Alignment: Overall Summary

Alignment

|

Partially Meets Expectations

Gateway 1:

Text Quality

0
27
52
58
56
52-58
Meets Expectations
28-51
Partially Meets Expectations
0-27
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 Kindergarten 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 (including read-aloud texts in K-2 and shared reading texts in Grade 2 used to build knowledge and vocabulary) are of publishable quality and worthy of especially careful reading/listening and consider a range of student interests.
4/4
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-
Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Kindergarten meet the criteria for anchor texts (including read aloud texts in K-2 and shared reading texts in Grade 2 used to build knowledge and vocabulary) are of publishable quality and worthy of especially careful reading/listening and consider a range of student interests.

The reading selections are engaging and multicultural. Many of the texts are written by award-winning authors. Texts include a variety of genres including: poems, songs, predictable rhyming books, biographies, fiction, and non-fiction. Enriching academic vocabulary and quality illustrations help build student knowledge.

Examples of high-quality, publishable texts in Shared Reading include:

  • In Week 1, students listen to Miss Bindergarten Gets Ready for Kindergarten by Joseph Slate, a rhyming book with bright illustrations that are of high-interest to Kindergarten students during their first week of school. The text introduces students to Kindergarten and letters of the alphabet.  
  • In Week 10, students listen to A Bee’s Life, which is a Time for Kids non-fiction reader that graphs a bee’s life cycle with vivid photos, explanatory vocabulary, and information that is captive to Kindergarten students.
  • In Week 21, students listen to The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats, a Caldecott Medal Winning book about a culturally diverse character who experiences the enjoyment of snow. The language and vocabulary are rich and the illustrations are engaging.
  • In Week 32, students listen to Harriet Tubman: Follow the North Star by Violet Findley and illustrated by Marcy Ramsey, which is an “easy to read” biography exploring important historical subjects through realistic illustrations, diagrams, a glossary, and significant themes.
  • In Week 35, students listen to Harry the Dirty Dog by Gene Zion, a National Education Association Teachers’ Top 100 Books for Children in 2007. The fictional picture book engages students through illustrations and an enjoyable humorous story.

Examples of high-quality, publishable texts in ELA include:

  • In Week 2, students listen to Frederick by Leo Lionni, an award-winning Caldecott Honor Book, Library of Congress Children’s Book of the Year, New York Times Best Illustrated Book, and School Library Journal Best Book of the Year.
  • In Week 16, students listen to Building with Dad by Carol Nevius and illustrated by Bill Thompson. The illustrations are done in acrylic paint and colored pencils. Also, with the double-spaced vertical format, when the book is turned sideways, it brings the building experience to life making the book engaging while building knowledge.
  • In Week 30, students listen to Clouds by Anne Rockwell, an “easy to read”, non-fiction science text where students learn types of clouds through bright, realistic illustrations. This text builds science knowledge.
  • In Week 34, students listen to How a Seed Grows by Helene Jordan and illustrated by Loretta Krupinski, which is a non-fiction science text that teaches students how seeds become plants. This book contains accurate illustrations and includes a simple experiment for students to try.

Indicator 1b

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Kindergarten meet the criteria for materials reflecting the distribution of text types and genres required by the standards at each grade level.

Throughout the program, students are exposed to both literary and informational texts in both Shared Reading and ELA. Students are exposed to: action stories, biographies, fables, fairy tales, legends, poems, and fantasy stories.

Examples of read-aloud literary texts in Shared Reading and ELA include:

  • Pumpkin Day by Joseph Slate
  • Paddington Sets Sail by Michael Bond
  • Caps for Sale by Esphyr Slobodkina
  • The Full Belly Bowl by Jim Aylesworth and Wendy Anderson Halperin
  • Hit Fly Guy by Tedd Arnold
  • Sammy the Seal by Syd Hoff
  • Sheila Rae the Brave by Kevin Henkes
  • Make Way for Ducklings by Robert McCloskey
  • Fred and Fred Go Camping by Peter Eastman 
  • The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats
  • Miss. Bindergarten Celebrates the 100th Day by Joseph Slate
  • Grandfather’s Wrinkles by Kathryn England
  • Follow the Moon Home by Philippe Cousteau
  • Have You Seen My Dinosaur? by Jon Surgai
  • Tikki, Tikki, Tembo by Arlene Mosel
  • Career Day by Anne Rockwell.

Students are also exposed to informational texts throughout the ELA and Shared Reading components of the program. Examples of these texts include:

  • What Makes a Magnet by Franklyn M. Branley
  • What Lives in a Shell by Kathleen Weidner Zoehfeld
  • A Tree for all Seasons by Robin Bernard
  • A Bee’s Life by Dona Herweck Rice
  • Sarah Morton’s Day by Kate Waters
  • A Log’s Life by Wendy Pfeffer
  • Pocahontas by Caryn Jenner
  • From Caterpillar to Butterfly by Deborah Hellingman
  • Daring Amelia by Barbara Lowell
  • Actual Size by Steve Jenkins
  • George Washington by Garnet Jackson
  • How Plants Grow by Dona Herweck Rice
  • From Tadpole to Frog by Kathleen Weidner Zoehfeld
  • In a Nutshell by Joseph Anthony
  • Follow the Water from Brook to Ocean by Arthur Dorros

Indicator 1c

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Kindergarten meet the criteria that texts (including read-aloud texts and some shared reading texts used to build knowledge and vocabulary) have the appropriate level of complexity for the grade level according to quantitative analysis, qualitative analysis, and a relationship to their associated student task. Read-aloud texts at K-2 are above the complexity levels of what most students can read independently.

Within both the ELA and Shared Reading components of the materials, the students listen to grade-appropriate read-alouds with an appropriate level of complexity according to the quantitative analysis, qualitative analysis, and the relationship to their associated student task. The majority of the texts have a Lexile that is in the Grade 2 and 3 band or above and are qualitatively complex for Kindergarten students.

Specific examples include:

  • In Week 2, students listen to Frederick by Leo Lionni, which has a Lexile of 500 and is moderately complex. It provides a message about acceptance, thinking outside of the box, and how everyone contributes in their own way. The illustrations are important in understanding the story.
  • In Week 7, students listen to What Makes a Magnet by Franklyn M. Brantley, which has a Lexile of 410 and is moderately complex. The text structure is somewhat unfamiliar to students in that it provides step by step instructions on making their own magnets.
  • In Week 14, students listen to Sarah Morton’s Day by Kate Waters, which has a Lexile of 700. This text is moderate to very complex due to the knowledge demands. The images are from the actual Plymouth Plantation and help students understand and visualize the concepts presented in the book. This is read during Dialogic Reading and the tasks increase throughout the week from recall questions to higher-level inference questions by the end of the week.
  • In Week 15, students listen to Giggle, Giggle, Quack by Doreen Cronin and Betsy Lewin, which has a Lexile of 480. The teacher supports students’ understanding of the text by using a story map to track characters, setting, and the problem and solution. The text is slightly to moderately complex.
  • In Week 20, students listen to Chrysanthemum by Kevin Henkes which has a Lexile of 460. The structure is slightly complex in that it is a narrative plot with graphics that aid comprehension. Both the meaning and knowledge demands are also slightly complex as the story has a common theme of school and acceptance.
  • In Week 21, students listen to The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats, which has a Lexile of 500. Students are required to make inferences and understand the difference between reality and exaggeration. The language features and theme of the story are moderately complex; however, the knowledge of a snow day is dependent on geographic location, making the text more accessible to some students and more complex to others.
  • In Week 33, students listen to Have you Seen my Dinosaur by Jon Surgal, which has a Lexile of 450. The text is slightly to moderately complex with more simplistic text structure and knowledge demands, but more complex language features.

Indicator 1d

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Kindergarten meet the criteria for materials supporting students’ literacy skills (comprehension) over the course of the school year through increasingly complex text to develop independence of grade level skills (leveled readers and series of texts should be at a variety of complexity levels).

In both English Language Arts and Shared Reading, the texts and tasks increase in complexity to develop independence of grade level skills. While the majority of the texts in Kindergarten are read to the students, the complexity and/or tasks increase throughout the year. When the quantitative complexity decreases, the qualitative complexity increases and/or the task associated with the text is more challenging. In addition, students participate in Dialogic Reading each week, which has a structure that increases in complexity each week. On the first day of hearing a text, students are guided through simplistic questions and answers, but by the end of the week, students are completing a retell; and by the end of the year, the students complete this with less and less teacher support. In ELA, the questions, writing tasks, and expectation of student understanding and application of their knowledge grows with each new text.

In English Language Arts, students hear a text over the course of several days. The complexity of the texts and/or the tasks increase throughout the year. For example:

  • In the first nine weeks, students hear a total of 12 texts with Lexiles that range from 370 to 760. Students begin the year by hearing six different literary texts before being introduced to non-fiction.
  • In the second nine weeks, students hear a total of seven texts, with four of those being non-fiction. The Lexiles are slightly lower than the first nine weeks, 290 to 650, but the qualitative features are more complex. Students learn about Pocahontas, Thanksgiving on Plymouth Plantation, and our country.
  • During the third nine weeks, there is an increase in quantitative complexity. The ranges of Lexiles are from 460 to 1080. There are a total of eight texts, and two of the three non-fiction texts are the most complex. The texts with lower Lexiles have more complex tasks.
  • During the fourth nine weeks, students listen to six more texts with Lexiles that range from 430 to 1090. The tasks continue to be more complex, and students are expected to complete more writing. At the beginning of the year, students draw answers, while students are now asked to write a sentence if appropriate.

In Shared Reading, the texts increase in complexity over the course of the year. The types of questions asked also increase over the course of the week. On Monday, students complete a picture walk with WH (who, what, when, where, why) questions. On Tuesday, students listen to the text and are asked completion questions. On Wednesday, students listen to the story again and are asked recall questions. Then on Thursday, students listen to the story again and are asked open-ended questions. Finally, on Friday, students retell the story.

  • In Week 1-9, Lexiles range from 230 to 590. Early in the year, the teacher models the retelling of the story and the students engage in an oral rehearsal of the story to demonstrate understanding of key ideas and details within the text.
  • In Weeks 10-18, Lexiles range from 280 to 700. For the retelling, the teacher provides a sentence frame to prompt students’ retelling of the key ideas and details with a focus on beginning, middle, and end.
  • In Weeks 19-27, Lexiles range from 240 to 890. Students continue to practice retelling with sentence frames with slightly more complex texts.
  • In Weeks 28-36, Lexiles range from 210 to 990. For retelling, the teacher asks open-ended questions to prompt their retelling, but sentence frames are not provided.

Indicator 1e

Anchor texts (including read-aloud texts in K-2) and series of texts connected to them are accompanied by a text complexity analysis.
1/2
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-
Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Kindergarten partially meet the criteria that anchor texts (including read-aloud texts in K-2) and the series of texts connected to them are accompanied by a text complexity analysis.

The materials include general information about how the texts were selected for inclusion in the program; however, text selection criteria are not provided for individual texts. The materials state that some texts were selected because they are related to each other, while others were selected to create opportunities for compare and contrast thinking.

In the Teacher Guide, there is a general reader and text description for the entire year. It explains that each week, the teacher has four texts to read. The first one is for Dialogic Reading, which is meant for oral language interactions and summarization with beginning, middle, and end. Another text is for weekly phonological awareness instruction, which is chosen for language play including syllable counting and rhyming. A third text is for print concepts and affords students the opportunity to learn about concepts of print. The final text is used for the interactive read-aloud and is used to build language and knowledge and expose students to text structure.

Within the Teacher Guide there is a chart that lists all of the texts and which of the four types of text purposes they are used for. For example, in Week 5, students read Biscuit Loves the Library for Dialogic Reading, A Tree for All Seasons for Interactive Read-Aloud, Equestrienne for Print Concept, and Jack be Nimble for Phonological Awareness.

According to the materials, the texts in Shared Reading are qualitatively more difficulty over time, but a qualitative analysis for each text is not provided. For Shared Reading, texts were selected for one of four purposes. First, texts were selected because they are accessible and engaging such as Rosie’s Walk, Peter’s Chair, and Are you my Mother?. Secondly, texts were selected because they preview series and authors in Kindergarten such as Biscuit Loves the Library and Sammy the Seal. Third, books were selected because they target shared experiences such as My Shoelaces are Hard to Tie and My Trip to the Hospital. Books were also selected to introduce basic science concepts such as What Makes a Magnet and A Bee’s Life and to introduce social studies content such as Sarah Morton’s Day and Ada’s Violin. For each Dialogic Text, the Lexile is listed, but a qualitative analysis of each text is not provided.

Additionally, the materials state that the Bookworms interactive read-aloud texts are selected based on quality and ability to build readers’ knowledge and motivation, but this information is not delineated by text. The materials also indicate that fiction texts were selected to include a variety of cultures and to build background about the world. Non-fiction texts include science and social studies content. The Teacher Guide states that the ELA interactive read-alouds are more complex than the shared reading Dialogic Reading texts, but no evidence is provided in the materials regarding the complexity of the texts. Within the program, each text is listed with a Lexile; however, a qualitative analysis is not provided for the texts.

Indicator 1f

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Kindergarten meet the criteria that support materials for the core text(s) provide opportunities for students to engage in a range and volume of reading to support their reading at grade level by the end of the school year.

Within the program, there are three designated 45 minute periods of literacy instruction. Shared reading instruction is comprised of 15 minutes of oral language, focused dialogic reading, 15 minutes of poems and word study, and 5-10 minutes spent with concepts of print. ELA instruction is comprised of 45 minutes of a read-aloud two to three days a week. The final block is designated for differentiated instruction. Throughout the year, students engage with a range and volume of texts including poems and nursery rhymes, and they interact with the texts chorally, through dialogic reading, and through read-alouds.

In Shared Reading, the materials include three texts each week, including an interactive trade book for dialogic reading and two short poems or songs for work with phonological awareness and concepts of print. This block of time includes time for students to read and listen to the teacher read-aloud. Students read a range of texts including stories and nursery rhymes. Specific examples of texts in this part of the program include:

  • In Week 5, students read Biscuit Loves the Library for dialogic reading, Equestrienne for phonological awareness, and Jack be Nimble for concepts of print.
  • In Week 14, students read Sarah Morton’s Day for dialogic reading, Happy Birthday from your Loving Brother for phonological awareness, and Hickory, Dickory, Dock for concepts of print.
  • In Week 22, students read Snowmen at Night for dialogic reading, We Cannot All be Washington's and Lincoln's for phonological awareness, and Wee Willie Winkie for concepts of print.
  • In Week 43, students read Up in the Garden and Down in the Dirt for dialogic reading, May for phonological awareness, and Three Little Kittens for concepts of print.

