Alignment: Overall Summary

The instructional materials reviewed for Kindergarten 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 Kindergarten 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 SEPs at the grade level and all of the SEPs across the grade band. The materials include all 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 Kindergarten 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 Kindergarten 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 Kindergarten 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. 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 Kindergarten, Unit: Needs of Plants and Animals, Chapter 1, Lesson 1.6: Explaining Why There Are No Caterpillars, students determine why there are no caterpillars in the garden based on what the caterpillars eat and the plants that are in the garden. Students work in partners to read the Handbook of Plants to find information about what monarch caterpillars eat, learning that monarch caterpillars only eat milkweed plants (DCI-LS4.C-P1, SEP-INFO-P1). Students then compare pictures of the Mariposa Community Garden to the field that was there previously. With partners, students discuss the different plants they see and then the class determines that monarch caterpillars cannot live in the garden because there is no milkweed present, and the monarch caterpillars only eat milkweed (CCC-CE-P2, DCI-LS4.C-P1, SEP-DATA-P3, and SEP-INV-P4).
  • In Kindergarten, Unit: Needs of Plants and Animals, Chapter 2, Lesson 2.7: Water for Milkweed, students learn that plants need water to survive. Students construct explanations (SEP-CEDS-P1) for the lack of plant growth, concluding that it did not receive enough water to support its life (DCI-LS1.C-P1, DCI-ESS3.A-P1, and DCI-ETS1.A-P2). Students learn that the roots of a plant are the structures that bring water to the plant for survival (CCC-SF-P1).
  • In Kindergarten, Unit: Needs of Plants and Animals, Chapter 3, Lesson 3.2: Observing Light Investigations, students build on their understanding that plants need light to grow. Students review and discuss a previous lesson where some sunflower seeds received light and others did not. The class reads aloud from the Handbook of Plants section about plants needing light (DCI LS2.A-P1). Students act out the plant-growth routine, this time considering the presence of light. Students act out plant growth with and without light. Students use an explanation frame to connect plant growth and light (SEP-INFO-P1, SEP-INFO-P4, DCI-LS2.A-P1, and CCC-CE-P2).
  • In Kindergarten, Unit: Pushes and Pulls, Chapter 1, Lesson 1.3: Force Happens Between Two Objects, students learn that an object moves because another object exerts a force on it by touching it. Students review prior activities about what makes objects move and what they know about forces. Students are provided bags of objects and work together to generate forces (DCI-PS2.A-P2) with the objects. The teacher models how to use one object to exert force on another object. The class then discusses that two objects are needed to generate a force. Students use an explanation frame to explain the effect of movement on an object (CCC-CE-P2, SEP-DATA-P3, SEP-INFO-P4, and SEP-CEDS-E1).
  • In Kindergarten, Unit: Pushes and Pulls, Chapter 3, Lesson 3.5: Applying Strength and Direction, students work to figure out how to make a pinball move to certain targets in the class pinball machine. Students make predictions about the direction and strength of force needed to hit each of two targets (DCI-PS2.A-P1, DCI-PS3.C-P1). Students pantomime using different directions and strengths of force. They use an explanation frame to explain what is happening to the ball. Students envision their favorite game and one student pantomimes the movement of the ball. They then engage in a discussion about force strength and direction in the game. They visualize forces in photographs of different balls used in sports (SEP-INFO-P1, SEP-INFO-P4, and CCC-CE-P2).
  • In Kindergarten, Unit: Sunlight and Weather, Chapter 2, Lesson 2.2: Learning More About Models, students use the combined data collected by the class during Lesson 2.1, which used a heat lamp and rubber model to represent the sun’s light shining (or not shining) on earth’s surface (SEP-MOD-P3). Students analyze the graph of class-temperature data (SEP-DATA-P5) as they compare to the light of the sun hitting the surface of earth (DCI-PS3.B-P1). Students use their class temperature graphs to conclude that the light from the lamp (representing the sun) causes the surface of the rubber (representing earth's surface) to heat up (CCC-CE-P2). Students use this information to make predictions of the ground temperature outside on their playground and then test those predictions by going outside and recording the surface temperature.
  • In Kindergarten, Unit: Sunlight and Weather, Chapter 4, Lesson 4.1: Modeling Warming of Different Surfaces and Lesson 4.2: Reflecting on Warming of Different Surfaces, students investigate the temperature differences among different colored surfaces to explain why two playgrounds warm differently throughout the day. Students work as a class to plan an investigation (SEP-INV-P1) and determine how to modify their lamp-and-rubber model to investigate what happens to the temperature of different colored surfaces over time (SEP-MOD-P3, DCI-PS3.B-P1). Students expose the two differently colored surfaces to light for varying lengths of time and collect temperature data. Students use this data to determine the cause for the different temperatures for the different colored surfaces (CCC-CE-P2).


Indicator 1a.ii

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Kindergarten 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 Kindergarten, Unit: Needs of Plants and Animals, Chapter 1, Lesson 1.4: Exploring Animal Needs, students engage in a learning sequence to observe how animals need plants to survive. Students observe animal cards to make sense of different animal needs. Students walk around with a partner, observe and discuss what the animal is eating in each picture. This is to help them build a relationship between an animal’s food need and where it lives (SEP-DATA-P3). The teacher connects this back to how some animals need plants for food (CCC-SYS-P2). Collecting this data helps students understand the relationship between animals and food and that animals need food to live (DCI-LS1.C-P1).
  • In Kindergarten, Unit 1: Needs of Plants and Animals, Chapter 1, Lesson 1.5: Investigating Animal Habitats, students engage in a learning sequence to investigate what habitats different animals can live in based on what they eat. Students compare different habitats by looking at a field of weeds and a forest with pine trees and water lilies. They observe that different plants live in different habitats (SEP-DATA-P3). The students are assigned an animal and have to think about which of the two habitats the animal would be better-suited to live in based on what they eat (SEP-INV-P4, DCI-LS4.D-P1). Students develop an understanding of the relationship between what an animal eats and its habitat (CCC-SYS-P2).
  • In Kindergarten, Unit: Needs of Plants and Animals, Chapter 1, Lesson 1.6: Explaining Why There Are No Caterpillars, students engage in a learning sequence to determine why there are no caterpillars in the garden based on what the caterpillars eat and the plants that are in the garden. Students make sense of why there are no longer monarch caterpillars in the Mariposa Community Garden. Students compare a picture of the present-day Mariposa Community Garden to a picture of the field that was there previously (SEP-DATA-P3). With partners, they discuss the different plants they see in each photograph. Then as a whole class, they come to the conclusion that there are no loner monarch caterpillars present because there is no longer milkweed in the garden and monarch caterpillars only eat milkweed (CCC-CE-P2, DCI-LS4.C-P1, and SEP-INV-P4).
  • In Kindergarten, Unit: Needs of Plants and Animals, Chapter 4, Lesson 4.3: Reflecting on Needs of Living Things, students engage in a learinng sequence to make sense of how humans can make changes to their surroundings that reduce the impact on other animals and allow both humans and animals to get what they need to survive. Student partners work together to propose a design (SEP-CEDS-P2) for a garden that will allow both humans to get what they need and for monarch caterpillars to get what they need to survive (DCI-ESS3.A-P1, DCI-ESS3.C-P1, DCI-ETS1.B-P1). Students then work together to apply what they have learned about the needs of both humans and monarchs to explain how the different parts of the garden in their proposal work together to meet the needs of both monarchs and humans (CCC-SYS-P2).
  • In Kindergarten, Unit: Pushes and Pulls, Chapter 1, Lesson 1.3: Force Happens Between Two Objects, students engage in a learning sequence about movement between two objects. Students attempt to make sense of motion and forces by reviewing what they have done previously to determine what makes objects move. They review what they know about forces based on their previous activities. Students are provided bags of objects and work together to generate forces (DCI-PS2.A-P2) with the objects. The teacher models how to use one object to exert force on another object. They then discuss the need for another object to create force. Students use an explanation frame to explain the effect of movement on an object (CCC-CE-P2, SEP-DATA-P3, SEP-INFO-P4, and SEP-CEDS-E1).
  • In Kindergarten, Unit: Sunlight and Weather, Chapter 2, Lesson 2.2: Learning More About Models, students use the combined class data to represent the sun’s light on earth’s surface. Students analyze the graph of class-temperature data to determine cause and effect relationships as they compare to the light of the sun hitting the surface of earth. Students make sense of the cause-and-effect relationship of the sun’s light and warming on earth's surface when they make predictions of the ground temperature outside on their playground and then test those predictions by going outside and recording the temperature of the surface. In the beginning of the lesson, students engage in a class analysis of data collected in the previous lesson where pairs of students used a lamp/rubber model (SEP-MOD-P3) as a representation of the sun’s light shining on earth’s surface. Each pair recorded the surface temperature of rubber exposed to light and rubber not exposed to light (SEP-DATA-P5, DCI-PS3.B-P1). Class data is pooled and students analyze a graph of the class-temperature data to conclude that the light from the lamp (representing the sun) causes the surface of the rubber (representing earth's surface) to heat up (CCC-CE-P2). Students use this information to make predictions about the surface temperature of their school playground during the day (CCC-CE-P2, DCI-PS3.B-P1). Then students work together in pairs to go outside and collect real-time temperatures of their playground’s surface temperature (SEP-DATA-P5), which provides the framework for applying the understanding of the cause-and-effect relationship explored earlier in the lesson.
  • In Kindergarten, Unit: Sunlight and Weather, Chapter 4, Lesson 4.1: Modeling Warming of Different Surfaces and Lesson 4.2: Reflecting on Warming of Different Surfaces, students engage in the investigation of temperature differences among different colored surfaces to explain why two playgrounds warm differently throughout the day. Students make sense of how the sun warms earth’s surface by utilizing effective models to conduct an investigation that allows students to develop an understanding of the cause and effect relationships of warming trends over time on different colored surfaces. Students work as a class to plan an investigation (SEP-INV-P1) and determine how to modify their lamp-and-rubber model to investigate what happens to the temperature of different colored surfaces over time (SEP-MOD-P3, DCI-PS3.B-P1). Students strengthen their modeling skills in this lesson as the lens through which they explore the DCI. Students work in groups of four per model station to collect temperature data from two different colored surfaces as they are exposed to light for varying lengths of time. The next lesson engages students in the analysis and application of the data to determine the reason why different colored surfaces warm differently (CCC-CE-P2).


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 Kindergarten do not meet expectations that they are designed to elicit direct, observable evidence for the three-dimensional learning in the instructional materials. Lessons consistently provide learning objectives connected to the 3-D Statements. 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. Often, one or more crosscutting concepts (CCCs) within the 3-D Statements are not assessed.

