Alignment: Overall Summary

Instructional materials include explicit instruction of all 26 letters. Materials also provide students with frequent opportunities to engage in practice identifying all 26 letters; however, materials contain no examples of students practicing letter identification using meaningful print. Throughout the program, students receive explicit instruction to print and practice the 26 letters. Materials include explicit and systematic instruction of print concepts beginning in Skills 1. Instructional materials include a variety of activities for phonological awareness, providing students with ample opportunities to engage with phonological awareness activities daily. Materials provide systematic and explicit instruction for students in phonological awareness throughout all lessons; however, opportunities are missed for students to receive explicit instruction in blending and segmenting onset and rime of words. Materials include consistent systematic and explicit instruction in phonics skills with repeated teacher modeling across all Skills in the Teacher Guide. The materials provide frequent opportunities for students to decode phonetically spelled words. Materials include explicit, systematic teacher level instruction and modeling to demonstrate the use of phonics to encode sounds to letters and words in writing tasks through dictation work. Instructional materials provide systematic and explicit instruction and practice in fluency by focusing on accuracy and automaticity in decoding.

Alignment

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Meets Expectations

Gateway 1:

Standards and Research-Based Practices

0
28
50
58
50
50-58
Meets Expectations
29-49
Partially Meets Expectations
0-28
Does Not Meet Expectations

Gateway 2:

Implementation, Support Materials & Assessment

0
24
44
50
47
44-50
Meets Expectations
25-43
Partially Meets Expectations
0-24
Does Not Meet Expectations

Gateway One

Alignment to Standards and Research-Based Practices for Foundational Skills Instruction

Meets Expectations

+
-
Gateway One Details

Instructional materials include explicit instruction of all 26 letters. Materials also provide students with frequent opportunities to engage in practice identifying all 26 letters; however, materials contain no examples of students practicing letter identification using meaningful print. Throughout the program, students receive explicit instruction to print and practice the 26 letters. Materials include explicit and systematic instruction of print concepts beginning in Skills 1. Instructional materials include a variety of activities for phonological awareness, providing students with ample opportunities to engage with phonological awareness activities daily. Materials provide systematic and explicit instruction for students in phonological awareness throughout all lessons; however, opportunities are missed for students to receive explicit instruction in blending and segmenting onset and rime of words. Materials include consistent systematic and explicit instruction in phonics skills with repeated teacher modeling across all Skills in the Teacher Guide. The materials provide frequent opportunities for students to decode phonetically spelled words. Materials include explicit, systematic teacher level instruction and modeling to demonstrate the use of phonics to encode sounds to letters and words in writing tasks through dictation work. Instructional materials provide systematic and explicit instruction and practice in fluency by focusing on accuracy and automaticity in decoding.

Criterion 1a - 1b

Materials and instruction provide embedded support with general concepts of print, and systematic and explicit instruction and practice for letter recognition.
8/10
+
-
Criterion Rating Details

Instructional materials include explicit instruction of all 26 letters. Materials also provide students with frequent opportunities to engage in practice identifying all 26 letters; however, materials contain no examples of students practicing letter identification using meaningful print. Throughout the program, students receive explicit instruction to print and practice the 26 letters. Materials include explicit and systematic instruction of print concepts beginning in Skills 1.

Indicator 1a

Letter Identification
0/0

Indicator 1a.i

Materials provide explicit instruction for letter identification of all 26 letters (uppercase and lowercase) (K).
2/2
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Kindergarten meet the criteria for materials to provide explicit instruction for letter identification of all 26 letters (uppercase and lowercase).

The materials include explicit instruction of all 26 letters. This occurs in Skills 6 after students learn sounds. Students learn lowercase letters before uppercase letters. While letters are explicitly taught, the program assumes that some students will come in with letter name knowledge. The materials state, “You may find that some or all of your students already know the letter names. Letter names are widely taught in homes and preschools, on educational television, and by educational toys and games.”

There is a defined sequence for letter instruction to be completed in a reasonable time frame over the school year. The program states in Skills 3 that in early lessons the teacher is encouraged to avoid using letter names because students can become confused by the names. The program provides guidance and phrasing that helps the teacher introduce the sound without saying the name. The program states that by Skills 6, students develop a solid command of letter-sound correspondences and blending skills, which is why this is the point where letter names are introduced. Lowercase letters are introduced first one at a time, while uppercase letters are introduced in groups.

  • The Scope and Sequence, Skills Strand identifies that Alphabet/Letter names begin in Lesson 1 of Skills 6. The sequence for uppercase letters, which begins in Skills 9 include:
    • In Lesson 1, A, B, C, D are taught.
    • In Lesson 3, E, F, G, H are taught.
    • In Lesson 6, I, J, K, L, M are taught.
    • In Lesson 7, N, O, P, Q, R are taught.
    • In Lesson 10 S, T, U, V, W are taught
    • In Lesson 12 X, Y, Z are taught

Materials contain isolated, systematic, and explicit instruction for all 26 letters, including both uppercase and lowercase letters. Lowercase letters are taught first because according to the program, “They were chosen as a starting point since they are much more widely used in reading written text than uppercase letters.” Examples include:

  • In Skills 6, Lesson 1, students see the word cat, and the teacher says that the word has three letters and tells students that letters have sounds and names.
  • In Skills 6, Lesson 7, students review the alphabet using the lowercase alphabet on display and sing the “Alphabet Song.”
  • In Skills 7, Lesson 7, lowercase q is taught as qu.
  • In Skills 7, Lesson 16, students complete the letter naming routine. This routine takes place on most days, using the Large Letter Cards.
  • In Skills 8, Lesson 1, the primary focus of the lesson is to provide the sound and letter names of the letters, a, i, o, ch, sh, th, ng, qu, and fifteen other single-consonant spellings.
  • In Skills 9, the introduction says that students are introduced to the remaining uppercase letters, many of which differ from the lowercase equivalents.

Indicator 1a.ii

Materials engage students in sufficient practice of letter identification.(K)
2/2
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Kindergarten meet the criteria that materials engage students in sufficient practice of letter identification.

Materials provide students with frequent opportunities to engage in practice identifying all 26 letters (uppercase and lowercase). The letter names are initially taught in Skills 6 because the program states that “some students become confused by letter names.” Students practice through activity pages and games.

Students have frequent opportunities to engage in practicing all 26 letters. Beginning in Skills 6, students practice identifying letters by names. Some examples of these frequent opportunities include:

  • In Skills 3, the activity book gives students multiple opportunities to identify the beginning letter of pictured items.
  • In Skills 6, Lesson 14, students review letter names playing the game, Alphabet Soup. The teacher places all 26 lowercase letters in a container. Students select a card, show it to the class, and say the name of the letter printed on the card and the sound or sounds the letter represents.
  • In Skills 6, Activity 7.1, students have a chart of lowercase letters and practice singing the letter names using the chart.
  • In Skills 6, Skills 11.2, students sing the "ABC Song," and write the missing letters as they sing.
  • In Skills 9, Lesson 3, students play the game, More Help, with uppercase letters. One student faces the board while the other student has their back to the board. The teacher writes a letter on the board. One student writes a letter on the other student's back while the student works to identify the letter being written on their back.
  • In Skills 9, Lesson 4, during the review activity, students play Uppercase Letter Sprints. The teacher makes “three sets of uppercase letter cards for the first eight letters of the alphabet” and places “them at the far end of the classroom, the gym, or the playground.” After the teacher places students into three teams, the teacher holds up a Large Letter Card for one of the eight letters taught in the unit, and one student from each team says the name and sound of the letter. Students then “race to grab a corresponding uppercase letter card and bring it back.”
  • In Skills 9, Activity 1.1, students practice matching uppercase A, B, C, D, with their lowercase counterpart. The teacher asks students to name the letter and if it is uppercase or lowercase.
  • In Skills 9, Activity 3.1, students practice matching uppercase A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H with their lowercase counterpart. The teacher asks students to name the letter and if it is uppercase or lowercase.

Indicator 1a.iii

Materials embed letter identification practice in meaningful print use.(K)
0/2
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Kindergarten do not meet the criteria that materials embed letter identification practice in meaningful print use.

The Kindergarten materials contain no examples of students practicing letter identification using meaningful print. The majority of the instruction and activities regarding letter identification take place in worksheets in the Activity Book. There are no examples of students identifying letters in writing, in their name, or in environmental print. Throughout the program, students engage in tasks and activities to name uppercase and lowercase letters on worksheets, but there are no examples of students naming letters in meaningful, authentic print.

Indicator 1a.iv

Materials provide explicit instruction to print and to practice forming the 26 letters (uppercase and lowercase).(K-1)
2/2
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Kindergarten meet the criteria for materials to provide explicit instruction to print and to practice the 26 letters (uppercase and lowercase).

Throughout the program, students receive explicit instruction to print and practice the 26 letters. The teacher models the process of drawing sounds and uses explicit instruction in their directions for letter/sound formation. Students practice this skill of letter/sound formation in the air and also on paper, going from the tracing of letters/sounds to forming the letters/sounds on their own.

Materials include clear directions for the teacher for explaining and modeling how to correctly form each of the 26 letters. Students begin by learning lowercase letters. Uppercase letters that look like their lowercase counterpart are taught in Skills 8, and all other uppercase letters are taught in Skills 9. Examples include:

  • In Skills 1, Lesson 1, materials include clear directions for the teacher concerning how to explain and model how to correctly form the letter m. The materials state, “Draw a large lowercase ‘m’ on the board and describe what you are doing using the phrases provided. (Start on... 1. Short line down. 2. Hump 3. Hump). Then say the sound /m/.”
  • In Skills 1, Lesson 3, the teacher explains and models how to form the letter t. The teacher says, “Start between the dotted line and the bottom line. 1 Long line down (lift). 2. Short line across.”
  • In Skills 4, Lesson 7, the teacher introduces how to write the letter v. The teacher shows the students how to draw the picture of the /v/ sound. The teacher draws a large lowercase v on the board and describes what they are doing by saying, “Start on the dotted line. 1 Diagonal down. 2. Diagonal up.” The teacher tells students to use their “entire arm to draw a very large letter in the air.” The teacher models this with their back to the students and then students follow.
  • In Skills 9, Lesson 3, students learn the uppercase letters of E, F, G, and H. The lesson begins by the teacher modeling the lowercase letters and uppercase letters and then discussing the similarities and differences in each letter. For example, the Teacher Guide says, “Point out that lowercase ‘e’ is written below the dotted line. Write an uppercase ‘E’ next to the lowercase ‘e’, describing what you are doing...”

Materials include frequent opportunities for students to practice forming all 26 letters. Examples include but are not limited to:

  • In Skills 3, Activity page 5.1, students practice forming m, a, t, d.
  • In Skills 4, Activity Page 7.1, students practice forming z, o, c, a, d, g.
  • In Skills 5, Lesson 6, students complete the Meet the Spelling Activity Page, where they practice drawing the picture of the /w/ sound together by using the black dots as the starting point and tracing the gray dotted letters.
  • In Skills 5, Activity Page 8.1 students practice forming y, e, s.
  • In Skills 6, Activity page 6.6, students practice forming i, l, r, j, k, o, a, d, b, p, g.
  • In Skills 9, Lesson 1, students begin practicing forming uppercase letters. Students trace the dotted letters to learn how to write capital A, B, C, and D.
  • In Skills 9, Lesson 7, the teacher introduces the letter formations for N, O, P, Q, R, and students write both the uppercase and lowercase letter in the air while saying whether it is an uppercase or lowercase letter.
  • In Skills 9, Activity Page 7.1, students practice forming the capital letters N, O, P, Q, R.

Materials include frequent opportunities for students to practice forming letters using multimodal and/or multisensory methods. Examples include:

  • In Skills 3, Activity Page 10.3, students trace each lowercase letter using a different colored crayon each time.
  • In Skills 4, Lesson 1, the teacher models and discusses how students will use their entire arm to draw the letter in the air. The teacher models and encourages students to copy the motions.
  • In Skills 4, Activity Page 12.1, students trace each lowercase letter using a different colored crayon each time.
  • In Skills 9, Lesson 7, students stand by their desk and use their index finger to write N, O, P, Q, R in the air. In the Activity Book, students trace the gray dotted letters and write the letters in their book.

Indicator 1b

Materials provide instructional support for general concepts of print and connect learning of print concepts to books (K-1) and provide cumulative review of print concepts, letter identification, and printing letters. (K-early Grade 1)
2/2
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Kindergarten meet the criteria for materials to provide instructional support for general concepts of print and connect learning of print concepts to books (K-1) and provide a cumulative review of print concepts, letter identification, and printing letters. (K-early Grade 1).

Materials include explicit and systematic instruction of print concepts beginning in Skills 1. Materials include frequent lessons, tasks, and questions about the organization of print concepts. The teaching of print concepts includes periodic cumulative review opportunities as well. There are a variety of physical books that are suitable for the teaching of print concepts. Skills 4-8 utilize Big Books and Skills 6-10 have a personal student book (i.e. decodable book). Students engage in authentic practice of print concepts in the context of their student books. They use the Student Reader, Big Book, Activity Book pages, and digital components to practice print concepts.

Materials include sufficient and explicit instruction for all students about the organization of print concepts. The materials also include sufficient and explicit instruction about recognizing that spoken words are represented in written language by specific sequences of letters and that words are separated by spaces in print. Specific examples include:

  • In Skills 4, Lesson 10, the teacher is to “Explain that words can be combined to make ideas called phrases. Tell students when we write a phrase we put spaces between the words in that phrase.” The teacher shows the phrase tan dog and points out the space between the two words. In Lesson 12, as the teacher reads the Big Book, Pet Fun aloud, students track the print from left to right. The teacher asks one student at a time to read the phrase on each page, standing close to the Big Book and pointing a finger under each word.
  • In Skills 5, Lesson 13, as the teacher reads Ox and Man aloud, students track print from left to right. Students read some of the sentences aloud. In Lesson 14, the teacher reminds the students that a story has a title and is made up of sentences. The teacher says, “Sentences begin with an uppercase letter and end with a period. The words in a sentence are separated by spaces.”
  • In Skills 8, Lesson 9, as the teacher reads, Max in the Mud students follow along in their own reader. The teacher runs their finger beneath the words while reading.

Materials include frequent and adequate lessons, tasks, and questions for all students about the organization of print concepts. Specific examples include:

  • All lessons that include a story that includes information under the Primary Focus of the Lesson that says, “As the teacher reads (selected text) aloud, students will track print from top to bottom and left to right.”
  • In Skills 2, Activity Page 1.1, students practice reading left to write and top to bottom by pointing to pictures going in that order.
  • In Skills 4, Activity Page 11.2, the teacher reminds students that words can be combined to make phrases and that there are spaces between the words in a phrase. Students read the first phrase and identify which picture matches the phrase.
  • In Skills 6, Lesson 8, as the teacher reads, “Kit’s Mom” aloud, students track print from top to bottom and left to right.
  • In Skills 8, Lesson 6, the Teacher Guide states, “As the teacher reads ‘Tasks’ aloud, students will track print from top to bottom, and left to right; recognize that apostrophes indicate possession; identify periods at the end of sentences…”

Materials contain periodic cumulative review opportunities during which the teacher reminds students about the previously learned grade-level print concepts, letter identification, and letter formation. Students practice these skills periodically throughout the program. This is found throughout the Teacher Guide. Examples include:

  • In Unit 4, Lesson 10, students review that phrases are separated by spaces between the words in the phrase.
  • In Skills 6, Lesson 5, students engage in a letter review. Students point and say names of letters on an alphabet strip and then the teacher holds up a letter card one at a time for students to say the name of the letter.