The English Language Arts block includes teacher-conducted read-alouds that utilize above grade-level texts to help increase students’ oral language and background knowledge. Each of these texts are read twice. Some examples include:

  • In Week 5, students hear A Tree for All Seasons by Robin Bernard, which is a non-fiction book and Forest Bright, Forest Night by Jennifer Ward, which is a non-fiction book about animals.
  • In Week 14, students hear America is... by Louise Borden, which is a non-fiction book about our country.
  • In Week 22, students hear George Washington by Garnet Jackson, which is a non-fiction book about George Washington.
  • In Week 33, students hear A Bad Case of Stripes by David Shannon, which is a fantasy book.

During Differentiated Instruction, three groups meet with the teacher each day while the other students practice handwriting and engage in individual, self-selected reading from the classroom library. Bookworms includes a sample classroom library list in the Teacher Manual with over 100 fiction and non-fiction texts that address a variety of topics and themes.

Criterion 1g - 1n

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

The materials for Kindergarten 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-based, requiring students to engage with the text directly (drawing on textual evidence to support both what is explicit as well as valid inferences from the text).
2/2
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Indicator Rating Details

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

Every lesson has text-dependent questions for the teacher to engage the students in discussing the text either whole class or with a peer. Students are asked evidence-based questions in both the Shared Reading portion of the curriculum, as well as the ELA portion. The majority of the questions in both sections take place while reading to help students comprehend the text.

During the 45-minute Shared Reading block, dialogic reading occurs each day. During this time, teachers use the same book for an entire week, but each day of the week targets one or more specific types of questions. The questions increase in difficulty and become increasingly more text-specific from the beginning of the week to the end of the week. The questions take place during the reading after every page or after every two pages. Specific examples of this include:

  • In Week 8, after reading Pumpkin Day by Candice Ransom, teachers are asked, "What the farmer does with the things in her cart?," "Why are the baby goats are running?," and "Why did the sister make a silly face?"
  • In Week 12, after reading Hi Fly Guy by Tedd Arnold, students are asked, "Why the pictures vanish?," "Why does the little girl say life is but a dream?," and "What did Buzz give Fly Guy for lunch?"
  • In Week 19, students are read Fred and Ted Go Camping by Peter Eastman. Students are asked various questions during the shared reading such as: "What is the bird doing?," "What are they finding?," "What did Fred and Ted think about the spot on pages 5-6?," and "When did Fred wake up on pages 11-12?"
  • In Week 28, students read Nate the Great and the Fishy Prize by Marjorie W. Sharmat, and are asked questions such as: "Why does Nate go to the grocery store?," "How did he choose the things that he was going to buy?," and "Why was he not surprised by the strange sounds at Rosamund's house?"
  • In Week 36, students read Tarra & Bella by Carol Buckley. Students are asked various questions while reading including: "What kind of place is the Elephant Sanctuary?," "What did Tarra teach the other elephants to pick?," and "Why did the other elephants have to like Bella too?"

Within the ELA portion of the materials, the teacher asks questions during the interactive read-aloud, while modeling comprehension strategies. Following the interactive read-aloud, the teacher leads a brief text-based discussion, helping students use evidence from the text to answer a question.  

  • In Week 3, after hearing Charlie Needs a Cloak by Tomie dePaola, students are asked, "Why is Charlie working so hard and after he finishes the cloak? and How does Charlie feel?"
  • In Week 10, after hearing A Log’s Life by Wendy Pfeffer, students are asked questions such as: "Why did the porcupine need to move?, What has the log turned into?, and Why did the squirrel bury the acorn?"
  • In Week 20, students hear Chrysanthemum by Kevin Henkes. They are asked a series of questions during the read aloud, including: "Why did the other students laugh when they heard Chrysanthemum’s name?, What kind of person is Victoria?, How do you think Chrysanthemum is feeling to be chosen as Daisy in the school play?, as well as How is Mrs. Twinkle’s name like Chrysanthemum’s name?"
  • In Week 30, after hearing Clouds by Anne Rockwell, students are asked: "Which clouds would be best to see in the sky if they wanted to play outside? and Which ones would keep them inside?"
  • In Week 34, after hearing How a Seed Grows by Helene Jordan, students are asked how they can tell what a seed will grow up to be as well as label the parts of the plant with the teacher.

Indicator 1h

Materials contain sets of high-quality sequences of text-based questions with activities that build to a culminating task which integrates skills to demonstrate understanding (as appropriate, may be drawing, dictating, writing, speaking, or a combination).
1/2
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-
Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Kindergarten partially meet the criteria for materials containing sets of high-quality sequences of text-based questions with activities that build to a culminating task which integrates skills to demonstrate understanding (as appropriate, may be drawing, dictating, writing, speaking, or a combination).

Within the program, there are two culminating tasks at the end of the year that require students to reflect on their personal growth as well as on their favorite book. However, these labeled culminating tasks are the same tasks as Grade 1 and Grade 2, and students do not necessarily need to use texts they have read that year to complete the tasks. The Teacher Guide also states that these two major culminating tasks remain consistent across grade levels, but the expectations change to meet the standards. In addition, throughout the ELA unit, students draw and write about the texts they hear. Some of these tasks require students to demonstrate their understanding of what they have read and discussed throughout the week. At the end of each Shared Reading week, students complete a retelling of the shared story. At the beginning of the year, the retell is teacher-driven and slowly, is released to the students throughout the year. This is done whole class throughout the entire year.

At the end of the year, there is an opinion writing culminating activity and a narrative writing culminating activity. The two culminating tasks are:

  • In Week 35, students complete a final book review of their favorite book from the year in the form of a commercial. Students begin by writing one sentence about the book, and then add details before finishing their writing. Then, they practice their commercial and prepare to share it with their classmates.
  • In Week 36, students write a narrative describing what they were like at the beginning of the year and what they are like now as readers and writers. Students share with a partner what they have written each day in order to edit and revise their writing. Once all students are done, they participate in a museum walk to read and listen to the narratives of their classmates.

Before moving on to a new text, students regularly integrate what they heard during the read-aloud in a writing piece that can serve as a culminating task. Examples of how lessons connect into this culminating activity include:

  • In Week 4, during Days 4-5, students compose a book review of The Full Belly Bowl with the class before completing their own personal book review of My Shoelaces are Hard to Tie.
  • In Week 10, after reading A Log’s Life by Wendy Pfeffer, students write their own sentence teaching someone a fact from the book.
  • In Week 18, after four days of hearing a biography about Martin Luther King and discussing it, students write a sentence about Dr. King.
  • In Week 21, after two days of listening to and discussing Miss Bindergarten Celebrates the 100th Day by Joseph Slate, students draw a picture of what they would bring to Miss Bindergarten's class.
  • In Week 30, students write facts about clouds after listening to Clouds by Anne Rockwell.
  • In Week 34 students listen to Up in the Garden and in the Dirt and How a Seed Grows and then write the most important facts that they learned throughout the week.

Indicator 1i

Materials provide frequent opportunities and protocols for evidence-based discussions (small group, peer-to-peer, whole class) that encourage the modeling and use of academic vocabulary and syntax.
2/2
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-
Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Kindergarten 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.

Throughout the Kindergarten Bookworms materials, there are frequent opportunities and protocols for evidence-based discussions. Within the ELA materials, there are frequent opportunities for students to participate in small group, partner, and whole-class discussions. The teacher uses the Turn-and-Talk strategy regularly in order for students to discuss the text with a partner. During the Shared Reading Block, students engage in dialogic reading, which involves the teacher reading aloud a text and the students answering evidence-based questions using a questioning sequence that is outlined in both the Teacher Guide and scripted within the lesson plans. Additional responses are found throughout the program, including the Every Pupil Response technique, which helps make all students respond to a prompt. The Teacher’s Guide includes information on the various discussion protocols which provide modeling, discussion, and sharing opportunities.

Within the Kindergarten Shared Reading block of time, dialogic reading is utilized to develop students’ listening and speaking skills. Dialogic reading focuses on maximizing student talk with a specific sequence of questions each day. During Day 1 of each week, the teacher completes a picture walk with wh-questions to help students begin talking about the text before listening to the text. On Day 2, the teacher reads the text, and while reading asks fill-in-the-blank questions without one correct answer in order for multiple students to participate. Day 3 of dialogic reading involves the teacher reading the book again and this time the students are asked retell questions. On Day 4, students are asked open-ended comprehension questions. During Day 5, the students read the book by retelling it, which is highly scaffolded in the beginning of the year, but gradually releases responsibility to the student over the course of the year. Specific examples of this include:

  • In Week 25, students listen to Peter’s Chair by Ezra Jack Keats and follow this sequence of speaking and listening:
    • Day 1: Students participate in a picture walk and are asked questions such as: "What is Peter doing?, What is Peter’s father doing?, and What is happening in this picture?"
    • Day 2: The teacher reads the text and students answer fill-in-the-blank questions while listening such as, "Peter arranged _________, Peter’s mother called and said ___________, and Peter told his father they should _______."
    • Day 3: The teacher rereads the text and students answer recall questions such as "Peter finished _________, The chair was _________, Peter and Willie decided to __________."
    • Day 4: The teacher rereads the text again, and the students answer open-ended questions such as: "What would your mother say if you were too loud?, Why did Peter’s parents paint the crib pink?, and Why do you think Peter wanted to run away?"
    • Day 5: The teacher flips through the pages of the book and uses questions to prompt student to retell such as: What is happening? Then students retell the story more formally with sentence frames given orally.

Each week, students engage in Word Walk, which is a procedure addressing oral language goals while teaching a total of four words from the shared reading text each week. It is suggested that two words are introduced on Monday, two words are introduced on Wednesday, and all four words are reviewed on Friday. On Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday, students work with a partner to use each word in a sentence. The sequence involves: 1. Showing a card with target word and picture, 2. Pronouncing the word, 3. Asking students to pronounce the word, 4. Providing a child-friendly definition, 5. Reading book with word in context, 6. Listening to a sentence using the word in another context, and 7. Producing a sentence level-context of the word to share with a partner. Specific examples of this includes:

  • In Week 3, Day 4, students are showed the card with the word knocked. The teacher explains that it means to bump into something and then asks the students to turn to a partner and tell them what they know about the word and then raise their hand when they hear the word in the book.
  • In Week 12, Day 2, students learn about the word rescue and are told it means to help someone from danger. Students work with a partner to explain what they know about the word rescue, then raise their hand when they hear the word in the book.
  • In Week 28, Day 4, students learn about the word grumbled and are told that it means to complain in a low voice. Students work with a partner to explain what they already know about the word and then raise their hand when they hear the word in the book.

During the ELA Read Aloud, there are opportunities for text-based discussions, and the teacher is told to utilize Every Pupil Response techniques including: talking to a partner, polling, and signaling to ensure student engagement. During the Read Aloud, the teacher asks students comprehension questions  involving the comprehension strategy being taught. After listening to the text, the teacher leads students in a brief discussion and then they update the text structure anchor chart together. For example:

  • While listening to Nothing Sticks like a Shadow in Week 19, students are asked questions such as: "How do you think Rabbit is feeling after his third idea didn't work?" Students are also directed to turn to a partner to explain why they think he did not want to get rid of his shadow.
  • While listening to Pocahontas by Caryn Jenner in Week 13, Day 1, the teacher utilizes the voting procedure to see if students think the Native Americans and settlers should be friends or should not be friends, and then utilizes the Every Pupil Response to have a discussion.
  • While listening to George Washington by Garnet Jackson in Week 22, students are asked questions and are given sentence frames to help them provide the answers with correct syntax. Sentence frames in this lesson include "President Washington was __________" and "George Washington was a good leader because ____________."

Indicator 1j

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Kindergarten meet the criteria for materials supporting students’ listening and speaking about what they are reading (or read aloud) and researching (shared projects) with relevant follow-up questions and supports.

Throughout the program, students practice their speaking and listening about what they are reading in both the Shared Reading and the ELA portions of the program. In Shared Reading, students participate in the oral language-focused dialogic reading. The prompts require students to respond aloud to questions about the text following a sequence of questions. During the ELA interactive read aloud, the teacher asks comprehension questions based on the text and students listen to the teacher model the reading comprehension skill while listening to the read aloud. Following the read aloud, students participate in a whole-class discussion using text-based comprehension questions as a guide.

In Shared Reading, students respond aloud to text-based questions following a specific sequence. On Day 1, students answer wh- questions and on Day 2, students engage in completion activities. On Day 3, students recall facts from the text and on Day 4, students answer open-ended questions. On Day 5, students retell the story. Specific examples of this include:

  • In Week 1, during and after hearing the book Miss Bindergarten Gets Ready for Kindergarten by Joseph Slate, students practice their speaking and listening skills. While listening to the story, the teacher stops and asks questions that give students opportunities to orally share their answers. Questions include: "What are the animals doing?" and "Why are the sheep wagging their tails?"
  • In Week 12, after hearing the book Hi! Fly Guy by Tedd Arnold, the teacher models the retelling process for students while engaging them in an oral rehearsal of the retelling. The teacher uses retell frames to prompt oral retelling such as: next, in the middle, and in the end Buzz’s dad ______.
  • In Week 19, after hearing Fred and Ted Go Camping by Peter Eastman, students are given sentence frames to support their speaking after they listened to the story. Sentence frames include: "Fred and Ted are ______ and they parked the cars and ________."

In ELA, while students are listening to the read-aloud, the teacher asks comprehension questions to support speaking and listening as well as comprehension skills. Speaking and listening opportunities include both whole group and partner opportunities. Examples include:

  • In Week 2, while listening to Frederick by Leo Lionni, students are asked why they think the mice made their home near a barn and granary and how the other mice feel about Frederick.
  • In Week 18, students listen to the book Happy Birthday Martin Luther King by Jean Marzollo and are asked what kind of person they think Martin was, as well as, how can they tell the boys were using peaceful ways to solve problems. Both questions are discussed in a whole group setting.
  • In Week 32, while listening to Amazing Grace by Mary Hoffman, students are given multiple opportunities to speak to a partner about what they heard such as explaining why Grace’s mom looks angry and what Natalie may have learned from Grace.
  • In Week 34, while listening to the story How a Seed Grows by Helene Jordan, the teacher stops periodically to ask comprehension questions. For example, after page 5, the teacher asks if a giant tree can grow from a tiny seed, and at the end of page 6, the students are asked how they can tell what a seed will grow up to be.

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
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Kindergarten meet the criteria for materials including a mix of on-demand and process writing, grade-appropriate writing (e.g., grade-appropriate revision and editing) and short, focused projects, incorporating digital resources where appropriate.

Weekly lessons conclude with an on-demand written response to a text-based prompt for each interactive read-aloud in the ELA portion of the text. Process writing instruction occurs throughout the year as well.

