used to guide the text-centered discussion during the culminating task and provide an opportunity for students to self- and peer-assess writing and ideas. This culminating task is designed for students to develop and demonstrate close reading, analysis, and inquiry Academic Habits and Skills that will build upon each other in later units. The Academic Habits and Skills promoted by the materials are sequenced in separate Parts of the Unit. Unit 1, Part 1 models close reading with the guidance of the Questioning Path Tool and this is further developed in succeeding Parts. In Unit 1, Part 2, students develop inquiry skills and work independently with the Questioning Path Tool. In Unit 1, Part 3, the Activities incorporate more discussion and task students to “work in pairs to discuss, annotate new information” with new, increasingly complex texts.
- In Unit 2, the Making Evidence-Based Claims Developing Core Proficiencies Literacy Toolbox asks students to demonstrate skills they have been practicing throughout the unit “to make text-based claims and prove them with evidence from the text” (237). The final culminating tasks require students to complete the following: 1) Developing and Writing an EBC and 2) Writing and Revising a Global or Comparative EBC Essay. The skills students are expected to demonstrate include the following:
- Attend to Details
- Interpret Language
- Identify Relationships
- Recognize Perspective
- Make Inferences
- Form a Claim
- Use Evidence
- Present Details
- Organize Ideas
- Use Language
- Use Conventions
Finally, teachers can provide an opportunity for students “to reflect on how well you have used and developed the following habits of text-centered discussion when you worked with others to understand the texts and improve your writing” (239). The learning sequence of Unit 2 moves from “teacher modeling to guided practice to independent application. The Literacy Skills that are targeted and the Academic Habits that are developed are assumed to be in early stages of development for many students, and thus extensive scaffolding is provided” (149). Students are provided with guiding questions in the Questioning Path Tool to assist in deepening understanding regarding the texts, and teachers can use the Deepening questions for class discussion to ensure student understanding of the text. For example, students read President Barack Obama’s Nobel Lecture and answer text-specific questions, such as the following:
- “What claim about ‘our actions’ does Obama make in paragraph 2, and how might you paraphrase that claim?
- How does the additional claim that precedes this statement—about ‘all the cruelty and hardships of the world’ and ‘fate’—relate to Obama’s claim about our actions?
- What details and examples from history does Obama include in paragraphs 4-6 to elaborate and support his opening claims?” (182).
The questions and tasks students complete throughout Unit 2 allow them to practice skills that will be required when completing the final culminating task. Teachers can utilize the questions, instructional notes, and organizers provided to ensure students are progressing in their skills to produce an EBC.
- Unit 3 builds students’ skills in reading and writing EBCs about literary technique. The culminating tasks for the unit include the development of an evidence-based essay and follow-up class discussion about literary techniques analyzed in the anchor texts. Leading up to these culminating tasks, students use similar approaches to reading, writing, and discussion as in previous units. The materials sequence modelings and tasks for skills to build on to the next with the intention of incorporating the entire skill set in the culminating task. In Unit 3, Part 1, Activity 2, students close read with the guidance of the now familiar Questioning Path Tool. The Questioning Path Tool is now focused on close reading through an inquiry-based approach for EBCs about literary techniques. This provides the opportunity for students to develop and demonstrate a knowledge of EBCs through independent reading and focusing on the first five questions or first three levels of inquiry within the Questioning Path Tool. Unit 3, Part 1, Activity 3 integrates speaking and listening expectations as students and the teacher share their responses to increasingly complex questions in the Deepening section of the Questioning Path Tool. In Unit 3, Part 5, the Summative Assessment integrates the completed evidence-based written essay and a class discussion into a cumulative assessment.
- Unit 4 states, “the instructional focus of this unit is on building student proficiency in a process for conducting research, developing and refining Inquiry Questions; finding, assessing, analyzing, and synthesizing multiple sources to answer those questions; and organizing and using evidence from those sources to explain understanding in ways that avoid plagiarism” (360). As the culminating task, students create a research portfolio to demonstrate skills practiced throughout the unit and aligned with CCSS for ELA and Literacy. For example, W.9-10.7: Conduct short as well as more sustained research projects to answer a question...; W.9-10.8: Gather relevant information from multiple authoritative print and digital sources, using advanced searches effectively…; W.9-10.9: Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research. (360). Throughout Unit 4, students are provided with guiding questions and tasks to assist them in practicing skills to be successful with the culminating task. For example, in Unit 4, Part 2, Activity 2, guiding questions are provided for the teachers to frame the discussion relating to Source 2:
- "What ideas stand out to me as significant or interesting?
- How do the text’s main ideas relate to what I already know, think, or have read?
- What more have we learned about the topic that might move us forward in our research?
- What have we learned about using questions to frame our independent reading of possible sources?
- How does the type of question we consider influence how we read and what we find in a source?" (374)
- Unit 5’s culminating assessment is a final written argumentative essay. The materials integrate speaking and listening as a phase in the writing process and incorporate this phase as an Academic Habit starting in Unit 5, Part 5, Activity 1 and continuing through to the end of the unit. The discussion phase, referred to as a multistage collaborative review and revision process, sequences the assessment of various requirements for the final essay. Activity 2 focuses on the ideas and information contained in written drafts. Activity 3 focuses on Organization. Activity 4 focuses on the use of textual evidence as support for a student’s argument.
Materials include a cohesive, consistent approach for students to regularly interact with word relationships and build academic vocabulary/ language in context.
The materials for Grade 10 partially 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. While the curriculum provides opportunities for students to expand their vocabulary through various activities and focuses on academic skills such as making inferences and using evidence, the curriculum does not provide teacher guidance outlining a cohesive, yearlong vocabulary development component.
The materials do not provide teacher guidance outlining a cohesive, year-long vocabulary development component. The curriculum states, “Although leaving many decisions about the teaching of vocabulary to the teacher, the program provides opportunities for students to increase their vocabulary in areas related to specific content and fundamental to overall literacy” (xxxiii).
- The sole text for Unit 2 is the first chapter of W.E.B Du Bois’s The Souls of Black Folk, entitled “On Our Spiritual Strivings.” The curriculum provides the text; it also identifies and defines unfamiliar vocabulary. In Unit 2, Part 2, Activity 2, the curriculum provides vocabulary instruction via questions such as “What words or phrases stand out to me as powerful and important?” and “What visual metaphors does Du Bois use to further describe the differences he feels between his world and the “other world?” (148).
- In Unit 2, Part 2, Activity 2, students are asked to consider the following question: “At the end of paragraph 7, King invokes the ‘altars of God’ and quotes from the Bible. What do these and other references and overtones tell us about King and his perspective?” (171). Following the independent reading, as the teacher guides students through the discussion, the Text Notes provided include asking students to “look through the speech for other words and phrases with a religious or moral tone” (173). These can include the following: Psalm of Brotherhood, hell, reign supreme, altars, redemptive, We Shall Overcome, and faith. The text provided in the teacher materials glosses some vocabulary that would be important for students in order to comprehend the text, such as “redemptive: having the quality of making (something that is bad, unpleasant, etc.) better or more acceptable” (221). Not all the words and phrases included during the teacher-led discussion are glossed. However, there is an instance when the vocabulary word “redemptive” is repeated in various contexts, such as the teacher-guided discussion and glossed in the text during the reading.
