Alignment: Overall Summary

The Benchmark Advance 2021 materials for Grade 2 partially meet the expectations of alignment. Texts included are partially of quality, although the rigor and complexity is appropriate for the grade. The program includes opportunities for students to learn and practice most literacy skills while engaging with texts. Included foundational skills instruction meets expectations. The materials partially support knowledge building, with text sets that are connected in different ways. Writing, speaking and listening, and language work is embedded throughout the year.


See Rating Scale Understanding Gateways

Alignment

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Partially Meets Expectations

Gateway 1:

Text Quality

0
27
52
58
53
52-58
Meets Expectations
28-51
Partially Meets Expectations
0-27
Does Not Meet Expectations

Gateway 2:

Building Knowledge

0
15
28
32
26
28-32
Meets Expectations
16-27
Partially Meets Expectations
0-15
Does Not Meet Expectations

Usability

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Not Rated

Not Rated

Gateway 3:

Usability

0
23
30
34
N/A
30-34
Meets Expectations
24-29
Partially Meets Expectations
0-23
Does Not Meet Expectations

Gateway One

Text Quality & Complexity and Alignment to Standards Components

Meets Expectations

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Gateway One Details

Benchmark Advance 2021 includes some texts of high quality. Texts provide a wide variety of genres including a balance of literary and informational texts to provide students opportunities for a wide range and volume of reading across the year. Texts are of appropriate complexity, and materials include text complexity information. Texts and associated tasks do not grow in sophistication over the course of the year to support student mastery of grade level standards by the end of the year. Text-based questions, tasks, and assignments, and culminating tasks support students’ literacy growth over the course of the school year. Opportunities for students to engage in cooperative discussions occur throughout the year. Frequent writing lesson and tasks engage students in a variety of writing processes, including opportunities to write using text evidence. While the materials include explicit instruction of all grade-level grammar and conventions standards, there are limited opportunities for students to demonstrate application of skills both in- and out-of-context, including in writing.

Criterion 1a - 1f

Texts are worthy of students' time and attention: texts are of quality and are rigorous, meeting the text complexity criteria for each grade. Materials support students' advancing toward independent reading.
16/20
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-
Criterion Rating Details

Some texts included in the Benchmark Advance 2021 program are of high quality, however a number of the anchor texts are distillations or retellings of classic stories that lack the interest and texture of the original stories. The texts provide students the opportunity to read from a wide variety of genres with a balance of literary and informational texts. The majority of the texts are at the appropriate level of complexity for Grade 2 students, and the materials include text complexity information for most texts. However, the texts and associated tasks do not grow in sophistication over the course of the year to support student mastery of grade level standards by the end of the year. By the end of the year, students have the opportunity to engage in a wide range and volume of reading to support their literacy growth.

Indicator 1a

Anchor texts (including read-aloud texts in K-2 and shared reading texts in Grade 2 used to build knowledge and vocabulary) are of publishable quality and worthy of especially careful reading/listening and consider a range of student interests.
2/4
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-
Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 2 partially meet the expectations of Indicator 1a.

Many texts such as some of the units' extended reads are of high quality. However, several anchor texts include short read-alouds that are minimally related to the topic are not worthy of repeated readings for closer study, and do not provide opportunities for students to grow their vocabulary on the unit's topic.

Examples of anchor texts of high quality include, but are not limited to:

  • Unit 1: “Filiberto in the Valley” by Alex Branger. This text is an animal fantasy with elements of adventure and suspense. The plot connects to the content of the unit. The illustrations are colorful.
  • Unit 2: “The Foolish Milkmaid” by Aesop. This is a classic fable, accompanied by colorful illustrations.
  • Unit 3: “Getting a Message to General Washington” by Susan Shafer. This historical fiction text contains interesting dialogue between characters and rich vocabulary is used to share a story that is relatable to students.
  • Unit 4: “Stone Soup” by Winston Ramos. This retelling of the original folktale is thought-provoking, has strong vocabulary, and is supported by colorful illustrations.
  • Unit 5: “Robots Go to School” by Kathy Kafer. This is a nonfiction article with highly engaging photographs of children and robots. It is a high-interest topic.
  • Unit 6: “Village of the Moon Rain” from Where the Mountain Meets the Moon by Grace Lin. This folktale has strong academic vocabulary and is thought-provoking and easy for students to identify with.
  • Unit 7: “Primary Sources” by Margaret McNamara. This is a nonfiction article included in the Texts for Close reading book and is offered as an extended read. It incorporates non-fiction text features with engaging pictures and allows note-taking to deepen understanding of content and essential questions.
  • Unit 8: “Tornado!” by Ben Chatham. This is an informative text about a high-interest topic. It features strong content vocabulary as well as a diagram and photos that support the content.
  • Unit 9: “Turtle Soup” by Louis Carroll. This is a published poem accompanied by a photograph of the author and illustrations of the poem. The language is very silly and should be engaging to students.

Examples of anchor texts of low quality include, but are not limited to:

  • Unit 3: “Can You Sew a Flag, Betsy Ross?” by Cindy Peattie. This historical fiction text is a quick read with basic language that lacks strong content. It also contains historically inaccurate information.
  • Unit 4: “Fearless Jess” by June Schwartz. This shared text is a narrative about a girl who faces her fears while rock climbing at a day camp. It lacks strong vocabulary.
  • Unit 6: "The Huemel Egg" retold by Carlos Labbe. This retelling of a trickster tale lacks depth and does not provide enough context to help students understand why a black cat would be mistaken for a baby huemel (deer).
  • Unit 7: “The Oregon Trail” (author not cited). This text is part of the Texts for Close Reading and is very short in length, has basic language, and lacks strong academic vocabulary.
  • Unit 8: “Mudslide” by Eileen Robinson. This is a brief interview about a mudslide. The description of the mudslide is not interesting. The small photo that accompanies the text does not adequately support its content.
  • Unit 10: "Sand Sculpture" by Eleanor Hahn. This short read lacks opportunities for student to better understand the different states of matter and offers only vague descriptions of how sand sculptors are able to form large, stable sculptures.

Indicator 1b

Materials reflect the distribution of text types and genres required by the standards at each grade level.
4/4
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-
Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 2 meet the expectations of Indicator 1b.

Each unit contains a variety of genres including folktales, plays, mystery, fairy tales, procedural, biographies, and texts based on social studies concepts. Throughout the mentor texts, shared reading, and small group readers, there is a balance between both literature and nonfiction text.

Examples of literary texts include:

  • Unit 1, “My Desert Blog” by Cyndi Peattie (realistic fiction)
  • Unit 2, “The Envious Mountain” by Asya Onoemi (myth)
  • Unit 3, “Getting a Message to General Washington” by Susan Shafer (historical fiction)
  • Unit 4, “The Mystery of the Missing Pencil” by Amanda Jenkins (mystery)
  • Unit 5, “Eletelephony” by Laura Richards (poem)
  • Unit 6, “A Foxy Garden” by Jeffrey B. Fuerst (folktale)
  • Unit 7, “George and Grace Find an Egg” by Amanda Jenkins (fantasy)
  • Unit 8, “The Treasure of the Cenote” by Ana Galan (realistic fiction)
  • Unit 9, “Compound Words Cook-Off” by Jeannette Sanderson (reader’s theater)

Examples of informational texts include:

  • Unit 1, “Measuring Fun” by Ana Galan (information/mathematics text)
  • Unit 3, “Smoke Jumpers” (author not cited) (expository text)
  • Unit 5, “A Woman with a Vision” by Roam Karst (biography)
  • Unit 7, “I Am Colombia!” by Patricia Abello (informational/social studies)
  • Unit 8, “Water’s Awesome Wonder” by Sara Brien (opinion)
  • Unit 8, “Mudslide” by Eileen Robinson (interview)
  • Unit 9, “Where Does Food Come From?” Jeffrey Fuerst (informational/science)

Indicator 1c

Texts (including read-aloud texts and some shared reading texts used to build knowledge and vocabulary) have the appropriate level of complexity for the grade level according to quantitative analysis, qualitative analysis, and a relationship to their associated student task. Read-aloud texts at K-2 are above the complexity levels of what most students can read independently.
4/4
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-
Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 2 meet the expectations of Indicator 1c.

Benchmark for Grade 2 Mentor Read Alouds have a Lexile level above 500 which is appropriate for Grade 2 since the teacher is reading the text aloud. Texts used during phonics, word study, and small groups often include shorter passages and include texts that range from 450-640 Lexile. These texts support foundational literacy skills in context such as fluency, phonics, vocabulary, and comprehension. The Lexile measure is appropriate since students are meant to access the text independently.

Texts have the appropriate level of complexity for the grade according to quantitative and qualitative analysis and relationship to their associated student task. Anchor texts are placed at the appropriate grade level. Examples include, but are not limited to:

  • In Unit 2, Week 2, students listen to the Extended Read of “Yen-Shen.”
    • Quantitative measure: Lexile 660
    • Qualitative measure: The total qualitative measure is substantially complex. The meaning of the text is simple and explicitly conveyed. The purpose is slightly complex, as it is meant to introduce the concept of variant tales to students. The structure follows the conventional fairy tale format, but connections between events within the plot are sometimes subtle. The language features are moderately complex, with many compound sentences. Although vocabulary is mostly familiar, there are some terms that are context-dependent. The knowledge demands are moderately complex, and students would benefit from knowledge about the more familiar Western version of Cinderella.
    • Task: Using evidence from the text, students work together to describe how characters respond to major events and challenges.
  • In Unit 3, Week 1, students listen to the read-aloud (short read), “Smoke Jumpers.”
    • Quantitative measure: Lexile 650
    • Qualitative measure: The total qualitative measure is moderately complex. The text conveys a range of detailed information about specially trained U.S. government firefighters. The text structure is descriptive. Connections between events and ideas are clear and specific. The text has both simple and compound sentences with some more complex constructions. Vocabulary includes some unfamiliar words, such as terrain, gear, and parachute, but they are defined in context. The job of a firefighter will be familiar, but the details and equipment used by this special branch of firefighters will be new to most readers.
    • Task: The task associated is complex because students reread the text with a partner and annotate the text to find the meaning of domain-specific vocabulary through context clues.
  • In Unit 4, Week 1, students listen to the read-aloud (short read) “The Blind Men and the Elephant.”
    • Quantitative measure: Lexile 690
    • Qualitative measure: The qualitative measure is moderately complex for the fractured fairytale. The message is unclear until the very end of the story.
    • Task: Students ask questions about characters and events and create marginal notes as they read.
  • In Unit 5, Week 2, students listen to the Extended Read of “Two Famous Inventors.”
    • Quantitative measure: Lexile 680
    • Qualitative measure: The total qualitative measure is substantially complex. The meaning of the text is simple and explicitly conveyed. The purpose is simple, but the meaning is moderately complex. The structure is slightly complex, with a logical and sequential order and supporting graphics. The language features are slightly complex, with many compound sentences that have multiple clauses. The text has some domain-specific words which are supported with photos. Some terms that are context-dependent. The knowledge demands are moderately complex, and students would benefit from knowledge about the “agrarian life in the postbellum South.” The teacher also uses the text to model and guide students in identifying the parts of a complete sentence.
    • Task: Students work in groups to identify evidence in the text that conveys the author’s purpose.
  • In Unit 7, Week 2, students listen to the read-aloud (short read) “Primary Sources.”
    • Quantitative measure: Lexile 640
    • Qualitative measure: The qualitative measure is moderately complex. The text is clear and its intention is straightforward - explaining the purpose, benefit, and use of primary sources for research and writing. The text requires that students understand why one would want to find accurate information.
    • Task: The tasks related to the text include vocabulary development, main topic and key details, shades of meaning of adjectives, grammar (simple sentences), and use of text features.
  • In Unit 8, Week 3, students listen to the read-aloud (short read) “Bonita Springs Debates its Future.”
    • Quantitative measure: Lexile 550
    • Qualitative measure: The total qualitative measure is high complexity. There are a number of academic and domain-specific words, only a few of which are defined in context. Additionally, understanding the role of media in shaping opinion is required as is background knowledge of the topic presented in the text.
    • Task: The text is used to meet a variety of learning targets throughout the week.

Indicator 1d

Materials support students' literacy skills (comprehension) over the course of the school year through increasingly complex text to develop independence of grade level skills (leveled readers and series of texts should be at a variety of complexity levels).
2/4
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-
Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 2 partially meet the expectations of Indicator 1d.

The complexity of anchor texts and supporting texts that students read/listen to partially provide an opportunity for students’ literacy skills (comprehension) to grow across the year towards independence, encompassing an entire year’s worth of growth. The texts used for Mentor Reads grow somewhat in complexity; however, as texts become more complex, minimal change in support is noted in the units. The Shared Reading Texts (seven per unit) provide students with daily shared reading experiences. While complex for the grade level, these texts are less complex than the mentor texts and extended read-alouds as they are used for applying foundational skills in-context. Additionally, there are 120 leveled texts available at a wide range of levels for small group instruction and independent reading (as appropriate). These texts are accompanied by prompting cards for each text level to support students in decoding, reading fluently, and making meaning from what they read.

Although tasks change slightly in how students access the various texts, there does not seem to be a concrete method for introducing more complex texts with increased support and additional time reading. The routines and amount of time allotted for each part remains the same throughout the year. There are common/routine tasks such as discussing with a partner, that do not seem to change as complexity changes. Grade level appropriate scaffolds and/or materials are reiterated but not enhanced from the beginning to the end of the year as evident in the Model, Guided Practice, and Apply Understanding sections of each daily lesson. Independent tasks are often mentioned in lessons as something to be completed later but there is no time allotted in the lesson, no rubrics for assessing independent work, or other guidance for the tasks. Additionally, practice of skills occurs with previously-encountered independent reading/leveled texts therefore students may not have the opportunity to practice the skills on their own utilizing grade-level text.

Examples include, but are not limited to:

  • Across multiple units, students compare and contrast the most important points in two texts on the same topic.
    • In Unit 1, Week 2, Lesson 5, Day 16, the teacher engages in a think aloud to respond to the close reading question, “Reread 'Emperor Penguin Habitat' and paragraph 5 of 'Habitats Around the World.' Animals in both of these habitats face a challenge of survival. Compare and contrast their challenges. Underline specific evidence from the texts to support your answer.” Then, students are placed in pairs to respond to the question, “Reread paragraph 1 of 'Emperor Penguin Habitat' and paragraph 6 of 'Habitats Around the World.' How is Antarctica different from the rainforest? Underline specific evidence from the texts to support your answer.” Students annotate their texts and then share their annotations and notes with the class. Then, they discuss with their partners how the activity helped them to learn more about the topic. For independent practice, students, “Reread 'Emperor Penguin Habitat (580L) and the section 'Welcome to the Coral Reef!' of 'Habitats Around the World.' Which habitat supports the survival of more animal species? Underline specific evidence from the text to support your answer.”
    • In Unit 5, Week 3, Day 4, Lesson 12, the teacher models via think aloud, the response to the close reading question, “Reread paragraph 4 in 'Two Famous Inventors (680L) and paragraphs 1–3 in 'Robots Go to School.' (510L) How are Thomas Edison’s inventions of the phonograph and the first movie camera similar to the school robot?” Students are then placed in small groups to read and annotate the text, though there is not a new close reading question provided. During independent time, students write a response to question 3, “Reread paragraph 4 of 'Two Famous Inventors' and paragraphs 1–3 of 'Robots Go to School.' How are Thomas Edison’s inventions—the phonograph and the first movie camera—different from the school robot?”
    • In Unit 9, Week 2, Day 5, Lesson 16, students compare and contrast the most important points in two texts on the same topic. The teacher rereads sections from the texts, “From Tree to Baseball Bat” (570L) and “From Pine Tree to Pizza Box” (530L) and asks how the steps in making a pizza box are similar to the steps in making a baseball bat. The teacher models via think aloud. Students work in peer groups to respond to the question, with a repeated share-out and discussion among groups about the value of comparison across texts to support understanding. For independent practice, students list the ways the two processes (the making of pizza boxes vs. baseball bats) are different. While the activities become slightly more complex in their requirements, the sections of text required for analysis remain the same.
  • Across the literary-themed units, students practice recounting stories and determining their central message, lesson, or moral.
    • In Unit 2, Week 2, Day 2, Lesson 5, students practice recounting the events of a story in the order they occur in the story. The teacher models, using the first three paragraphs of “Yeh-Shen” (630L). Partners reread paragraphs 5-11 and recount the events from those paragraphs. Students underline the events in their texts and answer text evidence questions that touch on major events from the story. During independent time, students practice recounting the events of a story using a previously-read leveled text, marking one important event in the story with a sticky note.
    • In Unit 4, Week 2, Day 2, Lesson 5, students describe the overall structure of the story, “Stone Soup” (520L). Small groups recount the beginning, middle, and end of the story, including the characters, setting, and events. Groups share what they’ve learned about the structure of a story. During independent time, students use sticky notes to mark the setting, characters, key events, and problem/solution in a previously-read leveled text.
    • In Unit 6, Week 1, Day 1, Lesson 3, students practice summarizing and synthesizing the text, “Village of the Moon Rain” (650L), including key ideas or details. The teacher models summarizing the first paragraph, and partners work together to summarize paragraph 2. Small groups work together to determine responses to the questions: "What are the most important events in the story? How do the illustrations help you summarize and synthesize this story? How does the title relate to the story? What questions do you have about the story?" The teacher uses a summary/synthesis anchor chart to support students in their work. During independent time, students read the next two paragraphs and summarize them on their own. They then synthesize what they already knew about the text and discuss their new understanding of the story based on the new information.

Indicator 1e

Anchor texts (including read-aloud texts in K-2) and series of texts connected to them are accompanied by a text complexity analysis.
2/2
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 2 meet the expectations of Indicator 1e.

The online Teacher Resource System features a Guide to Text Complexity for each unit. The Guide to Text Complexity provides a detailed text complexity analysis of quantitative and qualitative measures for Mentor Read-Alouds and Extended Reads. The quantitative measure for each Mentor Text is a Lexile level, and the qualitative measure is based on an analysis of four criteria: purpose and levels of meaning, structure, language conventionality and clarity, and knowledge demands of the reader. Each of the four dimensions has a score as well as notes justifying the score. The scores for each of the four dimensions are added together to determine an overall qualitative score and a corresponding rubric is used to determine if it is Low Complexity, Moderate Complexity, Substantial Complexity, or Highest Complexity.

