Alignment: Overall Summary

The instructional materials reviewed for Calvert partially meet expectations of alignment to the standards. Materials meet the expectations of providing texts worthy of students’ time and attention. Instructional materials partially meet the expectation of providing opportunities for rich and rigorous evidence-based discussions and writing about texts to build strong literacy skills. Materials meet the criteria for providing opportunities for different genres and modes of writing. Instructional materials partially provide coherently sequenced questions and tasks to support students in developing literacy skills and do not provide culminating tasks in which students can demonstrate their knowledge of a topic through integrated skills. The foundational skills included in the materials partially meet expectations.


See Rating Scale
Understanding Gateways

Alignment

|

Partially Meets Expectations

Gateway 1:

Text Quality

0
27
52
58
41
52-58
Meets Expectations
28-51
Partially Meets Expectations
0-27
Does Not Meet Expectations

Gateway 2:

Building Knowledge

0
15
28
32
20
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

Partially Meets Expectations

+
-
Gateway One Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 1 meet expectations for text quality for complexity and alignment to the standards. Materials include questions, tasks, and assignments that are text-based. Materials do not provide opportunities for discussion that encourage the modeling and use of academic vocabulary and partially supports student listening and speaking about what they are reading and researching. Materials meet the criteria for providing opportunities for different genres and modes of writing. Students have opportunities for evidence-based writing. Materials partially meet the criteria for materials including explicit instruction of the grammar and conventions standards for grade level as applied in increasingly sophisticated contexts, with opportunities for application both in and out of context. Materials partially address foundational skills to build comprehension so that students can make connections between acquisition of foundational skills and making meaning during reading. Materials partially meet expectations for including materials, questions, and tasks that provide high-quality lessons and activities that allow for differentiation of foundational skills, so all students achieve mastery of foundational skills.

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.
18/20
+
-
Criterion Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 1 meet the criteria for including anchor texts that are of publishable quality, are worthy of especially careful reading and/or listening, and consider a range of student interests. Texts meet the text complexity criteria for each grade and reflect the distribution of text types and genres required by the standards. Students engage in a range and volume of reading. Materials meet the criteria that anchor texts and the series of text connected to them are accompanied by a text complexity analysis and rationale for purpose and placement in the grade level. Materials partially meet the expectations for materials supporting students’ literacy skills over the course of the school year through increasingly complex text to develop independence of grade level skills.


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
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 1 meet the expectations for anchor texts being of publishable quality and worthy of careful reading and consider a range of student interests.

Texts are high quality, including rich language and engaging content. Accompanying illustrations are high quality as well, supporting students' understanding and comprehension of the associated text. Examples of quality texts include:

  • In Unit 1, students read Stellaluna by Janell Cannon. Beautiful illustrations enhance this children’s story that showcases literary elements and two prominent themes.
  • In Unit 1, students read What Would You Do With a Tail Like This? by Steve Jenkins/Robin Page. This Caldecott winning book explores the amazing things animals can do with their ears, eyes, nose, feet, and tails in an interactive manner. The illustrations in cut-paper collage are eye catching.
  • In Unit 2, students read The Recess Queen by Alexis O’Neill. This text has vibrant and engaging illustrations. Rhyming and rhythmic elements make this text enjoyable to read aloud.
  • In Unit 2, students read Going to School by Margaret Clyne, Rachel Griffiths, & Cynthia Benjamin. This informational text informs students about schools in other countries. The topic is engaging, and the text includes text features such as labeled pictures and subheadings.
  • In Unit 3, students read Goods and Services by Janeen R. Adil. Simple text and photographs explain the difficult role of goods and services on income and spending money.
  • In Unit 3, students read Supermarket by Kathleen Krull. This text provides a new look at the familiar supermarket. Readers learn how a supermarket works.
  • In Unit 5, students read King Kafu and the Moon by Trish Cooke. This text is a fable that introduces students to the science concept of the moon and outer space, using content specific and academic vocabulary.
  • In Unit 6, students read One Classroom, Many Cultures by Elizabeth Massie. This text has vibrant illustrations and introduces students to diverse characters.
  • In Unit 6, students read L is for Liberty by Wendy Cheyette Lewison. This text contains good information regarding the Statue of Liberty by containing some content specific vocabulary. Age appropriate and engaging.

Indicator 1b

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 1 meet the expectations for materials reflecting the distribution of text types and genres required by the standards.

Texts include a mix of informational and literary texts. There is a wide array of informational and literary text integrated throughout every unit. Additional supplementary texts are included, resulting in a wide distribution of genres and text types as required by the standards, including narrative, poetry, fable, social studies and science informational texts.

The following are examples of literature found within the instructional materials:

  • Unit 1, Lesson: Let’s Meet Stellaluna!: Stellaluna by Janelle Cannon
  • Unit 1, Lesson: Let’s Meet Stellaluna!: “Batty” by Shel Silverstein
  • Unit 1, Lesson: Let’s Meet Toad and Frog!: Frog and Toad “Dragons and Giants” by Arnold Lobel
  • Unit 2, Lesson: Reading A Fine, Fine School: A Fine, Fine School by Sharon Creech
  • Unit 2, Lesson: Finding the Central Message of A Fine, Fine School: “School Bus” by Lee Bennett Hopkins
  • Unit 2, Lesson: Discovering the Words of the Recess Queen: The Recess Queen by Alexis O’Neill
  • Unit 2, Lesson: Finding the Central Message of The Recess Queen: “Countdown to Recess” by Kalli Dakos
  • Unit 2, Lesson: Reading Far From Home: Far From Home by Sue Pickford
  • Unit 3, Lesson: Reading The Winners Choice: The Winners Choice by Ana Galan
  • Unit 3, Lesson: Find Out What’s In Hunter’s Money Jar: Hunter’s Money Jar by Charlotte Guillain
  • Unit 4, Lesson: Characters of Arbor Day: Arbor Day Square by Kathryn O. Galbraith
  • Unit 4, Lesson: Characters of Arbor Day: Decodable Practice Reader 13A: "Can Billy Fly?” by Rob Knight
  • Unit 4, Lesson: Characters of Arbor Day: “Garden Tip” by George Shannon
  • Unit 4, Lesson: Tell it Again: Decodable Practice Reader 13A: “Zing in a Tank” by Celia Davos
  • Unit 4, Lesson: Tell it Again: Waiting for Poppy by Susan McCloskey
  • Unit 4, Lesson: Get to the Point: The Family Tree by David McPhail
  • Unit 4, Lesson: Get to the Point: Decodable Practice Reader 14C: “Pancakes” by Sally Hinkley
  • Unit 4, Lesson: Comparing Arbor Day Square: Decodable Practice Reader 15A: “Boxes for Flo” by Janice Schmidt
  • Unit 4, Lesson: Learn How Seeds Grow: Decodable Practice Reader 16B: “Day at the Farm” by Jason Dee
  • Unit 4, Lesson: Learn How Seeds Grow: Decodable Practice Reader 16A: “Hopping Buffy” by Nathan Stalworth
  • Unit 4, Lesson: Information Between Texts: “Zucchini” by George Shannon
  • Unit 5, Lesson: Reading King Kafu and the Moon: King Kafu and the Moon by Trish Cooke
  • Unit 6, Lesson: Reading a Picnic in October: A Picnic in October by Eve Bunting
  • Unit 6, Lesson: Reading a Picnic in October: A Party for Pedro by Maria Santos
  • Unit 6, Lesson: Reading Whose Is This?: Whose Is This? by Narinder Dham

The following are examples of informational text found within the instructional materials:

  • Unit 1, Lesson: Use Illustrations and Main Ideas to Compare Animals in Texts: What Do you Do With a Tail Like This? by Robin Page & Steve Jenkins
  • Unit 1, Lesson: Reading to Find Out How Animals Sleep: Time to Sleep by Jill McDougall & James Hart
  • Unit 2, Lesson: Reading About Going to School All Over the World: Going to School by Margaret Clyne, Rachel Griffiths, Cynthia Benjamin
  • Unit 3, Lesson: Reading About Things We Buy and Sell: Goods and Services by Janeen R. Adil
  • Unit 3, Lesson: Comparing Supermarkets and Goods and Services: Supermarket by Kathleen Krull
  • Unit 4, Lesson: Learn How Seeds Grow: The Life Cycle of an Apple Tree by Linda Tagliaferro
  • Unit 4, Lesson: Learn How Seeds Grow: How A Seed Grows by Helene Jordan
  • Unit 5, Lesson: Learn About Visiting the Moon: Let’s Visit the Moon by Patricia Newman
  • Unit 5, Lesson: Learn About Planets: Our World in Space: Planets by Erin Dealy
  • Unit 5, Lesson: Learning About the Sun: The Sun by Martha E.H. Rustad
  • Unit 6, Lesson: Reading One Classroom, Many Cultures: One Classroom, Many Cultures by Elizabeth Massie
  • Unit 6, Lesson: Reading One Classroom, Many Cultures: Treasures of Our Country by Renee Carver
  • Unit 6, Lesson: Reading L is for Liberty: L is for Liberty by Wendy Cheyette Lewison

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 Grade 1 meet the criteria for 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.