Criterion 1c - 1e

Materials emphasize explicit, systematic instruction of research-based and/or evidence-based phonological awareness.

8/12
+
-
Criterion Rating Details

Instructional materials include a variety of activities for phonological awareness, providing students with ample opportunities to engage with phonological awareness activities daily. Materials provide systematic and explicit instruction for students in phonological awareness throughout all lessons; however, opportunities are missed for students to receive explicit instruction in blending and segmenting onset and rime of words.

Indicator 1c

Materials have frequent opportunities for students to engage in phonological awareness activities during Kindergarten and early Grade 1.

4/4
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

Materials include a variety of activities for phonological awareness, providing students with ample opportunities to engage with phonological awareness activities daily. Phonological Awareness activities are found throughout the day-to-day activities as well as in additional supports in the Remediation Guide. The program identifies that “when we write a word, we essentially write one symbol for each sound in a word. For this reason, it is important to begin to increase students' awareness of the sounds they hear.“

Materials include a variety of activities for phonological awareness. For example:

  • In Skills 1, students engage in a variety of activities such as counting phonemes with fingers, listening to words in phrases and sentences, and echoing what the teacher says. For instance, in Lesson 5, students use cubes and mats to listen for and identify the words in phrases/sentences. In Lesson 7, the teacher says a phrase or sentence, claps for each word, and then signals the number of claps with fingers. Students repeat the same activity that was modeled by the teacher.
  • In Skills 2, Lesson 3, students do a warm-up activity using their hands to show segmenting and blending of two syllable words such as bathtub, pencil, and sister.
  • In Skills 3, Lesson 9, in the additional supports, students are given another way of practicing the skill in addition to the finger tapping in the main lesson. Students are provided with manipulatives and are told the manipulatives are individual sounds in words before being blended together. Students can segment them or put them together as they blend the word orally.
  • In Skills 7, Lesson 1, the teacher holds up five fingers and says the word skips, and then wiggles each finger from thumb to pinky as the teacher segments each sound in the word.

There are frequent opportunities for students to practice phonological awareness. Most lessons include a warm-up, which is a phonological awareness activity. Phonological awareness skills are reviewed and repeated throughout the year. Examples include:

  • In Skills 2, the teacher models and students practice sound blending. This skill continues in Skills 3 before sound segmenting is taught in Skills 4. In Skills 5 and 6, both skills are reviewed and practiced.
  • In Skills 3, the Table of Contents provides lesson overviews, showing Lessons 1-14 contain oral blending Warm-Up activities.
  • In Skills 10, Lessons 1 and 3, provide Warm-Up activities for segmenting and blending two-syllable words.

Indicator 1d

Materials provide explicit instruction in phonological awareness through systematic modeling across the K-1 grade band.

2/4
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Kindergarten partially meet the criteria for materials to provide explicit instruction in phonological awareness through systematic modeling across the K-1 grade band.

Materials provide systematic and explicit instruction for students in phonological awareness throughout all lessons. Within all Skills 1-10, materials include Warm-up activities that provide explicit instruction in phonological awareness skills. Materials include specific instructions, illustrations for blending and segmenting activities, and consistent routines; however, opportunities are missed for students to receive explicit instruction in blending and segmenting onset and rime of words.

Materials provide the teacher with systematic, explicit modeling for instruction in syllables, sounds, and spoken words. Examples include:

  • Recognize and produce rhyming words:
    • In Skills 5, Lesson 1, the Teacher Guide states, “Tell students that rhyming words are words that end with the same group of sounds but have a different beginning sound.” The teacher says pairs of words, and the students repeat the words. Students discuss if the words rhyme.
    • In Skills 6, Lesson 11, the teacher reminds students that two words rhyme when they end with the same sound. The teacher models before students complete a rhyming activity.
    • In Skills 8, Lesson 4, students review rhyming words. The teacher provides students with explicit examples of rhyming words such as gum and yum as well as examples of words that do not rhyme such as gum and cup.
  • Count, pronounce, blend, and segment syllables in spoken words.
    • In Skills 2, Lesson 1, students count and blend syllables to form words using hand gestures and by playing a game involving clapping the syllables. With palms down, the teacher demonstrates for students flipping over the right fist and opening the hand for the first syllable and then repeating it with the left hand for the second syllable. Finally, the teacher models blending the word as the teacher claps hands together. The teacher repeats the same activity and explicit instruction in Lesson 2.
    • In Skills 10, Lesson 1, students blend two-syllable words. The teacher says, “some words have too many sounds to say in one try, so we have to break the words up into big chunks called syllables.” The teacher says the word classroom and breaks it into the two syllables. The teacher continues modeling until the students no longer need the support.
  • Blend and segment onsets and rimes of single-syllable spoken words.
    • There are no lessons or activities that explicitly teach students to blend or segment into onset or rime.
  • Isolate and pronounce the initial, medial vowel, and final sounds in three-phoneme words.
    • In Skills 2, Lesson 4, students listen to one-syllable words and begin to discern initial sounds. The teacher stands in front of the class so students can mirror the teacher’s actions. The teacher holds out an arm in front of the class and then demonstrates to the students phonemes while touching their left shoulder with their right hand, then elbow, and then wrist. Students do this with multiple words including the word fun. Students touch their shoulder and say /f/, touch their elbow and say /u/ and then touch their wrist and say /n/, before rubbing their hand down their arm while blending the word.
    • In Skills 4, Lesson 4, in part B of the Oral Segmenting Warm-Up, the teacher has illustrations and is to “Follow the steps outlined in Lesson 1.” In Lesson 1, the teacher is to hold up the pointer finger, middle, and ring fingers, as they say the word cat. The teacher wiggles each finger as the teacher segments the word cat into three parts. The students repeat the actions after the teacher.
  • Add or substitute sounds in simple, one syllable words to make new words.
    • In Skills 2, Lesson 10, the teacher reminds students that sounds can be added to a word to create a new word. The teacher says the word ray, and the students repeat the word. The teacher asks the students what word would be made by adding /n/ to the end of the word. Practice words are provided to have students practice adding letter sounds to the beginning and end of words.

Materials provide the teacher with examples for instruction in syllables, sounds, and spoken words called for in grade-level standards. Examples include:

  • In Skills 2, Lessons 1-4, the teacher teaches students to blend syllables using visual hand movements. There are illustrations in the Teacher Guide to show the teacher how to do this. A word list is provided for the teacher . The Teacher Guide gives the following instructions: 1). Say the word as you flip over your right fist and open it. 2). Say the word as you flip over your left first and open it. 3). Say the word and blend as you clap your hands. 4). Practice this with the class.
  • In Skills 3, Lesson 2, the teacher introduces the sound /a/. The materials state: “Tell students to use the mirrors to watch the shape of their mouths as they say the sound /a/.”
  • In Skills 6, Lesson 5, in an Oral Blending activity, the teacher has instructions and illustrations on how to use their fingers for each sound and blend the word and then make a fist. The word bad is used in the example.

Indicator 1e

Materials provide practice of each newly taught sound (phoneme) and sound pattern across the K-1 band.
2/4
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Kindergarten partially meet the criteria for materials to provide practice of each newly taught sound (phoneme) and sound pattern across the K-1 band.

Materials provide ample practice opportunities for students throughout the lessons. Most lessons include multimodal/multisensory activities for student practice of phonological awareness. The Teacher Guide contains lists of words for further practice in each lesson. Across all Skills lessons, introduce students to Blending Picture Cards with the newly taught or previously learned sounds. These lessons include consistent practice over the course of the year in blending and segmenting. However, opportunities are missed for students to practice blending or segmenting of onsets and rimes activities found throughout the program.

Materials provide ample opportunities for students to practice each new sound and sound pattern. Examples include:

  • Students have opportunities to recognize and produce rhyming words.
    • In Skills 5, Lesson 6, the teacher says a pair of words, and the students raise their hand if the pair of words rhyme.
    • In Skills 6, Lesson 9, the teacher says a pair of words and asks if they rhyme. Practice word sets include bag-rag and pot-pan.
    • In Skills 8, Lesson 4, students respond when word pairs rhyme. The students close their eyes and raise their hand when they hear a pair of words that rhyme.
  • Students have opportunities to count, pronounce, blend, and segment syllables in spoken words.
    • In Skills 2, Lesson 1, students blend syllables to form words using hand gestures and by playing a game involving clapping the syllables. The words included for practice are bedroom, snowman, seashell, popcorn, rainbow, outside, and bedbug.
    • In Skills 2, Lesson 2, students play a game similar to Duck, Duck, Goose, but the student who is it says the two parts of a word separately as they tap each classmates’ head (i.e. sun, shine, sun, shine), and then instead of saying goose, they say they blended word.
    • In Skills 2, Lesson 5, the teacher says a word segmented by syllables and the students echo and blend the word. Students do this in a silly monster voice.
    • In Skills 10, Lesson 1, students practice segmenting syllables in two-syllable words such as oatmeal and painting.
  • Students do not have opportunities to blend and segment onsets and rimes of single-syllable spoken words.
    • No evidence found
  • Students have opportunities to isolate and pronounce the initial, medial vowel, and final sounds in three phoneme words
    • In Skills 2, Lesson 4, students listen to one-syllable words and begin to discern initial sounds. The words included for isolation practice include fun, mess, fish, sign, mean, zoom.
    • In Skills 2, Lesson 9, students find sounds by beginning sounds using Blending Pictures Cards. Students look for pictures with the either /sh/ or /n/ sound at the beginning and say the word for the picture.
    • In Skills 4, Lesson 3, students are introduced to the sound /s/. The teacher orally states words with the sound /s/ at the beginning, middle, and end of words and students repeat the words. Students complete sound riddles with the /s/ at the beginning of words.
  • Students have opportunities to add or substitute individual sounds in simple, one-syllable words to make new words.
    • In Skills 2, Lesson 9, students add a phoneme to the end of each one-syllable word spoken and blend to create a new word. Words include: lie > life (/f/ added), lie > lime (/m/ added), lie > line (/n/ added), lie > lies (/z/ added), lie > light (/t/ added), say > safe (/f/ added), say > same (/m/ added), say > save (/v/ added), say > sail (/l/ added), say > sane (/n/ added).

Materials include a variety of multimodal/multisensory activities for student practice of phonological awareness activities.

  • In Skills 2, Lesson 1, students play Tap and Chase, a game similar to Duck, Duck, Goose where students tap a classmate as they say the blended word.
  • In Skills 3, Lesson 3, students listen to segmented words in nursery rhymes and then blend the words.
  • In Skills 6, Lesson 1, students use their fingers to tap the phonemes in a word.
  • In Skills 7, Lesson 1, students are given sound boxes and small objects. They push an object in each sound box as they unblend phonemes in words.

Criterion 1f - 1j

Materials emphasize explicit, systematic instruction of research-based and/or evidence-based phonics.

20/20
+
-
Criterion Rating Details

Instructional materials include consistent systematic and explicit instruction in phonics skills with repeated teacher modeling across all Skills in the Teacher Guide. The materials provide frequent opportunities for students to decode phonetically spelled words. Materials also provide regular practice for decoding phonetically regular words in a sentence through the use of decodable readers and activity pages that align with the phonics skill for the lesson/unit. The materials include explicit, systematic teacher level instruction and modeling to demonstrate the use of phonics to encode sounds to letters and words in writing tasks through dictation work.

Indicator 1f

Materials emphasize explicit phonics instruction through systematic and repeated modeling.
4/4
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Kindergarten meet the criteria for materials to emphasize explicit phonics instruction through systematic and repeated modeling.

Materials include consistent systematic and explicit instruction in phonics skills with repeated teacher modeling across all Skills in the Teacher Guide. The program includes scripted information and examples for the teacher and additional supports for students throughout phonics instruction. Phonics instruction includes oral and written practice with both encoding and decoding opportunities.

Materials contain explicit instruction for systematic and repeated teacher modeling of all grade-level standards. Examples include:

Demonstrate basic knowledge of one-to-one sound correspondences by producing the primary sound or many of the most frequent sounds for each consonant. This includes but is not limited to:

  • In Skills 3, Lesson 1, students learn that the sound /m/ is spelled m. The teacher introduces this sound through the Mirror, Mirror activity and explains “that we make sounds by putting parts of our mouth like our lips and tongue into special positions while breathing out air.” The teacher distributes mirrors so students can watch the formation of the letter. The teacher asks students if their mouths are open or closed when they make the sound and what their lips do when they say the /m/ sound.
  • In Skills 4, Lesson 7, students learn that the sound /z/ is spelled z. The teacher introduces the sound and has the students repeat it several times. The students repeat words with the /z/ sound. During Introduce the Spelling, the teacher models how to write the letter z for the sound /z/.
  • In Skills 5, Lesson 3, students learn that the sound /r/ is spelled r. The program reminds teachers the importance of clipping the sound to avoid making it say /er/. The teacher introduces the sound and asks questions like if the sound is a consonant or vowel sound. During Introduce the Spelling, the teacher models how to write the letter r for the sound /r/.
  • In Skills 6, Lesson 3, students learn that the sound /z/ can also be spelled s. The teacher writes the letter s on the board and asks students to recall the letter name. Students give the sound of the letter. The teacher explains that the letter is usually pronounced /s/, but sometimes it is pronounced /z/.

Associate the long and short sounds with the common spellings (graphemes) for the five major vowels. This includes, but is not limited to:

  • In Skills 3, students learn short vowel a (Lesson 2), short vowel o (Lesson 6), and short vowel i (Lesson 9). In Lesson 3, the teacher begins by showing how to draw the sound /a/. Students repeat several times by sky writing and saying the sound of the vowel each time. This method is used to teach all vowel sounds.
  • In Skills 5, Lesson 4, students learn the short vowel u. The teacher begins teaching this by drawing the lowercase u on the board and repeats the steps to do this several times and then, together the students sky write the letter and say the sound.
  • In Skills 10, students learn long vowels such as /ee/ spelled ee in Lesson 1, /ae/ spelled a_e in Lesson 7, /ie/ spelled i_e in Lesson 11, /oe/ spelled o_e in Lesson 17, and /ue/ spelled u_e in Lesson 22. In Lesson 21, the teacher distributes large letter cards. The teacher says a word such as hop and students, holding the letters, go to the front of the class. The student holding the letter e is holding the magic e and if the teacher says ‘Alakazam’, the student with the letter e card is added to the end, and the students say the new word. The long vowels are taught in one lesson and then reviewed in the following lesson.