According to the Teacher Guide, the materials incorporate weekly responses that provide students with the opportunity to show what they learned from listening to the interactive read aloud. In the beginning of the year, weekly responses focus on drawing, and then progress to labeling the pictures toward the middle of the year. By the end of the year, students are encouraged to write simple sentences. Examples of on-demand writing include:

  • In Week 1, after listening to The Egg by M.P. Robertson, students draw a picture of George teaching the dragon something.
  • In Week 12, after listening to Thanksgiving on Plymouth Plantation by Diane Stanley, students draw a picture of the pilgrim celebration and write a word under the picture to describe it.
  • In Week 18, after hearing Happy Birthday Martin Luther King by Jean Marzollo, students are given the sentence frame Martin’s dream was ________, they complete the sentence, and then draw a picture that shows Martin’s dream of people living together without being mean.
  • In Week 29, after listening to Follow the Water from Brook to Ocean by Arthur Dorros, students draw a picture of a river delta and label the picture with river, ocean, and delta.
  • In Week 34, after hearing How a Seed Grows by Helene Johnson, students draw a series of pictures showing the steps of planting a seed and growing into a plant. They write a sentence to go with their picture using the sentence stem: Seeds grow ________.

The Teacher Guide outlines the materials’ structured approach to teaching writing. The Kindergarten materials include a gradual release of responsibility model with extensive teacher support in the beginning of the year and move to less support including a routine and a repetitive approach. The steps throughout the entire program are to 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 then learn to revise with peers and independently. Students complete the process writing of narratives, opinion pieces, and descriptions and the program includes checklists for students to help them think about the process. Examples of process writing includes:

  • In Week 4, students use a combination of dictation, writing, and drawing to compose an opinion piece on the book they are reading. In the beginning, the teacher, with student input, generates a sentence about their opinion on the book The Full Belly Bowl. Then together the teacher and students create two supporting detail sentences. Students then independently create an illustration that matches the opinion sentence. Students then share with a partner. On the next day, the students repeat the lesson, but with the text My Shoelaces are Hard to Tie.
  • In Week 14, after watching the teacher model a sentence, the students write a sentence of their choice and include an illustration. The teacher walks around to provide support for revision. Students then share with a partner.
  • In Week 20, students write a sentence about what happened to cause a person’s face to wilt. Then, they create their own narrative sentences and share it with a partner.
  • In Week 27, students use a combination of dictating, writing, and drawing to compose a descriptive text in which they name what they are writing about and supply some information on a topic. Together with the class, students list facts on the board about plants. Students then write their own introductory sentence using the sentence frame Do you know _________? Then, students write a second sentence including another detail and a drawing. Revision involves the teacher walking around providing support to students as needed.

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 Kindergarten meet the criteria for materials providing opportunities for students to address different text types of writing (year long) that reflect the distribution required by the standards.

Within the Kindergarten materials, students have the opportunity to write narratives, opinion pieces, and informative writing in the form of descriptive writing and book reviews. All writing examples are found in the ELA portion of the curriculum. Throughout the year, students complete nine opinion pieces, nine narrative writing pieces, and ten informative writing pieces.

Throughout the program, students write narrative pieces during weeks 8, 9, 14, 15, 20, 21, 28, 33, and 36. Some examples of narrative writing include:

  • In Week 15, after reading Giggle Giggle, Quack, Quack and Sammy the Seal, students write a narrative about Sammy the Seal. They have to pretend that instead of going to the school near the zoo, he comes to the students’ school.
  • In Week 20, students write a sentence about what happened to cause a person’s face to wilt. They write their own narrative sentences to complete this task.
  • In Week 28, after reading Henry and Mudge and Wild Wind and Tikki, Tikki, Tembo students write a narrative about a small part of one of their days being sure to write sentences with details.

Throughout the program, students write opinion pieces during weeks 4, 11, 18, 23, 24, 25, 29, 31, and 35. Some examples of opinion writing include:

  • In Week 11, students write their opinion about whether or not they like Shelia Rae, Owen, or both books. They add an illustration, as well.
  • In Week 18, students write an opinion about Martin by illustrating and copying the teacher’s sentence or writing their own sentence.
  • In Week 31, students write a book review for Ada’s Violin.

Throughout the program, students write descriptive pieces during weeks 7, 10, 13, 16, 22, 27, 30, and 32. Examples of informative writing include:

  • In Week 16, students read two books about construction work Building with Dad and Roadwork and then write some of the facts they learned to teach someone else about construction work.
  • In Week 32, after reading Harriet Tubman: Follow the North Star, students write a descriptive writing piece describing two facts about Harriet Tubman.
  • In Week 34, after reading Up in the Garden and Down in the Dirt and How a Seed Grows, students write facts about gardening and growing plants in a descriptive writing piece.

Indicator 1m

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Kindergarten meet the criteria for materials including regular opportunities for evidence-based writing to support recall of information, opinions with reasons, and relevant information appropriate for the grade level.

Throughout the program, the ELA portion of the curriculum includes weekly text-based responses providing students an opportunity to demonstrate what they learned from listening to the interactive read-aloud. Students often draw their responses and are encouraged to include a word or phrase to describe their illustration. Throughout the year, the teacher models while reading, and students are asked to use their knowledge and evidence from the reading to write about what they know. Students are encouraged to use simple illustrations, sentence frames, lists, and whole sentences.

Examples of evidence-based writing throughout the program include:

  • In Week 13, after hearing Pocahontas by Caryn Jenner, students write about Pocahontas. The teacher tells the students to listen for specific details to describe her during the read-aloud.
  • In Week 16, after listening to Building with Dad by Carol Nevius, students draw and write about their favorite vehicle from the story.
  • In Week 24, after hearing Grandfather’s Wrinkles by Kathryn England, students draw a picture of themselves now and then draw a picture of what they might look like when they are old. They have to recall what they read about in the story since they read and discussed wrinkles as a characteristic of an older person.
  • In Week 34, after listening to Up in the Garden and Down in the Dirt and How a Seed Grows, students write the best facts they learned about gardening and growing plants.

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.
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials for Kindergarten 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.

Materials integrate grammar into the writing process. The explicit grammar instruction takes place within four instructional activities: Combining, Unscrambling, Imitating, and Expanding. Additionally, the read-alouds provide the context for instruction of grammar and conventions. When there is not a read-aloud, students practice skills out-of-context through writing instruction and tasks.

Materials include explicit instruction of all 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 print many upper- and lowercase letters. For example:
    • In the Shared Reading Lesson Plan, Week 8, Day 4, Letters Tt, Nn, Gg, Teach Upper and Lower-Case Letter Formation: The teacher demonstrates how to form each letter. The teacher models once and then with students five more times for each new letter and three times for each review letter.
    • In the Shared Reading section of the Teacher Guide, Word Study: Handwriting is described as essential for kindergarten teachers to ensure children can form letters consistently and fluently. The Teacher Guide explains, “teachers demonstrate with sky writing while naming the strokes necessary for the letter. Students sky write on Day 2, write on whiteboards on Day 3, and on paper on Day 4.” Handwriting practice pages are included for seat work during small-group time.
  • Students have opportunities to use frequently-occurring nouns and verbs. For example:
    • In the Teacher Guide, ELA, Sentence Grammar, Imitating, “The teacher presents a single, well-crafted sentence from the text, and replaces one or more content words (nouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs) with blanks. The teacher prompts the students to substitute other content words. Doing so changes the meaning of the sentences, but not the syntax. In Kindergarten, we ask students to help to generate a list of possibilities, and then the teacher inserts each into a frame sentence.”
    • In the ELA Lesson Plans, Week 1, Day 2, Teach Sentence Composing, Imitate, the teacher explains a good sentence has two parts, a subject and a predicate, using: The peddler pulled off his cap. The teacher explains the subject is what the sentence is about: the peddler. The teacher explains that the predicate tells what the peddler did: pulled off his cap. The teacher and the students create a list of possible subjects for the sentence and possible predicates and practice putting them into sentences. On Day 4, during Teach Sentence Composing, Unscramble: the students identify the subject of the sentence by giving a thumbs up when they hear the part of the sentence that tells who or what the sentence is about.
    • In the ELA Lesson Plans, Frederick, Week 2, Day 2, Teach Sentence Composing, Imitate, the teacher uses the sentence: The mice worked hard. to teach students about subject and predicate. The teacher models changing the subject in the sentence. The teacher and students make a list and place the new subjects in the sentence.
  • Students have opportunities to form regular plural nouns orally by adding /s/ or /es/. For example:
    • In the ELA Lesson Plans, Week 12, Day 5, Teach Sentence Composing, Imitate, the teacher uses the sentence frame: The Pilgrims grew _______. The students and teacher make a list of things that can be grown. They decide if some of the words need /s/ or /es/ at the end to make sense.
    • In the ELA Lesson Plans, Week 20, Day 3, during Teach Sentence Composing, Imitate, students engage in an activity with plural nouns. Using a sentence (Chrysanthemum loved her name.) from Chrysanthemum, students are prompted to replace the phrase, “her name” with additional nouns. The lesson prompts the teacher to say, “We’ll decide whether some of the items on our list need to have a /s/ or /es/ at the end to make sense. Those sounds tell us that there are more than one.”
  • Students have opportunities to understand and use question words (interrogatives). For example:
    • In the ELA Lesson Plans, Week 6, Day 3, Teach Sentence Composing, Imitate, the teacher introduces the the title of the book: What Lives in a Shell? The teacher explains that this is a different kind of sentence because it does not start with a subject. The sentence starts with a question word and ends with a question mark. The teacher and students list other places where things live. The teacher and students use the list to make new question sentences using the following sentence frame: What lives in a _________? The students and teacher use the following sentence frame to answer the question: ________ lives in a ________.
    • In the ELA Lesson Plans, Week 9, Day 3, during Teach Sentence Composing, Imitate, the teacher reminds students that a question sentence begins with a question word and ends with a question mark. The teacher and students create a list of things that Owen might have to complete the sentence frame: Where is Owen’s ______?
    • In the ELA Lesson Plans, Week 15, Day 2, during Teach Sentence Composing, Imitate, the teacher reminds students that a question sentence begins with a question word and ends with a question mark. The teacher and students create a list to answer: Who tricked Bob? The teacher and students use the list to complete the sentence frame: ____ tricked Bob.
  • Students have opportunities to use the most frequently occurring prepositions. For example:
    • In the ELA Lesson Plans, Week 5, Day 5, Teach Sentence Composing, Expand, the teacher and students expand the sentence: The bear tumbles. using prepositions in the following sentence frames: The bear tumbles down the _______., The bear tumbles in the ______., The bear tumbles on the ______., The bear tumbles over the _____.
  • In the ELA Lesson Plans, Week 16, Day 2, Teach Sentence Composing, Expand: the teacher provides sentence starters to help students expand the sentence: I spell out each letter..., using prepositions in the following sentence frames: I spell out each letter in the ______., I spell out each letter with a _____., I spell out each letter on the _____., I spell out each letter by the ______.
  • Students have opportunities to produce and expand complete sentences in shared language activities. For example:
    • In the ELA Lesson Plans, Week 1, Day 5, during Teaching Sentence Formation, the teacher provides the students a list of subjects and predicates. Students identify each is a subject or a predicate. The teacher and student work together to combine the different subjects and predicates to create a sentence.
    • In the ELA Lesson Plans, Week 5, Day 5, during Teach Sentence Composing, Combine, the teacher models combining the following sentences using the linking word ‘and’: Woodpeckers rap. and Woodpeckers tap. to create the sentence: Woodpeckers rap and tap.
    • In ELA Lesson Plans, Week 8, Day 3, students engage in a Narrative Writing lesson. The teacher states that each sentence has a subject and a predicate and defines both. The teacher shows the students a list that has both subjects and predicates. As the teacher introduces each item on the list, the students help decide whether to sort the item as a subject or a predicate. Next, the teacher says, “We can make a sentence by taking any subject and any predicate and putting them together. Some of the sentences will be funny ones. Let’s give it a try.” The students create sentences together, focusing on the concept that each sentence contains one subject and one predicate.
  • Students have opportunities to capitalize the first word in a sentence and the pronoun I. For example:
    • In the ELA Lesson Plans, Week 1, Day 5, Teaching the Sentence Formation, the teacher explains that the sentence that was formed needs a capital letter for the first word and a punctuation mark at the end.
    • In the ELA Lesson Plans, Week 11, Day 4, Opinion Writing, the teacher reminds students they learned to write I during the previous week. Students watch the teacher write the model sentence: I like Sheila Rae. The teacher states, “Now I will write the first word. What is the first word? I. Very good! We learned how to write an I last week…”
    • In the ELA Lesson Plans, Week 18, Day 4, Opinion Writing, during direct instruction, the teacher tells students, “To make a sentence perfect, we have to add a capital letter to the first word and a punctuation mark to the end. We’ll use a period at the end of each sentence. Remember, it’s just a dot at the end.”
  • Students have opportunities to recognize and name end punctuation. For example:
    • In the ELA Lesson Plans, Week 6, Day 3, during Teach Sentence Composing, Imitate, the teacher states, “The title of our book is a sentence: What lives in a shell? It’s a different kind of sentence. It doesn’t start with a subject. It starts with a question word. It doesn’t end with a period. It ends with a question mark."
    • In the ELA Lesson Plans, Week 18, Day 4, Opinion Writing 4, when the teacher models writing for the students, s/he is prompted to remind students, “Remember a period is just a dot. It shows that the sentence is done.”
  • Students have opportunities to write a letter or letters for most consonant and short-vowel sounds. For example:
    • In the ELA Lesson Plans, Week 12, Day 5, during Assign or Model Written Response, the students draw a picture of the pilgrim celebration and write a word under the picture. Students are directed to find the sounds in the word and write them down.
    • In the ELA Lesson Plans, Week 15, Day 4, Narrative Writing: when the teacher models for students, s/he explicit models how to find the sounds in words s/he wants to write. “...I also want to remind you how I find the sounds in the words and say them slowly so that I can write a letter for each sound I hear. I am going to write the first word. My sentence is, 'Sammy reads a book.' The word I need to write here is Sammy. Listen to me stretch the word by saying it slowly so I can hear each sound.”
    • In the Shared Reading Word Study, Week 5, Day 2, students sort picture cards by identifying the first sound of each picture card. In this lesson, the focus are letters Bb and Mm. After sorting pictures by first sound, students form these upper and lower-case letters.
    • In the How to Plan Differentiated Reading Instruction materials, on page 84, there is a Using Letter Patterns: Generic Lesson Plan that includes Teaching Letter Patterns. In this part of the lesson the students write a word that is given to them using the letter pattern that they have been taught.
  • Students have opportunities to spell simple words phonetically, drawing on knowledge of sound-letter relationships. For example:
    • In the ELA Lesson Plans, Week 13, Day 5, Descriptive Writing, students are encouraged to, “find the sounds in each word and write them down.” The publisher also included this note for teachers in the lesson plan,  “Invented spellings are important practice for emergent writers. For the second 9 weeks, encourage students to represent initial sounds in some words. For students who can do that, move to final sounds.”
    • In the ELA Lesson Plans, Week 20, Day 4, the teacher models how to discern the number of words in a sentence and how to write each unique word. The teacher says, “The next word is toy. I can find the sounds in toy. /t/ /oy/. I hear two sounds. The first sound I hear is /t/ like teeth. Turn and tell your partner what letter makes the /t/ sound. Yes! T. I will leave a space after the word my and then I will write the letter t. /t/ /oy/. The next sound is /oy/. One way to make the /oy/ sound is with the letters o and y. I will write them.” The teacher repeats this procedure for the remaining words.
    • In the ELA Lesson Plans, Week 20, Day 5, the teacher models how to write a sentence by orally creating a sentence, counting the number of words in the sentence and phonetically spelling the word sad using letter-sound relationships. Students independently write their own sentence.
    • In How to Plan Differentiated Reading Instruction: students are asked to spell simple words phonetically, drawing on knowledge of sound-letter relationships in the set of word recognition and fluency lessons called “Letter Patterns”. Pages 53 to 55 explain that students in this group will use high-utility spelling patterns to help spell words during the lesson. The spelling portion of the lesson is about three-minutes per day. Additionally, in all of the Phonological Awareness and Word Recognition (PAWR) groups, as well as the Word Recognition and Fluency groups (WRAF), students engage in counting the sounds in the words and recognizing exactly how the letters and sounds match through high-frequency word instruction (p. 50). This helps students when spelling simple words phonetically, drawing on knowledge of sound-letter relationships.