Most texts fall between the text complexity range for Grade 1. Examples of texts that support appropriate complexity include but are not limited to:

Unit 1

  • “Dragons and Giants” from Frog and Toad Together by Andrew Lobel: This text falls in the Lexile band for Grade 2 and has a Lexile score of 460. The text has simplistic characterization and a predictable plot. The language is easy to comprehend as the story follows the typical pattern of a simple narrative. The text includes dialogue with quotation marks which adds a layer of complexity and the characters face a complex problem in which they work together to solve. The illustrations are simplistic, not present on every page, and the book structure mirrors a beginner chapter book.
  • What Would You Do With a Tail Like This? by Steve Jenkins and Robin Page: This text falls in the Lexile band for the end of Grade 2 and has a Lexile score of 620. The text asks a simple question (ie: What do you do with a nose like this?) and then the question is answered with examples on the following pages (response: If you’re a hyena, you find your next meal with your nose). The text repeats this pattern with different body parts. The illustrations provide a very predictable format as students use the illustrations to guess which animal is next in the storyline.

Unit 2

  • A Fine, Fine School by Sharon Creech: This text has an age appropriate message of “too much of a good thing can be bad.” This text contains repetitious vocabulary and illustrations that help students follow the story and has a quantitative measure of 300 Lexile.
  • The Recess Queen by Alexis O’Neill: This text is written in chronological order and is simple to follow. The writing is rhythmical and the text contains a message against bullying. This text has a quantitative measure of 450 Lexile.
  • Far From Home by Sue Pickford: This text has a relatively simple structure as a narrative in chronological order. It contains some unfamiliar words or cultural references and has a quantitative measure of 260 Lexile.
  • Going to School by Margaret Clyne, Rachel Griffiths, and Cynthia Benjamin: This informational text contains some unfamiliar cultural references, but simple sentence structures. Text features aid in student understanding. This text has a quantitative measure of 590 Lexile.

Unit 3

  • The Winners Choice by Ana Galan: This fictional story has a central message of helping others, life learning lessons, and making choices. The story structure is sequential and contains dialogue and illustrations which support the text. This text has a quantitative measure of 550 Lexile.
  • Hunter’s Money Jar by Charlotte Guillain: This fictional story has a central message of making choices related to money. The story structure is sequential and contains illustrations that support the text. This text has a quantitative measure of 510 Lexile.
  • Goods and Services by Janeen R. Adil: This simple expository text defines words related to buying and selling. This informational text contains sections with headings, bold vocabulary, glossary, and fun-fact boxes. Difficult vocabulary is defined in context. This text has a quantitative measure of 630 Lexile.
  • Supermarket by Kathleen Krull: This simple informational text explains how a supermarket, which is familiar to students, works. Illustrations support the text. This text has a quantitative measure of 820 Lexile.

Unit 4

  • Arbor Day Square by Kathryn O. Galbraith: This fictional story offers a central message of growth and change while utilizing challenging, domain-specific vocabulary and figurative and sensory language. This text has a quantitative measure of 470 Lexile.
  • The Life Cycle of an Apple Tree by Linda Tagliaferro: This informational book provides facts about the life cycle of an apple tree with photographs that reflect information on the page and utilize text features (e.g., headings and glossary). The text contains simple sentences, yet features some unfamiliar domain-specific vocabulary. This text has a quantitative measure of 340 Lexile.
  • The Family Tree by David McPhail: A literary story that spans multiple time periods, holding a central symbol in which students connect the meaning to multiple characters in different times. This text has a quantitative measure of 480 Lexile.

Unit 5

  • Let’s Visit the Moon by Patricia Newman: This text falls in the Lexile band for Grade 2 and a has a Lexile score of 500. The informational text opens with a series of questions about the moon. The text then begins to answer those questions and provides historical context of how other cultures perceive or perceived the moon. The text contains academic vocabulary pertaining to space. The text contains multiple facts about the moon and space that are easy to understand. Text structure and knowledge demands are slightly complex in nature. Pictorial images support text and provide opportunities for visualization of concepts.
  • The Sun by Martha E. H. Rustad: The Sun falls in the Lexile band for Grade 1 and has a Lexile score of 370. The informational text utilizes simple text features such as a table of contents and glossary, to aid in student’s understanding of the content. The sentence structure is very simple providing informative facts about the sun. Illustrations assist students in understanding the relationship between the sun and planets. Text structure and knowledge demands are basic, but the text does include specific details.

Unit 6

  • One Classroom, Many Cultures by Elizabeth Massie: This text has a quantitative measure of 530 Lexile. The text is comprised with simple sentence structure, with mostly familiar words. Some cultural reference with text features and illustrations to aid in understanding.
  • Whose Is This? by Narinder Dhami This text is set as a narrative in chronological order. There are some complex text and unfamiliar vocabulary. Vocabulary and sentences are supported by illustrations. This text has a quantitative measure of 490 Lexile.
  • A Picnic in October by Eve Bunting: This historical fiction text makes references to the topics of freedom, liberty, and equality. The text is supported by beautiful illustrations and has a quantitative measure of 310 Lexile.
  • L is for Liberty by Wendy Cheyette Lewison: This informational text, with a quantitative measure of 540 Lexile, contains fairly simple structure to help students better understand somewhat difficult topics such as liberty and freedom.

Indicator 1d

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 1 partially meet the expectation that materials support students’ increasing literacy skills over the course of the school year through increasingly complex text to develop independence of grade-level skills.

Students frequently interact with texts, but there is not an observable decrease in scaffolds, or increase in student responsibility which would indicate greater independence with skills as the year progresses. While texts generally fall within appropriate text complexity grade level and stretch bands, support and scaffolds provided within the materials do not change or gradually decrease as the year progresses, to ensure that students can independently access and comprehend grade-level texts at the end of the year.

Some examples that demonstrate supporting students’ increasing literacy skills include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • In Unit 1, The Best Day Ever!, students read narrative and informational text focusing on story elements, compare and contrast texts, and using illustrations to understand text. Students write, revise, edit, and produce a final narrative piece.
  • In Unit 2, My Favorite Sweets!, students read literary and informational texts and focus on word choice, descriptive language, and vivid illustrations. Students read A Fine, Fine School and learn about how adjectives help describe and then use adjectives to help them write an opinion piece. After reading The Recess Queen, students used descriptive words to compare and contrast The Recess Queen with A Fine, Fine School. By the end of the unit, students use descriptive words and illustrations to write an opinion statement about their favorite type of sweets and create a poster.
  • In Unit 3, Lessons in Making Choices, students read several stories about making financial decisions. They retell stories using illustrations and details to tell about events, and identify the main idea. key details, and text features. Students understand and write about a story’s central message.
  • In Unit 4, Planting for the Future, students read several literary and informational texts that are not necessarily connected to a theme. In the lessons that make up Unit 4, students work with their Learning Guide to learn more about characters, setting, events, and text features. Additionally, students continue to work on asking and answering questions about text, comparing and contrasting central messages, and comparing and contrasting characters and main ideas from two different stories. Students also write and publish an essay and a story focused on a central idea. The unit does not have a project, so there is no culminating activity to demonstrate their learning of these skills other than the Unit Quiz and the published writing tasks.
  • In Unit 5, Observing the Messages of the Natural World, students read several narrative and informational texts focusing on space and the solar system. Students focus on characterization, comparing and contrasting texts, asking questions, and text features. Students produce a planet book as their culminating project where they include text features, age appropriate grammar, and facts about a planet they chose.
  • In Unit 6, Our Community Celebrates!, students read various narratives and informational texts about different cultures in America. At the beginning of the unit, students look at the claims authors make in the text they are reading. Students then write an opinion piece and look at reasons to support their opinion. For the culminating task, students interview people from a different culture and write an opinion about why that culture is important.