Anchor texts and series of texts connected to them are accompanied by a text complexity analysis, including rationale for educational purpose and placement in the grade level. The analysis includes correct information. Examples include, but are not limited to:

  • In Unit 1, Week 2, the Extended Read, “Habitats Around the World,” has a Lexile of 550. The total qualitative rating is moderately complex. The Guide to Text Complexity states: “The purpose of this informational science text is explicit and is stated in the title. The text structure is descriptive. The organization—with each section using a similar subhead—is easy to follow. The language is concrete and literal and domain-specific terms such as grasslands, tropical rainforest, and coral reef are described in the text and supported with photos. Most animals mentioned in the text or captions are supported with photos. The continent Africa is supported with a map, but other geographical references (Asia, United States, Canada) are not.”
  • In Unit 2, Week 2, the Extended Read, “Yen-Shen,” has a Lexile of 660. The total qualitative rating is substantially complex. The Guide to Text Complexity states: “The purpose of this folktale is to introduce the concept of variant tales, specifically a Cinderella story. The message is simple and explicitly revealed. The story follows the format and structure of the fairy tale subgenre of folktales, beginning with 'Once upon a time' and concluding with the main character living happily ever after. Connections between events are sometimes subtle. The author relates the story with many compound sentences. The vocabulary is mainly familiar, with context-dependent words such as mourning and drab; there are a number of synonyms for said (cried, exclaimed, announced). To make cross-cultural connections, students would benefit from a discussion about, or retelling of, the more familiar western Cinderella story.”
  • In Unit 4, Week 1, the Short Read,“The Blind Men and the Elephant,” has a Lexile of 690. The total qualitative rating is moderately complex. The Guide to Text Complexity states: “The purpose of the story, and its message of unity and working together, is not made clear until the final sentence. The story is told in a simple, clear, sequential manner with signal words first, second, third, fourth, fifth. The story has complex sentences with subordinate phrases and clauses and vocabulary includes domain-specific words (versions, culture), academic words (interrupted), and a number of synonyms for said. Readers will benefit from examining the illustration of the elephant, paying particular attention to the body parts referenced in the story, as well as the objects associated with them, such as a spear and a fan.”
  • In Unit 5, Week 1, the first Short Read, “A Woman with Vision,” has a Lexile of 550. The total qualitative rating is moderately complex. The Guide to Text Complexity states: “Text purpose is simple: to explain the origin of windshield wipers, with a focus on the woman who came up with the invention. The text provides a reasoned explanation of the facts behind an invention, told in a straightforward fashion. There is a schematic diagram of a windshield wiper’s operation. Sentences are a mix of simple and complex. There are some compound words and technical vocabulary such as streetcar, motorized, and device. An understanding of how inventions can be derived from practical experience and need is helpful.”
  • In Unit 7, Week 2, the Extended Read, “Primary Sources,” is an informational social studies text with a Lexile of 640. The qualitative rating of complexity is moderate. The Guide to Text Complexity states: “The text explains and gives examples of primary sources and how students use them in their own research and writing. The text contains multiple pathways, e.g., a descriptive text structure for the running text that is supported by a sidebar with images, examples, and explanations that run across multiple pages.”
  • In Unit 8, Week 3, the Extended Read, “Bonita Springs Debates Its Future,” has a Lexile of 550. The total qualitative rating is highly complex. The Guide to Text Complexity states: “The text conveys multiple themes: the nature and effect of a severe weather event; how people work together in a community; the role of opinion and opinion shapers, all of which unfold in two separate sections of a fictional newspaper (but based on an actual event). The newspaper report is presented by an objective, third-person narrator, with reportorial quotes and paraphrases from people who lived through the event. The opinion texts that follow are presented in a subjective, first-person voice, and written to follow the conventions of the opinion writing genre. The text contains a number of complex and compound sentences. The language is journalistic and sophisticated, sometimes descriptive, but it also contains facts and numerous quotes. There are a number of academic and domain-specific words, only a few of which are defined in context. Prior knowledge of how communities cope with disasters and the role of media in shaping opinion is required as is background knowledge of hurricanes and the role of wetlands.”
  • In Unit 9, Week 2, the Extended Read, “From Pine Tree to Pizza Box,” has a Lexile of 530. The total qualitative rating is moderately complex. The Guide to Text Complexity states: “The purpose of this procedural text is straightforward and explicitly stated in the title. The text structure is sequential. Sub-headed sections ask questions that are then answered in a logical manner. Photos and captions further show the steps in the process explained in the running text. Sentences are short and generally simple. The main sequence of signal words help connect the steps in the process. Some domain-specific words, such as natural resources and pulp, are defined in the text, but others (sawmill, soggy) need to be understood in context. Prior knowledge of how products, in general, are derived from natural resources would enhance understanding.”
  • In Unit 10, Week 2, the close read text, “Matter Changes in Many Ways,” is an Informational Science text that is a Lexile of 640. The qualitative rating is substantially complex. The Guide to Text Complexity states, “The purpose of this science text is simple-to explain how matter changes-but requires the interpretation of highly detailed information. The sentences are generally simple, but the conceptual difficulty is high, especially when coupled with science words such as properties, transformed, pressure, and undergoes. Students’ understanding of the text would be enhanced by some prior knowledge that matter can change states.”

Indicator 1f

Anchor text(s), including support materials, provide opportunities for students to engage in a range and volume of reading to achieve grade level reading.
2/2
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 2 meet the expectations of Indicator 1f.

Instructional materials clearly identify opportunities and supports for students to engage in reading (and read aloud) a variety and volume of texts to become independent readers at grade level. Shared reading, small-group reading, decodable texts, and independent reading are included in every unit. There are a variety of text types throughout the curriculum and a significant amount of time spent on both reading instruction and reading practice daily. In a typical week, the materials suggest spending 15–20 minutes on the Word Study, 20 minutes on Extended Reads, 15 minutes on the mini-lesson using a Mentor Read-Aloud assigned text, and 30–60 minutes on Small-Group Reading, Independent Reading, and Conferring. Students access a variety of texts each day and the program provides teacher guidance on suggested trade books to augment student exposure to the unit topic with related texts. Students grow towards independence throughout the year.

The curriculum has a 10-minute read aloud daily either from the provided Read-Aloud Handbook or one of the recommended trade books. The 15-minute phonics lessons include one “Word Study Read” a week (three per unit) and a “word study resources” book which contains one fluency word list and two decodable stories per week. There are two Short reads in the first week of the unit. There are also two Extended Reads (one per week) for the other two weeks of the unit. These lessons are 15 minutes each. Small-group reading includes nine book titles per unit; however, students may not always read these due to flexibility in the lessons. There are two Reader’s Theater options for each unit, one for lower levels and one for higher levels. Small-group instruction, including Reader’s Theater, is 15–20 minutes per group.

The Foundations and Routines book outlines an overview of Independent Reading routines. Reading Workshop lessons emphasize how to properly read to self. Students also meet in small groups with the teacher to do a shared reading or guided reading lesson, go to Writing Workstation to do writing assignment, or go to Library Workstation for independent reading.

Examples of anchor and supporting texts include, but are not limited to:

  • In Unit 3, the topic is “Government at Work” and the Essential Question is “Why do we need government?” The students and teacher read two Short Read texts and two longer Extended Reads that are focused on the Essential Question. In Unit 3, students practice decoding and fluency with three brief Word Study Reads and one Interactive Text. Unit 3 options for Interactive Read-Aloud texts include three informational texts and one literary text related to the Essential Question.
  • In Unit 6, the topic is “Tales to Live By” and the Essential Question is “What can different cultures teach us?” The students and teacher read two Short Read texts and two longer Extended Reads, which are all types of folktales. In Unit 6, students also practice decoding and fluency with three brief Word Study Reads and one Interactive Text. Options for Interactive Read-Aloud texts include four literary texts related to the theme of folktales.
  • In Unit 7, the topic is “Investigating the Past” and the Essential question is “How does understanding the past shape the future?” Texts in this unit, including small-group texts, include social studies, a diary, a journal, personal narrative, and fantasy.
  • In Unit 10, the topic is “States of Matter” and the Essential Question is “How can matter change?” The texts include realistic fiction, science fiction, informational, procedural text, fantasy, and science.
  • Teachers provide small-group reading daily for 30–60 minutes, depending on how many groups are done a day. The materials provide instructional level groups with leveled texts appropriate for each instructional level. Students needing more intensive instruction also spend more time practicing the weekly decodable texts and therefore may not have the opportunity to read as many small-group texts. More advanced readers reread previous stories independently.

Criterion 1g - 1n

Materials provide opportunities for rich and rigorous evidence-based discussions and writing about texts to build strong literacy skills.
15/16
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Criterion Rating Details

The program’s text-based questions, tasks, and assignments support students’ literacy growth over the course of the school year. Culminating tasks provide opportunities for students to write and present information about what they have learned throughout the unit. Protocols for speaking and listening are present throughout all units and provide students opportunities to learn to engage in cooperative discussions with peers and teachers. Speaking and listening instruction is applied frequently over the course of the school year and includes facilitation, monitoring, and instructional supports for teachers.

Materials include an even mix of short and longer writing tasks, including Inquiry and Research projects which accompany all units. Opportunities to engage in multiple text types of writing are present in the materials, including opportunities to write using text evidence.

Materials include explicit instruction of all grammar and conventions standards for the grade level, but contain limited opportunities for students to demonstrate application of skills both in- and out-of-context. Opportunities for students to apply skills to their writing is limited.

Indicator 1g

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 2 meet the expectations of Indicator 1g.

Text-based questions, tasks, and assignments support students’ literacy growth over the course of the school year. Questions are text-based for mentor read alouds. Teacher materials provide support for planning and implementation of text-dependent writing, speaking, and activities. Questions include both explicit questions and inferences. Text-based questions support daily practice for writing, speaking, and activities. Where activities are text-based, teachers are given support for planning and implementation of the activities. The “Integrated ELD” section for the teacher provides two to five tasks/questions/sentence frames to give light, moderate, or substantial support to students who are struggling with the task. The Teacher Edition provides text-based questions to ask students. The questions correspond with specific pages in the text. The Teacher Edition also provides examples for the teacher on how to think aloud when modeling how to answer the questions, as well as sample responses for questions that students answer during Guide Practice. Culminating Research and Inquiry projects also include using the unit texts and text evidence. Examples of text-based questions, tasks, and assignments include, but are not limited to:

  • In Unit 2, Week 1, Day 2, students use text evidence to analyze a character. There is a specific task given for students to note an action (text evidence), an inference they can make, and then they develop an opinion based on those two. For the short read text, the following questions are asked that require text evidence: “When and why did Molly spill the milk? What happens after Molly spills the milk?”
  • In Unit 3, Week 1, Day 4, students engage in a short reading of the text Can You Sew a Flag, Betsy Ross? and are asked to practice synthesizing and summarizing. Questions to support this task include: “What does Mrs. Ross do when General Washington shows her the design? What does the flag look like after Mrs. Ross has finished sewing it?”
  • In Unit 5, Week 2, Day 3, the extended read contains the task/question: “Reread the introduction. What is the author’s main purpose for writing about Thomas Edison and George Washington Carver?” This requires use of the text during the modeling portion of the lesson. The extended read contains the task/question for students to complete independently: “Reread paragraph 7. What is the author describing in this paragraph? How does this add to your understanding of the main purpose of the selection? Use text evidence to support your ideas.” This requires use of the text during the independent practice portion of the lesson.
  • In Unit 6, Week 3, Day 1, students engage in an extended reading of the text Why the Sky Is Far Away and are asked to write a summary that they can use to synthesize information from the text to find a new understanding of what they think is happening. Questions to support this task include: “Why did the sky become angry? How did the people change?”
  • In Unit 7, Week 2, Day 2, students use text-evidence to identify the main topic and key details in specific sections of the Extended Read, “Primary Sources.” Students identify key details in each section of the text, and then identify the primary focus of each section. The teacher asks the students text evidence questions, including, “Why is ‘Primary Sources’ a good title for this selection?”
  • In Unit 9 Week 1, Day 2, Short Read 1, students answer text-dependent questions: “Which words does the author use to help you understand the sequence of steps in making a baseball bat? What are the steps to making a baseball bat? Describe the steps in the order that they happen.”
  • In Unit 10, Week 2, Day 4, students analyze key details of the Extended Read, “Matter Changes in Many Ways.” The students work in small groups to respond to the prompt, “Reread paragraph 4. The text says, ‘Gases expand, or spread out, to fill the container they are in.’ Why did the author include this detail? Cite specific text evidence to support your answer.” During independent reading time, the students also write a response to a question using evidence from the text. Students cite evidence to support their inference about why the author included a specific detail.

Indicator 1h

Materials contain sets of high-quality sequences of text-based questions with activities that build to a culminating task which integrates skills to demonstrate understanding (as appropriate, may be drawing, dictating, writing, speaking, or a combination).
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 2 meet the expectations of Indicator 1h.

Culminating tasks are rich and of quality, provide opportunities for students to demonstrate what they know and are able to do in speaking and writing, and are varied and evident across a year’s worth of material. Text-dependent questions and smaller daily tasks lead up to the culminating tasks. Inquiry and Research projects are only slightly varied every unit, but offer choices for presentations. Both the Inquiry and Research projects as well as the weekly and unit assessments provide opportunities for students to demonstrate understanding of unit content. During the Inquiry and Research project and Unit Reflection, teachers use a “Constructive Conversation” approach that is centered around the Essential Question and Unit Topic. Process writing tasks are ample in the curriculum as culminating writing tasks. Each week contains texts, writing tasks, and discussions leading to the culminating tasks for the unit. Assessments contain related texts that are “cold reads” for the students, but use unit vocabulary and assess skills taught throughout the unit. It should be noted that although students have choice in the product they create for a culminating task, the structure and routines of each culminating task are not varied, including the three questions that frame each culminating task.

Culminating tasks are supported with coherent sequences of text-based questions and tasks. Examples include, but are not limited to:

  • In Unit 1, the Essential Question is “How do living things get what they need to survive?” and the Unit Topic is “Plants and Animals in their Habitats.” In Week 1, students read “Emperor Penguin Habitat” and discuss the habitat of penguins in Antarctica. During Week 2, students complete the following task: “Reread the section, ‘Welcome to the Grasslands!’ What is the focus of this section? How does it add to your understanding of the main topic, different habitats around the world?” In Week 3, Day 5, students reflect on the Unit Topic in a Constructive Conversation. Students discuss the Essential Question and build upon their peers’ responses in small groups. Then each group shares with the class.
  • In Unit 2, students participate in a Constructive Conversation during Week 3, Day 5, and answer the question, “What are challenges that people deal with every day?” The teacher models and practices the conversation protocol with students. Afterwards, students collaborate using the protocol, as well as “facts, key details, and examples from their reading and their own lives.” At the end, a few students share how they used the Constructive Conversation strategies in their conversations. Teachers encourage students to use these strategies in other important conversations.
  • In Unit 3, students participate in a Constructive Conversation during Week 3, Day 5, and deepen and extend their thinking about the Unit Topic: Government. Students listen actively, share ideas, clarify ideas by asking questions, and use details from the texts they have read to support and build on ideas.
  • In Unit 4, the Essential Question is “How can a story change depending on who tells?” and the Unit Topic is “Many Characters, Many Points of View.” One culminating writing task for the unit is a diary entry from the point of view of a villager from the story, “Stone Soup.” Students write a narrative for the culminating task. In Week 1, students read “Stone Soup” and learn about first person point of view. In Week 2, students review the story and plan and draft their diary entries. In Week 3, students describe feelings in writing and revise and share their diary entries.
  • In Unit 5, students complete one three-week opinion writing task. Teachers provide students with prompts to generate discussion as students come up with their ideas for their opinion text related to the unit topic: “Think of an invention that has affected your life or a scientific discovery that you think is important.” Teachers guide students to “draw from their own experience to form an opinion.” Students then share with partners and with the class. During the culminating activity, students publish their text using a computer to type it, considering margins, font, readability, and images. The writing task is supported with various unit-based texts and other texts that have expanded student knowledge around this topic.
  • In Unit 6, students evaluate their essays and use computers to create and publish final copies of their fictional narratives during Week 3, Day 5. Students use the following questions for self-direction and reflection: “Does your title say what your narrative is mostly about? Do your illustrations or photos help the reader to better understand the story?”
  • In Unit 8, the Essential Question is “How do we react to changes in nature?” and the Unit Topic is “Wind and Water Change Earth.” The Inquiry and Research Project is about forces of nature. Students pick a force of nature from one of the unit texts, then find other sources about the force of nature. Students read to research the force of nature and how it affects the natural world. The project is three weeks long. Students research the force of nature, plan a written and/or digital presentation, and present to the class.

Indicator 1i

Materials provide frequent opportunities and protocols for evidence-based discussions (small group, peer-to-peer, whole class) that encourage the modeling and use of academic vocabulary and syntax.
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 2 meet the expectations of Indicator 1i.

Teacher materials support the implementation of Speaking and Listening, as well as vocabulary standards, to grow students’ skills. The Foundations and Routines book and the Instructional Routines and Strategies for Vocabulary include Turn and Talk, Constructive Conversations, and Being a Good Listener routines. The materials provide opportunities for teacher modeling and review of discussion protocols. Most lessons include opportunities for students to engage in text-based discussions with the class or partners. Writing lessons include an Oral Rehearsal, which gives students opportunities to practice saying the sentences that they will write before writing them. In some lessons, the students participate in Constructive Conversation protocols. Many lessons provide the teacher with sentence frames in order to support student discussion. Lessons provide opportunities for students to discuss texts in response to text-based questions and Close Reading prompts. Academic vocabulary is used in both questions and teacher modeling and sentence stems for discussions. Students also have opportunities to practice speaking and listening during the presentation phase of the Unit Inquiry projects. The Teacher Resource System has additional resources for Instructional Routines and Strategies as well as Constructive Conversation. The Instructional Routines resource briefly outlines routines for daily read-alouds, activities to extend read-alouds, and routines for modeling and teaching skills, such as retelling, phonological awareness, and blending. The Constructive Conversation resource has information that the teacher can use to support students’ conversations.

Materials provide multiple opportunities and protocols for evidence-based discussions across the whole year’s scope of instructional materials. Examples include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • As described in the Instructional Routines and Strategies guide, there is a step-by-step routine for the Retelling which includes:
    • “Step 1: Read Aloud. Read aloud the book. Ask students to listen carefully and remember as much as possible.
    • Step 2: Prompt retelling and record. Ask questions to prompt student retellings. Ask questions such as: What happened (did you find out) first? What happened (did you learn) next? Can you tell me more? Record students’ retellings on the board or chart paper
    • Step 3: Reread and revise. Prompt students to add to their retellings. Model look-backs and/or reread the text. Ask students to listen for anything they left out of their retellings.
    • Step 4: Connect to lives. Encourage students to make personal and across-text connections to the text.”
  • As described in the Foundations and Routines lessons Day 1, there is an anchor chart for what a listener does: "A listener pays attention. A listener sits still. A listener does not bother his/her neighbor. A listener looks at the person who is talking.”
  • As described in the Foundations and Routines lessons, Day 2 and 3, the teacher introduces and models Constructive Conversations, doing a Turn and Talk by sitting knee to knee and eye to eye. Students practice using the sentence stem, “My favorite part is ____.”
  • As described in the Instructional Routines and Strategies document, the Vocabulary Routine: Define/Example/Ask (page AR10) was “Developed by Isabel Beck and is ideal for introducing new words to students. It provides a student-friendly definition, connecting the word to students’ experiences, and asks students to use the word in speaking to check understanding.”
  • As described in the Instructional Routines and Strategies document, the Vocabulary Routine: Academic Vocabulary section (page AR12) states: “This routine, developed by Kate Kinsella, is an alternate routine for working with new words. It is especially strong for English learners and can be used to extend vocabulary work after the initial Define/Example/Ask introduction.” The teacher tips box gives grade-level appropriate activities for this. For example, “[H]ave students create nonlinguistic representations of the word (e.g., pictures).”
  • In Unit 1, Week 1, Day 3, students work in pairs to discuss how images contribute to and clarify the text using the Short Read text, “Emperor Penguin Habitat.” The teacher uses the Annotate, Pair, Share protocol to support students’ work and discussion. The teacher asks text-based questions about images and details in the text. Students read and make annotations to help them respond to the questions. Then, the teacher brings students back together and asks volunteers to share their answers.
  • In Unit 4, Week 1, Day 2, students practice the Constructive Conversation protocol in peer groups using the Short Read text, “The Blind Men and the Elephant.” Students annotate evidence and discuss their answers for the following text-based prompt: “Describe what happens in the beginning, middle, and end of the story. Write your answers in the text margins.” Then, students share their ideas with another small group.
  • In Unit 6, Week 1, Day 5 students engage in a Constructive Conversation based on the text, “The Hemuel Egg.” After students respond to multiple text-based questions, teacher guidance includes: “Encourage students to build on one another’s ideas and ask clarifying questions. Circulate among groups to provide feedback as needed.”
  • In Unit 8, Week 2, Day 4, students participate in Constructive Conversations with partners in order to identify the main purpose of a text. Students use the Extended Read text, “Earth’s Changes,” for the task. “Reread the title and the subheadings. How can you use these text features to identify the author’s main purpose? Use text evidence to support your ideas.” During the discussion, the teacher observes student conversations and encourages students to build on one another’s ideas and to ask clarifying questions.

Support for evidence-based discussions encourages modeling and a focus on academic vocabulary and syntax. Examples include:

  • As described in the Instructional Routines and Strategies document, the Model Fluent Reading (page AR10) guidance states, “[E]ach week, select an aspect of fluency to model, such as intonation. Model with sentences from student texts. Have students repeat.”
  • In Unit 1, Week 1, Day 1, students learn how to work in peer groups to generate questions in the unit introduction. First, students watch the Unit 1 video about the topic, Plants and Animals in Their Habitats. The teacher models the questioning strategy using the sentence frames, “I wonder how animals that live in a desert ____. I wonder what kind of ____ affects the way ____.” The teacher reminds students to listen actively and respectfully to their peers, build on each other’s ideas, and ask clarifying questions as needed during the peer discussions. The teacher also models how to use different language when discussing and presenting in different situations. “If I’m in my peer group and someone asks me, ‘How do some animals stay warm in cold habitats?’ I might respond, ‘Fur.’ But if I’m answering questions in front of the whole class, I would make sure to respond in a complete sentence. For example, ‘Many animals that live in a cold habitat have thick fur.’” Finally, the teacher models how to ask clarifying questions and build on the ideas of others. The Teacher Edition also provides sentence frames to support students, such as “Can you explain what you meant when you said ____?”
  • In Unit 3, Week 1, Day 1, the teacher writes the words government, state, town, and country on the board. The students watch the video for Unit 3 and the class has a discussion on which audio and video clues they found to help determine the meaning of the vocabulary words. Then students get in peer groups to have a Constructive Conversation. “Skim through the unit photographs and generate questions about why we need a government.” Then each group shares with the class and works together to create a class anchor chart of Questions and Ideas. Teachers use the provided Observation Checklist to evaluate the Constructive Conversation.
  • In Unit 4, Week 3, Day 3, students engage in an extended reading of Stone Soup as retold by Winston Ramos. During a Constructive Conversation with their partner, students respond to the question, “Underline the word eyesore in paragraph 3. Describe how this word helps you understand how the townspeople feel about the lot.” Partners reflect on how an author’s use of a specific word or phrase expanded their understanding of the characters and plot of the story. The teacher calls on one or two students to share their ideas with the class and encourages students to ask questions when they do not understand something, speak one at a time, and be respectful to their classmates.
  • In Unit 6, Week 3, Day 2, students reread the text, “Why the Sky is Far Away” and the teacher models using the details from the text to determine the meaning of the word scrumptious. Students then have a Constructive Conversation in small groups and discuss what things they would describe as scrumptious. The teacher uses the Observation Checklist for Constructive Conversations to evaluate during the discussions. Students then share with the class and other students build on their ideas.
  • In Unit 8, Week 3, Day 5, students engage in a Poetry Out Loud reading of “Weather” by Eve Merriam and discuss the author’s use of onomatopoeia and repetition in the poem. During Guided Practice, students annotate, pair, and share, and the teacher monitors partners’ conversations and offers assistance where it is needed. The teacher calls on one or two volunteers to recite a stanza to the group.

