Alignment: Overall Summary

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 5 partially meet expectations for Alignment to NGSS, Gateways 1 and 2. Gateway 1: Designed for NGSS; Criterion 1: Three-Dimensional Learning partially meets expectations. The materials include three-dimensional learning opportunities and opportunities for student sensemaking with the three dimensions. However, the formative and summative assessments do not consistently measure the three dimensions for their respective objectives. Criterion 2: Phenomena and Problems Drive Learning partially meets expectations. Phenomena and problems are present, connected to DCIs, and presented to students as directly as possible. The materials consistently elicit but do not leverage student prior knowledge and experience related to the phenomena and problems present. Phenomena and problems drive learning and use of the three dimensions at the unit level but not at the chapter or activity level.

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 5 meet expectations for Gateway 2: Coherence and Scope. The materials connect units and chapters in a manner that is apparent to students, and student tasks increase in sophistication within and across units. The materials accurately represent the three dimensions across the series and only include scientific content appropriate to the grade level. Further, the materials include all DCI components and all elements for physical science; life science; earth and space science; and engineering, technology, and applications of science. The materials include all of the science and engineering practices but not all elements of the practices are present. The materials include all grade-level SEP elements and nearly all elements across the band, with adequate opportunity for students to use practices repeatedly and in multiple contexts. The materials include all of the grade-band crosscutting concepts and provide repeated opportunities for students to use CCCs across the grade band. The materials include NGSS connections to Nature of Science and Engineering elements associated with the SEPs and/or CCCs.

See Rating Scale Understanding Gateways

Alignment

|

Partially Meets Expectations

Gateway 1:

Designed for NGSS

0
14
24
28
19
24-28
Meets Expectations
15-23
Partially Meets Expectations
0-14
Does Not Meet Expectations

Gateway 2:

Coherence and Scope

0
16
30
34
34
30-34
Meets Expectations
17-29
Partially Meets Expectations
0-16
Does Not Meet Expectations

Usability

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Not Rated

Not Rated

Gateway 3:

Usability

0
30
50
59
N/A
50-59
Meets Expectations
31-49
Partially Meets Expectations
0-30
Does Not Meet Expectations

Gateway One

Designed for NGSS

Partially Meets Expectations

+
-
Gateway One Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 5 partially meet expectations for Gateway 1: Designed for NGSS; Criterion 1: Three-Dimensional Learning partially meets expectations and Criterion 2: Phenomena and Problems Drive Learning partially meets expectations.

Criterion 1a - 1c

Materials are designed for three-dimensional learning and assessment.
10/16
+
-
Criterion Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 5 partially meet expectations for Criterion 1a-1c: Three-Dimensional Learning. The materials consistently include integration of the three dimensions in at least one learning opportunity per learning sequence and nearly all learning sequences are meaningfully designed for student opportunity to engage in sensemaking with the three dimensions. The materials consistently provide three-dimensional learning objectives at the lesson level that build towards the performance expectations for the larger unit, but do not consistently assess to reveal student knowledge and use of the three dimensions to support the targeted three-dimensional learning objectives. The units also include three-dimensional objectives in the form of 3-D statements and include corresponding assessments but do not consistently address all three dimensions of the objectives.

Indicator 1a

Materials are designed to integrate the Science and Engineering Practices (SEP), Disciplinary Core Ideas (DCI), and Crosscutting Concepts (CCC) into student learning.
0/0

Indicator 1a.i

Materials consistently integrate the three dimensions in student learning opportunities.
4/4
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 5 meet expectations that they are designed to integrate the Science and Engineering Practices (SEPs), Disciplinary Core Ideas (DCIs), and Crosscutting Concepts (CCCs) into student learning opportunities. The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 5 consistently integrate the three dimensions in student learning opportunities. Throughout the grade level, all learning sequences (chapters) include three dimensions and consistently integrate SEPs, CCCs, and DCIs in student learning opportunities (lessons). The materials are designed for students to actively engage in the SEPs and CCCs to deepen understanding of DCIs. Three-dimensional connections are outlined for teachers at the unit, chapter, and lesson level.

Examples of where materials are designed to integrate the three dimensions into student learning opportunities:

  • In Grade 5, Unit: The Earth System, Chapter 2, Lesson 2.6: Explaining How Raindrops Form, students read a text about water’s importance and examine provided data (SEP-INFO-E4). After learning about the water cycle, students conclude that water is part of a larger system on the island and is not disappearing; it is due to the larger systems of the hydrosphere (DCI.PS1.A-E1, DCI.PS1.A-E2, and CCC-SYS-E1).
  • In Grade 5, Unit: Ecosystem Restoration, Chapter 1, Lesson 1.2: Introducing Ecosystems, students view photographs in a slideshow to gain information about rainforests and the impact of farming on the living things in the ecosystem (CCC-SYS-E2). Students develop arguments (SEP-ARG-E4) about the reasons why these organisms aren't thriving (DCI-LS2.A-E1). Students use a text (SEP-INFO-E1) to make observations about other ecosystems.
  • In Grade 5, Unit: Ecosystem Restoration, Chapter 3, Lesson 3.4: Nutrients and Soil, students use qualitative and quantitative data (SEP-DATA-E2) to compare soil types and the resulting plant life (DCI-LS1.C-E2, CCC-CE-C1). Through the use of the simulation (SEP-MOD-E6), students collect evidence to construct an argument (SEP-ARG-E1) about the importance of mushrooms and how they maintain balance in an ecosystem (DCI-LS2.A-E1, CCC-SYS-E2).
  • In Grade 5, Unit: Patterns in the Night Sky, Chapter 1, Lesson 1.4: Distances to the Stars, students engage in a learning sequence to investigate why stars look so small. Students use the Patterns of Earth and Sky Simulation to investigate the distance from earth to the sun and to other stars. Students use the data that was collected to create a scale model (CCC-SPQ-E1) of the earth, the sun, and four other stars (DCI-ESS1.A-E1, SEP-MOD-E1, and SEP-MOD-E5).
  • In Grade 5, Unit: Patterns in the Night Sky, Chapter 3, Lesson 3.2: Modeling Earth’s Orbit, students discuss the position and motion of objects in the sky (DCI-ESS1.B-E1). With a "sun" at the center of the room, each student acts as a model of earth, carrying out the motions of spinning and orbiting (SEP-MOD-E4) to explain the patterns of stars (CCC-PAT-E1).
  • In Grade 5, Unit: Modeling Matter, Chapter 1, Lesson 1.2: Introducing Food Science, students conduct an investigation (SEP-INV-E3) where they make observations about three different mystery mixtures. Students then discuss class results with another student (SEP-INFO-E5) and explain that properties can be used to identify substances (DCI-PS1.A-E1) and that the particle interactions can cause mixtures to behave differently (CCC-SPQ-E1).
  • In Grade 5, Unit 2: Modeling Matter, Chapter 2, Lesson 2.5: Making Sense of Solubility, students read information about molecules (SEP-INFO-E4) and use a simulation that models varying degrees of solubility (SEP-MOD-E3); they combine information from these sources to explain the molecular interactions (CCC-SPQ-E1) involved in solutions. Students use the information from these activities and from prior lessons to evaluate explanations of two solutions and discuss what is happening at the molecular level (DCI-PS1B.E1).

Indicator 1a.ii

Materials consistently support meaningful student sensemaking with the three dimensions.
4/4
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 5 meet expectations that they consistently support meaningful student sensemaking with the three dimensions. Each learning sequence (chapter), includes multiple lessons where students progress towards the goals of the respective chapter and unit. While the materials consistently include opportunities for students to engage in the three dimensions in each chapter, not all lessons provide opportunities for students to build and use all three dimensions for sensemaking. However, the materials do consistently provide an opportunity in at least one lesson per chapter for students to engage in using the science and engineering practices (SEPs) and the crosscutting concepts (CCCs) to meaningfully support student sensemaking with the other dimensions.

Examples where SEPs and CCCs meaningfully support student sensemaking with the other dimensions in the learning sequence:

  • In Grade 5, Unit: The Earth System, Chapter 1, Lesson 1.2: Water Shortages, Water Solutions, students discuss the different ways that humans use water in their daily lives and how the availability of water impacts the use of water by humans (DCI-ESS2.C-E1, CCC-CE-E2). Students consider the question “How can people affect how much freshwater is available?” and use the student reader to learn more about what causes water shortages (SEP-INFO-E3).
  • In Grade 5, Unit: The Earth System, Chapter 4, Lesson 4.1: Investigating the Movement of Water Vapor, students examine how the shape of the land and movement of water vapor within the atmosphere affects rainfall. Through the use of a simulation, students determine where the island will receive rain. Students return to consider the island’s shape, landscape, direction of wind, and compare that to other islands using the online simulation (DCI-ESS2.B-E1). Then students use the simulation program to model what factors affect how water vapor moves in the air (SEP-MOD-E4) to understand how each component of this system (CCC-SYS-E2) interacts and produces the patterns of rainfall (CCC-PAT-E2).
  • In Grade 5, Unit: Ecosystem Restoration, Chapter 2, Lesson 2.3: How Plants Make Food, students explore how plants grow by producing their own food. Students create a board game that simulates photosynthesis and then create a digital model (SEP-MOD-E4, SEP-MOD-E6) to make sense of how plants get food and grow (DCI-LS1.C-E2, DCI-PS3.D-E2). In their models, students illustrate the relationships among the sun, plants, and animals within an ecosystem (CCC-SYS-E2). Students do a short writing activity to synthesize new knowledge learned and how it relates to cecropia trees (DCI-LS2.A-E1, SEP-INFO-E2) and their growth.
  • In Grade 5, Unit: Ecosystem Restoration, Chapter 3, Lesson 3.4: Nutrients and Soil, students explore how an ecosystem is affected if a mushroom is removed from the system. Students use qualitative and quantitative data (SEP-DATA-E2) to compare soil types and the resulting plant life (DCI-LS1.C-E2, CCC-CE-C1). Through the use of the simulation (SEP-MOD-E6), students collect evidence to construct an argument (SEP-ARG-E1) about the importance of mushrooms and how they maintain balance in an ecosystem (DCI-LS2.A-E1).
  • In Grade 5, Unit: Patterns in the Night Sky, Chapter 1, Lesson 1.4: Distances to the Stars, students investigate why stars look very small. Students use the Patterns of Earth and Sky Simulation to investigate the distance from earth to the sun and to other stars. Students use the data to create a scale model (CCC-SPQ-E1) of earth, the sun, and four other stars (DCI-ESS1.A-E1, SEP-MOD-E1, and SEP-MOD-E5).
  • In Grade 5, Module: Patterns in the Night Sky Chapter 3, Lesson 3.2: Modeling Earth’s Orbit, students discuss the position and motion of objects in the sky (DCI-ESS1.B-E1). With a "sun" at the center of the room, each student acts as a model of earth, carrying out the motions of spinning and orbiting (SEP-MOD-E4) to visualize the patterns of stars (CCC-PAT-E1).
  • In Grade 5, Unit: Modeling Matter, Chapter 1, Lesson 1.2: Introducing Food Science, students describe a mixture (ketchup) and then observe various food mixtures. The class discusses their observations as a group. Students begin to make sense of how materials and mixture have different properties (DCI-PS1.A-E1) based on the particles and how they interact with one another (CCC-SPQ-E1). Students observe the properties of these mixtures and compare them (SEP-INV-E3) then discuss their data as a group (SEP-INFO-E5) and start to guess what each mixture is made of.
  • In Grade 5, Unit: Modeling Matter, Chapter 2, Lesson 2.2: Investigating Dissolving, students observe properties of solubility in the classroom and through an online simulation. Students create a digital model (SEP-MOD-E3) to explain what happens at the molecular level (SEP-CEDS-E2). The models show why some items dissolve in water and some do not based on attraction of molecules (DCI-PS1.B-E1, CCC-SPQ-E1).

Indicator 1b

Materials are designed to elicit direct, observable evidence for the three-dimensional learning in the instructional materials.
0/4
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 5 do not meet expectations that they are designed to elicit direct, observable evidence for three-dimensional learning in the instructional materials. Lessons consistently provide learning objectives connected to the 3-D Statements for the lesson. The lesson-level 3-D Statements build to support the 3-D Statements for the chapter, and the chapter-level 3-D Statements build toward the 3-D Statements for the unit. Lessons have assessment tasks that are designed to reveal student knowledge and use of the three dimensions to support the targeted three-dimensional learning objectives, but not consistently. Oftentimes the crosscutting concepts (CCCs) from the 3-D Statements are not assessed.

Lessons and units have assessment tasks that are designed to reveal student knowledge and use of some of the dimensions within the targeted objectives. Across the grade, lessons and units consistently incorporate tasks for the purpose of supporting the instructional process. These opportunities are provided through the use of two assessment types used throughout each unit: On-the-Fly Assessment and Critical Juncture. A Pre-Unit Assessment can also be used for formative purposes. This assessment is identical to the End-of-Unit Assessment. While the assessments do not consistently reveal student knowledge and use of the three dimensions for all objectives, each assessment opportunity indicates specific concepts and practices to observe student progress within the learning experiences, followed by suggestions to the teacher based on what might be observed.