Across the grade, lessons and units consistently incorporate tasks for the purpose of supporting the instructional process. Lessons and units have assessment tasks that are designed to reveal student knowledge and use of some of the dimensions within the targeted objectives. 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, as it 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, the materials indicate specific concepts and practices to observe for student progress, followed by suggestions based on what is observed.

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

  • In Kindergarten, Unit: Needs of Plants and Animals, Chapter 1, Lesson 1.3: Observing a Place, the lesson contains one 3-D Statement as the objective, “Students go on a science walk to make multisensory observations of their surroundings as scientists. The class then works together to record and analyze data collected on their walk as they consider the differences between living and nonliving things (systems and system models).” Students make progress towards the completion of this objective by recording observations on a local science walk (SEP-INV-P4). Students then collaboratively analyze data, comparing differences between living and nonliving things. The On-the-Fly Assessment checks student understanding by asking students to justify whether a living thing is a plant or animal. While the On-the-Fly Assessment and classroom discussions measure part of the lesson objective, they do not assess the disciplinary core idea (DCI) or CCC elements.
  • In Kindergarten, Unit: Needs of Plants and Animals, Chapter 1, Lesson 1.5: Investigating Animal Habitats, the lesson contains one 3-D Statement as the objective, “Students analyze and interpret data from photographs and obtain information about the kinds of plants that are available as food for different animals in different habitats (patterns). They use that as evidence to explain in which habitat an animal could survive (systems and system models).” Students examine photographs and identify animals that eat the plants in the habitat that has pine trees and water lilies. During the class discussion, the teacher guides students to recognize that all of the pictures show animals eating something (SEP-DATA-P3). Students then receive a card showing an animal and the food it eats. The On-the-Fly Assessment checks students' understanding of which habitat best provides the needed food resources for their assigned animal (DCI-ESS.A-P1). While the On-the-Fly Assessment and classroom discussions measure part of the lesson objective, they do not assess any CCC elements.
  • In Kindergarten, Unit: Needs of Plants and Animals, Chapter 2, Lesson 2.1: Growing Seeds, the lesson contains one 3-D Statement as the objective, “Students set up an investigation to observe the process of plant growth (systems and system models) by planting radish seeds. They obtain information by analyzing data from a time-lapse video and from Handbook of Plants to figure out that radish seedlings grow into plants with different parts (structure and function).” Students make progress towards the objective by planting radish seeds and observing the process of plant growth (SEP-INV-P4) and by watching a time-lapse video of radish seeds growing. They obtain information by analyzing data from a time-lapse video and from Handbook of Plants to figure out that radish seedlings grow into plants with different parts (DCI-LS1.A-P1). In the On-the-Fly Assessment, students watch the video a second time while the teacher pauses it so students can describe the changes they observe as the plant grows and develops new parts. While students learn the names of the different plant parts, students do not yet make the connection to the function of each part. Additionally, the lesson ends with the teacher pointing out that scientists think about how things have different parts and how those parts work together, but students are not assessed on their understanding of systems or how the plant parts work together as a system. While the On-the-Fly Assessment and classroom discussions measure part of the lesson objective, they do not assess the CCC elements.
  • In Kindergarten, Unit: Needs of Plants and Animals, Chapter 4, Lesson 4.2: Investigating Human Needs, the lesson contains one 3-D Statement as the objective, “Students investigate the relationship between plant and human needs (patterns) by obtaining and evaluating information that many things we rely on are made from plants (systems and system models).” Students make progress towards the objective by reading Investigating Monarchs and discussing how humans affect the environment and the needs of monarch caterpillars. Next, students discuss why humans changed the environment and brainstorm human needs. In the On-the-Fly Assessment, students use cards to match specific human needs and where resources to meet those needs come from (SEP-INFO-P3); this helps students to understand that many things humans rely on are made from plants (DCI-ESS3.A-P1). While the On-the-Fly Assessment and classroom discussions measure part of the lesson objective, they do not assess the CCC elements.
  • In Kindergarten, Unit: Sunlight and Weather, Chapter 2, Lesson 2.4: Applying Sunlight Warming Earth’s Surface, the lesson contains one 3-D Statement as the objective, “Students ask questions about why Earth’s surface gets warm (energy and matter). They use the Lamp Model to investigate and record the effect of light on the temperature of a surface (scale, proportion, and quantity; cause and effect).” During the On-the-Fly Assessment, students make progress toward the objective by identifying which surface would be warmer or cooler during different parts of the day. This assesses student understanding of surfaces heating up when light shines on them. Students analyze data from pictures and make claims about relative temperatures of the different surfaces in the pictures. They interpret temperature data from the two playgrounds and explain the pattern of the surfaces getting warmer in the daytime than in the nighttime. Students compare the same location at two different points in time and decide which picture shows the time of the day when it is warmer or cooler, based on the question the teacher asks (SEP-ARG-P6). Students then must try to make a claim about why they think it is either warmer or cooler during that time of day (DCI-PS3.B-P1, CCC-PAT-P1, and CCC-CE-P2). While the On-the-Fly Assessment and classroom discussions measure part of the lesson objective, they do not assess the CCC elements of energy and matter or scale, proportion, and quantity.
  • In Kindergarten, Unit: Sunlight and Weather, Chapter 3, Lesson 3.2: Discussing Warming Over Time, the lesson contains one 3-D Statement as the objective, “Students analyze and interpret data and communicate ideas from their Lamp Model investigation about why light shining on a surface for longer causes the surface to increase in temperature (patterns; cause and effect; scale, proportion, and quantity), and they reflect on the usefulness of models.” Students make progress toward the objective by interpreting data from their lamp model in an On-the-Fly Assessment. Students share their data from when the lamp model was off, when it was shining for a short time, and when it was shining for a longer time. The teacher records the data on a graph and students share their observations from the graph and discuss how the data from their model can show a cause-and-effect relationship (shining light for a longer amount of time causes the surface to get warmer) that can be used to answer questions (SEP-DATA-P3, CCC-CE-P1). Students use this information to predict whether a playground is usually warmer in the morning or afternoon. Students use their understanding of how the sun warms a surface to form a relationship among the time of day, the sun shining, and surface temperature (DCI-PS3.B-P1, CCC-CE-P1). This lesson checks for students’ understanding of cause-and-effect in relation to the sun warming a surface. It also allows the teacher to observe students analyzing temperature data from a chart and connect it back to their predictions. However, no CCC elements of patterns, or scale, proportion, and quantity are assessed.

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 Kindergarten 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 as described in the targeted 3-D Statements for the units. In two of the units, the task does not assess the dimensions in the targeted 3-D Statement. In one unit, the task is not three-dimensional.

The summative End-of-Unit Assessments are found in the last lesson of each unit. 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 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 Kindergarten, Unit 1: Needs of Plants and Animals, the unit objective is for students to answer the question, “How can the kids in Mariposa Grove attract monarch caterpillars to their neighborhood?,” and address the unit-level 3-D Statement, “Students carry out investigations to determine what plants and animals need to live and grow (systems and system models) in order to help a group of kids from the fictional town of Mariposa Grove solve the problem of why there are no longer monarch caterpillars living in a garden in their neighborhood (cause and effect). At the end of the unit, the class designs a solution to the problem by developing a model (scale, proportion, and quantity) for a garden that provides for both human and animal needs.” The End-of-Unit-Assessment is designed as a one-on-one conversation between the teacher and individual students. Prompts are intended to assess all three dimensions. Rubrics for each dimension are provided and include look-for questions and sample responses. Rubric 1 assesses student understanding of the targeted DCIs. The intent of Rubric 2 is to assess the CCC of systems and system models. However, while the sample student responses focus on how the different parts of the plant function, the sample responses do not demonstrate student understanding of systems. Additionally, the assessments in Rubric 2 do not assess the two CCCs identified in the 3-D Statement for the unit: cause and effect; and scale, proportion, and quantity. Rubric 3 is intended to assess the SEP of recording data. This prompt assesses student understanding of collecting and using data and connects to experiences of conducting investigations; however, it but does not assess the SEP identified in the 3-D Statement for the unit: designing solutions to a problem.
  • In Kindergarten, Unit 2: Pushes and Pulls, the unit objective is for students to answer the question, “Why do things move in different ways?,” and address the unit-level 3-D Statement, “Students plan and carry out investigations to determine how force affects the movement of an object, its direction, and its distance (cause and effect; scale, proportion, and quantity; structure and function). They assume the role of engineer as they engage in the design process to develop models that test ideas and construct solutions with the goal of designing a Class Pinball Machine.” The End-of-Unit-Assessment is designed as a one-on-one conversation between the teacher and individual students about various movements in the Class Pinball Machine. Prompts are intended to assess all three dimensions. Rubrics for each dimension are provided and include look-for questions and sample responses. Rubric 1 assesses student understanding of the targeted DCIs. The teacher briefly plays the class pinball machine, making the ball move in several specific ways. Students are asked to explain the different movements, accounting for different directions, distances, and changes in direction (DCI-PS2.A-P1, DCI-PS2.A-P2, and DCI-PS3.C-P1). Rubric 2 assesses the CCC of cause and effect (CCC-CE-P1). However, it does not assess two CCCs identified in the 3-D Statement for the unit: structure and function; and scale, proportion, and quantity. Rubric 3 is intended to assess the SEP of using evidence to support a claim or answer. This prompt assesses students’ ability to support their answer with evidence; however, prompts did not assess the SEP identified in the 3-D Statement for the unit: plan and carry out investigations, develop models, or design solutions.
  • In Kindergarten, Unit 3: Sunlight and Weather, the unit objective is for students to answer the questions, “Why are the playgrounds at two schools different temperatures?” and “Why does one playground flood?,” and address the unit-level 3-D Statement, “Students use models and collect and analyze data to determine the effect of sunlight on Earth’s surfaces. They do this to explain what is causing two school playgrounds to be different temperatures (cause and effect, energy and matter). Students also obtain information and communicate ideas about severe weather and ways to prepare for it (patterns).” The End-of-Unit-Assessment is designed as a one-on-one conversation between the teacher and individual students. Prompts are intended to assess all three dimensions. Rubrics for each dimension are provided and include look-for questions and sample responses. Rubric 1 assesses student understanding of the targeted DCIs. Rubric 2 assesses the CCC of cause and effect. However, it does not assess two of the CCCs identified in the 3-D Statement for the unit: energy and matter, and patterns. Rubric 3 assesses the SEP of developing and using models. To answer the questions in this prompt, students refer to activities they conducted earlier in the unit that also demonstrate an understanding of the other SEPs in this unit’s 3-D Statements.