Distinguish between similarly spelled words by identifying the sounds of the letters that differ. This includes, but is not limited to:

  • In Skills 4, Lesson 1, the teacher explains that it can be difficult to tell the difference between the /n/ sound and the /m/ sound. Both sounds are made by challenging air throughout your nose. The teacher hands out Activity Pages 1.2 and 1.3. The teacher says various words with /m/ and /n/ and students hold up the letter m if they hear the /m/ sound and the letter n if they hear the /n/ sound.
  • In Skills 5, Lesson 4, the teacher explains that it can be difficult to tell the difference between /u/ and /o/ sound. The teacher has the students make a gesture for the vowel sound /o/ or /u/ as they say various words.
  • Lessons provide teachers with systematic and repeated instruction for students to hear, say, encode, and read each newly taught grade level phonics pattern. Examples include:
  • In Skills 8, Lesson 7, the teacher says a word, students repeat each sound, and then spell the words on their paper. For example, the teacher says the word job, and the class raises a finger for each sound. The students say how many sounds are in the word. Students say each sound and write the word. This is repeated with the words win, pest, plum, and chin.
  • In Skills 10, Lesson 7, the teacher introduces the sound/spelling for /ae/ by saying the sound and having students stretch it out and say it several times. The teacher shares words with /ae/, and students repeat. Students trace the spelling in the air of these words while repeating the word before reading it.

Indicator 1g

Materials include frequent practice opportunities for students to decode words that consist of common and newly-taught sound and spelling patterns and provide opportunities for students to review previously taught phonics skills.

4/4
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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Kindergarten meet the criteria for frequent practice opportunities for students to decode words that consist of common and newly-taught sound and spelling patterns and provide opportunities for students to review previously taught phonics skills.

The materials provide frequent opportunities for students to decode phonetically spelled words. Students read words by individual phonemes and are provided the opportunity to read the entire word using newly taught phonics skills. The materials utilize a variety of methods and resources for students to practice phonics skills. Pocket chaining gives the students the opportunity to decode words in isolation. Decodable readers give students the ability to apply phonics in continuous text. Student activity pages give students the opportunity to practice both in isolation and in continuous text.

Lessons provide students with frequent opportunities to decode (phonemes and/or syllables) phonetically spelled words. Examples include:

  • In Skills 3, Lesson 7, students read words in a pocket chart chaining activity with the letters m, t, d, c, and o. Students read mad, dad and cat, cot.
  • In Skills 4, Lesson 4, the teacher creates the word if in a pocket chart and asks students to read the word. The teacher replaces the f card with the t card, and students read the word. Students complete this chaining activity with the following chain: if, it, sit, fit, fin, fig, fog, dog, hog, hot.
  • In Skills 6, Lesson 8, students blend and then read the words mom, gets, pets, six, dad before reading the story “Kit’s Mom.”

Lessons provide students with frequent opportunities to read complete words by saying the entire word as a unit using newly taught phonics skills. Beginning in Unit 6, students read decodable readers, with the newly taught phonics patterns in bold throughout the text. Examples include:

  • In Skills 4, Lesson 9, students read the words hen, ten, net, and pen, then select which pictures match the word and write the word under the picture after learning that e says /ĕ/.
  • In Skills 4, Activity 14.3, students read a list of words aloud and match the word to the corresponding image.
  • In Skills 7, Lesson 9, the teacher uses a Big Book, and students first read the title. The teacher reviews some of the spelling patterns that the students will read such as digraphs. Students read the book aloud.
  • In Skills 10, Lesson 21, the decodable story is introduced and the spelling patterns and newly taught words with the spelling pattern are reviewed. As a class, students read aloud, seems, waved, likes, home, cube, free, take, hope, cute, see, stares, zone, and tune.
  • In Skills 10, Activity 5.3, students read “Scott and Lee” and are told to use their finger to point to each word as they read it.

Materials contain opportunities for students to review previously learned grade-level phonics. Examples include:

  • In Skills 7, Lesson 1, students complete a Warm-Up of previously taught sounds and spellings. Students segment words containing up to five sounds with consonant clusters at the beginning or the end of the word.
  • In Skills 7, Lesson 13, students review single syllable short vowel words. The teacher distributes large letter cards. The teacher says a word and if students are holding a letter that spells that word, students go to the front of the room. The class reads the word.
  • In Skills 7, Lesson 15, students complete a tap and spell activity to review previously learned vowel and consonant sound spellings by tapping on the letters and saying the sound. One student reads the word and the other student spells it by tapping out the appropriate sound. In this activity, students review all short vowels and some consonant digraphs such as ch and sh and some consonants such as qu and p.
  • In Skills 8, Lesson 11, students review sounds and letter names for letters in the warm-up activity. Letters included are: a, e, i, o, ch, sh, th, ng, qu, ck, ff, and ll.
  • In Skills 8, Lesson 18, students choose a previously read story from their Reader and read it with a partner.

Materials contain a variety of methods to promote students’ practice of previously taught grade level phonics. Examples include:

  • In Skills 3, Lesson 11, students play spelling hopscotch by stepping on letters as they sound out and blend words in order to read. Letters come from previously taught skills and include a, i, u, m, t, d, o, and g.
  • In Skills 5, Lesson 4, students read the ‘Act Out Wiggle Cards’ which contain some previously taught spellings and the new sound /u/. Wiggle card prompts include act mad, sit, get up, and tug on leg.
  • In Skills 7, Lesson 9, students begin the decodable text for the unit after having “ample time for instruction and practice of digraphs.”
  • In Skills 7, Lesson 13, students review the sounds th and sh through a letter chaining activity and reading the decodable.

Indicator 1h

Materials provide frequent opportunities for students to practice decoding phonetically regular words in a sentence.
4/4
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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Kindergarten meet the criteria for the materials to promote frequent opportunities for students to practice decoding phonetically regular words in a sentence.

The materials provide regular practice for decoding phonetically regular words in a sentence through the use of decodable readers and activity pages that align with the phonics skill for the lesson/unit. Students begin reading in Big Books in Skills 4 and the Decodale Reader in Skills 6.

Materials provide explicit, systematic practice for decoding regular words in a sentence. Examples include:

  • In Skills 5, Lesson 14, the teacher displays the Big Book “Ox and Man” and models reading the story by running a finger beneath the words and pausing at the end of each sentence. The teacher repeats this with the students reading aloud with the teacher.
  • In Skills 6, the Introduction provides information to the teacher regarding the transition from Big Books to Independent Reading. The stories are 100% decodable, and the first few stories are short and simple.
  • In Skills 6, Lesson 13, students read “Mumps,” and the teacher reminds students to run their finger under each word as they read the story aloud and if students do not recognize the word, they should sound it out, letter by letter.
  • In Skills 10, Lesson 2, students complete Activity Page 2.1, which provides students with three decodable words and three sentences with blanks. The teacher demonstrates reading the first sentence three times, once with the word feet, once with the word seems, and once with the word needs. The teacher continues demonstrating how to read the sentences, until the students are ready to work independently.

Lessons provide students with frequent opportunities to decode words in a sentence. Examples include:

  • In Skills 6, Activity Page 3.1 students read decodable sentences and complete the sentence using a missing word from the box. Decodable sentences include, “Stan is mad at Fred. Jim has not met Tim. Ted is his dad. Jen is not as sad as Kim.”
  • In Skills 7, Lesson 9, the teacher and students use the Picture Reader to practice reading sentences. Students read each sentence aloud.
  • In Skills 8, Lesson 2, students read the decodable text, “Sam and the Fish,” and students read sentences such as “Sam and his dad sit and sit.”
  • In Skills 10, Lesson 3, students read the decodable text, “Red Ants,” which includes decodable sentences such as “Scott was mad at the ants.”

Indicator 1i

Materials include frequent practice opportunities for students to build/manipulate/spell and encode grade-level phonics, including common and newly-taught sound and sound patterns.
4/4
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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Kindergarten meet the criteria for materials to include daily practice opportunities for students to build/manipulate/spell and encode grade-level phonics, including common and newly-taught sound and sound patterns.

Materials include daily student practice opportunities to build, manipulate, spell, and encode phonics beginning in Skills 3. Materials include explicit instruction, as well as background information for the teacher. Students are provided with opportunities to build, manipulate, spell, and encode common and newly-taught grade-level phonics through chaining activities, dictation activities, and Activity Page sheet practice.

The materials contain teacher-level instruction/modeling for building/manipulating/spelling and encoding words using common and newly taught sound and spelling patterns of phonics beginning in Skills 3. Examples include:

  • In Skills 3, Lesson 1, the teacher models the spelling of the sound /m/. The teacher begins by drawing the sound /m/. The teacher states, “Start on... 1. short line down 2. Hump 3. Hump.” The teacher models writing the sound in the air with the students copying the motion.
  • In Skills 6, Lesson 9, in a Chain and Copy activity, the teacher instructs students to take out Small Letter Cards l and m. The teacher reviews letter sound spellings from the Small Letter Cards, assigns student pairs, and provides words for students to create with Small Letter Cards. The teacher assigns a student to manipulate the letters to build the words; while the other student in the pair writes the words. During the lesson, the students in the pair will switch roles. The teacher directions state, “If that is dip, show me lip.” The teacher reviews spelling one-syllable, short vowel words with CVC, CVCC, and CCVC spelling patterns. Words provided for the activity include: lap, slap, slip, bump, pump, and plump.
  • In Skills 8, Lesson 7, in a Dictation activity, the teacher has students take out paper and pencil and tells students they will say words for students to write. The teacher models segmenting the word job, holding up a finger for each sound in the word /j/, /o/, /b/ and asks students how many sounds are in the word. The teacher has the students write a line for each sound in the word, then has the students identify and write each letter sound on their paper one letter at time. The teacher models reading the word by blending the sounds as a strategy to check the spelling. The teacher reminds students in some of the words, digraphs are used and will contain more than one letter per sound spelling. Words provided for the activity include: win, pest, trips, and shrimp.

Lessons provide students with frequent opportunities to build/manipulate/spell and encode words in isolation based in common and newly-taught phonics patterns. Examples include:

  • In Skills 5, Lesson 14, during Dictation Identification, students write the words they circled from dictation on the lines in Activity Page 14.1. Words include: fit, lip, pat, fin, yet, sit.
  • In Skills 6, Lesson 2, students complete a Tap and Spell activity using Large Letter Cards. The cards are arranged on the ground, and a student uses a yardstick to tap the letters when the teacher says a word. Words include flag, trap, plus, stem, and plot.
  • In Skills 7, Lesson 7, students take out their Chaining folders. The teacher begins by reviewing the sound/spelling correspondences. The students begin the spelling activity with the word chains such as quit, quilt, quint, squint, stint, tint, tin, thin.
  • In Skills 10, Lesson 3, students complete a Pop-Out Chaining activity using the Large Letter Cards. Students each hold a card and move to spell the word the teacher says. Students change the word from a short vowel to a long vowel, using the ee card. Words include step-steep, ten-teen, and fed-feed.

Indicator 1j

Materials provide application and encoding of phonics in activities and tasks. (mid K-Grade 2)
4/4
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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Kindergarten meet the criteria for materials to promote application and encoding of phonics in activities and tasks. (mid K-Grade 2)

The materials include explicit, systematic teacher level instruction and modeling to demonstrate the use of phonics to encode sounds to letters and words in writing tasks through dictation work. The program provides students with frequent activities and tasks to promote application of phonics to encode words in phrases or sentences based on common and previously taught phonics patterns.

Materials include explicit, systematic teacher-level instruction of teacher modeling that demonstrates the use of phonics to encode sounds to letters and words in writing tasks. Examples include:

  • In Skills 6, Lesson 10, the teacher tells students they will write a number of words and models with the word zip. The teacher segments the word by raising a finger for each sound and asks the students how many sounds they hear and draws a line for each sound. The teacher asks for each sound and writes it on the individual lines. The teacher models reading the complete word sound by sound to check for accuracy.
  • In Skills 8, Lesson 7, the teacher says the word job and asks students to segment the sounds in job by holding up one finger for each sound and asking how many sounds they hear. The teacher draws a horizontal line for each sound and asks, line by line, what sound/letter is heard. The teacher models reading the word letter by letter as a strategy for double-checking its spelling. The teacher demonstrates this process with one or two more words before having students write the dictated words independently.

Lessons provide students with frequent activities and tasks to promote application of phonics as they encode words in sentences or in phrases based on common and newly taught phonics patterns. Examples include:

  • In Skills 8, Pausing Point, the teacher selects phrases from a list of phrases, students repeat them, and the teacher asks how many words in each phrase, and draws a line on the board for each word. The students write the phrase on the line.
  • In Skills 9, Activity Page 4.1, students use their newly learned phonics patterns to write an answer as to why Ann’s dress was a mess.
  • In Skills 10, Lesson 2, after a review lesson of /ee/ with ee spelling, students complete Activity Page 2.1 by filling in the blank in sentences provided with words feet, seem, and needs.

Criterion 1k - 1m

Materials and instruction support students in learning and practicing regularly and irregularly spelled high-frequency words.
8/8
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Criterion Rating Details

Instructional materials include systematic and explicit instruction of high-frequency words through the Tricky Word instruction. Materials include the opportunity to read high-frequency words in sentences and to write the words in sentences. Materials include frequent and explicit instruction of word analysis strategies through the use of pocket chart chaining activities during whole group classroom instruction.

Indicator 1k

Materials include systematic instruction of high-frequency words and opportunities to practice reading of high-frequency words to develop automaticity.
2/2
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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Kindergarten meet the criteria for materials to include systematic instruction of high-frequency words and practice opportunities of high-frequency words to develop automaticity.

Materials include systematic and explicit instruction of high-frequency words through the Tricky Word instruction. Tricky words are taught explicitly, then practiced in isolation, and read in context. Students have the opportunity to practice reading these words and work towards automaticity through a variety of activities.

Materials include systematic and explicit instruction of high-frequency words. Examples include:

  • In Skills 3, Lesson 13, students are introduced to Tricky Words. The teacher explains that CVC words “play by the rules” and some words “do not play by the rules” and these are called Tricky Words. The teacher writes the word one on the board. The teacher writes the numeral one on the board and explains that the word one is how we write the number in words. The teacher asks the students if the word starts with the /o/ sound and explains that it is a Tricky Word because it does not follow the rules.
  • In Skills 6, Lesson 1, the teacher writes the letter i on the board and asks students how they pronounce it. The teacher writes the uppercase I on the board and explains that when the uppercase I is written as a single letter, it is a Tricky Word and is pronounced /ie/.
  • In Skills 7, Lesson 3, the teacher writes the Tricky Word down on the board and asks students how they might pronounce it. The teacher tells students how the word is actually pronounced. The teacher circles the letter d and explains that it is pronounced just as one would expect and does the same thing with the letter n. The teacher underlines the letters o and w and explains that this is the part of the tricky word. The teacher tells students that when reading down they have to remember to pronounce the letters as /ou/.
  • In Skills 10, Lesson 13, the Tricky Word my is introduced. The teacher writes the word on the board and tells students it is pronounced /m/ /ie/ and provides a sample sentence to use. The teacher circles the m because it is pronounced as expected and underlines the y because that is part of the tricky word.