Examples where the materials elicit direct, observable evidence of elements of all three dimensions in the learning objectives:

  • In Grade 5, Unit: Patterns of the Earth and Sky, Chapter 3, Lesson 3.5: Modeling Constellations Over Time, the lesson contains one 3-D Statement as the objective, “Students create digital models and write explanations to demonstrate their understanding of how Earth’s movement causes a pattern in what stars are visible throughout the year (cause and effect).” Students progress towards the completion of this objective through a series of activities that ask them to use models (SEP-MOD-E2) and develop and communicate their understanding through written communications (SEP-CEDS-E1, SEP-INFO-E5). In this lesson, there is a Critical Juncture assessment which assesses student understanding related to the earth’s motion of revolution and rotation and also the impact of the position of earth in its orbit related to what is observed (DCI-ESS1.A-E1, DCI-ESS1.B-E1). Students also write an explanation as to what constellations are visible at different points and the reason why (CCC-CE-E1). Teacher guidance is given related to what is to be observed at this point in the explanations related to the movement of the different objects. Information is also provided related to tailoring instruction for students who have not arrived at the identified understanding.
  • In Grade 5, Unit: Ecosystem Restoration, Chapter 1, Lesson 1.6: The Role of Food in an Ecosystem, the lesson contains one 3-D Statement as the objective, “Students use a digital model to represent their growing understanding of how matter flows between organisms in an ecosystem (energy and matter, systems and system models).” Students progress towards completion of this objective through a series of activities. Students use the Ecosystem Modeling tool (SEP-MOD-E4), use matter cards to show where food molecules go when different animals eat (DCI-LS1.C-E1), and use blocks to demonstrate that matter is conserved (CCC-EM-E2). Then, students reflect upon their ecosystem and write an explanation, synthesizing evidence from various sources (SEP-INFO-E4), to explain the various components of the complex system (CCC-SYS-E2) and why animals are not growing and thriving in this ecosystem (SEP-ARG-E4, DCI-LS2.A-E1). The Critical Juncture is a writing assignment that helps students understand how food helps animals grow. Students begin with a discussion about how food molecules make animals grow. This is followed by a self-assessment where students answer a few reflective questions about their readiness to continue learning. Teacher guidance provides sample responses from students that demonstrate understanding of the objective. It also provides a series of targeted activities to tailor instruction and remediate students who do not yet understand how organisms grow, how organisms use food, and where they get more matter.

Examples where the materials do not elicit direct, observable evidence of elements of all three dimensions in the learning objectives:

  • In Grade 5, Unit: Modeling Matter, Chapter 1, Lesson 1.6: Nanovision Models of Chromatography, the lesson contains one 3-D Statement as the objective, “Students create nanovision diagram models to make sense of what might be happening at the nanoscale that is causing the food dyes to separate (scale, proportion, and quantity).” The On-the-Fly Assessment checks for students’ understanding of how food coloring can separate based on the behavior of molecules (DCI-PS1.A-E1) as students use a digital simulation to model the behavior of particles during chromatography (SEP-MOD-E3). The On-the-Fly Assessment provides teachers with guidance to identify correct responses and provides prompts and suggestions for teachers to address misconceptions and reteaching. Students are not assessed on their understanding that natural objects and/or observable phenomena exist from the very small to the immensely large or from the very short to the very long time periods (CCC-SPQ-E1); instead they draw a model of something at the nanoscale.
  • In Grade 5: Earth Systems, Chapter 4, Lesson 4.1: Investigating the Movement of Water, the lesson contains one 3-D Statement as the objective, “Students use a digital and a physical model to investigate how the shape of the land can affect the movement of water vapor in the atmosphere (systems and system models, energy and matter).” Students use The Earth System Simulation (SEP-MOD-E4) to discover what factors can affect how water vapor moves to different areas in the atmosphere. Students then compare how water vapor would move across two landscapes (DCI-ESS2.A-E2), and reflect on how a mountain and the wind can affect rainfall. The On-the-Fly Assessment uses the simulation to assess how students engage in the practice of testing variables, ensuring that students are changing one variable (such as wind direction) and waiting to notice the results before changing another. The On-the-Fly Assessment provides teachers with guidance to identify correct responses, and provides prompts and suggestions for teachers to address misconceptions and reteaching. The materials do not assess student understanding of systems and system models or energy and matter, or any associated elements of these CCCs.

Indicator 1c

Materials are designed to elicit direct, observable evidence of the three-dimensional learning in the instructional materials.
2/4
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 5 partially meet expectations that they are designed to elicit direct, observable evidence of the three-dimensional learning in the instructional materials. Materials consistently provide three-dimensional learning objectives for each unit. The summative tasks are designed to measure students’ achievement of all three dimensions but only partially assess the dimensions described in the targeted 3-D Statements for the units.

The summative assessments are found in the last lesson of each unit, as an End-of-Unit Assessment. These assessments are designed to reveal students’ understanding of the unit’s core content, including unit-specific disciplinary core ideas (DCIs), science and engineering practices (SEPs), and crosscutting concepts (CCCs). Rubrics are provided for assessing to support teachers in providing additional prompts and understanding whether student responses addressed each prompt.

Examples where the materials provide three-dimensional learning objectives for the learning sequence; summative tasks partially measure student achievement of the targeted three-dimensional learning objectives:

  • In Grade 5, Unit: Patterns of Earth and Sky, the unit objective is for students to answer the question, “Archaeologists discovered part of an ancient artifact that depicts the sun and other stars. How can we figure out what would have appeared on the missing piece?” and address the unit-level 3-D Statement, “Students investigate why we see different stars at different times, using digital and kinesthetic models to figure out what causes (cause and effect) daily and yearly patterns (patterns) of Earth and sky.” In the End-of-Unit Assessment, students draw what they think is the missing piece of an artifact showing the sky and answer why the sky looks different in each section of the artifact. Rubric 1 assesses student ability to construct an explanation and support the explanation with evidence and reasoning (SEP-CEDS-E2) about what stars are seen at different times. Rubric 2 assesses student understanding of the DCIs related to the artifact. These include understanding the sun appears larger and brighter than other stars because it is closer and other stars are a greater distance from earth (DCI-ESS1.A-E1) and there are predictable patterns for the positions of the sun, moon, and starts at different times of the day, month, and year (DCI-ESS1.B-E1). Additional questions assess student understanding of the gravitational pull towards earth’s center (DCI-PS2.B-E3). Rubric 3 assesses student understanding of reasons for the patterns in the positions of stars during different times of the year and of the pattern of day and night. However, the materials do not assess student understanding of patterns or cause and effect or any associated elements of these CCCs.
  • In Grade 5, Unit: The Earth System, the unit objective is for students to answer the question, “What can determine how much water is available for human use?” and address the unit-level 3-D Statement, “Students do activities to understand how interactions between the parts of the Earth system affect the movement and distribution of water (systems and system models), and they apply their understanding to design solutions for a water shortage. Students also obtain information from firsthand investigations, models, and text to figure out how new substances can form through chemical reactions, even though no matter is created or destroyed (energy and matter).” In the End-of-Unit Assessment: Part 1, students write an explanation for why West Ferris gets more rain than East Ferris. Rubric 1 assesses student ability to construct an explanation and support the explanation with evidence and reasoning (SEP-CEDS-E2) about why each side of the island receives a different amount of rain. Rubric 2 assesses student understanding of the DCIs related to the concepts that rain occurs when water vapor gets cold and condenses into liquid water; water vapor condenses as it moves higher, to where the atmosphere is colder; and mountains can redirect water vapor higher in the atmosphere (DCI-ESS2.A-P1, DCI-ESS2.A-E1). Rubric 3 assesses student understanding that there are multiple components of the system (hydrosphere, atmosphere, and geosphere) and interactions among the components determine where the rain falls (CCC-SYS-E2). Part 2 assesses how new substances can form through chemical reactions, in the context of adding substances to wastewater to get rid of harmful substances. However, neither Part 1 or Part 2 assess student understanding of conservation of matter or any associated elements of the CCC energy and matter.
  • In Grade 5, Unit: Ecosystem Restoration, the unit objective is for students to answer the question, “Why aren’t the jaguars and sloths in a reforested part of the Costa Rican rainforest ecosystem growing and thriving?” and address the unit-level 3-D Statement, “Students use models of energy and matter flowing within ecosystems to investigate what could be causing a reforested area of a Costa Rican rain forest to die (energy and matter, systems and system models, cause and effect). Students use evidence to construct oral and written arguments about why the living things in this rain forest ecosystem are not growing and thriving (energy and matter, systems and system models, cause and effect).” In the End-of-Unit Assessment, students make a claim about why snakes are not growing and thriving in a forest ecosystem. Rubric 1 assesses student ability to construct an argument and support their claim with evidence and reasoning (SEP-ARG-E4) about the snakes in the ecosystem. Students use provided data to make evidence-based claims on the factors that may be impacting the health of the ecosystem. Rubric 2 assesses student understanding of the DCIs related to how food provides animals with materials they need for growth and survival (DCI-LS1.C-E1), that energy released from food traces back to plants (DCI-PS3.D-E2, DCI-LS2.A-E1), and that matter cycles through ecosystems (DCI-LS2.B-E1). Rubric 3 assesses student understanding that matter is made from particles (CCC-EM-E1) and these particles are used for “food” for plants and animals, and matter can move through systems and be tracked through the different feeding levels in an ecosystem. The materials do not assess student understanding of cause and effect or systems and system models or any associated elements of these CCCs. Additionally, the assessment does not specifically assess the components of the objectives related to the jaguars or sloths in a Costa Rican rainforest.
  • In Grade 5, Unit: Modeling Matter, the unit objective is for students to answer the question, “What happens when two substances are mixed together?” and address the unit-level 3-D Statement, “Students are introduced to the particulate model of matter (energy and matter) and apply it in their role as food scientists as they explain how to separate a food-coloring mixture and how to create a stable salad dressing (stability and change). They do this by making firsthand observations of a variety of macroscale phenomena involved in separating and creating mixtures and then by creating diagram models and using physical and digital models to visualize what might be happening at the nanoscale (scale, proportion, and quantity).” In the End-of-Unit Assessment, students construct a scientific explanation about why some ingredients separate and how emulsifiers can change that. The End-of-Unit Assessment assesses students' understanding of the CCC of scale, proportion, and quantity (CCC-SPQ-E1); and the SEP of constructing explanations (SEP-CEDS-E2). Although understanding of the CCC and SEP are required, they are not explicitly assessed. Using the information that students have gathered from text and experience, as well as their understanding of the nanoscale that they’ve developed through drawing and investigating models of molecules, students write scientific explanations of why the ingredients in the salad dressing will stay mixed. The assessment checks for students’ understanding of molecular properties of mixing substances (DCI-PS1.B.E1) and that matter is made up of small particles (DCI-PS1A. E1). The materials do not assess student understanding of energy and matter or stability and change or any associated elements of these CCCs.

Criterion 1d - 1i

Materials leverage science phenomena and engineering problems in the context of driving learning and student performance.
9/12
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Criterion Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 5 partially meet expectations for Criterion 1d-1i: Phenomena and Problems Drive Learning. The materials include phenomena in 76% of the chapters and problems in 6% of chapters. Of those phenomena and problems, they consistently connect to grade-level appropriate DCIs and are consistently presented to students as directly as possible. Few instances of phenomena or problems driving learning and use of the three dimensions were found within the chapters, as a guiding question is the primary focus of the learning at the chapter level. The materials consistently elicit but do not leverage student prior knowledge and experience related to the phenomena and problems present. The materials consistently incorporate phenomena or problems to drive learning and use of the three dimensions across multiple chapters within each unit.

Indicator 1d

Phenomena and/or problems are connected to grade-level Disciplinary Core Ideas.
2/2
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-
Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 5 meet expectations that phenomena and/or problems are connected to grade-level disciplinary core ideas (DCIs). Within the grade, the materials provide opportunities for students to build an understanding of grade-level DCIs through unit-level or chapter-level phenomena or problems. In many cases, multiple lesson investigations work together to connect to a single phenomenon and/or problem to develop an understanding of corresponding DCIs. Across the series, students engage in a variety of disciplines including life science, earth science, and physical science while developing a deeper understanding of the engineering design cycle as they apply DCIs to the design problem.

Examples of phenomena and problems connected to grade-level appropriate DCIs or their elements.

  • In Grade 5, Unit: Patterns of Earth and Sky, Chapter 4, Lesson 4.3: End of Unit Assessments, the phenomenon is that we see different stars in the sky on different nights. Throughout the lesson, students use the Patterns of Earth and Sky Simulation to design their own investigation and collect data on how different stars’ visibility changes from month-to-month throughout the year (DCI-ESS1.B-E1). Students use the data they collect to explain observable patterns in the data.
  • In Grade 5, Unit: Modeling Matter, Chapter 1, Lesson 1.5: Exploring Another Model of Chromatography, the phenomenon is that food coloring separates into three dyes. Throughout the lesson, students explore two different models, chromatography and a “fan” model, to understand that matter can be subdivided into smaller particles and then the particles can be identified by their properties (DCI-PS1.A-E1).
  • In Grade 5, Unit: The Earth System, Chapter 2, Lesson 2.7: Designing Freshwater Collection Systems, students are presented with a problem statement where they are asked to design a solution for East Ferris’ water shortage. Throughout the lesson, students use data to infer that much of the water on East Ferris is trapped in groundwater due to human use (DCI-ESS3.C-E1). Students applying what they know about conservation of matter (DCI-PS1.A-E2) to design a way to convert salt water to fresh water. They engage in the engineering process (DCI-ETS1.A-E1) to design a way to convert saltwater into freshwater.
  • In Grade 5, Unit: Ecosystem Restoration, Lesson 1.2 : Introducing Ecosystems, the phenomenon is that the jaguars, sloths, and cecropia trees in a reforested section of a Costa Rican rain forest are not growing or thriving. In this lesson, students take on the role of ecologists as the teacher provides an overview of the rainforest that they will be studying more deeply. Students discuss how the organisms live together in this ecosystem and meet their needs (DCI-LS2.A-E1). Using data provided, students compare populations in a healthy forest to one impacted by the human activity of deforestation (DCI-ESS3.C-E1).