Indicator 1e

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 1 meet the criteria that anchor texts and series of texts connected to them are accompanied by a text complexity analysis and rationale for purpose and placement in the grade level.

In the platform’s Before You Begin materials, the publisher provides a description of several text selections. The materials state, “TEXT SELECTIONS: You can find more information about some texts you will read in your course in the text selection rationales. As you select texts to read independently, find books that have similar challenges to what you are reading, as well as finding books of different genres and topics. Use your Reading Log to create a balanced reading life!” The text selection rationales are provided through a link. This link takes you to a pdf that includes each text title, author, text genre, student task and both quantitative and qualitative text features. The quantitative measure is provided through a Lexile score and the qualitative feature chart gives measures such as levels of meaning, structure, language conventionality and clarity, and knowledge demands.

A text complexity analysis is provided for the anchor texts in each unit. Most texts include instructional notes, text notes, and  the rationale for the purpose and placement of the anchor and support texts is embedded into the student and teacher notes for most lessons. The instructional notes include a recommendation for how students should read the text (e.g., reading silently and independently, listen to text, read aloud) and support students with vocabulary they will encounter in the text. At times, the teaching notes also indicate specific strengths in the texts. For example, some texts are chosen for their value in reinforcing literary techniques while others were chosen as appropriate introductions to a particular time period or topic. All texts were chosen with first grade students in mind, as well as intentional variability in genre, readability, and interest.

Instructional and text notes found in the materials include information in the introduction box such as, “This document outlines the complexity of each anchor text as text complexity is defined in Appendix A of the Common Core State Standards, Figure 1. Quantitative complexity of the text is measured in Lexile Level for each text. Task complexity refers to how the text demands contextualized within a larger learning activity, often the unit project. Qualitative complexity descriptors, as identified by the Common Core, are listed in the table according to the factors of qualitative evaluation as listed in Appendix A. Across these three complexity domains, the reader will see that complexity monotonically increases across the course of the year.”

In Unit 1, students read the text “Stellaluna” by Janell Cannon. The task that goes along with this text is to write a personal narrative with a sequence of events. The text is designed to be read aloud with portions being read independently. The complexity information provided by the publisher includes the quantitative measure of 550L and qualitative features of:

  • Levels of Meaning: Understand human behaviors in animal fantasy, relationships and friendship, characterization
  • Structure: Picture support, setting, connected events
  • Language Conventionality and Clarity: Dialogue, figurative language, descriptive language with challenging vocabulary
  • Knowledge Demands: Nocturnal animals, bat and bird behavior

Also in Unit 1, students read “Time to Sleep” by Jill McDougall and James Hart. The task that goes along with this text is to write a personal narrative with a sequence of events. The text is designed to be read aloud with portions being read independently. The complexity information provided by the publisher includes the quantitative measure of 140L and qualitative features of:

  • Levels of Meaning: Informational text about the ways animals sleep, main idea is explicitly stated, amusing opportunities to compare one’s own way of sleeping with the animals
  • Structure: Main idea and key details organized by type of animal in a consistent format, table of contents, section headings, picture index
  • Language Conventionality and Clarity: Short simple sentences with some longer complex sentences, literal common language, multiple-meaning words
  • Knowledge Demands: Familiarity with featured animals, meaning of Zs in the pictures

In Unit 3, students read the text The Winners Choice by Ana Galan. The task that goes along with this text is to explain the central message of the story and how it is supported by illustrations. The text is meant to be read aloud and read independently. The complexity information provided by the publisher includes the quantitative measure of Lexile 370L and qualitative features of:

  • Levels of Meaning: Fictional story, central message of helping others, life-learning lessons, making choices
  • Structure: Story sequence, dialogue, illustrations supporting text
  • Language Conventionality and Clarity: Mostly simple sentences, words with shades of meaning, sensory vocabulary, challenging vocabulary
  • Knowledge Demands: Tournaments, prize winnings, earthquakes

In Unit 3, students read the text “Goods and Services” by Janeen R. Adil. The task that goes along with this text is to write an opinion with three supporting details. The text is meant to be read aloud and read independently. The complexity information provided by the publisher includes the quantitative measure of Lexile 630L and qualitative features of:

  • Levels of Meaning: Simple expository text defining words related to buying and selling
  • Structure: Sections with headings, bold vocabulary, glossary, fun-fact boxes
  • Language Conventionality and Clarity: Some complex sentences, academic vocabulary defined in context
  • Knowledge Demands: Basic understanding of economics (buying and selling, goods and services, producers and consumers)

In Unit 5, students read the text “King Kafu and the Moon” by Trish Cooke and Andrea Castellani. The task that goes along with this text is to write a narrative with descriptive details. The text is read aloud and read independently. The complexity information provided by the publisher includes quantitative measure of Lexile 480L and qualitative features of:

  • Levels of Meaning: Humorous narrative, brave and important people can still have fears
  • Structure: Illustrations that support story elements, problems and solutions, dialogue
  • Language Conventionality and Clarity: Unfamiliar vocabulary, exclamatory sentences, figurative language
  • Knowledge Demands: The moon and its phases, kings as rulers

Indicator 1f

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 1 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.

The stories, decodable readers, and sleuth texts read and reread in lessons are underlined and hyperlinked. Learners can independently read text or enable the audio read-aloud capability by clicking on the hippo icon. The poems read during the lesson are not underlined and hyperlinked, but can be accessed through the text collection link. Also, students keep a Reading Log and independently read two to three books per week, in addition to the books in their English Language Arts Course.

Examples include, but are not limited to:

  • In Unit 1, The Best Day Ever!, students listen to their Learning Guide read and interact with a variety of narrative texts to understand literary elements and author’s craft, including, Stellaluna, “Dragons and Giants” from Frog and Toad Together, Time to Sleep, and What Do You Do with a Tail Like This? Students have the opportunity to either read texts independently or read texts with their Learning Guide, including: Giraffe Grows Up, A Very Big Animal, and Animals of Africa. Students also have the opportunity to interact and read poems during the unit, including: “Batty” and “The Elephant.” Students also read the following decodable texts to their Learning Guide: “Get Fit!,” "Jeff the Cat," and “The Quiz.”
  • In Unit 2, My Favorite Sweets, students read texts with descriptive language. The Learning Guide will often read the texts, although students may read some independently or with the aid of the audio tool provided. Many of the texts are also reread throughout the lessons. The texts include the following: A Fine, Fine School, “School Bus” (poem), “Hats,” “Election Day,” “Mack and Tack,” The Recess Queen, “Did They Win?”, “Mix and Fix,” “Countdown to Recess” (poem), “The Box,” “Children’s Day” from Sleuth, Far From Home, “Big Jobs,” “Packing Bags,” Going to School, “Jeff the Cat,” “Pizza, Pizza Everywhere” in Sleuth, and “Ted and Fran.”
  • In Unit 3, Lesson in Making Choices, students read several texts about making choices. The texts include: The Winners Choice, Hunter’s Money Jar, Goods and Services, and Supermarket. The poems include: “Mud Pies a Penny” and “My Lemonade Stand.” The decodable practice readers include the following: "Fishing With Tad," "Get the Ball," "A Plan for Trash," "Jane Can Race," "June and Pete," "Luke Meets Pete," and "Cubes, Rules, and Tunes." The Sleuth text is “Help Yourself and Others.”
  • In Unit 4, Planting for the Future, students read several texts about plants and living things. The texts include: Arbor Day Square, A Mentor for James, Waiting for Poppy, The Family Tree, The Life Cycle of an Apple Tree, How a Seed Grows.. The poems include: Garden Tip and Zucchini. The decodable practice readers include the following: "Can Billy Fly?," "Zing in a Tank," "Inside and Outside," "Pancakes," "Boxes for Flo," "Hopping Buffy," and "Day at the Farm."
  • In Unit 5, Observing the Messages of the Natural World, students listen to their Learning Guide read and interact with a variety of narrative texts to understand literary elements and author’s craft: King Kafu and the Moon, The Mouse Who Loved the Moon, Let’s Visit the Moon, All About Astronauts, Let’s Go to the Moon, Out World in Space: Planets, and The Sun. Students have the opportunity to either read texts independently or read texts with their Learning Guide that include: a Sleuth activity story “Look Out for Wildlife” and Finding a Voice in Sleuth. Students also read the following decodable texts to their Learning Guide: Tay on the Trail,” “My Family’s Pets,” “Bill Tried,” “Sloan’s Goal,” and “Clues for Sue.”
  • In Unit 6, Our Community Celebrates!, students read about various cultures in American and the communities and cultures that are important to American culture. Students interact with a variety of texts throughout the unit. Some texts are read and reread. Texts are often read by the Learning Guide, but may also be read independently or with the audio feature. Texts in this unit include: One Classroom, Many Cultures, “A Bundle of Shirts,” “Treasures of Our Country,” A Picnic In October, “A Puppy Roundup,” A Party for Pedro, “Begin to Dance,” “Hiking and Racing,” Whose Is This?, “Roy and Joyce Join In,” “Teacher, Actor or Sailor,” “Treasures of Our Country,” L is for Liberty, and “The Festival” from Sleuth.