Criterion 1o - 1t

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

The instructional materials for Kindergarten meet the expectations of foundational skills instruction. Students receive regular practice with foundational skills to build reading acquisition by providing systematic and explicit instruction in the alphabetic principle, letter-sound relationships, phonemic awareness, and phonics (K-2) that demonstrate a transparent and research-based progression for application both in and out of context. Additionally, the materials provide support for fluency, decoding, word recognition, and support for differentiation in the classroom.

Indicator 1o

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

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

Bookworms Kindergarten materials provide systematic and explicit instruction in the alphabetic principle, letter-sound relationships, phonemic awareness, and phonological awareness, and phonics.

Students have frequent and adequate opportunities to learn and understand phonemes (e.g., produce rhyming words, segment syllables, blend onsets and rimes, pronounce vowels in CVC words, and substitute sounds to make new words). Examples include, but are not limited to:

  • Students have opportunities to recognize and produce rhyming words. For example:
    • In Shared Reading Lesson Plans, Week 1, Day 3, Phonological Awareness: Sand House, students work with the teacher to identify rhyming words in the poem Sand House. The teacher explains that rhyming words are words that sound the same at the end. The teacher emphasizes the rhyming words in the poem as they are read aloud. The teacher gives examples and non examples of the rhyming words in the poem. The teacher gives a word and asks students to give a word that rhymes with the word: top, me, wave, toes, like, house.
    • In Shared Reading Lessons Plan, Week 12, Day 3, Phonological Awareness: Jack Frost, students work with the teacher to identify rhyming words in the poem Jack Frost. The teacher explains that words rhyme when they end with the same sounds. The teacher says: pane, cane, Jane, lane. The teacher explains that all these words rhyme because they sound the same at the end and that they all end in /ane/. The teacher also gives a non-example: frost, pictures, flowers, frosty and explains that they do not rhyme because they do not sound the same at the end. The teacher reads the first section and asks students to identify rhyming words. The teacher also asks students to identify words that rhyme with words given to the students. The teacher then changes the initial sound in Jack to /b/ and asks if Jack and back rhyme. The teacher continues this with some additional words and reminds students that they rhyme because they sound the same at the end.
  • Students have opportunities to count, pronounce, blend, and segment syllables in spoken words. For example:
    • In Shared Reading Lesson Plans, Week 1, Day 4, Phonological Awareness, the teacher shows students how to count words and syllables. The teacher demonstrates how to count the words in the first line of the poem by touching the first letter of each word and counting. The teacher explains that a syllable is a part or chunk of a word and that words can have one, two, three or more syllables. The teacher explains that syllables can be counted by clapping our hands for each syllable. The teacher demonstrates this using the word: bucket. The teacher repeats this demonstration with cup, second, sea, fingers, wave and dominoes. The teacher invites students to count the syllables in the words: house, one, tumbled, between, toes, afternoon.
    • In Shared Reading Lesson Plans, Week 6, Day 4, Dialogic Reading, direct instruction is provided on how to count syllables in words by clapping. The definition of syllables is given. Teacher models with three words: wind, one and frolic. Guided practice occurs with: morning, sleep, leap, now. Students practice with: cap, chase, every, make, galloping.
  • Students have opportunities to blend and segment onsets and rimes of single-syllable spoken words. For example: 
    • In Shared Reading, Week 18, Day 3, Phonological Awareness, the teacher and students blend initial phonemes of a word to create rhyming words. For example, “I see dog. What if we change the /d/ to /f/? What word would we have? Yes, fog. Dog, fog. Do they rhyme? Yes, because they sound the same at the end.”
    • In Shared Reading, Week 24, Day 5, Phonological Awareness, the teacher demonstrates how to segment words. The teacher uses words from the poem. The teacher says the word quickly and the students are to say the word slowly. The teacher tells students to watch her/his fingers so that they stay together as they segment each phoneme.This is done with: green, toad, born, might.
  • Students have opportunities to isolate and pronounce the initial, medial vowel, and final sounds (phonemes) in three-phoneme (consonant-vowel-consonant, or CVC) words. This does not include CVCs ending with /l/, /r/, or /x/. For example: 
    • In Shared Reading Lesson Plans, Week 21, Day 4, Word Study, the routine Say It and Move It is used to isolate and pronounce initial, medial vowel, and final sounds in three-phoneme words. The teacher states,n “Today we will work with sounds. I am going to say a word. Then I am going to say the word slowly. Then I am going to say it and move it. Then you are going to say it and move it. The first words is cat. What word? I am going to say it slowly: /c/ /a/ /t/, cat. (the teacher holds up a finger for each phoneme) Now I am going to say it and move it.” Using the Elkonin box, the teacher moves a marker for each sound. Then, students use their own manipulatives or just count on their fingers. This procedure is repeated for all of the word study cards.
    • In Shared Reading, Week 25, Day 4, Word Study, the teacher and students participate in an activity called “Say It and Move It”. The teacher says the word and then says it slowly. Then the teacher will say it and move it. The teacher models this using the word hit. The teacher says the word. The students repeat the word. The teacher says it slowly and holds up one finger for each phoneme. The teacher then will say it and move it by moving a marker on the Elkonin boxes for each phoneme /h/ /i/ /t/.  The students repeat this using their fingers and saying the sounds orally. This is repeated with: sit, fit, lit, pin, fin, tin, win.
    • In How to Plan Differentiated Reading Instruction: Resources for Grades K-3, students isolate and pronounce the initial, medial, and final sounds (phonemes) in spoken single-syllable words.
      • For the set of lessons called Letter Sounds, the lesson starts: “First we will work with sounds. I am going to say a word. Then I am going to say the word slowly. Then I am going to say it and move it. Then you are going to say it and move it.” The teacher goes through 15 words, first stating the word, such as cat, then segmenting the word /c/ /a/ /t/, and then moving manipulatives for each sound during the Say-it-and-Move-It activity. After the teacher models. The students demonstrate the same task.
      • For the set of lessons called “Letter Patterns” the lesson starts by saying, “First we will work with sounds. I am going to say a words slowly and I want you to say it fast. Watch my fingers so we can stay together.” The teacher says the words slowly, for example, v-a-n, and then the students say van. The teacher goes through 15 words, saying each word slowly and the students blend the sounds together to provide the full word. Next, the teacher says, “Now I am going to say a word quickly and I want you to say it slowly. Watch my fingers so we can stay together. The teacher first says the words, then segments the word, and finally students demonstrate this with each word. For example: “Van. Say it slowly. Watch my fingers so we can stay together. Van /v/ /a/ /n/.”
  • Students have opportunities to add or substitute individual sounds (phonemes) in simple, one-syllable words to make new words. For example: 
    • In Shared Reading Lesson Plans, Week 14, Day 3, Phonological Awareness, the teacher and students substitute the initial sound of a word to create rhyming words. For example, “I see neat. What if we change the /n/ to /m/? What word would we have? Yes, meat. Neat, meat. Do they rhyme? Yes, because they sound the same at the end.”
    • In Shared Reading, Week 20, Day 3, Phonological Awareness, the teacher and students delete the initial phonemes to determine the part of each word that sounds the same and add/substitute initial phonemes to make new words that rhyme. The teacher reminds students that rhyming words sound the same at the end. The teacher gives the words: brother, another, smother. The teacher asks if the words rhyme and then identifies that /other/ is the part that is the same at the end in all three words.  The teacher gives the word bit and asks students to change the /b/ to /f/ and then /f/ to /y/. This activity is repeated with took. They change the /t/ to /b/ and then /b/ to /l/ to make new words that rhyme.

Lessons and activities provide students adequate opportunities to learn grade-level phonics skills while decoding words (e.g., one-to-one correspondences, long and short sounds with common spellings, and distinguish between similarly spelled words by identifying sounds of the letters). Examples include, but are not limited to:

  • Students have opportunities to demonstrate basic knowledge of one-to-one letter-sound correspondences by producing the primary sound or many of the most frequent sounds for each consonant. For example: 
    • In Shared Reading Lesson Plans, Week 9, Day 1, Word Study, the teacher introduces the letters Ii, Pp, and Nn. The lesson prompts the teacher by saying “To introduce each header card, name the sound associated with each letter. To do this, you will articulate the initial sound in each word, followed by the word. Say, “This week we will work with words that start like /i/ insect, /i/ insect, /i/ insect.” Then place the card in the pocket chart.” After the teacher repeats this procedure for all of the letters, the teacher introduces the students to picture cards and guides the students to identify the header that matches.
    • In Shared Reading Lesson Plans, Week 12, Day 1, Word Study: Dd/Hh/Ll, students are introduced to the sound associated with Dd, Hh, and Ll. The teacher introduces the header card and names the sound associated with each letter by articulating the initial sound in each word, followed by the word. The teacher introduces picture cards by naming the picture card by first articulating the initial sound and then saying the entire word three times: /d/ door, /d/ door, /d/ door.
    • In How to Plan Differentiated Reading Instruction: Resources for Grades K-3, students engage in Basic Alphabet Knowledge. In the portion of the lesson called Letter Names and Sounds, the teacher says “Now let’s think about letters. You have four letters today. These two are named Bb. Point to your Bbs. Look at the shapes.” The teacher introduces the other three in the same format. Then, the teacher says “These letters have sounds. These two say /b/. Point to your Bbs. Say the sound.” and goes through the other three letter sounds, as well. Finally, the teacher says “I will say a letter sound, and you point to the right shape.” Students say letter sounds for the day’s letters.
  • Students have opportunities to associate the long and short sounds with the common spellings (graphemes) for the five major vowels. For example: 
    • In Shared Reading Lesson Plans, Week 24, Day 1, Word Study, students work on reading and spelling three vowel patterns: __ag, __an, __ap. The teacher introduces each header card, names the sound associated with each letter pattern and tells how it’s spelled. The teacher reads word cards that contain these three vowel patterns, and the students decide under which header card it belongs. Students read the header cards and word cards chorally with the teacher.
    • In How to Plan Differentiated Reading Instruction: Resources for Grades K-3, on page 67, the Vowel-Consonant-e: Generic Lesson Plan, the students participate in a segment of the lesson where they are expected to identify the vowel that makes the sound in the given short-vowel or long-vowel word. The teacher explains that a word will be said, the students think about the vowel sound and if it says its name, the students look for a word with the final e. The students touch the word, and then spell it out loud when the teacher says, “Go.” The students write words given to them by the teacher. The teacher reminds them to use a final e when the vowel says its name.
    • In How to Plan Differentiated Reading Instruction: Resources for Grades K-3, Page 168, provides a generic lesson plan for Teaching Letter Patterns. The students review words with short vowel sounds and words with long vowel sounds. Then they listen to a word spoken by the teacher and have to point to a picture with the same vowel sound. They go on to spell it and write it.
  • Students have opportunities to distinguish between similarly spelled words by identifying the sounds of the letters that differ. For example: 
    • In Shared Reading Lesson Plans, Week 36, Day 2, Word Study, students work on reading and spelling three vowel patterns: __ed, __et, __en. The teacher introduces each header card, names the sound associated with each letter pattern and tells how it’s spelled. The teacher reads word cards that contain these three vowel patterns and the students must decide under which header card it belongs. Students read the header cards and word cards chorally with the teacher.

Materials have a cohesive sequence of phonemic awareness instruction to build toward application. Examples include, but are not limited to:

  • In the Teacher Manual, Word Study, the materials explain how phonological awareness is addressed both in- and out-of-context, “For the first four weeks of school, we emphasize rhyme with the simple task of determining whether two specific words rhyme and with the more complex task of finding rhyming words in context. We also support counting the number of words in a line and the number of letters in a word repeatedly. We also ask children to find specific letters from their own names in the week’s target text. These early activities can be done quickly, chorally, and playfully as children learn the routines. After that introductory month, we target more complex phonological tasks. We reduce the level of teacher support in rhyming tasks, and we ask children to substitute initial phonemes to produce rhyming words. When they look for letters in the target text, we cue letters whose shape and sound we are studying. By the time students are beginning to study short vowel word families, we engage them in oral phoneme segmentation tasks with words from their anchor poem.”
  • In How to Plan Differentiated Reading Instruction: Resources for Grades K-3, Planning for the Using Letter Sounds Group (p 52), “To facilitate sounding and blending, we first use oral phonemic awareness exercises. We only do two tasks, but we do them every day with a large number of items. We segment individual sounds so that children can use segmentation to spell new words, and we blend individual sounds so that children can blend sounds to decode new words.”

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

  • In the Teacher Manual, Appendix C, shows the cohesive sequence of phonics instruction during Shared Reading, moving from ABC Knowledge, to initial sound sorting, to word sorting with short vowel words.
  • In the Teacher Manual, Appendix E, is a chart that indicates the sequence of phonics instruction by week, the Target Sounds and the pictures associated with those Target Sounds. The sequence moves from letter-sound instruction, to short vowel patterns.
  • In How to Plan Differentiated Reading Instruction: Resources for Grades K-3, it mentions that the authors “were searching for maximum challenge in the instructional items, maximum effectiveness in the instructional strategies, and a brief and clear instructional delivery. We had to choose the words and patterns to teach, and then we had to decide which routines would maximize instruction and practice. Many of the orthographic features of words are actually repeated across lessons sets. We view the features as cumulative (see Figure 5.3)” (p. 104).
  • In How to Plan Differentiated Reading Instruction: Resources for Grades K-3, Page 46, explains the sequence of skills taught: Basic Alphabet Knowledge, Using Letter Sounds, Using Letter Patterns, and Dictated Spelling.