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 Kindergarten partially meet expectations for Criterion 1d-1i: Phenomena and Problems Drive Learning. The materials include phenomena in 47% of the chapters and problems in 40% 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 Kindergarten 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 and space 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 Kindergarten, Unit: Needs of Plants and Animals, Chapter 1: Why are there no monarch caterpillars since the Field was made into the Garden?, the phenomenon is that there are no monarch caterpillars in the Mariposa Grove community garden since a vegetable garden was planted. As students engage in a series of lessons to explain why there are no caterpillars in the garden and what can be done to attract more monarch butterflies, they learn that different types of animals need different food sources, the availability of the food source depends on the habitat, and milkweed plants are essential to the survival of the caterpillars (DCI-LS1.C-P1) before determining that the monarch caterpillars are gone because the food they need is no longer there.
  • In Kindergarten, Unit: Needs of Plants and Animals, Chapter 2, Lesson 2.1: Growing Seeds, Activity 2, the phenomenon is that seeds grow different amounts. Students engage in a plant growth investigation where they collect evidence about plant growth when provided with different amounts of water. They conclude that plants need water to grow (DCI-LS2.A-P1) and use that knowledge to explain why the seeds grew different amounts.
  • In Kindergarten, Unit: Needs of Plants and Animals, Chapter 3, Lesson 3.1: Planning a Light Investigation, the phenomenon is that milkweed seeds with water can still grow differently. Students participate in a series of activities designed to answer the question of what plants need to grow besides water. They compare two sunflower plants: one that was put under light and the other without any light. This helps students understand that plants that get water can still grow differently because they need things other than just water to live (DCI-LS2.A-P1), such as light.
  • In Kindergarten, Unit: Needs of Plants and Animals, Chapter 4, Lesson 4.3: Reflecting on the Needs of Living Things, the design problem is for students to create a plan for a garden where monarch butterflies can live. Students use a diagram of the garden to show the types and locations of the eight plants that will meet the needs of humans and the monarch caterpillars (DCI-ETS1.B-P1). They select these plants based on their knowledge that animals need food to live and grow and that plants need water and light (DCI-LS1.C-P1).
  • In Kindergarten, Unit: Pushes and Pulls, Chapter 1, Lesson 1.4: We are Engineers, the design problem is to design a pinball machine. Students first observe how the rubber band launcher can be placed in multiple positions. Then they revisit the design goal of making the pinball start to move. Students explore how and why the ball moves when it is pushed by the launcher (DCI-PS2.A-P2). Students design their launcher for their box model, then test and evaluate their designs (DCI-ETS1.C-P1).
  • In Kindergarten, Unit: Pushes and Pulls, Chapter 2, Lesson 2.3: Design a New Launcher, the design problem is to design a new launcher for the students’ pinball machine. Students apply prior knowledge from previous lessons about how to make the ball move in their box model. Students suggest how to make the ball go short and long distances then test it in their model and evaluate how well they were able to make the ball move short or long distances based on force (DCI-PS2.A-P1).
  • In Kindergarten, Unit: Sunlight and Weather, Chapter 3, Lesson 3.1: Getting Warm in the Sunlight, the phenomenon is the desert is cooler in the morning and warmer in the afternoon. Students use a warming model to investigate how the temperature changes with morning light versus afternoon light. Students discover that sunlight warms the earth’s surface and the longer the sunlight is on the surface, the higher the temperature will be (DCI-PS3.B-P1).

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 Kindergarten 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 problems presented as directly as possible:

  • In Kindergarten, Unit: Needs of Plants and Animals, Chapter 1: Why are there no monarch caterpillars since the Field was made into the Garden?, the phenomenon is that there are no monarch caterpillars in the Mariposa Grove community garden since a vegetable garden was planted. This phenomenon is presented through pictures that show the children from Mariposa Grove, a field with milkweed plants next to a picture of a monarch caterpillar on a milkweed plant, and a picture of the planted garden. Additionally, the teacher explains the scenario that the community around the field decided to turn the field into a vegetable garden and ever since then, the children have not been able to find any more monarch caterpillars. Because a first-hand observation of this scenario is not practical, this is the most direct way to present the phenomenon.
  • In Kindergarten, Unit: Needs of Plants and Animals, Chapter 2, Lesson 2.1: Growing Seeds, the phenomenon is that seeds grow different amounts. This phenomenon is presented through a letter from the Children of Mariposa Grove seeking help from the students to help explain why the milkweed plants look differently and accompanied by images that show milkweed seeds and three different colored pots showing different amounts of growth. Because it may not be practical to grow milkweed plants in some classrooms, and the images clearly show the differences in plant growth, this is presented as directly as possible.
  • In Kindergarten, Unit: Needs of Plants and Animals, Chapter 3, Lesson 3.1: Planning a Light Investigation, the phenomenon is that milkweed seeds with water can still grow differently. The lesson opens by students receiving a new message from the children in Mariposa Grove where they learn that two of Ms. Ray’s milkweed plants received water yet still grew differently and accompanied by images that show three different colored pots showing different amounts of growth. Because it may not be practical to grow milkweed plants in some classrooms, and the images clearly show the differences in plant growth, this is presented as directly as possible.
  • In Kindergarten, Unit: Needs of Plants and Animals, Chapter 4, Lesson 4.3: Reflecting on the Needs of Living Things, the design problem is for students to create a plan for a garden where monarch butterflies can live. This problem is presented through an initial discussion with the students. The problem is presented through the question, “How do we make the Garden a place where monarch caterpillars can live again?,” and connected to the phenomena that students have been working to explain. Because there is a picture of the garden and students have already learned about milkweed plants and monarchs, this presentation is as direct as possible.
  • In Kindergarten, Unit: Pushes and Pulls, Chapter 1, Lesson 1.4: We are Engineers, the design problem is to design a pinball machine. Students are presented with a video of a simple pinball machine so they can see how different features interact with the ball during the ball’s movement. Students then see another video that shows how to set up the launcher in their own box model. This is as direct as possible because it provides students with visuals to understand what they are trying to accomplish, prior to working with the materials.
  • In Kindergarten, Unit: Pushes and Pulls, Chapter 2, Lesson 2.3: Design a New Launcher, the design problem is to design a new launcher for their pinball machine. Students watch a video that shows how to set up the shoelace launcher in their own box model. Then students are given a shoelace to test as a new launcher and investigate how to make the ball go short and long distances. This is as direct as possible because it provides students with visuals to understand what they are trying to accomplish, prior to working with the materials direction.
  • In Kindergarten, Unit: Sunlight and Weather, Chapter 1: What is the Weather Like on the Playgrounds?, the phenomenon is that students at Carver Elementary School are too cold during morning recess, while students at Woodland Elementary School are too hot during afternoon recess. The phenomenon is presented to students through a letter from the principals from Carver and Woodland explaining the differences in the temperatures on the playground between the two schools during the morning and afternoon recesses and accompanied by illustrations of the two playgrounds at different times of the day. Each image also contains an image of a student and the type of clothing they are wearing, to represent the temperature. The letter and images present the phenomenon as directly as possible; it would not be practical for students to visit two playgrounds that match these conditions.
  • In Kindergarten, Unit: Sunlight and Weather, Chapter 3, Lesson 3.1: Getting Warm in the Sunlight, the phenomenon is the desert is cooler in the morning and warmer in the afternoon. This is presented through a picture book and text, with guided questions to help students understand what they are seeing in the text. This is as direct as possible, since it would not be practical for most classrooms to visit the desert for a full day to experience this phenomenon first hand.

Indicator 1f

Phenomena and/or problems drive individual lessons or activities using key elements of all three dimensions.
0/2
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Kindergarten do not meet expectations that phenomena and/or problems drive individual chapters using key elements of all three dimensions. Each of the three units at this grade include a unit-level phenomenon or problem. Near the start of each unit, students are asked to play the role of a scientist or an engineer tasked with explaining the phenomenon or solving the problem. The phenomenon or problem consistently drives learning across the unit and in few instances drives learning and use of the three dimensions within a single lesson or chapter. While the phenomena and/or problems serve 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 Kindergarten, Unit: Needs of Plants and Animals, Chapter 1: Why are there no monarch caterpillars since the Field was made into the Garden?, the phenomenon is that there are no monarch caterpillars in the Mariposa Grove Community Garden since a vegetable garden was planted. However, this phenomenon does not drive the learning of the chapter. Students are introduced to the phenomenon but then the lessons focus on building knowledge of what plants and animals need to grow and live, making observations on a local science walk, comparing living and nonliving things, and investigating animal habitats before returning to the phenomenon. Students have multiple opportunities to make observations (SEP-INV-P4) and discuss patterns that scientists look for (CCC-PAT-P1) as they learn about different needs of plants and animals (DCI-LS1.C-P1).
  • In Kindergarten, Unit: Needs of Plants and Animals, Chapter 2: Why did two milkweed seeds become plants, but the other did not?, students receive a message from the students of Mariposa Grove stating that they need help in understanding why the seeds they planted in three different pots grew different amounts. This introduces the phenomenon, but then students watch a time-lapse video of radish plants (DCI-LS1.A-P1) and read Handbook of Plants to learn about the parts of the plants and what they look like when they grow (SEP-INFO-P1). Students also learn about habitats of plants and animals, including desert plants and observe how garlic plants grow, explaining the parts of the plant (CCC-SYS-P1). While these lessons help students understand the importance of water for plants and will contribute to their explanation of the phenomenon, the phenomenon is not driving the learning of this chapter.
  • In Kindergarten, Unit: Needs of Plants and Animals, Chapter 3: Why do the milkweed plants that get water grow differently?, the phenomenon is that milkweed seeds with water can still grow differently. The lesson opens by students receiving a new message from the children in Mariposa Grove where they learn that two of Ms. Ray’s milkweed plants received water yet still grew differently. Students discuss what could cause the difference in plant development (CCC-PAT-E3). Once the class concludes light is the reason, students conduct a new plant investigation. Students (with guidance) plan an investigation (SEP-INV-P2) to observe and collect data (SEP-DATA-P3) about sunflower growth, leading to the conclusion that plants need light to grow and thrive (DCI-LS1.C-P1). While these lessons help students understand the importance of light for plants and will contribute to their explanation of the phenomenon, the phenomenon is not driving the learning of this chapter.
  • In Kindergarten, Unit: Sunlight and Weather, Chapter 1: What is the weather like on the playgrounds?, the phenomenon is that students at Carver Elementary School are too cold during morning recess, while students at Woodland Elementary School are too hot during afternoon recess. After learning about weather (DCI-ESS2.D-P1), students go outside and observe, describe, and draw the weather they observed (SEP-INV-P2). Students use a color scale and color in how warm or cool it is outside. Students learn more about temperature and how to measure it. The phenomenon is then revisited at the end of the chapter. While these lessons help students understand key ideas about temperature and weather that will contribute to their explanation of the phenomenon, the phenomenon is not driving the learning of this chapter.
  • In Kindergarten, Unit: Sunlight and Weather, Chapter 3: Why are the playgrounds warmer in the afternoon?, students try to figure out why playgrounds are warmer in the afternoon. They are also introduced to the Investigation Question, “Why is Earth's surface warmer in the afternoon?” Students read the book, Getting Warm in the Sunlight and act out the temperatures of the desert throughout a day to understand how sunlight warms the surface of earth (DCI-PS3.B-P1). Students are introduced to a warming model (lamps and rubber/foam) prior to measuring the temperature of the rubber “sandwich.” Students use a color map and color the temperature that they measured (SEP-INV-P4) to see if they can identify a pattern between the length of time the light is on and the temperature (CCC-CE-P2). The teacher reads the big book, Handbook of Models for students to learn how scientists investigate fast and slow things. While these lessons help students understand key ideas about how sunlight heats earth that will contribute to their explanation of the phenomenon, the phenomenon is not driving the learning of this chapter.