Indicator 1j

Materials support students' listening and speaking about what they are reading (or read aloud) and researching (shared projects) with relevant follow-up questions and supports.
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 2 meet the expectations of Indicator 1j.

Speaking and listening instruction is applied frequently over the course of the school year and includes facilitation, monitoring, and instructional supports for teachers. The teacher’s guide also includes directions to monitor Constructive Conversations. Materials include practice of speaking and listening skills that support students’ increase in ability over the course of the school year. Speaking and listening is included daily in lessons. There are Research and Inquiry projects for each unit which provide opportunities for students to present on a topic familiar to that unit and answer the Essential Question. Speaking and listening work requires students to gather evidence from texts and sources. Constructive Conversations involve text-based questions and discussions. Students use texts to do unit Research and Inquiry projects but there is no specific guidance for speaking and listening for the projects except for the presentation component.

Students have multiple opportunities over the school year to demonstrate what they are reading (or read aloud) and researching through varied speaking and listening opportunities. Examples include, but are not limited to:

  • In Unit 1, Week 3, Day 1, students engage in an extended reading of Filiberto in the Valley by Alex Branger. During guided practice, students annotate, pair together with a partner, and share, as they complete the following task: “Read paragraph 6. Practice creating mental images based on the author’s description and the illustration on page 22. Then describe the mental images you created to a partner using your own words. Afterward, call on one or two volunteers to share their mental images with the class.”
  • In Unit 4, the unit Inquiry Project focuses on the topic of geography. Students select a country, India, Brazil, or France, and research information about the country using unit texts and additional sources. Students use their research project to answer questions including, “Based on the unit texts and your research, what are the most important things people should know about this country and its culture? How did the knowledge you gained through research add to your understanding of the country as it is presented in the unit text?” The students present their research to the class. Students who listen to the presentation note two ideas that they heard and come up with one question for the presenter to answer to clarify or deepen their understanding of the topic. Students take turns asking the speaker questions, using question stems from the Think-Speak-Listen Flip Books. After students present their research projects, the class engages in a discussion about how the project helps them understand the Essential Question.
  • In Unit 6, Week 1, Day 5, students participate in a Constructive Conversation based on the text, “The Hemuel Egg.” Students answer multiple text-based questions such as, “What does Pedro see in the town market as he watches the buyers and the sellers?” Teacher guidance includes, “Encourage students to build on one another’s ideas and ask clarifying questions. Circulate among groups to provide feedback as needed.” During the Share and Reflect section, groups of students share “how characters’ responses to what happens in a story help them understand a central message or moral.”
  • In Unit 6, the Inquiry and Research Project involves writing about texts by Jack Prelutsky and Grace Lin. The teacher models the project’s guiding questions and students work in partners or small groups to complete the project. However, there is no specific guidance on speaking and listening associated with the weekly tasks for the project. Students present their projects and other students write questions to ask the presenters. Then students discuss how the projects help deepen their understanding of the topic.
  • In Unit 8, Week 1, Day 5, students engage in a short read of Water’s Awesome Wonder by Sara Brien and describe how the author’s reasons support specific points in the text. During guided practice, students find the author’s opinions and supporting reasons as they read by asking themselves questions. Ask students to reread “Water’s Awesome Wonder.” Students work in small groups to list the author’s opinions and supporting reasons in a chart. Afterwards, students share and reflect on why identifying opinions and supporting reasons can be useful when reading. “Have students discuss why it is important for an author to back up an opinion with good reasons. Invite one or two volunteers to share their ideas with the class.”

Indicator 1k

Materials include a mix of on-demand and process writing (e.g. multiple drafts, revisions over time) and short, focused projects, incorporating digital resources where appropriate.
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 2 meet the expectations of Indicator 1k.

Materials include an even mix of short and longer writing tasks. Every unit also has an Inquiry and Research project which lasts three weeks. Writing tasks and projects are aligned to the grade-level standards being reviewed. There is more emphasis on process writing in Grade 2 than Grade 1. Students learn and practice both on-demand and process writing throughout the school year. In Writing lessons, students learn and practice process writing. Units include opportunities for students to revise and edit their work under teacher guidance. Units include skill introduction, modeling, guided practice with Shared Writing, and independent practice. Each daily writing lesson includes a mini-lesson in which the teacher models and guides students in practicing their writing skills.


On-demand writing examples include, but are not limited to:

  • In Unit 1, Week 2, Day 4, students in the teacher’s small group reread “Bats, Bats, Bats!” and write a summary. Students share their summaries orally with a partner to get feedback on completeness of ideas. Then, students write their summaries in their writing notebooks.
  • In Unit 4, Day 2, the students write in response to a Close Reading Question about the Extended Read, “The Stone Garden”: "Reread paragraphs 20–22. How and why have the townspeople’s points of view changed from the beginning of the story? Cite specific text evidence to support your answer.”
  • In Unit 5, Week 3, Day 3, during an extended read of “Robots Go To School” by Kathy Kafer, students closely reread paragraph 6 to answer the following Close Reading question: “What does the word limitations mean in paragraph 6? What limitations does the robot have? Refer to information in the text.” The teacher allows students a few minutes to reread and annotate their texts. Then students discuss what they think the word means and what limitations the robot has.
  • In Unit 7, Week 2, Day 3, students complete a written response to a Close Reading question from the text, Investigating the Past. The task states: “Reread paragraph 4. How does paragraph 4 support the focus of the section ‘Writings?’ How does this focus add to your understanding of the main topic? Use text evidence to support your ideas.”
  • In Unit 8, the students write in response to a Close Reading Question about the Extended Read, “Bonita Springs Debates Its Future”: In paragraph 6, the author writes, ‘Without them, the rain has nowhere to go. That causes flooding. Mold can grow where it is wet.’ Explain what the word mold means in this sentence. Use context clues from the text.”
  • In Unit 9, Week 2, Day 5, during an extended read of "From Tree to Baseball Bat" by Matt Smith and "From Pine Tree to Pizza Box" by Amy and Richard Hutchings, students closely reread and annotate the text and then discuss the following Close Reading question: “Reread paragraphs 2–4 in ‘From Tree to Baseball Bat’ and paragraphs 3–6 in ‘From Pine Tree to Pizza Box.’ How are the steps in making a pizza box similar to the steps in making a baseball bat?”
  • In Unit 10, Week 2, Day 3, students complete a written response to a Close Reading question from the text States of Matter: “Reread pages 14 and 15. Explain how the images on these pages help your understanding of states of matter. Use text evidence to support your ideas.”

Examples of process writing include, but are not limited to:

  • In Unit 1, Week 2, students plan their own essay about plants and animals of the grasslands using information from two sources, “Habitats Around the World” and a video “Plant Life of the Australian Savanna.” The teacher models and guides students in gathering facts and details from print sources. The teacher also models and guides students in planning an informative essay by grouping information. Students practice planning by completing a section of the planning guide. At the end of the week, students review the rubric that the teacher will use to grade their essays.
  • In Unit 2, students revisit their opinion pieces throughout the three-week unit to express their feelings about a character in a story. In Week 1, students read a mentor text, find text evidence to analyze a character, form an opinion, and analyze the author’s concluding statement. In Week 2, students read and analyze the text-based prompt, gather evidence, develop opinion and reasons, then organize their ideas in an essay. In Week 3, students draft, revise and edit, then evaluate and reflect on their final writing piece.
  • In Unit 3, students write an informative/explanatory essay on a topic of their choice related to the unit topic, Government at Work. In Week 1, students gather information from their own knowledge and sources and organize their essay. In Week 2, students draft their essays. In Week 3, students revise and edit their essays. They also use computers to make a final copy of their essays.
  • In Unit 4, Week 2, students practice planning their own diary entry based on “Stone Soup.” Students write in response to the following prompt: “You are a villager who helped make the stone soup. Plan and write a diary entry describing what you observed that day and how you felt about it.” On Days 2 and 3, the teacher and students use a Planning Guide and reread the text to identify the story’s sequence of events. On Day 4, the teacher models using an outline to plan a diary entry. The students practice writing their own outlines with a partner and during Independent Writing time.
  • In Unit 5, students revisit their opinion pieces of work during the three-week unit as they develop and draft an essay that expresses their opinion about technology and science. In Week 1, students read and analyze the Mentor Text, Mother Bruce, by Ryan Higgins and engage in discussions about features of a strong opinion text. They also brainstorm opinions about the text, its characters, the illustrations, and any other features. They choose a topic, identify reasons and evidence, and begin drafting their writing. In Week 2, students introduce the topic, state their opinion, supply their reasons, then formulate a conclusion. In Week 3, students write to improve sentence fluency, revise to use linking words and phrases, check and edit, and then use technology to publish writing.
  • In Unit 6, students write a narrative fiction text. The teacher and students analyze “Stone Soup” from Unit 4. Students get to choose what genre of narrative fiction they would like to write (science fiction, mystery, etc). In Week 1, students brainstorm and plan their story. During Week 2, students draft their stories. In Week 3, students revise, edit, and publish their stories.
  • In Unit 8, Weeks 1-3, students practice planning, writing, revising, and publishing a research report related to the big idea, “wind and water change Earth.” The teacher guides students through the research writing process using the Mentor Text, “Wind and Water Shape Arches National Park.” The teacher models and guides students in using a Note-Taking Chart to gather facts and details from sources. By the end of Week 1, students complete their note-taking charts and planning guides. In Week 2, students practice writing drafts of their research reports. The teacher models how to write an essay paragraph by paragraph. The students write their own paragraphs during Independent Writing time. In Week 3, the students practice revising, editing, and publishing their research reports on the topic of weathering and erosion.
  • In Unit 9, over the course of three weeks, students develop and create a multimedia presentation recounting their first trip to their favorite place. In Week 1, students view a mentor presentation, brainstorm the topic, recall facts and details, organize their ideas, and make a storyboard. In Week 2, students draft an introduction, recount a sequence of events, draft the conclusion, and add drawings and visual elements to clarify their ideas. In Week 3, students use temporal words, revise and create the visual display, rehearse the presentation, and present their final product.

Opportunities for students to revise and/or edit include, but are not limited to:

  • In Unit 1, Week 3, Day 3, the students practice revising their informative essays to correct fragments. The teacher models how to identify fragments and edit them to form complete sentences. The teacher guides students in practicing how to correct incomplete sentences. During Independent Writing, the teacher instructs students to look for incomplete sentences and make them complete.
  • In Unit 2, Week 3, Day 3, during independent time, students revise their opinion essay drafts, adding descriptive words to make their writing more interesting.
  • In Unit 4, Week 3, Day 3, the students practice revising their fictional diary entries by rearranging sentences. The teacher models how to rearrange sentences in order to improve the flow of the writing. Students work with partners to practice rearranging and combining sentences using sentences in a teacher’s Modeling Text. During Independent Writing, students revise the drafts of their diary entries by combining or rearranging sentences.
  • In Unit 7, students complete a writing task over the course of three weeks. During Week 3, students spend one day on revising for voice, one day on revising to add sensory details, one day on editing for punctuation and sentence fluency, and one day on checking and correcting spelling.
  • In Unit 8, Week 3, students practice revising, editing, and publishing their research reports on the topic of weathering and erosion. On Day 3, the teacher models how to revise a draft to use formal language. The teacher shows students how to revise contractions, slang, idioms, and abbreviations in order to make sure the report is written in formal language. During Guided Practice, students identify and discuss places in their drafts where they can replace informal language with formal language. During Independent Writing, students edit their drafts for formal language.
  • In Unit 9, Week 3, Day 2, students revise their drafts to improve their visual elements during independent time. Have students create a visual display by pinning their visual elements to a poster board.
  • In Unit 10, students complete a poetry writing task over the course of two weeks. During Week 2, students have one day to respond to and revise their acrostic poem and one day to use a checklist to edit their work.

Examples of the use of digital tools include, but are not limited to:

  • In Unit 3, students write an informative/explanatory essay on a topic of their choice related to the unit topic of Government at Work. In Week 3, students revise and edit their essays. They also use computers to make a final copy of their essays.
  • In Unit 8, Week 3, Day 5, the teacher reviews digital methods of publishing research reports. The teacher explains that students will publish their reports by typing them, printing them, and handing them in. “Government and educational websites are great places to find images. A good place to start looking for images is one or more of the sources you’ve already used. One of my sources is the National Park Service website. This website is a government website, so I’ll start my search there. I type ‘Arches National Park’ into the website’s search box and select the first webpage from the list displayed. Once the Arches National Park webpage is open, I use the headings to navigate to the photo gallery. I’ll pick a few, including a map, and add them to my report using the computer’s copy and paste functions.” The Teacher Edition also mentions other ways of publishing students’ reports digitally, including creating a class website, e-mailing the report, or including the report in a book. The Teacher Edition indicates that the teacher should arrange for students to access computers or tablets to publish their reports during Independent Writing. The lesson notes in Day 5 also mention the availability of a “Keyboarding Practice Lesson” for students in order to increase their keyboarding proficiency; however, it is unclear where this lesson is located.

Indicator 1l

Materials provide opportunities for students to address different text types of writing that reflect the distribution required by the standards.
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 2 meet the expectations of Indicator 1l.

Materials provide opportunities for students and teachers to monitor progress in writing skills. Lessons contain sample Conferring Prompts for teachers to use when giving students feedback to support them with improving their writing. The materials provide writing exemplars along with explanations and rubrics for each type of writing. The materials also include rubrics for the Inquiry and Research projects. Where appropriate, writing opportunities are connected to texts and/or text sets (either as prompts, models, anchors, or supports). Short and longer writing tasks use the texts from the unit. The Teacher Edition includes sample models for teachers to use when modeling and guiding each part of the writing process. Writing lessons also use previously read Extended Reads as model texts to introduce and review skills needed in the writing process. Materials include sufficient writing opportunities for a whole year’s use.

Materials provide multiple opportunities across the school year for students to learn, practice, and apply different genres/modes/types of writing that reflect the distribution required by the standards. Examples include, but are not limited to:

  • Students have opportunities to engage in informative/explanatory writing.
    • In Unit 1, students write informative/explanatory essays in response to a prompt: “Write an informative/explanatory essay in which you describe how emperor penguins survive Antarctica's harsh winters. Be sure to include: an introduction; facts and details from the text ‘Emperor Penguin Habitat’ and the video ‘Adapting to Survive;’ a conclusion related to the information presented.”
    • In Unit 3, students write an informative/explanatory essay on a self-selected topic related to the unit topic, Government at Work. The teacher modeled essay is about the President. Students use both their own knowledge and texts to research.
    • In Unit 8, Weeks 1–3, students practice planning, writing, revising, and publishing a research report related to the big idea “wind and water change Earth.” In Week 1, the teacher guides students in gathering information and planning the report. On Day 1, the teacher and students review the elements of a research report and analyze the Mentor Text, “Wind and Water Shape Arches National Park.” On Day 2, the teacher models and guides students in using a Note-Taking Chart to gather facts and details from sources. By the end of Week 1, students complete their note-taking charts and planning guides. In Week 2, students practice writing drafts of their research reports. The teacher models how to write an essay paragraph by paragraph. Students write their own paragraphs during Independent Writing time. In Week 3, students practice revising, editing, and publishing their research reports on the topic of weathering and erosion.
  • Students have opportunities to engage in narrative writing.
    • In Unit 4, Week 1, students write a fictional diary entry in response to a text-based prompt: “You are the beetle in ‘How the Beetle Got Its Gorgeous Coat.’ Plan and write a diary entry describing how you feel about your new coat.” The teacher reviews an example of a fictional diary entry and models how to retell important story events in order, identify text details, and make inferences about characters’ inner thoughts and feelings. Students practice planning by completing their own planning guides during Independent Writing time. At the end of Week 1, students write two or three sentences that include characters from “How the Beetle Got Its Gorgeous Coat.”
    • In Unit 6, students write a narrative fiction text. The teacher and students analyze “Stone Soup” from Unit 4. Students get to choose what genre of narrative fiction they would like to write (science fiction, mystery, etc).
    • In Unit 7, Weeks 1–3, students complete a narrative writing task reflecting the unit topic (History, Culture, and Geography) using the Mentor Text (a Mentor Narrative Nonfiction Letter).

Indicator 1m

Materials include regular opportunities for evidence-based writing to support recall of information, opinions with reasons, and relevant information appropriate for the grade level.
2/2
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 2 meet the expectations of Indicator 1m.

Materials provide frequent opportunities across the school year for students to learn, practice, and apply writing using evidence. Throughout the various writing tasks both in the writing lessons and in other mini-lessons, students have many opportunities to write in response to text. Students write daily about texts they have read and mentor texts for writing. They also write during assessments. Writing tasks during reading lessons call for students to think about ideas, details, and/or evidence in the texts they have read, and to support their answers with evidence from the text. Materials provide opportunities that build students’ writing skills over the course of the school year. Students write extended responses with details from one story at the beginning of the year and details from two stories by the end of the year. Writing lessons include teacher modeling, guided practice where students discuss their ideas, and independent time, when students write on their own. Students have opportunities to practice each part of the writing process. Writing tasks during reading lessons include teacher modeling and partner discussion of one text-based close reading prompt, and then progress towards independent practice of a different close reading prompt about the same text.

Writing opportunities are focused around students’ recall of information to develop opinions from reading closely and working with evidence from texts and sources. Examples include, but are not limited to:

  • In Unit 1, Week 2, Day 1, students respond to a text-based prompt as they “describe grasslands and discuss the plants and animals that live in them.” On Day 2, students refer to the text, “Habitats Around the World” and collect facts and details from the text to use in their writing using a Note-Taking Chart. Students look at specific paragraphs and captions as well as domain-specific words that they will use in their essays.
  • In Unit 2, Assessment, students read “Getting Along” and answer the following question: “How does Tom change by the end of the passage? Give at least two details from the passage to support your answer.”
  • In Unit 3, Week 2, Day 2, students practice writing body paragraphs for their informative/explanatory essays. By this point in the writing process, students have gathered facts from text sources and organized the ideas and facts using a planning guide. In this lesson, the teacher uses a Model Body Paragraph to demonstrate how to develop the topic of a body paragraph with facts, definitions, and details. Next, the students work in pairs to discuss what facts and details they plant to present in their first body paragraph and how the information supports their topic. During independent time, the students draft their body paragraphs. At the end of the lesson, partners discuss the challenges or questions they had while they were writing.
  • In Unit 4, Week 1, Day 3, students recall information and refer to the text, “How the Beetle Got Its Gorgeous Coat,” to fill out the Diary Entry Planning Chart and prepare to write their own fictional diary entry as if they were one of the characters in the text.
  • In Unit 5, Week 3, Day 4, students answer Close Reading question 3: “Reread paragraph 4 of ‘Two Famous Inventors’ and paragraphs 1–3 of ‘Robots Go to School.’ How are Thomas Edison’s inventions—the phonograph and the first movie camera—different from the school robot?”
  • In Unit 8, Week 1, Day 2, students use multiple texts and other sources to gather information for a writing project. Although students utilize a sample Research Report Note-Taking chart, they are not guided to use it during the Guided or Independent time when they choose sources and write down important information that they will use for their writing project.
  • In Unit 9, Assessment, students answer an extended response question: “You have read two passages: ‘From Sheep to Sweater’ and ‘The Mitten Tree’. Based on these passages, explain how sheep’s wool becomes something you can use to stay warm. Write 2-3 sentences. Use details from both passages to support your answer.”

Indicator 1n

Materials include explicit instruction of the grammar and conventions standards for grade level as applied in increasingly sophisticated contexts, with opportunities for application both in and out of context.
1/2
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 2 partially meet the criteria for materials including explicit instruction of the grammar and conventions standards for grade level as applied in increasingly sophisticated contexts, with opportunities for application both in and out of context.

All units contain grammar lessons which follow the same format and provide teachers with explicit instruction, including modeling and guided practice. Short and Extended reading lessons provide students with opportunities to apply and practice grammar and convention concepts in context. Students apply skills in grammar workbook pages; however, opportunities to apply skills to student writing is limited. Materials include explicit instruction of all grammar and conventions standards for the grade level. Examples include, but are not limited to:

Students have opportunities to use collective nouns (e.g., group).