Materials include frequent opportunities for the teacher to model the spelling and reading of high-frequency words in isolation. Examples include:

  • In Skills 4, Lesson 14, the teacher introduces the Tricky Word the and tells students that we pronounce this word /th/, /ŭ/. The teacher explains that the th makes one sound /th/ and the letter e in this word says /ŭ/. The teacher tells students that when writing, they have to remember to spell /th/ sound with the letters t and h and the /ŭ/ sound with the letter e.
  • In Skills 7, Lesson 8, the teacher introduces the Tricky Word out. The teacher writes the word on the board and tells students how to pronounce it. The teacher explains that the ou work together to make the /ou/ sound. The teacher tells students to remember this when reading and spelling the word.
  • In Skills 9, Lesson 16, the teacher models how to read and spell the word were. The teacher tells students the pronunciation and reminds students that when writing the word, they need to remember to spell the /er/ sound using letters e r and e.
  • In Skills 10, Lesson 8, the teacher introduces the Tricky Words they and their. The teacher begins by writing they on the board and asking students how they would blend it. The teacher explains that it is a tricky word. The teacher underlines th and explains that they decode it normally. The teacher underlines the letters ey and explains that these letters make up the tricky part of the word and says /ae/. The teacher reminds students that when they read and spell this word they need to remember ey says /ae/.

Students practice identifying and reading high-frequency words in isolation. The teacher creates a Tricky Word Wall in Skills 5, Lesson 5 to help students begin reading the words in isolation. Examples include:

  • In Skills 3, Take Home Activities 13.2, 13.3, and 14.2, students create a Tricky Word book to practice the words at home.
  • In Skills 5, Lesson 5, students practice identifying and reading words. The teacher points to the Tricky word blue on Activity page 5.1 and asks students to read the word aloud.
  • In Skills 7, Lesson 17, students do a flash card review of the Tricky Words learned so far, using the words on the Tricky Word Wall.
  • In Skills 8, Lesson 1, students practice reading previously learned Tricky Words using words from the Tricky Word Wall.
  • In Skills 9, Lesson 7, the teacher reminds students that Tricky Words are words that do not follow the rules. They then read individual Tricky Words from the Word Wall such as blue, why, down, and look.
  • In Skills 10, Lesson 7, students review previously taught Tricky Words using the Word Wall. Some words include three, were, yellow, little, said, and out. The teacher notes that the tricky part of each word is underlined.

Materials include a sufficient quantity of grade-appropriate high-frequency words for students to make reading progress. Examples include:

  • In Skills 1, Appendix B, the Kindergarten Scope and Sequence for Tricky Words is provided and lists the 46 tricky Words taught in each unit. They are:
    • Unit 3: one, two, three
    • Unit 4: the, a
    • Unit 5: blue, yellow look
    • Unit 6: I, are, little
    • Unit 7: down, out, of
    • Unit 8: funny, all, from, was
    • Unit 9: word, to, I, no, when, where, what, which, so, once, said, says, are, were, here, there
    • Unit 10: he, she, we, be, me, they, their, my, by, you, your
  • In Skills 3, Appendix B, it is stated that by the end of Kindergarten, students will have been taught 129 high-frequency words from the Fry Instant Word List and 116 of these words appear on the Dolch Sight Word list.
  • In Skills 4, the Teacher Guide Introduction states, “As of the beginning of the unit, students should be able to read seven words from the Dolch Sight Word List and seven words from Fry’s Instant Word list.”
  • In Skills 10, the Teacher Guide Introduction states, “As of the beginning of this unit, students should be able to read 90 words from the Dolch Sight Word List and 95 words from Fry’s Instant Word List.”

Indicator 1l

Materials provide frequent practice opportunities to read and write high-frequency words in context (sentences).
2/2
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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Kindergarten meet the criteria for materials to provide frequent practice opportunities to read and write high-frequency words in context (sentences).

Materials include the opportunity to read high-frequency words in sentences and to write the words in sentences automatically. Most of these opportunities are found in the later units of Kindergarten. These practices are found in the Teacher's Guide, the Activity Book, and the Student Reader.

Lessons provide students with frequent opportunities to read high-frequency words in a sentence. Examples include:

  • In Skills 7, Lesson 14, students read the story, “Up in the Kit,” which includes sentences with high-frequency words such as “Kit helps Max get up.”
  • In Skills 8, Lesson 3, the students read the Tricky Words a, all, and are in the story “Fun at the Pond.”
  • In Skills 9, Lesson 15, in Activity Page 15.1, students read sentences and match the correct sentence from a choice of two sentences to the picture provided. The sentences contain high-frequency words such as “This is a dish.
  • In Skills 10, Lesson 6, students read the Tricky Words in the box at the top of Activity Page 6.3. The students put those words into sentences with blanks and the students read the completed sentence. The Tricky Words include are, me, he, and we.

Lessons provide students with frequent opportunities to write high-frequency words in tasks (such as sentences) in order to promote automaticity in writing high-frequency words. Examples include:

  • In Skills 6, Activity 6.1, students read a sentence and write the Tricky Word in the blank.
  • In Skills 7, Lesson 3, one student reads a sentence and the rest of the students say and write the high-frequency word up or down in the blank to complete the sentence.
  • In Skills 8, Lesson 5, students complete sentences on Activity Page 5.1 using the Tricky Words of, from, and all.
  • In Skills 10, Lesson 5, students review and write the Tricky Words be and me and complete sentences with the best word choice.

Materials provide repeated, explicit instruction ion using student-friendly reference materials and resources and reading high-frequency words (e.g. word cards, word lists, word ladders, student dictionaries). Examples include:

  • Beginning in Skills 4, students read texts from the Reader which helps them practice the sound spelling patterns and Tricky Words.
  • In Skills 5, Teacher Guide Introduction, information is provided on adding the Tricky Words for this unit onto cards. It states, “For each new Tricky Word introduced, you should write the word on a yellow index card, which signals ‘proceed with caution’ and underline the tricky part(s) of the word. You may want to arrange the words in alphabetical order on the wall.”
  • In Skills 6, students are given Tricky Words flash cards and a letter is provided to send home to families explaining what the Tricky Words are and the purpose, as well as how to use the flash cards at home.
  • In Skills 10, Lesson 2, the teacher reviews previously taught Tricky Words using the Word Wall, following procedures already established in earlier units.

Indicator 1m

Materials explicitly teach word analysis strategies (e.g., phoneme/grapheme recognition, syllabication, morpheme analysis) based on the requirements of the standards and provide students with frequent practice opportunities to apply word analysis strategies.
4/4
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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Kindergarten meet the criteria for materials to explicitly teach word analysis strategies (e.g., phoneme/grapheme recognition, syllabication, morpheme analysis) based on the requirements of the standards and provide frequent practice opportunities for students to apply word analysis strategies.

Materials include frequent and explicit instruction of word analysis strategies through the use of pocket chart chaining activities during whole group classroom instruction. Throughout the year, multiple opportunities to learn, practice, and apply word analysis skills are provided. Students practice and apply varied word analysis strategies during lessons, Activity Page practice, and reading practice with the student readers.

Materials contain frequent explicit instruction of word analysis strategies (e.g. phoneme/grapheme recognition, syllabication, morpheme analysis). Examples include:

  • In Skills 3, Lesson 10, the teacher says the word at and segments it into its two sounds /a/, /t/. The teacher asks the students for the first sound in the word and the letter and the second sound in the word and the letter. The students read the word. The teacher repeats the process with the word, mat.
  • In Skills 6, Lesson 2, students complete a pocket chart chaining activity. The teacher says the word sip and says the individual sounds /s/.../i/.../p/ and then says each sound again and asks students for the letter before reading the word again. The teacher asks students how they can write the word sap. A student replaces the i with an a.
  • In Skills 8, Lesson 10, the teacher reminds students that digraphs consist of two letters that represent one sound, and they will learn additional letter teams today. The teacher writes the letter g on the board and asks for the sound. The teacher writes gg on the board and explains that this is another way to write the sound /g/. The teacher writes the word egg on the board, and students read it.

Materials contain frequent explicit instruction of word solving strategies to decode unfamiliar words. Examples include:

  • In Skills 5, Lesson 9, the teacher writes the word box on the board and asks students to read it by segmenting it and then blending the sounds. The teacher continues with a chaining activity, asking students to segment the word before blending it together.
  • In Skills 6, Lesson 5, students read “Kit’s Cats.” The teacher reminds students to run their finger under each word as they read the story aloud. If they do not immediately recognize a word, they should sound it out letter by letter.

Multiple and varied opportunities are provided over the course of the year for students to learn, practice, and apply word analysis strategies. Examples include:

  • In Skills 2, Lesson 4, students learn a strategy to read compound words. The students hold their fists in front of them and say one word as they flip over their right fist and open it and then do the same thing with the second word. The students clap their hands and say the entire word. Students practice with words such as cupcake.
  • In Skills 6, Lesson 4, students are introduced to the spelling s for the /s/ or /z/ sound. The teacher begins by modeling with words, hats and kids. The students practice reading a list of words with /z/ or /s/ sound ending in Activity Page 4.1. The students identify if the words end with the /s/ or /z/ s spelling by sorting words. Finally students read “Kit’s Hats” and practice reading words with the various ending sounds.
  • In Skills 10, Lesson 7, students are introduced to the spelling a_e for the sound /ae/. In one activity, students practice hearing the sound /ae/ in words by closing their eyes and raising their hands if they hear the/ae/ sound in the middle of words. In another activity, the students learn to spell the /ae/ sound. The teacher shows students how to read words make and same. The students practice reading tape, plane, and skate and circle the correct picture. Lastly, students read “Cake and Grapes” in the student reader.

Criterion 1n - 1q

Materials provide systematic and explicit instruction and practice in fluency by focusing on accuracy and automaticity in decoding in K and 1, and rate, expression, and accuracy in mid-to-late 1st and 2nd grade. Materials for 2nd grade fluency practice should vary (decodables and grade-level texts).

6/8
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Criterion Rating Details

Instructional materials provide systematic and explicit instruction and practice in fluency by focusing on accuracy and automaticity in decoding. Materials provide some opportunities over the course of the year for students to read emergent texts for purpose and understanding primarily through decodable readers.

Indicator 1n

Materials provide opportunities for students to engage in decoding practice focused on accuracy and automaticity in K and Grade 1.
4/4
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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Kindergarten meet the criteria for materials to provide opportunities for students to engage in decoding practice focused on accuracy and automaticity in K and Grade 1.

The Kindergarten materials provide systematic and explicit instruction and practice in fluency by focusing on accuracy and automaticity in decoding. Students review new words prior to reading the Decodable Reader, which is listed in the Preview Spelling chart in the text. In addition, students engage in decoding practice focused on accuracy and automaticity through partner readings of decodable readers, Wiggle Cards, and activity pages.

Materials provide systematic and explicit instruction as well as practice in fluency by focusing on accuracy and automaticity in decoding. Examples include:

  • In Skills 3, Lesson 13, the teacher does an overview of the pictures in the Picture Reader and has students read the text with silly voices. However, the materials state that if students are not already reading the text with high accuracy, then rereading without silly voices should be done first. The teacher is told to pre-teach the words for each picture first so students can fluently read the book.
  • In Skills 5, Lesson 7, the teacher models reading fluently using the Big Book “Pet Fun.” The teacher reads it again and calls on students to read individual phrases.
  • In Skills 6, Lesson 5, the teacher previews words that students will read in “Kit’s Cats.” The teacher writes the words on the board and has students blend and read the word. Students are asked to use the word in a sentence.
  • In Skills 7, Lesson 10, students sit with partners and read the decodable text, “Seth.” The teacher introduces the story by reviewing the Preview Spelling chart. Students read the words aloud as a class, and the teacher circles the digraphs in each word prior to students reading the text.
  • In Skills 8, Lesson 2, students reread the decodable reader “Sam and the Fish,” and the teacher works with a small group of students to review the Preview Spelling Chart, which has words that students will encounter in the text. The teacher has the students read and blend each word in a column of the chart, providing support as needed and pointing out spelling patterns in each column.
  • In Skills 10, Lesson 5, the teacher introduces the story “The Bees” and reviews the Preview Spelling chart and has the class read all the words aloud together prior to reading the text.
  • In Skills 10, Lesson 10, the teacher previews spellings prior to reading the story, “Skates.” Students practice decoding the words together by reading the words aloud as a class.

Materials provide opportunities for students in Kindergarten to engage in decoding practice focused on accuracy and automaticity. Examples include:

  • In Skills 9, Lesson 15, students are shown Wiggle Cards, and they read each card and perform the action listed on each card.
  • In Skills 10, Lesson 2, students complete a Silly Voices Card activity using the decodable reader, “Scott and Lee.” Students take turns reading aloud using the silly voice and a partner echo reads.
  • In Skills 10, Lesson 6, students read a series of questions and have to answer yes or no, such as “Can a tree sing a song?”, requiring students to read accurately.

Indicator 1q

Materials provide teacher guidance to support students as they confirm or self-correct errors (Grades 1-2) and emphasize reading for purpose and understanding.
2/4
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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Kindergarten partially meet the criteria for materials to provide teacher guidance to support students as they confirm or self-correct errors (K-1) and emphasize reading for purpose and understanding (K-2).

Materials provide some opportunities over the course of the year for students to read emergent texts for purpose and understanding primarily through decodable readers. The materials provide a purpose for reading within reading lessons; however, the materials contain no explicit directions for the teacher to model how to engage a text to emphasize reading for a purpose.

Multiple opportunities are provided over the course of the year for students to read emergent-reader texts for purpose and understanding. Examples include:

  • In Skills 6, Lesson 7, students read the text, “Kit’s Hats,” and are told to focus on what kind of things Kit’s cats do in the text.
  • In Skills 9, Lesson 10, prior to reading the text, “Fix the Shop,” the teacher tells the students to pay special attention to what’s wrong with Zack’s dad’s ship when reading.
  • In Skills 10, Lesson 5, prior to reading “The Bees,” the teacher tells students that they will read a story about bees. The teacher reminds the students to pay attention to the story, so they can explain what happens with the bees.

There is no evidence found that materials contain explicit directions and/or think-alouds for the teacher to model how to engage with a text to emphasize reading for purpose and understanding.