Indicator 1e

Phenomena and/or problems are presented to students as directly as possible.
2/2
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 5 meet expectations that phenomena and/or problems are presented to students as directly as possible. Across the grade level, lessons present phenomena and problems to students as directly as possible. In multiple instances, students are initially presented the phenomenon or problem through pictures and videos that are accompanied by a scenario.

Examples of phenomena and/or problems presented to students as directly as possible

  • In Grade 5, Unit: The Earth System, Chapter 1, Lesson 1.1: Pre-Unit Assessment, students are introduced to the phenomenon, “one side of Ferris Island has a water shortage and the other does not.” Students are shown a projected image of a fictional location, Ferris Island, which demonstrates one side being lush and green and the other side being rocky. Since this is a fictional place, the introduction is the most direct way for students to interact with the problem as the island does not exist. The image of the island allows for observation of the differences across the island.
  • In Grade 5, Unit: The Earth System, Chapter 2, Lesson 2.7: Designing Freshwater Collection Systems, students are presented with a problem statement where they are asked to design a solution for East Ferris’ water shortage. This problem connects to the Anchor Phenomenon for the unit, where students already observed (through pictures) that one side of the island has enough water to grow plants and the other side does not. Students receive a task card with criteria and constraints as they are challenged to convert salt water into fresh water. The prior lessons provide students with a direct way to understand the context of this design challenge.
  • In Grade 5, Unit: Ecosystem Restoration, Chapter 1, Lesson 1.2: Introducing Ecosystems, the phenomenon is that the jaguars, sloths, and cecropia trees in a reforested section of a Costa Rican rain forest are not growing or thriving. Students are presented with the phenomenon through pictures of the animals and of the rainforest. Students discuss the habitat as a group and look at data comparing the populations of the animals and plants in this ecosystem. Since first-hand observations are not practical, presenting this phenomenon through pictures, discussions, and data is a direct method.
  • In Grade 5, Modeling Matter, Chapter 2, Lesson 2.2: Investigating Dissolving, the phenomenon is that some ingredients disappear while others do not. Students are introduced to this phenomenon at the nanoscale through a digital simulation. This simulation allows students to combine molecules of different substances in a dish, stir, and see what happens at the nanoscale. The simulation provides the most direct way for students to observe this phenomenon.
  • In Grade 5, Unit: Patterns of Earth and Sky, Chapter 4, Lesson 4.3: Student’s Investigations of Constellations or Stars, the phenomenon is that we see different stars in the sky on different nights. Students are introduced to this phenomenon through a digital simulation that allows students to observe and collect data on how different stars’ visibility changes from month to month throughout the year. Since students cannot observe the same star throughout an entire year, the simulation is the most direct way for students to interact with the phenomenon.

Indicator 1f

Phenomena and/or problems drive individual lessons or activities using key elements of all three dimensions.
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 5 do not meet expectations that phenomena and/or problems drive individual chapters using key elements of all three dimensions. The materials include an Anchor Phenomenon at the unit level. Near the start of most units, students are asked to play the role of a scientist or an engineer tasked with explaining the phenomenon or solving the problem. The phenomenon often drives learning across the unit, but does not typically drive learning and use of the three dimensions within a single lesson or chapter. Instead, a guiding question related to building understanding of the Anchor Phenomenon is presented at the start of each chapter. The lessons within the chapter build towards answering this guiding question and often focuses on learning supporting concepts, rather than specifically focusing on the phenomenon or problem. Typically the Anchor Phenomenon serves as a central component of learning and can be explained through the application of targeted grade-appropriate science and engineering practices (SEPs), crosscutting concepts (CCCs), and disciplinary core ideas (DCIs), this is primarily found at the unit level and not within individual lessons or chapters.

Examples where chapters or lessons within the grade do not use phenomena or problems to drive student learning:

  • In Grade 5, Patterns of Earth and Sky, Chapter 2, the question “Why is the sun up sometimes, but not other times?” drives learning. Throughout the chapter, students use a simulation to investigate how patterns can be used as evidence to support their understanding of the movement of the objects in the sky (CCC-PAT-E3) as they explore where and when they see the sun and stars. Students use the simulation to test various questions they ask (SEP-AQDP-E1) as they explore the orbit of the earth around the sun and the rotation of the earth on its orbit (DCI-ESS1.B-E1).
  • In Grade 5, Unit: Ecosystem Restoration, Chapter 1, the question “Why aren’t the jaguars and sloths growing and thriving?” drives learning. Students explore the rainforest and the impact of farming on the living things in the ecosystem (CCC-SYS-E2). Students develop arguments (SEP-ARG-E4) about why these organisms aren't thriving (DCI-LS2.A-E1) and use models and simulations to help understand how matter and energy travel through the ecosystem (DCI-LS2.B-E1). While this chapter is driven by a question that is directly related to that unit phenomenon, much of the learning within the chapter is focused on general understanding of how animals gain mass, feeding relationships (DCI-LS1.C-E1), and the increase of matter (DCI-LS2.B-E1) as an organism eats.
  • In Grade 5, Unit: The Earth System, Chapter 5, the question: “How can East Ferris turn wastewater into clean freshwater?” drives learning. Students collect data to determine the role chemical reactions play in wastewater treatment (SEP-INV-E3). While this chapter is driven by a question that is directly related to that unit phenomenon, much of the learning within the chapter is focused on general understanding that when a chemical reaction occurs, the properties of the substances change. Students also notice that a change in properties is not always evidence of a chemical reaction (DCI-PS1.B.-E1, CCC-CE-E1). Students use a modeling tool (SEP-MOD-E4) to explore what happens to molecules during a chemical reaction.

Examples of chapters or lessons that use a phenomenon or problem to drive student learning and engage students with all three dimensions:

  • In Grade 5, Unit: Modeling Matter, Chapter 2, Lesson 2.2: Investigating Dissolving, the phenomenon—that some ingredients disappear when mixed with water and some do not—drives student learning. Students create a digital model to represent what happens at the molecular level when a substance dissolves (SEP-MOD-E3). The model helps students explain why some items dissolve in water and some do not based on the attraction of molecules (DCI-PS1.B.E1) and how it is possible to understand how molecules behave even though they are at a scale too small to see (CCC-SPQ-E1).
  • In Grade 5, Unit: Modeling Matter, Chapter 3, the phenomenon is that oil and water separate after being mixed. Understanding why this happens drives learning and connects to understanding how to prevent the salad dressing from separating. Students investigate properties of water and oil (SEP-INV-P4) to understand how molecules attract. They then discuss how the oil and water can mix for a short time but over time, separate back into separate substances; but when an emulsifier is added, the mixture remains a stable mixture for a longer period of time and does not separate as quickly (CCC-SC-E2). Students discuss how the properties of the mixture differ from each substance within the mixture (DCI-PS1.B.E1).

Indicator 1g

Materials are designed to include both phenomena and problems.
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 5 are designed for students to solve problems in 6% (1/17) of the chapters. Throughout the materials, 76% (13/17) of the chapters focus on explaining phenomena.

The Grade 5 materials are designed as four instructional units, further organized into three to five chapters per unit. Each chapter is divided into multiple 60-minute lessons, comprising smaller activities. Each unit is structured to include 20 lessons plus two 60-minute assessment days.

The Earth System unit contains all the problems for this grade. In The Earth System unit, the problem is presented to students at the end of the chapter (chapter two). Problems are presented to students in the form of an Investigation Question that is answered through a Design Task. The task is tied back to the Anchor Phenomenon that was introduced at the beginning of the chapter.

Example of a problem in the materials:

  • In Grade 5, Unit: The Earth System, Chapter 2, Lesson 2.7: Designing Freshwater Collection Systems, students are presented with a problem-statement where they are asked to design a solution for East Ferris’ water shortage. Throughout this two-session lesson, students assume the role of resource engineers and use their knowledge of evaporation and condensation to research, design, and test a freshwater collection system that can “convert saltwater into freshwater.”

The Earth System and Ecosystem Restoration units each contain an Anchoring Phenomenon, which sets the overarching tone and concept for the lessons and are found at the beginning of the instructional unit and continue throughout the instructional unit. Modeling Matter and Patterns of Earth and Sky units contain chapter-level phenomena, which set the overarching tone and concept for the lessons in that chapter and help build understanding of the unit-level phenomena.

While the materials for each unit contain sections labeled as Investigative Phenomenon, Predicted Phenomenon, and/or Everyday Phenomenon, these are typically concepts that are presented to fill in gaps of necessary student knowledge, rather than a specific event students are trying to figure out or explain.

Examples of phenomena in the materials:

  • In Grade 5, Unit: The Earth System, the Anchor Phenomenon is that one side of Ferris Island has a water shortage and the other side does not. Each chapter in the unit focuses on answering a question that will support students in explaining this phenomenon. Students make observations about the island then pose questions about why one side of the island has water and the other does not. Throughout the four chapters in this unit, students learn about the earth system and what animals need to grow and thrive to help figure out what is causing the water shortage and design possible solutions.
  • In Grade 5, Unit: Ecosystem Restoration, the Anchor Phenomenon is that the jaguars, sloths, and cecropia trees in a reforested section of a Costa Rican rain forest are not growing and thriving as well as those found in a healthier rainforests. Each chapter in the unit focuses on answering a question that will support students in explaining this phenomenon. Throughout the three chapters in this unit, students learn how organisms in an ecosystem get the matter and energy they need to survive. Students use evidence collected throughout the three chapters to construct an argument about why the living things in the rainforest ecosystem are not growing and thriving.
  • In Grade 5, Unit: Modeling Matter, Chapter 1: Why did the food coloring separate into different dyes?, the phenomenon is that a food coloring separates into three dyes. The chapter-level phenomenon is introduced to students in Lesson 1.4 in an email from a food-science lab. Throughout Lessons 1.4–1.6, students learn how different molecules have different properties. Students use evidence collected through a chromatography model, pasta model, fan model, and informational text to explain how food coloring can separate into three dyes.
  • In Grade 5, Unit: Patterns of Earth and Sky, Chapter 4: How can we investigate why we see different stars on different nights?, the phenomenon is that we see different stars in the sky on different nights. Students use a digital simulation to design their own investigation and collect data on how different stars’ visibility changes from month-to-month throughout the year. Students use the data they collect to explain the phenomenon.

Indicator 1h

Materials intentionally leverage students’ prior knowledge and experiences related to phenomena or problems.
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 5 partially meet expectations that they intentionally leverage students’ prior knowledge and experiences related to phenomena or problems. In Grade 5, the materials consistently elicit students’ prior knowledge and experiences related to phenomena and problems, but do not consistently leverage throughout the materials in a way that allows students to build from their own knowledge and experiences. The materials elicit content knowledge from previous activities but also utilize What We Think We Know and Our Experiences charts for the teacher to document students' prior knowledge and experiences related to the phenomenon or problem. The teacher is also directed to post the student thinking charts on the wall so they can return to it throughout the unit. This routine for elicitation of prior knowledge and experience is used consistently across units. The information students share or that is elicited is not incorporated in subsequent activities but instead is frequently connected to at the end of instruction for students to reflect on, missing the opportunity to leverage the prior knowledge and experience.

Examples where the materials elicit prior knowledge and experience related to phenomena and problems, but miss the opportunity to leverage:

  • In Grade 5, Unit: Patterns in the Sky, Chapter 1, Lesson 1.1: Pre-Unit Assessment, the phenomenon is that we see different stars in the sky on different nights. In the Pre-Unit Assessment activity, the materials elicit students’ prior knowledge and experiences related to differences in the sky during day and night and on different nights, and why those differences occur. In a whole class share out, students reveal prior knowledge and it is placed on the What We Think We Know chart for them to refer back to. Then, students engage in a classroom discussion to bring forward their experiences to be placed on the Our Experiences chart. While these charts are eliciting student prior knowledge and experience, there is a missed opportunity to leverage; the information students share is not incorporated in subsequent activities.
  • In Grade 5, Unit: Modeling Matter, Chapter 1, the phenomenon is that a food coloring separates into three dyes. The phenomenon is introduced through a series of emails about food coloring being used in products. Students are asked to determine whether food coloring is a pure substance or a mixture. In Lesson 1.1: Pre-Unit Assessment, the materials elicit students’ prior knowledge and experiences of mixtures, things that can and can't mix, and separating mixtures. In a whole class share out, students reveal prior knowledge and it is placed on the What We Think We Know chart for them to refer back to. Then, students engage in a classroom discussion to bring forward their experiences to be placed on the Our Experiences chart. While these charts are eliciting student prior knowledge and experience, there is a missed opportunity to leverage; the information students share is not incorporated in subsequent activities.
  • In Grade 5, Unit: Ecosystem Restoration, Chapter 1, the Anchor Phenomenon is that the jaguars, sloths, and cecropia trees in a reforested section of a Costa Rican rain forest are not growing and thriving as well as those found in a healthier rainforests. In Lesson 1.1: Pre-Unit Assessment, the materials elicit students’ prior knowledge and experiences of different ecosystems and roles/relationships of plants and animals within. In a whole class share out, students reveal prior knowledge and it is placed on the What We Think We Know chart for them to refer back to. Then, students engage in a classroom discussion to bring forward their experiences to be placed on the Our Experiences chart. While these charts are eliciting student prior knowledge and experience, there is a missed opportunity to leverage; the information students share is not incorporated in subsequent activities.
  • In Grade 5, Unit: The Earth System, Chapter 1, the Anchor Phenomenon is that one side of Ferris Island has a water shortage and the other side does not. In Lesson 1.1: Pre-Unit Assessment, he materials elicit students’ prior knowledge and experiences related to how water collects on a surface, droughts, and rain. In a whole class share out, students reveal prior knowledge and it is placed on the What We Think We Know chart for them to refer back to. Then, students engage in a classroom discussion to bring forward their experiences to be placed on the Our Experiences chart. While these charts are eliciting student prior knowledge and experience, there is a missed opportunity to leverage; the information students share is not incorporated in subsequent activities.