Example where a chapter or lesson within the grade uses a phenomenon or problem to drive student learning and engages students with all three dimensions:

  • In Kindergarten, Unit: Pushes and Pulls, Chapter 3: How do we make a pinball move to a certain place?, the design challenge is to add targets to the pinball machine. Students discuss ideas with a partner about the force strength and direction needed to change the ball's direction. Students then try to get the ball to hit a target in the class pinball machine, testing various strengths and directions (SEP-INV-P4, DCI-PS2.B-P1). The teacher tests the students’ suggestions on the class pinball machine, missing on purpose. The class discusses what is causing the ball to miss the target (CCC-CE-P1). Then students suggest modifications so that the ball can hit different targets in different directions.

Indicator 1g

Materials are designed to include both phenomena and problems.
0/0
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Kindergarten are designed for students to solve problems in 40% (6/15) of the chapters. Throughout the materials, 47% (7/15) of the chapters focus on explaining phenomena.

The Kindergarten materials are designed as three instructional units, further organized into four to six chapters per unit. Each chapter is divided into multiple 45-minute lessons, comprising smaller activities. Each unit is structured to include 20 lessons plus two 45-minute assessment days.

All three units have a phenomenon or problem that is introduced during the first chapter of the unit and labeled as an Anchor Phenomenon. Subsequent chapters in the unit are designed around guiding questions that help students develop an explanation of the phenomenon or problem.

Examples of problems in the materials:

  • In Kindergarten, Unit: Needs of Plants and Animals, Chapter 4, Lesson 4.3: Reflecting on the Needs of Living Things, the design problem is for students to create a plan for a garden where monarch butterflies can live. Students design their gardens and communicate their designs to their partners; they provide evidence from prior investigations to support how their design meets the needs of both the monarchs and humans. In Lesson 4.4, students reflect on their learning and communicate their understanding of how the garden design will allow caterpillars and milkweed plants to get what they need to live.
  • In Kindergarten, Unit: Pushes and Pulls, Chapter 1, Lesson 1.4: We are Engineers, the design problem is for students to design a pinball machine. Students first observe how the rubber band launcher can be placed in multiple positions. Then they revisit the design goal of making the pinball start to move. Students explore how and why the ball moves when it is touched by the launcher. Students design their launcher for their box model, then test and evaluate their designs.
  • In Kindergarten, Unit: Pushes and Pulls, Chapter 2, Lesson 2.3: Design a New Launcher, the design problem is to design a new launcher for their pinball machine. Students apply prior knowledge from previous lessons about how to make the ball move in their box model. Then students are given a shoelace to test as a new launcher and investigate how to make the ball go short and long distances. Students test a shoestring in their box model and determine how to make the ball move short or long distances based on force.
  • In Kindergarten, Unit: Pushes and Pulls, Chapter 3, Lesson 3.5: Applying Strength and Direction, the design problem is to add targets to the pinball machine. Students talk with a partner about how to exert forces to get the ball to hit a target in the class pinball machine. The teacher tests the students’ suggestions on the class pinball machine, missing on purpose. They discuss as a class why the ball is not hitting the target. Then students suggest modifications so that the ball can hit different targets in different directions.
  • In Kindergarten, Unit: Pushes and Pulls, Chapter 6, Lesson 6.3 End-of-Unit Assessment, the challenge students are trying to solve is to make a pinball machine that allows people to control the direction and strength of forces on a ball. Students watch the teacher launch a pinball two times; once the pinball moves a short distance and the other time it moves a long distance. Students engage in a whole-class conversation to explain the forces that were exerted on the ball during each launch.

Examples of phenomena in the materials:

  • In Kindergarten, Unit: Needs of Plants and Animals, Chapter 1: Why are there no monarch caterpillars since the Field was made into the Garden?, the phenomenon is that there are no monarch caterpillars in the Mariposa Grove Community Garden since a vegetable garden was planted. Students engage in a series of lessons to explain why there are no caterpillars in the garden and what can be done to attract more monarch butterflies. Students discover that different types of animals need different food sources, the availability of the food source depends on the habitat, and milkweed plants are essential to the survival of the caterpillars. They begin to explore plant parts and deepen their understanding of what plants need to live and grow through a series of investigations.
  • In Kindergarten, Unit: Needs of Plants and Animals, Chapter 2, Lesson 2.1: Growing Seeds, the phenomenon is that seeds grow different amounts. Students make sense of how a plant grows and the parts of the plant are made of by watching a time-lapse video of radish plants. Students deepen their understanding of the parts of the plants when they read about what plants look like when they grow in their Handbook of Plants reference book and conclude the lesson by engaging in a plant-growth body-movement exercise to explain the parts of a plant as the plant grows. Students engage in a plant-growth investigation where they collect evidence about how plants grow when provided with different amounts of water.
  • In Kindergarten, Unit: Needs of Plants and Animals, Chapter 3, Lesson 3.1: Planning a Light Investigation, the phenomenon is that milkweeds provided with water can still grow differently. The lesson opens by students receiving a new message from the children in Mariposa Grove where they learn that two of Ms. Ray’s milkweed plants received water yet still grew differently. Students then participate in a series of lessons and activities designed to answer the question of what the plants need to grow besides water.
  • In Kindergarten, Unit: Sunlight and Weather, Chapter 1: What is the Weather Like on the Playgrounds?, the phenomenon is that students at Carver Elementary School are too cold during morning recess, while students at Woodland Elementary School are too hot during afternoon recess. Students use models and collect evidence to show that different materials warm up differently in the sun.
  • In Kindergarten, Unit: Sunlight and Weather, Chapter 3, Lesson 3.1: Getting Warm in the Sunlight, the phenomenon is that the desert is cooler in the morning and warmer in the afternoon. Students use a warming model to investigate how the temperature changes with morning light versus afternoon light.
  • In Kindergarten, Unit: Sunlight and Weather, Chapter 5: Why Does Only Woodland’s Playground Flood?, the phenomenon is that both the Carver and Woodland playgrounds experienced severe rain, but only Woodland’s playground flooded. Students examine and compare pictures of each playground. Students investigate four different models of the playground differences to investigate what happens during flooding. Then, students use evidence from their models to explain why one playground flooded and the other did not.

Indicator 1h

Materials intentionally leverage students’ prior knowledge and experiences related to phenomena or problems.
1/2
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Kindergarten partially meet expectations that they intentionally leverage students’ prior knowledge and experiences related to phenomena or problems. In Kindergarten, 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 Kindergarten, Unit: Needs of Plants and Animals, Chapter 1, Lesson 1.1: Pre-Unit Assessment, the phenomenon is that there are no monarch caterpillars in the Mariposa Grove Community Garden since a vegetable garden was planted. The materials elicit students’ prior knowledge and experiences of monarch butterflies and gardens. 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 Kindergarten, Unit: Needs of Plants and Animals, Chapter 2, Lesson 2.1: Growing Seeds, the phenomenon is that seeds grow different amounts. The students receive a letter from the children of Mariposa Grove asking the students to help explain why three pots with seeds planted at the same time look different. The materials elicit prior knowledge about seeds and that they grow into plants. In Chapter 1, Lesson 1.1: Pre-Unit Assessment, the materials elicit students’ prior knowledge and experiences related to the needs of plants. 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 Kindergarten, Unit: Needs of Plants and Animals, Chapter 4, Lesson 4.3: Reflecting on the Needs of Living Things, the design problem is for students to create a plan for a garden where monarch butterflies can live. The materials elicit prior learning from this unit related to monarchs and their habitats, and elicit prior knowledge and experience students have about food that humans get from gardens. In Chapter 1, Lesson 1.1: Pre-Unit Assessment, the materials elicit students’ prior knowledge and experiences of monarch butterflies and gardens. 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 Kindergarten, Unit: Pushes and Pulls, Chapter 1, Lesson 1.4: We are Engineers, the design problem is to design a pinball machine. Prior to showing a video of a simple pinball machine, teachers are prompted to ask students if they know what a pinball machine is, if they can describe it, and to share what they already know. In Lesson 1.1: Pre-Unit Assessment, the materials elicit students’ prior knowledge and experiences related to the ways things move and can change direction. 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 Kindergarten, Unit: Pushes and Pulls, Chapter 1, Lesson 2.3: Design a New Launcher, the design problem is to design a new launcher for their pinball machine. In this lesson, the materials elicit prior learning as students revisit the key concepts from the previous lesson about the strength of forces exerted and the distance an object travels. Students then apply that prior learning to make the ball move in their box model. In Lesson 1.1: Pre-Unit Assessment, the materials elicit students’ prior knowledge and experiences related to the ways things move and can change direction. 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 Kindergarten, Unit: Sunlight and Weather, Chapter 1, Lesson 1.3: Pre-Unit Assessment, the phenomenon is that students at Carver Elementary School are too cold at morning recess, while students at Woodland Elementary are too hot during the afternoon recess. Students are presented with a letter from both principals outlining the problem and examine a picture of each playground. The materials elicit student ideas about what could cause the playgrounds to get warmer in different ways. 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 Kindergarten, Unit: Sunlight and Weather, Chapter 3, Lesson 3.1: Getting Warm in the Sunlight, the phenomenon is the desert is cooler in the morning and warmer in the afternoon. The materials elicit prior learning as students discuss why surfaces are warmer in the afternoon than in the morning. In Chapter 1, Lesson 1.3: Pre-Unit Assessment, the materials elicit students’ prior knowledge and experiences related to differences in surfaces in summer and winter and the feel of hot and cold. 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 Kindergarten, Unit: Sunlight and Weather, Chapter 5: Why Does Only Woodland’s Playground Flood?, the phenomenon is that both the Carver and Woodland playgrounds experienced severe rain, but only Woodland’s playground flooded. The students receive a letter from the principal at Woodland, asking the students to help explain why the Woodland playground floods, eliciting whether students know what a flood is. In Chapter 1, Lesson 1.3: Pre-Unit Assessment, the materials elicit students’ prior knowledge and experiences related to rainstorms and safety during rainstorms. 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.
4/4
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Kindergarten 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 lessons across the unit. The three dimensions are consistently used to make sense of a phenomenon or problem at the unit level. Each chapter of the unit consists of multiple lessons. The phenomenon or problem does not drive learning in all lessons within the chapters. Instead, 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 at least two chapters where one or more of the lessons are driven by the phenomenon or problem. 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 within each unit.