Gateway Two

Implementation, Support Materials & Assessment

Meets Expectations

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Gateway Two Details

Instructional materials include a Teacher Guide that facilitates foundational skill instruction through consistent written step-by-step directions and visuals. The materials also include an overview of the foundational skills taught at the grade level, with complete, detailed adult-level explanations. While the materials include well-designed, research-based lesson plans, the program cannot be completed in a typical school year. The materials include a coherent scope and sequence of phonics instruction that builds toward application of skills. The materials include decodable texts that align to the scope and sequence of phonics and high-frequency word instruction, beginning in Skills 6. Materials also regularly and systematically provide a variety of assessment opportunities over the course of the year to demonstrate student progress toward mastery of all foundational skills. The materials provide opportunities for small group reteaching through Additional Support activities, which are included in every Skills lesson. Throughout the Teacher’s Guide, there is support for English Language Learners, which is found in sidebars throughout lessons. The Kindergarten digital materials, which include Teaching Guides, Activity Books, Readers, Big Books, Picture Readers, Sound Library, and the Assessment and Remediation Guides are compatible with multiple internet browsers, including FireFox, Safari, Explorer, and Google Chrome.

Criterion 2a - 2e

Materials are accompanied by a systematic, explicit, and research-based scope and sequence outlining the essential knowledge and skills that are taught in the program and the order in which they are presented. Scope and sequence should include phonological awareness, phonics and word recognition, fluency, and print concepts.
18/20
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Criterion Rating Details

Instructional materials include a Teacher Guide that facilitates foundational skill instruction through consistent written step-by-step directions and visuals. The materials also include an overview of the foundational skills taught at the grade level, with complete, detailed adult-level explanations. While the materials include well-designed, research-based lesson plans, the program cannot be completed in a typical school year. The materials include a coherent scope and sequence of phonics instruction that builds toward application of skills.

Indicator 2a

Materials contain a teacher edition with ample and useful annotations and suggestions on how to present the content in the student materials. Where applicable, materials include teacher guidance for the use of embedded technology to support and enhance student learning.
4/4
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Indicator Rating Details

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

The Teacher Guide facilitates foundational skill instruction through consistent written step-by-step directions and visuals. Each lesson provides the teacher with explicit routines, timelines, materials, and assessments. There is a consistent lesson structure that starts with a Warm-Up, then moves into phonological awareness, phonics instruction, and then writing. It is important to note that for some of the procedures, it references going back to an earlier unit instead of typing out steps in each lesson.

The materials provide a well-defined, Teacher Guide for content presentation. Materials include a Table of Contents, Common Core Alignment, Primary Focus Objectives for each lesson, Formative Assessments, and a Lesson at a Glance. Grouping strategies and suggested times are provided. An advanced preparation chart guides the teacher in preparation for each lesson. For example, in Skills 5, Lesson 4, the teacher needs specific large letter cards and needs to display a lowercase alphabet strip on the board. There are sidebars throughout the program that list supports and challenges that might apply to various learners.

The Teacher Guide contains instructional routines to help the teacher effectively implement all foundational skills content. The teacher regularly uses picture readers, blending picture cards, a chaining folder, large letter cards, sound cards, small letter cards, and sound posters. All lessons follow a similar routine. Lessons start with a warm-up introducing a new sound orally. For example, in Skills 6, Lesson 1, the Teacher Guide instructs the teacher to have students practice blending sounds into three, four, and five sound words.

Technology supports and guides the teacher. For example, there is a sound library resource that models the correct pronunciation of each sound. The teacher can sort the sounds by grade level or use the search feature.

Indicator 2b

Materials contain full, adult-level explanations and examples of the foundational skills concepts included in the program so teachers can improve their own knowledge of the subject, as necessary.
4/4
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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Kindergarten meet the criteria for materials to contain full, adult-level explanations and examples of the foundational skills concepts included in the program. Teachers can use the materials to improve their own knowledge of the subject.

The materials include an overview of the foundational skills taught at the grade level, with complete, detailed adult-level explanations. In the introduction to each unit, there are explanations and a rationale behind the instructional practices presented to students. Examples of each concept are provided along with additional information to support the teacher in delivering the lessons. Appendix A includes a detailed explanation of the Simple View of Reading. It also informs the program design and has detailed explanations for the difference between sight words and tricky words.

Throughout the program there are complete, adult-level explanations for each foundational skill. Each lesson includes a primary focus objective and the corresponding Common Core State Standard(s). The Teacher Guide introduction provides an overview of the lessons and skills taught throughout the unit. Some specific examples include:

  • In Appendix A, at the back of the Kindergarten Skills there is an in-depth explanation of how CKLA is taught and how they define key terms such as phonological awareness and phonics. Examples include:
    • CKLA focuses on sounds, or phonemes, as the primary organizing principle of the program, rather than letters.
    • CKLA focuses consistently on the phoneme, or single sound, and not on larger units. Students read words that contain onsets, rimes, and consonant clusters, and they learn to view and process these larger units as combinations of smaller phoneme-level units.
    • CKLA includes phonics instruction, but the instruction differs from the phonics usually taught in the United States. It begins with sounds and then attaches those sounds to spellings. In a typical phonics lesson in the United States, the teacher writes the letter ‘m’ on the board and says, “This is the letter ‘em’. It says /m/.” The teacher is asked to present lessons in a different way. The teacher will begin by teaching the the sound. At the beginning of the lesson the teacher will tell the class: “Today’s sound is /m/.” Then the teacher will lead the class in some engaging oral language exercises that allows students to say and hear the sound /m/. Once students are familiar with the sound, the teacher will show them how to draw a “picture of the sound.” The teacher will write the letter ‘m’ on the board and explain that "this is how we make a picture of the /m/ sound."
  • Appendix B includes definitions of key foundational skills terms used in each unit. For example:
    • Unit 1: phonological awareness (hearing environmental sounds, hearing words in phrases and sentences); prewriting skills (tripod grip, lines, circles, etc.)
    • Unit 2: phonemic awareness (hearing sounds in words); oral blending of sounds (e.g., given /f/ . . . /i/ . . . /sh/, the student can blend the sounds to make the word fish)
  • In Skills 1, the introduction provides an overview of Unit 1. The overview indicates that the first purpose is to increase student awareness of environmental noises and words within sentences. It goes on to explain, “paying attention to environmental noises and to words within sentences prepares students to pay attention to sounds within words.”
  • In Skills 4, the Teacher Guide states, “One difference you will notice are the Warm-Ups, which suggest you begin using finger gestures to show the segmentation of words into sounds. Previously, you may have used arm gestures for blending. The segmenting gestures are explained clearly in the lessons.”
  • In Skills 9, the teacher is given an explanation for a routine for oral blending using hand motions. It states, “The finger taps represent sounds. This helps students hear and distinguish individual sounds.”

There are detailed examples of the grade-level foundational skill concepts for the teachers. Examples include:

  • In Skills 1, Lesson 1, the students work on distinguishing discrete noises. Guidance is given to the teacher such as, “This experience is important because it requires students to distinguish discrete noises. This is similar to distinguishing discrete sounds in spoken words.”
  • In Skills 4, Lesson 1, students work on oral segmenting and some of the instructions for teachers include, “Remind students that they have practiced blending. Guide students in blending the following sounds as an example: /g/.../oe/>go.” and “Wiggle or move your index finger and say the first sound in the word. /g/ (see illustration 2A).”

Indicator 2c

Foundational skills lessons are well-designed and take into account effective lesson structure and pacing. Content can reasonably be completed within a regular school year, and the pacing allows for maximum student understanding.
2/4
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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Kindergarten partially meet the criteria for foundational skills lessons that are well-designed and take into account effective lesson structure and pacing. Content can reasonably be completed within a regular school year, and the pacing allows for maximum student understanding.

While the materials include well-designed, research-based lesson plans, the program cannot be completed in a typical school year. In order to complete all 10 skill books, a teacher needs a minimum of 40 weeks and 1 day, which does not factor in disruptions in a typical school year. It is suggested that 191-201 school days will be needed to complete the program.

Lesson plans utilize effective, research-based lesson plans designed for early literacy instruction. According to the National K-2 Program Guide, CKLA teaches the most frequent sound spellings first in order to maximize the words students can read and move them into engaging, well-written, decodable text. Lessons are multisensory, and each lesson starts with phonological awareness. The lesson moves from the auditory to the visual production of a sound with the teacher modeling before students form the sound.

The lessons include both whole group and small group instruction. According to the Program Guide, the teacher will “engage in direct instruction, particularly when new concepts, foundational skills, and content are introduced.” In addition, “small group and partner activities and discussions are used in short and longer sessions.”

The pacing of each component of daily lesson plans is clear and appropriate. The Program Guide suggests 60 minutes of instruction daily, with 2-3 Pausing Point days built in per skill. Teachers are provided with a calendar tool to assist in planning. Within each individual lesson, the time needed for each component is listed. For example, in Skills 3, Lesson 8, Pocket Chart chaining will take 10 minutes.

Indicator 2d

Order of Skills
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Indicator 2d.i

Scope and sequence clearly delineate the sequence in which phonological awareness skills are to be taught, with a clear, evidence-based explanation for the expected hierarchy of phonemic awareness competence. (K-1)

4/4
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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Kindergarten meet the criteria for scope and sequence clearly delineates the sequence in which phonological awareness skills are taught, with a clear, evidence-based explanation for the expected hierarchy of phonemic awareness competence.

In Kindergarten, the Teacher Guide, Appendix A provides an explanation for the sequence of phonological awareness skills. The Teacher Guide states, “CKLA focuses consistently on the phoneme, or single sound, and not on larger units.” The progression of phonological awareness skills allows students to learn in a sequential way to build their understanding of phonemic awareness. The Standards Alignment document provides both the grade-level Standard Alignment and Individual Skills Standard Alignment, providing a cohesive sequence of instruction for phonemic awareness.

Materials contain a clear, evidence-based explanation for the expected hierarchy for teaching phonological awareness skills. Some examples include:

  • In the Program Guide, the materials explain that the program is based on the Simple View of Reading and “The Skills strand is built upon a large research base including the National Reading Panel...” Furthermore, the materials state, “Each lesson is dedicated to print concepts, phonological awareness, and phonics, and word recognition.”
  • The Program Guide says, “In CKLA phonics instruction, students are first introduced to the sound and participate in interactive, engaging oral language exercises in which they repeatedly say and hear the sound.”
  • In Skills 1, Introduction, the materials state that the teacher needs to spend time in phonological awareness to lay a foundation of reading and not skip the lessons. It goes on to say, “Some teachers may be unaccustomed to spending instructional time on the types of phonological awareness and prerequisite writing skills that are the focus of instruction in Unit 1….As noted earlier, the activities included in Units 1 and 2, while seemingly simple, lay a critical foundation for the reading instruction in later units.”

Materials contain a coherent phonemic awareness sequence of instruction and practice based on the expected hierarchy. The Kindergarten Skills Scope and Sequence Guide on page 8 of the Introduction in the Assessment and Remediation Guide shows the sequence of phonological awareness instruction. This includes:

  • In Skills 1, students work on understanding spoken words, syllables, and sounds.
  • In Skills 2 and 3, the teacher models and the students practice sound blending. There is a focus on syllables and sounds, including counting, pronouncing, and blending. Students isolate and pronounce the initial, medial vowel, and final sound in CVC words.
  • In Skills 4, the teacher models, and the students practice sound segmenting as well as adding or substituting individual sounds to make new words.
  • In Skills 5 and 6, students learn both sound blending and sound segmenting. Students work on rhyming words.
  • In Skills 7, students start to learn consonant blends in the segmenting activities, and students continue to recognize and produce rhyming words.
  • In Skills 8, students recognize and produce rhyming words, isolate and pronounce initial, medial vowel, and final sounds in CVC words, and substitute and add sounds to make new words.
  • In Skills 9, students review oral blending with words with more than three phonemes.
  • In Skills 10, students learn oral segmenting of two syllable words.

Indicator 2d.ii

Scope and sequence clearly delineate an intentional sequence in which phonics skills are to be taught, with a clear explanation for the order of the sequence.

4/4
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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Kindergarten meet the criteria for a scope and sequence that clearly delineates an intentional sequence in which phonics skills are to be taught, with a clear explanation for the order of the sequence.

The materials include a coherent scope and sequence of phonics instruction that builds toward application of skills. Through the research base and sequence of instruction, the program teaches the 150 spellings for the 44 sounds of the English language throughout the first three years of school. The scope and sequence can be found in the Table of Contents, the Appendix, the Scope and Sequence document, and the Alignment Chart. Research found in the Research Guide explains the underlying reason for the order of instruction.

Materials clearly delineate a scope and sequence with a cohesive, intentional sequence of phonics instruction and practice to build toward application of skills. In the Resources, a Scope and Sequence of the Skills strand is identified for each grade level. The materials provide the scope and sequence, broken apart by the focus of each lesson, for each Unit in the Skills Strand. In addition, the Table of Contents for each Skills Teacher Guide provides a reference sequence of phonics instruction and activities in the lesson that build toward application of the skill. The following is the Kindergarten Scope & Sequence (note: in the Appendix B, which lists the Scope & Sequence, it is labeled as Unit instead of Skills):

  • Unit 3: letter-sound correspondence and spelling for /m/, /a/, /t/, /d/, /o/, /k/ spelled c, /g/, /i/, and read and write VC and CVC words.
  • Unit 4: letter-sound correspondence and spelling for /n/, /h/, /s/, /f/, /v/, /z/, /p/, /e/ and read short phrases and first story.
  • Unit 5: letter-sound correspondence and spelling for /b/, /l/, /r/, /u/, /w/, /y/, /j/, /y/, /x/, /k/ and read and write VC and CVC words as well as read and write short phrases and sentences that begin with upper case letters.
  • Unit 6: Initial and final consonant clusters and read and write CVCC, CCVC, CCVCC words, plus letter-sound correspondence for /z/ spelled s and plural words.
  • Unit 7: consonant digraphs, read and write one syllable words containing up to 7 letters, and read decodable stories.
  • Unit 8: double letter sound spellings of bb, dd, ff, gg, ll, mm, nn, pp, rr, ss, tt, zz, and /k/ spelled cc.
  • Unit 9: identify and write uppercase letters.
  • Unit 10: letter-sound correspondence for vowel-consonant-e words.

Materials have a clear research-based explanation for the order of the phonics sequence. Some of this includes:

  • “Research consistently demonstrates that explicit phonics instruction has important, lasting benefits to children’s reading accuracy, and this is one of the most emphasized aspects of phonics instruction for English language learners, as well as children struggling to learn reading (August et al., 2005, Brady, 2011; DeGraaff et al., 2009; Ehri et al., 2001; Torgesen, 2006; Torgesen et al., 2001; Vaughn, 2007).”
  • Materials include “a variety of features designed to minimize confusion and maximize practice and application of each sound spelling, consistent with research that such an approach leads to significant benefits in efficiency and in accuracy with children’s learning (Share, 1995; Torgesen, 2006; Torgesen et al., 2001; Ziegler and Goswami, 2005).”
  • “Emphasizing the use of systematic, mastery-oriented practice that distinguishes the program from many other explicit phonics instructional programs….CKLA’s approach balances both the motivation and mastery aspects of practice (Carpenter et al., 2012., 2012; Cepeda et al., 2006; Gerbier and Toppino, 2015).”
  • CKLA teaches “phonics and reading/writing fundamentals through an integrated system of assessment, general curriculum, and supplementary curricular materials designed for added differentiation and support. Research finds that one of the challenges in providing differentiated instruction to students is a lack of specifically designed activities or ideas that relate to the skills or targets taught within the general curriculum (e.g., Al Otailba et al., 2011).”
  • In Skills 1, the introduction states, “CKLA includes explicit, systematic phonics instruction, but the instruction differs from the type of phonics usually taught in the United States in that it begins with a focus on sounds and then links those sounds to spellings.” It states, “CKLA uses a synthetic phonics approach which teaches students to read by blending through the word; it does not teach multiple cueing strategies, use of pictures as a primary resource in decoding, or part-word guessing.”
  • In Skills 1, Appendix A, the Teacher Guide references Philip Gough and William Tunmer’s research on the Simple View of Reading and its focus on word recognition skills and language comprehension.

