Alignment: Overall Summary

Alignment

|

Partially Meets Expectations

Gateway 1:

Text Quality

0
20
37
42
40
37-42
Meets Expectations
21-36
Partially Meets Expectations
0-20
Does Not Meet Expectations

Gateway 2:

Building Knowledge

0
15
28
32
24
28-32
Meets Expectations
16-27
Partially Meets Expectations
0-15
Does Not Meet Expectations

Usability

|

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

+
-
Gateway One Details

The instructional materials meet the expectations for Gateway 1. Texts students read and hear are of high quality and appropriately rigorous. Questions, tasks, and activities that students engage in as they read, write, speak, and demonstrate comprehension are focused on the texts themselves. Foundational skills instruction meets the expectations of the indicators.

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.
19/20
+
-
Criterion Rating Details

The instructional materials for Grade 4 fully meet the expectations of including rich and appropriately rigorous, high quality texts. Over the course of the year, materials support students' literacy development by providing access to high quality texts and reading experiences of depth and breadth.

Indicator 1a

Anchor texts are of publishable quality and worthy of especially careful reading and consider a range of student interests.
4/4
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-
Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 4 meet the criteria for anchor texts being of publishable quality, worthy of especially careful reading, and consider a range of student interests. The included texts have been previously published and many are written by celebrated authors. Materials include: both fiction and non-fiction texts of varying lengths and topics, and texts that appeal to the interests of young readers.

Examples include:

  • Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl, winner of several awards including the Millenium Children’s Book Award, is entertaining and relatable to students in Grade 4. The theme of good character is relevant and grade appropriate.
  • George Washington’s Socks by Elvira Woodruff, includes historical context to the Revolutionary War. Language demands are complex due to specific historical vocabulary.
  • Hatchet by Gary Paulsen is a Newbery Medal winner. The vocabulary and sentence structure are grade appropriate and it is highly relatable due to the experiences of the character.
  • Earthquake by Seymour Simon is a non-fiction text with strong scientific content and vibrant illustrations. Language features include pictures, diagrams, glossary, index, and maps.
  • My Life in Dog Years by Gary Paulsen is a high-interest and complex text. The purpose, text structure, are grade appropriate and the text builds subject and cultural knowledge.

Indicator 1b

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

The materials reviewed for Grade 4 meet the criteria for materials reflecting the distribution of text types and genres required by the standards at each grade level. Students read twenty-one texts, a mix of both information and literature in the Shared Reading and ELA lessons. The ratio of fiction to non-fiction is an appropriate balance for the standards in this grade level and includes various text types and genres.

Shared Reading includes six fiction and three non-fiction texts.

  • Examples of fiction texts read during Shared Reading are: Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl, My Life as a book by Janet Tashjian, and Blood on the River by Elisa Carbone.
  • Examples of non-fiction texts read during Shared Reading are: The Amazing Life of Benjamin Franklin by James Giblin and Can You Make Them Behave, King George? by Jean Fritz.

Interactive Read Alouds include five fiction and seven non-fiction texts.

  • Examples of fiction texts read aloud during the ELA Lessons are: Freedom on the Menu by Carole Boston Weatherford, Hatchet by Gary Paulsen, and Miss Alaineus by Debra Frasier.
  • Examples of non-fiction texts read aloud during ELA Lessons are: The Moon Book by Gail Gibbons, Earthquakes by Seymour Simon, Roanoke: The Last Colony by Jane Yolen, and the autobiography My Life in Dog Years by Gary Paulsen.

The text types and genres are widely distributed throughout the year. Genres include:

  • Autobiography
  • Historical Fiction
  • Mystery
  • Poetry
  • Fantasy
  • Informational Texts
  • Folktales

Indicator 1c

Texts have the appropriate level of complexity for the grade according to quantitative analysis, qualitative analysis, and relationship to their associated student task.
4/4
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 4 meet the criteria for the appropriate level of text complexity for the grade according to quantitative analysis, qualitative analysis, and relationship to their associated student task.

According to the Teacher’s Manual, books selected for Shared Reading lessons are mostly within grade-level bands, and books selected for interactive read-alouds during the ELA lessons are generally above grade level. Texts have the appropriate level of complexity for the grade level, and when the selections are in the high end of the band, students are supported by teacher read-aloud, and scaffolding through predictable routines and teacher modeling. Though the Lexile measures do not build sequentially, throughout the year there are texts from the entire grade-level band.

Specific examples include: 

  • In Weeks 12 and 13 of the ELA Lessons, students read My Life in Dog Years by Gary Paulsen with a Lexile of 1150. Though the quantitative measure is high for this grade level, this is a non-fiction book with no technical terminology. Students make meaning of the text by writing a diary and keeping track of the dogs and their characteristics, and facts about Paulsen’s life. Students are supported through explicit vocabulary instruction, daily text structure lessons, and discussion.
  • In Weeks 16 and 19 of the ELA Lessons, students read Hatchet by Gary Paulsen with a Lexile of 1020. This quantitative measure is high for the grade level, but students are supported by creating a story map tracking the most important events in the story, and making notes about character traits while reading. Students are also supported through explicit vocabulary instruction, daily text structure lessons, and engaging discussion.
  • In Weeks 21 and 22 of the ELA Lessons, students read Around the World in Hundred Years by Jean Fritz with a Lexile of 1050. The use of this non-fiction text supports social studies standards and provides background on the Age of Exploration. Students track the explorers and their discoveries on a timeline.

Indicator 1d

Materials support students' increasing literacy skills over the course of the school year. (Series of texts should be at a variety of complexity levels appropriate for the grade band.)
4/4
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 4 meet the criteria for materials supporting students’ increasing literacy skills over the course of the school year. (Series of texts should be at a variety of complexity levels appropriate for the grade band.)

In both English Language Arts and Shared Reading, the texts and tasks increase in complexity to develop independence of grade-level skills. Texts are in the appropriate grade-level Lexile band to help students build knowledge, understanding, and comprehension of texts over the school year. Texts within and outside of the grade band are supported by lessons that incorporate discussions, organizers, and anchor charts. In ELA, the questions, writing tasks, and expectation of student understanding and application of their knowledge grows in each unit.

For example:

  • Texts in the first nine weeks have Lexiles from 660-1010. An example in the first nine weeks in the Shared Reading lesson is Steal Away Home by Lois Ruby, with an overall Lexile of 890. The novel is historical fiction and connects to students’ previous knowledge of the Underground Railroad. The text is read over 18 days. Students make meaning of the text by creating two journals, one for each character. Daily, students write an entry about the day’s events, imitating the author’s style for each character while focusing on character traits. Students also engage in choral reading, collaborative discussion, explicit vocabulary instruction, and written response to reading.
  • Texts in the second nine weeks have Lexiles from 680-1150. An example in the second nine weeks is Blood on the River by Elisa Carbone, with an overall Lexile of 820. The text is historical fiction set in Jamestown. The author adds real people and events from history and uses sensory details, dialogue, and emotions. Students interact with primary sources at the start of each chapter and keep track of the documents to help build meaning in the story. The students write a daily journal about the day’s events and engage in choral reading, collaborative discussion, explicit vocabulary instruction, and written response to reading.
  • Texts in the third nine weeks have Lexiles from 680-1050. An example in the third nine weeks is My Life as a Book by Janet Tashjian, with an overall Lexile of 880. Readers use the author’s words and illustrations to understand the story. The teacher introduces a new vocabulary strategy to be used throughout the reading of the text. Students choose three words illustrated in the text and combine information from three sources to write a definition in their own words and create a super sentence. Students also engage in choral reading, collaborative discussion, explicit vocabulary instruction, and written response to reading.
  • Texts in the fourth nine weeks have Lexiles from 720-880. An example in the fourth nine weeks in the Shared Reading lesson is George Washington’s Socks by Elvira Woodruff, with an overall Lexile of 840. The text is a historical fiction adventure story which journeys back to through time during the American Revolution and the Revolutionary War. To build comprehension, students compare and contrast the lives of the characters and analyze and write from different points of view. Students also engage in choral reading, collaborative discussion, explicit vocabulary instruction, and written response to reading.

Indicator 1e

Anchor texts and series of texts connected to them are accompanied by a text complexity analysis and rationale for purpose and placement in the grade level.
1/2
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-
Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 4 partially meet the criteria that anchor texts and series of texts connected to them are accompanied by a text complexity analysis and rationale for purpose and placement in the grade level.

According to the publisher, reading and writing research informed the design of Bookworms. In the Teacher Manual Tab there is a section labeled Books, in which the publisher provides the rationale used to determine text complexity. The publisher states the program is calibrated to the Common Core Standards for text difficulty, but is different from a traditional commercial core due to the use of only complete books. An experienced group of teachers proposed the texts that were then reviewed for high-quality and likelihood to build knowledge and motivation. Quantitative measures target readability and qualitative measures target levels of meaning, language complexity, and knowledge demand. Lexile with the revised grade bands is used as the primary quantitative measure, with no attempt to consider other factors sometimes used in leveling, such as formatting and structure; however, text structures increase in complexity as the year goes on. For example, narrative with straight-forward structures and settings were chosen for the beginning of the year. Informational texts were interspersed in units related by theme and to support writing instruction.

The publisher’s guiding principles stated that most books were within grade-level bands for Shared Reading, and books were arranged in slightly ascending order by Lexile when feasible. The Lexile band used for Grades 4 and 5 is 770-980. In the master list of books for Grade 4, it is noted that there are several texts that fall below the lowest Lexile band. There are at least five that fall well below the lowest Lexile level for Grade 4.

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
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 4 meet the criteria that anchor and supporting texts provide opportunities for students to engage in a broad range of text types and disciplines as well as a volume of reading to achieve grade-level reading proficiency.

The instructional materials include opportunities for students to access text through teacher read-alouds, choral reading, and independent reading. Students interact with texts through both the ELA Lessons and Shared Reading. Texts used for interactive read-alouds are often above grade-level and are read aloud by the teacher who models through think-alouds and leads discussion about the text. Shared Reading texts are often read together chorally for the first read with one purpose, and then again in pairs or independently for a second read with another purpose.

Interactive Reading texts are part of the ELA Lessons. The texts are read aloud by the teacher who models through think-alouds and facilitates discussion of the text.

  • In the first nine weeks of ELA Lessons, examples of the texts read to students include: Zombies! Evacuate the School! By Sara Holbrook, Worst of Friends by Suzanne Tripp Jurmain, and Freedom on the Menu by Carole Boston Weatherford.
  • In the second nine weeks of ELA Lessons, examples of the texts read students include: My Life in Dog Years and Hatchet both by Gary Paulsen.
  • In the third nine weeks of ELA Lessons, examples of the texts read to students include: The Moon Book by Gail Gibbons, Around the World in a Hundred Years by Jean Fritz, and Miss Alaineus by Debra Frasier.
  • In the fourth nine weeks of ELA Lessons, an example of the texts read to students include: Alabama Moon by Watt Key.

Shared Reading texts are read first as a choral read with one purpose, and then students engage in a second read with partners for another purpose.

  • In the first nine weeks of Shared Reading, examples of the texts students read include: Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl and Steal Away Home by Lois Ruby.
  • In the second nine weeks of Shared Reading, examples of the texts students read include: Blood on the River by Elisa Carbone and Can’t You Make Them Behave, King George? by Jean Fritz.
  • In the third nine weeks of Shared Reading, examples of the texts students read include: Tangerine by Edward Bloor and My Life as a Book by Janet Tashjian.
  • In the fourth nine weeks of Shared Reading, examples of the texts students read include: George Washington Socks by Elvira Woodruff and The Amazing life of Ben Franklin by James Cross Giblin.

Criterion 1g - 1n

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

The materials for Grade 4 meet the expectations for text-focused questions and tasks over the course of the year. Questions and tasks include speaking and writing work that is connected and focused on the text(s) with which students engage. Some culminating tasks are not connected to what students previously read and demonstrated.

Indicator 1g

Most questions, tasks, and assignments are text-dependent, 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
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 4 meet the criteria that most questions, tasks, and assignments are text dependent/specific, requiring students to engage with the text directly (drawing on textual evidence to support both what is explicit as well as valid inferences from the text).

Daily instruction is organized in weekly lessons with three parts: an ELA Lesson, Shared Reading, and Differentiated Instruction, with different texts used in each part of the lesson. Routines in the ELA Lesson and the Shared Reading both have components that require students to engage with the text directly. Though some tasks can be accomplished without the use of the text, both ELA and Shared Reading include teacher-led close reading and student-led close reading with tasks and questions that are text-dependent. Questions, tasks, and assignments require students to engage with the text to answer questions.