  • In Unit 2, Week 2, Day 5, the teacher explains that the day’s writing lesson will focus on collective nouns. Collective nouns are defined as “words for groups of people, animals or things. For example, squad, team, committee, class, and flock are collective nouns.” Students practice using collective nouns in opinion essays. The teacher models, and students have guided practice time. Students revise sentences in pairs to include collective nouns.

Students have opportunities to form and use frequently occurring irregular plural nouns (e.g., feet, children, teeth, mice, fish).

  • In Unit 2, Week 1, Day 5, the teacher models how to use singular nouns to form plural and irregular nouns by creating sentences and an anchor chart: “The word man is a singular noun. It refers to one man. To form the plural of some nouns, such as man, you must change the spelling of the nouns. They do not end in the letter s like regular plural nouns. To change man to a plural noun so that it refers to more than one man, I must change the spelling of the word. I will change the spelling to m-e-n, men.”

Students have opportunities to use reflexive pronouns (e.g., myself, ourselves).

  • In Unit 2, Week 3, Day 2, the teacher models using reflexive pronouns by saying “Reflexive pronouns are pronouns formed by adding self or selves to a personal pronoun.” The teacher displays and reads aloud a list of reflexive pronouns and explains that writers use reflexive pronouns when the subject and object are the same, then the teacher gives examples. The teacher displays and reads aloud a paragraph from “Great Girls’ Contest” and points out the reflexive pronoun, herself. The teacher reads the next paragraph and has students identify the reflexive pronoun.

Students have opportunities to form and use the past tense of frequently occurring irregular verbs (e.g., sat, hid, told).

  • In Unit 3, Week 1, Day 5, the teacher reviews formation of past tense verbs using two similar sentences: “The smoke jumpers watch for fires. The smoke jumpers watched for fires yesterday.” The teacher distributes a Regular and Irregular Verbs list and reads aloud each verb with students. The teacher and students collectively create an anchor chart in which students can add irregular verbs to the chart when they are found in authentic text. Students work in pairs to generate sentences using irregular verbs.

Students have opportunities to use adjectives and adverbs, and choose between them depending on what is to be modified.

  • In Unit 4, Week 2, Day 5, Writing, the teacher sets the purpose for the lesson by stating that “adjectives and adverbs are descriptive, like big, quick, and quietly. Today, we will explore how they are different and practice choosing between them.” The teacher models using an Adjectives and Adverbs Anchor Chart to explain the difference between the two. The teacher defines both adjectives and adverbs, explains when each is used, and then thinks aloud while selecting a word to fill-in the blank to a pre-selected group of sentences. For example: “The _____ children were running ______.” The teacher models and thinks aloud: “The underlined word children is a noun because children are people. Since adjectives describe nouns, I need an adjective that describes ‘what kind’ or ‘how many’ children to complete this sentence. Some adjectives are six, quiet, or loud. Running names an action, so I need to choose an adverb, I ask myself ‘When, where, or how did the children run?’ Adverbs such as this morning, through the park, or swiftly could complete this sentence.”

Students have opportunities to produce, expand, and rearrange complete simple and compound sentences (e.g., The boy watched the movie; The little boy watched the movie; The action movie was watched by the little boy).

  • In Unit 7, Week 2, Day 3, students learn about complete simple sentences. The teacher sets a purpose for the day’s lesson by reminding students that when they read, “Two Famous Inventors,” they learned about complete simple sentences. Today, they will continue to talk about complete simple sentences as they read “Primary Sources.” The teacher models and reminds students that a sentence is a group of words that has a subject and a verb and expresses a complete thought. The subject tells who or what the sentence is about. The verb expresses what the subject is doing. The teacher displays and reads two sentences from paragraph 2 and 4 in “Primary Sources” and explains why they are complete sentences. The teacher repeats this with additional sentences within paragraphs 6 and 8 of the same text. Then, partners practice identifying the subject and the verb in another given sentence. Partners determine if it expresses a complete thought. Students reflect on what they have learned about complete simple sentences, and some students provide examples of simple sentences. Students share how they think using complete simple sentences will make their writing stronger.

Students have opportunities to capitalize holidays, product names, and geographic names.

  • In Unit 1, Week 2, Day 3, the teacher reviews the definition of a proper noun and provides examples if necessary. The teacher analyzes proper nouns in the text, “Habitats Around the World.” The teacher is to model with two words in a sentence and explain why they are capitalized; the first because it is the first word in the sentence and the second because it is the continent of Asia. The teacher models with another sentence focusing again on words with capital letters using the first word of the sentence, and United States and Canada.
  • In Unit 5, Week 3, Day 3, the teacher reviews how to edit for capitalization and proper nouns. Examples include San Francisco, Golden Gate Bridge, California, Kaila. The teacher reviews what nouns are and models how they capitalized proper nouns with a model text provided. In guided practice, students work in partners looking for capitalization errors and discuss how to correct them, then come together and share. In independent practice, students continue editing their drafts, focusing on capitalization errors and use of proper nouns.

Students have opportunities to use commas in greetings and closings of letters.

  • In Unit 7, Week 1, Day 1, in a lesson introducing writing narrative letters, the teacher provides students with a checklist and introduces a mentor letter and highlights the format. Teacher modeling is provided, “The greeting is followed by a comma. Look at the end of the letter. It ends with ‘Your friend, Sasha.’ This is the closing. The closing ends with a comma and the writer’s name.”
  • In Unit 8, Week 3, Day 2, teacher modeling is provided to discuss commas in both greetings and closings of a letter. “When we write letters, we use a comma in two places, after the greeting and after the closing.” The teacher displays and reads aloud a letter to the editor, and then models where to place commas in the letter in the greeting and closing.

Students have opportunities to use an apostrophe to form contractions and frequently occurring possessives.

  • In Unit 1, Week 1, Day 3, teacher modeling is provided, “Sometimes when you read, you will encounter words with apostrophes, such as contractions or possessives.” The teacher tells students they will analyze words with apostrophes in the text,“Emperor Penguin Habitat.” The teacher is to display and read contractions with not and is. The teacher reviews the definition of contractions and provides examples. The teacher displays and reads a list of possessives, reviewing the definition of possessive and providing examples. The students are invited to produce oral sentences with contractions and possessives. The teacher displays sentences from paragraphs in the text pointing out the apostrophes, and identifying the words as either contractions or possessives.
  • In Unit 5, Week 1, Day 5, the teacher models how to form possessive nouns with an apostrophe. The teacher displays and reviews a Possessive Nouns Chart provided in the lesson, which contains the nouns, inventor, Chris and laptops. It contains their possessive form, the rule, and an example sentence.

Students have opportunities to generalize learned spelling patterns when writing words (e.g., cage → badge; boy → boil).

  • In Unit 3, Week 2, there is a Spelling Patterns Quick Check with long /u/ spellings in words, such as music, menu, cue, rescue, cute, and cube. Students are given a pretest and the opportunity to check their spelling of the words provided. On Day 2, students do a Spelling Sort where they read and spell each word, then sort them with the same long /u/ spelling. On Day 3, students are given word cues, guess, and write the word referred to, for example, “very big (huge)”. On Day 5, in a Spelling Patterns and Dictation lesson, students write the spelling words or the entire sentence dictated and underline the spelling word.

Students have opportunities to consult reference materials, including beginning dictionaries, as needed to check and correct spellings.

  • In Unit 5, Week 3, Day 4, Process Writing, the teacher is provided with modeling to tell students they will edit their drafts for spelling using dictionaries. If needed, the teacher is to review how to use a dictionary. The teacher models discussing the meaning of the words, effect and affect, and checking the spelling for words daily and there. In guided practice, student partners review their work for misspelled words and use dictionaries to determine the correct spelling of their words. During independent time, students continue to edit their essays identifying and correcting misspelled words using a dictionary to confirm and correct their spellings.
  • In Unit 8, Week 3, Day 4 , the teacher displays and reads the model text and models how to check the report for errors and revise them. The teacher models using the words, sedimentary and arches: “I looked up the words in a dictionary to make sure it was spelled correctly.” The modeling includes the reason why the teacher wants to look up the words. In guided practice, students review their own draft and circle the words that are misspelled, or they want to check. In independent practice students edit their drafts and the teacher is to provide them access to print, or online dictionaries or glossaries.

Students have opportunities to compare formal and informal uses of English.

  • In Unit 7, Week 3, Day 2, in Extended Read 2, in a Language in Context lesson, the teacher discusses formal and informal language and examines the language in the text, “A Dinosaur Named SUE.” The teacher explains that formal language follows the rules of grammar and for informal language: “When we speak and write informally, we might use contractions, slang, incomplete sentences, and figurative language such as idioms.” The teacher explains to students that the language you chose to use depends on your audience and purpose. In guided practice, students read sentences from the text and discuss if they are using formal or informal language. Students apply understanding by completing page 27 of the Build Grammar and Language section of “Investigating the Past.”
  • In Unit 8, Week 2, Day 5, in Process Writing, students compare formal and informal language as they draft a research report. The teacher explains the difference between formal and informal language and informs students that they should use formal language in their research report. Scripting is provided: “Informal language is the type of language we use in casual conversion, such as when we are texting or talking with friends. Formal language is the type of language we use for writing and speaking at work or in school.” The teacher is to create a formal versus informal chart with the students from the model text. In guided practice, students work in partners to identify informal language and revise informal sentences into formal sentences.

Materials include limited opportunities for students to demonstrate application of skills both in- and out-of-context. Opportunities for students to apply skills to their writing is limited. For example:

  • In Unit 1, Week 2, Day 3, Grammar in Context, students analyze and identify proper nouns specifically geographical names in “Habitats Around the World” after the teacher discusses capitalizing geographic names. Students complete the Build Language and Grammar section on page 19 of “Plants and Animals in Their Habitats,” where they find a sentence in their own reading that contains a capitalized geographic name and then create their own sentence with a geographic name. Students are told to pay attention to how they use and capitalize geographical names in their own writing.
  • In Unit 5, Week 2, Day 5, Process Writing, students work in partners to identify places they can use specific products, geographical names, or holidays in their writing. They are to rewrite their drafts using proper nouns. During independent time, students do the same. If students need further support, it is suggested for them to be assigned additional practice in their Grammar and Spelling Activity books.

Criterion 1o - 1t

Materials in reading, writing, speaking, listening, and language targeted to support foundational reading development are aligned to the standards.
22/22
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Criterion Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 2 meet the criteria for materials, questions, and tasks directly teach foundational skills to build reading acquisition by providing systematic and explicit instruction in phonics that demonstrate a transparent and research-based progression for application both in and out of context. Materials include a clear scope and sequence and use a synthetic approach to phonics instruction. The materials include one decodable text each week to address securing phonics and high-frequency words. The decodable texts contain grade-level phonics skills and high-frequency words that are aligned to the weekly phonics and targeted high-frequency words focus and the program’s scope and sequence for phonics instruction. Materials provide systematic and explicit instruction of high-frequency words primarily through High-Frequency Words lessons, which provide teacher modeling and directions for the Say, Spell, Read and Write routine, which applying high-frequency word knowledge to tasks. The Grade 2 Phonics Scope and Sequence include 300 high-frequency words for the school year. Students are provided with frequent opportunities to learn, practice, and apply word analysis strategies over the course of the year. Materials include ongoing and frequent assessments to determine student mastery and inform meaningful differentiation of foundational skills, including a clear and specific protocol as to how students performing below standard on these assessments will be supported. Materials also include a Year-Long Assessment plan.

Indicator 1o

Materials, questions, and tasks directly teach foundational skills to build reading acquisition by providing systematic and explicit instruction in the alphabetic principle, letter-sound relations, phonemic awareness, phonological awareness (K-1), and phonics (K-2) that demonstrate a transparent and research-based progression with opportunities for application both in and out of context.
4/4
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 2 meet the criteria for materials, questions, and tasks directly teach foundational skills to build reading acquisition by providing systematic and explicit instruction in the alphabetic principle, letter-sound relationships, phonemic awareness, and phonological awareness (K-1), and phonics (K-2) that demonstrate a transparent and research-based progression for application both in and out of context.

Materials contain explicit instructions for systematic and repeated teacher modeling of all grade level phonics standards within the Phonics and Word Study portion of the lessons. Lessons provide teachers with systematic and repeated instructions for students to hear, say, encode, and read each newly taught grade level phonics pattern within the Phonics and Word Study routines. Within the Phonics and Word Study program support document, materials clearly delineate a scope and sequence for the year of phonics instruction. In the Teacher’s Resource System for each unit, a document called Strategies and Skills outlines the scope and sequence per unit. The phonics patterns taught throughout the year are based on high utility patterns, mainly focusing on syllable patterns, schwa, silent letters, prefixes and suffixes taught over the course of the year. A manageable number of phonics patterns and common generalizations are introduced each week, with new word families introduced at the rate of one new sound per week. Consonant digraphs are presented at the rate of three to four new digraphs per week. Previously taught letters and patterns are reviewed in subsequent weeks during spiral review opportunities. Materials include a scope and sequence and a clear research-based explanation for the order of the phonics sequence.

Lessons and activities provide students opportunities to learn grade-level phonics skills while decoding words (e.g. distinguish long and short vowel sounds, apply spelling-sound relationship on common words, decode two-syllable words with long vowels). For example:

  • Students have opportunities to distinguish long and short vowels when reading regularly spelled one-syllable words.
    • In Foundations and Routines, Day 12, teacher displays Frieze Card for long /i/ (-y -igh), models building the word and blending by running a hand under the word. Students chorally blend words written on the board, then practice building and manipulating sounds to make new words using letter cards.
    • In Unit 1, Week 1, Day 2, Phonics and Word Study, students practice building and blending short vowel words by using letter cards to manipulate sounds dictated by the teacher.
    • In Unit 2, Week 2, Day 1, Phonics and Word Study, the teacher models building and blending the word bed and bead with the ePocket chart. The teacher builds the word bed letter by letter with letter names and sounds /b/ /e/ /d/, while showing the letter cards. The teacher adds a to make bead. Directions state: “I can add a after the e to make the vowel team ea. The vowel team ea stands for the long e sound.” The teacher is to write the practice words provided and have the students chorally blend the sounds.
    • In Unit 3, Week 1, Day 2, Phonics and Word Study, the teacher uses the ePocket Chart to present the letters to build and blend the words cut, cute, cube, cub.
  • Students have opportunities to know spelling-sound correspondences for additional common vowel teams.
    • In Unit 1, Week 1, Day 1, Phonics and Word Study, the teacher displays long /ā/ Frieze Card and says, “This is a picture of a train. The vowel sound in train is /ā/. The /ā/ sound is made many ways: a, ai, ay, a_e, ea. In the word train, /ā/ is spelled ai.” The teacher models blending and says words aloud for students to write on a work mat.
    • In Unit 5, Week 3, Day 1, Phonics and Word Study, the teacher introduces vowel teams ou and ow. The teacher displays the diphthong ou Sound Spelling card. The teacher is provided scripting, “This is a cow. The vowel sound in cow is /ou/. The sound /ou/ is spelled two ways: ou and ow.” The teacher is provided modeling to provide a sample word for each /ou/ sound and underline the /ou/ spelling.
    • In Unit 6, Week 1, Day 1, Phonics and Word Study, the teacher uses the ePocket Chart to blend and build words. The teacher is provided with modeling, “Model how to blend the sound together as you run your hand under each letter.” The teacher does that with the word hop. The teacher adds another o. The teacher states, “I can add o to make the vowel team oo. Listen as I blend the new word.” The teacher blends the word hoop.
  • Students have opportunities to decode regularly spelled two-syllable words with long vowels.
    • In Unit 3, Week 1, Day 1, Phonics and Word Study, the teacher models building and blending long /ū words using ePocket Chart. Students chorally blend words written on the board, then identify two syllable words menu and rescue.
    • In Unit 7, Week 1, Day 1, Phonics and Word Study, the teacher blends and builds compound words seashell and newspaper. The teacher is to display letter cards or syllable cards made from index cards for the lesson. Modeling is provided for the lesson, “Model how to divide the word into two smaller parts and sound it out.” Scripting is also provided, “The word seashell is made up of the words sea and shell.”
  • Students have opportunities to decode words with common prefixes and suffixes.
    • In Unit 1, Week 3, Day 1, Phonics and Word Study, teacher models reading vowel team words by writing one syllable words in one column, two syllable words in the next column. The teacher guides students to read each word, chorally blending the sounds and word parts. The teacher models circling suffixes and uses the words in sentences.
    • In Unit 7, Week 3, Day 1, Phonics and Word Study, the teacher discusses root words and the prefix re-. Modeling is provided in the lesson, “Continue modeling with the words rereading and reread. Point out that the prefix re- means ‘again’.” The teacher uses the ePocket Chart to use letter cards to build each word. The teacher explains that the words have the root word read in common.
    • In Unit 10, Week 2, Day 2, Phonics and Word Study, the students engage in a lesson about prefixes. The teacher introduces the prefixes un-, re-, and dis-. The teacher says, “A prefix is a word part added to the beginning of a word. Adding a prefix makes a new word with a different pronunciation and meaning.” The teacher explains the meaning for each prefix, models writing words with the prefixes, explaining the meaning of words with the select prefixes, and asks students to practice reading and writing words with prefixes.
  • Students have opportunities to identify words with inconsistent but common spelling-sound correspondences.
    • In Unit 2, Week 3, Day 2, Phonics and Word Study, the teacher is provided modeling to display letters on the ePocket Chart for words fight, flight, fright, and bright.The teacher is provided the modeling, “Display Letter cards for fight. Blend the sounds /fiiit/, fight.” The teacher is to repeat the procedure with all of the words in the lesson.
    • In Unit 4, Week 3, Day 2, Phonics and Word Study, in a lesson with r-controlled vowels, the teacher is provided modeling to write and display words provided on index cards. Students read and chorally spell each word. The teacher is directed to, “Place the card for hair on the top of column one, care on the top of column two, and pear on the top of column three.” Students place the word provided in the appropriate word column matching the same r-controlled vowel spelling.
    • In Unit 9, Week 2, Day 1, Phonics and Word Study, the teacher models spelling-sound correspondence for schwa then practices decoding words with schwa chorally with students.
    • In Unit 9, Week 3, Day 1, Phonics and Word Study, the teacher displays letter cards for knob and models blending sounds together while running hand under the letters. The teacher continues modeling gnat, wrist, and thumb then practices chorally blending a list of words with students.

Materials have a cohesive sequence of phonics instruction to build toward application. For example:

  • In K-6 Phonics Word Study, the Grade 2 Phonics Scope and Sequence includes Primary Skill, Secondary Skill, transition to multisyllabic words, and Spiral Skills. The Primary Skills Scope and Sequence is listed as follows:
    • Unit 1: short vowels; one syllable words; initial and final blends; consonant digraphs; closed syllable patterns; long /ā/ vowel team syllable patterns; initial 3 letter blends; inflectional ending -ing; vowel team syllable type - long /ā/; suffixes -ful, -er; initial and final blends; long vowels
    • Unit 2: long /ō/ vowel team syllable patterns; long /ē/ vowel team patterns; long /ī/ vowel team patterns; plural -s, -es, vowel team syllable type - long ō; compound words and inflectional endings; vowel team syllable type - long /ē/; suffixes -y, -ly; vowel team syllable type - long /ī/; long /ā/ vowel team patterns
    • Unit 3: long /ū/ vowel team syllable patterns; r-controlled syllable patterns; inflectional endings -ed, -ing; vowel team syllable type - long /ū/; comparative and superlative suffixes -er, -est
    • Unit 4: r-controlled syllable patterns; r-controlled vowel syllable type; compound words; suffixes -ful, -less, -ly
    • Unit 5: VCe syllable patterns; consonant-le syllable patterns; vowel team syllable patterns; inflectional ending -es; r-controlled syllable patterns
    • Unit 6: vowel team syllable patterns; compound words; homophones; contractions with not; consonant -le syllable patterns
    • Unit 7: compound words; silent letters; inflectional endings with spelling changes; related root words; contractions ‘ll, ‘ve, ‘m; closed syllable patterns; vowel team syllable patterns; open syllable pattern
    • Unit 8: irregular plural nouns; r-controlled vowel syllables; suffixes -er, -or; homographs; possessives; comparative and superlative suffixes -er, -est
    • Unit 9: suffixes -y, -ly; schwa; irregular plural nouns; inflectional endings with spelling changes; silent letters
    • Unit 10: possessive nouns, suffixes - y, -ly; prefixes un-, re-, dis-; abbreviations; silent letters; suffixes -ful, -less

Indicator 1p

Materials, questions, and tasks provide explicit instruction for and regular practice to address the acqusition of print concepts, including alphabetic knowledge, directionality, and function (K-1), structures and features of text (1-2).
2/2
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 2 meet the criteria for materials, questions, and tasks provide explicit instruction for and regular practice to address the acquisition of print concepts, including alphabetic knowledge, and directionality (K-1), structures and features of text (1-2).