Criterion 1g - 1n

Materials provide opportunities for rich and rigorous evidence-based discussions and writing about texts to build strong literacy skills.
11/16
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Criterion Rating Details


The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 1 partially meet the criteria for providing opportunities for rich and rigorous evidence-based discussions and writing about texts to build strong literacy skills. Materials meet expectations that most questions, tasks, and assignments are text-based, requiring students to engage with the text directly. Materials partially met the expectation that materials contain sets of high-quality sequences of text-dependent questions and tasks build to a culminating task that integrates skills. Materials do not provide opportunities for discussion that encourage the modeling and use of academic vocabulary and partially supports student listening and speaking about what they are reading and researching. Materials meet the criteria for providing opportunities for different genres and modes of writing. Students have opportunities for evidence-based writing.  Materials partially meet the expectations for materials including explicit instruction of the grammar and conventions standards for the grade level as applied in increasingly sophisticated contexts, with opportunities for application both in and out of context.


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 materials reviewed for Grade 1 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).

Text-dependent questions and tasks are found throughout the parts of each unit. The questions are prompted prior to a reading to set the purpose of reading, and discussed with the Learning Guide after learning has taken place or as part of a task in writing responses in the English Language Arts Journal. Students use text evidence to support their answer and make comparisons with other texts. Each unit ends with a unit quiz which requires students to read passages and answer text dependent questions. While questions and tasks are mainly text-dependent, many are surface level and do not prompt students to analyze the text.

Examples of text-based questions, assignments, and tasks include, but are not limited to:

  • In Unit 2, Lesson: Discovering the Words of the Recess Queen, Part 1, students read The Recess Queen. The students then look at how authors use words to describe characters. Students are asked, “How does the author show you that Katie Sue wants to play with Jean?”
  • In Unit 3, Lesson: Find Out What’s in Hunter’s Money Jar, Part 2, students are looking at the details provided for characters. As students reread a section of Hunter’s Money Jar, students are asked to think about the following questions as they are introduced to each character: “What is this character like? What details tell me this?” Students are then asked to answer the following questions in their English Language Arts journal: “Which sentence on p. 5 tells you how Scratch feels about Rip? Why does Hunter count his money everyday?”
  • In Unit 4, Unit Quiz: Shake Rattle and Roll, Question 6 requires students to read 2 passages “Oak Tree and Reed” and “Fox and Cat.” After students read the passage, they are asked, “How are Reed and Cat alike? Use examples from both stories to explain your answer.”
  • In Unit 5, Lesson: Learning About the Sun, Part 2, students focus on how they can use text features to help them learn. After rereading The Sun students discuss various questions about the text features. Examples include, “Look at page 12. Why are there words in the illustration? Why might a reader need these words? What do the words on p. 15 tell you about Earth and the sun? How does the picture explain why the seasons change?”
  • In Unit 6, Lesson: Compare Characters, Part 4, students listen to the stories One Classroom, Many Cultures and A Picnic in October. The students are then asked to complete a Compare and Contrast Chart looking at the characters in both stories. The students are prompted with, “Now, you can use key details from these texts to compare and contrast the people in the stories. You can tell how the characters are alike and different.”

Indicator 1h

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 1 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).

The culminating task for each unit is found at the end of each unit and can be identified as the Show section of the materials. Tasks provide students the opportunity to demonstrate their knowledge through a combination of integrated skills including reading, writing, drawing, and speaking and listening while allowing for a variety of project choices throughout the year. In Grade 1, Units 1, 2, and 6 are constructed around a core project idea or culminating task. Each lesson in Units 1, 2, and 6 uses the text to engage students in activities to prepare them for completion of the Project. While Projects are included in Units 1, 2, and 6, students do not necessarily need to use the texts to complete the projects.

Evidence of opportunities that build to a culminating task include:

  • In Unit 1, Show: The Best Day Ever, Part 3 students complete this project where they write about the best day in their lives. After writing the story, the text states, “Once the mistakes are fixed, you will publish your story. You can write the story in your best handwriting. Or, you can use a computer to type the story. Share your story with your Learning Guide when it is done.” Students do not use the texts read in the unit in order to complete this project.
  • In Unit 2, My Favorite Sweets!, students create a poster of their favorite dessert or candy. The poster must explain why their chosen sweet is the best, include facts about their sweet, and use language that would make others want to try their sweet. A project rubric is provided. This project could be completed without participating in the learning of the unit.
  • In Unit 6, Our Community Celebrates!, students interview people from other cultures. Then they write an opinion about something from their culture that is positive for the community. A project rubric is provided. Upon completion, students are expected to share their project with members of their group who are in the same course. Students do not use the texts read in the unit in order to complete this project.

Indicator 1i

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 1 do not 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.

The materials provide occasional opportunities for students to share with small groups or peers online, but these opportunities are inconsistent. Although each lesson part refers students to discuss with their Learning Guide, there is limited instruction to support students’ mastery of listening and speaking skills. Discussions focus on students’ experience with a topic or reading skill, but use of academic vocabulary and syntax is not addressed. Students discuss their learning with the Learning Guide individually.

Teachers are provided direction on the answers to the questions but do not receive adequate guidance, support, or protocols for hosting discussions. Speaking, listening, and discussion protocols are identified in the Before You Begin section of the materials. This speaking and listening resource gives some sentence stems but does not provide a clear expectation of when these protocols should be used throughout the program. The protocols are rarely referenced in materials. Discussion formats are not varied throughout the course of the year.

Examples include but are not limited to:

  • In the Before You Begin section, under Discussions, there is a link for speaking and listening resources. The speaking and listening resource includes a speaking guide, listening guide, and discussion techniques.

Examples under Discussion Protocols include, but are not limited to:

  • "Have a one-to-one discussion with your student in which he or she explains his or her thinking while you ask probing questions.
  • Your student can explain learning and concepts to someone who is not involved with his or her schoolwork, such as a sibling, relative, or friend."

Under the Speaking Guide section, sentence stems are provided. Examples include, but are not limited to:

  • "I agree/disagree with you when you said…
  • This evidence from the text made me think…"
  • In the Unit 1 Project, The Best Day Ever, the Teaching Notes state, “If necessary, have your student tell you what to type into the discussion board. Later, come back to the page and help your student read and reply to others’ contributions.”
  • In Unit 2, Lesson: Show: My Favorite Sweets!, students finish their poster about their favorite sweets. After finalizing the poster, the materials state, “Then, publish your poster by sharing it with your Learning Guide. You may also share it with other students.”
  • In Unit 3, Lesson: Analyzing How Authors Support Their Opinions, Part 4, students work on editing and publishing their opinion pieces. The materials state, “You will edit your opinion piece and then publish it for others to read.” The Teaching Notes state, “Provide support as needed while your student edits and types his or her opinion piece. Help your student post his or her completed opinion piece in the forum.”
  • In Unit 5, Lesson: Learning About The Sun, Part 5, students are instructed, “If you see ways you still need to change your book, do that now. Then, read your finished book aloud to your Learning Guide.” The Teaching Notes state, “Encourage your student to comment on others' work in a complementary and constructive way.”

Indicator 1j

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 1 partially 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.

The Grade 1 materials include some opportunities for students to listen and speak about what they are reading. These opportunities occur as students engage with the text used in a lesson, either through reading or read-aloud. Specific tasks occur in the LEARN Card and vary between asking the student to discuss answers to the questions with the Learning Guide and/or record responses in their English Language Arts Journal.