- Unit 3, Part 1, Activity 1 introduces the unit, noting that it will focus on close reading for literary devices and elements such as symbolism, poetic devices, and narration. The Questioning Path Tool is set up with the same questions regarding Language from the Guiding Questions Tool: identify words that “stand out to me as powerful or important” and questions about descriptive word choices. In Unit 3, Part 5, Activity 4, a culminating writing task for students includes an analysis of the effects of a technique used by the author Robert Frost. According to the materials, Language study is integrated in the sense that students paraphrase or quote from the text to support their claim or “Write clearly so others can understand your claim and supporting ideas.” The inclusion of analyzing poetic techniques (i.e. symbolism and imagery) presents an opportunity for building figurative language in context.
- In Unit 4, in the Researching to Deepen Understanding Developing Core Literacy Proficiencies Literacy Toolbox, when students use the Peer Evaluation of Research Handout, they are asked to “Work in small groups to evaluate each other’s research.” When the student presents his or her work, an explanation of their analysis of the sources they are presented is expected; thus, the students’ understanding of the academic vocabulary learned previously (accessibility, interest, credibility, relevance, and richness) can be utilized to substantiate their claims, and “Explain to your peers your annotations, notes, and EBCs about these sources.” However, there is no specific guidance or requirement asking students to incorporate these academic vocabulary words when presenting and speaking about the two key sources with their peers (477). However, when students use the Handout Part 3 Revising Research, they utilize Guiding Questions that include one question with the Academic Vocabulary Word, “credibility” specifically: “Are there sources lacking in credibility that I need to replace?” Therefore, opportunities are present for students to learn, practice, and apply specific academic vocabulary words during their research and writing process.
- Unit 5, Part 5, Activity 5 provides students with the opportunity to revise their multi-paragraph, evidence-based argumentative essay. The materials again focus on Language as a matter of clarity when revising. The materials do not include direct alignment with national expectations for Language and Vocabulary. The materials do include the expectation for students to demonstrate proficiency in Language Conventions. The materials state, “use sentence elements, punctuation, and spelling…”, which is an aspect of the national expectations. The materials do not provide direct instruction or guidance for these elements, but rather state them as an Academic Habit to be demonstrated.
Materials contain a year long, cohesive plan of writing instruction and practice which support students in building and communicating substantive understanding of topics and texts.
The materials reviewed for Grade 10 meet the criteria that materials contain a yearlong, cohesive plan of writing instruction and tasks which support students in building and communicating substantive understanding of topics and texts.
Within every unit, students practice text-centered and evidence-based writing and speaking and listening from sources. The mode of writing they practice, the process they use, and the independence given varies based on the focus of the unit and where the unit is placed in the year. Students use graphic organizers to develop short sentences and paragraphs that communicate their thinking as they read texts. Students write formal paragraphs and short expository essays. Students then break claims into component premises and develop arguments. By the end of the year, students plan, write, and publish evidence-based, thesis-driven academic arguments, making the case for a position related to texts and their content.
The collaboration workshop is a question-based approach for developing writing. Students work through a process that is collaborative, question-based, and criteria-driven. Students are taught to think of essays as a process rather than a product and that conversation, contemplation, consideration, and revision are part of the process.
The following learning principles are used to facilitate student writing development:
- Independence: Students are encouraged to be reflective and develop their own writing process rather than following the writing process in a rote and mechanical way.
- Collaboration: Students are encouraged to seek and use constructive feedback from others.
- Clear Criteria: Criteria is provided to describe the essential characteristics of a desired writing product.
- Guiding Questions: Students are expected to use guiding and text-based questions to promote close reading and developing their drafts.
- Evidence: Students use and integrate evidence through references, quotations, or paraphrasing.
Each writing activity includes a teacher demonstration lesson and class time is dedicated for students to freewrite, experiment, draft, revise, and edit their writings. Students engage in discussions surrounding their writings and ask and answer questions about their writing choices, including the textual evidence used to support a claim. Students are also given multiple opportunities to read aloud and share their writings throughout the process to receive feedback. The writing process moves through an increasingly focused sequence of activities, such as getting started, thinking, organization, evidence, connecting ideas, expression, final editing, and publication.
In Grade 10 the yearlong plan of writing instruction builds from Unit 1 where students are writing a text-based explanation focused on the topic of World War I to Unit 3 where students write an evidence-based claims essay based on Emily Dickinson’s “Because I could not stop for Death” and Robert Frost’s “Home Burial.” Unit 5 ends the year with an evidence-based argumentative essay focused on the governance of upholding the Fourth Amendment.
Materials include a progression of focused, shared research and writing projects to encourage students to develop and synthesize knowledge and understanding of a topic using texts and other source materials.
The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 10 meet the criteria that materials include a progression of focused, shared research and writing projects to encourage students to synthesize knowledge and understanding of a topic using texts and other source materials.
Students are provided multiple opportunities to recursively use elements necessary to conduct research and synthesize information in speaking and listening activities and writing. For example, students close read and evaluate sources to the purpose of a task and identify details that will support a summative writing task in each unit. Each step is facilitated by the Literacy Tools resources used repeatedly in each unit. The processes are intentionally designed for students to also incorporate texts not included in the instructional materials. At points, the included texts are intended only for modeling purposes and the materials provide the opportunity for students to independently use the Habits in outside texts.
Teacher guidance is provided to assist in employing projects that develop students’ knowledge of different aspects around a topic. Students are provided opportunities to apply reading, writing, speaking, listening, and language skills to synthesize and analyze multiple texts and source materials about a topic. The instructional materials provide resources for student research to aid instruction, and projects are varied throughout the course of the year.
In Unit 1, Part 3, Activity 3, students work in groups to compare multiple texts and to independently synthesize their understanding into an explanatory essay. The materials provide guidance documents for students to individually analyze separate texts in previous units’ activities. Students use these completed notes to discuss the two texts guided by text-specific, comparative questions from the material’s Questioning Path Tool. The materials provide the Analyzing Details Tool at this point for students to record their responses during discussion and prepare to write. The materials outline expectations for the students’ writing using the following paraphrased framework:
- an introduction sentence addressing a comparative question, an analysis of the first text,
- an analysis of the second text,
- and an analysis of a connection made between the two texts.
The comparative question can be taken from the provided Questioning Path Tool or a student-generated, text-specific question. The materials note that responses should also include textual evidence to support explanations. The writing follows up with an additional opportunity for students to engage in listening and speaking by having students read and receive feedback for their writing in small groups.
In Unit 2, Making Evidence-Based Claims: “An Audacious Faith in the Future of Mankind,” students read two texts, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s 1964 acceptance speech, and President Barack Obama’s 2009 Nobel Lecture. Throughout the unit, students are provided an opportunity to write EBCs after modeling by the teacher and engage in a class discussion relating to their final EBC essays. The Instructional Notes and the Questioning Path Tool provide guidance to consider the speaker’s use of language and how those words can reveal the purpose and perspective.
In Unit 3, Part 5, Activity 4, students independently draft their summative essays to demonstrate their proficiency of the targeted Literacy Skills for this unit. These skills include Using Evidence, Presenting Details, and Organizing Ideas, elements necessary for synthesizing information into research and writing work. At this point, students will have analyzed an author’s literary techniques and developed an EBC. This summative assessment is intended to “demonstrate an accurate reading...of the text” and the materials refer to previously completed Writing EBCs Handout for support during the independent writing phase. There is also the Student Making EBC Literacy Skills Checklist provided as an additional resource to guide students’ writing. The work is synthesized using the Organizing EBCs Tool while students draft their final essay.