Indicator 1p

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

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

Bookworms Kindergarten materials provide opportunities for explicit instruction and regular practice of print concepts during Shared Reading. Directionality and spaces between words are taught through the poems introduced each week, and alphabet knowledge is addressed in daily whole group lessons as well as small group instruction. Additionally, students receive individualized instruction in the differentiated instruction block in Basic Alphabet Knowledge, which also targets acquisition of print concepts, including alphabetic knowledge and directionality.

Materials include frequent and adequate lessons and activities for students to learn how to identify and produce letters.

  • In Shared Reading Lesson Plans, Word Study, handwriting is described as essential for Kindergarten teachers to ensure that children can form letters consistently and fluently. The Teacher Manual explains, “Teachers demonstrate with sky writing while naming the strokes necessary for the letter. Students sky write on day 2, write on whiteboards on day 3, and on paper on day 4.” Handwriting practice pages are included for seat work during small-group time.
  • In Shared Reading Lesson Plans, Word Study, the Kindergarten Teacher Manual states teachers, can “choose any alphabet song that allows students to practice all of their letter names while pointing to a letter strip or chart.”
  • In Shared Reading Lesson Plans, Week 2, Day 1, Word Study, students use visual and auditory and kinesthetic modalities to identify letters. The materials prompt the teacher to have students echo read the letter names while pointing to each letter on a chart, strip or list. For example, the teacher points to the letter A and says “A.” The students point to the letter A and say “A.” This routine occurs daily during the first four weeks of lessons.
  • In Shared Reading Lesson Plans, Week 8, Days 2, 3, and 4, Word Study,  students use kinesthetic and auditory modalities to learn how to form letters. The teacher models and guides students to skywrite each letter as the teacher describes how the letter is formed. Example: (Upper-Case T) “Reach up high and draw a long, straight line down to your belly button. Reach up high to the left. Draw a short line to the right.”

Materials include frequent and adequate tasks and questions about the organization of print concepts (e.g., follow words left to right, spoken words correlate sequences of letters, letter spacing, upper- and lowercase letters). Examples include, but are not limited to:

  • Students have opportunities to follow words from left to right, top to bottom, and page by page. For example:
    • In Shared Reading Lesson Plans, Week 1, Day 3, Print Concepts: “Little Bo-Peep”, the teacher shows the students how to read text using the poem, “Little Bo-Peep.” The teacher points to the top line of the poem and tells students to start at the top. The teacher tells students to find the first word by looking all the way to the left. The teacher demonstrates reading left to right by touching the first letter of each word. The teacher demonstrates and explains how to move to the next line and again move all the way to the left to continue reading. The teacher invites students up to the board to demonstrate the following:
      • Point to the top line.
      • Point to the second line.
      • Point to the line that comes next.
      • Point to the line that is read last.
      • Point to where you start reading on the top line, and show with your finger how you read this line. (Look for pointing across the line from left to right. Students do not have to read the words, nor point to each word correctly. Encourage them to move their finger from left to right.)
    • In Shared Reading Lesson Plans, Week 9, Day 3, the teacher says, “Today I am going to teach you how to read text. First, we will chorally read the poem, and then you will turn and tell your partner what this poem is about.” The teacher notes in Shared Reading say, “Read the poem in its entirety to the students. Finger point as you read. To do this, touch the first letter of each word.”
      • The lesson teaches the “return sweep” and the teacher says, “When we read we start at the top. Then, we find the first word by looking all the way to the left. The first word is Oh. I read across the top line from left to right. I can touch the first letter of each word as I read. Watch how I do this.” The teacher models. Then, the teacher says, “I have run out of words to read! So, I return sweep and go down to the first word of the next line all the way to the left. I will read this word next.” Students are invited up to the board to engage with different aspects of print concepts, such as, point to the top line, point to the second line, point to where you start reading on the top line.
  • Students have opportunities to recognize that spoken words are represented in written language by specific sequences of letters. For example:
    • In Shared Reading Lesson Plans, Week 1, Day 1, Word Study: Alphabet Knowledge, Dialogic Reading, the suggested routine presents the student’s name on a sentence strip, followed by an echo read of each letter. Then the name is cut up into the individual letters and matched to an alphabet chart and an echo read/spelling. The letters are put back in order to spell the child’s name. The name is spelled one more time and then read. This routine is suggested for the first four weeks of school.
  • Students have opportunities to understand that words are separated by spaces in print. For example: 
    • In Shared Reading Lesson Plans, Week 1, Day 4, Print Concepts, the teacher teaches that words are separated by spaces in print. The teacher and students chorally read the poem. The teacher reminds the students that when we read we start at the top and that we find the first word, by looking all the way to the left. The teacher shows that the first word in the poem is Little. The teacher shows the students that she/he knows the word little ends because there is a space after the word and that the next word begins after this space. The teacher demonstrates how to read with one to one correspondence by pointing to the first letter of each word and reminding the students that there is a new word after each space. The teacher points to each space and says “space,” then points to the next word and says “new word”.
    • In Shared Reading, Week 2, Day 4, during Phonological Awareness: What Shall I Pack in the Box Marked “Summer”?, the teacher demonstrates how to count words by pointing to the first letter of the word and by noticing there is a space between the words that means a new word will be counted after the space.
  • Students have opportunities to recognize and name all upper- and lowercase letters of the alphabet. For example: 
    • In Shared Reading Lesson Plans, Week 3, Day 1, Word Study, students engage in an activity called Alphabet Knowledge. In this routine, the students sing the alphabet song chorally with the teacher. The teacher  supports the students in echo reading of the letter names. First, the echo reading will be done without a reference to an alphabet chart. Then, the echo reading will be done with the reference to an alphabet chart, where the teacher will point to the letter as the students echo the name of the letter.
    • In How to Plan for Differentiated Reading Instruction: Resources for Grades K-3, the Basic Alphabet Knowledge lessons ask students to sing and say the alphabet, say the letter names in order, and track the alphabet on a card.

Indicator 1q

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

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

Bookworms Kindergarten materials provide materials support students’ development of automaticity and accuracy of grade-level decodable words during weekly Teach Word Study lessons. Students learn a phonics skill, sort words based on the sound, and decode the words with the phonic focus. High-frequency words are a focus of daily small group instruction lessons in How to Plan for Differentiated Reading Instruction: Resources for Grade K-3, Using Letter Sounds and Using Letter Patterns. There are multiple opportunities for students to purposefully read emergent-reader texts through the weekly opportunities to echo read and chorally read the poem or song in the Shared Reading Lessons.

Multiple opportunities are provided over the course of the year in core materials for students to purposefully read emergent-reader texts. Examples include, but are not limited to:

  • In Shared Reading Lesson Plans, Week 4, Day 2, the students and teacher read the Apple Song. The teacher reads the poem to the students. The students discuss with a partner what the poem was about. The students echo read one line at a time. This procedure is done two times. They echo read two lines of the poem at a time. This procedure is done two times. The teacher and students then read the poem chorally several times.
  • In Shared Reading Lesson Plans, Week 14, Day 2, the students and teacher read Happy Birthday from Your Loving Brother. The teacher reads the poem to the students. The students discuss with a partner what the poem was about. The students echo read one line at a time. This procedure is done two times. Students echo read two lines of the poem at a time. This procedure is done two times. The teacher and students read the poem chorally several times. The teacher then checks for understanding: What does the brother think his sister will do when she sees the worm? Show me quietly how she would squirm.
  • In Shared Reading Lesson Plans, Week 24, Day 2, the students and teacher read If We Didn’t Have Birthdays. The teacher reads the poem to the students. The students discuss with a partner what the poem was about. The students echo read one line at a time. This procedure is done two times. They echo read two lines of the poem at a time. This procedure is done two times. The teacher and students read the poem chorally several times. The teacher checks for understanding, "Why do you think Dr. Seuss wrote this poem?"

Materials support students’ development of automaticity and accuracy of grade-level decodable words over the course of the year. Examples include, but are not limited to:

  • In Shared Reading Lesson Plans, Word Study, the students participate in several instructional routines.
    • In Word Sort, the students compare words to header cards to determine where the word belongs, after the sort, the students read the words under each header card
    • In Patterns, after the Word Sort, the students use the sentence frame: “The pattern is ______ and I spell it _________.”
    • In Sounds, the teacher points to each letter, making the sounds out loud and then blending the sounds to make the word. The students sound and blend.

Students have opportunities to read and practice high-frequency words. Examples include, but are not limited to:

  • In How to Plan for Differentiated Reading Instruction: Resources for Grade K-3, high-frequency word instruction is included in the lessons for Basic Alphabet Knowledge. The high-frequency words portion of the lesson begins with two words and adds one word each day. The teacher stretches the sounds first, prints the word, then shows how the sounds match the letters from left to right. The teacher calls the words and the students touch them. The high-frequency words that are taught include: the, of, and, a, to, in, is, you, that, it, he, was, for, on, are, like, me, she, can, go, my, that, this, play, are, be, down, here, her, we, jump, at, see.
  • In How to Plan for Differentiated Reading Instruction: Resources for Grade K-3, high-frequency word instruction is included in the lessons for Using Letter Sounds Group. The high-frequency words used for instruction in this portion of the lesson are selected from the results of the high-frequency word inventory.  Ten words are included the first week, 10 words for the second week and all 20 words are reviewed the third week.
  • In How to Plan for Differentiated Reading Instruction: Resources for Grade K-3, high-frequency word instruction is included in the lessons for Using Letter Patterns Group. The teacher stretches the sounds first, prints the word, then shows how the sounds match the letters from left to right. The teacher calls the words and the students touch them. Then the teacher says, “Go” and the students spell the word out loud.
  • In How to Plan for Differentiated Reading Instruction: Resources for Grade K-3, the teacher must create a list of high-frequency words using the Fry Inventory. The teacher will assess each student in the differentiated group, and any high-frequency word unknown by any one member of the group will be taught to all. This ensures children will be reviewing and learning new high-frequency words at a pace of two per day for the first two weeks, and then reviewing the 20 words learned in the third week. Students first point to the words as the teacher says them in a speed drill, and then the student points, waits, and spells the word aloud.

Indicator 1r

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

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

Bookworms Kindergarten materials provide opportunities for students to learn foundational skills in connected texts and tasks. Students have opportunities to participate in using print concepts to read nursery rhymes through echo reading and choral reading. Students practice encoding through writing. During Differentiated Instruction, students track memorized text that includes word patterns and high-frequency words. During Differentiated Instruction, Word Recognition, and Fluency Small Group, students read decodable texts that contain high-frequency words.

Materials support students’ development to learn grade-level word recognition and analysis skills (e.g., one-to-one correspondences, syllable segmentation, rime and onset recognition, long and short sounds with common spellings and distinguish between similarly spelled words by identifying sounds of the letters) in connected text and tasks. Examples include, but are not limited to:

  • In How to Plan Differentiated Reading Instruction: Resources for Grades K-3, in the Basic Alphabet Knowledge lessons, Lesson 29, students participate in Initial Sound Sorting: /a/, /e/, /i/, /o/, /u/ ; Letter Names and Sounds: Aa, Ee, Ii, Oo, Uu; High-Frequency Words: jump, we, down, at, see; Tracking Memorized Text: You can see me jump down.
  • In How to Plan Differentiated Reading Instruction: Resources for Grades K-3, Blends and Digraphs, students read the following text: The pet was in a shed. The shed was like a den. I fed the pet. The pet was happy.

Materials provide frequent opportunities to read high-frequency words in connected text and tasks. Examples include, but are not limited to:

  • In How to Plan Differentiated Reading Instruction: Resources for Grades K-3, Basic Alphabet Knowledge lessons, students participate in reading Tracking Memorized Text: We go to the top.
  • In How to Plan Differentiated Reading Instruction: Resources for Grades K-3, Blends and Digraphs, students read the following text which contains high-frequency words: I saw a pig. The pig was big. It had a pink tail. It had a pink nose.

Lessons and activities provide students many opportunities to learn grade-level word recognition and analysis skills while encoding (writing) in context and decoding words (reading) in connected text and tasks. Examples include, but are not limited to:

  • In How to Plan Differentiated Reading Instruction: Resources for Grades K-3, in the Blends and Digraphs lessons, students work with sounding and blending words and read connected text.
    • In Lesson 5, students read a passage that includes words with digraphs. They first whisper read the passage, partner read the passage and then chorally read the passage. There are 29 lessons for the Blends and Digraphs focus.
  • In ELA Lessons, Week 14, Day 4, Narrative Writing, the teacher models how to write the word last by stretching the word, listening for the sounds and writing them. When students are to write independently, they are encouraged to stretch the words, listen for the sounds, and write the letters that make those sounds to write any unknown word.
  • In ELA Lesson, Week 21, Day 4, Narrative Writing, the lesson plan states, “The purpose for the third 9 weeks is for students to use more complex invented spellings. We expect a wide range of spelling achievement in a kindergarten class. Invented spellings are important practice for emergent writers. For the third nine weeks, encourage students to represent initial sounds and final sounds in some words.

Indicator 1s

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

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

Bookworms Kindergarten materials provide opportunities to assess students on some foundational skills. Assessments include the Informal Decoding Inventory (IDI), the Test of Letter Names, the Test of Letter Sounds, and the Test of Fry Instant Words. Subtest assessments are administered after three to six weeks of instruction and weekly Word Study tests begin with Week 21. These assessment opportunities support teachers with instructional adjustments to help students make progress toward mastery in foundational skills. Foundational skills are assessed through Word Study tests and assessments included in the How to Plan for Differentiated Reading Instruction: Resources for Grades K-3. 