Examples include:

  • In Week 1, Shared Reading, Day 1, after reading Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl, students respond in writing to the following questions, “What does the author do to make us like Charlie?” and “Does he do it explicitly or does he make us figure things out?”
  • In Week 5, ELA Lesson, Day 2, after reading Freedom on the Menu by Carole Boston Weatherford, the teacher states there are powerful themes in the reading and students are asked, “What do you think about each character’s motivations here?”
  • In Week 9, Shared Reading, Day 3, while reading Blood on the River by Elisa Carbone, students are told to reread the last few pages and are asked, “How could Master Wigfield strike with his power? Think of this as figurative language.”
  • In Week  12, ELA Lesson, Day 1, while reading My Life in Dog Years by Gary Paulsen, students are asked, “What do you think the author means when he says that Cookie was like a ‘dogsister’ or ‘dogmother’ to me?”
  • In Week 24, ELA Lesson, Day 1, after reading “Bad Words” in Zombies! Evacuate the School! by Sara Holbrook, students are asked, “After reading the word fight, does that mean a word can be a weapon?” and “What evidence do we have that she’s telling the truth?”
  • In Week 29, Shared Reading, Day 1, after reading George Washington Socks by Elvira Woodruff, students write a paragraph to compare and contrast Matthew’s life and Israel’s life.

Indicator 1h

Sets of high-quality sequences of text-dependent questions and tasks build to a culminating task that integrates skills (may be writing, speaking, or a combination).
1/2
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 4 partially meet the criteria for having sets of high-quality sequences of text-dependent/specific questions and tasks build to a culminating task that integrates skills (may be writing, speaking, or a combination).

In the Evaluation section of the Teacher’s Manual, there are two cumulative tasks. In the ELA lessons, there are opportunities for students to take the information they learned about a topic from a variety of texts and apply it to a writing piece. The writing assignment includes integration of skills; however, the teaching notes for these lessons are designed around the type of writing more than the application of knowledge around a topic. During Shared Reading lessons, students discuss the text daily and write a written response. Although they might use the same text, the written responses are different each day and are not culminating tasks. The end of the year cumulative project is the same for Grades 3, 4, and 5. Additionally, culminating tasks are not referenced or clearly labeled in the materials. There are no specific instructions in the lessons or the Teacher’s Manual about culminating tasks.

Examples include:

  • ELA Lesson, Week 33, students complete a cumulative task by applying knowledge of opinion writing and writing a book review by creating a book advertisement for a book they read during the school year. Students write and present their advertisements to the class.
  • ELA Lesson, Week 34, students complete a cumulative task about their reading and writing identity. They write a memoir reflecting on how their feelings have changed about themselves as readers and writers throughout the year. Students design covers and perform a museum walk.

Indicator 1i

Materials provide frequent opportunities and protocols for evidencebased discussions that encourage the modeling and use of academic vocabulary and syntax. (May be small group and all-class.)
2/2
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 4 meet the criteria for materials providing frequent opportunities and protocols for evidence-based discussions (small groups, peer-to-peer, whole class) that encourage the modeling and use of academic vocabulary and syntax.

Each lesson provides students an opportunity for evidence-based discussions. According to the section of the Teacher Manual, titled Using this Manual, the instructional plans are intentionally brief to create ease of use in real-time. The Read Alouds section of the Teacher Manual provides general explanations of Every Pupil Response and Partners, strategies to increase student engagement. Every Pupil Response includes taking votes, signaled responses such as thumbs up, and talking with a partner. Partner work includes opportunities for students to confer in pairs about their reading and writing, and questions about the previous day’s learning. It can be signaled by “turn and talk to your partner” or “ask your partner”.

Examples include:

  • Week 3, ELA Lesson, Day 2, after students read The Worst of Friends: Through the Page with King George by Suzanne Tripp Jurmain, the teacher asks students’ ideas for information to use on a campaign poster, using as few words as possible. The differences between John Adams and Thomas Jefferson are discussed and students are asked to share their answers in a whole class discussion. The teacher then asks, “Did George Washington ever live in the White House? Talk to your partner.” The lesson alternates between whole class discussion and partner talk.
  • Week 5, ELA Lesson, Days 1-4, students read Freedom on the Menu: Through Page with Fountain by Carole Boston Weatherford. During the “Engage Students in Discussion” segment of the lesson, the teacher directs students, “Now it’s your turn to ask questions. Think of a really good question about what we’ve read today and ask your partner.” Teacher asks, “These are some powerful themes. What do you think about each character’s motivation here?”
  • Week 9, Shared Reading, Day 1, students choral read the first chapter of Blood on the River by Elisa Carbone. During the segment of the lesson called “Provide a New Focus for Rereading in Partners”. The teacher provides a question for the focus of the partner reread. No additional teaching notes or protocols are provided. Examples, “Now think about the setting. What do we learn about the characteristics of this time period?” Then the teacher asks a series of whole group discussion questions.
  • Week 16, ELA Lesson, Day 1, while reading Hatchet by Gary Paulsen, the teacher explicitly teaches two words from the text during “Teach Meaning Vocabulary”. The teacher explains the meaning of the word lurched and guides students to create sentences using a frame. “When I tripped, I lurched and _____.  If I see someone who lurches, I _____ . " The teacher uses the same protocol to teach the word thrumming.
  • Week 26, ELA Lesson, Day 2, students read Miss Alaineus by Debra Frasier. The teacher models how to ask questions while reading a text, then students are asked to think of questions about what they read and ask their partner the questions.
  • Week 31, Shared Reading, Days 3-5, students read The Amazing Life of Benjamin Franklin by James Cross Giblin. Each day, students participate in a segment of the lesson called “Provide a New Focus for Rereading in Partners”. The teacher provides a question for the focus of the partner reread. No additional teaching notes or protocols are provided. Examples, “As you read again with your partner, think about the interesting details that the author has given us about Ben’s early life. As you read again with your partner, think about which parts of our modern life we owe to Ben Franklin.”

Indicator 1j

Materials support students' listening and speaking about what they are reading and researching (including presentation opportunities) with relevant follow-up questions and supports.
2/2
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 4 meet the criteria for materials supporting students’ listening and speaking about what they are reading and researching (including presentation opportunities) with relevant follow-up questions and supports.

The individual ELA lessons support students speaking and listening about what they are reading and researching. The standards alignment outlines the Speaking and Listening standards targeted throughout the lessons. Lessons require students to share their reflections and engage in follow-up questioning and include collaborative activities with guidance on how to evaluate speaking and listening with a rubric. During the Shared Reading lessons, students engage in speaking and listening about what they are reading. There is a section in the Shared Reading lessons titled, “Review and Share Written Responses”. Students often write a response one day that is shared at the start of the next day’s lesson. Despite the use of follow-up questions and opportunities to share, presentations and supports do not provide much depth. Additionally, it is sometimes unclear if follow-up comprehension discussions are intended for oral or written response, and whether they are meant to be discussed as a class or with peers.

Example include:

  • In Week 3, ELA Lesson, Day 1, students read The Worst of Friends by Suzanne Tripp Jurmain. During Model a Comprehension Strategy and Ask Questions During Reading portion of the lesson, the teacher asks, “Raise your hand if you think two friends can be very different and still be friends?” Students discuss the similarities and differences between Adams and Jefferson. During Engage Students in Discussion, students are directed to tell a partner what they consider to be the most important detail from the text and why.
  • In Week 9, ELA Lesson, Days 1-5, students read Go Straight to the Source, by Kristin Fontichiaro to understand how to find facts they may need and how to make sure facts are correct. On Day 1, students learn about primary sources and work with a partner to decipher artifacts, images, and documents. During Engage in Discussion, the teacher says, “Let’s think about our earthquakes book. What are some sources that Seymour Simon may have used?” On Days 2-5, the lessons begin with the student responses from the previous day’s review. For example, on Day 2, students generate five questions about a picture from the text. On Day 3, students share their questions with a partner and compare with each other what they wrote.
  • In Week 14, ELA Lesson, Day 5, after reading Blood on the River by Elisa Carbone and learning about persuasion and about settlers in the New World, students are asked to write a persuasive letter. The teacher provides questioning and models an example draft from a student. Students listen while the teacher models revision. Students work near a partner to complete drafts using peer discussion for help, but writing independently. Students share their drafts with students who have different topics.
  • In Week 17, Shared Reading, Days 1-5, students read Tangerine by Edward Bloor and complete daily prompts during the Review and Share Written Responses segment of the lesson. On Day 2, students are asked, “Do you think the Erik Fisher Football Dream is a good or bad thing? Give reasons for your opinion.” On Day 3, students share their responses with a partner.
  • In Week 24, Shared Reading, Day 2, students read My Life as a Book by Janet Tashjian and respond to a series of questions in a segment of the lesson called Engage in Comprehension Discussion. Examples of these questions are, “How do we know that Derek doesn’t like to read?, Why does his mom bribe him to read? Why does Derek draw his vocabulary words?”
  • In Week 31, Shared Reading, Day 3, students read The Amazing Life of Benjamin Franklin by James Cross Giblin and respond to a series of questions in a segment of the lesson called Engage in Comprehension Discussion. Examples of these questions are, “Think about the way in which Ben taught himself to improve his writing. What words would you use to describe Ben, based on this information? We know that Ben came from a very close family because the author told us that often 13 or more people sat around his dinner table. How do you think his family will feel about him leaving? How do you think he will tell them?”

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.
2/2
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 4 meet the criteria for materials including a mix of on-demand and process writing (e.g. multiple drafts, revisions over time) and short, focused projects, incorporating digital resources where appropriate.

Materials include short and longer writing tasks and projects that are aligned to grade-level standards. Throughout the lessons, students engage in various methods of writing, including on-demand writing in the form of open-ended responses to vocabulary written in context, short paragraphs or sentences in response to daily prompts. Process writing is modeled with the use of checklists, charts, and graphic organizers, and the sequence of planning, drafting, revising, editing, and writing final drafts. Writing instruction takes place during the ELA Lesson, however, students also write in response to reading during the Shared Reading. The ELA Lesson is structured into three segments: Teacher, which includes instruction and modeling; Students, which is structured work time with a specific goal and process; and Share, which allows students to share with peers and the teacher. The Teacher Manual includes an appendix titled Writing, which explains the design of the writing instruction as structurally repetitive. Students engage in the same sequence of writing instruction with different content throughout the year.

Examples include:

  • In Week 1, Shared Reading, Day 3, while students are reading Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl, they respond to the prompt, “Why do you think Willy Wonka created the golden ticket? Give reasons for your opinion.”
  • In Week 6, ELA Lesson, Days 3-5, students write a narrative mystery. The teacher models stages of the writing process from planning with the graphic organizer to drafting the story.
  • In Week 10, Shared Reading, Day 3, while reading Blood on the River by Elisa Carbone, students respond to the prompt, “Use perish and ignorant in super sentences that capture important details from the chapter. One main idea so far is that Captain John Smith's behavior is dangerous. List details that support this main idea. You can use this chapter and also the previous ones.”
  • In Week 17, Shared Reading, Day 5, while reading Tangerine by Edward Bloor, students respond to the prompt, “Paul ends the chapter thinking he will be afraid of Erik and Arthur. Do you think he is right to think this? What or why not? Use evidence from the text.”
  • In Week 19, ELA Lesson, Day 5, after reading Hatchet by Gary Paulsen, students write a fictional narrative survival story. Students brainstorm ideas, the teacher models using the graphic organizer, and students plan their introduction and begin their drafts.
  • In Week 28, Shared Reading, Day 2, while reading George Washington’s Socks by Elvira Woodruff, students respond to the prompt, “Pretend you are Matthew and write a note to Tony’s parents telling them you have gone on a hike to the lake. Give reasons for your trip.”

Indicator 1l

Materials provide opportunities for students to address different text types of writing that reflect the distribution required by the standards.
2/2
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 4 meet the criteria for materials providing opportunities for students to address different text types of writing that reflect the distribution required by the standards.

Appendix E of the Teacher Manual provides an overview of writing for the year. Materials provide frequent opportunities across the school year for students to learn, practice, and apply writing using evidence. Writing is centered around student analysis and claims developed from reading closely and working with sources. Materials provide opportunities to build students’ writing skills through the use of checklists, models, and rubrics. Over the course of the school year, students are given instruction and practice in a variety of genres addressed in the standards. During the ELA lessons, there is instruction on the different types of writing, using the same sequence: Learn the characteristics of the genre; Evaluate good and poor examples of the genre; Learn to plan the genre; Learn to draft the genre; and Learn to revise, both with peers and independently with different content throughout the year. During Shared Reading, students write in response to reading with opinion, narrative, and informative prompts related to the text.