In Unit 4, Researching to Deepen Understanding: “Computer Technology: What is Its Impact on Society?”, students choose a topical area of interest to research, conduct a research process, compile a Research Portfolio, and communicate a researched perspective. In the Unit Overview, information is provided relating to Terms and Definitions Used in This Unit and include the following:
- Area of Investigation
- Inquiry Questions
- Inquiry Path
- Research Frame
- Research Plan
- Research Portfolio
In Activity 2, Instructional Notes are provided to assist students in progressing in their research skills, such as introducing inquiry questions, and then utilizing those inquiry questions when conducting pre-searches in Activity 3. Students are provided an opportunity to explore a topic independently and further guidance is provided to vet areas of investigation and review student progress. For example, in Unit 4, Part 1, Activity 4, “Schedule an in-class conference with each student individually...Begin each conference by introducing the Area Evaluation Checklist. Show students how this tool will guide the conversation. Explain the different criteria. Work through the checklist with the student, probing and discussing the area based on the criteria” (385).
In Unit 5, Part 1, Activity 2, students develop an understanding of an issue by close-reading a series of texts providing “multiple entry points” that the students will synthesize into a textual evidence-based argumentative essay. The materials provide three texts total, and the teacher models the close reading process with one and directs students to jigsaw the remaining. However, the materials also state that “all students should not be required to read all texts.” For this activity, the provided texts serve as a model and the teacher or students may substitute texts with “similar background” for independent analysis. After close reading, students practice speaking and listening skills by discussing each text’s “relationship to the unit’s problem-based question” to facilitate synthesis that builds to writing claims. Student writing in this activity provides the opportunity to synthesize their understanding of the issue after analyzing multiple perspectives and develop an original claim “that explains something they have learned about the issue.” It is noted that this is intended to be an explanatory claim and specifically not evaluative or argumentative. The development of this claim did require students to actively seek out and research additional texts from what was provided. Their evaluated sources are kept in a Student Portfolio and will be used later in the unit when independently writing their argumentative essay.
Materials provide a design, including accountability, for how students will regularly engage in a volume of independent reading either in or outside of class.
The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 10 partially 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. Students regularly engage in independent reading after the teacher models Academic Habits and processes guided by the materials. Independent reading, as noted in the evidence, includes opportunities for reading time outside of class and shorter periods of independent reading to provide an initial understanding or focused analysis of specific literary techniques. Students independently practice Literacy Skills while reading and analyzing texts. This includes a range of text types- visual-based texts to printed texts of multiple genres.
Students do read portions of text independently as close reading activities at various Lexile levels; however, there is no detailed schedule for independent reading in or outside of class time to occur, but general approximations for specific purposes. The majority of independent reading occurs during class. Student accountability occurs during class discussions and the materials provide an Academic Habits checklist to support the student and teacher during text-centered discussions. The materials provide Academic Habits checklists for students to self- and peer-assess during academic discussions following independent reading tasks, but the materials do not include direct guidance for students to track their progress and growth as independent readers. At times, the materials leave the option for outside of class independent reading to take place, but scheduling and tracking of this is left up to the discretion of the teacher. Evidence that supports this rationale is as follows:
- Unit 1, Part 3, Activity 4, provides students the opportunity to independently conduct an initial read of three texts. This initial reading procedure consists of students choosing from the provided guiding questions listed on the Questioning Path Tool to scaffold the type of close reading expected by the materials and proceeding lessons. The materials allow for this activity to be completed in class or to be assigned as homework based on the teacher’s discretion and students’ progress in previous reading tasks.
- In Unit 2, Part 3, Activity 2, students are provided a Questioning Path Tool during an independent reading of President Barack Obama’s Nobel Lecture, paragraphs 1-17 with questions to guide students in considering the author’s perspective, ideas, and the use of language. Examples of such questions are as follows:
- "What details or words suggest the author’s perspective?
- What claims do I find in the text?
- How does the author’s perspective influence his presentation of ideas and arguments?
- How might I summarize the main ideas of the text and the key supporting details?” (182).
Deepening questions are provided and in Activity 4, “As a class, students use text-specific questions to deepen their understanding of the text and produce a second evidence-based claim.” Text notes are provided for the teacher to guide students through the discussion of Deepening questions. For example, in relation to #7. What are the preconditions Obama present for the concept of a “just war”?, the materials share the following: “The ‘just war’ concept is important for Obama’s progressive view of human history as it ‘bends toward justice.’ Students should develop a clear sense of its meaning because ‘justice within violence’ is important for Obama, especially in the latter half of his speech, where he lays out some principles for global institutions” (187).
- In Unit 3, Part 1, Activity 2, independent reading is focused on specific stanzas of a poem to engage students and provide them with an initial understanding of the text. Students’ independent reading is scaffolded by the Approaching Texts Tool. This tool sets up the reader or students with initial details and reading purpose--Academic Habits the materials promote as essential for students’ independent reading. Students are held accountable for completing the reading in the proceeding Class Discussion activity. The materials provide teachers and students with guidelines for leading and participating in academic discussions in order to use this as a formative assessment opportunity.
- In Unit 4, the Unit Overview includes information relating to Source Search Locations. The instructional materials include a suggestion for students “to search for sources in a variety of ways, such as investigating the school library, visiting and observing sites and places related to the topic, using search engines such as Google and Bing, and researching within online databases such as EBSCO Host and Gale” (363). There is no proposed schedule or accountability system for independent reading outside of the academic setting. To reach grade level proficiency of the CCSS, a range of reading is necessary and a level of complexity. The Common Sources provided in the Researching to Deepen Understanding Unit do include a variety of Lexile Levels, and teachers can make decisions regarding which sources will be used for modeling and independent reading and exploration by the students.
- In Unit 5, Part 2, Activity 3, students read in order to recognize Delineating Arguments in the provided text. The independent reading procedure is scaffolded by general guiding questions such as the following example: ‘What claims do I find in the text?” Students move from independent reading to group analysis using the Delineating Arguments Tool. Prerequisite activities are provided to set a common language for analyzing and composing arguments. This is necessary for students when independently reading and analyzing arguments as they are also expected to demonstrate their understanding in discussions.
Instructional Supports and Usability Indicators
The materials provide a clear, useful, standards-aligned Teacher Edition, including information to bolster the teacher’s understanding of both the content and pedagogy. Additional information outlines the program’s instructional approaches, philosophy, and the research that undergirds the program.
The materials provide information for students about the program, but there are no information or protocols for communicating with families about the goals and structure of the program.
Routines and guidance within the program assist teachers in progress monitoring, though the connections between the assessments and the standards they are measuring is not clear. Sufficient guidance is provided for interpreting student performance, though specific strategies or guidance for remediation for students who are not proficient is not offered.
The materials do not outline a consistent plan for holding students accountable for independent reading. Student choice is often limited within the independent reading options.
Digital materials are web-based, compatible with multiple Internet browsers, “platform neutral”; they follow universal programming style and allow the use of tablets and mobile devices.
The included technology enhances student learning, including differentiation for the needs of all learners. The program does not provide technology for collaboration. The materials can be easily customized for local use.