Examples of phenomena that drive students’ learning and use of the three dimensions across multiple lessons in the unit:

  • In Kindergarten, Unit: Needs of Plants and Animals, the phenomenon that there “are no monarch caterpillars in the Mariposa Grove Community Garden since a vegetable garden was planted,” drives learning across multiple lessons in Chapter 1 and part of Chapter 4. Students engage with all three dimensions across multiple lessons and are provided with multimodal opportunities to develop, evaluate, and revise their thinking as they make sense of the phenomenon. In Chapter 1, students observe that different plants and animals live in different places and research the needs of plants and animals (DCI-LS1.C-P1). Students determine what caused the monarch butterflies to disappear (CCC-CE-P2). They describe the relationship between the caterpillars and the milkweed (SEP-DATA-P3), and determine that since the milkweed plants grow in the field but do not grow in the garden, the monarch caterpillars no longer have their food source. In Chapter 4, students learn more about monarch habitats and what monarchs need to survive. At the end of the chapter, students apply their learning to design a garden that would meet human needs and also allow the monarchs to survive. Students have multiple opportunities through discussions and their mini-book to revise their thinking about this phenomenon. Chapters 2 and 3 provide opportunities for students to make connections to the phenomenon, but the phenomenon does not drive learning in these two chapters.
  • In Kindergarten, Unit: Pushes and Pulls, the design challenge of making a pinball machine drives learning across multiple lessons in this unit. Students engage with all three dimensions across multiple lessons and are provided with multimodal opportunities to develop, evaluate, and revise their thinking as they solve the challenge. In Chapter 1, the challenge is introduced in Lesson 1.4. Students apply their prior learning that pushing an object will start it in motion (DCI-PS2.A-P2, CCC-CE-P1) as they design the launcher for the pinball machine. In Chapter 2, students observe how a pinball machine can make the ball move longer or shorter distances, and then investigate (SEP-INV-P4) how the amount of force applied to a ball determines how far the ball moves. Students then determine how their pinball designs need to change (DCI-ETS1.B-P1, DCI-ETS1.C-P1). In Chapter 3, students investigate how to make objects change directions, then apply that understanding to designing flippers and bumpers for their pinball machine. In Chapter 5, students redesign their pinball machine models.
  • In Kindergarten, Unit: Sunlight and Weather, the phenomenon that, “students at Carver Elementary School are too cold during morning recess, while students at Woodland Elementary School are too hot during afternoon recess,” drives learning across multiple lessons in this unit. Students engage with all three dimensions across multiple lessons and are provided with multimodal opportunities to develop, evaluate, and revise their thinking as they make sense of the phenomenon. In Chapter 1, the phenomenon is introduced at the end of Lesson 1.3 and drives learning of Lesson 1.4 where students compare images and weather of the playgrounds at different times of the day. In Chapter 2, students figure out that sunlight causes the playgrounds to get warm during the day. Students engage in activities to understand the different temperatures of each playground during daytime and nighttime. Students model the sun heating earth’s surface (DCI-PS3.B-P1, SEP-MOD-P1, and CCC-SYS-P2) to explain the different temperatures on the different playgrounds. Students compare daytime and nighttime temperatures of both playgrounds, discussing why the temperature changes (SEP-AQDP-P1, SEP-DATA-P3, and CCC-CE-P2). In Chapter 3, students look for patterns (CCC-PAT-E2) in the temperature data of both playgrounds. They use the warming model to observe how the amount of light shining over time affects the temperature and relate that to the differences between the two playgrounds. In Chapter 4, students examine the color of each playground surface (DCI-PS3.B-P1), gather and graph data (SEP-INV-P4) from their colored surfaces model (SEP-MOD-P3), then examine pictures of different colored surfaces. Students then discuss what changes can be made to the playgrounds that will affect temperature.

Gateway Two

Coherence and Scope

Meets Expectations

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Gateway Two Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Kindergarten 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.
34/34
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Criterion Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Kindergarten 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 SEPs at the grade level and all of the SEPs across the grade band. The materials include all 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.
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Indicator 2a.i

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Kindergarten meet expectations that students understand how the materials connect the dimensions from chapter to chapter. The materials include three units comprising four to six 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 by explaining 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 among the chapters in the unit. While there are connections among chapters within each unit, explicit connections among the units are not provided.

Examples of student learning experiences that demonstrate connections across chapters:

  • In Kindergarten, Unit 1: Needs of Plants and Animals, all of the chapters connect to the disciplinary core idea (DCI) about what plants and animals need to live (DCI-LS1.C-P1) and is the focus of learning throughout the unit. Students learn about the needs of plants and animals to explain that monarch caterpillars no longer live in Mariposa Grove because there are no longer milkweed plants present. Chapter 1 introduces students to the problem that monarch caterpillars no longer live in Mariposa Grove after a field was changed into a garden. Students explore the needs of animals (DCI-LS1.C-P1) to find out why the caterpillars are gone. In Chapter 2, students explore what plants need to grow and determine that milkweed plant need water to grow (DCI-LS1.C-P1). In Chapter 3, students add to their understanding of what plants need to live; they learn that plants also need light (DCI-LS1.C-P1). In Chapter 4, students connect what they know about what plants need to live and what monarch caterpillars eat (DCI-LS1.C-P1), to solve the problem of why there are no more monarch caterpillars in the area.
  • In Kindergarten, Unit 2: Pushes and Pulls, all of the chapters connect to understanding the forces needed to design a pinball machine. Across this unit, students learn disciplinary core ideas related to force and motion (DCI-PS2.A-P1, DCI-PS2.A-P2, and DCI-PS2.B-P1) and have multiple opportunities to gather evidence about the causes of motion (CCC-CE-P1). In Chapter 1, students conduct an investigation (SEP-INV-P1) that allows them to see the effects of pushes and pulls on a pinball. This chapter introduces the concept of forces acting on an object and is used as the foundation for subsequent chapters on the cause-and-effect of an object’s motion. In Chapter 2, students conduct an investigation that compares the effects of pushes and pulls on the distance an object moves,. Then, they use that information to determine how the strength of force exerted on the pinball is related to how far the ball moves in their box model. In Chapter 3, students investigate how a the direction of force exerted on an object is related to the direction of the object's movement. Students use that information to apply forces that make a pinball in their Box Model move to the left and to the right. In Chapter 4, students investigate how a moving object can change direction when another object exerts a force on it. Students use that information to make a pinball in their Box Model change directions when it comes in contact with a flipper or bumper.
  • In Kindergarten, Unit 3: Sunlight and Weather, Chapters 2-4 build understanding of how the sun’s light causes earth’s surface to heat up throughout the day. Across the unit, students have multiple opportunities to understand that events have causes that produce patterns (CCC-CE-P2). They learn how the sun warms earth’s surface and figure out the reason why there are temperature differences between two playgrounds throughout the day (DCI-ESS2.D-P1, DCI-PS3.B-P1). In Chapter 1, students are introduced to weather and how to observe and record different types of weather. Students are then introduced to the phenomenon of two schools in the same area experiencing temperature differences on their respective playgrounds. In Chapter 2, students use a warming lamp to model the sun’s light shining on the surface to investigate how light from the sun warms earth's surface. In Chapter 3, students use their lamp models to determine how surface exposure to the sun’s light over time causes the surface to increase in temperature. In Chapter 4, students complete their lamp model investigations by looking at how different surface-colors (dark or light) are affected differently by the sun’s light.

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 Kindergarten meet expectations that they have an intentional sequence where student tasks increase in sophistication. Materials are designed with an intentional or suggested 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 Needs of Plants and Animals, Pushes and Pulls, and Sunlight and Weather, in that order. Within each of these units, there is a single anchor phenomenon or topic that is presented to students, and learning builds across the unit as students gather information to figure it out. 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.

Examples of student tasks increasing in sophistication within a unit:

  • In Kindergarten, Unit 1: Needs of Plants and Animals, students begin to learn how to investigate a phenomenon by being told about a problem in a community and figuring out why the problem exists and how to solve it. In Chapter 1, students investigate an animal’s needs in relation to its habitat and what it eats. They begin to observe how different animals eat different things and how an animal’s habitat needs to provide its food. In Chapter 2, students investigate what plants need to live and grow. They learn that plants need water to grow by observing what happens to a garlic root, radish plant, and milkweed plant when they do and don’t get water. In Chapter 3, students investigate how light plays an important role in plant-growth. They observe and compare plants that get light to plants that do not get light and conclude that plants need light to grow.
  • In Kindergarten, Unit 2: Pushes and Pulls, students investigate a teacher-led question in an attempt to design a solution to a problem. In Chapter 1, students learn about the design process by learning about the problem and beginning to design a solution. The students watch a video of a pinball machine and are asked to design their own pinball machine as a whole class. Students investigate how an object begins to move, which leads them to create their first Box Model. The Box Model will be used throughout the unit to try out their new ideas. By the end of this chapter, the students have created a launcher for their class pinball machine. In Chapter 2, students begin to address two design goals for the class pinball machine. By the end of this chapter, the students will have redesigned their launcher from Chapter 1. Students investigate the strength of a force exerted on an object and relate it to the distance an object travels when that force is applied. In Chapter 3, students use the design process to figure out how to move an object in the direction they want it to move. Students investigate by using their understanding of how the direction of a force exerted on a ball can result in the ball moving to the left or to the right to move the ball to a designated target. In Chapter 4, students use the design process to understand that an object can change direction if it interacts with a second object. Students try their ideas out on their Box Models before adding flippers and bumpers to their class pinball machine. In Chapter 5, students redesign their Box Models to ensure that they are capable of doing all of the things that they want the ball to do. Students go through an iterative design process to make improvements to their class pinball machine.
  • In Kindergarten, Unit 3: Sunlight and Weather, students are introduced to modeling as a means for scientists to study real-world phenomena and to make predictions about future real-world events. In Chapter 2, students read from a reference book about models to build background knowledge of why scientists use models. They then work together to build a model that compares how the presence or absence of light affects the surface upon which the light is projected. The teacher uses the results of the investigation to lead a class conversation to help students make comparisons between the data collected and how it represents a model of the sun’s energy. In Chapter 3, the teacher leads a discussion as students provide suggestions about how they can use the lamp model to represent the sun’s light shining on earth’s surface for different lengths of time. Students then, guided by the class discussion, work together to investigate how surface temperature varies depending on the amount of time it is exposed to the sun’s light. In Chapter 4, the teacher leads a discussion about how to revise their lamp model to investigate surface temperature differences between light- and dark-colored surfaces. The students participate in a class discussion as the teacher assists them in planning their investigation. Students connect their findings from the model to a variety of surfaces they encounter in real-world contexts and to the playgrounds.