For example:

  • In Week 2, Shared Reading, Day 1, after reading Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl, students respond to the narrative prompt, “Reread Willy Wonka’s letter. Write a letter back to him from Charlie, thanking him for the opportunities. Be sure you are writing from Charlie’s point of view.”
  • In Weeks 6-7, ELA Lesson, after reading Steal Away Home by Lois Ruby, students write a narrative based on the novel by using themselves and their family members as characters. They use the story from the novel, but change the details.
  • In Week 10, Shared Reading, Day 2, after reading, Blood on the River by Elisa Carbone, students respond to the informative prompt, “The chapter ends with the men building gallows to hang John Smith. What are the reasons for their hatred of him? What is the effect his actions had on them? Use details and examples from the text.”
  • In Week 11, Shared Reading, Day 2, after reading Blood on the River by Elisa Carbone, students respond to the opinion prompt, “Think about cause and effect and explain the following: What do you think caused the Indians to attack the fort? Why do you think they chose to attack now? Start your paragraph with: It is my opinion that the Indians attacked the colonists because… Give several reasons to support your point of view.”
  • In Week 20, Shared Reading, Day 1, after reading Tangerine by Edward Bloor, students respond to the informative prompt, “Write a short article about Erik’s sports blooper. Take the point of view of a sports writer.”
  • In Week 34, ELA Lesson, Day 1, after the teacher reviews the characteristics of a personal narrative and teaches students about the similarities and differences between personal narrative and memoir, students plan their own memoir.

Indicator 1m

Materials include frequent opportunities for evidence-based writing to support careful analyses, well-defended claims, and clear information.
2/2
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-
Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 4 meet the criteria for materials including frequent opportunities for evidence-based writing to support careful analyses, well-defended claims, and clear information appropriate for the grade level.

Shared reading lessons have opportunities for students to engage in evidence-based writing instruction. In the “Assign Written Response” and the “Engage in Comprehension Discussion” portions of the lesson there are questions that can be used to develop evidence-based writing. The Evaluation tab in the Teacher Manual has a section called Grading, with Super Sentence Rubrics, Writing Response Rubrics, Example Students Responses, and Example Grading Responses to help support students and teachers. Though these examples are provided to help guide instruction and evaluation of student responses, there are no explicit directions for students to use or cite evidence in their short-answer responses. ELA Lessons provide explicit instruction and modeling to support students in using text-based evidence.

For example:

  • In Week 3, Shared Reading, Day 3, students read Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl and respond to the prompt, “Look back into the chapters and find evidence that Grandpa Joe and Charlie have different reactions to what they are experiencing than the other visitors. Contrast their actions with one other character.” The writing task requires students to use evidence from the text.
  • In Week 13, ELA Lesson, Day 5, students read My Life in Dog Years by Gary Paulsen and respond to the prompt, “Which dog would you want to have as a pet the most and which dog would you want to have as a pet least?” Students are asked to apply everything they learned about opinion writing in Week 2.  
  • In Week 26, Shared Reading, Day 2, after reading My Life as a Book by Janet Tashijan students respond to the prompt, “Derek has two encounters in these chapters- with Mrs. Williams and with Michael. What does he learn about people and their talents?" Then they write an opinion paper with the prompt, “Should you do what you think is right for the good of a group or should you do what you think is the right thing to do for you?”

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.
2/2
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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 4 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.

Bookworms Grade 4 materials provide explicit instruction of most grade level grammar and conventions in the Sentence Composing section of each ELA lesson plan in conjunction with the day’s read-aloud. The explicit grammar instruction takes place within four instructional activities: Combining, Unscrambling, Imitating, and Expanding. Each Sentence Composing activity is followed by a writing activity that allows the students the opportunity to use the skill in their own writing. Included is a Fourth Grade Editing Checklist for students to use to revise and edit their writing. The Fourth Grade Editing Checklist is used for checking convention standards such as use capitalization.

Materials include explicit instruction of grammar and conventions standards for the grade-level, and materials include opportunities for students to demonstrate application of skills both in- and out-of-context. Examples include, but are not limited to:

  • Students have opportunities to use relative pronouns (who, whose, whom, which, that) and relative adverbs (where, when, why). For example: 
    • In the ELA Lesson Plans, Week 3, Day 2, Teach Sentence Composing, Expand, the teacher shares the following sentence: The parties began to fight. The teacher explains that the pronoun who can be used to expand the sentence since parties is actually referring to a group of people. The students come up with some additional phrases that begin with who. The teacher asks students to come up with some phrases that begin with when and where.
    • In the ELA Lesson Plans, Week 8, Day 1, Teach Sentence Composing, Combine, three sentences are combined. The second two sentences are rephrased using the word ‘which’ and inserted into the middle of the first sentence using commas appropriately.
    • In the ELA Lesson Plans, Week 12, Day 5, Teach Sentence Composing, Expand, the teacher shows, They worked the farms. The teacher tells students to add details that tell where.
  • Students have opportunities to form and use the progressive (e.g., I was walking; I am walking; I will be walking) verb tenses. For example: 
    • In the ELA Lesson Plans, Week 9, Day 3, Teach Sentence Composing, Imitate, the teacher shares the following sentence: When you describe what you see, be careful to do just that: describe. The teacher points out that this grammatical structure was used to highlight the message. The teacher shares the following sentence frame: When you describe what you _____, be careful to do just that: describe. The teacher asks the students to substitute verbs that would make sense. The teacher shares these sentence frames: When you describe what you are______, be careful to do just that: describe. When you describe what you were______, be careful to do just that: describe. When you describe what you will be______, be careful to do just that: describe. The teacher asks the students to give verbs that would make sense in these sentences where the verb tense has changed.
  • Students have opportunities to use modal auxiliaries (e.g., can, may, must) to convey various conditions. For example: 
    • In the ELA Lesson Plans, Week 9, Day 5, Teach Sentence Composing, Imitate, students use a sentence (What can you learn about the person.) from Go Straight to the Source. The teacher says, “What if I changed can to might? How would that change the meaning? What if I changed can to may? How about must?” The teacher leads the class in discussing how each auxiliary changes the meaning.
  • Students have opportunities to order adjectives within sentences according to conventional patterns (e.g., a small red bag rather than a red small bag). For example: 
    • In the ELA Lesson Plans, Week 12, Day 3, Teach Sentence Composing, Imitate, the teacher shares the following sentence: It was a big dog, a black dog. The teacher models rewriting the sentence and focuses on the importance of the order of the adjectives to create: It was a big black dog. The teacher and students use the following sentence frame to order and use adjectives: It was a _____ _____ dragon.
  • Students have opportunities to form and use prepositional phrases. For example: 
    • In the ELA Lesson Plans, Week 9, Day 2, Teach Sentence Composing, Imitate, the teacher shares the following sentence: What do you see in the background of the image? The teacher explains that the questions contain two prepositional phrases that are working together to tell where. The teacher shares this sentence frame: What do you see in the background of this _____? The teacher explains the word to complete the sentence must be a noun. The students give words that complete the sentence. The teacher shares this sentence frame: What do you see in the _____ of the _____?  The students thing of nouns that can complete the prepositional phrases and make a sentence that makes sense.
  • Students have opportunities to produce complete sentences, recognizing and correcting inappropriate fragments and run-ons. For example: 
    • In the ELA Lesson Plans, Week 3, Day 1, Teach Sentence Composing, Unscramble, the teacher models how to reorganize the following fragments to complete a correct sentence: needed money to pay its bills / friends to help it fight off enemies / and / Tom and John / sailed across the ocean to Europe / when the new nation. The teacher models locating the subject, a predicate that has pronoun agreement, and then demonstrates how to add the details. Tom and John sailed across the ocean to Europe. Needed money to pay its bills and friends to help it fight off enemies. When the new nation The teacher now works with the students to find the order that makes sense.
    • In the ELA Lesson Plans, Week 12, Day 2, Teach Sentence Composing, Combine, students combine three sentences into a single sentence with more complex syntax. The sentences used in this lesson is from the story My Life in Dog Years and are: She did not die a natural death. She was killed when a military truck swerved and hit her. She was killed instantly. The lesson prompts the teacher to help the students combine the sentences into one sentence, limiting run-ons.
  • Students have opportunities to correctly use frequently confused words (e.g., to, too, two; there, their). For example: 
    • In the ELA Lesson Plans, Week 25, Day 3, Teach Sentence Composing, Expand, the teacher shares the following sentence: The moon affects the oceans, too. The teacher explains that the word too means also and that in order to expand the sentence they need to they have to add something else that the moon affects.
  • Students have opportunities to use correct capitalization. For example: 
    • In the ELA Lesson Plans, Week 33, Day 3, The Fourth Grade Editing Checklist that includes capitalization, is provided for students to use to evaluate their writing.
  • Students have opportunities to use commas and quotation marks to mark direct speech and quotations from a text. For example: 
    • In the Teacher Guide, Writing, there is a Student Checklist for Conventions for Grade 4 that includes: I used commas and quotations marks to direct speech and quotations from a text.
    • In the ELA Lesson Plans, Week 5, Day 2, Teach Sentence Composing, Expand, students use a sentence (“They sat for hours,” said Daddy.”) from Freedom on the Menu. The teacher prompts, “Before we expand this, let’s take a look at punctuation. It’s direct speech, so the actual words the Daddy says are enclosed in quotation marks. In a regular sentence, we would end with a period. Since we have to tell who is speaking, we substitute the period with a comma. The comma goes inside the quotation marks.” The teacher guides punctuation use as the students expand the sentence.
  • Students have opportunities to use a comma before a coordinating conjunction in a compound sentence. For example: 
    • In the ELA Lesson Plans, Week 3, Day 2, Teach Sentence Composing, Combine, the teacher shares the following sentences: Tom and John were very polite. Tom and John didn’t hit each other. Tom and John didn’t shout. The teacher shows how to combine the first two sentences using the pronoun they: Tom and John were very polite, and they didn’t hit each other. The teacher explains that you always use a comma before and when combining two complete sentences.
    • In the ELA Lesson Plans, Week 5, Day 2, Teach Sentence Composing, Combine, students are asked to combine three sentences into a single sentence with more complex syntax. The sentences are from Freedom on the Menu and are: The waitress noticed us. The waitress kept wiping the lunch counter. The waitress kept refilling salt and pepper shakers. The lesson prompts the teacher to help the students combine the sentences into one sentence, adding a comma before the coordinating conjunction. For example: Even though the waitress noticed us, she kept wiping the lunch counter and refilling salt and pepper shakers.
  • Students have opportunities to spell grade-appropriate words correctly, consulting references as needed. For example: 
    • In the Teacher Guide, Writing, the Student Checklist for Conventions for Grade 4 includes: I spelled words appropriate to my grade level correctly.
    • In the Teacher Guide, a routine called Word Study is explained. Word Study is included in the block of time called Shared Reading and “includes attention to spelling and to meaning of words.” Word Study addresses syllable types, multisyllabic decoding, and spelling-meaning links. The Teacher Guide explains that “word study extends skill in decoding and spelling, while providing additional encounters with words whose meanings are important to learn.”
  • Students have opportunities to choose words and phrases to convey ideas precisely.
    • In ELA Lesson Plans, Week 3, Day 3, Teach Sentence Composing, Combine, the teacher shares these sentences: He signed the letter. He mailed it to Thomas Jefferson. He waited. The teacher explains the sentences are a sequence and must be combined in the order that convey the sequence. The teacher models how to link them in a series using the conjunction and. The teacher uses temporal words to make the meaning even more precise.
  • Students have opportunities to differentiate between contexts that call for formal English (e.g., presenting ideas) and situations where informal discourse is appropriate (e.g., small-group discussion). For example: 
    • In ELA Lesson Plans, Week 5, Day 1, Teach Sentence Composing, Expand, the teacher shares the following sentence: Mama and me read signs. The teacher explains the author used informal language because the story is told from the point of view of a child. The teacher asks students to identify how the sentence should be changed to make it formal language.

Criterion 1o - 1q

Materials in reading, writing, speaking, listening, and language targeted to support foundational reading development are aligned to the standards.
6/6
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Criterion Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 4 meet the criteria for materials, questions, and tasks address grade-level CCSS for foundational skills by providing explicit instruction and assessment in phonics and word recognition, instruction in and practice of word analysis skills, and connected texts and tasks in a research-based progression.

Indicator 1o

Materials, questions, and tasks address grade-level CCSS for foundational skills by providing explicit instruction and assessment in phonics and word recognition that demonstrate a research-based progression.
2/2
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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 4 meet the criteria for materials, questions, and tasks address grade-level CCSS for foundational skills by providing explicit instruction and assessment in phonics and word recognition that demonstrate a researched-based progression.