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Materials are designed with great consideration for effective lesson structure, pacing, and are designed to be completed within a school year, including some flexibility for local academic goals and content. Ample review and practice resources are provided and all materials are clearly labeled and accompanied by documentation that delineates their alignment to the standards. The design of the materials is minimalistic (orange, black, and white color scheme) and may not be engaging for students.
Materials are well-designed (i.e., allows for ease of readability and are effectively organized for planning) and take into account effective lesson structure (e.g., introduction and lesson objectives, teacher modelling, student practice, closure) and short-term and long-term pacing.
The materials reviewed for Grade 10 meet the criteria that materials are well-designed and take into account effective lesson structure and pacing. Each unit is divided into five parts, and each part is divided into activities. Not only does each part within a unit build in complexity, the units also become more complex as the year progresses. This intentional design helps students develop necessary skills before advancing to the next activity or unit. Also, by dividing each part into activities, the instructional materials are able to provide a realistic estimated time frame for completion.
In Unit 1, the instructional materials provide an overview of the activities for Part 1:
- Introduction to the Unit
- Attending to Details
- Reading Closely for Details
- Attending to Details in Multimedia
- Independent Reading and Research
This lesson structure moves students from a teacher-direction introduction and guided analysis of text to an independent reading and research activity. The materials suggest that this Unit 1, Part 1 should take three to four days to complete.
In Unit 3, Part 3, the materials outline the following activities:
- Independent Reading and Forming EBCs
- Comparing EBCs
- Model the Organizing of EBCs
- Deepening Understanding
- Organizing EBCs in Pairs
- Class Discussion of Student EBCs
This lesson structure moves students through the process of developing and explaining EBCs by providing opportunities for independent reading with the support of teacher modeling and a cooperative feedback process. Unit 3, Part 3 should take two to three days to complete.
In Unit 5, the materials provide an overview of the activities for Part 3:
- Evaluating Arguments
- Developing a Perspective and Position
- Deepening Understanding
- Using Others’ Arguments to Support a Position
- Responding to Opposing Arguments
This lesson structure is designed to help students through the process of evaluating arguments and synthesizing information to establish their own positions which is a vital step in the research process as students prepare to write an evidence-based argumentative essay. The materials do not provide an estimated time of completion for Unit 5, Part 3.
The teacher and student can reasonably complete the content within a regular school year, and the pacing allows for maximum student understanding.
The materials reviewed for Grade 10 meet the criteria that the teacher and student can reasonably complete the content within a regular school year, and the pacing allows for maximum student understanding. The materials provide effective guidance and flexibility for teachers to address all the content and supplement with local academic goals and curricula. The materials address intertwined essential skills delineated in five units. Each unit focuses on a Core Proficiency for literacy that builds skills applicable beyond the English language arts classroom. The materials are vertically aligned by consistently addressing the same Core Proficiencies in five units in each proceeding grade. Evidence that supports this rationale is as follows:
- The materials consist of five units focused on four essential proficiencies that are designed to intertwine the building of knowledge. Each unit delineates standards-aligned Academic Habits into five parts with a varying amount of activities that range from 1 to 3 instructional days as determined by the teachers.
- The materials recursively focus on 20 essential Literacy Skills and 12 Academic Habits applied to text-centered analysis tasks in order to maximize student understanding of skills. Tasks include reading, writing, speaking, and listening.
- The materials bundle multiple standards and literacy skills into four Core Proficiencies. Each unit focuses on a different proficiency for students to master. The Core Proficiencies include: Reading Closely for Textual Details, Making Evidence-Based Claims, Researching to Deepen Understanding, and Building Evidence-Based Arguments.
- The materials provide guidance for structuring yearlong instruction and supplementing with local curricular content based on students’ needs as determined by the teacher.
- The materials are vertically aligned and follow the same formula and address the same Core Proficiencies from grade-to-grade with increasingly complex texts and opportunities for independent work.
The student resources include ample review and practice resources, clear directions, and explanation, and correct labeling of reference aids (e.g., visuals, maps, etc.).
The materials reviewed for Grade 10 meet the criteria that the student resources include ample review and practice resources, clear directions and explanation, and correct labeling of reference aids (eg. visuals, maps, etc.) Student materials include a variety of tools to practice the targeted skills in the instructional materials. The Reading Closely for Textual Details Literacy Toolbox includes, but is not limited to the following handouts: Reading Closely Graphic, Guiding Questions Handout, Attending to Details Handout, and Reading Closely Final Writing and Discussion Task Handout. In addition to the handouts, students are provided with a variety of tools to practice targeted Core Literacy Proficiency Skills, such as the Approaching the Text Tool, Analyzing Details Tool, Questioning Path Tool, and Model Questioning Paths. Checklists are provided to support peer- and self-review. Texts are included in the Student Edition and Additional Resources in the Topic Area are included in the Student Edition with guidance regarding where to locate online resources. Images are labeled appropriately. Evidence that supports this rationale is as follows:
- In Unit 1, nine texts are provided in the Student Edition. The first text is a series of six images of World War I. Each image is printed with a label on the right to identify the correct image for the students, such as the first image labeled “Department of National Defense, Library and Archives, Canada.” Additionally, there are four Extended Reading opportunities including the following:
- Willy-Nicky Telegrams, Telegrams between the German Kaiser Wilhelm II and the Russian Tsar Nicholas II
- “The Sentry” by Wilfred Owen, 1917
- "High Adventure: A Narrative of Air Fighting in France" by Captain James Norman Hall
- “Soldier’s Home” from In Our Time by Ernest Hemingway.
- In Unit 4, Additional Resources in the Topic Area are included in the Student Edition prior to the Literacy Toolbox. Some guidance is provided for students to access these resources. For example, “Why I Take Good Care of My Macintosh,” by Gary Snyder, is listed without a specific website; however, a search based on the title and author does produce the poem which is available on multiple sites. The other four additional resources do include a specific website for students to access.
- In Unit 5, Part 2, Analyzing Arguments, students are provided with Questioning Path Tools to assist them in approaching the text. Clear instructions are included directly on the Questioning Path Tool, including the following: “I determine my reading purposes and take note of key information about the text. I identify the LIPS domain(s) that will guide my initial reading.” Prompts are provided on the side to remind students to identify Purpose, Key Information, and LIPS domain(s).
Materials include publisher-produced alignment documentation of the standards addressed by specific questions, tasks, and assessment items.
The materials reviewed for Grade 10 meet the criteria that materials include publisher-produced alignment documentation of the standards addressed by specific questions, tasks, and assessment items. The materials include publisher-produced alignment documentation of both primary and supporting standards at the following levels: year, unit, and part. Both the Reading Closely: Guiding Questions Handout and the Questioning Path Tools, which are used extensively throughout the instructional materials, are aligned to specific reading and writing standards. Evidence that supports this rationale is as follows:
- In the Developing Core Literacy Proficiencies: User Guide, the materials provide an Alignment of Targeted CCSS with OE Skills and Habits chart. This chart provides the CCSS Anchor Standards and the aligned Literacy Skills and Academic Habits.
- For each Unit, the materials provide the CCSS alignment and divide the standards into primary targeted skills and related reading and writing skills from supporting CCSS. In addition, the instructional materials provide the targeted and supporting standards for each part of each unit.