Phonics instruction is based in high utility patterns and/or common phonics generalizations. CKLA explicitly teaches the 150 spellings of the 44 sounds throughout kindergarten, Grade 1, and Grade 2. Phonics instruction is taught one phoneme/grapheme at a time in Skills 3-6, and then moves to digraphs and letter clusters in Skills 7. In Skills 10, the long vowel sounds/phonics patterns are introduced.

Patterns and generalizations are carefully selected to provide a meaningful and manageable number of patterns and common generalizations for students to learn deeply. According to the program, the sequence of instruction “progresses from the most common, least ambiguous spellings in Kindergarten to the least frequent, most confusing sound spellings in Grade 2.” One phoneme pattern or common generalization is taught per lesson. The Teacher Guide, Appendix A, provides an explanation for the sequence of phonological awareness skills.

Indicator 2e

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

The materials reviewed for Kindergarten meet the criteria for materials to contain strategies for informing all stakeholders, including students, parents, or caregivers about the English Language Arts/literacy program and suggestions for how they can help support student progress and achievement.

The program materials contain information for all stakeholders on how to support students with the material covered during the day. The materials contain a take-home component for each Skills unit as well as reproducible take-home activities. In addition, there is a family letter that gets sent home explaining what the students will be learning.

Materials contain jargon-free resources to inform all stakeholders about the foundational skills taught at school. In every Skills unit, there are take-home activity pages used to maximize reinforcement of skills taught during the day. These pages are optional, but highly recommended. Examples include:

  • In Skills 1, the Activity Book includes a letter to families explaining the CKLA program. It identifies the learning targets for the first few weeks of school as well as examples of activities to support the learning taking place at school. It includes information such as, “Next, students will learn to hear the sounds in words. When that skill is in place, they will learn the letters used to represent sounds.”
  • In Skills 2, Activity 10.4, the take-home letter explains that the students have been working on the terms beginning and end. Information to families regarding the importance of these skills is, “Knowing these terms is important for tracking from the beginning of a row to the end of a row when reading.”
  • In Skills 10, Take Home Page 15.3, the parent letter explains reading words of a specific phonics pattern (a consonant e, i consonant e, and ee). The letter explains that the spelling of the vowel sound is separated by a consonant followed by an e which makes the vowel long and represents a single sound.

Materials provide stakeholders with strategies and activities for practicing phonological awareness, phonics, and word recognition that will support students in progress towards and achievement of grade level foundational skills. Examples include:

  • In Skills 1, the Take-Home Letter 6.4 shares activities to do at home such as, “Pick one short sentence from the story with no more than five words. Say the sentence to your child. As you speak, lift one finger for each word in the sentence. Let your child try to lift his or her fingers for each word while saying the sentence.”
  • In Skills 2, Activity 10.4, the families support in-class practice of the print concept skill of beginning and end by having their child color the item at the beginning of each line green and at the end of each line red.
  • In Skills 3, the take-home activity includes the opportunity to decode words and read and write tricky words.
  • In Skills 10, Take-Home Page 15.3, the take home activity has students cut apart the words into flashcards that they practice. An adult takes the flashcards and reads the word aloud while the child writes down the sounds, one at a time, paying attention to the separated digraph.

Criterion 2f - 2f.ii

Program includes work with decodables in K and Grade 1, and as needed in Grade 2, following the grade-level scope and sequence to address both securing phonics.
8/8
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Criterion Rating Details

The materials include decodable texts that align to the scope and sequence of phonics and high-frequency word instruction, beginning in Skills 6.

Indicator 2f

Aligned Decodable Texts
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Indicator 2f.i

Materials include decodable texts with phonics aligned to the program’s scope and sequence and opportunities for students to use decodables for multiple readings.
4/4
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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Kindergarten meet the criteria for materials to include decodable texts with phonics aligned to the program’s scope and sequence.

The materials include decodable texts that align to the scope and sequence, beginning in Skills 6, which provide students the opportunities to apply phonics skills to reading. The decodable texts are used for multiple reading opportunities.

Materials include decodable texts to address securing phonics. For example:

  • In the K-2 Program Guide, it explains, “These readers contain decodable text aligned to the sequence of phonics instruction. In kindergarten, an additional pre-decodable Picture Reader combines rebus pictures with high frequency words.”
  • In The K-2 Program Guide, it explains, “CKLA Readers are built according to the program and the code students have been introduced to.”
  • In Skills 4, Lesson 13 students read the Big Book “Pet Fun” as a class. It contains words to practice the letter sounds /a/, /t/, /m/, /o/, and /n/ and CVC words.
  • In Skills 6, the Introduction provides information for the introduction of the Reader. The stories are 100% decodable and the first few stories are short and simple. “The length of the stories and the level of complexity will increase as students learn more letter-sound correspondences and augment their decoding skills.”

Decodable texts contain grade-level phonics skills aligned to the program’s scope and sequence. Examples include:

  • In Skills 6, the decodable reader includes the skills students already have learned and the skills students learn in this unit. For example, it says that in the story “Kit” consonant clusters such as sk, fl, sw will be found and in “Kit’s Hats,” the sound /z/ as in has will be included.
  • In Skills 7, the decodable reader, “Seth” aligns with the digraphs taught during the skills lessons. Specifically, in Lesson 14, students read “Lunch,” which includes words such as chips, munch, fish, Seth, and with.
  • In Skills 8, the decodable reader lists the vowel and consonant sounds and spellings students will encounter in “On the Bus” such as words with double-letter spellings and in “The Jazz” students will encourage /z/ as in jazz.
  • In Skills 10, the reader lists the phonics skills students will encounter while reading. It explains that beginning with “Scott and Lee,” the sound /ee/ spelled ee will be found and in the “The Gift,” the sound /oe/ spells o_e will be found in the text.

Materials include detailed lesson plans for repeated readings of decodable texts to address securing phonics skills. Examples include:

  • In Skills 6, the Introduction explains that students will be rereading the text including partner reading. The introduction says, “It is also beneficial for students to read stories more than once, preferably two to four times over a period of several days.”
  • In Skills 6, Lesson 5, during small groups, students are encouraged to go back and reread stories in the decodable reader once the student reads the text with a partner.
  • In Skills 8, Lesson 4, students reread the decodable text “Fun at the Pond” either in a small group or with a partner.
  • In Skills 10, Lesson 2, students begin rereading stories such as “Scott and Lee” that they have already read in their Decodable Reader.

Indicator 2f.ii

Materials include decodable texts with high-frequency words aligned to the program’s scope and sequence and opportunities for students to use decodables for multiple readings.
4/4
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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Kindergarten meet the criteria for materials to include decodable texts with high-frequency words aligned to the program’s scope and sequence.

The materials include decodable texts for each unit beginning in Unit 6 that are aligned to the scope and sequence. Decodable texts contain opportunities for students to practice reading high-frequency words in context. Students reread these texts in small groups with partners.

Materials include decodable texts that utilize high-frequency/irregularly spelled words. Examples include:

  • In Skills 5, Lesson 15, in the Big Book story “Ox and Man,” high-frequency words such as and, at, him, but, and on are found in the text.
  • In Skills 6, the Reader includes the Tricky Words a, blue, look, one, the, three, two, and yellow.
  • In Skills 7, the Reader includes Tricky Words such as look, three, two, and yellow.
  • In Skills 9, the Reader includes some Tricky Words such as all, are, blue, down, from, and look.
  • In Skills 10, the Reader includes some Tricky Words students already know including blue, here, once, says, three, and where. As students read the text, additional words are added such as he, she, and we with the story “Red Ants” and they and their with the story “Cake and Grapes.”

Decodable texts contain high-frequency/irregularly spelled words aligned to the program’s scope and sequence. Examples include:

  • In Skills 4, students learn the Tricky Words the and a and these words are found in the Picture Reader in Lesson 15.
  • In Skills 6, students learn the Tricky Words I, am, and little and these words are taught at the beginning of the Skills 7 Reader.
  • In Skills 8, students learn the Tricky Words funny, all, from, and was and all of these words are included in the decodable stories.
  • In Skills 9, students learn Tricky Words such as once, said, no, says, and are, and all of these are found in the text “Bug and Frog” in Lesson 16.
  • In Skills 10, students learn the Tricky Words he, she, we, be, me, they, their, my, by, you, and your and these words are taught throughout the unit.

Materials include detailed lesson plans for repeated readings of decodable texts to address securing reading of high-frequency words/irregularly spelled words in context. Examples include:

  • In Skills 6, Lesson 5, students reread the Decodable Reader, which contains Tricky Words such as am and little in small groups and/or with a partner.
  • In Skills 8, Lesson 7, students reread the story “Tasks,” which includes the Tricky Word all. One group of students rereads the text with the teacher and the other group rereads the text with a partner.
  • In Skills 9, some students reread the text, “On the Mat” with a partner.
  • In Skills 10, Lesson 2, during small group instruction, students begin rereading stories that they have already read in their Decodable Reader, which contain Tricky Words such as he, they, and their.

Criterion 2g - 2i.iii

Materials provide teachers resources and tools to collect ongoing data about student progress on the Standards. Materials also provide teachers with strategies for meeting the needs of a range of learners so that students demonstrate independence with grade-level standards.
21/22
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Criterion Rating Details

Instructional materials regularly and systematically offer assessment opportunities that measure student progress through mastery of print concepts, letter recognition, and printing letters. Materials also regularly and systematically provide a variety of assessment opportunities over the course of the year to demonstrate student progress toward mastery and independence in phonological awareness. The materials provide phonics assessment materials and tools that include scoring and recording sheets to collect ongoing data about student progress in phonics. Materials include assessments to monitor progress of word recognition and analysis. The materials provide opportunities for small group reteaching through Additional Support activities, which are included in every Skills lesson. Throughout the Teacher’s Guide, there is support for English Language Learners, which is found in sidebars throughout lessons. Materials provide multiple opportunities through the Challenge sidebars and the Pausing Point opportunities to provide extension opportunities for students who read, write, speak, or listen above grade level.

Indicator 2g

Regular and Systematic Opportunities for Assessment
0/0

Indicator 2g.i

Materials regularly and systematically offer assessment opportunities that measure student progress through mastery of print concepts (K-1), letter recognition (K only), and printing letters (as indicated by the program scope and sequence) (K-1).

2/2
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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Kindergarten meet the criteria for materials to regularly and systematically offer assessment opportunities that measure student progress through mastery of print concepts (K-1), letter recognition (K only), and printing letters (as indicated by the program scope and sequence) (K-1).

Materials offer assessments throughout the year. There are formative assessments throughout the Skills units and Summative Assessments at the end of the Units. Assessments require students to show understanding of print concepts, letter recognition, and printing letters.

Materials regularly and systematically provide a variety of assessment opportunities for students over the course of the year. The teacher can use the data to measure progress toward mastery and independence of print concepts, letter recognition, and letter formation.

  • In Skills 1, Lesson 6, the teacher assesses students through observation using an anecdotal skills record.
  • In Skills 1, Lesson 10, the Student Performance Assessment materials state, “In Lesson 10, you will be prompted to use activity pages during instructional time to assess students’ ability to copy a circle and horizontal, vertical, and diagonal lines: to understand the position words left, right, top, middle, and bottom; and to discriminate the number of words heard in a spoken sentence. Instructions for administering and scoring the assessment are included in Lesson 10.”
  • In Skills 2, Lesson 10, the Student Performance Assessment materials state, “In Lesson 10, you will be prompted to use activity pages during instructional time to assess students’ ability to copy previously taught writing strokes, as well as draw a cup, a hump, a zigzag, a wavy line, a spiral, a +, an x, a loop, a cane, and a hook.”
  • In Skills 3, Lesson 1, materials contain a formative assessment using Student Activity page 1.1 called Spell the Sound. Students spell the sound for the sound /m/.
  • In Skills 3, Lesson 11, the Student Performance Assessment has students accurately write the following lowercase letters: m, t, d, c, g, i, a.
  • In Skills 4, Lesson 11, the Student Performance Assessment has students accurately write the following lowercase letters: m, n, p, t, d, f, v, c, g, s, z, h, i, a, o, e.
  • In Skills 6, Lesson 17, the Student Performance Assessment, Student Activity 17.1 Part A, in each row students circle a certain letter. In Part B, students read “Fast Fred” and the teacher observes tracking and punctuation.
  • In Skills 6, Section 3 of the Assessment and Remediation Guide, there is a letter naming assessment.
  • In Skills 7, Lesson 16, Student Performance Assessment, there is a letter name assessment. Materials state, “Tell students you will ask them to point to a row and listen as you say the name of a letter. Tell students they are to circle the letter you name. Ask students to point to row number 1. Say the letter name for ‘e’ (eeee). Repeat two times, giving students time to circle a letter. Continue in the same manner with each of the letters in the box.”

Assessment materials provide teachers and students with information concerning current skills/level of understanding of print concepts, letter recognition, and letter formation.

  • In the Assessment and Remediation Guide, there is a flow chart for each skill assessed that helps the teacher know which lessons to use next whether it is a Pausing Points activity or a lesson from the Assessment and Remediation Guide.
  • Within the Skills Units, formative assessments are marked for the teacher to gather data on students and determine if there are needs for additional support.

Materials support teachers with instructional suggestions for assessment-based steps to help students to progress toward mastery in print concepts, letter recognition, and letter formation.

  • For each skill, Sample Remediation lessons are in the Assessment and Remediation Guides.
  • Skill 3 Assessment and Remediation Guide contains sample remediation lessons.
  • Formative assessments during a Skills Unit help the teacher know how much time is needed by a class or small group on Pausing Points or additional support activities found within the unit.
  • In Skills 7, Pausing Points provide instructional suggestions for progress toward mastery. For extra help with letter sounds and names, there are four additional lessons.

Indicator 2g.ii

Materials regularly and systematically offer assessment opportunities that measure student progress of phonological awareness (as indicated by the program scope and sequence). (K-1)

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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Kindergarten meet the criteria for materials to regularly and systematically offer assessment opportunities that measure student progress of phonological awareness (as indicated by the program scope and sequence).