Bookworms Grade 4 materials provide students with opportunities to learn phonics and word recognition. Students are explicitly taught each of the six syllable types in the vocabulary words from the shared text for each week. The teacher also explains how prefixes and suffixes will change the word meaning. Teachers use the six syllable types to explain words each day during teacher directed instruction. Students use words based in the six syllable types in their written responses during Assign Written Response. Students are tested each week on the words presented during word study.  The Informal Decoding Inventory is included in the Appendix to help determine student weaknesses through the use of each of the six subtests.


Materials contain explicit instruction of irregularly spelled words, syllabication patterns, and word recognition consistently over the course of the year. Examples include, but not limited to:

  • Students have opportunities to use combined knowledge of all letter-sound correspondences, syllabication patterns, and morphology (e.g., roots and affixes) to read accurately unfamiliar multisyllabic words in context and out of context. For example: 
    • In Shared Reading Lesson Plans, Week 1, Day 1, the students learn the word meanings and the syllable types for the words: absurd (closed, r-controlled) and satisfy (closed, closed, open). The students learn that absurdity is the noun form and that absurdly is the adverb form. The students learn that to form the past form for satisfy, one must change the -y to -i before adding -ed. The students learn this is not necessary for the adjective form (satisfying). The students are taught the noun form is satisfaction. Students use these words to create super sentences during Assign Written Response and share these sentences the following day with a partner during Review and Share Written Responses.
    • In Shared Reading Lesson Plans, Week 9, Day 1, the teacher introduces two vocabulary words: prophesy and pawn shop. The words are divided into syllables and each syllable is named. The teacher gives students a definition for the word prophesy and explains that a prophet is a person who makes prophecies. The students then read these vocabulary words in context and later have to use them in a writing assignment.
    • In Shared Reading Lesson Plans, Week 31, Day 3, the students learn the word meanings and the syllable types for the words: apprentice (open, closed, open, closed, open) and vocabulary (closed, closed, suffix). Students learn that an apprentice is a noun or a verb that means a person who works for a long time to learn a trade. The teacher explains that the root word is related to the word apprehend, which is another word for learn. An apprentice would be a type of learner and that would be a noun. The teacher explains that vocabulary is a noun that means the words you know, the meanings of when you read or hear them. The teacher tells the students vocabulary is related to voice and vocal. During Assign Written Response, the students use apprentice and vocabulary in super sentences.


Multiple assessment opportunities are provided over the course of the year to inform instructional adjustments of phonics and word recognition to help students make progress toward mastery. Examples include, but are not limited to:

  • In the Teacher Manual, Appendix F, the materials include the Informal Decoding Inventory. The IDI includes six subtests that progress in difficulty. Differentiated grouping decisions are made upon the first subtest that is failed. The materials include that there is a criterion of eight for real words and six for nonsense words. The subtests include: short vowel, consonant blends and digraphs, vowel-consonant e, vowel teams, and multisyllabic words. For example:
    • Short vowel directions: Point to sat. Ask the student, “What is this word.” This is repeated for each word: sat, pot, beg, nip, cub, pad, top, hit, met, nut, mot, tip, han, teg, fet, lup, nid, pab, hud, gop.
    • Consonant blend and digraphs directions: Point to blip. Ask the student, “What is this word.” This is repeated for each word: blip, check, clam, chin, thick, frank, mint, fist, grab, rest, clop, prib, hest, chot, slen, bund, bist, hald, slub, shad
    • R-controlled vowel patterns directions: Point to card. Ask the student, “What is this word.” This is repeated for each word: card, stork, term, burst, turf, fern, dirt, nark, firm, mirth, fird, barp, forn, serp, surt, perd, kurn, nirt, mork, tarst
    • Vowel teams directions: Point to neat. Ask the student, “What is this word.” This is repeated for each word: neat, spoil, goat, pail, field, fruit, claim, meat, beast, boast, craid, houn, rowb, noy, feap, nuit, maist, ploat, tead, steen
    • Multisyllabic words directions: Point to flannel. Ask the student, “What is this word.” This is repeated for each word: flannel, submit, cupid, spiky, confide, cascade, varnish, surplus, chowder, approach
  • In the Teacher Manual, Shared Reading, Word Study: “Word study includes attention to spelling and to meaning of words. Our word study curriculum includes one set of words for the entire class, consistent instruction across the week, and a traditional spelling/vocabulary test every five days. A scope and sequence for Word Study and Vocabulary is provided in Appendix D.”

Materials contain explicit instruction of word solving approaches (graphophonic and syntactic) to decode unfamiliar words. Examples include, but are not limited to:

  • In the Teacher Manual, Shared Reading, Word Study, the materials define the six syllable types that are taught during the Word Study lessons throughout the Grade 4 materials: closed, open, vowel-consonant-e, r-controlled, vowel team, consonant l-e. The materials explain the syllable type language be used daily in the teacher directed instruction. There is a chart that includes guidance on where to divide syllables to assist with decoding and to be used with word attack. The materials indicate that the pronunciation generated must be checked against meaning vocabulary to see if it is correct.
  • In ELA Lesson Plans, Week 12, Day 1, the teacher tells the students they will be reading an autobiography. The teacher informs students that it has two prefixes and asks students to write the word and underline the prefixes. The teacher explains the definition of graph as meaning writing, auto as meaning self, and bio as meaning life. The teacher tells students that autobiography means a story about your life that you write yourself.
  • In Shared Reading Lesson Plans, Week 5, Day 1, before reading the text with students, the teacher introduces two vocabulary words: specimens and fugitive. The words are divided into syllables and each syllable is named. In addition, the teacher provides a definition of each word and gives an example of its use.

Indicator 1p

Materials, lessons, and questions provide instruction in and practice of word analysis skills in a research-based progression in connected text and tasks.
2/2
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Indicator Rating Details

The Bookworms materials reviewed for Grade 4 meet the criteria for materials, lessons, and questions providing instruction in and practice of word analysis skills in a research-based progression in connected text and tasks.

Bookworm Grade 4 materials provide opportunities for students to learn, practice, and apply word analysis skills in connected text and task through daily Shared Reading: Word Study activities. Word study words are taken from the Shared Reading connected text and used to teach word analysis skills, and every fifth day monitor student learning of word analysis skills. Outside of the Word Study test every fifth day, there are no embedded opportunities to showcase word analysis through oral reading fluency or reading of connected text.

Multiple and varied opportunities are provided over the course of the year in core materials for students to learn, practice, and apply word analysis skills in connected texts and tasks. Examples include, but not limited to:

  • In Shared Reading Lesson Plans, Week 9, Day 2, Meaning Vocabulary, the teacher introduces the vocabulary words from the text, gives their meaning, explains how they can be divided into syllables and the syllable types in the word: gal · lows (closed, vowel team) and com · mon · er (closed, closed, r-controlled). Students chorally read these words within the text: Blood on the River. During Assign Written Response, students write super sentences using these words. The next day during Review and Share Written Response, students share their writing with a partner.
  • In Shared Reading Lesson Plans, Week 17, Day 1, Meaning Vocabulary, the teacher introduces the vocabulary words from the text, gives their meaning, explains how they can be divided into syllables and the syllable types in the word: pred · a · tor (closed, irregular, r-controlled) and op · er · a · tion (closed, r-controlled, open, suffix). Students chorally read these words within the text: Tangerine. During Assign Written Response, students write super sentences using these words. The next day during Review and Share Written Response, students share their writing with a partner.
  • In Shared Reading Lesson Plans, Week 28, Day 1, Meaning Vocabulary, the teacher introduces the vocabulary words from the text, gives their meaning, explains how they can be divided into syllables and the syllable types in the word: im · ag · in · ing (closed, closed, closed, suffix) and in · cred · i · ble (closed, closed, irregular, C-le). Students chorally read these words within the text: George Washington’s Sock.  During Assign Written Response, students write super sentences using two vocabulary words from Teach Meaning Vocabulary lessons.

Materials include word analysis assessment to monitor student learning of word analysis skills. Examples include, but are not limited to:

  • In the Teacher Manual, Appendix F, the materials include the Informal Decoding Inventory. The IDI includes six subtests that progress in difficulty. Differentiated grouping decisions are made upon the first subtest that is failed. The materials include that there is a criterion of eight for real words and six for nonsense words. The subtests include: short vowel, consonant blends and digraphs, vowel-consonant e, vowel teams, and multisyllabic words.
    • Short vowel directions: Point to sat. Ask the student, “What is this word.” This is repeated for each word: sat, pot, beg, nip, cub, pad, top, hit, met, nut, mot, tip, han, teg, fet, lup, nid, pab, hud, gop.
    • Consonant blend and digraphs directions: Point to blip. Ask the student, “What is this word.” This is repeated for each word: blip, check, clam, chin, thick, frank, mint, fist, grab, rest, clop, prib, hest, chot, slen, bund, bist, hald, slub, shad
    • R-controlled vowel patterns directions: Point to card. Ask the student, “What is this word.” This is repeated for each word: card, stork, term, burst, turf, fern, dirt, nark, firm, mirth, fird, barp, forn, serp, surt, perd, kurn, nirt, mork, tarst
    • Vowel teams directions: Point to neat. Ask the student, “What is this word.” This is repeated for each word: neat, spoil, goat, pail, field, fruit, claim, meat, beast, boast, craid, houn, rowb, noy, feap, nuit, maist, ploat, tead, steen
      • Multisyllabic words directions: Point to flannel. Ask the student, “What is this word.” This is repeated for each word: flannel, submit, cupid, spiky, confide, cascade, varnish, surplus, chowder, approach
  • In the Teacher Manual, Shared Reading, there is a Word Study Assessment every fifth day. In the Word Study Assessment, the “teacher calls out the following vocabulary words without segmenting into sounds or syllables.” Students are asked to spell six words based on the Word Study work throughout the week. Then, the “teacher will ask students to mark half of the words to use in super sentences to demonstrate meaning.”

Indicator 1q

Instructional opportunities are frequently built into the materials for students to practice and achieve reading fluency in oral and silent reading, that is, to read on-level prose and poetry with accuracy, rate appropriate to the text, and expression.
2/2
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Indicator Rating Details

The Bookworms materials reviewed for Grade 4 meet the criteria for instructional opportunities are frequently built into the materials for students to practice and achieve reading fluency in oral and silent reading, that is, to read on-level prose and poetry with accuracy, rate appropriate to the text, and expression.

Bookworms Grade 4 materials provide opportunities for students to purposely read on-level text through the weekly opportunities to participate in choral reading and partner reading in the Shared Reading Lessons. These readings are followed by a comprehension discussion about the text. In addition, students have opportunities to participate in echo reading, choral reading, partner reading and whisper reading in the Targeting Fluency and Comprehension portion of How to Plan Differentiated Reading Instruction: Resources for Grades K-3.  There is a missed opportunity to provide students instruction on the use of context to confirm a word, to self-correct words or to use rereading as necessary to determine an unknown word. While frequent fluency assessments are not provided, the materials do direct the teacher to the use of oral reading fluency assessments such as AIMSweb or DIBELS Next.

Multiple opportunities are provided over the course of the year in core materials for students to demonstrate sufficient accuracy and fluency in oral and silent reading. Examples include, but not limited to:

  • Students have opportunities to read grade-level text with purpose and understanding. For example: 
    • In Shared Reading Lesson plans, Week 1, Day 1, students participate in choral reading of chapter 1 and 2 of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. After reading page 7, the teacher models how to create sensory images to better understand the text. Students then reread the text with a partner to think about what we learn about the characters and their relationships. Then students participate in a discussion using the following comprehension questions:
      • How do the illustrations enrich the first chapter?
      • Why do you think the author creates such a terrible situation for the Bucket family? Give specific details that make the situation terrible.
      • What can we tell about Grandpa Joe from the way that he tells stories?
    • In Shared Reading Lesson Plans, Week 15, Day 4, students participate in choral reading of pages 7 through 9 of Can’t You Make Them Behave, King George? Students then reread the text with a partner and think about how George moved from regular boy to Prince of Wales to King George III. Then students participate in a discussion using the following comprehension questions:
      • What details can you remember to support this main idea: George acted like a normal boy.
      • Why was George called Prince of Wales when his father died?
      • What kinds of things did he have to learn so that he could prepare to be king?
    • In Shared Reading Lesson Plans, Week 31, Day 3, students participate in choral reading of pages 6 through 11 of The Amazing Life of Benjamin Franklin.  The teacher models using inference.  Then students participate in rereading of the text with a partner and think about the interesting details that the author has given about Ben’s early life. Then students participate in a discussion using the following comprehension questions:
      • Think about the way in which Ben taught himself to improve his writing. What words would you use to describe Ben, based on this information?
      • We know that Ben came from a very close family because the author told us that often 13 or more people sat around his dinner table. How do you think his family will feel about him leaving? How do you think he will tell them?
    • In the Teacher Manual, Shared Reading: Comprehension, states that “In Bookworms Reading and Writing, we always help students target important content by providing a specific focus before they read. This will help them access relevant prior knowledge and lead them toward an appropriate mental representation of text meaning. You will see that in multiple readings the students always have a new purpose for reading. We never target skills in our language with children; we always target meaning.”
    • Additionally, “during choral reading, you will be prompted to model one of seven high-utility comprehension strategies. When you  model, you tell the students how you use the strategy to increase your own comprehension of the text. Specifically, you tell what the strategy is, how you used it, and why you used it. Remember that modeling is showing your own thinking; it is different from prompting students to use strategies. Strategies targeted in these lessons are listed in the table below along with procedural cues. Note that we provide the text just before the spot where you think the modeling is most appropriate.”
    • In the Teacher Manual, Differentiated Instruction, Students have the opportunity to read text silently during this block of time. This block of time is called “Self-Selected Reading” and the Teacher’s Manual explains, “the classroom library should be a source of self-selected reading” where students have “the experience of selecting books by their own criteria.”