- Throughout the materials, students use the Reading Closely: Guiding Questions Handout. This handout organizes questions into four areas: Language, Ideas, Perspective, and Structure. The language questions address Common Core State Standards R.4, L.3, L.4, and L.5. The ideas questions address Common Core State Standards R.2, W.3, R.8, R.9. The perspective questions address Common Core State Standard R.6. The structure questions address the Common Core State Standard R.5.
The visual design (whether in print or digital) is not distracting or chaotic, but supports students in engaging thoughtfully with the subject.
The materials reviewed for Grade 10 partially meet the criteria that the visual design (whether in print or digital) is not distracting or chaotic, but supports students in engaging thoughtfully with the subject. The visual design, while not distracting or chaotic, does not help students engage with the subject. Materials are printed in black and white with orange headings, very few graphics or pictures are provided, and the graphic organizers do not allow much room for student response. There is no color-coding to help convey structure and speed up visual searching. The materials are not visually engaging. Evidence that supports this rationale is as follows:
- In the Unit 1 materials, the only visuals provided serve as Text 1 and include black and white images from World War I; however, the materials do use a video from History Channel and the PBS website as Texts 3 and 4. As part of Unit 1’s Literacy Toolbox, students are provided a blank Reading Closely Graphic with a Guiding Questions Handout as a reference. Once students fill in the Reading Closely Graphic with questions, there is no room left to answer those questions.
- In the Unit 2 materials, no visuals are provided. In Unit 2, Part 3, Activity 1, students are provided a Questioning Path Tool for President Barack Obama’s Nobel Lecture. This tool provides nine questions; many questions have multiple subquestions. There is no room for students to take notes or answer questions.
- In the Unit 4 materials, no visuals are provided; however, the unit does provide a common course set that suggests texts such as videos and TED talks that are accessible on the Internet. This unit provides many tools that can be used during research. Unlike many other tools, the Taking Notes Tool allows ample room for students to organize information from sources and record personal comments.
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Materials support teacher learning and understanding of the Standards.
The materials provide a Teacher Edition with strong support, clear guidance, and abundant useful instructional notes. Advanced literary concepts are supported with additional information to bolster the teacher’s understanding of both the content and the pedagogy. The standards alignment within the materials is clearly delineated within unit overviews.Materials meet the criteria that materials contain a teacher’s edition that explains the role of the specific ELA/literacy standards in the context of the overall curriculum. The instructional approaches and program philosophy are described within the materials as well as the program’s focus on research-based strategies.The materials provide information for students about the program, but there are neither instruction nor protocols for communicating with families about the goals and structure of the program.
Materials contain a teacher's edition with ample and useful annotations and suggestions on how to present the content in the student edition and in the ancillary materials. Where applicable, materials include teacher guidance for the use of embedded technology to support and enhance student learning.
The materials reviewed for Grade 10 meet the criteria that materials contain a teacher’s edition with ample and useful annotations and suggestions on how to present the content in the student edition and in the ancillary materials. Where applicable, materials include teacher guidance for the use of embedded technology to support and enhance student learning. Because of the tool-based organization, the teacher’s edition includes ample and useful Instructional Notes which offer suggestions on how to present the content in the student edition and in the ancillary materials. Also included are teacher guidance for the places where technology is used to support and enhance student learning.
The teacher’s edition begins with a User Guide for Developing Core Literacy Proficiencies that spells out a proficiency-based approach to developing literacy. It also lays out the Literacy Skills and Academic Habits that will be referred to in the student edition and the language used throughout the program. It specifically refers to the Literacy Toolbox which is made up of three types of materials: handouts, tools, and checklists/rubrics of which the student edition is primarily comprised. At the end of the User Guide is a section entitled “Media Supports” which specifically addresses multimedia to support teaching and learning. Examples of this include, but are not limited to:
- In Unit 1, Part 4, Activity 2, the Instructional Notes explain each text contained within the text set included in the unit. They also offer ways teachers can extend the text with additional pieces of literature.
- In Unit 2, Part 1, Activity 2, two of the core literacy skills are to form claims and use evidence. The Instructional Notes point teachers to the use of the Approaching Texts Tool and the Questioning Path Tool, both included in the student edition.
- In Unit 5, the Teacher Research Unit Guide at the beginning shows the curriculum layout for the five parts of the unit, the specific skill sets students will be utilizing, and the materials included in the student edition.
Materials contain a teacher's edition that contains full, adult-level explanations and examples of the more advanced literacy concepts so that teachers can improve their own knowledge of the subject, as necessary.
The materials reviewed for Grade 10 meet the criteria that materials contain a teacher’s edition that contains full, adult-level explanations and examples of the more advanced literacy concepts so that teachers can improve their own knowledge of the subject, as necessary. Teacher editions provide adequate guidance for preparing each unit of study in a yearlong course. The materials provide clear and multiple examples and explanations to support a teacher’s understanding of the texts and literacy skills for effective modeling to occur during class time. Evidence that supports this rationale is as follows:
- Teacher editions of rubrics and Academic Habits include guidance to use as classroom formative assessments.
- The Literacy Toolbox includes teacher and student editions. Teacher editions are accompanied with more details and examples for teachers to use during instruction to help them know what to recognize when observing student discussions for formative assessment.
- Each unit includes extensive preparatory details for the teacher to schedule instruction with suggestions for differentiation and optional tasks.
- Units include extensive Text Notes to support teachers to deliver instruction in a coherent and consistent approach. Text Notes include details about the content and examples for the teacher to use when modeling skills or for teachers to observe students.
- Teacher editions include guidance and justification for the text choices of the materials. For example, justifications note why a particular work is an ideal introduction to Core Proficiencies such as Making Evidence-Based Claims and pinpoint text-specific examples for teachers to understand and acknowledge when modeling this skill. In addition, the materials will provide an explanation justifying a companion text choice and why it is appropriately sequenced.
Materials contain a teacher's edition that explains the role of the specific ELA/literacy standards in the context of the overall curriculum.
The materials reviewed for Grade 10 meet the criteria that materials contain a teacher’s edition that explains the role of the specific ELA/literacy standards in the context of the overall curriculum. The teacher’s edition includes a Developing Core Literacy Proficiencies: User Guide which includes a table listing the anchor Common Core State Standards that are targeted throughout Grade 10. The instructional materials also include a Unit Overview for each unit, including an explanation of the learning progression. In addition, a Common Core State Standards Alignment is included in the teacher’s edition in the Unit Overview for each unit and the description is specific to the instructional focus of the unit. Evidence to support this rationale is as follows:
- The Developing Core Literacy Proficiencies: User Guide includes the following guidance for the teacher, “The following table lists the anchor Common Core State Standards that are targeted within the five Developing Core Literacy Proficiencies units and indicates the Literacy Skills and Academic Habits that are derived from or are components of those standards. This cart can be used to walk backward from the Odell Education criteria used in assessments and rubrics to the CCSS, especially if students are also trying to track student performance specific to the standards.” Specifically, R.1 - R.10, W.1 - W.9, and SL.1 are included in the table with aligned Literacy Skills and Academic Habits.
- In Unit 2, the Unit Overview includes the Learning Progression for the unit activities which are organized into five parts. The teacher’s edition states, “The sequence of learning activities supports the progressive development of the critical reading and thinking skills involved in making evidence-based claims.”
- In Unit 4, Part 1, the teacher’s edition includes Alignment to CCSS that are targeted standards and supporting standards specific to the instructional focus of the unit. For example, a targeted standard is in relation to “CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.9-10.7: Conduct short as well as more sustained research projects to answer a question…” and a supporting standard is as follows: “CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.9.-10.4: Produce clear and coherent writing in which development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.”