Multiple assessment opportunities are provided over the course of the year in core materials for students to demonstrate progress toward mastery and independence of foundational skills. Examples include, but are not limited to:

  • In How to Plan for Differentiated Reading Instruction: Resources for Grades K-3, 4 types of assessments described:
    • Screening Measures of achievement in a particular area are given at the beginning of the year and again at mid-year;
    • Diagnostic Measures follow Screening to break down the area into teachable skills and strategies;
    • Progress Monitoring Measures are administered periodically to determine if instruction is having the desired effect so adjustments can be made in order to improve learning;
    • Outcome Measures given at the end of a unit of instruction, or the end of the school year.
  • In How to Plan for Differentiated Reading Instruction: Resources for Grades K-3, Basic Alphabet Knowledge, assessment materials are provided for use after Lessons 1-14 and Lessons 15-30. The assessment consists of identifying letters and sounds given in random order. Students are presented with the alphabet and asked to give the names of each letter. Using the same alphabet, students asked to tell the sounds of the letters. An example of the first row of letters is as follows: Bb, Mm, Ss, Rr, Tt.
  • In How to Plan for Differentiated Reading Instruction: Resources for Grades K-3, Using Letter Patterns, assessment materials are provided or suggested for use after 14 lessons. The assessment consists of segmenting and blending CVC words, sounding and blending CVC words, and 20 high-frequency words (to be determined by the teacher). The segmenting and blending section should be presented orally to the student. Words such as mad, bag, fan, map, hat, fin, lip, and hit are included. The sounding and blending section is presented visually to the students so that they can sound and blend untaught short-vowel words. The previously mentioned words are the same for this part of the assessment. A score of 10/15 or better is an indication of proficiency for each of those sections. The high-frequency words (selected by the teacher) are visually presented in random order. Words the students cannot yet read can be retaught in the next lessons.
  • In How to Plan for Differentiated Reading Instruction: Resources for Grades K-3, Blends and Digraphs, assessment is suggested after 29 lessons. The assessment consists of reading either as a whole word, or by sounding and blending words with initial and final blends and digraphs. A score of 10 correct is a signal of proficiency. The first five words have initial blends, as in the word ‘slip.’ The second five words have initial digraphs, as in the word ‘chop.’ The last five words are a mix of initial and final blends and digraphs, as in the word ‘chest.’ It also includes 20 high-frequency words (to be determined by the teacher). It is suggested that any unknown words be taught in the next cycle of lessons.
  • In How to Plan for Differentiated Reading Instruction: Resources for Grades K-3, Vowel-Consonant-e, assessment is suggested after 14 lessons. It consists of reading VCe words, spelling VCe words, and reading high-frequency words (to be determined by the teacher). Fifteen VCe words are visually presented to the student. A score of 10/15 is an indicator of proficiency. Examples of the words included are pack, ice, place, cute, tame, and stun. An additional fifteen words are provided for the teacher to present orally as the students spell them. Examples from this section include cap, cape, man, mane, and time. A score of 10/15 is an indicator of proficiency. It includes 20 high-frequency words (to be determined by the teacher). It is suggested that any unknown words be taught in the next cycle of lessons.

Assessment materials provide teachers and students with information of students’ current skills/level of understanding. Examples include, but are not limited to:

  • In How to Plan for Differentiated Reading Instruction: Resources for Grades K-3, there are assessments that test foundational skills such as:
    • Test of Letter Names helps determine which letters can be named when viewed in isolation. The teacher shows the student copy of Test of Letter Names. Students name the letters moving from left to right and from top to bottom.
    • Test of Letter Sounds helps determine which letters can be associated with the phonemes they represent. The teacher points to the student copy of Test of Letter Sounds. The teacher points to Ss and says, “What sound do these letters say?”
    • Test of Fry Instant Words helps determine which high-frequency words can be pronounced quickly when words are viewed in isolation. The teacher places the student version in front of the student. The teacher explains  the student will see some words and the student should say the words aloud. The teacher uses a window card to show one word at a time. The teacher administers until there are 10 unknown words.
    • Informal Decoding Inventory: Short Vowels through Vowel Teams helps determine the highest decoding skill set the student has attained in pronouncing one-syllable words of progressively more difficult patterns:
      • In the Short Vowels assessment, the teacher points to the word sat and says, “What is this word?” The teacher repeats this question for each word in each row. The words include: sat, pot, beg, nip, cub, pad, top, hit, met, nut, mot, tib, han, teg, fet, lup nid, pab, hud, gop.

Materials support teachers with instructional adjustments to help students make progress toward mastery in foundational skills. Examples include, but are not limited to:

  • In How to Plan for Differentiated Reading Instruction: Resources for Grades K-3, Figure 3.4, explains how to use the assessment results to form groups in Kindergarten. For example:
    • Failure to pass the Test of Letter Sounds with a score of 720 or higher, place the student in the Basic Alphabet Knowledge group;
    • If a student passes the Test of Letter Sounds with a score of 720 or higher, but fails to pass the Test of Letter Sounds, place the student in the Using Letter Sounds group;
    • If a student passes the Test of Letter Sounds with a score of 720 or higher and passes one or more of the lower subtest of the IDI, place the student in the lowest subtest that the student failed;
    • If a student passes the Test of Letter Sounds with a score of 720 or higher, the lower subtests of the IDI and the Vowel Teams subtest of the IDI, place the student word on spelling and handwriting.
  • In How to Plan for Differentiated Reading Instruction: Resources for Grades K-3, Using Assessments Systematically, three reasons are provided for the importance of assessments for small-group differentiated instruction:
    • Systematic assessments permit the teacher decide which students will benefit most from instruction with a particular focus.
    • Systematic assessments provide guidance in choosing which skills to target in a series of lessons.
    • Systematic assessments form the basis of determining whether small-group instruction has been effective and deciding which group will best serve each student during the next cycle.

Indicator 1t

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

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

Bookworms Kindergarten materials provide differentiated lessons and guidance based on screening test results, assessment results, and progress monitoring results in order for teachers to support each student’s learning needs.

Materials provide high-quality learning lessons and activities for every student to reach mastery of foundational skills. Examples include, but are not limited to:

  • In Shared Reading Lesson Plans, Week 1, Day 1, Word Study, the suggested routine presents the student’s name on a sentence strip, followed by an echo read of each letter. Then the name is cut into the individual letters and matched to an alphabet chart and an echo read/spelling. The letters are put back in order to spell the child’s name. The name is spelled one more time and then read aloud. This routine is suggested for the first four weeks of school.
  • In Shared Reading Lesson Plans, Week 1, Day 3, Phonological Awareness, explicit instruction is provided about the concept of rhyme. Examples and non-examples are provided. After reading each stanza of the poem, students listen for words that rhyme. The teacher confirms student responses and restates why the words rhyme. The second part of the lesson asks students to think of words that rhyme with top, me, wave, toes, like, house. Nonsense words are acceptable. Teacher prompts as needed.
  • In Shared Reading Lesson Plans, Week 6, Day 4, Teach Concept of Word, direct instruction is provided about how to read words using the poem. The teacher uses a metacognitive strategy to explain how she knows where to begin reading, when the next word starts because of the space between words and what to do when she gets to the end of a line of text. Guided practice is provided before students are asked to come up and point to a space, the first, next or last word, etc.
  • In Shared Reading Lesson Plans, Week 30, Day 3, Word Study, in this lesson a sound and blend routine is used to read CVC words (mop, top, sop, bog, dog, fog, hog). The teacher models with the word mop pointing to each letter and making the sound it represents and then blending the three sounds to read the word. Guided practice is provided for the remaining words where the teacher points, and the students make the sounds and read the words.

Materials provide guidance to teachers for scaffolding and adapting lessons and activities to support each student’s needs. Examples include, but are not limited to:

  • In How to Plan for Differentiated Reading Instruction: Resources for Grades K-3, it lists assessments useful in forming groups for Kindergarten students:
    • The Test of Letter Names helps to determine which letters can be named when viewed in isolation. For example, if students are receiving instruction in “Letter Sounds” starting on page 78, students will then receive lessons and activities for 14 days to assist with reaching mastery of foundational skills. After the 14 days, the students will receive an end-of-skill assessment (page 86), to gauge their readiness to move on or receive further instruction in this skill.
  • In How to Plan for Differentiated Reading Instruction: Resources for Grades K-3, Appendix 4.1, a sample lesson plan for the small group needing Basic Alphabet Knowledge instruction. The basic alphabet review segment is intended to last three minutes. Direct instruction is provided for how to sing and say the names of the letters. Guided practice also occurs when the teacher points to and names the letters, then students point to and name them. There are 30 lessons.
  • In How to Plan for Differentiated Reading Instruction: Resources for Grades K-3, the materials explain what to do instructionally after administering the progress monitoring assessment:
    • Basic Alphabet Knowledge group: There are six weeks of lessons with a midterm check. The teacher is to use the assessment of letter names and sounds after three weeks so instruction for those students that started at the beginning of the lessons can attempt to show proficiency. If students demonstrate proficiency, the teacher is directed to move to the second set of lessons. If students do not reach proficiency, the teacher is directed to reteach the three weeks of lessons.
    • Using Letter Sounds group: The teacher is directed to use the assessment that is provided to test whether students can sound and blend short-vowel words that they have not studied. If the students demonstrate that they can, the teacher is directed to move to letter patterns and if students cannot, the teacher is directed to reteach the three weeks of lessons.
    • Using Letter Patterns group: The teacher is directed to use the assessment provided to determine if students can generalize the patterns that have been taught. If students can then the teacher is directed to move to Dictated Sentences.
  • In How to Plan for Differentiated Reading Instruction: Resources for Grades K-3, the materials guide the teacher in forming small groups based on the results of the assessments given to determine current skill levels. For example (page 23), if the student passed the Test of Letter Sounds, it is suggested the student be placed in the Using Letter Patterns small group. If the student does not pass, depending on the specific score, the student should be placed in either the Using Letter Sounds small group or the Basic Alphabet Knowledge small group. For each small group category, there are generic lesson plans, as well as a sample lesson plan provided for the teacher (for example pages 78-79 Using Letter Sounds).

Students have multiple practice opportunities with each grade level foundational skill component in order to reach mastery. Examples include, but are not limited to:

  • In How to Plan for Differentiated Reading Instruction: Resources for Grades K-3, the number of lessons for each foundational skill focus is listed:
    • Basic Alphabet Knowledge (30 lessons)
    • Using Letter Sounds (15 lessons)
    • Using Letter Patterns (15 lessons)
    • Blends and Digraphs or R-Controlled Vowels (45 lessons)
    • Vowel-Consonant-e (15 lessons)
  • In How to Plan for Differentiated Reading Instruction: Resources for Grades K-3, after students are placed appropriately in a foundational skills group, they receive targeted instruction in that skill for either a 3-week or 6-week cycle. For example, if students are receiving instruction in “Letter Sounds” starting on page 78 in How to Plan for Differentiated Reading Instruction: Resources for Grades K-3, students will then receive high-quality learning lessons and activities for 14 days to assist with reaching mastery of foundational skills. After the 14 days, the students will receive an end-of-skill assessment (page 86), to gauge their readiness to move on or receive further instruction in this skill.

Gateway Two

Building Knowledge with Texts, Vocabulary, and Tasks

Partially Meets Expectations

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Gateway Two Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Kindergarten 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

24/32

Indicator 2a

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Kindergarten partially meet the criteria that texts are organized around a topic/topics to build students knowledge and vocabulary which will, over time, support and help grow students’ ability to comprehend complex texts independently and proficiently.

In Shared Reading and ELA, there are some texts that are organized around a text topic. Students listen to the same text for five days and the text changes each week. It is stated within the Bookworms Teacher Manual that they, “searched for texts that were high quality and likely to build knowledge and motivation”, and then sequenced these texts, “qualitatively more difficult over time, and to match seasons”. Texts were “not selected to be entirely thematically related, as in a preschool curriculum”, but were selected “for their quality first, and then were sequenced into spark connections.” 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.

Materials include limited examples of texts organized around a topic in ELA. For example: 

  • In Weeks 10-17, students listen to several books about early life in America. In Week 12, they listen to Thanksgiving on Plymouth Plantation by Diane Stanley, in Week 13, they listen to Pocahontas by Caryn Jenner, and in Week 14, students listen to American Is... by Louise Borden.
  • In Weeks 27-33, students are read books about life cycles. In Week 29, they listen to Follow the Water from Brook to Ocean by Arthur Dorros and Clouds by Anne Rockwell. Then in Week 34, students continue learning about life cycles when they listen to the book, How a Seed Grows by Helene Jordan.

Book topics in Shared Reading that correspond to book topics in ELA include, but are not limited to:

  • In Week 7 of both Shared Reading and ELA, students read about magnets. In Shared Reading, students read What Makes a Magnet by Franklyn M. Branley and in ELA students listen to What Magnets Can Do by Allan Fowler.
  • In Week 8, students read about pumpkins. In Shared Reading, students read Pumpkin Day by Candice Ransom and in ELA students listen to the Ugly Pumpkin by Dave Horowitz.

Indicator 2b

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Kindergarten meet the criteria that materials contain sets of coherently sequenced questions and tasks that require students to analyze the language (words/phrases), key ideas, details, craft, and structure of individual texts in order to make meaning and build understanding of texts and topics.

Throughout the Kindergarten materials, both the ELA and Shared Reading components of the curriculum contain a number of questions and tasks that require students to analyze key ideas and details with some that require students to analyze language, craft, and structure. Questions and tasks about language occur before, during, and after the lessons. Almost daily, students learn about the craft and structure of the text, and at times, questions require students to analyze craft and/or structure.

Questions in both ELA and Shared Reading ask students to analyze key ideas and details. Examples include:

  • In ELA, Week 4, students hear The Full Belly Bowl by Jim Aylesworth and Wendy Anderson Halperin. While reading, students are asked analysis questions about details and key ideas such as, "How do we know the man is poor? Why was the man weak? and Why did he put the violin on the very top shelf?" After reading, students are asked if they think the wee little man wanted the full belly bowl to make money.
  • In Shared Reading, Week 14, students read Sarah Morton’s Day by Kate Waters and are asked a series of questions, including some analysis of detail questions. Example questions include: Why does Sarah have to chase the hens?, How does Father feel about the meal?, How does Sarah know a ship has been sighted?, and Why does Sarah think Father is proud?
  • In ELA, Week 29, students hear Follow the Water from Brook to Ocean by Arthur Dorros. Students asked a series of questions while listening to the text such as: What can people do in a river besides boating and swimming?, Why water is so important to humans?, and Why is water important for plants and animals?

Lessons that require students to analyze language, including words and phrases in texts. Examples include:

  • In ELA, Week 10, after listening to A Log’s Life by Wendy Pfeffer, the teacher asks the students what the author really means when she says that the moss is a blanket.
  • In ELA, Week 20, after listening to Chrysanthemum by Kevin Henkes, students focus on the word wilted and draw pictures of someone who is happy and someone who has a “wilted” look. This word is used in the text to describe Chrysanthemum.
  • In ELA, Week 25, while listening toThe Pain and the Great One by Judy Blume, the teacher explains the term slob and asks the students if the picture shows that the character is a slob.

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.
2/4
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Kindergarten 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.

Throughout the program, students analyze knowledge and ideas within individual texts; however, opportunities are limited for students to analyze and integrate knowledge across multiple texts. Students answer a series of discussion questions and then answer a written response. Some of the writing tasks require students to build upon knowledge in more than one text.