Materials provide support of reading or prose and poetry with attention to rate, accuracy, and expression, as well as direction for students to apply reading skills when productive struggle is necessary. Examples include, but not limited to:

  • Students have opportunities to read grade-level prose and poetry orally with accuracy, appropriate rate, and expression on successive readings. For example: 
    • In Shared Reading Lesson Plans, Week 2, Day 1, students participate in choral reading of chapter 1 and 2 of Steal Away Home. Students then reread the text with a partner.
    • In Shared Reading Lesson Plans, Week 17, Day 1, students participate in choral reading of pages 1 through 12 of Tangerine. Students then read the text with a partner.
    • In Shared Reading Lesson Plans, Week 28, Day 1, students participate in choral reading of chapter 1 and 2 of George Washington’s Socks. Students then reread the text with a partner.

Materials support students’ fluency development of reading skills (e.g., self-correction of word recognition and/or for understanding, focus on rereading) over the course of the year (to get to the end of the grade-level band). Examples include, but are not limited to:

  • In the Teacher Manual, “during every day’s shared reading, you will lead the whole class in reading the day’s selection aloud.” Additionally, “If the day’s selection is too long, stop choral reading and read the rest of the day’s text aloud. Then move to partner reading. If you skip partner reading, you will not realize the gains in fluency and comprehension that rereading accomplishes.”
  • Students have the opportunity for repeated reading through either choral or echo reading, then partner rereading each day during Shared Reading. Partners are expected to take the roles of reader and coach, where “the reader reads to his or her partner with expression” and “the coach should read along whiles the reader reads, and prompt the reader to reread whenever there is an error.”


Gateway Two

Building Knowledge with Texts, Vocabulary, and Tasks

Partially Meets Expectations

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Gateway Two Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 4 partially meet the expectations for Gateway 2. Materials do provide organized and cohesive year-long academic vocabulary support, as well as comprehensive writing instruction that supports students in building their writing skills. Students have some practice to analyze different aspects of a topic using multiple texts and source materials. The materials partially meet the expectations of building students’ knowledge of topics, with some texts and text sets supporting a topic. Texts are accompanied by questions, tasks, and activities that partially support attention to the topics within and building knowledge.

Criterion 2a - 2h

Materials build knowledge through integrated reading, writing, speaking, listening, and language.
24/32

Indicator 2a

Texts are organized around a topic/topics (or, for grades 6-8, topics and/or themes) to build students' ability to read and comprehend complex texts independently and proficiently.
2/4
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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 4 partially meet the criteria that texts are organized around a topic/topics (or, for grades 6-8, topics and/or themes) to build students’ ability to read and comprehend complex texts independently and proficiently.

Shared Reading lessons include a mix of both literature and informational texts. During the Shared Reading lessons when informational texts are used, students have opportunities to build knowledge of a topic through multiple reads, collaborative discussions, and writing in response to reading.  ELA texts include several topics; however texts are inconsistently organized around a topic/topics to build knowledge. In some sections, the materials provide limited teaching notes that give guidance on how teachers can support students building knowledge of a topic, and a single text set rarely includes more than two books, thus limiting the students' opportunities to apply knowledge and vocabulary in a new context.

For example:

  • Weeks 9-15 and 22-23, Shared Reading, students build knowledge around the topic of Jamestown and early colonization of America by reading Blood on the River by Elisa Carbone and Roanoke the Lost Colony by Jane Yolan.
  • Weeks 15-16, Shared Reading, students learn about King George III in England during the 1700s while reading Can’t You Make Them Behave, King George? by Jean Fritz. In Weeks 28-31, Shared Reading, students relate what they have learned to the adventure story, George Washington’s Socks by Elvira Woodruff, which takes place during the American Revolution.

Indicator 2b

Materials contain sets of coherently sequenced questions and tasks that require students to analyze the language, key ideas, details, craft, and structure of individual texts.
4/4
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 4 meet the criteria that materials contain sets of coherently sequenced questions and tasks that require students to analyze the language, key ideas, details, craft, and structure of individual texts.


Throughout the lessons, students work independently and collaboratively to complete questions and tasks requiring analysis of individual texts. Lessons in ELA and Shared Reading include close reads with sequenced and scaffolded questions. Key ideas are targeted through specific questions and are designed to guide the thinking process toward precise, accurate details to help students identify main ideas, settings, characters, and chronological events. Students are supported with graphic organizers during Shared Reading lessons, for both vocabulary and written responses.


Examples include:

  • In Week 9, Shared Reading, Days 1-5, students read the historical fiction text Blood on the River by Elisa Carbone. Throughout the reading instruction, students are asked text-dependent questions to build comprehension including, “Why do you think the author chooses to tell us about the severed head of the traitor? What happened to the boy and his mother before she dies? Why does Samuel have a bad attitude about learning from John Smith? How can we tell the boys are ‘lowest’ in power?”
  • In Week 12, ELA Lesson, Days 1-5, students read the autobiography My Life in Dog Years: “Cookie” by Gary Paulsen, and are asked text-dependent questions about the characters and their motives such as, “Why do you think Ike would not cross the bridge and go home with Gary? What information did we learn about Cookie? What information did we learn about Gary Paulsen? How was snowball different from Cookie? What new information did we learn about Paulsen? How was Rex different from Dirk?”
  • In Week 21, ELA Lesson, Days 1-5, students read Around the World in a Hundred Years by Jean Fritz, and are asked to complete various writing tasks and activities using what they have learned from the text to imagine different scenarios such as, “Pretend that you could send a message back through time to Ptolemy. What would you tell him? Stick to the main ideas that you know but that he didn’t.”
  • In Week 26, ELA Lesson, Days 1-3, students read a text about words with multiple meanings called, Miss Alaineus by Debra Frasier. Students are asked a series of questions during the reading including, “What does she mean by defining the word fall as what happened on Vocabulary test day? What was she thinking? What can we infer about the costumes at the vocabulary parade? Why do you think she won a trophy when she chose a word that wasn’t even a word at all?”


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 4 partially meet the criteria that 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.


Students encounter opportunities to analyze knowledge and ideas within a single text; however, there are limited practice opportunities and explicit tasks requiring students to integrate knowledge and ideas across multiple texts. The materials provide more opportunities for knowledge integration with discussion-based questions than with written responses. The Shared Reading section of the Teacher Manual states nearly all Shared Reading questions are inferential, requiring students to combine information from within the text or between the text and prior knowledge. The Teacher Manual also states that written responses in the Shared Reading lessons are designed to help students demonstrate and deepen comprehension daily, whereas the written responses in the ELA Lessons are used to help model thinking for composition processes and is separate from Shared Reading. The written responses during the ELA Lessons do not consistently require students to integrate knowledge and ideas from the text. The texts are more often used as a reference, and often students do not need the text to complete the writing.

Some representative examples of how the program's sequences of questions and tasks work with knowledge demonstration and synthesis include, but are not limited to:

  • Weeks 5-8, Shared Reading, students read Steal Away Home by Lois Ruby.
    • Week 5, students write two journals, an entry for two different characters describing the day’s events. They are told to imitate the author’s style for each character and make sure the reader can infer character traits. With this work, students demonstrate comprehension of the text and focus on author's craft.
    • Week 6 students engage in a comprehension discussion to compare and contrast the perspectives of different characters. In this discussion, students are demonstrating some integration of understanding as they evaluate the characters. 
    • Week 7 students reread the text with focus on comparing and contrasting the lives of two characters.
  • In Week 28, Shared Reading, Days 1-5, students read George Washington’s Socks by Elvira Woodruff and are asked text-based questions to support prediction and inferential thinking such as, “Do you think the boys believe the legend of the lake? What details make you think that? How do you think Matthew felt when he noticed Katie was missing? What do you think will happen next? What details influence your prediction?”

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).
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 4 partially meet the criteria that 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).

The instructional materials include cumulative tasks throughout the year that inconsistently require students to integrate skills to demonstrate knowledge. There are some shared reading lesson over several weeks that focus on knowledge building around a general topic; however, students have limited opportunities to demonstrate knowledge learned. The end of the year cumulative project is the same for Grades 3, 4, and 5 and focuses on self reflection.

The materials do include many instances of students writing in response questions, but these do not consistently act as cumulative demonstrations of knowledge learned in preceding questions and reading.

Some representative examples of how the program supports students in demonstrating their learning through culminating tasks include, but are not limited to:

Examples include:

  • ELA Lessons in Weeks 1, 6, 19, and 34 cumulatively build students’ knowledge and skills in personal narrative writing throughout the school year. Week 1 begins with instruction on narrative writing, and students write a personal narrative. In successive weeks, the teacher models and students write additional narratives with various structures. While these support students in demonstrating these writing skills, they do not focus on the knowledge of a topic or focus on texts. 
  • The cumulative task in Week 34 is for students to write a personal memoir reflecting on how their feelings have changed about themselves as readers and writers throughout the year. Students design covers and perform a museum walk. This example does not include connection to new knowledge or topic, although students are practicing self reflection.
  • ELA Lesson, Week 33, students complete a cumulative task by applying knowledge of opinion writing and writing a book review to create a book advertisement for a book they read during the school year. Students write and present their advertisements to the class. This example does not include connection to new knowledge or topic, although students are practicing self reflection. However, students do demonstrate integrated literacy skills as they move from reading and writing to speaking and listening.

Indicator 2e

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 4 meet the criteria that materials include a cohesive, year-long plan for students to interact with and build key academic vocabulary words in and across texts.


Shared Reading lessons include a Word Study segment, designed to bring attention to the spelling and word meaning of vocabulary words. Students also engage in explicit vocabulary instruction during Shared Reading, through word meaning, multiple meanings, and super sentences. Words selected for this part of the lesson come from the day’s text, and are displayed and introduced prior to reading. Most of the words selected have multiple meanings, and the Shared Reading lesson builds awareness of “how context constraints these meanings.” Following explicit instruction, students read the words in context and write sentences using the words. Students use semantic webs to plan compound or complex super sentences. ELA Lesson plans incorporate vocabulary instruction primarily in the Model a Comprehension Strategy and Ask Questions During Reading segments of the lesson.

Appendix D in the Teacher Manual includes an overview of vocabulary words chosen for each week. Although the vocabulary routines are explicit and consistent throughout the year, the routines do not vary or increase in the rigor of application required by the student.

  • Shared Reading daily vocabulary routine includes “Teach Meaning Vocabulary,” which is direct instruction for vocabulary words, and “Assign Written Response,” which requires students to create a super sentence for the words. The super sentence often includes an additional task of incorporating a reading comprehension strategy. For example:
    • Weeks 5-8 Shared Reading, while reading Steal Away Home by Lois Ruby, during Teach Meaning Vocabulary, the teacher provides direct instruction on a set of six words weekly. During the Assign Written Response, students write super sentences with the words, incorporating an additional comprehension based task such as capturing important details from the chapter.
  • ELA lesson incorporates vocabulary instruction into Interactive Reading during the “Model a Comprehension Strategy” and “Ask Questions During Reading” segments. The words are pulled for their relevance to teaching the text. For example:
    • Week 12, ELA Lesson, Day 1, students read My Life in Dog Years by Gary Paulsen. The lesson begins with “Introduce Book and Preview Technical Vocabulary.” There is no technical vocabulary for this text, so the lesson focuses on Tier II words instead. Students learn the term autobiography and the structure of this text. During Teach Meaning Vocabulary, students learn the words analyze and unabashed in a structured routine.


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.
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 4 meet the criteria that materials 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.