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. 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, and engineering-design units.

  • Investigation Units: Each grade contains a unit focused on students developing the science practices related to investigations. The K–2 grade band shows increasing complexity as students begin with simple classroom investigations and add in technology, maps, and thinking about system interactions. In Kindergarten, the Needs of Plants and Animals unit has students investigate what plants and animals need to live as they figure out why monarch caterpillars no longer live in Mariposa Grove. They conduct a series of investigations to determine the effects of light and water on plant growth. In Grade 1, the Spinning Earth unit focuses on students investigating patterns in the sky and why the sky looks different at the same time in different places. Student investigations increase in sophistication as they collect observational data, and also make observations using live webcams to learn about what the sky looks like at different times and in different places across the globe. In Grade 2, the Plant and Animal Relationships unit focuses on understanding why chalta trees aren’t growing in a specific location. Student investigations increase in sophistication as they interpret visual data from the study site and connect information from multiple investigations to explain how different components in the ecosystem impact the growth of the trees.
  • Engineering Design Units: Each grade contains a unit focused on students developing the science practices and DCIs related to engineering design. The K–2 grade band shows increasing complexity as students begin with simple, guided designs that increase in sophistication with the type of design and level of testing required. In Kindergarten, the Pushes and Pulls unit focuses on understanding the forces needed to design a pinball machine. Students conduct guided investigations then apply their learning to a design of a pinball machine. Each investigation guides students to designing the next component (launcher, bumper, flipper) of their pinball machine. In Grade 1, the Light and Sound unit focuses on understanding aspects of light and sound to be able to design a puppet-show scene. Student investigations guide students to designing the next component of their puppet show (lighting the stage, making shadow scenery, and adding sound), but students have more choice and flexibility in their designs than they did in the Kindergarten unit. Students also begin to understand the importance of testing and selecting different materials for their designs. In Grade 2, the Properties of Materials unit focuses on designing a new glue. Students understand properties of materials as they develop and test a new sticky glue for their school. As students work on their designs, they test properties of different materials and determine whether those materials combine to form a glue that meets criteria for stickiness and strength. Students have opportunities to make revisions to their recipe following testing.
  • Modeling Units: Each grade contains a unit focused on students developing the SEPs related to developing and using models. The K–2 grade band shows increasing complexity as students begin with a simple model that they use to collect data, then develop their own physical models, and then use multiple models to explain a phenomenon. In Kindergarten, the Sunlight and Weather unit focuses on using a lamp model to simulate how sunlight can heat earth’s surfaces throughout the day. Students then use information from their models to figure out what causes the temperature differences between the two playgrounds throughout the day. In Grade 1, the Animal and Plant Defenses unit focuses on how animals defend themselves in their environment. Students learn about physical structures of sea turtles and other animals that are used as protection. Students then create a model of a specific animal defense mechanism to demonstrate understanding of how an animal protects itself. In Grade 2, the Changing Landforms unit focuses on how water and wind shape earth. Students use multiple models to explain various components of why a cliff near a recreation center eroded. Students use models to simulate how rocks hitting each other can break off small pieces and form sand. Students use models with chalk to investigate how water can change a landform by causing pieces of rock to break off. Students use a digital modeling tool to create their own maps of landforms. Students make a model and then erode the model to show how many small changes can add up to a bigger change. Students use this information to explain how the recreation center’s cliff eroded without the director noticing. Students use multiple erosion models to provide evidence that supports the idea that wind and water can quickly erode landforms made of loose materials.

Indicator 2b

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Kindergarten meet expectations that they present disciplinary core ideas, science and engineering practices, and crosscutting concepts 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 in each of the three units.

Indicator 2c

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Kindergarten 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
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Kindergarten meet 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 in two of the three units for this grade: Pushes and Pulls and Sunlight and Weather.

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

  • PS2.A-P1: In Kindergarten, Unit: Pushes and Pulls, Chapter 3, Lesson 3.5: Applying Strength and Direction, students discuss the strength and direction of force needed to hit the target in the class pinball machine. The class adds another target and discusses the strength and direction of force needed to hit the new target. Then, students share ideas about how pushes and pulls have different strengths and directions to explain how they got the ball to hit the two targets.
  • PS2.A-P2: In Kindergarten, Unit: Pushes and Pulls, Chapter 2, Lesson 2.2: Strong and Gentle Forces, students move a ball on the floor and observe the distances that the ball moves relative to the amount of force applied. In preparation for the Home Investigation, students test then share their observations on what could cause the ball to speed up or slow down, relating that to the push or pull on the object.
  • PS2.B-P1: In Kindergarten, Unit: Pushes and Pulls, Chapter 4, Lesson 4.2: Forces Change an Object’s Direction, students discuss a reading where a foosball player hit the ball, causing the ball to change direction. Students then practice moving a ball so that it bounces off something and note that when the ball interacts with another object, the ball’s motion changes.
  • PS3.B-P1: In Kindergarten, Unit: Sunlight and Weather, Chapter 4, Lesson 4.1: Modeling Warming of Different Surfaces and Lesson 4.2: Reflecting on Warming of Different Surfaces, students investigate the temperature differences among different colored surfaces to explain why two playgrounds warm differently throughout the day. Investigating what happens to the temperature of different colored surfaces over time helps students determine that sunlight causes the playground surfaces to warm.
  • PS3.C-P1: In Kindergarten, Unit: Pushes and Pulls, Chapter 3, Lesson 3.5: Applying Strength and Direction, students predict and test how to make the tennis ball hit a target. In the Going Further section of the lesson, students determine that increasing the strength of pushes or pulls will make the ball speed up or slow down more quickly.

Indicator 2d.ii

Life Sciences
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Kindergarten meet expectations that they incorporate all grade-level disciplinary core ideas (DCIs) for life sciences. In Kindergarten, there is only one life science DCI connected to the grade-level performance expectations (PEs). That DCI and associated element is found in one of the three units for this grade: Exploring Animal Needs. This DCI is taught across multiple lessons, with each lesson addressing a different aspect of the DCI.

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

  • LS1.C-P1: In Kindergarten, Unit: Needs of Plants and Animals, Chapter 1, Lesson 1.4: Exploring Animal Needs, students observe picture cards and discuss what the animal is eating in each picture. This is to help them understand that some animals need plants for food and this feeding relationship is how they are connected in the natural world.
  • LS1.C-P1: In Kindergarten, Unit: Needs of Plants and Animals, Chapter 2, Lesson 2.7: Water for Milkweed, students learn that plants need water to survive. Students investigate the reason that some plants grew better than others and determine that one plant did not grow because it did not receive enough water to support its life.
  • LS1.C-P1: In Kindergarten, Unit: Needs of Plants and Animals, Chapter 3, Lesson 3.1: Planning a Light Investigation, students learn that plants need light to live and grow. Students investigate that plants that get water can still grow differently because they need things other than just water. Stunts observe two sunflower plants, one that was put under light and the other without any light. Students compare the two plants to determine that light is important for a plant's growth and survival.

Indicator 2d.iii

Earth and Space Sciences
2/2
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Kindergarten meet expectations that they incorporate all grade-level disciplinary core ideas (DCIs) for earth and space sciences. Across the grade, the materials include all of the associated elements of the earth and space science DCIs; however, one element is only partially met. These are found in two of the three units for this grade: Needs of Plants and Animals and Sunlight and Weather

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

  • ESS2.D-P1: In Kindergarten, Unit: Sunlight and Weather, Chapter 1, Lesson 1.1: What is the Weather Like Today?, students use the book What is the Weather Like Today? to learn about different types of weather conditions (sunny, cloudy, rainy, snowy, and windy). Students learn that people can measure these conditions and use their measurements to make predictions.
  • ESS3.A-P1: In Kindergarten, Unit: Needs of Plants and Animals, Chapter 4, Lesson 4.1: Investigating Monarchs, students use the book Investigating Monarchs to learn about the life cycle and migration patterns of monarch butterflies. Students learn about the different needs of the monarch butterflies, and about how the butterflies migrate to different places depending on their needs. In a subsequent part of this unit, students design a garden to restore the butterfly’s habitat, which was destroyed when humans planted a garden in a field where the monarchs used to live.
  • ESS3.B-P1: In Kindergarten, Unit: Sunlight and Weather, Chapter 5, Lesson 5.1: Tornado! Predicting Severe Weather, students listen to the teacher read the book Tornado! Predicting Severe Weather. The book describes how a weather scientist works with tools to predict severe weather, which saved a school full of kids.
  • ESS3.C-P1: In Kindergarten, Unit: Needs of Plants and Animals, Chapter 4, Lesson 4.3: Reflecting on Needs of Living Things, students learn how humans impact their surroundings but they can make changes that reduce their impact on plants and animals. These changes can allow both humans and animals to get what they need to survive. Students learn that humans planted a garden in a field and the monarch butterflies disappeared. Students solve the problem by designing a garden that will allow both humans to get the vegetables they need and let the monarch caterpillars get what they need to survive.

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

  • ESS2.E-P1: In Kindergarten, Unit: Needs of Plants and Animals, Chapter 2, Lesson 2.5: Observing Garlic Roots, the teacher reads the book A Plant in the Desert. The book presents information about how a tortoise digs a hole, so it can catch water and drink from the pool. In Chapter 3, Lesson 3.4: Above and Below, the teacher reads the book, Above and Below that provides information that animals dig holes to stay safe or to find food. This element is only partially addressed; the materials only address animals and do not address how plants can change their environments.

Indicator 2d.iv

Engineering, Technology, and Applications of Science
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grades K–2 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 Kindergarten, three performance expectations (PEs) are associated with a physical, life, or earth and space science DCI that also connect to an ETS DCI. The ETS elements within these kindergarten PEs are present in the materials.