Indicator 1i

Materials embed phenomena or problems across multiple lessons for students to use and build knowledge of all three dimensions.
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 5 meet expectations that they embed phenomena or problems across multiple lessons for students to use and build knowledge of all three dimensions. The instructional materials consistently use phenomena or problems to drive student learning and to engage with all three dimensions across multiple chapters and lessons across the unit. Each chapter of the unit consists of multiple lessons and is associated with a question that focuses the chapter around a component of understanding the Anchor Phenomenon. The phenomenon or problem does not drive learning of all lessons within the chapters; many lessons are driven by a science topic or concept that builds background knowledge that can then be applied to the phenomenon or problem. However, each unit contains opportunities where the phenomenon or problem is driving learning across multiple lessons and multiple chapters. The materials consistently provide multimodal opportunities for students to develop, evaluate, and revise their thinking as students figure out phenomena or solve problems. Students have frequent opportunities to engage in multimodal learning to develop, evaluate, and revise their thinking across and/or within each unit.

Examples of unit-level phenomena that drive students’ learning and use of the three dimensions across multiple lessons.

  • In Grade 5, Unit: The Earth Systems, the Anchor Phenomenon is that one side of Ferris Island has a water shortage and the other side does not. In Chapter 1, students are introduced to the island and are shown data about water on each side. Students share their initial thoughts and write about the island and weather patterns. Students learn about the water cycle and weather patterns through four chapters and apply this in an evidence-based argument discussing what is causing the difference between each side of the island. In Chapter 3, students look at a map to better understand how water travels in the atmosphere and where it is most common on earth (DCI-ESS2.A-E1, DCI-ESS2.C-E1). They use a simulation activity to visualize this process at the molecular level (DCI-PS1.A-E1). Students collect data from a simulation (SEP-DATA-E2) to see where condensation is most common and discuss the findings to identify patterns between temperature and elevation (CCC-PAT-E2). Students use evidence from models, simulations, and the text to explain how condensation and rain are related and use this information to future out why one side of the island has a water shortage.
  • In Grade 5, Unit: Ecosystem Restoration, the Anchor Phenomenon is that jaguars, sloths, and cecropia trees in a reforested section of a Costa Rican rainforest are not growing and thriving as well as those found in healthier rainforests. Throughout this unit, students examine a reforested section of the Costa Rican rain forest to investigate why jaguars, sloths, and cecropia trees are not thriving. Each chapter provides information about a different part of the food web to help students make sense of why these living things are not thriving in the ecosystem. In Chapter 1, students take on the role of ecologists as they study jaguars and sloths to determine why they are not thriving in the reforested section of the rainforest. Students learn about the different components of the Costa Rican ecosystem to answer why sloths and jaguars are not thriving in the environment (CCC-SYS-E2, DCI-LS2.A-E1). As they examine how matter is transferred (DCI-LS2.B-E1), students determine that a lack of trees must be the problem since jaguars eat sloths and sloths eat trees. In Chapter 2, students use a simulation (SEP-MOD-E3) to learn about the process of photosynthesis (DCI-PS3.D-E2). They learn cecropia trees must not be getting the sunlight, water molecules, or air molecules that they need to grow and thrive. Chapter 3, students learn about the soil where the cecropia trees are growing. Students engage in an investigation related to soils to determine if soil impacts plant growth. They use a simulation to learn that mushrooms are vital to soil health. Through the use of the simulation (SEP-MOD-E6), students use data to support a claim about what is affecting the health of the ecosystem (CCC-SYS-E2, DCI-LS2.B-E1).

Gateway Two

Coherence and Scope

Meets Expectations

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Gateway Two Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 5 meet expectations for Gateway 2: Coherence and Scope.

Criterion 2a - 2g

Materials are coherent in design, scientifically accurate, and support grade-level and grade-band endpoints of all three dimensions.
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Criterion Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 5 meet expectations for Criterion 2a-2g: Coherence and Full Scope of the Three Dimensions. The materials support students in understanding connections between chapters and units. The materials, and corresponding suggested sequence, reveal student tasks related to explaining phenomena or solving problems that increase in sophistication within each unit and across units. The materials accurately represent the three dimensions across the series and only include scientific content appropriate to the grade level. Further, the materials include all DCI components and all elements for physical science; life science; earth and space science; and engineering, technology, and applications of science. The materials include all of the science and engineering practices but not all elements of the practices are present. The materials include all grade-level SEP elements and nearly all elements across the band, with adequate opportunity for students to use practices repeatedly and in multiple contexts. The materials include all of the grade-band crosscutting concepts and provide repeated opportunities for students to use CCCs across the grade band. The materials include NGSS connections to Nature of Science and Engineering elements associated with the SEPs and/or CCCs.

Indicator 2a

Materials are designed for students to build and connect their knowledge and use of the three dimensions across the series.
0/0

Indicator 2a.i

Students understand how the materials connect the dimensions from unit to unit.
2/2
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 5 meet expectations that students understand how the materials connect the dimensions from chapter to chapter. The materials include four units comprising four to five chapters per unit. The Science Program Guide provides a recommended scope and sequence. The Unit Overview and Unit Map sections of the teacher materials provide information and support for teachers explaining how the chapters within a unit connect to each other. The Lesson Overview section of the teacher materials provides information and support for teachers that explains how the lessons within a chapter connect to each other. The first lesson of the unit (following the Pre-Unit Assessment) provides prompts that give context and goals for the entire unit. The first lesson of each subsequent chapter in the unit usually connects prior learning between the chapters in the unit. In three out of the four units in Grade 3, the final chapter connects to one or more disciplinary core ideas (DCIs) that are the focus of the unit, but not to the question presented in the Unit Map that provides context for the unit. While there are connections between chapters within each unit, there is not a connection between each unit and other units in the recommended sequence.

Examples of student learning experiences that demonstrate connections across chapters:

  • In Grade 5, Unit: Patterns of Earth and Sky, the Unit Map presents the question, “Archaeologists discovered part of an ancient artifact that depicts the sun and other stars. How can we figure out what would have appeared on the missing piece?” Across this unit, students have multiple opportunities to use models (SEP-MOD-E3, SEP-MOD-E4) and observe patterns as evidence (CCC-PAT-E3). Students explain changes in the sun, moon, and stars in the sky at different times of the day, month, and year (DCI-ESS1.B-E1) as they determine what would have appeared on the missing piece of the artifact. Each chapter addresses a different idea related to the patterns that exist across the sky. In Chapter 1, students take the role of an astronomer to figure out why it is harder to see stars in the daytime. This connects to Chapter 3 where students investigate why different stars are seen at different types of the year and to Chapter 4 where students investigate why different stars are visible on different nights. While Chapter 2 still relates to patterns in the sky, it focuses on understanding why the sun is visible during only parts of the day. Throughout all chapters, there is a consistent use of modeling and patterns to help students to understand how different objects are seen at different times within the night sky.
  • In Grade 5, Unit: Modeling Matter, the Unit Map presents the question, “What happens when two substances are mixed together?” Across this unit, students have multiple opportunities to conduct investigations (SEP-INV-E3) and use models (SEP-MOD-E3) to support explanations related to how mixing two or more different substances result in a new substance with different properties (DCI-PS1.B-E1). Students take on the role of food a scientist to solve two problems pertaining to mixtures and solubility. In Chapter 1, students use a chromatography investigation to separate food coloring to understand that matter is made up of particles too small to see. Students create digital models of the chromatography investigation to help understand what is happening at the molecular level. In Chapter 2, students investigate solubility and analyze their data. Students also create a digital model to explain what is happening at the molecular level. The models show why some items dissolve in water while others do not. In Chapter 3, students are reminded that molecules are too small to see and continue to investigate solubility and evaluate information focusing on liquids dissolving in other liquids. Students create digital models and drawings that show their understanding of particles in mixtures.
  • In Grade 5, Unit: Ecosystem Restoration, presents the question, “Why aren’t the jaguars and sloths in a reforested part of the Costa Rican rain forest ecosystem growing and thriving?” Across this unit, students have multiple opportunities to track how matter cycles (CCC-EM-E2) within an ecosystem and describe the different components of an ecosystem and their interactions as they figure out what is happening to the jaguars and sloths. Students collect data from various parts of a restored rainforest ecosystem to determine the reasons why animals and plants are not thriving. In Chapter 1, students use simulations to learn how organisms use food to increase their matter and grow (DCI-LS1.C-E1, DCI-LS1.C-E2). Students determine how matter impacts animals on a molecular level. Students connect the learning to how this impacts the jaguars and sloths and how these animals impact the ecosystem. In Chapter 2, students shift their focus towards the plants; specifically, why the cecropia trees aren’t growing and thriving. Students use a model to demonstrate how plants get food and grow; they also illustrate the relationships among the sun, plants, and animals within an ecosystem. In Chapter 3, students look at the soil and decomposers. Students conduct investigations to compare soil and use simulations to learn about the importance of soil health and how decomposers play a key role in the ecosystem.

Indicator 2a.ii

Materials have an intentional sequence where student tasks increase in sophistication.
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 5 meet expectations that they have an intentional sequence where student tasks increase in sophistication. Materials are designed with a recommended sequence and student tasks related to explaining phenomena and/or solving problems increase in sophistication within each unit and across the grade band.

Within the grade, the recommended sequence of units is Patterns of Earth and Sky, Modeling Matter, The Earth System, and Ecosystem Restoration, in that order. Within each of these units, there is a single anchor phenomenon that is presented to the students with investigative phenomenon utilized within the individual units. Although the units are provided in a recommended order, there is no specific increase of rigor as these units are presented. Approaches to the assessment of the different dimensions are also consistent and similar throughout each unit. However, the learning tasks within the unit increase in sophistication as students work towards explaining phenomena or solving problems.

Example of student tasks increasing in sophistication within a unit:

  • In Grade 5, Unit: Ecosystem Restoration, students learn about a rainforest ecosystem and collect data from investigations and models to make arguments (SEP-ARG-E4) about what factors could be impacting the lives of the organisms in the ecosystem that are not thriving. Students learn about the components of good arguments and use scientific reasoning to discuss why the animals in the ecosystem are not thriving. Students collect evidence about plants through investigations and models and evaluate their own claims using evidence circles (SEP-ARG-E3). Finally, students use evidence from the entire unit to make claims supported by evidence and construct written arguments about the organisms in the ecosystem (SEP-ARG-E4). Students use their action steps to justify a restoration plan for the reforested area of the Costa Rican rainforest (SEP-ARG-E5).

In each K–5 grade level, there is one unit that emphasizes the practice of investigation, one that emphasizes the practice of modeling, and one that emphasizes the engineering practice of design. In addition, in Grades 3–5, there is also one unit that emphasizes the practice of argumentation. As students progress through the series, the materials connect learning of the three dimensions across the entire grade band. The way students engage with and use the three dimensions also increases in sophistication across the investigation, modeling, design, and argumentation units.

Examples of student tasks increasing in sophistication across grade levels:

  • Investigation Units: Each grade contains a unit focused on students developing the science practices related to investigations. Grade 3 and Grade 4 show continued increasing complexity and ask students to utilize practices within clearly defined investigations and topics, but Grade 5 does not show a clear increase over the previous two grades. In Grade 3, the Inheritance and Traits unit focuses on inherited traits and specifically asks “What is the origin of the traits of Wolf 44—a wolf that appears to be different from the rest of its pack?” Investigations throughout this particular unit focus on how traits are inherited. Students are investigating the process by which animals (different ones are utilized within the unit) inherit traits that are similar to and different from other animals. They use science and engineering practices (SEPs) to ask questions (SEP-ADQP-E3), investigate the phenomenon and other related information (SEP-INV-E3), and collect data on the topic to help inform their conclusions (SEP-CEDS-E1). In Grade 4, students build on their investigation skills with the Vision and Light unit, which focuses on how animals obtain information through their senses. This unit emphasizes the practice of asking of questions; students then need to investigate and collect information to answer a question (SEP-ADQP-E1, SEP-ADQP-E3) as well as use modeling to draw conclusions (SEP-MOD-E3, SEP-MOD-E4, and SEP-DATA-E2). The practices of asking questions and conducting investigations increase in complexity compared to Grade 3. The Grade 4 unit adds the use of data to the modeling process and investigation process around the phenomenon, which is an increase in the complexity from the prior investigation unit in Grade 3. Additionally, students continue to build the practice of constructing explanations and arguing from evidence. In Grade 5, the Patterns of Earth and Sky unit informs students that, “different sections of an ancient artifact show what the sky looked like from one location and depict different stars.” The phenomenon in this unit does not fully connect chapter-to-chapter, nor is there a clear unit to unit connection with prior grades. The Investigation aspects within this unit focus largely on the use of developing and using models (SEP-MOD-E3 and SEP-MOD-E4), but show no additional connections to the prior to units focused on investigations.
  • Argumentation Units: Each grade contains a unit focused on students developing the science practices related to investigations. Grades 3–5 show continued increasing complexity and ask students to utilize practices related to argumentation. In Grade 3, students use data to make predictions about the climate and evaluate different types of evidence (SEP-ARG-E2) in the Weather and Climate unit. Students practice organizing evidence and making claims by engaging in evidence circles (SEP-ARG-E1). Students work in groups to review evidence provided by the teacher and make claims and write an argument together about the weather on three islands. These skills are built upon in Grade 4, Earth’s Features unit, when students collect evidence from a rocky outcrop to study fossils in this area and make claims about the area’s history. To explain the fossil phenomenon, students first learn that claims must be supported by evidence (SEP-ARG-E2); then, they engage in discourse about their claims and write an argument about this area’s past (SEP-ARG-E4). As students gain more evidence about the rocky desert outcrop, they refine their arguments based on new evidence about what could have caused changes in the landscape on their own (SEP-ARG-E1, SEP-ARG-E5). In Grade 5, Ecosystem Restoration unit, students examine a rainforest ecosystem and use investigations and models to collect their own data that supports their arguments (SEP-ARG-E4) about what factors could be impacting the lives of the organisms in the ecosystem that are not thriving. Students learn about the components of good argumentation and use scientific reasoning to discuss why the animals in the ecosystem are not thriving (SEP-ARG-E3). At the end of the series, students are using their arguments, that are inclusive of claims, evidence, and reasoning to justify a plan to restore the reforested rainforest (SEP-ARG-E5).
  • Modeling Units: Each grade contains a unit focused on students developing the science practices related to modeling. Grades 3–5 show continued increasing complexity and ask students to utilize practices related to modeling. In Grade 3, the Balancing Forces unit introduces students to the unit phenomenon of the floating train. Students take on the role of an engineer and seek information to explain why the train floats; this requires students to explain balanced and unbalanced forces. By asking questions (SEP-ADQP-E4) across the entire unit, students explore and learn how different forces act on objects. Questions build on each other as students move throughout the unit. Students are also engaged in the use of the simulation to create models (SEP-MOD-E4). Some examples of models within the simulation have students demonstrating how a magnetic force causes the train to “float” and how balanced forces act on the train. Investigations outside of the simulation ask students to explore how gravity affects different objects pulling them towards the earth and to read about the use of a hoverboard. In addition to the use of models within these explorations, students continue to ask questions (SEP-ADQP-E4, SEP-INV-E1, SEP-INV-E3). In Grade 4, the Waves, Energy, and Information unit has students study the properties of sound waves to explain the phenomenon of sound moving through water. Students use tsunamis, stadium waves, and spring toys as models to understand wave-like motion (SEP-MOD-E4). Students use musical instruments, collision investigations, and a digital simulator (SEP-MOD-E4) to make connections between sounds and waves. By the end of the unit, students use models to manipulate waves and sounds and to make connections among waves, collisions, and sounds. Students continue to use the sound simulator to manipulate waveforms to make connections between the shape of the wave and its impact on sound (SEP-MOD-E6). To explain the phenomena, students creating and revising a model for how sound travels under water (SEP-MOD-E2). In Grade 5, the Modeling Matter unit has students use models to understand the forces among molecules (SEP-MOD-E3) and use digital simulations to make predictions about how molecules in salad dressing will behave. Students use and create models to make predictions about scientific phenomena.

Indicator 2b

Materials present Disciplinary Core Ideas (DCI), Science and Engineering Practices (SEP), and Crosscutting Concepts (CCC) in a way that is scientifically accurate.*
2/2
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 5 meet expectations that they present disciplinary core ideas (DCIs), science and engineering practices (SEPs), and crosscutting concepts (CCCs) in a way that is scientifically accurate. Across the grade, the teacher materials, student materials, and assessments accurately represent the three dimensions and are free from scientific inaccuracies.

Indicator 2c

Materials do not inappropriately include scientific content and ideas outside of the grade-level Disciplinary Core Ideas.*
2/2
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 5 meet expectations that they do not inappropriately include scientific content and ideas outside of the grade-level disciplinary core ideas (DCIs). Across the grade, the materials consistently incorporate student learning opportunities to learn and use DCIs appropriate to the grade.

Indicator 2d

Materials incorporate all grade-level Disciplinary Core Ideas.
0/0

Indicator 2d.i

Physical Sciences
2/2
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 5 meets expectations that they incorporate all grade-level disciplinary core ideas (DCIs) for physical sciences. Across the grade, the materials include all of the associated elements of the physical science DCIs. These are found throughout all four units.

Examples of grade-level physical science DCI elements present in the materials:

  • PS1.A-E1. In Grade 5, Unit: Modeling Matter, Chapter 1, Lesson 1.3: Made of Matter, students observe models of matter and review vocabulary of atoms and matter. Students participate in discussions to define atoms and molecules while discussing the need for models due to particles being too small for the human eye to see.
  • PS1.A-E1, In Grade 5, Unit: Modeling Matter, Chapter 1, Lesson 1.4: Separating a Food-Coloring Mixture, students conduct a chromatography test to observe the molecules in food dye moving up paper. Students discuss the movement of the molecules and how they must be different substances due to the results of the lab. Teachers conclude the lesson by showing the class three types of pasta as a model of molecules and how they all differ from each other.
  • PS1.A-E1. In Grade 5, Unit: The Earth System, Chapter 2, Lesson 2.3: A Nanoscale View of Condensation, students focus on what happens at the nanoscale when water vapor condenses to form liquid water. Students first read a section in Water Encyclopedia about how water is made up of water molecules too small to see and how these water molecules are arranged differently in the different phases of water. Then, students use the Earth System Simulation to discover what happens to molecules when condensation occurs and raindrops form. Finally, students reflect on what they learned from reading in the reference book and investigating in the simulation as they create a model that shows raindrop formation in the Earth System Modeling Tool.
  • PS1.A-E2. In Grade 5, Unit: Modeling Matter, Chapter 2, Lesson 2.2: Investigating Dissolving: Why do some salad dressings have sediments and others do not?, students use a digital simulation to model the behavior of molecules when substances are dissolved to observe that the amount of molecules/matter does not change.
  • PS1.A-E2. In Grade 5, Unit: The Earth System, Chapter 2, Lesson 2.5: Drinking Cleopatra’s Tears, students read the book, Drinking Cleopatra’s Tears to gain an understanding that earth’s water changes form and while it sometimes seems to vanish, the amount of water on earth remains constant. After reading, students synthesize these ideas with what they learned from hands-on investigations to come to a new understanding that matter can change form, but the amount of matter remains constant.
  • PS1.A-E2. In Grade 5, Unit: The Earth System, Chapter 5, Lesson 5.3: Chemical Reactions at the Nanoscale, students use models to discover that the atoms that make up molecules do not appear or disappear during a chemical reaction, they simply recombine to make new molecules.
  • PS1.A.E3. In Grade 5, Unit: Modeling Matter, Chapter 1, Lesson 1.7: Break It Down, students read a text about scientists making inferences to distinguish between mixtures. Students gain an understanding about how scientists are able to make observations and measurements to identify substances in mixtures.
  • PS1.A-E3. In Grade 5, Unit: Modeling Matter, Chapter 1, Lesson 1.8: Evaluating Chromatography Models, students review the text and the pasta model to describe the behavior of molecules and how various experiments and data collection can help identify substances.
  • PS1.A-E3. In Grade 5, Unit: The Earth System, Chapter 5. Lesson 5.1: Investigating Wastewater Treatment, students are introduced to the term “properties” and investigate the properties of several substances. Students identify the properties of three substances to identify the substances.
  • PS1.B-E1. In Grade 5, Unit: Modeling Matter, Chapter 2, Lesson 2.1: Investigating Flavor Ingredients, students discuss mixtures and test the flavor of mixing various ingredients in their quest to design a salad dressing. Students observe properties of ingredients and their ability to dissolve or not.
  • PS1.B-E1. In Grade 5, Unit: Modeling Matter, Chapter 2, Lesson 2.2: Investigating Dissolving, students use a digital simulation to model what is happening at the molecular level when a substance completely dissolves and when one does not.
  • PS1.B-E1. In Grade 5, Unit: The Earth System, Chapter 5, Lesson 5.1: Investigating Wastewater Treatment, students mix a combination of phenol red, calcium chloride, and baking soda. Students previously noted the physical properties of the three substances and identified that the mixture is a new substance with none of the original properties and that the mixture exhibits new properties.
  • PS1.B-E2. In Grade 5, Unit: Earth’s Systems, Chapter 5, Lesson 5.3: Chemical Reactions at the Nanoscale, students use a simulation tool to discover that the atoms that make up molecules do not appear or disappear during a chemical reaction, they simply recombine to make new molecules. No atoms are lost and none are gained and the total weight of the substance does not change.
  • PS2.B-E3. In Grade 5, Unit: Patterns of Earth and Sky, Chapter 2, Lesson 2.5: How Does Up Change?, students engage in the creation of digital and kinesthetic models to demonstrate their understanding regarding the direction of up and down at various points on earth. The use of the digital modeling tool has students illustrate which way is up for people who are standing on the opposite sides of the earth. Students also observe a video and read about the effect of gravity and determine which way is "up" anywhere on planet earth. Students also connect the understanding of the direction “up” to the fact that as the earth spins, objects are pulled down with the force of gravity.
  • PS3.D-E1. In Grade 5, Unit: Ecosystem Reforestation, Chapter 2, Lesson: 2.3: How Plants Make Food, students engage in a board game that replicates the process of photosynthesis to show how plants are dependent on the sun and produce energy.
  • PS3.D-E2. In Grade 5, Unit: Ecosystem Reforestation, Chapter 2, Lesson: 2.1: Even Plants Need Food, students use a simulation activity to manipulate sunlight, air, soil, and water to find the components of the chemical processes that produce food and energy in plants.

Indicator 2d.ii

Life Sciences
2/2
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 5 meet expectations that they incorporate all grade-level disciplinary core ideas (DCIs) for life sciences. Across the grade level, the materials include all the associated elements of the life science DCIs. These are found in two out of the four units: Ecosystem Reforestation and Earth’s Systems; however, the element LS2.C.E1 is not fully addressed in the materials.

Examples of grade-level life science DCI elements present in the materials:

  • LS1.C-E1. In Grade 5, Unit: Ecosystem Reforestation, Chapter 1, Lesson 1.5: Modeling How Animals Use Food Matter, students read about alligators, specifically what they eat and how they grow. They use this information to make claims about how animals use food to grow and provide energy. Students then use an online simulation to observe how food is broken up in the body and becomes living tissue.
  • LS1.C-E2. In Grade 5, Unit: Ecosystem Reforestation, Chapter 2, Lesson 2.3: How Plants Make Food, students use a board game as a model for photosynthesis to show that air, water, and the sun help plants produce food and energy.
  • LS2.A-E1. In Grade 5, Unit: Ecosystem Reforestation, Chapter 3, Lesson 3.2: Walk in the Woods, students read from an informational text about decomposers and apply that to what they learned about decomposers’ role in an ecosystem to the reforested rainforest.
  • LS2.A-E1. In Grade 5, Unit: Ecosystem Reforestation, Chapter 3, Lesson 3.3: Differences in Soil, students use an online simulation that allows them to manipulate soil compositions and students investigate the role of microbes and fungi in healthy soil composition.
  • LS2.A-E1. In Grade 5, Unit: Ecosystem Reforestation, Chapter 1, Lesson 1.6: The Role of Food in an Ecosystem, students use a food-web simulation to show that matter from plants becomes food for animals that helps the animals grow and thrive.
  • LS2.A-E1. In Grade 5, Unit: Ecosystem Reforestation, Chapter 1, Lesson 1.8: Arguments About Animals in the Ecosystem, students participate in evidence circles to support their claims about the relationships between sloths, jaguars, and cecropia trees. Through their discussion, they determine that there is not sufficient plant life in the reforested ecosystem.
  • LS2.A-E1. In Grade 5, Unit: Ecosystem Reforestation, Chapter 1, Lesson 1.2: Introducing Ecosystems, students take on the role of ecologists as they work together to examine data to see how organisms meet their needs for survival in an ecosystem.
  • LS2.B-E1. In Grade 5, Unit: Ecosystem Reforestation, Chapter 1, Lesson 1.6: The Role of Food in the Ecosystem, students use the Ecosystem Modeling Simulation to demonstrate how organisms get food from one another and from their environment. Students use the simulation and a text to understand how animals and plants eat, grow, and release waste in an ecosystem.

Examples of grade-band life science DCI elements partially addressed in the materials:

  • LS2.C.E1. In Grade 5, Unit: Ecosystem Reforestation, Chapter 1, Lesson 1.8: Arguments About Animals in the Ecosystem, students use evidence to write arguments about the sloths and jaguars and why they may not be thriving in the reforested ecosystem. Students do not discuss organisms moving out of this ecosystem and others moving in.

Indicator 2d.iii

Earth and Space Sciences
2/2
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 5 meet expectations that they incorporate all grade-level disciplinary core ideas (DCIs) for earth and space sciences. Across the grade, the materials include nearly all the associated elements of the earth and space science DCIs. All of the elements are found in two out of the four units: Patterns of Earth and Sky and Earth’s Systems.