Students are supported through the writing process, and various activities are placed throughout lessons to ensure students’ writing skills are increasing throughout the year. Students are encouraged to develop writing stamina by writing frequently and for various purposes. Students engage in reading and discussion of texts similar to those they are planning to write, and they examine and identify a range of text structures. They are guided to assess the effectiveness of their own and others’ writing. Students are instructed on the nuances of the different types of writing during the ELA Lessons, using checklists and rubrics. During Shared Reading, students write in response to reading with question prompts in opinion, narrative, and informative genres. The “Writing” Appendix in the Teacher Manual explains the design of writing instruction, stating it is intentionally “structurally repetitive.” Students engage in the same sequence with different content throughout the year as follows:

  • Learn the characteristics of the genre
  • Evaluate good and poor examples of the genre
  • Learn to plan the genre
  • Learn to draft the genre
  • Learn to revise, both with peers and independently


For example: 
Opinion Writing

  • In Week 2, ELA Lesson, Days 2-5, students engage in initial opinion writing instruction for the year. The teacher facilitates a discussion on the important parts of opinion writing and then creates a list of the parts of an opinion. As a whole group, students read a sample text and determine if the text meets the criteria for opinion writing.
  • In Week 13, ELA Lesson, Day 5, after reading My Life in Dog Years by Gary Paulsen, students compare and contrast two dogs from the text to write an opinion paper in response to the prompt “Which dog would you want to have as a pet the most and which dog would you want to have as a pet the least?”
  • In Weeks 26-27, ELA Lesson, students respond to the opinion prompt, “Should you do what’s right for the good of a group or should you do what you think is the right thing to do for you?”

Narrative Writing

  • In Week 1, ELA Lesson, students begin learning about narratives by reviewing different narrative texts. After the teacher models the use of the narrative checklist and graphic organizer, students and the teacher draft a story about having indoor recess.
  • In Week 19, ELA Lesson, Day 5, after reading Hatchet by Gary Paulsen, students complete a narrative checklist and graphic organizer and then write their own survival story. Students are instructed to include all narrative elements.


Informative Writing

  • In Weeks 3-4, ELA Lesson, students learn about informative writing using a checklist. As a class, students analyze informative texts, then the teacher alternates modeling paragraphs and allowing students to write paragraphs. Students then complete a graphic organizer and write an essay using whole/whole or similarities/differences essays to compare the book Charlie and the Chocolate by Roald Dahl with the movie version.
  • In Week 23, ELA Lesson, Days 2-5, after reading Roanoke the Lost Colony by Jane Yolen and Heidi Elisabet Yolen Stemple, students write newspaper articles informing readers about what happened to the colonists of the Roanoke Colony.


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.
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 4 partially meet the criteria that 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. Students have opportunities to analyze different aspects of a topic using multiple texts and source materials. They engage in analysis of topics in narrative, opinion, and informative writing.


ELA lessons are built around interactive read-alouds, text-based writing prompts, and a wide range of brief writing tasks. Longer writing pieces during the ELA lessons are focused more on genre and sometimes combine the genre writing with research around a topic. Shared Reading lessons ask students to write in direct response to the texts; however, they have some opportunities to write short responses using information learned from multiple texts. The materials partially support building students’ early research skills by modeling how to take notes, compose informative essays, and utilize resources for information. However, there are limited opportunities for students to engage in focused research projects using multiple texts and source materials for in-depth learning in final synthesis. 


Examples include:

  • In Week 3, ELA Lesson, students read The Worst of Friends: Through the Page with King George by Suzanne Tripp Jurmain. The text is about the relationship between John Adams and Thomas Jefferson. As students read, they create a chart to capture information about Adams and Jefferson and document important events that can be used to create a timeline. This is a component that supports students' understanding of organizing information. 
  • In Week 10-11, ELA Lesson, the teacher begins by showing a video clip about natural disasters. Students then choose a type of natural disaster and conduct research to learn more information. Students use a graphic organizer to capture their research notes. The teacher guides students and models how to sort through sources, organize information, and draft an informative essay.


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.
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 4 meet the criteria that materials provide a design, including accountability, for how students will regularly engage in a volume of independent reading either in or outside of class.

Independent reading within the daily lessons is most often represented by re-reading text from instruction during Shared Reading. During the Differentiated Instruction block, self-selected reading is a task students can choose to complete after they have finished other tasks such as word work, text-based responses, and work with the teacher.


In the Teacher Manual, in Differentiated Instruction, there is a section titled “Self-Selected Reading”. This section explains that Bookworms was designed to maximize authentic, connected reading and writing every day and states, “For teachers who want to hold students accountable for their choices, we recommend a Book Recommendation Board.” The Teacher’s Manual also explains that Bookworms does not recommend restricting students’ book choices based on level and that students should be able to self-select books of interest from classroom libraries. This basic guidance does partially meet the expectations.


The Differentiated Instruction portion of the ELA block does not have specific daily lessons for the teachers to use. The Teacher Manual provides a reference to books used for curriculum development and brief overviews of parts of differentiated instruction. The Planning tab of the Teacher Manual also has a Homework section which explains that wide reading is the most beneficial homework. There is a sample reading log provided as a homework option for teachers to use with students, provided that books form the classroom library or media center are available for all students to take home. Appendix B of the Teacher Manual provides some guidance for teachers on creating a classroom library.

Gateway Three

Usability

Not Rated

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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
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 4 meet the criteria that materials are well-designed and take into account effective lesson structure and pacing. Bookworms reading and writing curriculum consists of 90-minute daily instructional blocks spanning over approximately 36 weeks.

Implementation of the 90-minute instructional block, consists of three 45-minute blocks including Shared Reading, ELA Lessons, and Differentiated Instruction. Although there isn't a prescribed order for planning the three blocks, the Teacher Manual states the importance of the 45 minute-each time allocation.

Shared Reading lessons are designed as teacher supported lessons of fiction and non-fiction “intact” books, with repetitive routines for word study, vocabulary, fluency, and comprehension.

ELA Lessons include narrative read-alouds with associated vocabulary instruction, grammar instruction, strategy-oriented, and genre-based instruction.

The Differentiated Instruction does not target instructional reading level. According to the Teacher Manual, differentiation is Tier II instruction, and students are placed in groups based on an informal reading inventory and Oral Reading Fluency data. An example routine includes 15 minutes with the teacher, and 30 minutes to complete written responses, word study, or vocabulary.

Indicator 3b

The teacher and student can reasonably complete the content within a regular school year, and the pacing allows for maximum student understanding.
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 4 meet the criteria that the teacher and student can reasonably complete the content within a regular school year, and the pacing allows for maximum student understanding.

Bookworms Reading and Writing Curriculum consists of three 45-minute daily instructional blocks with a complete span of 36 weeks. Appendix C of the Teacher Manual provides an overview of instruction for the year. According to the Teacher Manual, grade-level teams are expected to map out the curriculum weeks to align with the school calendar, accounting for school activities and testing. Within the 45-minute instructional blocks, teachers and students should have ample time to complete the entire lesson. However, while the materials include specific instructional sequences for the three blocks, no suggested time allotment or pacing for the various segments within the instructional block is included.

Additional notes in the Teacher Manual referring to time include:

  • “Do not use Bookworms Reading and Writing unless you make the time.”
  • Teachers need intact segments of time for Shared Reading and ELA blocks. They can be completed in any order, with interruptions limited to the breaks between blocks. Literacy instruction must include 90 minutes daily.
  • No outside worksheets will fit into the program because the time allocated for each instructional block is filled with the lesson curriculum.

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.).
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 4 partially meet the criteria that the student resources include ample review and practice resources, clear directions, and explanation, and correct labeling of reference aids (eg. visuals, maps, etc.)

Teacher materials include first-person scripts to support teacher and student understanding. ELA Lessons provide more resources, directions, and explanations for both the teacher and the student. Lessons include think alouds, graphic organizers, checklists, anchor charts, model writing, and directives for students to share in discussions.

Shared Reading planning notes, teacher explanations, and student supports are more brief. Student workbooks include space to complete written responses to prompts, bold vocabulary words with definitions, parts of speech, and sentences. There are also blank semantic maps, however no directions are provided about how students should complete and use these maps. “Engage in Comprehension” for example, is simply a list of questions. Teacher notes and sample student responses are not included for “Engage in Discussion”, “Assign Written Response”, or “Model Written Response” segments of the Shared Reading or ELA lessons.

Differentiation is not directly supported in the Bookworms materials beyond the brief overview in the Teacher Manual. An outside text for purchase is suggested for support with the note, “Teachers cannot implement our routines without the materials and explanations in that book. It is available cheaply.”

  • ELA Lesson Week 5, students read Freedom on the Menu by Carole Boston Weatherford. In the lesson segment “Teach Text Structure”, the teaching notes provide a script for the teacher about chronological order. “This book is organized chronologically, in the order the events happened. We will follow the events from start to finish as they are told by a fictional eight-year-old girl, named Connie. So the book is written in Connie’s point of view.”
  • Shared Reading, Week 17 students are reading Tangerine by Edward Bloor. During “Teach Text Structure Anchor Chart” segment of the lesson, the teaching notes state, “More on characters; events of the day.”
  • ELA Lesson Week 26 students are working on Opinion Writing about making decisions. During the lesson, the teacher reviews the Opinion Writing Graphic Organizer and the Opinion Writing Checklist. Physical and verbal reference to the tools are included in the teaching notes as students plan their writing.

Indicator 3d

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 4 meet the criteria that materials include publisher-produced alignment documentation of the standards addressed by specific questions, tasks, and assessment items.

ELA and Shared Reading block lessons specifically denote the standards to which the lesson tasks align. There is no scope and sequence document provided in the materials. Therefore, teachers need to refer to each individual lesson to determine which standards are being taught, and map them out to determine the frequency with which they are being taught.

  • Shared Reading, Week 5, Day 1, students read Steal Away Home by Lois Ruby. Standards addressed in the “Provide First Focus” segment of the lesson include: RL.4.10, RL.4.3, and RL.4.6. Students practice and apply these standards when they engage in choral reading and engage in comprehension discussion with peers.
  • ELA Lesson, Week 12, Day 2, students read My Life in Dog Years by Gary Paulsen. Standards addressed in the lesson include: RL.4.1, RL.4.3, and RL.4.4. Students compare two different dogs in the text.
  • Shared Reading, Week 20, Day 1, students read Tangerine by Edward Bloor. Standards addressed in the lesson are: L.4.4, L.4.5, L.4.6, and RF.4.3a. Teacher provides explicit vocabulary instruction for the words milling and condemned.
  • ELA Lesson, 34, Day 2, Students work on a cumulative task about their writing identity. The standards addressed in this lesson are: W.4.3, W.4.3b, and W.4.5. Students write a personal narrative on how they have changed as readers and writers during the year.

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
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 4 meet the criteria that the visual design (whether in print or digital) is not distracting or chaotic, but supports students in engaging thoughtfully with the subject.

Print material for students is a set of Shared Reading workbooks, organized by weeks. Workbooks are clearly labeled by weeks, days, lessons, and lesson segments. The workbooks are consumable, so students are able to write directly in the book. Standards are not labeled in the workbook. There are no digital student materials.

  • Pages are labeled on the sides with Shared Reading weeks.
  • Pages are labeled at the top with the day and name of the text from Shared Reading.
  • Segments of the Shared Reading lessons are clearly labeled: Meaning Vocabulary; Written Response; and Word Sort.
  • Each page has ample space with lines for students to write.
  • Font is clear and large, and there are no unnecessary distractions on the pages.

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
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 4 meet the criteria that materials contain a teacher’s edition with ample and useful annotations and suggestions on how to present the content in the student edition and in the ancillary materials. Where applicable, materials include teacher guidance for the use of embedded technology to support and enhance student learning.

ELA lessons and Shared Reading both contain instructional notes and annotations. This is mostly done through the use of first-person teacher think aloud annotations. The ELA lessons provide more notes and suggestions then the Shared Reading lessons. In both parts of the literacy block within the Teacher Manual, sample answers to discussion questions and assigned writing are not included. There are samples that accompany the rubrics and checklists for the overall curriculum in the Teacher’s Manual tab, but they are not provided as support within each lesson. Periodically there are mentions of technology components, such as videos and websites that are integrated or referenced for use during the lesson.