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

  • ETS1.A-P1: In Kindergarten, Unit: Pushes and Pulls, Chapter 1, Lesson 1.1: Pre-Unit Assessment, students are introduced to their role as engineers. During a teacher-led discussion, students are shown the What Engineers Do chart to learn that engineers find out about problems and then go through a series of processes to design a solution. Throughout this unit, students then work to solve the problem of designing a pinball machine.
  • ETS1.A-P2: In Kindergarten, Unit: Needs of Plants and Animals, Chapter 2, Lesson 2.7: Water for Milkweed, students learn that asking questions and gathering information are important parts of solving problems. Students determine that the milkweed plants don’t grow in the black pot because they don’t get enough water, but they do grow in the white pot because they have water. Students use this to understand that water for the milkweed plants will be important in their garden design.
  • ETS1.B-P1: In Kindergarten, Unit: Needs of Plants and Animals, Chapter 4, Lesson 4.3: Reflecting on Needs of Living Things, students make their garden plan by gluing images of the plants to the location of their garden. This helps students communicate their design solutions to other people without needing to actually construct the garden.

In Grade 1, no PEs associated with a physical, life, or earth and space science DCI 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 1 materials:

  • ETS1.A-P1: In Grade 1, Unit: Light and Sound, Chapter 3, Lesson 3.6: Explaining the Puppet-Show Scene, students learn that people can create new approaches or solve problems through engineering. Students are asked to solve a problem from a fictitious play company that would allow them to carry fewer materials when putting on a puppet show.
  • ETS1.C-P1: In Grade 1, Unit: Light and Sound, Chapter 3, Lesson 3.5: Testing and Revising our Solutions, students learn that it is useful to compare and test designs to find the best solution to their problem. They work with partners to test their design solutions that show a bright, medium-bright, and dark area for the designed scene of the puppet show. They test to see if their stencils make the appropriate “brightness” in the scene and revise as needed.

In Grade 2, there are two PEs associated with a physical, life, or earth and space science DCI that also connect to an ETS DCI. The ETS elements within these Grade 2 PEs are present in the materials.

Examples of the Grade 2 grade-level ETS DCI elements present in the materials:

  • ETS1.B-P1: In Grade 2, Unit: Animal and Plant Defenses, Chapter 2, Lesson 2.8: Defending the Food Supply, students learn that models can be an effective way to communicate design solutions to other people. Students then make a physical model of their design to defend a food bag in an aquarium.
  • ETS1.C-P1: In Grade 2, Unit: Properties of Materials, Chapter 1, Lesson 1.9: Making Our First Glue, students learn that it is useful to compare and test designs to find the best solution to their problem. Students test whether their glue can pass the sticky-glue test to determine whether they need to revise their glue recipe.

The K–2 grade band includes three ETS 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 K–2 grade-band ETS DCI elements present in the materials:

  • ETS1.A-P1: In Kindergarten, Unit: Pushes and Pulls, Chapter 1, Lesson 1.1: Pre-Unit Assessment, students are introduced to their role as engineers. During a teacher-led discussion, students are shown the What Engineers Do chart to learn that engineers find out about problems and then go through a series of processes to design a solution. Throughout this unit, students then work to solve the problem of designing a pinball machine.
  • ETS1.A-P2: In Kindergarten, Unit: Needs of Plants and Animals, Chapter 2, Lesson 2.7: Water for Milkweed, students learn that asking questions and gathering information are important parts of solving problems. Students determine that the milkweed plants don’t grow in the black pot because they don’t get enough water, but they do grow in the white pot because they have water. Students use this to understand that water for the milkweed plants will be important in their garden design.
  • ETS1.A-P3: In Grade 2, Unit: Properties of Materials, Chapter 3: What ingredients can be used to make a glue that is sticky and strong?, students gain a better understanding of the problem to inform their glue designs. Throughout the chapter, students gather information about properties of glue to help inform their design process.
  • ETS1.B-P1: In Grade 2, Unit: Animal and Plant Defenses, Chapter 2, Lesson 2.8: Defending the Food Supply, students learn that models can be an effective way to communicate design solutions to other people. Students then make a physical model of their design to defend a food bag in an aquarium.
  • ETS1.C-P1: In Grade 1, Unit: Light and Sound, Chapter 3, Lesson 3.5: Testing and Revising our Solutions, students learn that it is useful to compare and test designs to find the best solution to their problem. They work with partners to test their design solutions that show a bright, medium-bright, and dark area for the designed scene of the puppet show. They test to see if their stencils result in the appropriate “brightness” in the scene and revise as needed.

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
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Kindergarten meet expectations that they incorporate all grade-level science and engineering practices (SEPs) and associated elements. The materials include all of the SEP elements associated with the performance expectations (PEs) for the grade level. These are found across all three units for this grade.

Examples of SEPs and elements associated with the grade-level performance expectations that are present in the materials:

  • AQDP-P1: In Kindergarten, Unit: Pushes and Pulls, Chapter 2, Lesson 2.1: Identifying New Design Goals, students watch the pinball video. After making observations from the video, the teacher is prompted to inform students that engineers ask questions, some of which come from their observations. The teacher models how to ask a question about the pinball video. Students are then prompted to ask their own questions based on their observations of the pinball machine design in the video.
  • AQDP-P1: In Kindergarten, Unit: Sunlight and Weather, Chapter 1, Lesson 1.4: Weather and the Playgrounds, after examining a weather graph and calendar, the teacher models how to ask a question about observations from the data. Students are then prompted to ask their own questions that would provide more information on the weather differences at the two playgrounds.
  • MOD-P3: In Kindergarten, Unit: Sunlight and Weather, Chapter 4, Lesson 4.1: Modeling Warming of Different Surfaces, students use a colored-surfaces model to determine the relative temperature (range from very cold to very hot) of playground surfaces. Students use these models to determine that some surfaces get warmer than others when sunlight shines on them.
  • INV-P1: In Kindergarten, Unit: Pushes and Pulls, Chapter 3: How Do We Make A Pinball Move To A Certain Place?, students conduct an investigation with peers. Students investigate the direction a ball will go when they push on it. Groups of three students sit in a circle and roll the ball to each other, paying attention to where they are targeting to roll the ball.
  • INV-P4: In Kindergarten, Unit: Needs of Plants and Animals, Chapter 1, Lesson 1.6: Explaining Why There Are No Caterpillars, students collect data that can be used to make comparisons. Students read the Handbook of Plants to find out that monarch caterpillars eat milkweed plants. Then students compare pictures of the Mariposa Grove Community Garden to the field that was there previously, comparing the different plants they see. Students determine that because there is no milkweed in the garden, the caterpillars cannot live there because they only eat milkweed.
  • DATA-P3: In Kindergarten, Unit: Pushes and Pulls, Chapter 1, Lesson 1.3: Force Happens Between Two Objects, students use observations to describe relationships between two objects. Students observe what happens to objects when they interact (e.g.,a car pushing a block or a string pulling on a tube). Students look at the relationship between the two objects to describe how a force exerted on one object affects the other object.
  • DATA-P5: In Kindergarten, Unit: Pushes and Pulls, Chapter 5, Lesson 5.2: Testing and Improving Our Box Models, students test their pinball machine design and analyze whether it works as intended. They identify any changes that they need to make to improve its function.
  • CEDS-P2: In Kindergarten, Unit: Pushes and Pulls, students use materials throughout the unit to design and build a Box Model to solve the problem of making a pinball machine that can launch a ball and make the ball change directions once in motion.
  • ARG-P6: In Kindergarten, Unit: Sunlight and Weather, Chapter 2, Lesson 2.4: Applying Sunlight Warming Earth’s Surface, students construct an argument with evidence to support a claim about why they think a playground location is warmer or cooler during part of the day.
  • INFO-P1: In Kindergarten, Unit: Needs of Plants and Animals, Chapter 3: Why do the milkweed plants that get water grow differently?, students read texts and observe images of different plants to determine that plants need light to grow.
  • INFO-P4: In Kindergarten, Unit: Needs of Plants and Animals, Chapter 2: Why do two milkweed seeds become plants, but the others did not?, students write and draw in a mini-book to communicate information about what milkweed plants need to grow.

Indicator 2e.ii

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grades K–2 meet expectations that they incorporate all grade-level science and engineering practices (SEPs) and associated elements across the grade band. The materials include all of the SEP elements associated with the performance expectations (PEs) for the grade band. Elements of the SEPs are found across all three grades within this grade band. Materials include few elements of the SEPs from above or below the grade band without connecting to the grade-band appropriate SEP.

Examples of SEP elements associated with the grade-band performance expectations that are present in the materials:

  • AQDP-P1: In Kindergarten, Unit: Pushes and Pulls, Chapter 2, Lesson 2.1: Identifying New Design Goals, students watch the pinball video. After making observations from the video, the teacher is prompted to inform students that engineers ask questions, some of which come from their observations. The teacher models how to ask a question about the pinball video. Students are then prompted to ask their own questions based on their observations of the pinball machine design in the video.
  • AQDP-P1: In Kindergarten, Unit: Sunlight and Weather, Chapter 1, Lesson 1.4: Weather and the Playgrounds, after examining a weather graph and calendar, the teacher models how to ask a question about observations from the data. Students are then prompted to ask their own questions that would provide more information on the weather differences at the two playgrounds.
  • MOD-P3: In Kindergarten, Unit: Sunlight and Weather, Chapter 4, Lesson 4.1: Modeling Warming of Different Surfaces, students use a colored-surfaces model to determine the relative temperature (range from very cold to very hot) of the playground surfaces. Students use these models to determine that some surfaces get warmer than others when sunlight shines on them.
  • MOD-P4: In Grade 1, Unit: Animal and Plant Defenses, Chapter 2, Lesson 2.4: Modeling Shells and Armor, students observe a video of a turtle and an alligator to gather evidence about shells and armor as defenses against being eaten. The class gathers additional information about how shells and armor function to defend living things by revisiting sections of Tortoise Parts and the reference book. Then, students work together to develop a simple physical model that shows how living things use their shells or armor to defend themselves from being eaten.
  • INV-P1: In Kindergarten, Unit: Light and Sound, Chapter 3: How Do We Make A Pinball Move To A Certain Place?, students conduct an investigation with peers. Students investigate the direction a ball will go when they push on it. Groups of three students sit in a circle and roll the ball to each other, paying attention to where they are targeting to roll the ball.
  • INV-P2: In Grade 2, Unit: Properties of Materials, Chapter 1, Lesson 1.9: Making Our First Glue, students plan and conduct an investigation collaboratively to determine if their recipe for their glue will pass the sticky-glue test.
  • INV-P3: In Grade 1, Unit: Spinning Earth, Chapter 1, Lesson 1.2: After Sunset, students look at firsthand and secondhand ways to observe the sky at daytime and at nighttime, then discuss how scientists need to use more than one way to collect information. Students make direct observations of the sky during the school day and use pictures to understand what the sky looks like at night.
  • INV-P4: In Kindergarten, Unit: Needs of Plants and Animals, Chapter 1, Lesson 1.6: Explaining Why There Are No Caterpillars, students collect data that can be used to make comparisons. Students read the Handbook of Plants to find out that monarch caterpillars eat milkweed plants. Then, students compare pictures of the Mariposa Community Garden to the field that was there previously, comparing the different plants they see. Students determine that there is no milkweed in the garden and the caterpillars cannot live in the garden because they only eat milkweed.
  • DATA-P3: In Kindergarten, Unit: Pushes and Pulls, Chapter 1, Lesson 1.3: Force Happens Between Two Objects, students use observations to describe relationships between two objects. Students make observations of what happens to objects when they interact (e.g., a car pushing a block, or using a string to pull a tube). Students look at the relationship between the two objects to describe how force on one object acts on the other object.
  • DATA-P5: In Grade 2, Unit: Properties of Materials, Chapter 4, Lesson 4.1: Evaluating Second Glues and Revising Recipes, students test the strength and stickiness of their glue and analyze their findings to determine if their glue meets the design-goal properties.
  • CEDS-P1: In Grade 1, Unit: Spinning Earth, Chapter 1: Why did the sky look different to Sai than to his grandma?, students make and record observations of the daytime sky to collect evidence to support an account for why the sky looks different to Sai than it does to his grandma.
  • CEDS-P2: In Grade 1, Unit: Light and Sound, Chapter 4: How do we design a sound source to go with a puppet show scene?, students use different materials to design a device that can use vibrations to make sound for their puppet-show scene.
  • CEDS-P3: In Grade 2, Unit: Properties of Materials, Chapter 4, Lesson 4.2: Making Final Glues, students share successful design ideas with their classmates and compare and evaluate each-other's glue designs based on the data collected. Students use that information to revise and create their final glue designs.
  • ARG-P6: In Grade 2, Unit: Properties of Materials, Lesson 2.2: Exploring Heating and Cooling, students construct an argument about whether heating a cornstarch mixture produces the same substance or a different substance. Students list the properties of the substance before and after it was heated; then, they make a claim about whether or not the substance turns into something new and provide evidence to support their claim.
  • INFO-P1: In Kindergarten, Unit: Needs of Plants and Animals, Chapter 3: Why do the milkweed plants that get water grow differently?, students read texts and view images of different plants to obtain information that plants need light to grow.
  • INFO-P3: Grade 2, Unit: Plant and Animal Relationships, Chapter 1: Why aren’t new chalta trees growing in the Bengal Tiger Reserve?, students read and learn about habitats and types of seeds from different plants to determine that the trees need adequate sunlight and water, and depend on animals for pollination.
  • INFO-P4: In Kindergarten, Unit: Needs of Plants and Animals, Chapter 2: Why do two milkweed seeds become plants, but the others did not?, students write and draw in a mini-book to communicate information about what milkweed plants need to grow.

Indicator 2f

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grades K-2 meet expectations that they incorporate all grade-level crosscutting concepts (CCCs) and associated elements across the grade band. The materials include all of the CCC elements associated with the performance expectations for the grade band. Elements of the CCCs are found across all three grades within this grade band. Materials include few elements of the CCCs from above the grade band without connecting to the grade-band appropriate CCC.

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 use observations to describe patterns in the natural world to answer scientific questions (SEP-DATA-P3) but have limited opportunities to explicitly discuss the importance of using patterns as evidence to describe phenomena (CCC-PAT-P1). 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 the grade-band performance expectations that are present in the materials:

  • PAT-P1: In Grade 1, Unit: Spinning Earth, Chapter 1: Why did the sky look different to Sai than to his grandma?, students learn that, “A pattern is something we observe to be similar over and over again. Scientists look for patterns to help them understand and explain what they observe.” Students then read the Patterns of Earth and Space big book. Patterns in the natural and human-designed world can be observed, used to describe phenomena, and used as evidence. Students make observations of the daytime sky and begin to identify patterns from their observations.
  • PAT-P1: In Grade 2, Unit: Changing Landforms, Chapter 1, Lesson 1.4: Gary’s Sand Journal, students discuss the pattern that Gary recorded by making observations of sand. Students learn that patterns in sand grains (size, color, and shape) can be used as evidence of the types of materials it is made of, the size waves that moved it, and the age of the sand.
  • CE-P1: In Kindergarten, Unit: Sunlight and Weather, Chapter 3, Lesson 3.2: Discussing Warming Over Time, students use data from their Warming Model to support or refute ideas about why one playground was warmer than the other. Students use their data showing about the time of day, the amount of sunlight, and the temperature to conclude that the difference in the amount of sunlight caused one playground to be warmer than the others.
  • CE-P1: In Grade 1, Unit: Light and Sound, Chapter 3, Lesson 3.4: Planning and Making Our Stencils, students learn that tests can be designed to gather evidence about causes. Students make diagrams of their proposed solutions for stencils that will project a puppet-show scene that enables all, some, or no light to pass through. Students explain why the difference in material causes some stencils to make the area darker than others.
  • CE-P1: In Grade 2, Unit: Plant and Animal Relationships, Chapter 1, Lesson 1.6: Investigating Seed Needs, students learn that tests can be used to gather evidence to support a claim about what causes something to happen. Students use a test to determine that limited plant growth is caused by not giving the seeds enough water or by not giving the plants enough sunlight. Simple tests can be designed to gather evidence to support or refute student ideas about causes.
  • CE-P2: In Kindergarten, Unit: Pushes and Pulls, Chapter 2, Lesson 2.2: Strong and Gentle Forces, students move a ball on the floor, using both strong and gentle forces and observing the distances that the ball moved relative to the amount of force applied. Students discuss how the amount of force used to push the ball results in the observable patterns that stronger pushes cause the ball to move a longer distance and gentle pushes cause the ball to move a shorter distance.
  • CE-P2: In Grade 2, Unit: Changing Landforms, Chapter 3, Lesson 3.2: Investigating Differences in Scale, students use a physical model of a mountain and create maps before and after the mountain erodes. Students use their model to help them understand that certain events create repeatable patterns, such as water causing erosion.
  • SYS-P2: In Kindergarten, Unit: Needs of Plants and Animals, Chapter 3, Lesson 3.3: Growing Toward the Light, students learn that systems have parts that work together and a plant is a system because it has different parts (roots, stems, leaves) that help it live and grow.
  • EM-P1: In Grade 2, Unit: Properties of Materials, Chapter 2, Lesson 2.1: Can You Change It Back?, students review text and images in the book Can You Change it Back? showing popsicle sticks arranged in different configurations. The teacher leads a class discussion to elicit the idea that small objects can be combined into larger objects and rearranged to create different objects. This idea is revisited in Chapter 4, Lesson 4.2 when students take apart four popsicle sticks they glued together to rearrange them into a picture frame.
  • SF-P1: In Grade 1, Unit: Animal and Plant Defenses, Chapter 2, Lesson 2.3: Introducing Modeling, students read Spikes, Spines, and Shells: A Handbook of Defenses, then create physical models of structures that animals and plants use to defend themselves from being eaten. Students explain how the shape of the structures are related to their function of protecting the organism.
  • SF-P1: In Grade 2, Unit: Plant and Animal Relationships, Chapter 4, Lesson 4.3: Conducting the Seed Investigations, students model different ways that seeds move with and without propellers to determine which type of seed moves with the wind. They use this test to identify how the shape of seed structures are related to their function.
  • SC-P2: In Grade 2, Unit: Changing Landforms, Chapter 3, Lesson 3.2: Investigating Differences in Scale, students use a physical model of a mountain and create maps before and after the mountain erodes. Students use their model to show how a lot of very small changes can result in a big change or may change slowly or rapidly.

Indicator 2g

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grades K–2 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-P2: In Kindergarten, Unit: Sunlight and Weather, Chapter 2, Lesson 2.2: Learning More About Models, students read about how scientists use different models as ways to study the world in the Handbook of Models big book. Students discuss how scientists use models before starting an investigation of their own that uses a model.
  • BEE-P1: In Kindergarten, Unit: Needs of Plants and Animals, Chapter 1, Lesson 1.2: Comparing Living and Nonliving Things, students classify objects shown on cards as living or nonliving. A teacher prompt informs students that scientists look for patterns, such as comparing how things are the same or different; students learn that is one way that scientists figure things out about the world.
  • ENP-P1: In Grade 2, Unit: Changing Landforms, Chapter 2, Lesson 2.1: Diagramming Landform Changes, students learn how scientists use diagrams and models to communicate ideas and information. Students learn what makes a diagram different from a regular picture. Students then create a diagram to show what they think happened to the cliff below the recreation center.

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

  • AOC-P1: In Grade 1, Unit: Spinning Earth, Chapter 4, Lesson 4.2: Adding Sunset Data to the Sky Mural, students make a sky mural to document their observations of the sun’s position in the sky. A class discussion focuses on understanding that the patterns are observations that can be made over and over again. The sky mural helps students see the pattern that the sun sun is in about the same position at the same time of each day.
  • AQAW-P1: In Grade 1, Unit: Properties of Materials, Chapter 1, Lesson 1.7, Activity 3: Reading: Jelly Bean Engineer, students read about jelly-bean engineers who make different recipes for jelly beans and then test the jelly beans for texture and flavor. During a class discussion, the teacher is prompted to point out that scientists study the natural world, including plants and animals, and that engineers study the material world, including solving problems that involve substances like jelly beans.

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

  • INFLU-P1: In Grade 2, Unit: Properties of Materials, Chapter 1, Lesson 1.2: What If Rain Boots Were Made of Paper?, students read the book, What If Rain Boots Were Made of Paper?, to introduce the idea that different materials have different properties, and it is important for engineers to use their knowledge of the properties of the materials (natural or engineered) they choose when they design things.

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
Pushes and Pulls Book Set 978-1-64089-487-7 Amplify Education 2018
Sunlight and Weather Book Set 978-1-64089-666-6 Amplify Education 2018
Needs of Plants and Animals Book Set 978-1-64089-670-3 Amplify Education 2018
Pushes and Pulls Investigation Notebook 978-1-943228-86-7 Amplify Education 2018
Needs of Plants and Animals Investigation Notebook 978-1-943228-92-8 Amplify Education 2018
Sunlight and Weather Investigation Notebook 978-1-945192-80-7 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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