Examples of questions and texts that require students to integrate knowledge in Shared Reading and ELA include:

  • In Week 18, students listen to Happy Birthday Martin Luther King by Jean Marzollo and draw a picture that shows Martin’s dream of people living together without being mean.
  • In Week 22, students listen to George Washington by Garnet Jackson. At the end of the week, students draw a picture showing what they liked best about George Washington as a leader.
  • In Week 26, after listening to From Caterpillar to Butterfly by Deborah Heiligman, students discuss the most important things that happened in the book in the correct order.
  • In Week 26, students listen to From Caterpillar to Butterfly by Deborah Heiligman and are asked questions such as: Where do caterpillars turn into butterflies?, What is molting?, and Why is the chrysalis hard?
  • In Week 29, students draw a picture of a river delta and label their picture after listening to Follow the Water from Brook to Ocean by Arthur Dorros.

Materials provide limited opportunities for students to answer a series of questions and tasks that require them to integrate knowledge and ideas across multiple texts include. For example:

  • In Week 5, students listen to Forest Bright, Forest Night by Jennifer Ward and then draw a picture of their favorite animal. Then, in Week 6, students listen to What Lives in a Shell by Kathleen Weidner Zoehfeld and draw a picture of their favorite animal that lives in a shell. In these representative examples, the questions and tasks may be completed without reading the texts. 
  • In Week 7, students listen to What Makes a Magnet by Franklyn M. Brantley in Shared Reading and What Magnets Can Do by Allan Fowler in ELA. During shared reading, students are asked a series of questions to build knowledge about magnets such as what kinds of objects are magnetic and how can you make a compass. In ELA, students are asked if the earth is a kind of magnet. At the end of the week, students write sentences about magnets.

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).
2/4
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Kindergarten 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 through integrated skills (e.g., combination of reading, writing, speaking, listening).

Within the program, there are two final culminating tasks at the end of the year that are intended to integrate skills and have students demonstrate their knowledge. Within these tasks, students demonstrate their knowledge of a text and their knowledge of themselves as readers and writers, but do not demonstrate their knowledge of the topics learned throughout the program. These tasks do not always require synthesizing knowledge of content, but rather depend on students’ ability to form an opinion and/or write about themselves. Some writing tasks are provided throughout the year that could serve as culminating tasks that require students to integrate some knowledge of a topic through integrated skills.

At the end of Kindergarten, students are given two weeks to complete two culminating tasks. These tasks, according to the publisher, are similar in every grade, though the rigor increases due to the standards. These tasks do have students integrate skills, but students are not asked to demonstrate their knowledge of the topics learned throughout the year. The culminating tasks focus only on reading and writing skills, and do not highlight content knowledge gained across the year. These tasks include:

  • In Week 35, students write a book review of their favorite book. Students are exposed to this genre throughout the year in order to prepare them for this final writing assignment. For example, in Week 2, students write one sentence about whether they like the book Frederick by Leo Lionni. The final book review is a commercial instead of a written project where they share their favorite book.
  • In Week 36, students reflect on their year by explaining how they have grown as readers and writers throughout the year. Students look at previous writing assignments that they have completed to do this task. While the teacher models each step, students complete the project independently. However, there are no writing assignments or tasks before this culminating assignment that require students to reflect on their progression. Additionally, while this activity does incorporate different skills, it does not demonstrate knowledge gained. 

Students are provided some writing assignments throughout the year that require them to demonstrate their knowledge of a topic through integrated skills. These occur in the ELA portion of the curriculum. Examples from the ELA program include:

  • In Week 6, students listen to What Lives in a Shell by Kathleen Weidner Zoehfeld and write a sentence about something they learned in order to teach someone else the fact.
  • In Week 18, students draw a picture that shows Martin Luther King’s dream of people living together without being mean, after having listened to Happy Birthday, Martin Luther King by Jean Marzollo.
  • In Week 22, students write why they think George Washington was a good leader after hearing George Washington by Garnet Jackson.
  • In Week 27, students write information about plants after reading In a Nutshell by Joseph Anthony.

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 Kindergarten 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.

Vocabulary is embedded throughout the Kindergarten materials in both Shared Reading and ELA. In Shared Reading, where most of vocabulary instruction occurs, there is a vocabulary routine called Word Walk. This routine provides the students with a student friendly definition, identifies the words within the text, and then helps students use the target words in a simple sentence. The ELA portion has routines with both fiction and nonfiction texts. Tier II words are introduced after reading literary texts. For informational texts, the words are previewed prior to reading. In both ELA and Shared Reading, Tier II and Tier III words are taught. To encourage review of the vocabulary words, the Teacher Manual recommends the use of a word wall and anchor charts with the words.

Word Walk occurs each week during Shared Reading. The teacher teaches two words on Days 1 and 2, and another two words on Days 3 and 4. Students review the words on Day 5. Some examples of vocabulary instruction in Shared Reading include:

  • In Week 5, students listen to multiple readings of Biscuit Loves the Library by Alyssa Satin Capucilli and participate in before- and after-reading Word Walks focusing on the words librarian, cozy, and spot. At the end of the week, the teacher models a retelling of the story incorporating the vocabulary words in phrases such as, Biscuit finds the librarian and a book that is just right.
  • In Week 10, after listening to the book A Bee’s Life by Dona Herweck Rice, students review and apply the words learned throughout the week such as discussing the word nectar.  
  • In Week 23, students listen to multiple readings of Daring Amelia by Barbara Lowell and participate in before and after reading Word Walks focusing on the words stunts and daring. Discussions during the week include the words such as asking students if they could do stunts, what would they do and Charles Lindbergh was daring because.... The teacher models retelling at the end of the week incorporating the words such as next Amelia became a pilot and did stunts.
  • In Week 28, students read Henry and Mudge and the WIld Wind by Cynthia Rylant and learn the word rippled. Students learn that the word can mean when something is into small wrinkles or waves or it could mean when water in the lake rippled when the wind blew on it.

In ELA fiction texts, vocabulary is taught after reading the text, but not everyday. Most of the words are Tier II words. Examples include:

  • In Week 1, Week 4, after reading The Doorbell Rang by Pat Hutchins, the teacher introduces the word started. Students repeat the word and then the teacher gives the definition and provide examples of the word in context. The teacher then illustrates how students can use the word using sentence frames. This routine is repeated with the word enormous.
  • In Week 13, students hear Pocahontas by Caryn Jenner and learn words such as smelly and piping. When learning the word piping, the teacher explains that if something is piping, it is very hot and you could burn your mouth.
  • In Week 20, students hear Chrysanthemum by Kevin Henkes and learn the word wilted. The teacher explains that when a plant is wilted, is it dead and dry and curled up. The teacher then explains when a person might wilt, such as when they receive bad news. Students also learn the word appreciate.
  • In Week 28, students hear Tikki, Tikki, Tembo by Arlene Mosel and learn the word chattering. Teacher tells students to chatter to their partners about the word.

In ELA non-fiction texts, vocabulary is taught before the text is read. These words are primarily Tier III words so teaching the words ahead of time helps students comprehend the text. After learning the words, the teacher models how to incorporate the words in their discussions and writing. Examples include:

  • In Week 6, before listening to What Lives in a Shell by Kathleen Weidner, and students learn about the word shell. Students are told that animals with shells are found on land and in water. Students are then asked questions such as, “What if a shell had no opening?”. On the final day, the students draw a picture of their favorite animal and its shell.
  • In Week 10, students hear the word A Log’s Life by Wendy Pfeifler and learn the word umbrella. Students are asked questions such as, “Can an umbrella be made of leaves? and Does the author mean that this is a real umbrella?”.
  • In Week 26, prior to reading Actual Size by Steve Jenkins, students discuss the term actual size. While reading, students also learn the words goliath and pygmy. The teacher helps the students understand the difference between the two terms.
  • In Week 35, after listening to Up in the Garden and Down in the Dirt by Kate Messner and How a Seed Grows by Helene Jordan, students write some facts they learned about gardening and growing plants. The teacher models how to incorporate vocabulary words from the texts.
  • In Weeks 34-36, students listen to the text How a Seed Grows and the teacher draws a diagram of a plant with the vocabulary words root, root hairs, leaf, soil, and stem.

Indicator 2f

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Kindergarten meet  the criteria that materials contain a year long, cohesive plan of writing instruction and tasks which support students in building and communicating substantive understanding of topics and texts.

Throughout the year, there is a cohesive plan for writing instruction. The ELA section of the Bookworms curriculum includes weekly written responses that provide students the opportunity to demonstrate what they learned from listening to the interactive read-aloud. The responses progress gradually from drawing, to drawing and labeling, to simple sentences. During the first nine weeks of instruction, students learn how to formulate sentences by arranging subjects and predicates and drawing pictures to match given sentences. Then, in the second nine weeks, students match subjects and predicts, write subjects and predicates, and draw pictures to given sentences. During the third nine weeks, students write a sentence with subjects and predicates with a given sentence frame and draw pictures to match sentences. In the final nine weeks, students write sentences with subjects and predicates, using sentence frames if necessary, and the teacher models using a simple checklist to edit writing. These checklists are genre specific and include narrative checklists, descriptive writing checklists, book review checklists, opinion checklists, and sentence writing checklists. Over the course of the year, the writing demands build to increase students’ ability to express knowledge of text though writing.

At the beginning of the year, students are tasked with drawing a picture. By the second 9 weeks, students are drawing and labeling. By the end of the year, students draw a picture and write a sentence using a fill in the blank sentence provided by the teacher. The teachers explicitly tell students when this switch is happening such as in Week 10, when the teacher tells students that they will no longer glue sentences together, but will now write the words themselves. Examples of the cohesive plan throughout the year include:

  • In Week 1, students draw a picture of George teaching the dragon something after hearing The Egg by M.P. Robertson.
  • In Week 13, students draw a picture of Pocahontas and include one word to describe their picture. During Week 16, students draw and write about their favorite vehicle from the story Building with Dad by Carol Nevius.
  • In Week 26, students write a sentence about their size and use the fill in the blank sentence: My hand ,______ and _______ are  ________ size.
  • In Week 29, students write their own sentences telling a writer which book they liked the best and what that book teaches them.
  • In Week 34, students draw a series of pictures showing the steps of planting a seed and growing into a plant after hearing How a Seed Grows by Helene Jordan. Students are also expected to write a sentence to go with their picture. A sentence frame is not provided.

Within process writing, the plan also includes a cohesive plan that is similar to the on-demand writing. Examples include:

  • In Week 2, students arrange subjects and predicates and draw pictures to match sentences after hearing Rosie’s Walk and Frederick.
  • In Week 33, students write a narrative about a personal adventure. The teacher reminds the students to include a subject, a predicate, and a detail in their sentence and then after the teacher models how to use the Sentence Checklist, students use it to revise their sentence.
  • In Week 36, students revise and edit their writing independently after watching the teacher model.

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 Kindergarten partially meet the criteria that materials include a progression of focused, shared research and writing projects to encourage students to develop knowledge and understanding of a topic using texts and other source materials.

In Kindergarten, students are engaged in exploring books and giving their opinions about the texts with guidance, modeling, and support from the teacher. Students have opportunities to learn, practice, and apply developing writing skills in varying contexts, typically with teacher modeling and peer partnering. While students build upon these skills throughout the year, there are limited opportunities for students to engage in projects designed to build their research skills. In the program, research skills involve informative writing based on the texts read during read-aloud. Opportunities are missed for students to progress in research skills due to the lack of research activities.

Students have minimal opportunities to participate in research projects. Some of the opportunities include:

  • In Week 7 of ELA, students hear What Makes a Magnet by Franklyn M. Brantley and What Magnets Can Do by Allan Fowler, and then participate in shared writing about something they have learned.
  • In Week 27, students read Nutshell by Joseph Anthony and How Plants Grow by Dona Herweck Rick and write a descriptive text that teaches about something they have learned.
  • In Week 34 of ELA, students hear How a Seed Grows by Helene Jordan and then write about whether a giant tree can grow from a tiny seed using evidence from the text.
  • In Week 34 of ELA, after listening to Up in the Garden and Down in the Dirt by Kate Messner and How a Seed Grows by Helene Jordan, students write the best facts they learned about gardening and growing plants.

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 Kindergarten 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.

The Kindergarten materials include time for independent reading during the day. The program includes a proposed schedule that includes time for differentiation each day, which does include daily opportunities for self-selected, independent reading. There are suggestions for a shared reading homework procedure and a home reading log.

During the differentiated block of instruction each day, students engage in three 15-minute blocks of instruction that allow the teacher to meet with small groups of students. During this time, students engage in daily self-selected independent reading from the classroom library after finishing their handwriting practice. Appendix B provides a sample classroom library book list to help teachers pick books for independent reading.

For independent reading at home, the Teacher Manual recommends that grade level teachers collaborate to develop a consistent grade level homework procedure. Specifically, for Kindergarten, it is suggested that they listen to a family member read aloud. A Family Connections letter is included to tell families the importance of reading a variety of texts to children. A sample reading log is included that can be used for accountability purposes, but the manual also states that the teacher can create his/her own log for the classroom, without adding the homework piece.

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

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 Kindergarten meet the criteria that materials are well-designed and take into account effective lesson structure and pacing.

The lessons and pacing throughout the program are both academically and developmentally appropriate. Students are given multiple opportunities to engage with a text, discuss with peers and teachers, learn new vocabulary words, and improve their writing. Opportunities for reteaching are also included. In the program, there are three forty-five minute blocks of instruction. One 45-minute block is used for whole-class shared reading, known as Dialogic Reading in Kindergarten. Each day, students participate in 15 minutes of oral language focused dialogic reading, 15 minutes of poem or word study, and 5-10 minutes of concepts of print. The second block is used for English Language Arts instruction. In this block of time, students spend time with interactive read alouds, summaries and story mapping, vocabulary instruction, sentence composing, shared written response, and drawing and writing. It is noted that read-alouds are 2-3 days a week and shared writing is 2-3 days a week. The third block is used for differentiated instruction to develop foundational skills based on data. The program allows for three groups to meet with the teacher for 15 minutes a day, while other students practice their handwriting and engage in self-selected "pretend reading". Within the three blocks of time, the program suggests time for movement and song break.

Indicator 3b

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Kindergarten 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.

The Bookworms materials for both Shared Reading and English Language Arts is broken into 36 weeks and five lessons a week, which equals exactly 180 days. In addition, because the differentiated period can be used for reteaching, review, extension work, and additional exposure to print through independent reading time, the pacing allows for maximum student understanding. While this material covers the entire course of a typical school year, it is important to note that if schools have interruptions to a typical learning day or do not start the lessons on day 1 of school, then teachers will not finish the entire program.

Indicator 3c

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Kindergarten 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.).