Materials contain explanations of the instructional approaches of the program and identification of the research-based strategies.
The materials reviewed for Grade 10 meet the criteria that materials contain explanations of the instructional approaches of the program and identification of the research based strategies. The Grade 10 materials contain a clear explanation of the instruction approaches and philosophy of the program and clear identification and focus on research based strategies. Evidence that supports this rationale is as follows:
- Each of the instructional materials begin with Developing Core Literacy Proficiencies User Guide which breaks down the Proficiency-Based Approach to Developing Literacy into five units:
- Reading Closely for Textual Details
- Making Evidence-Based Claims
- Making Evidence-Based Claims about Literary Technique
- Researching to Deepen Understanding
- Building Evidence-Based Arguments
Also included are a list of Literacy Skills and Academic Habits, both teacher and student versions. As another component of the User Guide, it is explained that at the heart of the Odell Education approach is an iterative process for questioning which lays out the essentials tools:
- Reading Closely Graphic
- Guiding Questions Handout
- Questioning Path Tool
- Approaching the Text Tool
- Analyzing Details Tool
- Forming Evidence-Based Claims Tool
Research based strategies are aligned with CCSS W.7--”Conduct short as well as more sustained research projects based on focused questions, demonstrating understanding of the subject under investigation,” W.8--”Gather relevant information from multiple print and digital sources, assess the credibility and accuracy of each source, and integrate the information while avoiding plagiarism,” and W.9--”Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research.”
Materials contain strategies for informing all stakeholders, including students, parents, or caregivers about the ELA/literacy program and suggestions for how they can help support student progress and achievement.
The materials reviewed for Grade 10 partially 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. While the instructional materials contain strategies for informing students about the ELA/literacy program, there is no evidence that this program is shared with stakeholders, nor are there any suggestions included as to how parents or caregivers can support their student’s progress and/or achievement. Evidence that supports this rationale is as follows:
- Each unit has formative assessment opportunities in the format of checklists and rubrics. For example, at the end of Unit 2, Part 3, students can reflect informally on the academic habits of collaborating, communicating clearly, and listening. At the end of Unit 4, students will have produced the Forming EBC research tools worksheet, annotated common texts, annotated sources, and written EBCs which can be the basis of formative assessment feedback.
- For the summative assessments, teachers are encouraged to find evidence in the students’ essays and tools to support ratings for each of the component literacy skills. The developmental skills range from Emerging (needs improvement) to Excelling (exceeds expectations). However, while there are many checklists included for student reflection and teacher feedback, there are no strategies for including other stakeholders.
Materials offer teachers resources and tools to collect ongoing data about student progress on the Standards.
Materials partially meet the criteria for 3K to 3n. Routines and guidance within the program assist teachers in monitoring student progress. Regular opportunities to assess student progress are included within the materials; however, the assessments do not make strong connections between what is being assessed and the standards that are emphasized within that assessment. Sufficient guidance is provided to support teachers in interpreting student performance, though specific strategies or guidance for remediation for students who are not proficient is not offered.The materials do not outline a consistent plan for holding students accountable for independent reading, and student choice is often not an option for the independent reading that is required, though the opportunities for student choice do require students to be held accountable for the selections in order to build stamina and confidence.
Materials regularly and systematically offer assessment opportunities that genuinely measure student progress.
The materials reviewed for Grade 10 meet the criteria that materials regularly and systematically offer assessment opportunities that genuinely measure student progress. Materials regularly and systematically offer assessment opportunities that measure student progress. Throughout the instructional materials, both formative and summative assessments are used to measure student progress. Formative assessments are intentionally placed at the beginning of each unit so that teachers can ensure that students are prepared for the activities leading up to the culminating writing activity.
Each unit consists of five parts that each end with either a formative assessment or a summative assessment. Formative assessments consist of work samples including Approaching Text Tools, Analyzing Details Tools, annotations of texts, answers for Questioning Path Tools, written explanations of text analysis, and group/class discussions. Formative Assessments can also include completed Forming Evidence-Based Claims (EBCs) Tools, Supporting EBCs Tools, and Organizing EBCs Tools. Summative Assessments are more formal and consist of multi paragraph rough drafts and culminating writing tasks.
The purpose/use of each assessment is clear:
Assessments clearly denote which standards are being emphasized.
The materials reviewed for Grade 10 do not meet the criteria that assessments clearly denote which standards are being emphasized. While the instructional materials do make connections between the assessments and the development of Academic Habits/Literacy Skills, such as Attending to Details and Communicating Clearly, and provide checklists for students to use to self-assess these habits and skills, the assessments do not clearly denote which standards are being emphasized. The instructional materials provide alignment for the year, unit, and part, but do not provide alignment at the activity or assessment level. Evidence that supports this rationale is as follows:
- Each unit is divided into five parts and each part has either a formative or summative assessment. The instructional materials do provide targeted and supported standards for each part, but alignment is not clearly provided for assessments. It is not possible to easily determine which standards apply to each part of an assessment.
- Only the Questioning Path Tools, which can be used as formative assessments, are aligned to specific reading and writing standards, but the instructional materials do not identify which standards are aligned to which questions.
Assessments provide sufficient guidance to teachers for interpreting student performance and suggestions for follow-up.
The materials reviewed for Grade 10 partially meet the criteria that assessments provide sufficient guidance to teachers for interpreting student performance and suggestions for follow up. Students are assessed often, via formative and summative assessments, and teachers are provided many tools, such as unit-specific rubrics, to help them interpret student performance; however, the instructional materials do not provide strategies or suggestions for how to remediate students who did not master the skills/habits.
Throughout the instructional materials, unit-specific rubrics are provided as tools to assess Literacy Skills and Academic Habits. Each rubric uses a four-point scale to help teachers and students identify areas of strength, weakness, and growth. Teachers are prompted to consider evidence of the skills/habits and rate accordingly. This system of rubrics allows teachers to compare student performance as the year progresses. The instructional materials do not provide follow-up suggestions for students who do not master the skills/habits.
Materials should include routines and guidance that point out opportunities to monitor student progress.
The materials reviewed for Grade 10 meet the criteria that materials should include routines and guidance that point out opportunities to monitor student progress. There are routines and guidance in place throughout grade 10, as well as the 9-12 curriculum, which allow for opportunities to monitor student progress.
Each grade level is divided into five units:
- Unit 1--Reading Closely for Textual Details
- Unit 2--Making Evidence Based Claims
- Unit 3--Making Evidence-Based Claims about Literary Technique
- Unit 4--Researching to Deepen Understanding
- Unit 5--Building Evidence-Based Arguments
Each part within each unit culminates in a formative assessment opportunity and Part 5 in a summative assessment opportunity, embedding many opportunities within each unit to monitor student progress. Beyond these assessment opportunities are tools, such as the Questioning Path Tool, that allow teachers to guide and monitor students’ progress.
Materials indicate how students are accountable for independent reading based on student choice and interest to build stamina, confidence, and motivation.
The materials reviewed for Grade 10 partially 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. There is very little student choice in the Grade 10 instructional materials for independent reading. In the few occasions where there is choice, materials do hold students accountable for their selections and may contribute to their stamina and confidence.