Students have frequent opportunities to learn and identify text features and structures over the course of the year. The teacher models the use of the text structure or feature and often creates an anchor chart that students help to fill-in as the teacher reads the text aloud.

Students have frequent and adequate opportunities to identify text structures (e.g. main idea and details, sequence of events, problem & solution, compare and contrast, cause and effect). For example:

  • In Unit 1, Week 2, Day 2, students learn how to identify the main topic and key details using the text, “Plants and Animals in their Habitats.” The teacher creates an anchor chart that contains the main topic, paragraph, key details, and focus of the paragraph that students help to complete as the teacher reads the text aloud.
  • In Unit 1, Week 3, Day 4, students learn about the overall structure of the text, “Plants and Animals in their Habitats.” Students reread paragraphs 8 and 9 to answer the question, “How does the author create a sense of adventure in the middle of the story? Underline text evidence that supports your answer.”
  • In Unit 4, Week 1, Day 2, students identify the overall structure of the text, “Many Characters, Many Points of View,” by describing what happens in the beginning, middle, and end of the story.
  • In Unit 4, Lesson 12, Day 4, students compare and contrast two versions of the same story. Students reread paragraphs 2–4 in “Stone Soup” and paragraphs 3–5 in “The Stone Garden.” Students answer the question: How are the events in these stories similar and different? Cite text evidence from both texts to support your answer.
  • In Unit 5, Week 3, Day 4, students compare and contrast key points in the texts, “Two Famous Inventors” and “Robots Go to School.” Students reread paragraph 4 in “Two Famous Inventors” and paragraphs 1–3 in “Robots Go to School.” Students answer the question: "How are Thomas Edison’s inventions of the phonograph and the first movie camera similar to the school robot?"
  • In Unit 8, Week 2, Day 5, students compare and contrast the most important points in the texts, “Water’s Awesome Wonder” and “Earth’s Changes.” Students reread “Water’s Awesome Wonder” and paragraphs 1–4 in “Earth’s Changes.” Students answer the question: "How are both authors’ points about the Grand Canyon similar and different? Underline specific evidence from each text to support your answer."

Materials include frequent and adequate lessons and activities about text features (e.g. title, byline, headings, table of contents, glossary, pictures, illustrations). For example:

  • In Unit 2, Week 3, Day 2, students use illustrations to help determine information about character, plot, and setting in the text, “Government at Work.”
  • In Unit 5, Week 1, Day 5, students learn how images help to clarify a text using the text, “Solving Programs through Technology.” Students use images from the text to answer the question, “What specific information from the text do the photographs support? What new information do these photographs provide about the topic?”
  • In Unit 6, Week 1, Day 3, students use illustrations to understand characters, setting, and plot in the text, “Tales to Live By.”
  • In Unit 7, Week 1, Day 3, students use text features to locate key facts and information in the text, “Investigating the Past." The teacher states: "Authors often include text features to add to the meaning of the text and to make the text easier to understand. Text features include all the parts of a selection that are not the main body of text. Today, we will reread 'The Oregon Trail' and use text features to help us locate information in the text." Students use text features to answer a series of text-dependent questions.
  • In Unit 7, Week 2, Day 5, students learn to use images from the text, “Investigating the Past,” to answer a series of text-dependent questions. Students reread the section, “Paintings and Photographs,” on pages 13–14. Then students review the images on pages 13–14. Students directions state: “Explain how the images help you better understand why paintings and photographs are considered good primary sources for topics from the past. Cite specific examples from the images and words to support your answer.”
  • In Unit 9, Week 1, Day 3, students learn how images provide additional information about a text. Students learn how to locate and gather information from diagrams in the text, “Buyers and Sellers." Students answer the question: “How does the diagram help you understand how to make a bat? Use examples from the diagram and the text to support your answer.”

Indicator 1q

Instructional opportunities are frequently built into the materials for students to practice and gain decoding automaticity and sight-based recognition of high frequency words. This includes reading fluency in oral reading beginning in mid-Grade 1 and through Grade 2.
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 2 meet the criteria for instructional opportunities are frequently built into the materials for students to practice and gain decoding automaticity and sight-based recognition of high-frequency words. This includes reading fluency in oral reading beginning in mid Grade 1 and through Grade 2.

Materials provide systematic and explicit instruction of high-frequency words primarily through High-Frequency Words lessons, which provide teacher modeling and directions for the Say, Spell, Read, and Write routine, which includes applying high-frequency word knowledge to tasks. The Grade 2 Phonics Scope and Sequence include 300 high-frequency words for the school year. Most units introduce ten new high-frequency words weekly throughout all ten units. Materials include multiple opportunities over the course of the year for students to read emergent-reader texts during activities with text in the Text for Close Reading, the Word Study Resources, the Small Group texts, the Reader’s Theater Handbook texts, and the Fluency Intervention materials. Students have opportunities to use the strategy to confirm or self-correct word recognition and understanding through the fix-up strategy of reading more slowly and thinking about the words. The materials contain explicit directions and think alouds during Shared Reading and Extended Reading mini-lessons. Materials include instruction in fluency elements, such as pausing, expression, rate, accuracy, and intonation; using grade-level text during the Extended Read; Phonics and Word Study; and other portions of the lessons.

Multiple opportunities are provided over the course of the year in core materials for students to purposefully read on-level text. For example:

  • Students have opportunities to read grade-level text with purpose and understanding.
    • In Unit 3, Week 3, Day 1, the teacher reminds students that readers constantly model their understanding of a text by rereading to confirm or clarify their understanding. The teacher reminds students to use this skill during independent reading.
    • In Unit 4, Week 1, Day 4, in Short Read 2, teaching modeling and scripting is provided for the reading of “How The Beetle Got Its Gorgeous Coat.” The teacher is to set a purpose for reading, and a sample script is provided where the teacher tells students they will create mental images, identify where events take place, and understand what happens in the story.
    • In Unit 6, Week 3, Day 3, the teacher guides students through reading “The Legend of the Talking Feather,” modeling decoding and pointing out high-frequency words students need support with, then prompts students to reread the sentence from the beginning to confirm meaning.

Multiple opportunities are provided over the course of the year in core materials for students to demonstrate sufficient accuracy, rate, and expression in oral reading with on-level text and grade level decodable words. For example:

  • Students have opportunities to read grade-level text orally with accuracy, appropriate rate, and expression on successive readings.
    • In Unit 1, Week 1, Day 1, the teacher models a fluent reading of “Emperor Penguin Habitat” in a Build Fluency: Expression lesson. Teacher modeling is provided to explain to students that fluent reading requires readers to read with expression which includes reading with feeling and giving a voice to match the text. The teacher models this skill providing guided practice in rereading paragraph 2, using the fluency routine.
    • In Unit 2, Week 1, Day 1, the teacher models the fluency routine, explaining that fluent reading requires readers to read at different rates sometimes. The teacher models reading “The Foolish Milkmaid” and provides guided practice. Students practice in pairs.
    • In Unit 4 of the Teacher’s Resource System, Additional Resources: Instructional Routines outline the Fluency Routines. There is a Fluency Routine for Letter-Sound Fluency; Word Fluency; Sentence Fluency; and Model Fluent Reading. For example, Word Fluency says, “As a warm-up or transition activity, display a set of word cards with words containing the letter-sounds taught up to that point in the year. Write 2-3 words for each letter-sound taught. Display the cards one at a time as students chorally read the words. Repeat at varying speeds. Periodically mix the cards so students don’t become overly familiar with the sequence.”
    • In Unit 5, Week 1, Day 1, the teacher models reading “A Woman with a Vision” in a Build Fluency: Pausing-Full Stops lesson. Teacher modeling is provided: “Remind students that fluent reading requires readers to pause at times, taking full stops.” The teacher follows the fluency routine to model the skill mentioned and provide guided practice using paragraph 1 of the text. The teacher can have students can partner-read the paragraph for additional practice. On Day 2, the teacher rereads paragraph 1 of the same text. In Instructional Routines and Strategies, Routine for Daily Read-Alouds, Step 2 includes having the teacher model fluent reading with expression and enthusiasm.

Materials support reading of texts with attention to reading strategies such as rereading, self-correction, and the use of context clues. For example:

  • Students have opportunities to use context to confirm or self-correct word recognition and understanding, rereading as necessary.
    • In Unit 1, Week 2, Day 2, the teacher models how to blend decodable words and read high-frequency words students need support with, then prompts students to re-read the sentence from the beginning in Interactive Text, “The Venus Flytrap.” The teacher models using context, picture clues, and letter sounds to confirm meaning and pronunciation of words.
    • In Unit 3, Week 3, Day 1, the teacher reminds students that if they come to a part they do not understand, students can reread the text to clarify or confirm their understanding. The teacher reads paragraph 1 and models using this strategy. Teacher modeling is provided, “When I read paragraph 1 I wasn't sure who Tom was. I’m going to reread to clarify my understanding.” The teacher tells students after rereading they understand Tom was a young neighbor. The teacher reminds students to use this strategy during their independent reading.
    • In Unit 3, Week 1, Day 4, students read the text, “Can You Sew a Flag, Betsy Ross?” during the Short Read lesson. Students apply the fix-up strategy of reading more slowly and thinking about the words. The lesson says, “remind students that readers monitor their comprehension as they read. When they come to a part they don’t understand, they read more slowly and think about the words.” The teacher asks students to read paragraphs 6-7 to model the strategy.
    • In Unit 8, Week 3, Day 1, the teacher reminds students that readers should constantly monitor their comprehension and if they come to a part they don't understand they can reread the text using context to clarify the meaning of words. The teacher rereads paragraphs 3 and 4 and models using this strategy with the word, dredge. “When I look at context clues in the surrounding sentences, I learn that it means to dig or scoop out mud and trash from the river.”

Students have opportunities to practice and read irregularly spelled words. For example:

  • In Unit 1, Additional Resources: Instructional Routines and Strategies, a systematic and explicit high-frequency word routine is presented. The routine includes four steps:
    • Step 1: Read - Display the high-frequency word card. Point to the word and read it aloud. Ask students to repeat after you.
    • Step 2: Spell - Spell each letter in the word as you point to it. Then ask students to chorally read and spell aloud the word.
    • Step 3: Write - Write the word as you spell it aloud. Then have students write the word several times as they say each letter.
    • Step 4: Apply - Have students use the word in an oral sentence.
  • In Unit 2, Week 1, Day 1, Phonics and Word Study, the teacher uses the “Say, Spell, Read, Write” routine to introduce high-frequency words, here, look, me, play, said, see, she, try, about, because, school. The teacher displays word cards one at a time, pointing to the word and says it aloud. The students repeat the word, the teacher points to each letter and spells the word. Students read and spell the word. Students write the word and spell it out loud.
  • In Unit 3, Week 1, Day 1, Phonics and Word Study, the teacher introduces high-frequency words again, below, carry, does, eight, find, house, mother, school using “Say, Spell, Read, Write” routine. The teacher displays word cards one at a time, pointing to the word and says it aloud. Students repeat the word and spell it as the teacher points to each letter. The students write the word and take turns using the word in a sentence orally.
  • In Unit 4, Week 1, Day 1, Phonics and Word Study, students read and spell the high-frequency words. The teacher displays one word card at time and has students chorally say each word.
  • In Unit 5, Week 3, Day 1, Phonics and Word Study, the teacher introduces high-frequency words follow, girl, head, idea, kind, leave, might, next, often, paper using “Say, Spell, Read, Write” routine. The teacher displays word cards one at a time, pointing to the word and says it aloud. The students repeat the word and spell it as the teacher points to each letter. The students write the word and take turns using the word in a sentence orally.
  • In Unit 7, Week 1, Day 3, Phonics and Word Study, students read “The Baseball.” Some of the high-frequency words included in the text are last, my, and, I, was, of, on, with, did, had, we, now, then.
  • In Unit 7, Week 2, Day 5, Phonics and Word Study, the teacher is provided modeling for a High-Frequency Words lesson, “Display the High-Frequency Word Cards. Say each word and have students chorally repeat it and spell it.” The teacher is to place one card in the ePocket Chart and have a student form the word. The rest of the students check the spelling with a thumbs up or thumbs down.
  • In Unit 8, Week 1, Day 3, Phonics and Word Study, in a High-Frequency Words lesson, the teacher presents a word ladder with ten rungs, each with a high-frequency word. Students write a sentence for each word and place the word on a word wall to be reviewed often.

Indicator 1r

Materials, questions, and tasks provide systematic and explicit instruction in and practice of word recognition and analysis skills in a research-based progression in connected text and tasks.
4/4
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 2 meet the criteria for materials, questions, and tasks providing systematic and explicit instruction in and practice of word recognition and analysis skills in a research-based progression in connected text and tasks.

The Grade 2 materials include one decodable text each week to address securing phonics and high-frequency words. The decodable texts contain grade-level phonics skills and high-frequency words that are aligned to the weekly phonics and targeted high-frequency words focus and the program’s scope and sequence for phonics instruction. There are frequent opportunities to read grade-level high-frequency words within sentences during the I Read routine. Students use their My Reading and Writing books to read high-frequency words in context. Lessons provide frequent opportunities to write grade level high-frequency words in tasks seen within the explicit Say, Spell, Read, and Write high-frequency word routine. Word cards, letter cards, and word ladders are used as student-friendly reference materials to teach high-frequency words. Frequent explicit instruction and opportunities to practice word solving strategies are seen within the Phonics and Word Study parts of the lessons. Students are provided with frequent opportunities to learn, practice, and apply word analysis strategies over the course of the year.

Materials support students’ development to learn grade-level word recognition and analysis skills (e.g apply spelling-sound relationship on common words, decode regularly spelled two-syllable words with long vowels, decode words with common prefixes and suffixes) in connected text and tasks.

  • In Unit 2, Week 1, Day 1, Phonics and Word Study, students engage in a lesson called Transition to Multisyllabic Words. The teacher displays the sound-spelling card for vowel team syllables and reminds students that vowel teams must always stay together in one syllable. The teacher writes the one syllable words in one column and the related multi-syllabic words in another column. Students practice reading the one syllable word and underline the one syllable word within the multi-syllabic word. Students read the multi-syllabic words.
  • In Unit 4, Week 2, Day 2, Phonics and Word Study, students practice building words with word families fear, near, hear, spear, and cheer, sheer, steer.
  • In Unit 7, Week 2, Day 1, Phonics and Word Study, students use five steps to read words.
    • Step 1: Look for the word parts (prefixes) at the beginning of the word.
    • Step 2: Look for the word parts (suffixes) at the end of the word.
    • Step 3: In the base word, look for familiar spelling patterns. Think about the six syllable spelling patterns you have learned.
    • Step 4: Sound out and blend together the word parts.
    • Step 5: Say the word parts fast. Adjust your pronunciation as needed. Ask yourself: “Is it a real word? Does it make sense in the sentence?”

Materials provide frequent opportunities to read irregularly spelled words in connected text and tasks.

  • Students read grade-level high-frequency words within sentences during the Read the Text routine within the Phonics and Word Study portion of the Grade Lessons. In Unit 1, Week 1, Day 3, students apply and review high-frequency word knowledge by reading the story, “King Midas,” in their My Reading and Writing books on page 9. This text has students reviewing and applying knowledge for the high-frequency words for, no, jump, one, have, the. Students whisper read, choral read, and independently read the text.
  • In Unit 5, Week 1, Day 2, Phonics and Word Study, students read Found, a four-paragraph story. The reading contains the high-frequency words: where, is, it, she, as, under, the.
  • In Unit 7, Week 1, Day 3, Phonics and Word Study, students read The Baseball. Some high-frequency words include: last, my, and, I, was, of, on, with, did, had, we, now, then.
  • In Phonics and High-Frequency Word Activity Book, Unit 2, Week 3, students read complete sentences using the appropriate high-frequency words from the word bank: good, near, people, that, under, many, off, right, two, very. Students write their own sentence using each high-frequency word on another sheet of paper. One High-Frequency Word practice sheet is provided for each week.

Lessons and activities provide students many opportunities to learn grade-level word recognition and analysis skills while encoding (writing) in context and decoding words (reading) in connected text and tasks.

  • In Unit 1, Week 1, the phonics focus skill of the week is short vowels, blends, and consonant digraphs. Therefore, during Day 2 of instruction, the decodable Interactive Text, “The Frogs and the Well,” has short vowels, blends, and consonant digraphs. Additionally, the Word Study Read, “Meet Ranger Diaz,” focuses on short vowels, blends, and consonant digraphs.
  • In Unit 2, Week 1, Day 2, the teacher guides students to read words with weekly focus sound long /o/ in Interactive Text, “Lion and Mouse,” in Word Study Resources page 12.
  • In Unit 2, Week 2, Day 5, an activity called Spelling Patterns and Dictation uses the following procedure to check students’ spelling of this week’s words: 1) Say each spelling word and use it in the sentence provided; 2) Have students write the word or the sentence based on time available, and underline the spelling word. Then continue with the next word; 3) When students have finished, collect their papers and analyze their spellings for any misspelled words.
  • In Unit 3, Week 2, Day 3, Phonics and Word Study, students read Community Workers, and the teacher points out the r-controlled vowel ar spelling in the second sentence (hard, smarter). Students read the text as the teacher circulates and listens.
  • In Unit 10, Skills and Strategies contains information that in Week 1 the phonics skills taught are singular and plural possessives. In Week 1, Day 2, in Phonics and Word Study, in a Reread Interactive Text lesson students read Lemonade. The text contains singular possessives.

Indicator 1s

Materials support ongoing and frequent assessment to determine student mastery and inform meantingful differentiantion of foundational skills, including a clear and specific protocol as to how students performing below standard on these assessments will be supported.
4/4
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 2 meet the criteria for materials supporting ongoing and frequent assessment to determine student mastery and inform meaningful differentiation of foundational skills, including a clear and specific protocol as to how students performing below standard on these assessments will be supported.

Materials provide resources and tools to collect ongoing data about students’ progress towards mastery in phonics. Materials contain information about students’ current skill level of understanding of phonics. Word recognition and analysis assessment opportunities occur primarily in Phonics Cumulative Assessments. Additionally, materials include Quick Checks designed to pinpoint a students’ current word recognition and analysis ability. Instructional suggestions for intervention are provided based on student assessment results. Fluency is assessed in Oral Reading Records found in Informal Assessments and through Fluency Quick Checks. Fluency Quick Checks and Oral Reading Records both provide teachers and students with information about the students’ current skills and level of fluency. Materials also include a Year-Long Assessment plan.

Assessment opportunities are provided over the course of the year in core materials for students to demonstrate progress toward mastery and independence of foundational skills.

  • In Units 1-10, Additional Resources, Phonics Cumulative Assessments are provided and referenced in each unit. The assessments include reading and writing of weekly phonics skills. The assessments include a Sound Recognition and Spelling assessment to be given at the end of the unit. The assessment includes a Word Fluency portion to be given to five to six students at the end of the week. The teacher is to ensure all students are tested once per month.
  • In Grade 2 Intervention: Teacher Guides, materials contained 80 Phonics and Word Recognition Quick Checks and 10 High Frequency Words Quick Checks. The Phonics and Word Recognition Quick Check says that skills may be assessed at any time and in any sequence based on what is happening in classroom instruction, and there is no need to follow the sequence of the skills as they are ordered in the book.
  • In Weekly and Unit Assessments, Overview, page iii, Unit Assessments include five foundational skills items which include phonics, syllabication and high-frequency words.
  • In Assessments, Informal Assessments provide information on the Level Screener which contains a passage and a comprehension question to give a quick view of a student’s reading level and help the teacher determine where to begin with the more detailed assessment of the Oral Reading Records. The Informal Assessments provide an overview of Oral Reading Records, which include teacher observations, the recording of reading behaviors, and an analysis of miscues. Oral Reading Records are to be administered to students individually to evaluate reading behaviors, guide teacher instruction, check text difficulty, and document and monitor student progress. A recording system is provided for recording errors and miscues, which include reading behaviors, such as accurate reading, substitutions, omissions, insertions, repetitions, self corrections, and use of visual cues. Oral Reading Records forms are provided for reading levels A through N. A Rating Scale sheet is provided to assess reading phrasing, fluency, intonation, pace, and accuracy. In Section 1, Scheduling Assessments, it is suggested to assess at the beginning and end the year and to schedule an individual literacy conference with each student every month.
  • In K-6 Fluency Quick Checks, the Introduction provides the information that Fluency Quick Checks may be used to evaluate oral reading accuracy, reading rate, comprehension, and fluency. The teacher may decide to assess one or all of the components with a single assessment. In Grade 2, the Lexile levels range from 360-530 and the passages include 90-150 words. In Directions for Administering Assessments, it is recommended for the teacher to assess students at least three times a year: at the beginning, middle, and end of the year. However, Grade 2 contains 10 passages to provide follow up assessments for students needing additional instruction or practice.