Examples of grade-level earth and space science DCI elements present in the materials:

  • ESS1.A-E1. In Grade 5, Unit: Patterns of Earth and Sky, Chapter 1, Lesson 1.3: How Big is Big? How Far is Far?, students read informational text that describes the relative sizes of objects and distances to those objects in space, providing information on the concept that stars range greatly in their distance from earth. Students use a visualizing strategy and connect to their own experiences regarding the size of familiar objects.
  • ESS1.A-E1. In Grade 5, Unit: Patterns of Earth and Sky, Chapter 1, Lesson 1.2: Earth and Stars in Space, students use two different models of the earth in the digital simulation to determine why other stars beyond the sun are not seen during the daytime. They determine that the sun is a star that is closer to earth so it appears larger and brighter than the other stars. In the simulation, they consider the shape of the earth and are given time to explore patterns that appear as the earth rotates.
  • ESS1.A-E1. In Grade 5, Unit: Patterns of Earth and Sky, Chapter 1, Lesson 1.7: Explaining When We See Stars, students write an explanation where they explain that the sun, but not other stars, are visible in daytime because the sun is closer than other stars and therefore is brighter.
  • ESS1.B-E1. In Grade 5, Unit: Patterns of Earth and Sky, Chapter 2, Lesson 2.2: The Daily Pattern, students use a digital simulation to observe the night sky and to examine the orbits of earth around the sun and of the moon around the earth. They learn that the rotation of earth about an axis between its north and south poles causes observable patterns. Students record observations and analyze data to understand rotation and the pattern of day and night. This includes seeing the sun during the daytime and the stars "moving" at night.
  • ESS1.B-E1. In Grade 5, Unit: Patterns of Earth and Sky, Chapter 3, Lesson 3.2: Modeling Earth’s Orbit, students obtain information from a constellation handbook and then use a model to visualize the pattern of orbit between the earth and sun. Students construct ideas of how earth's orbit and spin can affect the stars that can be seen at night due to different positions of the sun, moon, and stars at different times of the day, month, and year. Students engage in a model where the sun is at the center of the room, and each student acts as a model of earth, carrying out the motions of spinning and orbiting.
  • ESS2.A-E1. In Grade 5, Unit: Earth’s Systems, Chapter 4, Lesson 4.1: Investigating the Movement of Water Vapor, students investigate a simulation model to show how wind and mountains can affect the movement of water vapor. Students investigate the effect of wind and mountains on rainfall.
  • ESS2.A-E1. In Grade 5, Unit: The Earth System, Chapter 4, Lesson 4.2: Investigating Rainfall Distribution, students use a simulation to track water molecules and figure out why one side of a mountain can get a lot of rain while the other side gets very little rain. They then model what they discovered, demonstrating their understanding of what happens to water in the atmosphere at the nanoscale to create a rain shadow.
  • ESS2.C-E1. In Grade 5, Unit: The Earth System, Chapter 1, Lesson 1.1: Pre-Unit Assessment, students learn about water availability on earth through a hands-on activity with an inflatable globe and a set of graphs that show the global distribution of water. They discover that most of earth’s water is located in the oceans and there is a limited amount of freshwater available for people to use. Finally, students review the unit’s reference book, Water Encyclopedia.
  • ESS3.C-E1. In Grade 5, Unit: The Earth System, Chapter 1, Lesson 1.2: Water Shortages, Water Solutions, students read Water Shortages, Water Solutions to learn more about how humans can affect the availability of freshwater.
  • ESS3.C-E1. In Grade 5, Unit: The Earth System, Chapter 2, Lesson 2.7: Designing Freshwater Collection Systems, students design and build freshwater-collection systems as a possible solution to the water shortage that will get freshwater from salt water and then collect the freshwater for people to use.
  • ESS3.C-E1. In Grade 5, Unit: Ecosystem Restoration, Chapter 1, Lesson: 1.2: Introducing Ecosystems, students take on the role of ecologists as the teacher provides an overview of the rainforest that they will be studying. Students discuss how the organisms live together in this ecosystem and use provided data to compare populations in a healthy forest to one impacted by human deforestation.

Indicator 2d.iv

Engineering, Technology, and Applications of Science
2/2
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed Grades 3–5 meet expectations that they incorporate all grade-band and grade-level disciplinary core ideas (DCIs) for engineering, technology, and applications of science (ETS) and all associated elements. In Grade 3, no performance expectations (PEs) are associated with physical, life, or earth and space science DCIs that also connect to an ETS DCI. However, the materials do include opportunities for students to engage with ETS elements in this grade.

Examples of ETS DCI elements present in the Grade 3 materials:

  • ETS1.A-E1. In Grade 3, Unit: Environments and Survival, Chapter 4, Lesson 4.2: Planning Designs, students learn solutions to a problem may be limited by available materials and resources (constraints), and that the success of a solution is determined by how well it meets specific criteria. Students are presented with a design challenge of developing a robot that will remove invasive species. Students are given a list of criteria that the robot must do and have the constraint of a limited amount of materials to use.
  • ETS1.B-E1. In Grade 3, Unit: Environments and Survival, Chapter 4, Lesson 4.2: Planning Designs, students learn that it is important to research a problem before beginning to design a solution, and that testing a solution involves investigating how well the design performs. Students use books and videos to research how a giraffe’s neck allows it to successfully get food and how the shape of the giraffe’s teeth allow it to grind-up its food. Students test their solutions to determine how well the teeth on their design performs.
  • ETS1.B.E2. In Grade 3, Unit: Weather and Climate, Chapter 4, Lesson 4.3: Preparing for Natural Hazards, students learn the importance of testing designs to identify failure points, then use those tests to determine where to improve their design. Students build a hurricane-proof structure to meet a set of criteria, then perform a series of tests to determine if their structures meet that criteria. Students come back together and discuss the features of each of their designs that were effective and ineffective each performance test.
  • ETS1.B-E3. In Grade 3, Unit: Environments and Survival, Chapter 4, Lesson 4.2: Planning Designs and Lesson 4.3: Making and Testing Designs, students learn that communicating with peers about proposed solutions is an important part of the design process, and shared ideas can lead to improved designs. Students communicate their design ideas before constructing their robot. In Lesson 4.3, students share their results of their tests on their design and then use the shared ideas from the class to improve their design.

In Grade 4, two PEs are associated with physical, life, or earth and space science DCIs that also connect to an ETS DCI. The materials include opportunities for students to engage with these ETS elements in this grade.

Examples of the Grade 4 grade-level ETS DCI elements present in the materials:

  • ETS1.A-E1. In Grade 4, Unit: Energy Conversions, Chapter 1, Lesson 1.3: Exploring Systems, students learn that solutions to a problem may be limited by available materials and resources (constraints) and that the success of a solution is determined by how well it meets specific criteria. Students build a simple electrical system model that is powered by a solar panel using materials that are provided to them in a bag.
  • ETS1.C-E1. In Grade 4, Unit: Energy Conversions, Chapter 4, Lesson 4.4: System Improvements, students learn that testing different designs can help them determine which solves the problem. Students share data from their design tests with their classmates. Students use a listening strategy to provide input on the designs. After this, students receive a memo from the mayor asking them to consider two potential designs and recommend one.

In Grade 5, no PEs associated with physical, life, or earth and space science DCIs connect to an ETS DCI. However, the materials do include opportunities for students to engage with ETS elements in this grade.

Examples of ETS DCI elements present in the Grade 5 materials:

  • ETS1.A-E1. In Grade 5, Unit: The Earth System, Chapter 2, Lesson 2.7: Design Freshwater Collection Systems, students learn that solutions to a problem may be limited by available materials and resources (constraints) and that the success of a solution is determined by how well it meets specific criteria. Students are challenged to design a system that will provide fresh water from salt water. They discuss constraints that engineers would face with this design and then are presented with constraints on the materials they can use. Students also determine that providing fresh water would be the indication of success.
  • ETS1.B-E1. In Grade 5, Unit: Modeling Matter, Chapter 2, Lesson 2.1: Investigating Dissolving: Why do some salad dressings have sediments and others do not?, students begin to design a salad dressing that must have particles dissolve. Past lessons contribute to the research that must be done before designing a solution. Testing is also done to see how the dressing performs with various ingredients.
  • ETS1.B-E2. In Grade 5, Unit: The Earth System, Chapter 3, Lesson 3.4: Iterating on Freshwater Collection Systems, students discuss how testing their designs can identify failure points and this information can be used to determine what aspects of the design needs to be improved. Students measure how much freshwater their initial systems collect. Students then identify where their design failed and record which aspects of their design did not work and which aspects succeeded. Students improve their design based on the test results. This includes an explanation of why they think these successes and failures occurred.
  • ETS1.B-E3. In Grade 5, Unit: The Earth System, Chapter 3, Lesson 3.4: Iterating on Freshwater Collection Systems, students learn that communicating with peers about proposed solutions is an important part of the design process, and that shared ideas can lead to improved designs. After completing their design of a freshwater collection system, students participate in an Engineer’s Jigsaw routine to see other groups’ designs and discuss their successes and failures. Students gather information from the jigsaw routine about how they can redesign their own systems. They discuss these plans in their groups and then improve their design.

The Grades 3–5 band includes three DCI PEs that are designed to be taught at any point across the grade band. These PEs include five elements. The materials provide opportunities to engage with ETS DCIs and their elements in all three grades within this band.

Examples of the 3–5 grade-band ETS DCI elements present in the materials:

  • ETS1.A-E1. In Grade 3, Unit: Weather and Climate, Chapter 4, Lesson 4.3: Preparing for Natural Hazards, students learn that solutions to a problem may be limited by available materials and resources (constraints) and that the success of a solution is determined by how well it meets specific criteria. Students are tasked to design a structure that would be protective against the damage caused by a hurricane. Students are given a specific amount of tape, craft sticks, straws, scissors, and a single index card to build a structure to meet a set of criteria. Their structure must hold a penny above water, stay upright through wind and rain, be stable, and fit in a given container.
  • ETS1.B-E1. In Grade 3, Unit: Environments and Survival, Chapter 4, lesson 4.2: Planning Designs, students learn that it is important to research a problem before beginning to design a solution and that testing a solution involves investigating how well the design performs. Students use books and videos to research how a giraffe’s neck allows it to successfully get food and how the shape of the giraffe’s teeth allow it to grind-up its food. Students test their solutions to determine how well the teeth on their design performs.
  • ETS1.B-E2. In Grade 5, Unit: The Earth System, Chapter 3, Lesson 3.4: Iterating on Freshwater Collection Systems, students discuss how testing their designs can identify failure points and this information can be used to determine what aspects of the design needs to be improved. Students measure how much freshwater their initial systems collect. Students then identify where their design failed and record which aspects of their design did not work and which aspects succeeded. Students improve their design based on the test results. This includes an explanation of why they think these successes and failures occurred.
  • ETS1.B-E3. In Grade 5, Unit: The Earth System, Chapter 3, Lesson 3.4: Iterating on Freshwater Collection Systems, students learn that communicating with peers about proposed solutions is an important part of the design process, and that shared ideas can lead to improved designs. After completing their design of a freshwater collection system, students participate in an Engineer’s Jigsaw routine to see other groups’ designs and discuss their successes and failures. Students gather information from the jigsaw routine about how they can redesign their own systems. They discuss these plans in their groups and then improve their design.
  • ETS1.C-E1. In Grade 4, Unit: Energy Conversions, Chapter 4, Lesson 4.4: System Improvements, students learn that testing different designs can help them determine which solves the problem. Students share data from their design tests with their classmates. Students utilize a listening strategy to provide input on the designs. After this, students receive a memo from the mayor asking them to consider two potential designs and recommend one.

Indicator 2e

Materials incorporate all grade-band Science and Engineering Practices.
0/0

Indicator 2e.i

Materials incorporate grade-level appropriate SEPs within each grade.
4/4
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 5 meet expectations that they incorporate all grade-level science and engineering practices (SEPs). Across the grade level, the units incorporate nearly all the grade-level elements. However, opportunities for students to fully meet the grade-band endpoint for the element SEP-MATH-E3 are missing; the materials do not require students to measure, graph, or estimate quantities related to area, volume, weight, or time to address scientific questions.

Across the grade, students are provided opportunities to engage with the SEPs multiple times and in multiple contexts. Students repeatedly engage with grade-band elements of SEPs multiple times across the units; students have multiple opportunities to conduct investigations, develop and use models, analyze data, and obtain information from text or other media to support explanations they construct about phenomena.

Examples of SEP elements associated with grade-level performance expectations present in the materials:

  • MOD-E3. In Grade 5, Unit: Patterns in the Earth and Sky, Chapter 2, Lesson 2.1: Observing Patterns, students engage in two different models to represent the movement of the earth and sun system. Students use a simulated model and kinesthetic model to understand that the sun is only visible for part of the day based on location; they use the sun and earth model to make predictions about whether the sun can be seen at a certain time in a specific location.
  • MOD-E4. In Grade 5, Unit: Modeling Matter, Chapter 3, Lesson 3.5: Models of Emulsifiers, students use a digital simulation and knowledge from this unit to create a nanoscale drawing that highlights the behavior of molecules in solutions. Students are able to predict how molecules will behave even though we are not able to see them.
  • INV-E1. In Grade 5, Unit: Earth’s Systems, Chapter 2, Lesson 2.7: Designing Freshwater Collection Systems, students are introduced to a hands-on design challenge: to design and build freshwater collection systems that will get freshwater from saltwater and then collect the freshwater for people to use. Students control variables by using the same amount of hot, colored salt water. Students all have the same amount of time. The measurement technique of the resulting fresh water is identical. Students do two trials, the second one after revisions of their devices. Students reflect on what they have learned so far to help them design their systems, identifying evaporation and condensation as processes that can distill freshwater from saltwater.
  • INV-E3. In Grade 5, Unit: Earth’s Systems, Chapter 5, Lesson 5.4: Controlling Chemical Reactions, students investigate the Hot Yellow Gas (HYG) reaction again to figure out which combination of substances causes the results they observed in a previous lesson. Students test combinations of substances in the HYG reaction to figure out what makes the mixture get cold, which makes the mixture get hot, which makes the mixture turn yellow, and what forms a gas. With each test, students learn from their results to plan the next test. The lesson concludes with a discussion about what students figure out.
  • DATA-E1. In Grade 5, Unit: Earth’s Systems, Chapter 3, Lesson 3.2: Making Sense of Where Raindrops Form, students begin by predicting which areas of the atmosphere in a simulated landscape will have the most condensation. They use The Earth System Simulation to collect data on where and at what temperatures water vapor condenses in the atmosphere. They then graph their data set in The Earth System Data Tool to look for patterns, concluding that more condensation occurs high in the atmosphere because it is colder there.
  • ARG-E4. In Grade 5, Unit: Modeling Matter, Chapter 2, Lesson 2.2: Investigating Dissolving, students use evidence from a digital simulation along with observations from a lab on dissolving to support the argument that molecules exist and are moving, but are too small to see. This data also supports the argument that molecules have charges and specific arrangements that influence the solubility of substances.
  • INFO-E4. In Grade 5, Unit: Ecosystem Restoration, Chapter 1, Lesson 1.3: Matter Makes it All Up, students use information from a digital simulation model and the text, Matter Makes it All Up, to describe how animals use food to grow.