  • Week 3, ELA Lesson, Day 1 “Planning Notes” to accompany the text, The Worst of Friends by Suzanne Tripp Jurmain. “This lesson will require you to construct two diagrams over the course of thee days. Keep them posted so that students can see you add to them and so that they can use them in responding to writing prompts.”
  • Week 16, ELA Lesson, Day 3 Student Discussion Questions to accompany the text, Hatchet by Gary Paulsen. “Gary Paulsen uses very descriptive language as he tells about Brian’s escape from the plane. What are some examples?” and “The chapter ends with one word: Nothing. Why is this a good way to end this chapter?”
  • Week 31, Shared Reading, Day 3 “Preview Text Structure Anchor Chart” to accompany text, The Amazing Life of Benjamin Franklin by James Cross Giblin. “This book is a biography. It tells the story of Benjamin Franklin’s life in time order. Whenever I read a biography, I like to make a timeline to keep track of some of the most important events in a person’s life. But this time I don’t have to. If we look toward the back of the book, the author has done that for us by listing the key events.”

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
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 4 meet the criteria that materials contain a teacher’s edition that contains full, adult-level explanations and examples of the more advanced literacy concepts so that teachers can improve their own knowledge of the subject, as necessary.

The Teacher Manual provides information regarding the research behind the design of the curriculum, rationale on text selection, explanations for differentiated instruction design, and the structure of writing instruction. The Teacher Manual refers to several other texts as the research-based design of the program. Teachers need to read the additional texts to deepen their learning.

  • “The most important thing to know about Bookworms Reading and Writing from the start is that research informs the design. We began with a small-group multiple entry skills curriculum. That curriculum is included in How to Plan Differentiated Reading Instruction: Resources for Grades K-3 Wapole, S., & McKenna, M.C. (2017). How to plan differentiated reading instruction: Strategies for grades K-3 (2nd ed). New York, NY: Guilford Press. and in Differentiated Reading Instruction in Grades 4 and 5: Strategies and Resources Wapole, S., McKenna, M.C., & Phillapakos Z (2011). Differentiated reading instruction in grades 4 & 5: Strategies & Resources. New York, NY: Guilford Press.
  • "We drew upon three specific resources, identified below, and each of them is worth consideration as a book study on its own Coker, D. L., & Ritchey, K. D. (2015). Teaching beginning writers. New York, NY: Guilford Press. Philippakos, Z. A., MacArthur, C. A., & Coker, D. L. (2015). Developing strategic writers through genre instruction: Resources for grades 3-5. New York, NY: Guilford Press.Owocki, G. (2013). The Common Core writing book: Lessons for a range of tasks, purposes, and audiences. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann. The first two texts distilled the cognitively-oriented research in writing (most of which was conducted with students with disabilities) and presented that research for a teacher audience and for a wider range of students. The third text includes extensive support for developing the craft of writing.”
  • “To support teachers to develop their skills in the teaching of writing, we have constructed the lesson plans in first person. Our goal is that you read these plans as if you were watching a master writing teacher teach. Over time, as you build your own skills and see the opportunity for connections and repetitive language, you will be able to make the language your own. At the start, you may want to use the lesson plan language more closely, but you will never be able to simply read it aloud.”

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
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 4 meet the criteria that materials contain a teacher’s edition that explains the role of the specific ELA/literacy standards in the context of the overall curriculum. the criteria that the visual design (whether in print or digital) is not distracting or chaotic, but supports students in engaging thoughtfully with the subject.

The Teacher Manual includes an explanation of how the ELA/Literacy standards align to the curriculum, and are used within the different parts of the literacy block. However, the curriculum does not provide a scope and sequence to show when the ELA/Literacy standards are taught throughout the year, or correlations to ELA or Shared Reading lessons. The curriculum includes an ELA/Literacy table, and it is up to the teacher to determine which parts of the lesson are connected to each standard.  

  • “We define Shared Reading as teacher-supported grade-level reading, similar in purpose to the whole-group portion of a traditional core program. However, our curriculum is different from a traditional commercial core in three ways: (1) it uses only intact books, and (2) it is calibrated to the Common Core State Standards for text difficulty, and (3) the lesson plans and manual are available for free.”
  • “The nature of standards influenced by the Common Core State Standards and the high-volume design of Bookworms Reading and Writing interact to produce daily opportunities for addressing multiple standards. We have identified those opportunities for teachers who want to track their work and for those who post standards each day. We have referenced word recognition and decoding standards as they are addressed each week in word study. Fluency standards are referenced in Shared Reading, as are text difficulty standards. Grade level reading literature and informational text standards are referenced daily in Shared Reading and interactive read aloud plans, as are speaking and listening standards. Language standards are referenced during sentence composing. Writing standards are referenced during text-based responses to Shared Reading and during genre-based writing instruction, and then practiced daily in text-based responses. Research standards are marked in our research units.”

Indicator 3i

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 4 meet the criteria that materials contain a explanations of the instructional approaches of the program and identification of the research based strategies.

Throughout the Teacher Manual, the Bookworms curriculum provides explanations of the instructional approaches and the research behind the strategies and development of the curriculum. For Shared Reading, ELA Lessons, and Differentiated Instruction, rationales are provided with the titles of the additional texts, and research for teachers to reference for additional information.

  • ELA Lesson Read Alouds: “About half of the days, the ELA block uses an engaging book as a means of exposing students to rich language, developing comprehension ability, expanding vocabulary, and building knowledge Santoro, L. E., Chard, D. J., Howard, L., & Baker, S. K. (2008). Making the very most of classroom read-alouds to promote comprehension and vocabulary. The Reading Teacher, 61, 396-408.Teale, W. H. (2003). Reading aloud to young children as a classroom instructional activity: Insights from research and practice. In A. van Kleeck, A. A. Stahl, & E. B. Bauer (Eds.), On reading books to children: Parents and teachers (pp. 114-139). Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum   .. The practice of reading aloud to students should be a mainstay throughout the elementary years, not just in the primary grades. Their advantages exist well after students have learned to decode Cunningham, A. E. (2005). Vocabulary growth through independent reading and reading aloud to children. In E. H. Hiebert & M. L. Kamil (Eds.), Teaching and learning vocabulary: Bringing research to practice (pp. 45-67). Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.”
  • Writing Instruction: “That approach, like the rest of the program, is informed by research. We drew upon three specific resources, identified below, and each of them is worth consideration as a book study on its own Coker, D. L., & Ritchey, K. D. (2015). Teaching beginning writers. New York, NY: Guilford Press. Philippakos, Z. A., MacArthur, C. A., & Coker, D. L. (2015). Developing strategic writers through genre instruction: Resources for grades 3-5. New York, NY: Guilford Press.Owocki, G. (2013). The Common Core writing book: Lessons for a range of tasks, purposes, and audiences. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.. The first two texts distilled the cognitively-oriented research in writing (most of which was conducted with students with disabilities) and presented that research for a teacher audience and for a wider range of students.
  • Differentiated Instruction: “Teachers may be familiar with definitions of differentiation that include choices about differentiating products, processes, or content Tomlinson, C. A. (1999). The differentiated classroom: Responding to the needs of all learners. Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Developmen . Our Differentiation block is a type of content differentiation, but it is very different from the guided reading model Fountas, I. C., & Pinnell, G. S. (1996). Guided reading: Good first teaching for all student. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann. that is commonly used for differentiation.”

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.
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 4 meet the criteria that materials contain strategies for informing all stakeholders, including students, parents or caregivers about the ELA/literacy program and suggestions for how they can help support student progress and achievement.

In the Teacher Manual, there is a section titled, “Family Connections”. This section explains the importance of communicating with families at the beginning of the year to inform them about the design of the curriculum and provide information about word study. The publisher includes two sample letters for teachers to use to communicate with families. In addition, there is a section titled Homework. This section provides an explanation to teachers on the Bookworm philosophy of homework and provides suggestions to teachers about how to design homework. Information about homework for families is not provided.

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.
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 4 meet the criteria that materials regularly and systematically offer assessment opportunities that genuinely measure student progress.

The Evaluation tab in the Teacher Manual, explains how Assessments are used to support teachers in monitoring progress throughout the year. Weekly word study tests and bi-weekly on-demand written responses are used to assess comprehension, and longer writing tasks are used to assess composition and mechanics. Foundational skills assessments, such as an Informal Decoding Inventory, are provided by the publisher to support diagnostic data. Writing assessments assess student competency in narrative, opinion, and informational writing. Standards-based rubrics are included for evaluation of written responses.

Bookworms also recommends the use of additional holistic assessments in reading and writing, including Achieve the Core for on-demand writing tasks and reading mini-assessments. The reading mini-assessments include text-dependent questions and constructed response questions. Bookworms recommends that for each nine-week grading period, schools choose either a writing or reading assessment to track student progress over time.

The publisher does not include an assessment scope and sequence for teachers to see exactly where different assessments fall during the course of instruction. Appendix C shows assessments as it pertains to the Differentiated Instruction part of the literacy block. Assessments during Shared Reading and ELA Lessons are not included in this appendix. Teachers would need to go through each lesson to find where the assessments are located in Shared Reading and ELA Lessons.

Indicator 3l

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

Indicator 3l.i

Assessments clearly denote which standards are being emphasized.
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 4 partially meet the criteria that assessments clearly denote which standards are being emphasized.

Assessments in the Bookworms Reading and Writing curriculum come from publisher created assessments and holistic assessments from Achieve the Core. Assessments from the publisher do not include clearly denote standards on the assessments. Spelling and word study assessments are listed within a lesson, but they do not include which standards are assessed. Assessments for writing found within the lessons include a table with standards. The writing grading rubrics provided in the Teacher Manual, reference the standards in the explanation of the rubric, but the rubric does not include clearly denoted standards. Holistic assessments from Achieve the Core include clearly denoted standards, and correlations between the questions asked and the standard.

Indicator 3l.ii

Assessments provide sufficient guidance to teachers for interpreting student performance and suggestions for follow-up.
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 4 partially meet the criteria that assessments provide sufficient guidance to teachers for interpreting student performance and suggestions for follow up.

The Bookworms Reading and Writing curriculum provides guidance to teachers for interpreting student performance through the use of rubrics and checklists. However, the curriculum does not include suggestions for follow up with students based on the outcome of the data. The curriculum does not provide guidance for teachers to support students who do not show proficiency, or for students who need extension. Materials provided:

  • Checklists and Rubrics for Narrative, Opinion, and Informative Writing
  • Super Sentence Rubric
  • Writing Response Rubric
  • Sample Responses for daily formative tasks

Indicator 3m

Materials should include routines and guidance that point out opportunities to monitor student progress.
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 4 meet the criteria that materials should include routines and guidance that point out opportunities to monitor student progress.

Instructional materials provide some routines and guidance to monitor student progress. These include informal checklists, constructed response rubrics, daily writing in response to reading, use of graphic organizers, and daily discussion questions. There are limited sample student responses within the daily lessons. The daily discussion questions and writing in response to reading assignments, do not include sample student responses to help support the teacher in determining if students are meeting the level of expectation as required by the literacy standard and the curriculum. Bookworms provide checklists and rubrics for longer writing assignments. Although it is not explicitly stated, these tools can be used to gather data on student progress in writing. Teacher Manual, Evaluation tab includes the following:

  • Grading: Provides teachers with rubrics for Super Sentences, Written Responses, Word Study assessments, example student responses, and example grading responses. These rubrics are referred to during daily lessons in ELA Lessons and Shared Reading.
  • Writing: Provides teachers with checklists for Conventions and rubrics for Narrative, Informational, and Opinion writing.
  • Speaking and Listening: Provides a speaking and listening checklist where the standards are listed and the teacher can mark “consistently, sometimes, or rarely” for how students demonstrate the speaking and listening standards.

Indicator 3n

Materials indicate how students are accountable for independent reading based on student choice and interest to build stamina, confidence, and motivation.
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 4 do not meet the criteria that materials indicate how students are accountable for independent reading based on student choice and interest to build stamina, confidence, and motivation.

The Bookworms Reading and Writing curriculum does not include independent reading or accountability for independent reading as a focus of the curriculum. Self-selected reading is an option, not a requirement, within the Differentiated block. One of the options students can choose during the three 15-minute rotations is self-selected reading. Accountability, stamina, and building motivation towards independent reading are done through student choice to read independently, and from teachers intentionally creating these opportunities. The Teacher Manual, Differentiated Instruction tab, section Self-Selected Reading includes the following notes:

  • “The bookworms we know are not forced to read; they choose to read. For teachers who want to hold students accountable for their choices, we recommend a Book Recommendation board. When students finish reading a book from the classroom library, they can recommend it (or not!) by posting a card on the board.”
  • “The classroom library should be the source of self-selected reading, and we do not recommend restricting student choices. That means that students will have the experience of selecting books by their own criteria – by author connection, by theme or topic, or by perceived difficulty.”

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.
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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 4 partially meet the criteria that materials provide teachers with strategies for meeting the needs of range of learners so the content is accessible to all learners and supports them in meeting or exceeding the grade-level standards.