Assessment materials provide teachers and students with some information of students’ current skills/level of understanding.

  • In Units 1-10, Additional Resources, the Phonics Cumulative Assessments provide recording sheets which list the number of words provided to create percentages, and it contains a section for comments.
  • In Weekly and Unit Assessments, Overview, page vii, the following information is provided for using the information from Weekly Assessments: Week 1 and 2 Assessments are observational assessments formative information and are scored as ‘always’, ‘sometimes’ and ‘not yet’.
  • The Grade 2 Intervention: Teacher Guides include 10 High-Frequency Word Quick Checks within the Phonics and Word Recognition Quick Check document. Additionally, there are 80 Quick Checks for other word analysis skills. These Quick Checks help to provide information concerning students’ current skill/level of understanding with word recognition and word analysis skills.
  • In Assessments, Informal Assessments, Overview of Oral Reading Records, it provides scoring information on the reading error rate, percentage of accuracy and self correction rate, along with a table to determine the student’s reading proficiency level of a text: Independent, Instructional, and Frustrational. For example, an Error rate between 1:100-1:20 and an Accuracy percentage between 99-95 indicates an Independent proficiency, whereas an Error rate between 1:9-1:2 and an Accuracy percentage between 89-50 indicates a Frustrational proficiency.
  • In Fluency Quick Checks, in Directions for Administering Oral Reading Fluency Assessments, a Reading Rate Goal (words per minute) table is provided which lists beginning-, middle-, and end-of-year goals per grade level. There is an oral fluency rubric provided which includes elements of phrasing, intonation, and expression. It provides the information that if a student’s scores one or two in the rubric, they have not achieved an appropriate level of fluency for the passage. If a student scores four in the rubric, they have achieved reading fluency for the level of the passage.
  • In Unit 2, Week 2, Day 1, an activity called Spelling Patterns Quick Check uses the following procedure to check students’ spelling of this week’s words: 1) Say each spelling word; 2) Read the sentence and say the word again; 3) Have students write the word; 4) After the pretest, write each word as you say the letter names; 5) Have students check their work.

Materials support teachers with some instructional adjustments to help students make progress toward mastery in foundational skills.

  • In Units 1-10, Additional Resources, it is suggested to use the Phonics Cumulative Assessments to determine which spellings to practice. Recommendations are made to analyze errors for patterns to inform small groups or spiral reviews.
  • In Weekly and Unit Assessments, Overview, Weekly Assessments, the materials state students should show progress from week one to week two. If the student is not showing progress it may indicate the need for further observation and individualized assistance. The Weekly Assessments can be used to plan for instruction the following week or during the next unit.
  • In the Grade 2 Intervention tab, the Teacher Guide Phonics and Word Recognition Quick Check document includes an introduction resource that explains the five Quick Checks, which are designed to evaluate student understanding in key skill and knowledge areas. The teacher can use students’ performances on Quick Checks to inform their decision of when to implement intervention. The teacher should use the Resource Map in the beginning of every Quick Check book to pinpoint the intervention lesson(s) that focus on the skill(s) assessed in each Quick Check test.
  • In Unit 8, Additional Resources, Word Fluency Procedure is listed and has a “How to Use the Information” section with examples such as “analyze student errors for patterns that can inform small group instruction or spiral review.”

Indicator 1t

Materials, questions, and tasks provide high-quality lessons and activities that allow for differentiation of foundational skills.
4/4
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 2 meet the criteria for materials, questions, and tasks providing high-quality lessons and activities that allow for differentiation of foundational skills, so all students achieve mastery of foundational skills.

Materials provide opportunities for small group reteaching during the daily Phonics and Word Study portion of the lessons, as well as during any additional intervention lessons. In the Additional Resources Access and Equity document, there is guidance to the teacher for scaffolding and adapting lessons and activities to support students reading, writing, speaking, or listening below grade level. Some lessons provide Check to See text boxes, which advise the teacher that if students have difficulty with lessons, use strategies found in the small-group lessons to provide additional support. Support for ELL students is found in general guidance in the Access and Equity document, comparative analysis of languages in the Contrastive Analysis of English and Nine World Language document, and specific lesson supports labeled Integrated ELD supports within each lesson. Lessons in the Teacher Resource System contain activities that have an iELD indicator reflecting they provide an opportunity for focusing on ELD support. Language transfer support is provided in Small Group lessons, which provides information on the transferability of phonemes and graphemes from other languages.

Materials provide high-quality learning lessons and activities for every student to reach mastery of foundational skills.

  • In Unit 1, Week 1, Day 4, Phonics and Word Study, students practice decoding multisyllabic words. Students build -ing words jumping, standing, trusting, hunting, asking with letter cards or syllable cards made from index cards, and students write the words.
  • In Unit 2, Week 2, Day 3, the Read the Text: Decode routine guides students through a text, “Bee and Daisy.” The teacher reads the text aloud, pointing out the long /e/ spellings in the story. Students whisper-read the text. The teacher models how to blend decodable words and reads other high-frequency words. Students reread the text. The teacher guides the students through choral reading of the text.
  • In Unit 3, Week 1, Day 4, Phonics and Word Study, in a read of “Vote for Lulu” the teacher has students whisper-read and provides modeling for how to blend decodable words and read high-frequency words students are struggling with. The teacher has students reread those sentences from the beginning, then guides students through a choral-read.
  • In Unit 5, Week 2, Day 1, Phonics and Word Study, the teacher gives a lesson on multi-syllabic words. The teacher has students read one-syllable words and guides them in reading multi-syllabic words. The teacher is provided modeling to circle the suffixes in the multi-syllabic words and uses those words in a sentence. Students chorally read the words blending the sounds and word parts.
  • In Unit 9, Week 3, Day 2, Phonics and Word Study, students practice blending sounds and saying the words wrote, write, wrist, lamb, limb, climb, comb in a word blending lesson.

Materials provide guidance to teachers for scaffolding and adapting lessons and activities to support each student’s needs.

  • The Accommodating Students with Special Needs Throughout the Literacy Block resource is found within the same Access and Equity document. This document outlines the literacy block component, lesson activities to support through accommodations, disabilities that affect oral language, disabilities that affect decoding, disabilities that affect reading comprehension, disabilities that affect written expression, and accommodations for advanced learners. One example of how to support students below grade level during the Interactive Read-Aloud is to “have students express ideas by developing drawings or selecting from premade photos or visuals.”
  • In Unit 1, Additional Resources tab, a document called Access and Equity outlines how teachers can scaffold and adapt lessons and activities to support below grade level students. The Access and Equity document says that Benchmark Advanced is designed to support teachers in meeting the needs of all learners through systematic, evidence-based methods that offer opportunities to individualize and/or customize learning through ongoing assessment and progress monitoring, flexible grouping, and scaffolding. This document says that you should do four things to plan, deliver, and assess instruction for the students with disabilities in your class:
    • 1. Get to know your students with disabilities as individuals.
    • 2. Utilize the Individual Education Program (IEP) or 504 Plan.
    • 3. Build collaboration between the general education and special education teachers.
    • 4. See Accommodating Students with Special Needs Throughout the Literacy Block to learn more about how to differentiate instruction using the specially designed features in Benchmark Advance.
  • In Unit 3, Week 1, Day 1, Phonics and Word Study, in Small Group and Independent Practice, support is provided for checking the transferability of phonemes and graphemes with long /u/ from other languages.
  • In Unit 4, Week 2, Day 3, Phonics and Word Study, the Read the Text: Decode lesson has an iELD indicator reflecting it provides an opportunity for focusing on ELD support. The teacher points out r-controlled spellings in the reading and students whisper read. The teacher models decoding words and reading high-frequency words and has students reread from the beginning.
  • In Unit 6, Week 3, Day 3, Extended Read 2, an Integrated ELD box is provided with three levels of support suggestions: Light, Moderate, and Substantial Support. The Constructive Conversation: Small Peer Group lesson taught on Day 3 also has an iELD indicator, reflecting it provides an opportunity for focusing on ELD support.
  • In Unit 8, Week 2, Day 3, Phonics and Word Study, the iELD Supporting English Language Development box provides the following for Substantial Support: the teacher creates a two-column chart with -er and -ar words, writes words in each column, reads aloud each word, and guides the student to underline the verb in each word. The teacher guides the students to read the words and use them in a sentence stem provided.
  • In Unit 9, Week 2, Day 1, Phonics and Word Study, in the Blend and Build Words lesson, there is a Check to See notation, which advises the teacher if students have difficulties blending words to use the strategies provided in small-group instruction. The Small-Group lesson includes a Blend and Build Words activity which provides additional practice blending words with schwa.

Students have multiple practice opportunities with each grade level foundational skill component in order to reach mastery.

  • In Grade 2, students have the opportunity for small group reteaching during the Phonics and Word Study portion of the lesson and within the Intervention materials.
  • In Unit 1, Week 3, Day 1, in Phonics and Word Study, a small group activity is provided to reteach and reinforce whole group lessons that teach the focus skill long /a/. For example, in a small group activity, the teacher blends words with long /a/ using an Elkonin box or a work mat for additional practice with long /a/.
  • In Unit 3, Week 3, Day 1, suggestions for small group reteach and reinforce of the whole group mini-lesson include reviewing multi-syllabic r-controlled vowels by building and blending words and partner work.
  • In Unit 4, Week 1, Day 2, suggestions for small group instruction call for blending and building words using Elkonin boxes, writing words, independent practice, and partner work for r-controlled vowels -er, -ir, -or.
  • In Unit 7, Week 1, Day 4, Small Group and Independent Practice contains a high-frequency word activity with the high-frequency words practiced on Days 2 and 3 for additional practice and review.

Gateway Two

Building Knowledge with Texts, Vocabulary, and Tasks

Partially Meets Expectations

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Gateway Two Details

The Benchmark Advance 2021 program is organized by topics and themes with a strong focus on skills. The texts and their related questions and tasks do not consistently form a cohesive whole designed to grow students’ knowledge and vocabulary in service of comprehension of texts. Opportunities to analyze topics and ideas within and across texts are found in all units. Most culminating tasks provide students the opportunity to demonstrate comprehension and knowledge of a topic or topics. Materials lack a formal vocabulary plan for the year. The program provides a full course of writing instruction. Research skills are taught across the course of the year. Independent reading supports are included in the materials.

Criterion 2a - 2h

Materials build knowledge through integrated reading, writing, speaking, listening, and language.
26/32
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Criterion Rating Details

The Benchmark Advance 2021 program is organized by topics and themes across its ten units. However, the texts within a unit do not always form a cohesive set designed to grow students’ knowledge and vocabulary in service of comprehension of texts. While the questions and tasks in the units examine the language, key ideas, craft, and structure of texts, the overwhelming focus is on individual skills rather than serving to support comprehension. Opportunities to analyze topics and ideas within and across texts are found in all units. Most culminating tasks provide students the opportunity to demonstrate comprehension and knowledge of a topic or topics. The materials lack a formal vocabulary plan for the year.

The program provides a full course of writing instruction with detailed lessons and opportunities for practice for students to grow their skills over the course of the year.

Research skills are taught across the course of the year to grow student skills through the Inquiry and Research projects.

The materials include a plan and support for independent reading throughout the year.

Indicator 2a

Texts are organized around a topic/topics to build students knowledge and vocabulary which will over time support and help grow students' ability to comprehend complex texts independently and proficiently.
2/4
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 2 partially meet the expectations of Indicator 2a.

Each unit contains a new topic or theme for each of the 10 units, with each lasting three weeks for a total of 15 days. Across all grades, there is vertical alignment, meaning each grade has a similar topic or theme that appears at each grade level. Publisher documentation indicates the general topics are science, social studies, technology, literature, social-emotional learning, and culture. However, there is not always consistent vocabulary or content that repeats across texts within a unit, therefore reducing the impact of exploring a single topic for three weeks. Additionally, the focus of most questions and tasks is on building comprehension skills and understanding the parts and structures of texts with little emphasis on the content contained therein.

Examples of texts that are connected by a grade-level appropriate topic (rather than a theme) include, but are not limited to:

  • In Unit 1, the unit topic is life-science focused: “Plants and Animals in their Habitats” and the Essential Question is “How do living things get what they need to survive?”. In Week 1, Day 1, the teacher and students read the text, “Emperor Penguin Habitat.” In Week 2, Day 2, the teacher and students read the Extended Read text, “Habitats Around the World.” In Week 3, Day 4, the teacher and students read the Extended Read text, “Filiberto in the Valley,” which is an animal fantasy text about a mouse who explores a new habitat. While these texts all consider animal habitats, there are not clear connections made among them to support students in building knowledge about the Essential Question and related vocabulary.
  • In Unit 3, the unit topic is “Government at Work” and the Essential Question for the unit is “Why do we need a government?”. In Week 1, the Phonics and Word Study Mini-Lessons include a book called “Vote for Lulu.” The Week 1 Reading and Vocabulary Mini-Lesson Extended Read includes “Can You Sew a Flag, Betsy Ross?” The Week 2 text, “Our Government’s Laws,” is used during a Reading and Vocabulary Mini-Lesson, and “Getting a Message to General Washington” is a Reading and Vocabulary Mini-Lesson. While loosely connected, the texts do not form a cohesive unit.
  • In Unit 5, the unit topic is “Solving Problems through Technology” and the unit Essential Question is “Where do ideas for inventions come from?”. In Week 1, Day 1, students read the Close Read text, “Women with a Vision” by Roman Karst, which is about the inventor of windshield wipers. In Week 2, Day 3, students read the Extended Read text, “Two Famous Inventors” by Margaret McNamara. In Week 3, Day 5, students read “Eletelephony,” a poem by Laura E. Richards about an elephant using a telephone. The texts work together to demonstrate the idea of inspiration for innovation.
  • In Unit 7, the unit topic is “Investigating the Past” and the unit Essential Question is “How does understanding the past shape the future?”. During Week 1, Day 2, the Short Read text is “The Oregon Trail.” During Week 2, Day 4, the Extended Read text is “Primary Sources” by Margaret McNamara. During Week 3, Day 5, the Poetry Out Loud poem is “Crazy Boys” by Beverly McLoughland. While each text addresses history, not all texts address the Essential Question nor do they work together to build vocabulary and content knowledge.
  • In Unit 8, the unit topic is “Wind and Water Change Earth” and the Essential Question is “How do we react to changes in nature?”. In Week 1, Day 2, the teacher and students read the Short Read text, “Tornado!” In Week 2, Day 1, the teacher and students read the Extended Read text, “Earth’s Changes.” In Week 3, Day 4, the teacher and students read the Extended Read text, “Bonita Springs Debates Its Future,” which details a town’s options to address coastal flooding. These texts work together to help students answer questions about the human response to events or changes in nature.
  • In Unit 9, the unit topic is “Buyers and Sellers” and the Essential Question is “How do the goods we make, buy, and sell connect us?”. During this unit, students learn about resources, supply, and demand. In Week 1, Day 3, students read the Short Read text, “From Tree to Baseball Bat” by Matt Smith, which is about how baseball bats are made. In Week 2, Day 2, students read the Extended Read text, “From Pine Tree to Pizza Box,” a story about trees being natural resources. In Week 3, Day 3, students read the Extended Read text, “Cherokee Art Fair” by Traci Sorell, which is about creating and selling traditional bead necklaces at an art fair. While the texts all relate to the creation of goods, there is not enough context for students to build and connect ideas among the texts themselves.
  • In Unit 10, the unit topic is “States of Matter” and the Essential Question is “How can matter change?”. During Week 1, Day 2, the Word Study Read is “Lemonade;” the Short Read is called “The Art of Origami” by Sarah Brien; and the Extended Read is “Matter Changes in Many Ways” by Jay Brewster.

Examples of texts that are connected by a theme rather than a topic include, but are not limited to:

  • In Unit 2, the theme is ”Characters Facing Challenges” and the Essential Question is “What can we learn when we face problems?”. In this literary unit, students read a variety of fiction texts—fairy tale, fable, realistic fiction—and focus on how characters overcome a problem. In Week 1, Day 2, the students do a close read of “The Foolish Milkmaid,” a fable by Aesop. In Week 2, Day 4–5, students read and annotate the Close Read “Yeh-Shen,” a Chinese folktale by Yuanyuan Gu. In Week 3, Day 2, students do a close read of “Great Girls’ Contest” by Mattie Harper.
  • In Unit 4, the theme is “Many Characters, Many Points of View” and the Essential Question is “How can a story change depending on who tells?”. In Week 1, Day 2, the teacher and students read the Short Read text, “The Blind Men and the Elephant.” In Week 2, Day 3, the teacher and students read the Extended Read text, “Stone Soup.” In Week 3, Day 1, the teacher and students read the Extended Read text, “The Stone Garden.”
  • In Unit 6, the unit theme is “Tales to Live By” and the Essential Question is “What can different cultures teach us?”. Students read folktales throughout the unit. During the Phonics and Word Study Mini-Lessons, students read “Hansel and Gretel.” During the Reading and Vocabulary Mini-Lesson, Short Read 1, students read “The Village of the Moon Rain.” During Small Group Reading, students read “The Pictures of My Grandfather” and “The Turtle and the Tiger.”

Indicator 2b

Materials contain sets of coherently sequenced questions and tasks that require students to analyze the language (words/phrases), key ideas, details, craft, and structure of individual texts in order to make meaning and build understanding of texts and topics.
2/4
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 2 partially meet the expectations of Indicator 2b.

Units contain a variety of questions and tasks. During every session of the whole group reading, students answer text-dependent questions. Students perform increasingly complex tasks and answer more complex questions both in groups and independently. Most tasks associated with texts are completed during independent reading time later in the day. Tasks are often repetitive and lack complexity. By the end of the year, the following components are embedded in students’ work rather than taught directly: language, word choice, key ideas, details, structure, craft.

Examples of questions and tasks that lead students to examine words/phrases and/or word choice include, but are not limited to:

  • In Unit 2, Week 3, Day 5, the Poetry Out Loud! text is “Since Hanna Moved Away” by Judith Viorst. The teacher reads aloud the poem and models how to find figurative language. The teacher creates a “How to Find Figurative Language” anchor chart. During Guided Practice, partners read the next part of the poem and annotate examples of hyperbole and simile. Students share how they found the figurative language with the class. There is no independent task for finding figurative language associated with this lesson.
  • In Unit 6, Week 3, Day 5, students engage in a Poetry Out Loud! reading of “Be Glad Your Nose Is On Your Face” by Jack Prelutsky and discuss how the author uses alliteration and humor in this poem. The teacher asks partners to read stanzas four and five on pages 28–29 and annotate for alliteration and humor. Students reference the Features of Poetry Anchor Chart to help them recognize alliteration.
  • In Unit 7, Week 3, Day 5, students learn how to describe how figurative language and imagery supply meaning in the poem “Crazy Boys” by Beverly McLoughland. The teacher reads the poem and explains that poets use imagery to help the reader imagine how something looks, feels, tastes, smells, or sounds. Next, the teacher rereads the poem and guides students to look for imagery. The teacher also explains figurative language, such as similes. The teacher refers students to previously created figurative language and imagery anchor charts from Units 2 and 4. During Guided Practice, students work in pairs to reread the poem. The students identify examples of imagery and then think of their own examples of figurative language that could be added to the poem. During independent time, students reread the poem with a partner. Students may also listen and read along with an audio recording of the poem.
  • In Unit 9, Week 1, Day 2, the materials address the following student learning target: "Describe the connection between a series of steps in a technical process." A question includes, "Which words does the author use to help you understand the sequence of steps in making a baseball bat?"

Examples of questions and tasks that lead students to examine key ideas and details, structure, and craft include, but are not limited to:

  • In Unit 2, Week 2, Day 5, the Extended Read is “Yeh-Shen” by Yuanyuan Gu. Students respond to the following questions: “Reread paragraphs 1–3. What details tell you more about the stepmother and the stepsister? How does this help you determine the central message of the fairy tale? Underline key details and jot notes in the margin.” Students annotate the text to answer the question with partners. Students share their answers with the class. For the independent task, students respond to another question about the central message of the text in the “Write: Use Text Evidence” section on page 18 of their workbook.
  • In Unit 3, Week 2, Day 5, students engage in a close reading of two texts, comparing and contrasting key points on the same topic. Students must “reread 'Smoke Jumpers' and paragraph 6 of 'Our Government’s Laws' and respond to the following question: 'How are smokejumpers similar to police officers? Underline specific evidence from the text to support your answer.'”
  • In Unit 5, Week 1, Day 2, the learning target is as follows: "Identify the main topic and key details of a text." Students read “A Woman with Vision” and complete the following task: "Reread the title and paragraphs 1–2. What is the main topic of this selection? What is the main focus of each paragraph? What key details help you?"
  • In Unit 7, Week 1, Day 5, students practice describing a connection between a series of events using the Short Read text, “Ranch Flyer.” Students work in small groups to reread the text and discuss a text-based prompt. The prompt asks students to describe the sequence of events of the character’s plane ride in the text. During independent time, the students identify a connection between a series or events in an informational text. Students cite evidence from the text to support their answers. The Teacher Edition does not specify a specific text or text options, nor does it indicate whether or not the students are to choose their own text.
  • In Unit 10, Week 1, Day 5, students practice using text features to locate information using the Short Read text, “Sand Sculpture.” The teacher reviews and defines text features for students. Then, students work in small groups to discuss their answers to the following text-based question: “How does the caption on page 6 provide additional information about sand sculptures?” During independent time, students locate key information using captions in a leveled informational text of their choice. Students explain how the image and its caption contribute to and clarify the text. Students annotate the text on a separate piece of paper. However, the Teacher Edition does not specify whether the students write or discuss their explanations.