Examples of SEP elements associated with grade-level performance expectations partially present in the materials:

  • MATH-E3. In Grade 5, Unit: Earth’s Systems, Chapter 3, Lesson 3.2: Making Sense of Where Raindrops Form, students use The Earth System Simulation to collect data on where and at what temperatures water vapor condenses in the atmosphere. They record and graph temperature, atmosphere height, and number of molecules for various landscapes to show that water vapor condenses at colder higher elevations. Students then use the information from different condensation patterns on the different landscapes to future out why more water vapor gets cold over the west side of the island. While students record and graph quantities to address scientific questions, they don’t specifically use quantities related to area, volume, weight or time.

Indicator 2e.ii

Materials incorporate all SEPs across the grade band.
4/4
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grades 3–5 meet expectations that they incorporate all grade-level science and engineering practices (SEPs) and associated elements. Across the grade band, the units fully incorporate all the SEPs and elements associated with the performance expectations (PEs) within the 3–5 grade band.

Across the grade band, students are provided opportunities to engage with the SEPs multiple times and in multiple contexts. Students repeatedly engage with grade-band elements of SEPs multiple times across the units; students have multiple opportunities to conduct investigations, develop and use models, analyze data, and obtain information from text or other media to support explanations they construct about phenomena. Many SEP elements were met multiple times across the units and grade levels.

Examples of SEP elements associated with performance expectations within the 3–5 grade band present in the materials:

  • AQDP-E3. In Grade 3, Unit: Balancing Forces, Chapter 2, Lesson 2.1: Discovering Non-Touching Forces, students ask questions about what causes the train to rise and how magnets are part of the train moving. Students then investigate the questions they had as they manipulate the magnets in different ways.
  • AQDP-E5. In Grade 3, Unit: Environments and Survival, Chapter 4, Lesson 4.2: Planning Designs, students define the design problem of building a robot that will remove an invasive plant species from a tree. Students develop a system, in the form of a robot, to solve their design problem. Students work within the criteria of an effective removal and the constraints of materials available for their system.
  • MOD-E3. In Grade 4, Unit: Earth’s Features, Chapter 4, Lesson 4.4: Modeling Erosion: Speed, students use the stream table model to construct their ideas about erosion and continue to investigate the question, “What affects the amount of rock that water can erode? Students discuss how they could use the Erosion Model to test how the speed of water affects erosion.
  • MOD-E4. In Grade 5, Unit: Modeling Matter, Chapter 3, Lesson 3.5: Models of Emulsifiers, students use a digital simulation and knowledge from this unit to create a nanoscale drawing that highlights the behavior of molecules in solutions. Students are able to predict how molecules will behave even though we are not able to see them.
  • MOD-E6. In Grade 4, Unit: Waves, Energy, and Information, Chapter 3, Lesson 3.3: How Sounds Can Differ, students use a digital simulation model where they manipulate wave patterns to show that changes in wavelength and amplitude affect a sound’s volume and pitch.
  • INV-E1. In Grade 5, Unit: Earth’s Systems, Chapter 2, Lesson 2.7: Designing Freshwater Collection Systems, students are introduced to a hands-on design challenge: to design and build freshwater collection systems that will get freshwater from saltwater and then collect the freshwater for people to use. Students control variables by using the same amount of hot, colored salt water. Students all have the same amount of time. The measurement technique of the resulting fresh water is identical. Students do two trials, the second one after revisions of their devices. Students reflect on what they have learned so far to help them design their systems, identifying evaporation and condensation as processes that can distill freshwater from saltwater.
  • INV-E3. In Grade 3, Unit: Environment and Survival, Chapter 4, Lesson 4.3: Making and Testing Designs, students make and test their first test-versions of the neck design, share their designs and test results with another pair, and then revise their test-versions based on new ideas. Students are reminded of the procedure for neck-testing, take turns testing their giraffe-inspired necks, and record test data in their notebooks. Students share their designs and test results with another pair, and then record their new data about their designs. Students make a second test-version of the robot necks and test them.
  • DATA-E1. In Grade 5, Unit: Earth’s Systems, Chapter 3, Lesson 3.2: Making Sense of Where Raindrops Form, students begin by predicting which areas of the atmosphere in a simulated landscape will have the most condensation. They use The Earth System Simulation to collect data on where and at what temperatures water vapor condenses in the atmosphere. They then graph their data set in The Earth System Data Tool to look for patterns, concluding that more condensation occurs high in the atmosphere because it is colder there.
  • DATA-E2. In Grade 4, Unit: Earth’s Features, Chapter 2, Lesson 2.2: Exploring Rock Formation and Environment, students collect data about rock samples, read about the rock types they’ve observed, and use the simulation to consider the question, “How do rocks provide information about what an environment was like in the past? Students observe two rock samples⁠—conglomerate and sandstone⁠—and record their observations about how sedimentary rocks differ. Students share preliminary ideas about where the rocks may have formed.
  • DATA-E4. In Grade 3, Unit: Environments and Survival, Chapter 4, Lesson 4.3: Making and Testing Designs, students test their initial design for the RoboGrazer. Students measure and record the length of the robot neck and test how many leaves are touched within 30 seconds. Students share their data with classmates, analyzing which designs best met the criteria. Students then use that information to refine their designs.
  • MATH-E3. In Grade 3, Unit: Weather and Climate, Chapter 1, Lessons 1.2 and 1.3, students learn that data needs to be accurately recorded to recognize and predict patterns. Students perform a short experiment to determine the most effective way to measure rain data and collect temperature data. While students record and graph quantities to address scientific questions related to volume and temperature, they don’t specifically use quantities related to area, weight, or time.
  • MATH-E3. In Grade 5, Unit: Earth’s Systems, Chapter 3, Lesson 3.2: Making Sense of Where Raindrops Form, students use The Earth System Simulation to collect data on where and at what temperatures water vapor condenses in the atmosphere. They record and graph temperature, atmosphere height, and number of molecules for various landscapes to show that water vapor condenses at colder, higher elevations. Students then use the information from different condensation patterns on the different landscapes to future out why more water vapor gets cold over the west side of the island. While students record and graph quantities to address scientific questions, they don’t specifically use quantities related to area, volume, weight, or time.
  • CEDS-E2. In Grade 3, Unit: Weather and Climate, Chapter 4, Lesson 4.2: Dangerous Weather Ahead, students use evidence from a text, Dangerous Weather Ahead, from a digital simulation, Weather and Climate Practice Tool, and from weather maps to construct an explanation about why natural disasters happen in some areas and not in others.
  • CEDS-E3. In Grade 4, Unit: Energy Conversions, Chapter 3, Lesson 3.1: Investigating Energy Sources, students gather evidence and information to explain why the hospital lights and devices continue to work during a blackout. In this activity, students are examining evidence and asking questions about why the hospital still has electricity.
  • CEDS-E5. In Grade 4, Unit: Energy Conversions, Chapter 4, students construct circuits and make them fail. Another group analyzes the failed circuit to determine what is the failure point and provides solutions for fixing the circuit. Students then apply this understanding to the blackout problem in Ergstown and compare multiple solutions for minimizing the town’s blackouts.
  • ARG-E4. In Grade 5, Unit: Modeling Matter, Chapter 2, Lesson 2.2: Investigating Dissolving, students use evidence from a digital simulation along with observations from a lab on dissolving to support the argument that molecules exist and are moving, but are too small to see. This data also supports the argument that molecules have charges and specific arrangements that influence the solubility of substances.
  • ARG-E6. In Grade 3, Unit: Environments and Survival, Chapter 4, Lesson 4.5: Presenting Design Arguments, students learn that they will participate in a Biomimicry Engineering Conference in which they will present design arguments for how their RoboGrazer designs meet the criteria. Students prepare their arguments by reviewing their test data and describing how their designs meet each of the criteria. Then the engineering conference begins, and students present their designs and design arguments and listen to others present.
  • INFO-E4. In Grade 5, Unit: Ecosystem Restoration, Chapter 1, Lesson 1.3: Matter Makes it All Up, students use information from a digital simulation model and the text, Matter Makes it All Up, to describe how animals use food to grow.

Indicator 2f

Materials incorporate all grade-band Crosscutting Concepts.
8/8
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grades 3-5 meet expectations that they incorporate all grade-level crosscutting concepts (CCCs) and associated elements. Across the grade band, the units incorporate all of the elements associated with the performance expectations within the 3-5 grade band.

Across the grade band, students have multiple opportunities to engage with the grade-level CCCs that are implicitly connected to SEPs or DCIs as they build toward grade-level performance expectations. For example, students have frequent opportunities to conduct investigations or use a model to observe or test cause and effect relationships (SEP-MOD-E6), such as when they observe that mixing two substances can cause a new substance to form (DCI-PS1.B-E1). Students have multiple opportunities to use tests to gather evidence to support or refute ideas; however, opportunities to explicitly discuss this idea (CCC-CE-E1) are limited. When the materials provide opportunities to make the crosscutting concepts explicit for students, this is generally through sentence frames to help students use targeted CCCs, or through teacher prompts that provide explicit connections and guide student discussions about how scientists and engineers use different CCCs to answer scientific questions or solve engineering problems.

Examples of CCC elements associated with performance expectations within the 3-5 grade band present in the materials:

  • PAT-E1. In Grade 3, Unit: Weather and Climate, Chapter 3, Lesson 3.2: Discovering Climate Through Data, students analyze monthly weather data organized in graphs from three different places over the course of three years. Students analyze yearly patterns and recognize that the repetitive patterns represent the climate for that area.
  • PAT-E2. In Grade 3, Unit: Inheritance and Traits, Chapter 4, Lesson 4.3: Investigating Sparrow Offspring, students use the knowledge of inheritance patterns obtained throughout the unit to make predictions of the sparrow offspring that will result from designated parents.
  • PAT-E3. In Grade 4, Unit: Earth’s Features, Chapter 1, Lesson 1.4: Sedimentary Rock Formation, students investigate rock samples and patterns of rock formation in the simulation to learn about how sedimentary rock forms. Students use a simulation to investigate the patterns of sedimentary rock formation. Students observe rocks forming in the simulation and record their observations about how this process happens. In doing so, students begin to make sense of the patterns that water and sediment have in a rock formation. Finally, students reflect on the information they gathered from the simulation by making a prediction of how the rock samples they observed at the beginning of the lesson may have formed.
  • CE-E1. In Grade 3, Unit: Balancing Forces, Chapter 3, Lesson 3.1: Exploring Forces in a Chain Reaction, students watch a video about chain reactions, develop their own set of chain reactions, and explain how different forces caused each reaction. Throughout the series of reactions, students are demonstrating the relationships of the components in the series of interactions in a system. Teacher prompts focus students on what caused each object to start moving and the effect of the movement, additionally, they help students understand that scientists use cause and effect relationships to test and explain change or relationships.
  • CE-E1. In Grade 4, Unit: Earth’s Features, Chapter 2, Lesson 2.2: Exploring Rock Formation and Environment, students observe two samples of sedimentary rock to see what information they give about the environment in which they formed and discuss what caused the different properties of each sample to determine if they were formed in the same way. Students use the cause-and-effect relationship to explain change. SYS-E2. In Grade 3, Unit: Environment and Survival, students examine population data for two snail species where one is thriving and one is not. After reflecting on survival in snails and other organisms in particular environments, students describe the snail’s environment in terms of the different components and their interactions as they examine snail population data across different environments and with various predators. Students think about the causes of these differences and predict what would happen if another organism was introduced to the system.
  • SPQ-E1. In Grade 5, Unit 2: Modeling Matter, Chapter 2, Lesson 2.5: Making Sense of Solubility, students read information about molecules to understand that they exist at a small scale then use a simulation that models varying degrees of solubility to evaluate explanations of two solutions and discuss what is happening at the molecular level.
  • SPQ-E1. In Grade 5, Unit: Patterns in the Night Sky, Chapter 1, Lesson 1.4: Distances to the Stars, students investigate why stars look so small. Students use the simulation to investigate the distance from earth to the sun and to other stars. Students use the data that was collected to create a scale model of the earth, sun, and four other stars as they build understanding that natural systems can be immensely large.
  • SPQ-E1. In Grade 4, Unit: Earth’s Features, Chapter 1, Lesson 1.4: students use the Earth’s Features Sim to explore how various processes on earth can occur over very long time periods.
  • SPQ-E2. In Grade 3, Unit: Weather and Climate, Chapter 1, Lesson 1.2: Future Weather on Three Islands, students perform a short experiment to determine the most effective way to measure rain data. As they measure rainfall and compare varying data with other groups, they learn that standard units are vital when communicating measurements.
  • SYS-E2. In Grade 4, Unit: Environment and Survival, Chapter 1, Lesson 1.2: Investigating Needs for Survival, students consider what organisms need to survive; they complete the Investigating Needs for Survival activity and investigate an organism with particular needs. Students read about four different environments (systems) and consider whether their organism can meet its needs in each of the four systems. Students start to think about the relationship between an organism and the system it is a part of.
  • SYS-E2. In Grade 5, Unit: The Earth System, Chapter 4, Lesson 4.1: Investigating the Movement of Water Vapor, students examine how the shape of the land and movement of water vapor within the atmosphere affects rainfall. Students consider the island’s shape, landscape, direction of wind, and compare that to other islands using the online simulation and then use the simulation program to model what factors affect how water vapor moves in the air. Students describe each component of this system and how they interact to produce the patterns of rainfall.
  • EM-E2. In Grade 5, Unit: Ecosystem Restoration, Chapter 1, Lesson 1.5: Modeling How Animals Use Plant Matter, students use a simulation and a text about alligators to understand how animals grow from food at a molecular level. In the simulation, students track the volume of matter eaten to see that the matter that animals consume help the animals grow or becomes waste. Students begin to understand how matter moves within an ecosystem.
  • EM-E3. In Grade 4, Unit: Waves, Energy, and Information, Chapter 1, Lesson 1.4: Exploring Sound Waves, students are introduced to energy moving through the water as they examine the wave patterns caused by tsunamis. They learn that the water (the matter) hardly moves as energy is transferred but rather as the energy wave moves through, water moves perpendicularly, not with the wave. The students then look at how the energy from the waves causes damage as it approaches land. The waves impact land and energy is transferred to objects as the wave moves over them, causing additional energy transfer, sound, and damage. They model this by simulating a sports stadium wave and “pass” energy to one another.