The Teacher’s Manual includes a document titled “Opportunities,” located in the Evaluation tab. Within this document, teachers are given suggestions for differentiated instruction during Shared Reading and ELA Lessons. The charts and information include suggestions for both intact classrooms and push-in supports for “Weak Readers, English Learners, and Strong Readers.” The suggestions are not specific to daily lessons and provide general guidance for teachers on how they can differentiate instruction in grades 3-5. The charts do not address tiered levels of support with specific information for supporting the range of learners within the context of the lessons. There are no interventions or extensions that connect to literacy standards or content.

  • Weak Readers Differentiation Interactive Read Aloud, “Parallel teach during tier 2 word instruction and sentence composing so that students have more chances to participate.”
  • Weak Readers Differentiation for Shared Reading, “For partner reading, engage students who can read with partners to do that while reading chorally with those who need more support.”
  • English Learners Shared Reading, “Student hears a review of previous content from a peer, in child-friendly language.” “Initial comprehension is monitored through a brief discussion.”
  • English Learners ELA: Interactive Read Aloud, “Teacher can choose to use the text anchor chart for review for some students while others share, with repetition and frame sentences.”
  • Strong Readers Shared Reading, “Ask two high-achieving readers to share their responses with one another, ensuring that both get an additional example of a high-level response.”

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.
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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 4 partially meet the criteria that materials regularly provide all students, including those who read, write, speak, or listen below grade level, or in a language other than English, with extensive opportunities to work with grade level text and meet or exceed grade-level standards.

All students are exposed to grade level texts through daily lessons that include read alouds, independent reading, and partner reading. The Teacher Manual includes a document titled “Opportunities,” located in the Evaluation tab. Within this document, teachers are given suggestions for weak readers and English learners. A chart lists the routine from the lesson and the suggested supports. For weak readers, the manual suggests allowing access to assistive technology, parallel teaching Tier II words, and providing additional think time.  

The information includes suggestions for both intact classrooms and push-in supports for English Learners. The daily plans for ELA and Shared Reading do not include any specific notes about differentiation or instructional strategies for English Language Learners within the context of the lesson. According the the Teacher Manual, the supports provided in Bookworms may not be enough for “newcomer” English learners, and these students may need basic oral English instruction as a substitute to the ELA or Shared Reading block.

  • Shared Reading
    • “Student hears a review of previous content from a peer, in child-friendly language.”
    • “Initial comprehension is monitored through a brief discussion.”
    • “Teacher can add additional pictures or realia to support understanding.”
    • “Teacher can add sentence frames to support answers for selected questions.”
    • “A summary of the text is always displayed in the classroom, providing opportunity for review.”
    • “Student can listen and track print rather than read chorally.”
  • ELA: Interactive Read Aloud
    • “Teacher can choose to use the text anchor chart for review for some students while others share, with repetition and frame sentences.”
    • “Fluent reading is modeled every day; picture books provide visual support. Teacher has specific support for text explanation.”
    • “Teacher can divide the class into groups, with some students completing the response without support and others engaged in shared writing with the teacher.”
    • “Teacher can add additional explanation and visual support.”

Indicator 3q

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

The materials reviewed for Grade 4 partially meet the criteria that materials regularly include extensions and/or more advanced opportunities for students who read, write, speak, or listen above grade level.

The “Opportunities” section of the Teacher Manual contains a chart of suggestions for strong readers. Many of the suggestions include pairing two high achieving students together. Frequently throughout the document, the suggested extension support is listed as “none necessary”. Within the daily lesson plans for both ELA and Shared Reading plans do not include guidance for teachers on differentiation or instructional strategies for students that require enrichment. The chart also recommends engaging students to assist in certain components of the lesson such as updating the anchor chart.

  • Shared Reading
    • “Ask two high-achieving readers to share their responses with one another, ensuring that both get an additional example of a high-level response.”
    • “Comprehension is extended through inferential discussion. Pair two high-achieving students together so that they can challenge one another’s evolving comprehension. Look through the day’s questions and reserve an especially difficult one to ask a high-achieving student.”
    • “Repeated reading deepens comprehension and builds fluency. There is nothing damaging for high achieving students to do this. If you have students who have absolutely no issues with fluency and do not like to read aloud, you might pair them together and ask them to read silently during this time. If a very high-achieving student does enjoy reading aloud, consider pairing that student with a student with a read aloud accommodation; the high achieving student can read to the student who needs that help.”
  • Differentiation
    • “These students will be in vocabulary and comprehension groups, so you will already be differentiating the process (to a single silent reading) and the content (by selecting texts). Consider using more information texts targeting unknown, interesting content knowledge rather than using narratives well above grade level unless you are certain that their content is developmentally appropriate.”
    • “These responses are naturally differentiated. You can keep the task the same and still communicate very high (above grade level) expectations for written work to students who can handle them.”
  • ELA Lessons
    • “Teacher writes a brief summary of text meaning every day. Engaging students with especially strong summarizing abilities to help decide what to write provides some additional challenge.”
    • “Grammar lessons use meaningful selections from text. Teachers provide direct explanation and manipulate sentences visually. Higher achieving students are likely to participate more in these sessions.”
    • “Students are assigned to work on the day’s task, often in partners, with the support of graphic organizers and checklists. This work is naturally differentiated, but partners can be assigned strategically to link two strong writers.”

Indicator 3r

Materials provide opportunities for teachers to use a variety of grouping strategies.
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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 4 meet the criteria that materials provide opportunities for teachers to use a variety of grouping strategies.

The materials reviewed for Grade 4 meet the criteria that materials provide opportunities for teachers to use a variety of grouping strategies. The Bookworms Reading and Writing curriculum uses a repetitive approach to routines and instruction. This includes the grouping strategies that are used during instruction. In the ELA Lessons that focus on writing, grouping strategies include students working collaboratively in partners and small groups. ELA Lessons that include an interactive read aloud do not provide specific grouping strategies, other than stating “Engage Students in Discussion”. Shared Reading lessons include rereading with partners and sharing with partners. The Differentiated Instruction block groupings are explained in the Differentiated Instruction section of the Teacher Manual. This section explains how the 45-minute block students would have 15-minutes of time with the teacher and 30-minutes to complete their written responses to Shared Reading and when finished, students could engage in self-selected reading from the classroom library.

  • ELA Lesson, Week 3, Day 5, Learning about Informative Writing Compare/Contrast, “Pair up pairs and have each group of 4 share which piece they believe is the strongest and why.”
  • ELA Lesson, Week 8, Day 2, with the text Earthquakes by Seymour Simon. “Now it’s your turn to ask questions. Think of a really good question about what we’ve read today and ask your partner.”
  • Shared Reading, Week 17, Lesson 1, with the text Tangerine by Edward Bloor. Students are asked to reread in partners and respond to the statement, “Now think about Erik. What do we learn about him from the things that Paul describes.”

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
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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 4 meet the criteria that digital materials (either included as supplementary to a textbook or as part of a digital curriculum) are web-based, compatible with multiple internet browsers (eg. Internet Explorer, Firefox, Google Chrome, etc.), “platform neutral” (ie., Windows and Apple and are not proprietary to any single platform), follow universal programming style, and allow the use of tablets and mobile devices.

The Bookworms Reading and Writing curriculum digital platform is for teacher use only. On the digital platform, teachers will find a Teacher Manual which includes information including an overview of the curriculum design, suggested implementation routines, book lists, and grading rubrics. The digital platform also includes the lesson plans for both Shared Reading and ELA Lessons. The lesson plans are written in first-person and provide information for instruction, think alouds, and discussion questions. Assessments and answers to comprehension discussion questions are not available on the digital platform. The digital platform does not include any resources or lessons for Differentiated Instruction and does not include any materials for student access. The Bookworms Reading and Writing curriculum functions efficiently on all internet browsers. Chrome, Safari, and Firefox all launched the digital platform without any difficulty.

Indicator 3t

Materials support effective use of technology to enhance student learning, drawing attention to evidence and texts as appropriate.
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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 4 meet the criteria that materials support effective use of technology to enhance student learning, drawing attention to evidence and texts as appropriate.

Technology and the use of technology is not a focus of the Bookworms Reading and Writing Curriculum. Within the Teacher Manual there is no mention of technology, or the philosophy of how the design of the curriculum uses or supports the use of technology. Although there is no explicit information about technology in the Teacher Manual, technology is included in both Shared Reading and ELA Lessons. Often times it is through a website or video link that teachers are encouraged to use to introduce students to a text, author, or concept. In the research projects students are encouraged and directed to use technology as a resource for information. It is in the research projects where technology is utilized more frequently in the lessons and by students.

  • Shared Reading, Week 1, Day 1, with the text Charlie and Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl. Check out Roald Dahl’s website: http://www.roalddahl.com
  • ELA Lesson, Week 5, Day 1, with the text Freedom on the Menu by Carole Boston Weatherford. “You many want to use primary sources to build your knowledge. Here are two examples: Preview this New York Times interview with Franklin McCain, one of the Greensboro Four (url provided). This NPR audio story also provides great background information (url provided)."
  • Shared Reading, Week 15, Day 4, with the text Can’t You Make Them Behave, King George? by Jean Fritz. Students are learning about King George III, it is recommended to the teacher to “Consider showing the first 3 minutes of this YouTube (url provided)."
  • Shared Reading, Week 17, Day 1, with the text Tangerine by Edward Bloor. To introduce students to the author and text it is suggested for teachers to use a website and a short trailer video for the 2013 movie on YouTube.

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.
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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 4 do not meet the criteria that digital materials include opportunities for teachers to personalize learning for all students, using adaptive or other technological innovations.

The Bookworms Reading and Writing digital curriculum does not have an option for customization within the ELA Lessons and Shared Reading. The digital materials do not have the capability to be adapted, as all texts are accessed by reading full novels and books. The texts are not available to students digitally, and therefore no adaptive technologies are available while reading the texts. Teachers can view the lessons and curriculum, but they are not able to be downloaded and therefore the materials cannot be personalized for differentiation. The use of adaptive or other technologies are not supported in this program.

Indicator 3u.ii

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

The materials reviewed for Grade 4 do not meet the criteria that materials can be easily customized for local use.

In the Teacher Manual in the section titled “Planning,” the Bookworms Reading and Writing curriculum explains how districts, schools, and teachers should implement the curriculum. It specifically states in this document that “No outside worksheets will fit in this program.” The Teacher’s Manual also suggests since 36 weeks of instruction are planned, districts and schools would need to map the instructional days onto their own school year calendar in order to figure out how to build time for school or community activities, test preparation, and assessments required outside of the curriculum. It also states in the “Philosophy” section of the Teacher’s Manual there needs to be daily three 45-minutes instructional blocks. Schools need to consider the time require for each daily block. “Please do not use Bookworms Reading and Writing unless you make the time.” “It is important for schools to understand the time requirements for Bookworms Reading and Writing and not to expect teachers to implement the lessons in a shortened format.”

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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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 4 do not meet the criteria that 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.)

Integration of technology is limited within the Bookworms Reading and Writing curriculum and typically consists of references and links to videos and websites that can be used for additional information on the topic. There is no evidence of technology that is used to create collaboration within the students or for collaboration with the students and the teachers. The Teacher Manual does not include any specific information regarding the use or integration of technology.

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Additional Publication Details

Report Published Date: 07/25/2019

Report Edition: 2018

Title ISBN Edition Publisher Year
Bookworms Grade 4 Student Workbook, Beta Release: Add On Pack of 5 978-1-64311-037-0 Open Up Resources 2018

About Publishers Responses

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

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

Educator-Led Review Teams

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

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

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

Rubric Design

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

Advancing Through Gateways

  • Materials must meet or partially meet expectations for the first set of indicators to move along the process. Gateways 1 and 2 focus on questions of alignment. Are the instructional materials aligned to the standards? Are all standards present and treated with appropriate depth and quality required to support student learning?
  • Gateway 3 focuses on the question of usability. Are the instructional materials user-friendly for students and educators? Materials must be well designed to facilitate student learning and enhance a teacher’s ability to differentiate and build knowledge within the classroom. In order to be reviewed and attain a rating for usability (Gateway 3), the instructional materials must first meet expectations for alignment (Gateways 1 and 2).

Key Terms Used throughout Review Rubric and Reports

  • Indicator Specific item that reviewers look for in materials.
  • Criterion Combination of all of the individual indicators for a single focus area.
  • Gateway Organizing feature of the evaluation rubric that combines criteria and prioritizes order for sequential review.
  • Alignment Rating Degree to which materials meet expectations for alignment, including that all standards are present and treated with the appropriate depth to support students in learning the skills and knowledge that they need to be ready for college and career.
  • Usability Degree to which materials are consistent with effective practices for use and design, teacher planning and learning, assessment, and differentiated instruction.

ELA 3-8 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.

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