Throughout each unit, students are prompted with questions and/or activities that they are to complete with their Learning Guide. The materials prompt the Learning Guide to have the student go back into the text to support their evidence, look at pictures or text features, or to connect grammar skills with text. Students are encouraged to click on the Collaboration button throughout their learning to connect with other students who are using the materials.

Examples include but are not limited to:

  • In Unit 1, Lesson: Let’s Meet Toad and Frog, Part 1, students are told, “You have read the story. Now talk about it with your Learning Guide. Talk about the order of events. Answer these questions: What do Frog and Toad do first to see if they are brave? What do Frog and Toad see first as they climb? Look at page 11, How do you think Frog and Toad feel? Why? Write the answers to these questions in your ELA Journal.” The platform provides the Learning Guide with answers but no other follow-up guidance or supports are provided.
  • In Unit 2, Lesson: Words of Recess Queen, Part 2, students reread the text The Recess Queen with a focus on context clues. Students work with their Learning Guide to find unknown words within the text, using the context clues, and record them on a Context Clues Chart.
  • In Unit 3, Lesson: Find Out What’s In Hunter’s Money Jar, Part 1, students are told, “You have read the story. Now, talk about it with your Learning Guide. Talk about the characters. Talk about the things that happen. Answer these questions: Look at page 7. Why does Scratch say they need more friends to join them? Why is Hunter disappointed at the toy store? Who is telling this story? Write the answers to these questions in your ELA Journal.” The platform provides the Learning Guide with answers but no other follow-up guidance or supports are provided.
  • In Unit 4, Lesson: Get to the Point, Part 1, students read The Family Tree. Students discuss with the Learning Guide the following question: “Think about the young man at the beginning of the story. What might he say about why trees are important?”
  • In Unit 5, Lesson: Learn About The Planets, Part 3, student directions state, “After reading, answer this question in your ELA Journal: Look at pages 40 and 41. Do you see a diagram? A diagram is a picture that explains something. What does this diagram show? Talk about your answer with your Learning Guide”. The platform provides the Learning Guide with answers but no other follow-up guidance or supports are provided.
  • In Unit 6, Lesson: Picnic in October, Part 2, students read pages 6-11 in A Picnic in October. Students answer the following questions in their ELA Journal: “Who is Grandma talking about at the end of p. 10? Where is the family on p. 10? Draw a picture showing what the characters are doing.” Notes for the Learning Guide encourage them to engage with the student and discuss, “What is this book about?”

Indicator 1k

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

The materials reviewed for Grade 1 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.

Students have a number of opportunities for on-demand and process writing, as well as short, focused projects completed through a variety of instructional tasks. Many of the short, focused projects are a piece of a larger compilation at the end of a unit or a section of the unit. To demonstrate understanding of the text, students write on-demand and draw pictures to show meaning or in response to text through instructional tasks heavily throughout each unit. In the latter part of each unit, the writing tasks become more complex and demand more content or evidence to support the rationale. Writing assignments are integrated with the reading components of the program. Opportunities for editing and revising of written content is embedded within the lesson and often associated with a literature task, such as finding details in text and then adding details into writing. Additionally, the curriculum provides rubrics to depict criteria. The curriculum also uses a variety of digital resources with interactive components for students to demonstrate knowledge.

Opportunities for on-demand writing include, but are not limited to:

  • In Unit 1, Lesson: Let’s Meet Frog and Toad!, Part 3, after reading Frog and Toad and Stellaluna, students fill out a T-Chart comparing the characters from two stories.
  • In Unit 2, Lesson: Reading About Going to School All Over the World, Part 4, students read the story Going to School and complete a Venn diagram to compare and contrast schools in Russia and schools in South Africa. Students then write about how they are alike and different.
  • In Unit 3, Lesson: Find Out What’s In Hunter’s Money Jar, Part 6, students reread the story We Can Help Students answer the following questions in their English Language Arts Journal, “Where do the characters live? What is wrong with Farmer Ed’s tractor? What do the animals put in the blue cart?” Then students enter their answers electronically through the online platform.
  • In Unit 4, Lesson: Get to the Point, Part 3, students read The Family Tree. Students then complete an on demand writing task. The materials say, “Read what the words tell about the events. Then, tell how the details in the illustration help you understand what is happening. Then, write a sentence in your English Language Arts Journal Journal that tells how the workers’ plan worked.”

Opportunities for process writing include, but are not limited to:

  • In the Unit 1 Project, The Best Day Ever: Students read several stories in the unit and complete activities related to what makes a good story. Students write their own story about the best day they ever had, utilizing multiple lessons to complete the project.
  • In Unit 3, Lesson: Find Out What’s In Hunter’s Money Jar, Part 2: Students have been reading stories and putting the events in order. Now students begin the process of writing their own story about a time they had to make a choice. On this day, they begin the writing process by filling out a Key Events Chart.
  • In Unit 4, Lesson: Comparing Arbor Day Square and the Family Tree, Part 3, students are preparing to write their final draft of the story they wrote about what happens after The Family Tree. Before the students write their final draft, the materials state, “But first, read your story again. Great writers have a saying: 'Revise, revise, revise.' That means it is always possible to improve your story. Find places where you can make your story better.” The students are then given suggestions for what to look for during the revision process and told to make their changes. The Learning Guide should help the student revise and help them find spelling and grammar errors.
  • In Unit 5, Lesson: Finding the Central Message About King Kafu and the Moon, Part 2, students have previously made a plan for a story about the moon by filling out a Key Events Chart. Students begin writing a fairy tale about the moon in their English Language Arts Journal, completing a rough draft, using their completed Key Events Chart.
  • In Unit 6, Lesson: Reading One Classroom, Many Cultures, Part 1-3, students write an opinion piece. Students begin in Part 1 by deciding what country they would want to visit. The prompt states, “Write a topic sentence telling about the country in your English Language Arts Journal. Next, write a sentence telling your opinion about the country.” In Part 2, students write a reason for why they want to visit that country. By Part 3, students are writing the ending to their opinion piece, making this writing assignment a three day long process.

Indicator 1l

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 1 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.

Students to engage in writing tasks across the text types required of the standards. Students use a combination of drawing, dictating, and writing, to compose many types of writing, including opinion, informational and narrative, while utilizing the writing process. There is a balance of short writing pieces which build up to longer writing pieces. Longer writing tasks are completed over the course of a unit or lesson part. Writing opportunities are scaffolded with Learning Guide supports, drawing about the text, graphic organizers to pull evidence from texts, and working on shorter pieces over the course of time to revise and edit a final piece. Rubrics are included with each larger writing piece, providing the criteria for grading. In some instances, examples are shared. Students have the opportunity to create their writing digitally and upload it to the platform or by hand and upload a picture of their work.

Examples of writing prompts that address the different text types of writing and reflect the distribution required by the standards include:

  • In Unit 1, Lesson: Let’s Meet Frog and Toad!, Part 1, Narrative: In previous sessions, students learned that stories have parts (characters, settings, events). In this part, students read “Dragons and Giants” from Frog and Toad Together. After, students talk about the series of events with their Learning Guide. Students retell the story by fill out a Sequence Chart to depict six events from the story. In the next part, students will learn more about the characters.
  • In Unit 1, Lesson: Readers Ask and Answer, Part 2, Informative/Explanatory: In the previous part, students found details from informational text. Students will work to ask and answer questions in this part. Students reread What Do You Do With a Tail Like This? Students are asked to write down two questions they have about animals using their ears. After writing questions, students are to go back into the text to see if they can find answers to their questions. At the end of the part, students generate a question on their own about an animal they choose from What Do You Do With a Tail Like This? It is explained that students should use facts to record the answer to their question and not opinions.
  • In Unit 1 Project, The Best Day Ever, Narrative: Students tell about story about the best day they ever had. Their story must include: an explanation for why the day was good; a setting; at least two characters who say, think, or feel; and a beginning, middle, and end.
  • In In Unit 2, Lesson: Finding the Central Message of A Fine, Fine School, Part 2, Opinion: Students reread A Fine, Fine School. Students are then given the following prompt, “Remember the opinion you wrote as a character in A Fine, Fine School? Go back to your opinion statement in your English Language Arts Journal. What did you say to Mr. Keene about having more school? Add another reason to your opinion. Use at least one adjective to write your reason.”
  • In Unit 3, Lesson: Find Out What’s in Hunter’s Money Jar, Part 3, Narrative: Students begin to write their own story about a time they had to make a choice. Their story must include a beginning, middle, and end.
  • In Unit 3, Lesson: Reading About Things We Buy and Sell, Part 3, Opinion: Students are continuing to learn about wants and needs. Students read pages 10-11 in Goods and Services. Students have filled out a Main Topic and Supporting Details web in a previous part. Students choose one service (firefighter, police, etc.) and draw a picture of it in their English Language Arts Journal. Students are then provided with the police officer as a service and are to write one opinion and two reasons about police officers. Lastly, students write a brief opinion piece answering the question: “Who is more important, consumers or producers?”
  • In In Unit 4, Get to the Point, Part 1, Narrative: After reading The Family Tree students are asked to write a story that tells what happens next. Students are given the following directions, “Think about the events in your story. Then, go to your English Language Arts Journal and write about the events in order. Use time and sequence words and phrases to make the order of events clear.”
  • In In Unit 4, Lesson: Learn How Seeds Grow, Part 5, Informative: Students first create a diagram to show how to build a snowman. In this part, students work to write the steps. The prompt states, “When you write about building a snowman, you tell the order of the steps.” The teaching notes provide many suggestions to help the Learning Guide guide the students in this process.
  • In Unit 5, Lesson: Using Text Features to Learn About Space, Part 2, Informative/Explanatory: Students have been reading about the planets and writing down questions they have. Students begin to research answers to these questions so they can create their own planet book.
  • In Unit 5, Lesson: Finding the Central Message of King Kafu and the Moon, Part 1, Narrative: Students write a fairy tale about the moon. Their story must include: the moon as a character or setting, at least two characters, a setting, and a problem that is solved.
  • In Unit 6, PROJECT, Opinion: The directions state “In this unit, you are going to learn something about a culture that is different from yours. You will interview people who are part of another culture. Then, you will write an opinion about why something from their culture is positive for your community."

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.
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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 1 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.

Materials include regular opportunities for evidence-based writing. The materials require students to justify their answers with evidence from the text or illustrations from the text when appropriate, often discussing their answers with the Learning Guide prior to writing. As students move through the units and parts of units, the tasks become more complex and build upon previous tasks that were completed. Students are engaged in tasks that require writing with evidence from the text or using the text as a mentor text to mimic the craft. Materials provide opportunities for students to recall information from the text by discussing it with their Learning Guide or organizing their thoughts on purposeful graphic organizers. Examples include, but are not limited to:

  • In Unit 1, Lesson: Let’s Meet Frog and Toad!, Part 1, students have read the text Let’s Meet Frog and Toad. They must retell the story and write down six events in sequential order in their English Language Arts Journal. The directions state, “You will use it to write about each part of the story. First, think about what happens on pages 6–7. What are Frog and Toad doing? What do they decide to do? What happened then? Go on with the story. Write down six events in all."
  • In Unit 2, Lesson: Comparing School and Home, Part 2, the USE card directions state, “You have learned about the differences between stories and informational texts. You found examples of features in both Far from Home and Going to School. Now, think about the similarities and differences between Far from Home and Going to School. Which one is informative? Which one is factual? Which one has characters? Which one has real people? Which one teaches about topics? Which one teaches the reader a lesson? Your Learning Guide will help you type your answers.”
  • In Unit 3, Lesson: Authors Support Opinions, Part 3, students read part of Goods and Services (pages 6-15) and part of Supermarket (pages 48-53) wondering how the author’s words and phrases support the main idea. As students read they identify key words and record them on Word Meaning Chart. Students revise their writing about shopping to include additional details they have gleaned from both texts (and other previous resources) to support their opinion.
  • In Unit 4, Lesson: Get to the Point, Part 2, the LEARN card directions state, “Readers use key details when they tell about a story. Talk about the pages you just read with your Learning Guide. Use details from the pictures and words in the story to help you answer these questions: What do we learn on page 21? How is this connected to what happens on pages 14–19? How have things changed from the beginning of the story to page 21? Point to details in the words and pictures that helped you figure this out."
  • In Unit 5, Lesson: Reading King Kafu and the Moon, Part 1, students read King Kafu and the Moon with a focus on the characters the story. After reading, students respond to the following questions in their English Language Arts Journal: “How do the villagers feel about King Kafu? How do you know? What are some words that tell how King Kafu acts and feels?” Students complete a character web about King Kafu using evidence from the text to support the web. Students are asked to write 2-3 sentences about King Kafu in their ELA Journal, find a picture that shows what King Kafu looks like in the text, and then discuss with their Learning Guide why you chose that picture.
  • In Unit 6, Lesson: Reading A Picnic in October, Part 3, the students are working on a book review. The students look at details and information from the text to support their opinion. The prompt says, “Look at the opinion statement you wrote last time about A Picnic in October. Talk to your Learning Guide about why you feel that way. Look a your notes on the book. Did you take any notes on details that can support you opinion? Write at least one reason to support your opinion in your English Language Arts Journal.”
  • In Unit 6, Lesson: Compare Characters, Part 5 students complete an assessment related to comparing characters. The assignment states, “Now, you will compare Raul in One Classroom, Many Cultures with Pedro in A Party for Pedro. Reread pp. 10-12 of One Classroom, Many Cultures and A Party for Pedro. How are Pedro and Raul alike? How are they different? Write one way Raul and Pedro are alike and one way they are different."

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 materials reviewed for Grade 1 partially meet the criteria for materials including explicit instruction of the grammar and conventions standards for grade level as applied in increasingly sophisticated contexts, with opportunities for application both in and out of context.

Calvert Grade 1 materials provides instruction on the grammar and convention standards for Grade 1. However, much of the instruction is incidental rather than explicit. Also, opportunities for students to practice the skills and master the skills is limited. In Units 3 and 4, there was no instruction of frequently occurring adjectives, determiners, or prepositions, no instruction of conventional or phonetic spelling, and few instructional learning opportunities of singular and plural nouns, and and pronouns. Students do not have sufficient opportunities during phonics lessons to practice spelling words with the sound/spelling patterns they are learning about. Weekly spelling lists or any sort of spelling assessment could not be located. The amount of practice students had with each skill was limited.

Materials include instruction or reference to of all grammar and conventions standards for the grade level. Over the course of the year’s worth of materials, grammar/convention instruction is provided. Materials include limited opportunities for students to demonstrate application of skills both in- and out-of-context. However, practice is not frequent. Examples include:

  • Students have opportunities to print all upper- and lowercase letters. For example: 
    • In Unit 1, Lesson: Let’s Meet Stellaluna!, Part 3, students write the word sat in their ELA journal.
    • In Unit 1, Lesson: Let’s Meet Toad and Frog!, Part 3, students write the words Sam, are, and sat in their ELA journal with help from the Learning Guide if needed.
    • In Unit 1, Lesson: Let’s Meet Stellaluna!, Part 3, students are told to, “Practice writing lowercase letters. Write the alphabet in lowercase in your ELA journal.” Specific instructions for letter formation could not be found.
  • Students have opportunities to use common, proper and possessive nouns. For example: 
    • In Unit 1, Lesson: Let’s Meet Stellaluna!, Part 1, students practice writing uppercase and lowercase letters of character’s names.
    • In Unit 1, Lesson: Reading to Find Out How Animals Sleep, Part 2, students learn about proper nouns. "A proper noun names a specific person, animal, place or thing. Dog is a noun. It names an animal. Fido is a proper noun because it tells the name of a specific dog. Proper nouns begin with a capital letter. Write a sentence about a character in a book you have read recently. Use a proper noun."
    • In Unit 1, Lesson: Reading to Find Out How Animals Sleep, Part 2, students write a sentence using a proper noun.
    • In Unit 4, Lesson: Get to the Point, Part 4, during phonics learning, students learn that grape turns to grapes and dress to turns to dresses when the words are plural. Students segment and blend plural nouns
  • Students have opportunities to use singular and plural nouns with matching verbs in basic sentences. For example: 
    • In Unit 2, Lesson: Show: My Favorite Sweets!, the writer-reader activity, students use verbs in action by creating a poster about their favorite sweet treat.
    • In Unit 1, Lesson: Reading to Find Out How Animals Sleep, Part 2, students learn about subject and verb agreement with plural and singular subjects. "Look at this sentence: Bats sleep upside down. The word bats is a plural noun. It names more than one bat. The word sleep tells the action. It is the verb. The verb sleep matches the plural noun bats because sleep does not have an -s at the end."
  • Students have opportunities to use personal, possessive, and indefinite pronouns. For example: 
    • In Unit 3, Lesson: Reading the Winners Choice, Part 2, students learn about the pronouns I, me, he, she, and they. Students then practice filling in the missing pronouns in sentences such as, "The teammates crowded together on the soccer field. _____ crowded together on the soccer field."
  • Students have opportunities to use verbs to convey a sense of past, present, and future. For example: 
    • In Unit 2, Lesson: Reading Far From Home, Part 1, students write words with the ending s, from the story Far From Home telling about an activity that they do each day.
    • In Unit 3, Lesson: Hunter’s Money Jar, Part 2, students learn about past, present and future verb forms. Students practice finding the verb and ending in sentences such as, “Hunter is walking down the street.”
  • Students have opportunities to use frequently occurring adjectives. For example: 
    • In Unit 2, Lesson: Show: My Favorite Sweets!, students complete a poster activity describing sweets they like. Students are prompted to write 4 to 5 words that describe sweets.
    • In Unit 2, Lesson: Message of a Fine School, Part 2, students learn about adjectives by creating a word web for the adjective small.
    • In Unit 2, Lesson: Far from Home, Part 3, students write sentences to describe the character in the story. The student is supposed to use words such as, perfect, neatly, and shocked. Not all the words are adjectives.
  • Students have opportunities to use frequently occurring conjunctions. For example: 
    • In Unit 3, Lesson: Message of a Winner’s Choice, Part 2, students learn about the conjunctions and, but, or and so. Students apply what they have learned by practicing using a conjunction to combine sentences such as, "The soccer field had a crack in it. The team couldn’t play."
  • Students have opportunities to use determiners. For example: 
    • In Unit 6, Lesson: Reading Whose is This?, Part 1, the student learns about the determiners this and these and then practices filling in two sentences with these determiners. “Will you give ____ pencil to Millie? ____ papers belong to me.”
  • Students have opportunities to use frequently occurring prepositions. For example: 
    • In Unit 2, Lesson: Going to School all Over, Part 2, students practice writing sentences using prepositions.
  • Students have opportunities to produce and expand complete simple and compound declarative, interrogative, imperative, and exclamatory sentences in response to prompts. For example: 
    • In Unit 3, Lesson: Message of a Winners Choice, Part 2, students practice forming compound sentences by combining smaller sentences such as "Stay calm. Sit down here."
  • Students have opportunities to capitalize dates and names of people. For example: 
    • In Unit 1, Lesson: Comparing School and Home, Part 1, students write in their ELA Journal words that are capitalized including people’s names and other countries. Students write a sentence that is not correct and they are prompted to discuss with their Learning Guide why it is not correct.
    • In Unit 1, Lesson: Understanding the Central Message of Stellaluna, Part 1, students learn about capital letters as they relate to the names of people. The materials state,"Look at this sentence: Frog and Toad were reading a book. Both Frog and Toad start with a capital letter because they are names. Write a sentence about one of your friends. Use the friend’s name. Be sure to use a capital letter in the correct places."
    • In Unit 2, Lesson: Reading A Fine, Fine School, Part 1, the teacher incidentally states, “Have your student look at the story and identify the other characters’ names that begin with uppercase letters. Then, have your student identify the names of days and holidays that begin with uppercase letters. Ask your student to practice writing uppercase letters in his or her journal.”
  • Standard 2b: Use end punctuation for sentences.
    • Unit 1, Lesson: Use Illustrations and Main Ideas to Compare Animals in Texts, Part 1, students write two question sentences after learning about what a question is.
    • In Unit 1, Lesson: Understanding the Setting of Stellaluna, Part 2, students write sentences with beginning capitals and ending punctuation. Students practice writing sentences with no punctuation and then adding ending punctuation based on the type of sentence they wrote.
    • In Unit 1, Lesson: Understanding the Setting of Stellaluna, Part 2, students learn about “telling sentences” that end with periods.
  • Students have opportunities to use commas in dates and to separate single words in a series. For example: 
    • In Unit 1, Lesson: Ask and Answer Questions, Part 1, students learn about the importance of using commas and what the purpose is. Students follow along as the Learning Guide reads putting pauses in where the commas are in the story, “What do you Do with a Tail Like this?”
    • In Unit 6, Lesson: Reading One Classroom, Part 3, students are shown examples of dates with commas in isolation and in sentences. Students then practice adding a comma to dates such as, July 27 1970.
  • Students have opportunities to use conventional spelling for words with common spelling patterns and for frequently occurring irregular words. For example: 
    • In Unit 1, Lesson: Let’s Meet Toad and Frog!, Part 1, students are prompted to write sentences by using the sounds they hear, the learning guide reads sentences and the student writes the sentences in their ELA Journal.
    • In Unit 1, Lesson: Use Questions as a Reader and Writer, Part 1, students are prompted to write high frequency words in their ELA Journal using sounds.
    • In Unit 6, Lesson: Compare Characters, Part 4, spelling instruction is a weak point in the program. Spelling is not taught or assessed on a regular basis. In this lesson students learn about silent -e and are also told, “Sometimes words aren’t spelled the way they sound, like give. You just have to know how to spell them.” The student then tells the teacher if words such as race, bike and live following spelling rules. The student is also told to use a dictionary if they are unsure of how to spell a word.
  • Students have opportunities to spell untaught words phonetically, drawing on phonemic awareness and spelling conventions. For example: 
    • In Unit 1, Lesson: Reader and Writer, Part 2, students are prompted to complete a process when they come across a word they don’t know, they read it out loud, think about how it is used, try the word in a sentence and then think of another word that is similar. Students than write down a sentence and draw a picture of one of the words from a list they may not know.
    • In Unit 5, Lesson: Finding the Central Message of King Kafu and the Moon, Part 4, the Learning Guide shows the student picture cards with the ea spelling pattern and the students must practice spelling the words. (The instructions for the student make it sound like the student is the one spelling the words, but then the teaching notes state, “Display Sound-Spelling Card 60. Say and write the word bread. Say: In the word bread, the letters ea have the short e sound.” This makes it sound like the Learning Guide is spelling the words. Opportunities are missed throughout the school year to give the student more practice with spelling during phonics lessons.)

Criterion 1o - 1t

Materials in reading, writing, speaking, listening, and language targeted to support foundational reading development are aligned to the standards.
12/22
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Criterion Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 1 partially meet the expectation that 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, and phonics that demonstrate a transparent and research-based progression for application both in and out of context. Materials meet the expectation that materials, questions, and tasks provide explicit instruction for and regular practice to address the acquisition of print concepts, including alphabetic knowledge and directionality, and structures and features of text.  Materials partially meet the expectation that instructional opportunities are frequently built into the materials for students to practice and gain decoding automaticity and sight-based recognition of high-frequency words. Materials partially meet expectations that 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. Materials partially meet the criteria for supporting ongoing and frequent assessment to determine student mastery and inform meaningful differentiation of foundational skills, including a clear and specific protocol as to how students performing below standard on these assessments will be supported. Materials partially meet the expectation that materials, questions, and tasks provide high-quality lessons and activities that allow for differentiation of foundational skills, so all students achieve mastery of foundational skills.

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.
2/4
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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Calvert Grade 1 partially 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.

Calvert Grade 1 materials do provide practice with alphabetic principle, letter-sound relationships, phonemic awareness, phonological awareness, and phonics. However, the level of practice and application is not frequent or adequate. The materials do not provide enough opportunities for the students to practice or apply the skills that they are learning. While students work on grade level skills such as long vowel sounds and digraphs, students also spend time working on kindergarten skills such as consonant sounds. By Unit 3, students have learned about digraphs, yet are also still working on beginning sound/letter identification.

In addition, there is not a systematic and explicit way of teaching the skills. Each part (one-day lesson) has a student section and a Learning Guide section. Many Lesson Parts do not address foundational skills, including the following:

  • Unit 1, Lesson: Let's Meet Stellaluna!, Part 2
  • Unit 1, Lesson: Let's Meet Toad and Frog! Parts 1 and 2
  • Unit 3, Lesson: Winners Choice, Parts 3 and 4
  • Unit 4, Lesson: Finding the Central Message of The Winners Choice, Part 4
  • Unit 4, Lesson: Arbor Day, Parts 1, 3, and 4
  • Unit 4, Lesson: Tell It Again, Parts 1, 3, and 4.