Indicator 2g

Materials incorporate NGSS Connections to Nature of Science and Engineering
2/2
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grades 3–5 meet expectations that they incorporate NGSS connections to the nature of science (NOS) and engineering. The NOS and engineering elements are represented and attended multiple times throughout the grade-band units. They are used in correlation with the content and not used as isolated lessons. The NOS and Engineering elements are used in a variety of fashions throughout the units including videos, readings, and class discussions. Although most of the elements are present in the lessons, they are not explicitly called out in the instructional material.

Examples of grade-band connections to NOS elements associated with SEPs present in the materials:

  • VOM-E1. In Grade 4, Unit: Vision and Light, Chapter 3, Lesson 3.2: Crow Scientist, students read a text describing the investigations of a wildlife biologist. Students read about the scientist asking questions about crow behavior and then determining how to investigate the questions.
  • VOM-E2. In Grade 5, Unit: Ecosystem Restoration, Chapter 3, Lesson 3.3: Differences in Soil, students read about an ecologist in A Walk in the Woods, and how that scientist uses various methods to collect data about soil composition and health. Students then use the ecologist's data to make claims about soil health.
  • BEE-E1. In Grade 3, Unit: Weather and Climate, Chapter 2, Lesson 2.2: Seeing the World Through Numbers, students read about organizing data to better make sense of it. In the text, Seeing the World Through Numbers, students read about a boy and his friends and how they compare temperature patterns from around the world. They then discuss how the patterns can help people make predictions about weather.
  • BEE-E2. In Grade 4, Unit: Waves, Energy, and Information, Chapter 3, Lesson 3.4: Seeing Sound, students read the text, Seeing Sound, and discover the different ways that scientists use tools to visualize sounds to make sense of the world. Students discuss how tools and technologies are important for helping these professionals accurately see sound.
  • OTR-E1. In Grade 3, Unit: Inheritance and Traits, Chapter 4, Lesson 4.1: Scorpion Scientist, students read a book called, Scorpion Scientist. The text describes a scientist gathering evidence that can be used to identify new species of scorpions. The scientist asks questions and performs investigations to seek answers on how to classify the new species and if that classification will result in changes to classification of current identified scorpions.
  • ENP-E1. In Grade 3, Unit: Balancing Forces, Chapter 3, Lesson 3.2: Discussing Gravity Acting Between Two Objects, students use a reading strategy related to setting a purpose for reading and complete a Gravity Anticipatory Chart to record their understanding and questions about gravity. Within the Reader, Handbook of Forces, students read about gravity and how it is a force that acts on objects without touching. Students read about how objects such as the earth exert a force called gravity that pulls you towards it.
  • ENP-E2. In Grade 5, Unit: Modeling Matter, Chapter 3, Lesson 3.2: Science You Can’t See, students read text describing how science and scientists can describe the ocean floor, atomic structure, and other natural events we can not see.

Examples of grade-band connections to NOS elements associated with CCCs present in the materials:

  • WOK-E1. In Grade 3, Unit: Inheritance and Traits, Chapter 4, Lesson 4.1: Scorpion Scientist, students read a text that describes how a scientist asks questions and investigates to answer their questions, and how this can lead to answers. The text also describes answers leading to more questions to gain new knowledge.
  • HE-E2. In Grade 4, Unit: Vision and Light, Chapter 3, Lesson 3.2: Crow Scientist, students read a text where a wildlife biologist describes the team he works with to conduct investigations.
  • HE-E3. In Grade 5, Unit: Modeling Matter, Chapter 1, Lesson 1.7: Break It Down, students read text describing how scientists separate mixtures to provide water and save lives.
  • HE-E4. In Grade 3, Unit: Environment and Survival, Chapter 1, Lesson 1.1: Pre Unit Assessment, students read the book, Biomimicry, which is about scientists who study organisms to get ideas for solutions to design problems. The teacher leads discussion about how engineers design solutions to problems and that they use their imaginations to get design ideas from observing organisms’ traits.

Examples of grade-band connections to ENG elements associated with CCCs present in the materials:

  • INTER-E3. In Grade 5, Unit: Earth’s Systems, Chapter 3, Lesson 3.4: Iterating on Freshwater Collection Systems, students discuss how the engineers in the book revised their designs for pumps using the same process that the students use to improve their freshwater reclamation models.
  • INTER-E4. In Grade 5, Unit: Earth’s Systems, Chapter 2: Why does more rain form over West Ferris than East Ferris?, students read text and discuss how engineers use the design process to plan, make, and test water treatment systems.
  • INFLU-E1. In Grade 4, Unit: Energy Conversions, Chapter 1, Lesson 1.1: Pre Unit Assessment, students discuss what happens when the power goes out in Ergstown and within the discussion, the teacher helps students make connections to the ideas that an engineers’ work is determined by people’s want and needs, and that people’s lives and interactions are influenced by the technologies that engineers develop.
  • INFLU-E3. In Grade 4, Unit: Waves, Energy and Information, Chapter 4, Lesson 4.3: Communicating with Codes!, after discussing the various ways that humans communicate with one another, students create a communication plan and use codes to communicate with one another. Students recognize that, although humans can be far apart, they can still communicate and interact across long distances by using new technology.

Gateway Three

Usability

Not Rated

+
-
Gateway Three Details
This material was not reviewed for Gateway Three because it did not meet expectations for Gateways One and Two

Criterion 3a - 3d

Materials are designed to support teachers not only in using the materials, but also in understanding the expectations of the standards.

Indicator 3a

Materials include background information to help teachers support students in using the three dimensions to explain phenomena and solve problems (also see indicators 3b and 3l).
N/A

Indicator 3b

Materials provide guidance that supports teachers in planning and providing effective learning experiences to engage students in figuring out phenomena and solving problems.
N/A

Indicator 3c

Materials contain teacher guidance with sufficient and useful annotations and suggestions for how to enact the student materials and ancillary materials. Where applicable, materials include teacher guidance for the use of embedded technology to support and enhance student learning.
N/A

Indicator 3d

Materials contain explanations of the instructional approaches of the program and identification of the research-based strategies.
N/A

Criterion 3e - 3k

Materials are designed to support all students in learning.

Indicator 3e

Materials are designed to leverage diverse cultural and social backgrounds of students.
N/A

Indicator 3f

Materials provide appropriate support, accommodations, and/or modifications for numerous special populations that will support their regular and active participation in learning science and engineering.
N/A

Indicator 3g

Materials provide multiple access points for students at varying ability levels and backgrounds to make sense of phenomena and design solutions to problems.
N/A

Indicator 3h

Materials include opportunities for students to share their thinking and apply their understanding in a variety of ways.
N/A

Indicator 3i

Materials include a balance of images or information about people, representing various demographic and physical characteristics.
N/A

Indicator 3j

Materials provide opportunities for teachers to use a variety of grouping strategies.
N/A

Indicator 3k

Materials are made accessible to students by providing appropriate supports for different reading levels.
N/A

Criterion 3l - 3s

Materials are designed to be usable and also to support teachers in using the materials and understanding how the materials are designed.

Indicator 3l

The teacher materials provide a rationale for how units across the series are intentionally sequenced to build coherence and student understanding.
N/A

Indicator 3m

Materials document how each lesson and unit align to NGSS.
N/A

Indicator 3n

Materials document how each lesson and unit align to English/Language Arts and Math Common Core State Standards, including the standards for mathematical practice.
N/A

Indicator 3n.i

Materials document how each lesson and unit align to English/Language Arts Common Core State Standards.
N/A

Indicator 3n.ii

Materials document how each lesson and unit align to Math Common Core State Standards, including the standards for mathematical practice.
N/A

Indicator 3o

Resources (whether in print or digital) are clear and free of errors.
N/A

Indicator 3p

Materials include a comprehensive list of materials needed.
N/A

Indicator 3q

Materials embed clear science safety guidelines for teacher and students across the instructional materials.
N/A

Indicator 3r

Materials designated for each grade level are feasible and flexible for one school year.
N/A

Indicator 3s

Materials contain strategies for informing students, parents, or caregivers about the science program and suggestions for how they can help support student progress and achievement.
N/A

Criterion 3t - 3y

Materials are designed to assess students and support the interpretation of the assessment results.

Indicator 3t

Assessments include a variety of modalities and measures.
N/A

Indicator 3u

Assessments offer ways for individual student progress to be measured over time.
N/A

Indicator 3v

Materials provide opportunities and guidance for oral and/or written peer and teacher feedback and self reflection, allowing students to monitor and move their own learning.
N/A

Indicator 3w

Tools are provided for scoring assessment items (e.g., sample student responses, rubrics, scoring guidelines, and open-ended feedback).
N/A

Indicator 3x

Guidance is provided for interpreting the range of student understanding (e.g., determining what high and low scores mean for students) for relevant Science and Engineering Practices, Crosscutting Concepts, and Disciplinary Core Ideas.
N/A

Indicator 3y

Assessments are accessible to diverse learners regardless of gender identification, language, learning exceptionality, race/ethnicity, or socioeconomic status.
N/A

Criterion 3z - 3ad

Materials are designed to include and support the use of digital technologies.

Indicator 3z

Materials integrate digital technology and interactive tools (data collection tools, simulations, modeling), when appropriate, in ways that support student engagement in the three dimensions of science.
N/A

Indicator 3aa

Digital materials are web based and compatible with multiple internet browsers. In addition, materials are “platform neutral,” are compatible with multiple operating systems and allow the use of tablets and mobile devices.
N/A

Indicator 3ab

Materials include opportunities to assess three-dimensional learning using digital technology.
N/A

Indicator 3ac

Materials can be customized for individual learners, using adaptive or other technological innovations.
N/A

Indicator 3ad

Materials include or reference digital technology that provides opportunities for teachers and/or students to collaborate with each other (e.g., websites, discussion groups, webinars, etc.).
N/A
abc123

Additional Publication Details

Report Published Date: 10/08/2020

Report Edition: 2018

Title ISBN Edition Publisher Year
Modeling Matter Book Set 978-1-64089-482-2 Amplify Education 2018
Patterns of Earth and Sky Book Set 978-1-64089-646-8 Amplify Education 2018
The Earth System Book Set 978-1-64089-648-2 Amplify Education 2018
Ecosystem Restoration Book Set 978-1-64089-650-5 Amplify Education 2018
Modeling Matter Investigation Notebook 978-1-943228-78-2 Amplify Education 2018
Ecosystem Restoration Investigation Notebook 978-1-943228-90-4 Amplify Education 2018
Patterns of Earth and Sky Investigation Notebook 978-1-945192-84-5 Amplify Education 2018
The Earth System Book Investigation Notebook 978-1-945192-92-0 Amplify Education 2018

About Publishers Responses

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

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

Please note: Beginning in spring 2020, reports developed by EdReports.org will be using an updated version of our review tools. View draft versions of our revised review criteria here.

Educator-Led Review Teams

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

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

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

Rubric Design

The EdReports.org’s rubric supports a sequential review process through three gateways. These gateways reflect the importance of standards alignment to the fundamental design elements of the materials and considers other attributes of high-quality curriculum as recommended by educators.

Advancing Through Gateways

  • Materials must meet or partially meet expectations for the first set of indicators to move along the process. Gateways 1 and 2 focus on questions of alignment. 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).

Key Terms Used throughout Review Rubric and Reports

  • Indicator Specific item that reviewers look for in materials.
  • Criterion Combination of all of the individual indicators for a single focus area.
  • Gateway Organizing feature of the evaluation rubric that combines criteria and prioritizes order for sequential review.
  • Alignment Rating Degree to which materials meet expectations for alignment, 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.
  • Usability Degree to which materials are consistent with effective practices for use and design, teacher planning and learning, assessment, and differentiated instruction.

Science K-5 Rubric and Evidence Guides

The science review rubric identifies the criteria and indicators for high quality instructional materials. The rubric supports a sequential review process that reflects the importance of alignment to the standards then considers other high-quality attributes of curriculum as recommended by educators.

For science, our rubrics evaluate materials based on:

  • Three-Dimensional Learning
  • Phenomena and Problems Drive Learning
  • Coherence and Full Scope of the Three Dimensions
  • Design to Facilitate Teacher Learning
  • Instructional Supports and Usability

The Evidence Guides complement the rubric 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.

To best read our reports we recommend utilizing the Codes for NGSS Elements document that provides the code and description of elements cited as evidence in each report.

 

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.

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

Math High School

ELA K-2

ELA 3-5

ELA 6-8


ELA High School

Science Middle School

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