Materials regularly and systematically provide a variety of assessment opportunities over the course of the year to demonstrate student progress toward mastery and independence in phonological awareness. There are Unit Assessments, observation forms, and checks for understanding. The Assessment and Remediation Guide provides an outline of Phonological Awareness Assessment activities over the course of the year. The Skills Units have multiple opportunities, both through observations and assessments, to measure student progress of phonological awareness. Additionally, the Assessment and Remediation Guide provides opportunities for phonological awareness assessment.

Formative assessment through observation and student activity pages are built into each Skills Teacher Guide. Examples include:

  • In Skills 1 of the Assessment and Remediation Guide, there is a “Determining Student Need” flow chart, which will help teachers “consider student performance across the lessons and with any Pausing Points utilized...” If students struggled significantly with activities from particular rows of the chart, the unit objective to target is indicated in the first column.
  • In Skills 2, Lesson 10, a blending assessment is provided that corresponds with student Activity Page 10.2. The teacher states sounds, and the students blend the sounds in their head and pick the corresponding picture from a set of three pictures.
  • In Skills 2, Lesson 30, the second part of the Unit Assessment evaluates a student's blending skills. It states, “Make any note of any error patterns you notice for particular students.... Provide practice for students whose performance falls in the weak range using Additional Support activities...”
  • In Skills 4, Lesson 3, students take turns isolating sounds following the procedure modeled by the teacher, and the teacher records the student’s response in the Oral Segmenting Observation Record.

Assessment materials provide teachers and students with information concerning current skills/levels of understanding of phonological awareness.

  • In Skills 1, the Assessment and Remediation Guide tells teachers, “Establish(ing) a level of instructional need will direct you to a corresponding lesson structure provided at the beginning of each unit. Select exercises and assessments and prepare associated materials for instruction and progress monitoring.”
  • In Skills 2, Lesson 10, the oral blending assessment has the students blend together a group of sounds that the teacher says and then circle the picture of the corresponding word. It recommends recording student scores in the Record Sheet for Unit 2 Student Performance Assessment. Analysis of scores is provided and states “8-10 points excellent, 6-7 points good, 5 or fewer points weak.”
  • In Skills 2, Lesson 30 of the Unit Assessment states, “Provide practice for students whose performance falls in the weak range using Additional Support Activities...”
  • In Skills 4, Lesson 11, an observation form for oral segmenting is provided.

Materials support teachers with instructional suggestions for assessment-based steps to show a student's progress toward mastery in phonological awareness. Examples include:

  • In Skills 2, Assessment and Remediation Guide, blending and segmenting syllables and blending phonemes is assessed and flow charts are provided to determine a student's level of understanding and next steps to take based on observations and the Student Performance Assessment located in the Skills Teacher Guide.
  • In Skills 7, Assessment and Remediation Guide, segmenting a spoken word in phonemes is assessed, and a flow chart is provided to determine a student's level of understanding and next steps to take based on observations and the Student Performance Task Assessment.

Indicator 2g.iii

Materials regularly and systematically offer assessment opportunities that measure student progress of phonics in- and out-of-context (as indicated by the program scope and sequence). (K-2)

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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Kindergarten meet the criteria for materials to regularly and systematically offer assessment opportunities that measure student progress of phonics (as indicated by the program scope and sequence).

The materials provide phonics assessment materials and tools that include scoring and recording sheets to collect ongoing data about student progress in phonics. The materials help teachers determine student progress through the systematic implementation of the Student Performance Assessments in the Skills Unit and the Phonics Progress Monitoring assessments in the Assessment and Remediation Guide. The materials include instructional adjustments to help students make progress towards mastery in phonics with scoring information, item analysis charts, and remediation lessons in the Assessment and Remediation Guide.

Materials provide resources and tools to collect ongoing data about a student's progress in phonics. For example:

  • In Skills 3, the Assessment and Remediation Guide provides a Phonics Progress Monitoring assessment. The assessment is composed of six words that students read and a record sheet is provided.
  • In Skills 6, the Assessment and Remediation Guide provides a Phonics Progress Monitoring assessment which is composed of nine words that students read aloud. A recording sheet is provided.
  • In Skills 6, additional assessments are provided in the Pausing Points to assess the phonics skills of the students.
  • In Skills 8, Lesson 15, students receive a word recognition assessment. The teacher says a word, and students find it on their sheet and circle the word.

Materials offer assessment opportunities that are implemented systematically to determine student progress in phonics. Examples include:

  • In Skills 5, Lessons 12 and 13, students complete an assessment. In Part 1 of the assessment, the teacher says a word, and students circle the correct word. In Part 2, the teacher assesses students individually if they scored 7 or lower in Part 1.
  • In Skills 6, Lesson 17, students read consonant clusters and if they score less than 7 points, they take an additional assessment the next day.
  • In Skills 7, Lessons 11 and 12, students are assessed on CVCC and CCVC words. The teacher says a word and the students circle the correct one. If students score 7 or fewer points in Part 1, students are individually assessed.
  • In Skills 8, Lesson 15, students are assessed in a word recognition assessment. If they score below 90%, they are given a pseudoword or real word recognition assessment administered one-one-one the next day.

Multiple assessment opportunities are provided regularly for students to demonstrate progress toward mastery and independence with phonics. Examples include:

  • In Skills 4, Lesson 11, students complete a reading assessment where the teacher says 10 CVC words, and the students circle the correct word on the page.
  • In Skills 10, Lesson 27, the teacher dictates 15 sounds, and students write corresponding letters.

Assessment materials provide teachers and students with information about students’ current skills/levels of understanding of phonics. Examples include:

  • In Skills 3, there is a Phonics Progress Monitoring assessment where students read words. If students score 14-15 points, it is considered excellent; if they score 11-13 points, it is considered good; if they score 8-10 points, it is considered fair; and less than 8 is considered poor.
  • In Skills 5, there is a progress monitoring assessment and scores are interpreted as 14-15 points is considered excellent, 11-13 points is considered good, 8-10 points is considered fair, and less than 8 points is considered poor.
  • In Skills 6, Lesson 17, students take a Phonics Progress Monitoring assessment. A score of 9 to 10 points is considered excellent, a score of 8 points is considered good, a score of 6 to 7 points is considered fair, and a score that is less than 6 is considered poor.

Materials genuinely measure student progress to support teachers with instructional adjustments to help students make progress toward mastery in phonics. In each Skills Unit, there is a Determining Student Need flow chart for teachers to use to find exercises and assessments for students who need reteaching. Examples include:

  • In Skills 3, there is a Phonics Progress Monitoring assessment and if students score 10 points or less, the program indicates that students need reteaching and/or reinforcement, which is found in the Assessment and Remediation Guide, Skills 3, Phonics II.
  • In Skills 6, students do a Phonics Progress Monitoring Assessment and if students score 7 points or less, students need additional reteaching and reinforcement from the Assessment and Remediation Guide, Skills 6, Section II, Phonics.

Indicator 2g.iv

Materials regularly and systematically offer assessment opportunities that measure student progress of word recognition and analysis (as indicated by the program scope and sequence). (K-2)

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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Kindergarten meet the criteria for materials to regularly and systematically offer assessment opportunities that measure student progress of word recognition and analysis (as indicated by the program scope and sequence).

The materials include assessments to monitor progress of word recognition and analysis. Information is provided to the teacher regarding student levels and understanding. The materials include information for teachers on interpreting the data to help students progress toward mastery. The Assessment and Remediation Guide provides a summative end of year student performance assessment and more formal assessments to determine the abilities and learning needs of the students.

Materials regularly and systematically provide a variety of assessment opportunities over the course of the year to demonstrate students progress toward mastery and independence of word recognition and analysis.

  • In Skills 8, the Introduction states, “It is highly recommended that you assess each student’s recognition of these words at both the beginning and end of the unit on one of these lists.” The lists are the Dolch and Fry Sight Word list.
  • In Unit 10, Skills 26, there is an End of Year Student Performance Assessment and part 1B assesses Tricky Words. The teacher says a series of words, but only four of the words are on the printed assessment. Students circle the words that the teacher says.
  • In Skills 10, there are optional assessments of the Dolch Sight Words and the Fry Word List and a Dolch Word Assessment Record and a Fry Word Assessment Record is provided.

Assessment materials provide teachers and students with information concerning the current skills/level of understanding of word recognition and word analysis. Examples include:

  • In Skills 8, the Assessment and Remediation Guide lists a scoring analysis for Tricky Words. The scoring analysis says, “Scoring is based on one point assigned for every word read correctly. Interpret scores as follows: 7 points - Excellent, 6 points - Good, 5 points - Fair, less than 5 points - Poor.”
  • In Skills 9, Lesson 20, students complete a Tricky Word Recognition Assessment using Activity Page 20.1. It states, “A student who scores less than 6 correct needs additional practice with Tricky Words.”

Materials support teachers with instructional suggestions for assessment-based steps to help students progress toward mastery in word recognition and word analysis. Examples include:

  • In Skills 8, the Assessment and Remediation guide lists supports for students who struggle to read the high-frequency words a, all, of, one, from and was. It states, “If the student meets expectations, continue with Skills 8, Skills strand sequence. If the student continues to struggle, then use Section I, Phonics in the Skills 8 Assessment and Remediation Guide
  • In Skills 9, Lesson 10, a Tricky Word Assessment is provided. The scoring and analysis provides information that students who score 10 or below can benefit from Additional Support activities for additional practice of Tricky Words.

Indicator 2h

Materials include publisher-produced alignment documentation of the standards addressed by specific questions, tasks, and assessment and assessment materials clearly denote which standards are being emphasized.
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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Kindergarten partially meet the criteria for assessment materials to include publisher-produced alignment documentation of the standards addressed by specific questions, tasks, and assessment and assessment materials clearly denote which standards are being emphasized.

The Kindergarten Resource Guides list formative assessments for each lesson within Skills Units with reference to the corresponding standards. The materials provide a Standards Alignment document, which contain Common Core State Standards, which correlate to each Skills Units. The materials provide an Alignment Chart located within each Skills Unit, which lists the Primary and Secondary standards for each lesson. However, the Alignment Charts do not provide alignment to specific tasks, questions or assessment items.

Materials include denotations of the standards being assessed in the formative assessments. Examples include:

  • In Skills 2, Lesson 2, the teacher observes oral blending skills for a formative assessment, which is attached to the standard RF.K.2b.
  • In Skills 3, Lesson 5, the teacher observes the oral blending skills of the students as a formative assessment, which is attached to the standard RF.K.2d.
  • In Skills 4, Lesson 4, there is a Letter Sound Observation Record, which is listed as a formative assessment and attached to the standard RF.K3a.b.
  • In Skills 6, Lesson 4, formative assessments are listed with standards at the beginning of the lesson. Students complete Activity Page 4.1, which is a word sort for the letter s based on the sounds /s/ and /z/. It is attached to the standard RF.K.3a.
  • In Skills 9, Lesson 1, the teacher observes oral blending skills of the students, which is attached to standard RF.K.2f.

Materials include the alignment to the standards being assessed in the summative assessments. Examples include:

  • In Skills 2, Lesson 9, students take a performance assessment. There is an oral blending observation record, which is attached to the standard RF.K.2b.
  • In Skills 10, Lesson 27, students take the Summative Assessment. The students name lowercase letters and provide the corresponding sound, which is attached to the standard RF.K.1d. and RF.K.3a.b.
  • In Skills 10, Lesson 28, students take a performance assessment. The Letter Names portion of the assessment references standards RF.K.3b and RF.K.3d.

Alignment documentation is provided for all tasks, questions, and assessments items.

  • No evidence is present

Alignment documentation contains specific standards correlated to specific lessons. The Common Core Alignment document for each unit identifies the lesson and if the standard is a primary focus of the lesson or a secondary standard. Examples include:

  • The Skills 1 the Standard Alignment Chart lists RF.K.2 as the primary focus of lessons 1-10.
  • The Skills 7, Standard Alignment Chart lists the standard RF.K.3a for Lesson 10. In the Teacher Guide, Lesson 10, the standard RF.K.3a is referenced for the task of providing letter sounds and names for letter cards shown.
  • The Skills 9 Standard Alignment Chart lists RF.K.2 as a secondary standard for the Lessons 1, 5, 7, 8, 9, 11, and 15.

Indicator 2i

Differentiation for Instruction: 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 grade-level standards.

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Indicator 2i.i

Materials regularly provide all students, including those who read, write, speak, or listen in a language other than English with extensive opportunities for reteaching to meet or exceed grade-level standards.

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Indicator Rating Details

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

Throughout the Teacher’s Guide, there is support for English Language Learners, which is found in sidebars throughout lessons. There is specific information about Spanish and English sound correlations as well as a few other languages. The materials provide suggestions for Universal Access, such as photos and pictures to assist with letter sounds and vocabulary acquisition when introducing skills.

Materials provide support for English Language Learner (ELL) students. Examples include:

  • In Skills 2, Lesson 1, the teacher is directed to bring in pictures for the words cupcake, bedroom, snowman, seashell, popcorn, rainbow, outside, and bedbug to provide a visual support for students when they may be unable to read or hear what the oral word is or means.
  • In Skills 4, Lesson 2, the teacher is informed that in Spanish the letter h is silent and the h sound is made by the letter j. The teacher emphasizes that in English the h makes the /h/ sound.
  • In Skills 5, Lesson 4, in a Foundational Skills sidebar, it tells the teacher that in many Asian languages the sounds /l/ and /r/ are heard as variants, and students who are native of Asian languages may need extra practice distinguishing these sounds. It explains that “if students have trouble hearing a word’s initial sound, say the word in a segmented fashion: /r/... /i/.../p/ and then students blend the word.”
  • In Skills 7, Lesson 1, the Universal Access tells teachers to bring in a picture of a person skipping, a washcloth, an arm in a sling, a person on a gold medal stand, and a campsite to use in an oral segmenting activity for English Language Learners.
  • In Skills 9, Lesson 7, in Universal Access, it is suggested that the teacher brings in pictures of animals to use during an oral blending lesson.

General statements about ELL students or strategies are noted at the beginning of a unit or at one place in the Teacher Guide and are then implemented in the materials throughout the lessons. Examples include:

  • In the K-2 Program Guide, it notes that a hand raised icon is an Alert for Access Support to help ELL students access grade-level content.
  • In the K-2 Program Guide, it explains a variety of tools to help students, including ELL students, access the curriculum. Some of the tools include the digital component field that allows for a range of presentations of images and text to support learning and clarify language throughout the program.
  • In the K-2 Program Guide, it lists a variety of methods for students, including ELL students to demonstrate their learning. This includes the Wiggle Cards that allow students to demonstrate their decoding and a variety of ways to respond to prompts such as oral responses, written responses, and shared class response.
  • In Skills 1, the Teacher Guide Introduction states that Additional Support activities are suggested at the end of each lesson and can be used with any student needing more help, including English Language Learners.
  • In Skills 1, the Teacher Guide Introduction states that sidebars are found throughout the lesson to provide guidance for teachers.