The student resources included in the program include clear directions and explanations and correct labeling of reference aids. However, it is important to note that there are very few student resources included because schools need to purchase the texts separately. The materials that are available include graphic organizers, sentence checklists, editing checklists, book review text(s), descriptive writing, narrative, opinion, and book review checklists. Not all of the downloads have a set of directions, but they are easy to interpret, well-labeled, and explained in the lesson plans on how to use. Student workbooks are also included for foundational skills including handwriting practice. These include the labeling of text titles and days of the week.  The handwriting workbooks include explicit handwriting instruction and plenty of practice opportunities with clear directions.

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 Kindergarten meet the criteria that materials include publisher-produced alignment documentation of the standards addressed by specific questions, tasks, and assessment items.

The publisher provides Common Core Standards alignment tables that are organized by Shared Reading and English Language Arts lessons by week. There is also an assessment alignment table in Unit 3 and Unit 4 for Word Study. In addition, in each lesson plan, each portion of the lesson identifies the related standards alignment.

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 Kindergarten 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.

The materials that are included with the program have a visual design that is not distracting and is engaging for students. The Kindergarten Handwriting Workbook includes handwriting practice sheets that coordinate with the scope and sequence for initial sound picture sorts and word study patterns in Word Study. The design is simple, and the layout is appropriate for kindergarten students with pages labeled clearly so students can follow along. The curriculum also includes a variety of checklists that are used by the teacher and students during the planning stages of writing. These checklists incorporate student-friendly language and support the writing process. These are the only materials included in the program because the texts that students listen to are published books and need to be purchased separately or projected using technology.

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.
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Kindergarten 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.

The materials contain a Teacher Manual for each grade level that provides information on the rationale behind each instructional method, the purpose of the design of the curriculum, and a breakdown of each lesson in English Language Arts, Shared Reading, and Differentiated Instruction. The design of the program is intentionally structured with repetitive routines to make it easier to use in real time, according to the publisher.  The daily lesson plans include information on the Common Core State Standards being addressed, the texts being used, and plannings notes that offer suggestions on how to use additional resources to enhance lessons. For example, in Week 12, ELA, the note is that the teacher may want to show a map of the Virginia colony to show how it was much larger than it is today. Each lesson provides a script for the teacher to follow in order to lead students in their learning. In addition, there is guidance on which sections to review, how to design charts and model responses.

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.
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Kindergarten partially 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.

While the Teacher Manual provides some adult-level explanations and some example of more advanced literacy concepts for teachers to improve their knowledge, a majority of the explanations refer to resources not included with the materials, and instead as a reference teachers can access on their own.

Examples of adult-level explanations include:

  • Fingerpoint reading is the physical touching of each word in a memorized text while saying each word out loud. The publisher selected different texts for each week and suggests using the first two days to support students, including in discussing the text and memorizing it.

Examples of referring to resources that teachers can access on their own time include:

  • Suggesting that teachers would benefit from a book study on Words Their Way even though the program uses Word Study as grade-level instruction instead of differentiated instruction in Words Their Way.
  • For vocabulary, two words per session are introduced using a procedure by Isabel Beck and her colleagues and teachers can refer to her book Creating Robust Vocabulary: Frequently Asked Questions and Extended Examples. Teachers are also told to look at Teaching Vocabulary in all Classrooms to learn about vocabulary instruction of content words.
  • For better understanding fluency, teachers should read Developing Fluent Readers: Teaching Fluency as a Foundational Skill according to the publisher.
  • In order to understand the comprehension approaches used in this program, it is recommended that teachers read Explaining Reading: A Resource for Explicit Teaching of the Common Core Standards.

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.
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Kindergarten partially 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 Teacher Manual does not appear to have information regarding the ELA/Literacy Standards with the exception of the Standards Alignment Document, found in supplemental materials, and listing the specific standards being addressed in each individual lesson. Bookworms does not state that their design is built around the standards, and instead states that it is built around literacy research and evidence-based pedagogy. The Teacher Manual includes a myriad of studies on word study, fluency, and comprehension, but there is no framework of the role of the specific standards. The Teacher Manual does state the high volume design of Bookworms Reading and Writing produces daily opportunities for addressing multiple standards. In addition, because of the research and the standards, the program indicates the material is repetitive and consistent in order to provide a high volume of practice opportunities, without giving specific assignments to demonstrate mastery of standards in any one marking period.

Indicator 3i

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

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

The materials include a Teacher Manual that breaks down the Literacy block into Shared Reading, English Language Arts, and Differentiated Instruction. Within each section, there are explicit explanations and guidance for each method that is mentioned, ranging from word study, fluency, comprehension, writing, and vocabulary. The Teacher Manual explains the process involved for every section and often details why approach was included in the program. The identification of research-based strategies are present, and books and articles are referred to for teachers to learn more about the specific approaches and strategies.

Some specific explanations and research-based practices include:

  • The Teacher Manual states why they chose a specific writing prompt. It states that the prompt is the most important kind of writing students will do, is closely tied to the comprehension strategies of determining the relative importance of ideas, and provides a sharing activity that sets up the new days’ text segment by reviewing recent events.
  • The teacher’s manual states that the goal for the fluency portion of the Shared Reading routine is to build the skills for students to move from a teacher-supported choral reading to an independent partner reading.
  • For vocabulary, the teacher’s manual explains that while there are many evidence-based routines for vocabulary instruction, they have chosen just a few to make sure teachers and students are accustomed to the routines.
  • The Teacher Manual encourages teachers to engage in a Semantic Feature Analysis in Shared Reading and in interactive read-alouds, whenever new concepts are a part of a larger overarching category, and can be compared and contrasted on the basis of a set of features.

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 Kindergarten 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 called Family Connections, which offers a letter home outlining the literacy program and includes the components of the program, the teaching approaches used, as well as recommendations for how to support the student at home in regard to reading with them and asking them what they are reading and learning in school. For example, it tells families the best thing to do at home is to read to and with their child everyday. It also says that the text chosen does not matter and students are encouraged to read a range of texts including magazines, books, newspapers, blogs, informative texts, and even cookbooks. There is also a Word Study Parent Letter that explains the phonics and spelling routines. For both letters, the program recommends customizing the letters so they reflect the school’s norms and traditions.

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 Kindergarten meet the criteria that materials regularly and systematically offer assessment opportunities that genuinely measure student progress.

The program includes opportunities for regular and systematic assessments. Beginning in Week 21, the curriculum includes weekly Word Study tests. Bookworms also requires the use of letter name and sound inventories. In Weeks 1-18, there are non-graded formative assessments in letters and sounds. Additionally, there are longer, fully processed writing tasks included to assess comprehension and mechanics during the fourth nine weeks. Standards-based rubrics are provided for the evaluation of compositions.

In addition, Bookworms recommends assessing student progress in external transfer tasks using periodic holistic assessments, though these assessments are not included with the program. For example, it recommends two specific Achieve the Core, Kindergarten writing performance assessments.

Indicator 3l

The purpose/use of each assessment is clear:
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Indicator 3l.i

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

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

The evaluation enhancements section of the Bookworms Curriculum, "Evaluating Student Progress", includes a summary of all Kindergarten assessment opportunities within each unit as well as the standard alignment. The assessments are in letters, sounds, genre writing, and shared reading.

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 Kindergarten partially meet the criteria that assessments provide sufficient guidance to teachers for interpreting student performance and suggestions for follow up.

In the Bookworms program, there is minimal guidance to teachers on interpreting student performance and suggestions for follow up. Rubrics are used to evaluate student writing, which informs the teachers of important components of the writing task. Teachers can use the rubrics to analyze student performance and determine necessary follow-up; however, the program itself does not provide this guidance.

Additionally, there are checklists used three times a year for speaking and listening. Teachers can determine when to use the checklists and how to use the data. Similar to the rubrics, teachers can determine which skills need additional instruction based on the checklist, no specific guidance is provided for follow-up.

In addition, there is no guidance to teachers for interpreting student performance and suggestions for follow-up included in the materials in terms of Word Study.

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 Kindergarten meet the criteria that materials should include routines and guidance that point out opportunities to monitor student progress.

Within the program, the publisher includes an "Evaluating Student Progress" document that includes a summary of all Kindergarten assessment opportunities within each unit, along with each assessment’s standards alignment. This is a separate document though, and not in the Teacher Manual. There is no highlight of the Word Study or genre writing assessments within the manual, but the information is found in this separate document.

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 Kindergarten 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 materials in Kindergarten include a proposed schedule during the Differentiation block that includes time for independent reading.  However, there is no tracking system provided for students to log independent reading in the classroom or at home. There are suggestions that students read at home, but no accountability system is indicated nor is it required.

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 instructional materials reviewed for Kindergarten 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.

In the program, one of the three blocks of instruction is the Differentiation block that offers instruction to different small groups of learners. This time allows the teacher to instruct and monitor students to ensure they are understanding the content, while offering opportunities for reteaching, practice, review, and other scaffolding techniques, based on the students’ need.

The program does not create small group instruction based on reading levels, but instead uses diagnostic data to place students in groups, which is outlined in the book How to Plan Differentiated Reading Instruction (sold separately). The groups all focus on Tier I decoding instruction to complement the whole group word study spelling instruction. The publisher reports that there is an opportunity for more intensive instruction during this block if students need it, which prevents them from missing Shared Reading and English Language Arts instruction. Each of the groups engage in three-week or six-week cycles, with progress-monitoring assessments used to help teachers know when to reteach the lessons, move to the next set of lessons, or regroup students. When students are not working with the teacher during this time, they are engaged in a written response from Shared Reading or engaged in self-selected reading.

In addition, differentiation is recommended for in-class and push-in supports during Shared Reading and English Language Arts instruction. Some examples of in-class supports include targeting simpler phonological tasks during the poem and word study, providing physical assistance for concepts about print, or providing strategic support for composition so that all students are ready to move to sentence writing at the same time. Examples of push-in support include providing chances for students to echo adult oral responses during phonological tasks and during concepts of print, and allow access to assistive technology or transcription for students with disabilities.

Differentiation is provided for both weak readers and strong readers. For weaker readers, it is recommended that teachers provide oral sentence frames. Parallel teaching is also suggested. It is recommended that more complex questions are asked of students with stronger oral languages. For stronger writers, students can write about their picture while their peers are still drawing.

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 instructional materials reviewed for Kindergarten 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.

The Teacher Manual has a section that addresses English Language Learners. It provides a routine with built-in supports for English Language Learners in a traditional classroom setting, and they also identify additional supports that could be added to a classroom for more assistance in accessing the curriculum. In addition, the Differentiation section provides different levels of scaffolding that an English Language Learner may need, and it offers recommendations depending on the specific needs of the students. It is recommended that English Language Learners always meet with the teacher for 15 minutes a day during this block of time. The Teacher Manual also gives suggestions such as replacing English Language Arts if students require more intensive speaking and listening instruction in English.

Some examples of built-in English Language Learner supports include:

  • Repetition across the week to support students to memorize a piece of text with its syntax intact
  • The use of pictures as responses to allow students to participate fully
  • The teacher writing a brief summary of the text meaning every day

Some examples of additional supports include:

  • Teachers can review old texts to engage English Language Learners to practice their oral language
  • Delaying labeling and/or writing if necessary, or using transcription for spelling
  • Substituting a listening center or adding additional practice with foundational skills on a computer
  • During Dialogic Reading, teachers can use a retelling frame

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

Bookworms provides extension tasks, scaffolding, and explicit instruction for teachers on how to teach their above grade level students. Bookworms identifies the need for teachers to identify the strengths of the strong students and to scaffold their learning so that the content is meaningful and engaging. During the Differentiation block, all students receive differentiated content based on the assessment data collected throughout the year. Additionally, Bookworms provides a chart for teachers of ways to add more advanced opportunities in Shared Reading and English Language Arts.

Specific opportunities for extensions for above grade-level students include:

  • Writing the whole word, while the other students may be working on phonetic spelling
  • Being placed in dictated spelling groups, with more complex spelling patterns
  • Writing about their pictures while their peers may be drawing and labeling their pictures
  • Helping the teacher generate the language that is transcribed on the anchor charts in English Language Arts

Indicator 3r

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

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

The materials provide a guideline for 45 minutes of Differentiated Instruction per day, which allows for a variety of group work for students that includes reaching, review, and practice of concepts that they may be struggling with. Students are placed into one of three groups during this time. Students meet with the teacher for 15 minutes, and then spend 30 minutes completing their written response to Shared Reading, and engaging in self-selected reading. During Shared Reading, students often partner read or chorally read as a whole class, and during English Language Arts, students often share responses with peers.

Some specific examples of the opportunities for different grouping strategies include:

  • During Week 16 of ELA, students are placed into pairs in order to make a five-page book about how to make a road.
  • During Week 21 of Shared Reading, students chorally read a poem during whole-group instruction, and then students turn and talk to a partner about the meaning of the poem.
  • During Week 26 of ELA, students meet with a partner to share what they wrote on the previous day.

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.
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Kindergarten 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 publisher provides both a  web-based and a print format for teachers. The Kindergarten material is accessible on any device via a web browser and is compatible with all recent versions of Safari, Firefox, Chrome, and Internet Explorer, etc. Additionally, the Bookworms curriculum can be used on both Windows and Apple devices, including tablets and mobile devices.

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

The Teacher Manual is digital; however, there is not a digital component for students. The texts used for dialogic reading in Shared Reading, are available as electronic books for teachers who prefer to project them; though teachers can use a document camera if they wish to use a print format. However, this is the only technology in Kindergarten used to enhance student learning.

Indicator 3u

Materials can be easily customized for individual learners.
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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 instructional materials reviewed for Kindergarten do not meet the criteria that digital materials include opportunities for teachers to personalize learning for all students, using adaptive or other technological innovations.

Digital materials do not include opportunities for teachers to personalize learning for all students using adaptive or other technological innovations. The only digital material is projecting the text, which does not involve personalization.

Indicator 3u.ii

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

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

Because of the lack of technology in the program, the materials cannot be easily customized for local use.

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.).
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Kindergarten 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.)

There are no opportunities found within the program for the teachers and/or students to collaborate with each other. One culminating project does provide an opportunity for students to utilize technology to make a Book Review commercial that they can share with students in another grade; however, the technology does not provide an opportunity for collaboration such as a webinar or website.

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Additional Publication Details

Report Published Date: 07/25/2019

Report Edition: 2018

Title ISBN Edition Publisher Year
How to Plan Differentiated Reading Instruction: Second Edition: Resources for Grades K-3 978-1-462531-51-6 Open Up Resources 2017
Bookworms Kindergarten Student Handwriting Practice Book, Beta Release: Add On Pack of 5 978-1-64311-029-5 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 K-2 Rubric and Evidence Guides

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

For ELA, our rubrics evaluate materials based on:

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

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

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