Indicator 2c

Materials contain a coherently sequenced set of text-dependent questions and tasks that require students to analyze the integration of knowledge and ideas across both individual and multiple texts.
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 2 meet the expectations of Indicator 2c.

Some designated questions and tasks support students’ analysis of knowledge and ideas across a text(s). By the end of the year, integrating knowledge and ideas is embedded in students’ work (via tasks and/or culminating tasks).

Sets of questions and tasks that provide opportunities to analyze within single texts include, but are not limited to:

  • In Unit 2, Week 1, Day 3, students determine the central message of the Short Read, “The Foolish Milkmaid.” Students answer the following questions: “In paragraph 2, what key details support the idea that Molly is thinking too far ahead? How would you summarize what the author wants the reader to learn from the story? Think about the essential question: ‘What can we learn when we face problems?’ What could Molly learn by facing her problems?”
  • In Unit 5, the Introduction page lists the unit topic as “famous and lesser-known inventors and their important inventions.” In Unit 5, Week 1, Day 3, the text used is “A Woman with Vision.” Questions that provide opportunities for students to analyze the text are: “What does the author want to describe in paragraph 1? What important points does the author make in paragraph 2? What reasons does the author give to support those points in paragraph 2? How do the images support the points? What is the author’s main purpose for writing this text?”
  • In Unit 6, Week 3, students engage in an extended reading of the text Why the Sky Is Far Away by Eileen Robinson and write a summary that they can use to synthesize information from the text to find a new understanding of what they think is happening. Questions to support this task include: “Why did the sky become angry? How did the people change?”
  • In Unit 7, Week 3, Day 4, students practice describing a connection between a series of events using the Extended Read text, “A Dinosaur Named SUE.” The students work together in groups to reread the text and discuss a Close Reading prompt that the Teacher Edition classifies as a Level 3 Depth of Knowledge task. The Close Reading prompt says, “Review the journal entries for August 11th and 12th. Describe the series of events that lead to the discovery of the bones.” During independent time, students answer another text-based question, “Review the journal entries for August 14th–September 1st. What events had to happen for SUE to make it to the museum?”
  • In Unit 9, Week 3, students read and analyze “Cherokee Art Fair” for five lessons spanning four days. On Day 1, students read and annotate the text. They discuss key details, key plot events, and conflict of the text. On Day 2, students discuss how illustrations and words contribute to an understanding of the story. They also compare formal and informal language. On Day 3, students determine the meaning of words and phrases in the text. On Day 4, students describe how characters respond to events and challenges in small groups.

Examples of sets of questions and tasks provide opportunities to analyze across multiple texts, include but are not limited to:

  • In Unit 5, Week 3, Day 4, students compare and contrast key points in two texts on the same topic. The texts used are “Two Famous Inventors” by Margaret McNamara and “Robots Go to School” by Kathy Kafer. Students work in small groups to answer the question, “How are Thomas Edison’s inventions of the phonograph and the first movie camera similar to the school robot?”
  • In Unit 6, Week 1, students engage in a short reading of Village of the Moon Rain by Grace Lin and reference a previously read text to address the learning target of summarizing and synthesizing. Directions are as follows: “When you read ‘Can You Sew a Flag, Betsy Ross?’ you practiced summarizing and synthesizing the text. Today, you will be summarizing and synthesizing story events in ‘Village of the Moon Rain’ as you read.”
  • In Unit 9, Week 2, Day 5, a learning target for the lesson is “demonstrate understanding by comparing and contrasting steps in procedures in two texts.” Questions include: “Reread paragraphs 2–4 in ‘From Tree to Baseball Bat’ and paragraphs 3–6 in ‘From Pine Tree to Pizza Box.’ How are the steps in making a pizza box similar to the steps in making a baseball bat?” During the independent time, students find connections between a series of steps or events in an informational text.

Indicator 2d

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 2 meet the expectations of Indicator 2d.

Each culminating task or extended writing project incorporates texts from throughout the unit while allowing students to use outside sources as appropriate. Most culminating tasks provide students the opportunity to demonstrate comprehension and knowledge of a topic or topics. Every unit has an Inquiry and Research project and a Unit Reflection with Constructive Conversation that are centered around the Essential Question and unit topic. Students use texts and knowledge gained from the unit in all tasks including writing tasks. Each week contains texts, writing tasks, and discussions leading to the culminating tasks for the unit. Additionally, a pacing chart for the project assigns student goals with teacher support (along with project rubrics) to assess students’ work on the project.

Culminating tasks are provided and they are multifaceted, requiring students to demonstrate mastery of several different standards (reading, writing, speaking, and listening) at the appropriate grade level. Examples include, but are not limited to:

  • In Unit 4, the Essential Question is “How can a story change depending on who tells it?” and the unit topic is “Many Characters, Many Points of View.” One culminating writing task for the unit is a diary entry from the point of view of a villager from the story “Stone Soup.” Students write a narrative over Weeks 2 and 3. In Week 1, students read “Stone Soup” and learn about first person point of view. In Week 2, students review the story and then plan and draft their diary entries. In Week 3, students describe feelings in writing and revise and share their diary entries.
  • In Unit 5, students complete one three-week opinion writing task. The teacher provides students with prompts to generate discussion as students come up with their ideas for their opinion text related to the unit topic: “Think of an invention that has affected your life or a scientific discovery that you think is important. Draw from your own experience to form an opinion.” Students share with partners and with the class. The culminating activity is to publish their text using a computer to type it, considering margins, font, readability, and images.
  • In Unit 7, Week 3, Day 5, students practice listening and speaking in another culminating task. In this task, students participate in Constructive Conversations about the accomplishments of people in the past and how their accomplishments affect people today. The teacher reviews expectations for Constructive Conversations and, with two students, models stating an idea, clarifying it, and supporting and building it up. The teacher also reminds students to use facts, key details, and examples from their close-reading texts, their independent reading, and their own life when participating in Constructive Conversations.
  • In Unit 8, the Inquiry and Research project is about forces of nature. Students pick a force of nature from one of the unit texts then find other sources about the force of nature. Students research the force of nature and how it affects the natural world. The project is three weeks long. After researching, students plan a written and/or digital presentation and present to the class.
  • In Unit 9, students participate in a Constructive Conversation on the topic “how people make, trade, and buy and sell things in the past and today,” in reference to the text Buyers and Sellers. This conversation introduces an additional element than what was used in Unit 5. In addition to the previous steps of the Constructive Conversation, now students evaluate and compare different ideas that have been presented or generated in the discussion. During the conversation, students “support their ideas with details from the anchor texts, their own reading, or personal experiences.” At the end, a few students share how they used the Constructive Conversation strategies in their conversations. The teacher encourages students to use these strategies in other important conversations.
  • In Unit 10, Week 3, Day 5, students practice listening and speaking in another culminating task. In this task, students participate in Constructive Conversations about how matter can change. Specifically, students focus their conversations on responding to the question, ”Why is it important to study the different states of matter?” The teacher reviews expectations for Constructive Conversations and reminds students to support opinions with text evidence. The students conduct their Constructive Conversations in pairs. The teacher selects students to share the highlights of their conversation with the whole class.

Indicator 2e

Materials include a cohesive, year-long plan for students to interact with and build key academic vocabulary words in and across texts.
2/4
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 2 partially meet the expectations of Indicator 2e.

There is no evidence of a formal vocabulary plan for the year. Few of the academic words are included in the questions or activities. Attention is directed to vocabulary essential to understanding the text and to high-value academic words. Although vocabulary for Tier 2 and Tier 3 words are listed by the curriculum, they are often not introduced or are only discussed once, limiting the opportunities for students to integrate them into their own vocabulary. Vocabulary instruction is designed to include three to five words from each selection. The words identified as central to the entire unit are not consistently introduced or assessed and are inconsistently distributed throughout the unit. Often, synonyms are used instead of the unit words. Although there are vocabulary routines for teachers to use, there are no specific examples for the words for each unit or text. Sidebars within teacher resource guides give more information for vocabulary but are meant to be used as interventions, not for whole-group instruction. The My Reading and Writing workbooks contain vocabulary but it is not vocabulary from the weekly reading. Weekly Assessments contain an informal observation rubric for vocabulary usage on a three-point scale.

In Additional Resources, there are two vocabulary routines for teachers. The Define/Example/Ask routine is used to introduce new words to students. “It provides a student-friendly definition, connects the word to students’ experiences, and asks students to use the word in speaking to check understanding.” The Ask section contains a sentence frame for students to complete to check for understanding. The Academic Vocabulary Routine is cited by the materials as being “especially strong for English learners and can be used to extend vocabulary after the initial Define/Example/Ask introduction.” It involves three steps: 1. Introduction of the word, 2. Verbal Practice, and 3. Written Practice. Students give the definition of words in their own words and create pictures to go with the words.

Examples of vocabulary repeated in contexts include, but are not limited to:

  • In Unit 1, Week 1, Day 1, the class discusses the meanings of the words, habitat, shelter, adapt. The teacher also uses the Define/Example/Ask routine to introduce vocabulary for the text “Emperor Penguin Habitat” Tier 2 words include the following: thick, harshest, fragile, balanced, huddle, covered, waterproof, survive. Tier 3 words are as follows: emperor, blubber, habitats, harsh, chicks. On Day 2, the class uses context clues in the text to determine the meaning of survive, blubber, fragile, balanced, huddle.
  • In Unit 2, Week 2, Day 1, the text used is “Yeh-Shen.” The lesson specifies the use of the Define/Example/Ask vocabulary routine during the Preview section of the lesson. The teacher reads the vocabulary throughout the lesson as the text is used. The Vocabulary Development document lists multiple Tier 2 and Tier 3 words found in this text. The teacher uses the vocabulary routine and graphic organizers from Additional Resources to introduce the words.
  • In Unit 4, Week 2, Day 1, the teacher uses the Define/Example/Ask routine to introduce vocabulary for the text,“Stone Soup.” Tier 2 words include: originated, reached, spare, delicious, classic, village, poor, treat, magician, whispered, velvet, gathered, approached, smacked, and begged. The Tier 3 word is folktale. While reading, the teacher does not discuss the vocabulary. On Day 2, students describe the characters and setting of the story (village/villagers) but are never directed to use vocabulary.
  • In Unit 8, Week 3, Day 1, the teacher uses the Define/Example/Ask routine to introduce vocabulary for the text “Naples Daily Tidings.” Tier 2 words include the following: bob, drain, plenty, absorb, banks, mold, swamp, dredge, rubbish, developers, population, debate, wetlands. Tier 3 words are as follows: Imperial River, Everglades, Bonita Springs, Hurricane Irma, Gulf of Mexico, meteorologist. During the reading, the class discusses the meaning of dredge. On Day 3, the class rereads the text and discusses the meaning of banks as a multiple-meaning word. Then they complete the Texts for Close Reading, which includes a vocabulary activity for the words absorb, bob, drain, plenty.
  • In Unit 10, Week 1, Day 4, the teacher uses the Define/Example/Ask routine to introduce Tier 2 words before the shared reading of “Sand Sculpture.” Words include sculptors, sculptures, competitions, compete, construction, crumble, carve, stunning, slippery, stack, smooth, scrapers, creations. The word sculptors is also used in the Short Read, “Sand Sculpture.” That same day, students learn about writing acrostic poems. The teacher models how to evaluate ideas, narrow the focus for the poems, evaluate the topic of sculptures for the shared poem. For example, as part of the modeling, the teacher states: “My first word is sculptures. I have read a lot about sand sculptures, and I am really interested in this topic. I’ll write ‘yes’ in the first column.”

Examples of vocabulary repeated across multiple texts include, but are not limited to:

  • In Unit 1, the Speaking and Listening Unit vocabulary is habitat, adapt, living things, shelter, survive, nature. The word habitat is used often in the texts in Unit 1. Several texts also use the word survive. The other words are not used in individual whole group texts. Most small group texts for Unit 1 do not contain any vocabulary words. The Small Group text Working at the Zoo contains the vocabulary words blubber, hatch, chicks, habitat; these words also appear in the text “Emperor Penguin Habitat.” The word burrow appears in Working at the Zoo and “Postcards from Alex.”
  • In Unit 4, most of the vocabulary does not repeat across multiple texts. The Reader’s Theater “Word Plays” does have narrator from the unit word list and the word knight is also in the text “Read to Me.” The “Grass is Always Greener” Reader’s Theater also contains narrator. The Small Group texts for Unit 4 do not have any vocabulary in common.
  • In Unit 7, Week 1, Day 1, the teacher plays the unit video as an introduction to the unit. The teacher instructs students to use audio and video clues to determine the meanings of the domain-specific words history and document. In Unit 7, Week 2, students encounter the words history and document again in the Extended Read, “Primary Sources.”
  • In Unit 8, the texts “Water’s Awesome Wonder”, “Earth’s Changes”, and “Earth’s Changing Mountains” contain the vocabulary word erosion, which is a Speaking and Listening Unit vocabulary word. The Small Group text, “Rock Erosion,” also has the word erosion. “Earth’s Changing Mountains” and “Naples Daily Tidings” both include the word swamps. “Water’s Awesome Wonder” and “Earth’s Changes” both include weathering.
  • In Unit 10, students encounter the word sculpture in two texts, the Short Read, “Sand Sculpture,” and the Extended Read, “Crazy Horse Memorial.”

Examples of how vocabulary is integrated into reading, speaking, and writing tasks include, but are not limited to:

  • In Unit 2, Week 2, Day 2 the text is “Yen-Shen.” There is a vocabulary mini-lesson that uses the strategy of distinguishing shades of meaning of verbs to determine their meaning. The strategy is introduced, modeled, and practiced collaboratively before students use the strategy independently. Students listen, speak, and write about vocabulary in this lesson.
  • In Unit 4, students read “How Beetle Got His Gorgeous Coat” and discuss the meanings of boasted and unique. Then in the Texts for Close Reading book, as students complete the Build Vocabulary section, they write definitions of admired, receive, gorgeous, versions in their own words and write a sentence for each word. For writing, students pretend to be Beetle from the story and write a diary entry about how they got their new coat. Students use specific details from the story but are not directed to use specific vocabulary.
  • In Unit 5, Week 2, Day 2, the text is “Robots Go To School.” There is a vocabulary mini-lesson that uses the strategy of close reading to determine the meaning of unknown words. The strategy is introduced, modeled, and practiced collaboratively before students use the strategy independently. Students listen, speak, and write about vocabulary in this lesson.
  • In Unit 7, Week 2, Day 2, the students practice distinguishing shades of meaning among related adjectives in the Extended Read, “Primary Sources.” The teacher guides students in analyzing the words good, excellent, and wonderful; main, important, and major.
  • In Unit 8, students read “Water’s Awesome Wonder” with the vocabulary word weathering. On Week 1, Day 4, the teacher uses the Define/Example/Ask routine to introduce the vocabulary in the text. Then the class discusses the meaning of weathering and erosion. In the Texts for Close Reading book, students write in response to the following question: “How do the photos in 'Water’s Awesome Wonder' help you understand the process of weathering?"
  • In Unit 10, Week 2, Day 2, the students practice using root words to determine the meaning of unknown words in the Extended Read, “Matter Changes in Many Ways.” The teacher models the strategy with the word returns. During Guided Practice, students work with partners to analyze the words container, smaller, tightly, and transformed. During independent time, the teacher instructs the students to create “word equations” to show how analyzing word parts can help them determine the meaning of new words. The example provided is “root word + ending or suffix = new word.” Another word equation is “prefix + root word = new word.” For example, “cool + ed = cooled.”

Indicator 2f

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 2 meet the expectations of Indicator 2f.

Materials include a year’s worth of writing instruction aligned to the standards for the grade level that provide both depth and breadth of writing instruction and practice. The materials include well-designed lesson plans covering a variety of genres, both process and on-demand writing, and teacher and student protocols. Students receive explicit instruction that guides them through the writing process in Writing Workshops lessons. Lessons also include mentor texts, shared readings, poetry, and short reads that provide students with opportunities to examine the text features of a specific genre and the styles and techniques of authors. The materials include a writing development guide for the grade level as well as writing rubrics. The materials also include a multitude of graphic organizers—Venn diagram, T-Chart, compare/contrast—and rubrics that address content, presentation, and effort and collaboration during Inquiry and Research Projects.

Students engage in writing each day throughout all units. Students are provided with models to support them throughout the unit as their writing grows in sophistication across the year.

Beginning of the year examples include, but are not limited to:

  • In Unit 1, Week 2, Day 2, during the Guided Practice section, the teacher and class co-create a Note-Taking Chart referring to Paragraph 3 of the text, “Habitats Around the World.” During the Independent Writing section, students refer to the text and collect facts and details from the text to use in their writing, using a Note-Taking Chart. Students look at specific paragraphs and captions as well as domain-specific words that they will use in their essays.
  • In Unit 1, students respond to this writing prompt during the unit assessment: ”Where would you be likely to find a chirping frog? Tell what that place is like. Tell why the chirping frog lives there. Use details from ‘Traveling Frogs of Texas’ to support your answer.”
  • In Unit 2, students write an opinion essay in response to a text-based prompt. Initially, instruction includes teacher modeling with anchor charts and the students discuss their prompts and ideas with peers. By the end of Week 3, students draft their introductions and body paragraphs with teacher guidance during the independent writing portion of Writer's Workshop.
  • In Unit 3, students complete one writing task as part of their Unit 3 assessment. Students read the passages, “Will There Be War?” and “A Worker for the People,” and answer questions. The writing task at the end of the assessment states: “You have read two passages about Congress. Write a report about serving in the U.S. Congress. Explain what a person in Congress does. Use details from both passages in your answer.” The writing task also provides additional reminders and directions about planning the report and writing the response in the form of a multi-paragraph essay.

Middle of the year examples include, but are not limited to:

  • In Unit 4, Week 1, Day 3, students write a fictional diary entry as if they were one of the characters in the book, “How the Beetle Got Its Gorgeous Coat.” During the Model portion of the lesson, the teacher uses a Diary Entry Planning Guide that was previously used, and students help to add more information to the chart from the text. During Independent Time, students continue to read the text and fill out the Diary Entry Planning Guide.
  • In Unit 5, students learn about opinion writing and spend three weeks utilizing a Mentor Text, brainstorming their topic and opinion, developing their reasons, and planning and organizing their essays. The teacher guides the students along in the process with anchor charts, modeling, and guided practice which allows the students to collaborate with peers and help with revising their work. Teacher instruction is 50% and student independence is 50%.
  • In Unit 6, students complete a short writing task and an extended writing task as part of the assessment. The students read the passages, “Why the Sun and Moon Live in the Sky” and “Over There and Home Again,” and answer questions. The short writing task states: “You have read two passages, ‘Why the Sun and Moon Live in the Sky’ and ‘Over There and Home Again.’ Think about Sun and Lizard. How are their ideas and views different? Write two or three sentences. Use details from both passages to support your answer.” The writing task at the end of the assessment states: “Think of a time when you visited a different place or met someone different from you. Write a personal narrative telling what happened, where you were, and who was with you. Tell about the events in time order. Follow the conventions of standard written English.” The writing task also provides additional reminders and directions about planning the report and writing the response in the form of a multi-paragraph narrative.
  • In Unit 7, students write narrative nonfiction letters over the course of three weeks to create one finished piece. Students must include a greeting and closing statement. The narrative portion must be a true detailed account of an event or events written in first-person. Details should describe actions, thoughts, and feelings.

End of the year examples include, but are not limited to:

  • In Unit 8, Week 1, Day 2, students take notes as they prepare to write their research report about how “wind and water change Earth.” The teacher models how to use a five-row Research Report-Taking Chart to gather information to use in the report. During the Guided and Independent Practice time, students gather ideas and sources for their writing, but they are not specifically told to use the modeled Research Report-Taking Chart.
  • In Unit 9, students create a multimedia presentation on a topic of their choice. The teacher provides a rubric, an anchor chart, and various opportunities for students to watch and engage in the presentation to identify key features of their topic, such as a map, illustration, and photos.
  • In Unit 10, students complete a short writing task and an extended writing task as part of the assessment. Students read the passages, “Making Snow Globes at Home” and “Making Crystals,” and answer questions. The short writing task states: “Think about the two passages you have read, ‘Making Snow Globes at Home’ and ‘Making Crystals.’ How are the projects in these two passages alike? Write two or three sentences to explain. Use details from both passages to support your answer.” The writing task at the end of the assessment states: “Think about the two passages you have read, ‘Making Snow Globes at Home’ and ‘Making Crystals.’ Think of a time when you or someone you know turned something old into something new. Write a poem telling what happened, where it happened, and who was there. You may use rhyming in your poem if you wish.” The writing task also provides additional reminders and directions about planning the report and writing the response in the form of a multi-stanza poem.