Student independent reading choice is built into only Unit 4 and Unit 5. Unit 4 explores Computer Technology: What is Its Impact on Society, and Unit 5 has students reflect on the governance of upholding the 4th Amendment. Within each unit is a common source set and while students read many of the same texts as their peers, there is some choice, depending on the inquiry path they wish to follow. Within the Student Edition, there are many materials that hold students accountable for this reading: the Exploring a Topic Tool, Potential Sources Tool, Taking Notes Tool, Research Frame Tool, and Research Evaluation Tool. Since Unit 5 is focused on Building Evidence-Based Arguments, the tools to hold students accountable include the Questioning Path Tool, Forming Evidence-Based Claims Tool, Organizing Evidence-Based Claims Tool, Delineating Arguments Tool, and Evaluating Arguments Tool. These tools can support students in building the notes and skills necessary to write the summative assessments at the end of each unit.
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Materials provide teachers with strategies for meeting the needs of a range of learners so that they demonstrate independent ability with grade-level standards.
Materials offer teachers the ability to personalize the materials for all learners. The program provides the opportunity for all learners to work within grade-level text, including those whose skills may be above or below grade level, or whose English proficiencies may provide additional challenges as they engage with the content. All students have extensive opportunities to read, write, speak, and listen to grade level text and meet or exceed grade level standards. Lessons provide whole class, small group, and independent learning opportunities throughout the school year.
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.
The materials reviewed for Grade 10 meet the criteria that digital materials include opportunities for teachers to personalize learning for all students, using adaptive or other technological innovations. Teachers determine whether students need more or less scaffolding and time. Differentiation support is integrated into the scaffolding and design of the instructional materials. At times, teachers are reminded to determine whether students need more or less time to develop a Core Proficiency. Most units include supplemental texts. These can be used by the teacher to give students additional opportunities to develop skills. The supplemental texts are categorized as “Extended Reading.” In addition to this, the materials claim to be designed so schools can use local curricular materials. This flexibility allows for teachers to determine the text complexity appropriate for students. Evidence that supports this rationale is as follows:
- Instructional supports for English Language Learners and students reading below grade level are integrated and scaffolded into the explicit instructions for each activity. Each activity follows a progression moving from scaffolding and support to independent application.
- The sequence of instruction and supporting tools are the same for all students. However, the materials note that the tools and activities can be applied to alternative or supplemental texts not included in the materials.
- In order to help students understand the content, the materials will suggest making analogies or allotting more time to tasks. For example, the materials suggest comparing the process of close reading to analytical processes used by experts in other fields, such as scientists, detectives. The materials also suggest for teachers to skip the Introductory Analogy if students are sufficiently familiar with the close reading skill.
- “Extended Reading” refers to supplemental, optional texts teachers can incorporate if students need more opportunities to develop literacy skills.
- Text choices are bundled in order to effectively increase in complexity over the course of a unit. In each unit, the first text is a visual and is followed by a text with a Lexile measurement below grade level to allow access for all students. By the end of the unit, students are reading texts at or above grade level independently and in small groups. The small group discussions intend for students to self- and peer-assess understanding.
Materials regularly provide all students, including those who read, write, speak, or listen below grade level, or in a language other than English, with extensive opportunities to work with grade level text and meet or exceed grade-level standards.
The materials reviewed for Grade 10 meet the criteria that materials regularly provide all students, including those who read, write, speak, or listen below grade level, or in a language other than English, with extensive opportunities to work with grade level text and meet or exceed grade-level standards. By design, the materials provide all students with the opportunity to interact with grade-level texts. The materials allow for teachers to determine when to incorporate texts above grade level. In units where students engage with multiple texts, the materials do not require all students read every text. The materials provide suggestions for organizing small groups to support English Language Learners and students reading below grade level. Evidence that supports this rationale is as follows:
- The materials include a section dedicated to helping teachers understand the support structures integrated in the sequence of activities. This section describes the seven routines designed to support all students, including English Language Learners and below-grade-level readers. Following this progression, according to the materials, provides all students with the opportunity to interact with texts at grade-level complexity. The seven supports are as follows:
- Intentional Unit Design and Instructional Sequence
- Short Texts, Focused Reading
- Read-Alouds and Modeling
- Guiding Question Framework
- Graphic Organizers
- Reading Teams
- Academic Vocabulary
- The Unit Design and Instructional Sequence includes visual texts for students to practice Core Proficiency skills before transferring the skill to grade-level printed texts.
- When presented with a series of texts or common source sets of multiple texts to analyze, the materials state that students should not be required to read all texts. This allows for the teacher to provide text choices at a student's current reading level. Additionally, the activity includes a small group discussion and suggests students to be grouped by reading level and assigned texts at their current level.
Materials regularly include extensions and/or more advanced opportunities for students who read, write, speak, or listen above grade level.
The materials reviewed for Grade 10 meet the criteria that materials regularly include extensions and/or more advanced opportunities for students who read, write, speak, or listen above grade level. Materials contain integrated suggestions, Extended Readings, and optional activities to extend learning. The mix of activities offered allow for advanced students to explore texts or more complex texts while practicing the Core Proficiencies skills at greater depth. Evidence that supports this rationale is as follows:
- The materials suggest teachers consider the needs and background experiences of students before beginning a unit of study. Specifically, if a student has “advanced skills” or “extensive previous experience,” the teacher can expect the instruction to “move more rapidly.”
- For advanced students, the materials also suggest teachers concentrate time on engaging students with the Extended Reading texts provided in some units and “emphasize more complex topics.”
- The materials are vertically aligned and utilize the same lists, handouts, and rubrics provided in the Literacy Toolbox. For advanced students and students with previous experience, the materials recognize they will rely less on the Literacy Toolbox supports and are encouraged to “use their own, developing strategies” for analyzing texts.
- At times, the materials will present optional assessment opportunities for teachers to collect evidence and for students to demonstrate understanding. In Unit 1, Part 5, the Summative Assessment Opportunities offers an optional collection of evidence through a writing task. Multiple pathways to accomplish the writing are provided by the materials. This is done as a supplement to the summative discussion activity. Due to the intentional vertically aligned design of the materials, this option is presented in every grade level.
Materials provide opportunities for teachers to use a variety of grouping strategies.
The materials reviewed for Grade 10 meet the criteria that materials provide opportunities for teachers to use a variety of grouping strategies. The materials are designed with collaboration as an essential academic habit. With this in mind, students are provided regular opportunities to work as a class, in pairs, and in small groups. In each variation, students develop literacy skills by completing a Literacy Toolbox resource, analyzing text, and collaborating on writing. Evidence that supports this rationale is as follows:
- In Unit 1, Part 5, Activity 3, students work in jigsaw groups to share expertise about a selected text from the provided text set.
- In Unit 2, Part 4, Activity 2, students work in “Review Teams” to reread a section of text to develop and then present a text-based response to a Guiding Question provided by the materials.
- In Unit 3, Part 2, Activity 3, students work in pairs to cite textual evidence from poetry with the support of the Supporting Evidence-Based Claims Tool from the Literacy Toolbox.
Materials support effective use of technology to enhance student learning. Digital materials are accessible and available in multiple platforms.
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.
Effective use of technology to enhance student learning, drawing attention to evidence and texts as appropriate is supported. There are multiple opportunities for teachers to differentiate instructional materials for multiple student needs, including supports for before during, and after each selection. The materials can be easily customized for local use. The program does not provide technology for collaboration.