Indicator 2i.ii

Materials regularly provide all students, including those who read, write, speak, or listen below grade-level with extensive opportunities for reteaching to meet or exceed grade-level standards.

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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Kindergarten meet the criteria for materials to regularly provide all students, including those who read, write, speak, or listen below grade level with extensive opportunities for reteaching to meet or exceed grade-level standards.

The materials provide opportunities for small group reteaching through Additional Support activities, which are included in every Skills lesson. The materials provide teachers with guidance for scaffolding and adapting lessons and activities to support students who read, write, speak, or listen below grade level.

Materials provide opportunities for small group reteaching. Examples include:

  • In Skills 1, Lesson 13, the teacher works with small groups for the first time. One of the groups consists of students needing additional support and close monitoring. The Teacher Guide explains that the groups are meant to be fluid, and teachers should use information from assessments and observations to decide on the groups.
  • In Skills 5, Lesson 2, students are broken into small groups to work on the sound spelling of /l/. Students in Group 1 need additional support.
  • In Skills 6, Lesson 8, the Additional Support activity is a small group where students reread the text, “Kit’s Mom” in silly voices, using picture cards from Activity Page TR 5.2.
  • In Skills 10, Lesson 1, students blend and segment two-syllable words. In the Additional Supports, it suggests that a small group of students, who need additional help, are given a small object and told they will break words into their smallest parts using the objects when trying to segment the words.

Materials provide guidance to teachers for scaffolding and adapting lessons and activities to support students who read, write, speak, or listen below grade level in extensive opportunities to learn foundational skills at the grade-level standards. Examples include:

  • In Skills 3, Lesson 2, Additional Support is provided to help students hear the initial sound in words. The Support tells the teacher that if students have difficulty hearing the /a/ sound in the word, to say the word by segmenting it. For example, to say ad as /a/.../d/ first and then repeating it as ad.
  • In Skills 5, Lesson 2, students engage in a Warm-up activity where students say each sound while making a corresponding gesture. According to the program, for students who need additional support, “Adopt other gestures for the sounds if you find them more effective.”
  • In Skills 8, Lesson 1, in the Additional Support section, there is information on how to help students with letters and sounds. Students are given larger letter cards for a spelling that has one sound. The teacher says a sound, and the student with the Large Letter Card stands up and gives the letter name. Students print the spelling on paper, saying the sound as they write.

Indicator 2i.iii

Materials regularly provide extensions and/or more advanced opportunities for students who read, write, speak, or listen above grade-level.

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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Kindergarten meet the criteria for materials to regularly provide extensions and/or more advanced opportunities for students who read, write, speak, or listen above grade level.

Materials provide multiple opportunities through the Challenge sidebars and the Pausing Point opportunities to provide extension opportunities for students who read, write, speak, or listen above grade level. Additional readers are included during the Pausing Points for extension opportunities for applying phonics skills and for practicing fluency. Enrichment opportunities are not just additional assignments and instead, are variants in what other students are doing.

Materials provide multiple opportunities for advanced students to investigate grade-level foundational skills at a greater depth. Examples include:

  • In the K-2 Program Guide, Differentiation, it notes, “Pausing Point days include several days’ worth of enrichment and remediation instruction.”
  • In the K-2 Program Guide, Student Enrichment, it notes, “CKLA provides multiple opportunities for challenge and enrichment, including: Challenge Sidebars.” These provide stretching questions and activities throughout the lesson.
  • In Skills 3 Lesson 1, the Challenge Sidebar provides the following extension guidance, “For students who can readily identify words beginning with /m/, ask them to try to identify words that end with /m/.”
  • In Skills 5, Lesson 5, students engage in a sorting routine. For students who do this with ease, materials suggest that the students do a speed sort where they race against themselves to get their best time.
  • In Skills 6, Lesson 11, in a Stand up for Rhymes activity, students stand up if they hear a pair of rhyming words. In a Challenge Sidebar, students are asked to provide additional rhyming words.
  • In Skills 7, Lesson 12, the Challenge Sidebar provides the following extension guidance, “Ask students to provide a rhyming word for each blended word.”
  • In Skills 8, Lesson 4, in a Making Phrases with Tricky Words activity, in a Challenge Sidebar, students are invited to add words orally to turn the phrases created in the activity into sentences.

There are no instances of advanced students simply doing more than their classmates. Opportunities for advanced students were noted during whole group or small group time. Students were not assigned to do more than their classmates, rather a variance of an activity. For most of the activities, the advanced students would work on their own or with a partner. Students needing remediation work with the teacher. Throughout the Teacher’s Guide, there is support for English Language Learners, which is found in sidebars throughout lessons.

Criterion 2j - 2n

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

The Kindergarten digital materials, which include Teaching Guides, Activity Books, Readers, Big Books, Picture Readers, Sound Library, and the Assessment and Remediation Guides are compatible with multiple internet browsers, including FireFox, Safari, Explorer, and Google Chrome. Online materials are available for both the teacher and the student. The Kindergarten digital materials allow the teacher to differentiate instruction by selecting additional lessons for students in Pausing Point lessons and in the Assessment and Remediation Guide. The Kindergarten materials include decodable readers and e-books with simple color illustrations, which include spelling patterns with bold type to support students in engaging with the text.

Indicator 2j

Digital materials (either included as a supplement 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.
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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Kindergarten meet the criteria that digital materials (either included as a supplement 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.

The Kindergarten digital materials, which include Teaching Guides, Activity Books, Readers, Big Books, Picture Readers, Sound Library, and the Assessment and Remediation Guides are compatible with multiple internet browsers, including FireFox, Safari, Explorer, and Google Chrome. The materials are compatible with both Apple and Windows operating systems. Materials are compatible on Amazon tablets and Apple devices, including iPads and iPhones, as well as Chromebooks and Microsoft Surface Pro.

Indicator 2k

Materials support effective use of technology to enhance student learning.
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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Kindergarten meet the criteria for materials to support effective use of technology and visual design to enhance student learning. Digital materials are accessible and available in multiple platforms.

Online materials are available for both the teacher and the student. Digital materials for the teacher that enhance student learning include projectable and printable activity pages, letter cards, and reading materials. The digital components enable the teacher to enlarge Activity Pages for students. Materials to support student learning include the sound library, which provides audio sounds of letters, animation of the letter, and songs to support and enhance student learning. Audio and e-books of the student readers are provided to help make the text more accessible. The Big Books (Skills Units 4-8) and student decodable readers (Skills Units 6-10) can be projected and downloaded in a PDF format.

Indicator 2l

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

The materials reviewed for Kindergarten partially meet the criteria for digital materials to include opportunities for teachers to personalize learning for students and use adaptive or other technological innovations.

The Kindergarten digital materials allow the teacher to differentiate instruction by selecting additional lessons for students in Pausing Point lessons and in the Assessment and Remediation Guide. However, the materials do not include adaptive materials that allow for teachers to personalize learning for individual students. Teachers are not able to manipulate or construct individual learning experiences for students. There is not a student learning technology component within or in addition to the digital platform to personalize learning for students.

Indicator 2m

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

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

The Kindergarten materials can be customized for local use. Customization may occur in scaffolding and in opting for digital or print materials use. Differentiation and extension opportunities are available throughout the instructional materials, which allows for customization for local use. In Pausing Points, teachers and/or districts can determine how many additional days to spend in the Unit. The Assessment and Remediation Guide can be used if a student requires reteaching.

Indicator 2n

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

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

The Kindergarten materials include decodable readers and e-books with simple color illustrations, which include spelling patterns with bold type to support students in engaging with the text. Tricky words are included and are underlined. When presenting the Big Book or the decodable reader in the digital format, two pages are shown at a time, similar to a book. The Activity Pages include simple graphics, which are not distracting or chaotic and also emphasize focus on the spelling pattern with bold letters. The size of the font can be adjusted. The materials include Student Chaining folders with letter cards to build words, which are not distracting. The Sound Library includes audio phoneme pronunciation, an animated video, and a song for the sounds, which support students in thoughtfully engaging with the sounds. The teacher materials have clear headings and a consistent layout.

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Report Published Date: 2021/01/12

Report Edition: 2020

Title ISBN Edition Publisher Year
CKLA 2nd Edition GK Single Student Skills Kit (2020) 978‑1‑6816‑1819‑7 Student/Teacher Amplify Education 2020

Please note: Reports published beginning in 2021 will be using version 1.5 of our review tools. Version 1 of our review tools can be found here. Learn more about this change.

ELA Foundational Skills Review Tool

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

The ELA foundational skills review criteria evaluates materials based on:

  • Alignment to Standards and Research-Based Practices for Foundational Skills Instruction

  • Implementation, Support Materials & Assessment

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

NOTE: The ELA foundational skills review criteria contains only two gateways. The structural pieces that we normally review as a part of Gateway 3 (e.g. differentiation) in our comprehensive reviews are critical to the success of a program, and are, therefore, interspersed and combined with other indicators in Gateway 2.

The EdReports rubric supports a sequential review process through three gateways. These gateways reflect the importance of alignment to college and career ready standards and considers other attributes of high-quality curriculum, such as usability and design, as recommended by educators.

Materials must meet or partially meet expectations for the first set of indicators (gateway 1) to move to the other gateways. 

Gateways 1 and 2 focus on questions of alignment to the standards. Are the instructional materials aligned to the standards? Are all standards present and treated with appropriate depth and quality required to support student learning?

Gateway 3 focuses on the question of usability. Are the instructional materials user-friendly for students and educators? Materials must be well designed to facilitate student learning and enhance a teacher’s ability to differentiate and build knowledge within the classroom. 

In order to be reviewed and attain a rating for usability (Gateway 3), the instructional materials must first meet expectations for alignment (Gateways 1 and 2).

Alignment and usability ratings are assigned based on how materials score on a series of criteria and indicators with reviewers providing supporting evidence to determine and substantiate each point awarded.

Alignment and usability ratings are assigned based on how materials score on a series of criteria and indicators with reviewers providing supporting evidence to determine and substantiate each point awarded.

For ELA and math, alignment ratings represent the degree to which materials meet expectations, partially meet expectations, or do not meet expectations for alignment to college- and career-ready standards, including that all standards are present and treated with the appropriate depth to support students in learning the skills and knowledge that they need to be ready for college and career.

For science, alignment ratings represent the degree to which materials meet expectations, partially meet expectations, or do not meet expectations for alignment to the Next Generation Science Standards, including that all standards are present and treated with the appropriate depth to support students in learning the skills and knowledge that they need to be ready for college and career.

For all content areas, usability ratings represent the degree to which materials meet expectations, partially meet expectations, or do not meet expectations for effective practices (as outlined in the evaluation tool) for use and design, teacher planning and learning, assessment, differentiated instruction, and effective technology use.

Math K-8

  • Focus and Coherence - 14 possible points

    • 12-14 points: Meets Expectations

    • 8-11 points: Partially Meets Expectations

    • Below 8 points: Does Not Meet Expectations

  • Rigor and Mathematical Practices - 18 possible points

    • 16-18 points: Meets Expectations

    • 11-15 points: Partially Meets Expectations

    • Below 11 points: Does Not Meet Expectations

  • Instructional Supports and Usability - 38 possible points

    • 31-38 points: Meets Expectations

    • 23-30 points: Partially Meets Expectations

    • Below 23: Does Not Meet Expectations

Math High School

  • Focus and Coherence - 18 possible points

    • 14-18 points: Meets Expectations

    • 10-13 points: Partially Meets Expectations

    • Below 10 points: Does Not Meet Expectations

  • Rigor and Mathematical Practices - 16 possible points

    • 14-16 points: Meets Expectations

    • 10-13 points: Partially Meets Expectations

    • Below 10 points: Does Not Meet Expectations

  • Instructional Supports and Usability - 36 possible points

    • 30-36 points: Meets Expectations

    • 22-29 points: Partially Meets Expectations

    • Below 22: Does Not Meet Expectations

ELA K-2

  • Text Complexity and Quality - 58 possible points

    • 52-58 points: Meets Expectations

    • 28-51 points: Partially Meets Expectations

    • Below 28 points: Does Not Meet Expectations

  • Building Knowledge with Texts, Vocabulary, and Tasks - 32 possible points

    • 28-32 points: Meet Expectations

    • 16-27 points: Partially Meets Expectations

    • Below 16 points: Does Not Meet Expectations

  • Instructional Supports and Usability - 34 possible points

    • 30-34 points: Meets Expectations

    • 24-29 points: Partially Meets Expectations

    • Below 24 points: Does Not Meet Expectations

ELA 3-5

  • Text Complexity and Quality - 42 possible points

    • 37-42 points: Meets Expectations

    • 21-36 points: Partially Meets Expectations

    • Below 21 points: Does Not Meet Expectations

  • Building Knowledge with Texts, Vocabulary, and Tasks - 32 possible points

    • 28-32 points: Meet Expectations

    • 16-27 points: Partially Meets Expectations

    • Below 16 points: Does Not Meet Expectations

  • Instructional Supports and Usability - 34 possible points

    • 30-34 points: Meets Expectations

    • 24-29 points: Partially Meets Expectations

    • Below 24 points: Does Not Meet Expectations

ELA 6-8

  • Text Complexity and Quality - 36 possible points

    • 32-36 points: Meets Expectations

    • 18-31 points: Partially Meets Expectations

    • Below 18 points: Does Not Meet Expectations

  • Building Knowledge with Texts, Vocabulary, and Tasks - 32 possible points

    • 28-32 points: Meet Expectations

    • 16-27 points: Partially Meets Expectations

    • Below 16 points: Does Not Meet Expectations

  • Instructional Supports and Usability - 34 possible points

    • 30-34 points: Meets Expectations

    • 24-29 points: Partially Meets Expectations

    • Below 24 points: Does Not Meet Expectations


ELA High School

  • Text Complexity and Quality - 32 possible points

    • 28-32 points: Meets Expectations

    • 16-27 points: Partially Meets Expectations

    • Below 16 points: Does Not Meet Expectations

  • Building Knowledge with Texts, Vocabulary, and Tasks - 32 possible points

    • 28-32 points: Meet Expectations

    • 16-27 points: Partially Meets Expectations

    • Below 16 points: Does Not Meet Expectations

  • Instructional Supports and Usability - 34 possible points

    • 30-34 points: Meets Expectations

    • 24-29 points: Partially Meets Expectations

    • Below 24 points: Does Not Meet Expectations

Science Middle School

  • Designed for NGSS - 26 possible points

    • 22-26 points: Meets Expectations

    • 13-21 points: Partially Meets Expectations

    • Below 13 points: Does Not Meet Expectations


  • Coherence and Scope - 56 possible points

    • 48-56 points: Meets Expectations

    • 30-47 points: Partially Meets Expectations

    • Below 30 points: Does Not Meet Expectations


  • Instructional Supports and Usability - 54 possible points

    • 46-54 points: Meets Expectations

    • 29-45 points: Partially Meets Expectations

    • Below 29 points: Does Not Meet Expectations