Instructional materials include well-designed lesson plans, models, and protocols for teachers to implement and monitor students’ writing development. Some examples include:

  • The Independent and Small Group Writing and conferring block contain specific guidance for teachers to help students: “Directive feedback, Self-Monitoring and Reflection, and Validating and Confirming.”
  • Writing lessons always have five components: Engage thinking, Model, Prepare for Independent Writing, and Share and Reflect.
  • Grade 2 writing exemplars for the three types of writing—opinion, narrative, informative/explanatory—are available in the Benchmark Online Platform.
  • Each lesson has an accompanying Anchor chart and/or Sample Shared writing and lists the text or Mentor Writing to which the writing lesson refers.
  • In Unit 1, Week 2, Day 2, the Writing lesson is structured as follows: Engage Thinking - one minute; Model - five minutes; Guided Practice - five minutes; Prepare for Independent Writing - two minutes; Share and Reflect - two minutes. The lesson contains clear teacher directions for things to model, questions to ask, and a protocol for taking notes in preparation for student writing.
  • In Unit 2, students complete a Culminating Research and Project Inquiry project during which they spend three weeks deepening their understanding of the unit topic, The Importance of Government. Instructional materials include rubrics for both the teacher and student, and a lesson plan outlining the introduction, exploration, presentation, and three-week pacing chart of the project.
  • In Unit 3, Week 1, Day 1, students learn about the process of writing an informative/explanatory essay. The teacher introduces this type of writing by displaying and distributing an Informative/Explanatory Essay Writing Checklist. This checklist details eight characteristics of a strong informative/explanatory essay. Students refer to this checklist at each step of the writing process in order to evaluate their writing. In this lesson, the students and teacher also read and analyze a Mentor Informative/Explanatory Essay. First, the teacher models how to find evidence of two key features. Next, students work with partners to find more examples of features of an informative/explanatory essay. Then, during independent time, students continue the analysis. Students also write in response to the question, “What are the features of an informative/explanatory essay?”
  • In Unit 4, Week 1, Day 3, the Writing Lesson is structured as follows: Engage Thinking - one minute; Model - five minutes; Guided Practice - five minutes; Prepare for Independent Writing - two minutes; Share and Reflect - two minutes. The lesson contains clear directions for the teacher for things to model, questions to ask, and a protocol for taking notes in preparation for student writing.
  • In Unit 5, the materials include Comprehension Quick Check assessments based on the reading skills taught in the unit. The quick checks consist of informational and literary passages and students submit written answers, short and extended responses. Instructional materials include teacher assessment books and passages to make copies for each student, in addition to answer keys and scoring guides.
  • In Unit 6, Week 1, Day 1, students learn about the process of writing narrative fiction. The teacher introduces this type of writing by displaying and distributing a Narrative Writing Checklist. This checklist details the characteristics of strong narrative fiction. Students refer to this checklist at each step or the writing process in order to evaluate their writing. In this lesson, students also learn about the elements of strong narrative fiction by reading and analyzing the text, “Stone Soup,” which students read in Unit 4. First, the teacher models how to find evidence of key literary elements, including characters, setting, problem, and theme, at the beginning, middle, and end of the text. The teacher uses a three-column chart to list some characteristics and examples from the text. Next, students work with partners to create their own beginning, middle, and end chart. Partners reread “Stone Soup” and identify the events that happen in the middle. Students annotate the text and discuss what they learn about the characters and how the characters start to solve the problem. Then, the teacher brings the class back together to have partners share the events they recorded and discuss how the middle of a story is important. Later, during independent time, students continue the analysis by completing their charts and identifying the solution to the story’s problem and the overall theme.
  • In Unit 8, Week 1, Day 2, the Writing lesson is structured as follows: Engage Thinking - one minute; Model - five minutes; Guided Practice - five minutes; Prepare for Independent Writing - two minutes; Share and Reflect - two minutes. The lesson contains clear directions for the teacher for things to model, questions to ask, and a protocol for taking notes in preparation for student writing.
  • In Unit 9, the materials include Comprehension Quick Check assessments based on the reading skills taught in the unit. The quick checks consist of informational and literary passages and students submit written answers, short and extended responses. Instructional materials include teacher assessment books and passages to make copies for each student, in addition to answer keys and scoring guides.

Indicator 2g

Materials include a progression of focused research projects to encourage students to develop knowledge in a given area by confronting and analyzing different aspects of a topic using multiple texts and source materials.
4/4
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 2 meet the expectations of Indicator 2g.

Research projects are sequenced across a school year to include a progression of research skills. Inquiry and research project tasks are similar throughout the year, but the texts used for research increase in complexity. Materials support teachers in employing projects that develop students’ knowledge on a topic via provided resources. The Teacher Edition contains a resource that outlines the information for the Research and Inquiry Projects. It describes the project’s parameters, guiding questions, student expectations, recommendations for modeling research skills, as well as a detailed pacing guide. The materials also contain separate student and teacher rubrics to guide the projects. Teachers guide students through various writing tasks and culminating tasks that are heavily based on unit materials, with opportunities for students to bring in outside sources and experiences as appropriate. Students complete Inquiry and Research projects for every unit. Students use graphic organizers and find key details from unit texts. Materials provide many opportunities for students to apply Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening, and Language skills to synthesize and analyze per their grade-level readings. All Inquiry and Research projects and writing research tasks contain reading or listening to a text, discussing texts, a writing component, and speaking through discussions and presentations. It should be noted that while there are various graphic organizers used from project to project, there is not a clear progression of increased expectations of research skills throughout the year.

Examples of student opportunities to engage in short (1–2 days) projects across grades and grade bands include, but are not limited to:

  • In Unit 1, Week 1, Day 2, students read “Emperor Penguin Habitat” and annotate the key details in their Texts for Close Reading workbooks.
  • In Unit 2, Week 1, Day 4, using the text, “The Daydreaming Sprinter,” students create a chart that demonstrates connections to self, other text, or world. Students discuss their chart with partners.
  • In Unit 3, Week 1, Days 4–5, students read the unit text, Can You Sew a Flag, Betsy Ross? Over the course of two days, students use text-based questions to explore the characters in the story and how each point of view, or what a character thinks, is different from the other. Working in pairs, students find answers to the questions and detail their responses in their own words, researching supporting evidence annotated from the text.
  • In Unit 6, Week 3, Day 5, students read the poem, Be Glad Your Nose is on Your Face by Jack Prelutsky, and discuss how he uses alliteration and humor in this poem. Students read stanzas four and five on pages 28–29, annotate for alliteration and humor, and incorporate sentence frames when rereading with a partner. Students reference the Features of Poetry anchor chart during this work.
  • In Unit 8, Week 1, Day 3, students learn how to take notes from an illustration or photograph. The teacher uses the Research Report Note-Taking Chart and the illustrated map from the Research Report Mentor text to model taking notes. Then students work with partners to write one detail they learned from the graphics in a different chosen source.
  • In Unit 9, Week 3, Day 3, using the text, “Cherokee Art Fair,” students respond to the following questions: “What does the phrase ‘crack of dawn’ mean in paragraph 13 on page 24? What words in the paragraph help you determine the meaning of ‘crack of dawn?’" Students annotate the text and work with a partner as needed.

Examples of student opportunities to engage in long (3 + days) projects across grades and grade bands include, but are not limited to:

  • In Unit 1, the Inquiry and Research project is about animal habitats. Students pick either wolverine, Komodo dragon, or ground squirrel from one of the unit texts, then find other sources about the animal. Students read to research the habitat of the animal and how the habitat aids survival. Students also discuss why the animal could not live in other habitats discussed in the unit. The project is three weeks long. Students research the animals, plan a written and/or digital presentation, and present to the class.
  • In Unit 2, the three-week Culminating Research and Inquiry Project is related to the unit theme, Explore Variant Tales. Materials include a sample pacing guide for the teacher to guide students in the completion of different tasks each week in preparation for the presentation. Before students complete research using outside sources, teacher guidance states: “[M]odel how to reread and extract information from a Unit text. Then model choosing and evaluating another information source that will help you answer the guiding questions.” Materials do not suggest graphic organizers or tools for student use as they were in previous grades. Students may use “a variety of digital tools” in the presentation of their project. The teacher encourages students to use presentation options, like audio recordings and visual displays, that they may not have considered.
  • In Unit 3, students complete a Culminating Research and Inquiry project to deepen their understanding of the unit topic, The Importance of Government. Students use one or more of the unit texts to read about and research what makes our government important to the people who live in this country. Using guiding questions which address the Essential Question, Cross-Text Analysis, and Enduring Understanding, students then conduct research to gather information from additional sources in order to create and deliver a presentation that demonstrates their knowledge of the unit.
  • In Unit 4, the Inquiry and Research project is about countries and cultures. Students pick either India, Brazil, or France from one of the unit texts then find other sources about the country. Students read to conduct research on the culture of the country and the points of view of the people of the country based on their experiences unique to their country. The project is three weeks long. Students research the country, plan a written and/or digital presentation, and present to the class.
  • In Unit 6, students complete a Culminating Research and Inquiry project in which they read texts by two famous authors, Grace Lin and Jack Prelutsky. Students research these authors and also choose an additional author of interest to them to research. Students combine information from the unit texts with information from additional sources to create and deliver a presentation that demonstrates their knowledge of each author and his or her work.
  • In Unit 7, students engage in a three-week Research and Inquiry Project to deepen their understanding of the unit topic, Investigating the Past. As individuals or small groups, students research one of the topics featured in the unit texts. Students draw on information from the unit texts as well as information from one or more primary sources to create and deliver a presentation that demonstrates their knowledge about the topic. The teacher provides three detailed guiding questions to help students focus their research. The teacher models how to reread and extract information from a unit text. The teacher also models choosing and evaluating other sources and information that help to answer the guiding questions.
  • In Unit 9, the three-week writing task includes a Multimedia Presentation. Each day of the three-week period, students learn about a different component required to complete the multimedia presentation, including steps such as brainstorming the topic, making a storyboard, recounting a sequence of events, adding drawings and visual elements, rehearsing the presentation, and presenting. Each day, students have the opportunity to refer to the mentor presentation and outside sources to build their understanding of the process as well as the content of their presentation. For example, on Week 2, Day 3, students reference the conclusion of the mentor presentation before preparing their own conclusion. Students work on their conclusion using presentation software or chart paper. Finally, students discuss each step of the process daily with a partner for feedback and reflection.
  • In Unit 10, students engage in a three-week Research and Inquiry Project to deepen their understanding of the unit topic, States of Matter. As individuals or in small groups, students research how matter changes from one state, or form, to another. The teacher instructs students to choose one example from the unit texts and one from their research. Students combine information from the unit texts with information from additional sources to create and deliver a presentation that demonstrates their knowledge about changes in matter. The teacher provides three detailed guiding questions to help students focus their research. The teacher models how to reread and extract information from a unit text. The teacher also models choosing and evaluating other sources and information that help to answer the guiding questions.

Indicator 2h

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 2 meet the expectations of Indicator 2h.

Most texts are organized with built-in supports and scaffolds to foster independence. A lot of time is spent on phonics with students reading the same text multiple times. Materials provide support for struggling readers through E-books and partner grouping. Materials often repeat skills practice during independent reading time after the skills have been modeled by the teacher. There is sufficient teacher guidance to foster independence for all readers.

The Foundations and Routines book gives guidance for independent reading during Reading Workshop. The Managing Your Independent Reading Program document contains substantial support for teachers to set up and run an effective independent reading program. There is a proposed schedule for independent reading. The Comprehensive Literacy Planner document gives 30–60 minutes per day for “Small Group, Independent Reading, and Conferring.” There is a tracking system to track independent reading. Student reading logs can be found in the Managing your Independent Reading Program document, along with Leveled Reading Response forms for students to use after independent reading. Student reading materials span a wide volume of texts at grade levels. The read alouds, shared reading, small group reading, and reader’s theater texts provide a great volume of reading to students around various topics and themes, both literary and informational. There is an appropriate balance of reading in and outside of class. Guidance within the Managing Your Independent Reading Program document requires students to read at home for 20 minutes daily. This is in addition to the wide variety of texts that students read throughout the day and week in class.

Examples of materials that provide a design and accountability, for how students will regularly engage in independent reading include, but are not limited to:

  • The Managing Your Independent Reading Program document indicate that students have time for independent reading during their Language Arts block at school and at home. The materials state that, at school, “Students may participate in daily independent reading during the Independent and Collaborative Activity block, while the teacher meets with small groups of students to conduct differentiated small-group instruction, model fluency, skills through reader’s theater, or reteach skills and strategies.” The document also contains the following information:
    • Additional Resources states: “Within Benchmark Advance, students may participate in daily independent reading during the Independent and Collaborative Activity block, while the teacher meets with small groups…In addition, a list of recommended, award-winning trade books is provided for every unit in Benchmark Advance (at the end of this section), with titles that expand on the unit concepts and essential questions.” However, these books are not part of the core curriculum purchase.
    • Program Support states, “Students should also be encouraged to develop a routine of reading daily at home for a minimum of 20 minutes, either independently or with a parent. During independent reading, students keep reading logs and reading response journals. The teacher is required to review these logs and journals and to conference regularly with individual students to monitor their progress.” The document also states “the teacher should conduct reading conference with each student as often as possible.”
    • Resources contain the following documents to support Independent Reading: Conference Form, Reading Log, Reading Response forms (three different level responses), and Individual Reading Program Checklist.
  • Accountability measures include student reading logs, reading responses, and teacher-student conferences. The Resources tab of the support materials contains reproducible scaffolded reading response forms, lists of prompts for reading responses, and reading logs. Students use the reading log to record the title of their book, author, genre, and date completed or date abandoned.
  • Benchmark Advance offers a list of 23 ideas for mini-lessons topics for the teacher to use in order to establish independent reading routines. Examples include, “Selecting Books and Enjoying Independent Reading,” “Seeking Help During Independent Reading Time,” “Making Good Book Choices,” and “Abandoning Books.”
  • The independent reading support materials offer guidance on how teachers can help students choose books on their independent reading levels. For example, one suggestion is a scaffolded protocol, the Three-Finger Method for emergent and early readers and the Five-Finger Method for fluent readers. The protocols direct students to count the number of words they either can’t pronounce or don’t understand. The protocol indicates that books are too difficult for early and emergent readers when they make three mistakes on a given page and are too difficult for fluent readers when they make five mistakes on a given page.
  • Each unit includes a Components at a Glance—Small Group Reading Instruction/Independent Reading and Conferring document. This document states, “[E]nsure that all students have the opportunity to read self- and teacher-selected titles daily. Students should read for about 30 minutes. At this time of the year, many students may need to build volume and stamina. In this unit, encourage these students to read for at least 15–20 minutes at a time.”
  • The materials recommend specific topics for anchor charts for the teacher to create with the students. These anchor charts outline procedures and strategies for students to use during independent reading. Examples of recommended anchor charts include “How to Check Out and Return a Book,” “Where Good Readers Read,” “How to Find an E-Book,” and “Ways to Choose Books.”
  • The Grade 2 Foundations and Routines book includes many lessons to teach students the Reading Workshop routines for independent reading. If students are not in a small group with the teacher during Reading Workshop time, they are either writing or doing independent reading.
  • In Unit 2, Week 3, Day 1, Independent Reading time is spent fully engaged with a small group book, applying the learning target, and showing evidence of comprehension with sticky notes in the text. Students reference the anchor chart that was created during the modeling portion of the mini-lesson. Teacher guidance is as follows:
    • “Guided Practice: Annotate, Pair, and Share: Have partners read the rest of the ‘Great Girls’ Contest’ and make connections to Willow’s attempts to solve her problems. Ask them to underline text they make connections to and write a short paragraph to explain these connections.”
    • “Review Fix-Up Strategies: Read Out Loud to Support Comprehension: Remind students that readers constantly monitor their own comprehension. When they come to a part they don’t understand, they can read the text out loud to clarify something they found confusing. Reread paragraph 2 aloud to model how you do this.”
    • “Apply Understanding: Tell students that during independent time, you would like them to make personal connections to a leveled text they have previously read. Have them mark with a sticky note the part of the story they made a personal connection to. Students should be prepared to share their findings during a conference or at the small-group reading table.”
  • In Unit 5, Week 3, Day 1, Independent Reading time is spent fully engaged with a small group book, applying the learning target, and showing evidence of comprehension with sticky notes in the text. Teacher guidance includes:
    • “Guided Practice: Annotate, Pair, and Share: Display the text and guide students through previewing the text and graphic features, such as the headings, photos, captions, and text boxes. Have students read paragraphs 1–2 in small peer groups and underline details that tell about the main topic. Have students put a star next to details that are important to understanding the topic. Encourage students to monitor their comprehension and ask questions as they read to guide their understanding of the text.”
    • “Review Fix-Up Strategies: Read Out Loud to Support Comprehension: Remind students that readers constantly monitor their own comprehension. When they come to a part they don’t understand, they can read the text out loud to clarify something they found confusing. Reread paragraph 2 aloud to model how you do this.”
    • “Apply Understanding: Tell students that during independent time, you would like them to finish reading ‘Robots Go to School.’ Have students find two important details and one interest, but unimportant detail. Instruct students to underline the details and put a star next to the important details.”

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 - 3e

Materials are well designed and take into account effective lesson structure and pacing.

Indicator 3a

Materials are well-designed and take into account effective lesson structure and pacing.
N/A

Indicator 3b

The teacher and student can reasonably complete the content within a regular school year, and the pacing allows for maximum student understanding.
N/A

Indicator 3c

The student resources include ample review and practice resources, clear directions, and explanation, and correct labeling of reference aids (e.g., visuals, maps, etc.).
N/A

Indicator 3d

Materials include publisher-produced alignment documentation of the standards addressed by specific questions, tasks, and assessment items.
N/A

Indicator 3e

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

Criterion 3f - 3j

Materials support teacher learning and understanding of the Standards.

Indicator 3f

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

Indicator 3g

Materials contain a teacher's edition that contains full, adult-level explanations and examples of the more advanced literacy concepts so that teachers can improve their own knowledge of the subject, as necessary.
N/A

Indicator 3h

Materials contain a teacher's edition that explains the role of the specific ELA/literacy standards in the context of the overall curriculum.
N/A

Indicator 3i

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

Indicator 3j

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

Criterion 3k - 3n

Materials offer teachers resources and tools to collect ongoing data about student progress on the Standards.

Indicator 3k

Materials regularly and systematically offer assessment opportunities that genuinely measure student progress.
N/A
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

Indicator 3l

The purpose/use of each assessment is clear:
N/A

Indicator 3l.i

Assessments clearly denote which standards are being emphasized.
N/A
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

Indicator 3l.ii

Assessments provide sufficient guidance to teachers for interpreting student performance and suggestions for follow-up.
N/A

Indicator 3m

Materials should include routines and guidance that point out opportunities to monitor student progress.
N/A

Indicator 3n

Materials indicate how students are accountable for independent reading based on student choice and interest to build stamina, confidence, and motivation.
N/A

Criterion 3o - 3r

Materials provide teachers with strategies for meeting the needs of a range of learners so that they demonstrate independent ability with grade-level standards.

Indicator 3o

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

Indicator 3p

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

Indicator 3q

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

Indicator 3r

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

Criterion 3s - 3v

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

Indicator 3s

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

Indicator 3t

Materials support effective use of technology to enhance student learning, drawing attention to evidence and texts as appropriate.
N/A

Indicator 3u

Materials can be easily customized for individual learners.
N/A

Indicator 3u.i

Digital materials include opportunities for teachers to personalize learning for all students, using adaptive or other technological innovations.
N/A

Indicator 3u.ii

Materials can be easily customized for local use.
N/A
+
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Indicator Rating Details

Indicator 3v

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

Report Published Date: 10/29/2020

Report Edition: 2021

Title ISBN Edition Publisher Year
Benchmark Advance 2021 Gr. 2 1-Year Subscription Package 978-1-0786-3847-0 Teacher Benchmark Education Company 2021

About Publishers Responses

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

The publisher has not submitted a response.

Please note: Reports published after 2021 will be using version 2 of our review tools. Learn more.

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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.

ELA K-2 Rubric and Evidence Guides

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

For ELA, our rubrics evaluate materials based on:

  • Text Quality and Complexity, and Alignment to Standards with Tasks Grounded in Evidence
  • Building Knowledge with Texts, Vocabulary, and Tasks
  • Instructional Supports and Usability

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

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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