Digital materials (either included as supplementary to a textbook or as part of a digital curriculum) are web-based, compatible with multiple Internet browsers (e.g., Internet Explorer, Firefox, Google Chrome, etc.), "platform neutral" (i.e., are compatible with multiple operating systems such as Windows and Apple and are not proprietary to any single platform), follow universal programming style, and allow the use of tablets and mobile devices. This qualifies as substitution and augmentation as defined by the SAMR model. Materials can be easily integrated into existing learning management systems.
The materials reviewed for Grade 10 include digital materials (either included as supplementary to a textbook or as part of a digital curriculum) that are web-based, compatible with multiple internet browsers (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 provide many of the texts in print format and these are included in the teacher’s edition and student’s edition. Handouts included in the Literacy toolbox can be accessed online and additional copies can be printed for the purpose of annotation. The Developing Core Literacy Proficiencies: User Guide preceding Unit 1 provides additional guidance for teachers in relation to Electronic Supports and Versions of Materials. For example, “The Odell Education Literacy Toolbox files, including handouts, tools and checklists, are available...as editable PDF forms. With the free version of Adobe Reader, students and teachers are able to type in the forms and save their work for recording and e-mailing.” The resources can be located using a website and password provided in the instructional materials.
Notably, there are texts utilized in the instructional materials that are accessible online only. The instructional materials state, “Because of the ever-changing nature of website addresses, specific links are not provided. Teachers and students can locate these texts using provided key words (e.g. article titles, authors, and publishers).” The online texts are available for free access using the resource information provided by the publisher. Examples include, but are not limited to:
- In Unit 1, a table labeled, Reading Closely Media Supports, includes archived images available through the Library and Archives Canada of the Battle of the Somme in a “webpage with images and audio-recorded interviews.”
- In Unit 3, the Making Evidence-Based Claims About Literary Technique Media Supports section includes an audio recording of Robert Frost’s “Home Burial” available through Archive.org.
- In Unit 5, Building Evidence-Based Arguments Unit Texts, a table lists all the five Text Sets included in the unit and the instructional materials state, “The unit uses texts that are accessible for free on the Internet without any login information, membership requirements, or purchase.”
Materials support effective use of technology to enhance student learning, drawing attention to evidence and texts as appropriate and providing opportunities for modification and redefinition as defined by the SAMR model.
The materials reviewed for Grade 10 support effective use of technology to enhance student learning, drawing attention to evidence and texts as appropriate.
Many texts are accessible online to build background knowledge and can be used to supplement the anchor texts. Teachers are provided with an opportunity to utilize audio versions of texts available online and in print format for students to follow along with the text. The PDF versions of handouts and graphic organizers are editable and provided by Odell Education; therefore, students can type directly on the handouts and these can be submitted electronically to the teacher. Texts Sets include a variety of options beyond print, such as videos, audio recordings, images, and timelines. Teachers could choose to assign independent reading and annotations at home due to the accessibility through both the publisher website with a password and the free resources available online. Key words are provided when web addresses are not to assist teachers and students in locating the resources. Examples include, but are not limited to:
- In Unit 2, Martin Luther King’s Nobel Prize acceptance speech is available in a video recording published by Nobel Prize and included in the instructional materials as Making Evidence-Based Claims Media Supports.
- In Unit 4, an additional resource students can access online is “Social Media is Not Creating the Laziest Generation” by Christopher Correa using Forbes.com.
- In Unit 5, the facts listed in the Building Evidence-Based Arguments Unit Texts table provide enough information to access the correct argument online Report on Government Information Requests by Apple published 11/5/2013.
Materials can be easily customized for individual learners.
Digital materials include opportunities for teachers to personalize learning for all students, using adaptive or other technological innovations.
The materials reviewed for Grade 10 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. The instructional materials include a criteria-based assessment system throughout the five units. Students utilize handouts and graphic organizers to practice and demonstrate proficiency relating to targeted skills. The graphic organizers and tools can be used as a formative assessment by the teacher and completed digitally by students using the editable PDFs provided by Odell Education. Student annotation and submission for evaluation can take place electronically. The graphic organizers are included as an instructional tool to support English Language Learners and students reading below grade level: “Visually, the tools help students understand the relationships among concepts, processes, and observations they make from texts. In addition, Media Supports are included in the instructional materials: ‘The various media (i.e. videos, audio, images, websites) can be assigned and explored at the student or group level to differentiate experiences for students based on their interests and abilities.’” Students who require more challenging texts have the opportunity to explore topics using texts at higher levels of complexity. Examples include, but are not limited to:
- In Unit 1, students utilize a Reading Closely graphic that teachers can use to gauge students’ ability to use questions to help them investigate important aspects of the text and question further to analyze the details they notice and determine their meaning or importance; the tool can be printed and handwritten or completed digitally using an editable PDF.
- In Unit 2, Media Supports include a video recording of Barack Obama’s 2009 Nobel Prize acceptance speech in Oslo, published by Nobel Prize, that can be accessed using an electronic device.
- In Unit 4, Common Source Sets offer a variety of complexity levels from which teachers may choose for exploration by students. In Unit 4, Part 1, Activity 3, “This Common Source should be accessible to students, but it also should provide some additional reading challenges, often by referencing technical information or terminology.”
Materials can be easily customized by schools, systems, and states for local use.
The materials reviewed for Grade 10 can be easily customized for local use. The online resources available allow teachers the opportunity to print additional copies for annotation and offer editable PDFs for students to use and submit their work electronically. Teachers have the choice of which texts they would like to use as model texts when presented with Common Source Sets, such as in Unit 4. Also, teachers can differentiate for students and choose specific texts in the Common Source Sets that individual students or small groups will read together. Additional resources are available to allow for further exploration and to allow an opportunity to increase the level of complexity for students who need an additional challenge. The tools provided offer a method for formative assessment, and teachers can make decisions regarding future units based on student performance. The following Instructional Notes are an example of guidance to the teachers:
- Teachers can use these Common Sources as a model in several ways, depending on the classroom context and emerging student interests.
- Select a single source for modeling that matches with the direction for investigation that the class is likely to pursue. All students read and work with this single Common Source.
- Use one source for modeling and a second for guided practice. All students read both sources, working with one as a class and the other in small groups.
- Use all three sources (and additional ones if helpful), grouping students by possible topic interests and modeling and practicing within groups.
- Find other, similar Common Source(s) related to the topic and subtopics the class is examining.
Materials include or reference technology that provides opportunities for teachers and/or students to collaborate with each other (e.g. websites, discussion groups, webinars, etc.)
The materials reviewed for Grade 10 do not include or reference technology that provides opportunities for teachers and/or students to collaborate with each other (e.g. websites, discussion groups, webinars, etc.) While students are encouraged to collaborate with one another throughout the five units in a face-to-face format, there are no opportunities for students to create group projects or peer assess each other’s work virtually. Teachers would need to seek out these opportunities when planning the lessons outside of the tools offered in the instructional materials. OE offers Professional Development to educators on the website: “Odell Education (OE) collaborates with districts and schools that are implementing the Core Literacy Proficiencies Program. OE works with educators on the foundational principles of the instruction, as well as the integration of the units into their curriculum and the use of the materials in their classrooms.” However, opportunities for teachers to engage online with their colleagues is not present on the website.