Evidence for learning uppercase letters and high-frequency words was included in the materials, however, these are not in the Grade 1 standards. Furthermore, some lessons contain foundational skill standards, but the lessons do not include those standards.

  • Unit 1 of the Grade 1 materials states that it includes instruction about long and short vowels in (RF1.2a), but the lesson does not do so.
  • Unit 1 of the Grade 1 materials states that it includes instruction about RF standards 1.1a, 1.2a, and 1.2c, but the lessons does not do so.
  • Unit 3 of the Grade 1 materials states that it includes instruction about RF standard 1.3e, but the lessons does not do so.

Students have some opportunities to learn and understand phonemes (e.g. distinguish long and short vowels, blend sounds, pronounce vowels in single-syllable words, and segment single-syllable words). Examples include:

  • In Unit 1, Lesson: Reading to Find Out How Animals Sleep, Part 2, students practice blending, segmenting and identifying words with the short o vowel sound. “Display Picture Cards otter and top. Have your student segment and blend these words with you. Show Picture Cards box, mug, mop, wig, fox, doll, pan, and frog. Ask your student to name the pictures that have the /o/ sound in the middle. (box, mop, fox, doll, frog).”
  • In Unit 1, Lesson: Let's Meet Toad and Frog!, Part 3, states, ”Now you will play the Pack Up the Skills game. It will help you decode words. You will match a word to its picture.”
  • In Unit 1, Lesson: Let's Meet Toad and Frog!, Part 3, students practice identifying sounds in words with m, s, and t. “Write the following words: Sam, am, sat, at, Tam, mat. Have your student practice saying the sounds of each word. Write the following sentence frame and show it to your student. Read the frame, pointing to each word as you say it. Have your student say a word to complete the sentence. Tam sat on a _____. (mat)” Afterwards, students read the decodable reader "At a Mat."
  • In Unit 1, Lesson: Let's Meet Stellaluna!, Part 3, the student is told, “Look at the name Stellaluna. Do you notice the way the letter a sounds? (This is not the short a sound). Many words have this sound. Learning it will help you be a better reader. Look at the picture cards your Learning Guide shows you. Repeat the words. Notice the sound at the beginning of each word. Can you hear which ones are different?” The Learning Guide is told, “Show the Picture Card apple. Have your student say the word with you. Then repeat with Picture Cards for alligator and egg. Your student should recognize that egg begins with a different sound than apple and alligator. If time allows, repeat the exercise with the Picture Cards astronaut, ant, and ox. Have your student identify the word that does not begin with /a/. (ox) Now play “Between the Lions: Chicken Stacker.” Choose the words that have a short /a/ sound.
  • In Unit 2, Lesson: Reading About Going to School All Over the World, Part 3, students are shown some picture cards of a block, a sled, and a clock. Students practice writing the first consonant blend sound and then spelling the rest of the word in order to write it.
  • Unit 4, Lesson: Tell It Again, Part 2, students are told, “Look at Decodable Practice Reader 14A. In this story, you will read many words with ng and nk. First, let’s look at those words.” The Learning Guide is told, “Have your student decode the words in the lists on p. 169. Note any difficulties he or she may have and review the relevant sound-spellings. Make sure your student can read the high-frequency words.”

Lessons and activities provide students with some opportunities to learn grade-level phonics skills while decoding words (e.g. spelling-sound correspondences of digraphs, decode one-syllable words, know final-e and long vowels, syllable and vowel relationship). Examples include:

  • In Unit 1, Lesson: Let’s Meet Stellaluna!, Part 1, the student is told, “Look at the card your Learning Guide shows you. It is a picture of a man. Man begins with the /m/ sound. The letter m spells the /m/ sound in man. When you say man, you hear these three sounds: /m//a//n/. Say the word again: man. Look at the next card your Learning Guide shows you. It is a picture of a sock. Sock begins with the /s/ sound. The letter s spells the /s/ sound. When you say sock, you hear these three sounds: /s//o//k/. Say the word again: sock.” The Learning Guide is told, “Point to the words as your student reads. As you show your student each card from the Picture Card collection (man, sock, and tub), say the word on the card and have your student say the word as you point to each sound. Continue to practice distinguishing sounds by having your student identify the sound heard at the beginning, middle, and end of the word mat.”
  • In Unit 3, Lesson: The Winners Choice, Parts 1-2, the student is told, “Look at the words shirt and thing. Say the sounds at the beginning of these words.” The Learning Guide is told, “To help your student identify the consonant digraphs sh and th, say words beginning with /sh/ (such as ship, shut, shop) and have your student repeat these words. Then, say words ending in /sh/ (such as push, dish, rush). Finally, say pairs of words and ask your student which word has the /sh/ sound (examples: sheep or lamb; dry or wash). Continue by identifying the /th/ sound (thing, thank, Thursday; with, both, bath)."
  • In Unit 3, Lesson: Hunter’s Money Jar, Part 2, students are introduced to the long a sound spelled cvce. “Hunter wants to buy a skateboard. Many words have the long a sound. Look at each card your Learning Guide shows you. What sound do you hear in the middle of the word? What letter spells that sound? Now you will read a story with words that have the long a sound.”
  • In Unit 3, Lesson: Finding the Central Message of The Winners Choice, Part 3, the student is told, “You have learned about words that are spelled with sh and th. Now, look at words using those sounds that also have the sound of the word ball.” The Learning Guide is told, “Use Sound-Spelling Cards 47, 50, and 51 to review consonant digraphs sh and sound-spellings. Help your student identify the sound at the beginning or end of the words and the vowel sound.”
  • In Unit 4, Lesson: Reading to Learn How Seeds Grow, Part 4, students work on identifying r-controlled ar sounds. The story is about a girl that goes to a farm.

Materials have a sequence of phonemic awareness instruction to build toward application however, it is lacking cohesiveness. Examples include:

  • In Unit 1, Lesson: Toad Stayed in Bed, Part 1, students write the sentence phonetically. The learning guide points out to the student that Toad has a long o sound and uses a special spelling pattern.
  • In Unit 3, Lesson: Reading the Winners Choice, Part 3, students practice learning and reading high-frequency words: go, said, put, and I said. Students first say the word and then identify which sound they hear at the beginning of the word.

Materials have a sequence of phonics instruction to build toward application; however, it is lacking cohesiveness. Examples include:

  • In Unit 1, Lesson: Reading to Find Out How Animals Sleep, Part 1, “CONSONANTS /D/, /L/, /H/ You read words with d, l, and h in Time to Sleep. Now, you will practice these sounds. Look at the Picture Cards your Learning Guide shows you. Say the words out loud. Sound out each word. Pay attention to the sounds at the beginning of each words.”
  • In Unit 3, Lesson: The Winners Choice, Part 1, the student is told, “Look at the words shirt and thing. Say the sounds at the beginning of these words.” The Learning Guide is told, “To help your student identify the consonant digraphs sh and th, say words beginning with /sh/ (such as ship, shut, shop) and have your student repeat these words. Then, say words ending in /sh/ (such as push, dish, rush). Finally, say pairs of words and ask your student which word has the /sh/ sound (examples: sheep or lamb; dry or wash).”
  • In Unit 3, Lesson: The Winner's Choice, Part 2, the student is told, “You have been reading words with the sounds sh and th, like shaking and thank.”
  • In Unit 4, Lesson: Characters of Arbor Day, Part 2, the student is told, “You have read words in Arbor Day Square in which y spells the long e or the long i sound, such as windy and by. Review the relevant sound-spellings for the words on pp. 145 with the alternate pronunciations of the letter y. Have your student decode the words in the lists. Now, you will decode words with this letter.” The Learning Guide has no instructions related to this.

Indicator 1p

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

The materials reviewed for Grade 1 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).

Calvert Grade 1 materials provide instruction and practice in print concepts and structures and features of a text. The Learning Guide frequently points out different text features to students, and students practice using these text features to find information. Students also practice finding text features in their own writing. Text structures are taught through the use of explicit instruction from the Learning Guide. Student practice includes teacher questioning and the student filling in a T-chart with information from the text. However, some units skip instruction such as Unit 3. Students have opportunities to look at a number of stories and informational texts, and the instruction is coherent.

Materials include lessons and tasks/questions about the organization of print concepts (e.g. recognize features of a sentence). Examples include:

  • In Unit 1, Lesson: Let's Meet Stellaluna!, Part 1, students look at the sentence: One by one, Pip, Flitter, Flap, and Stellaluna jumped from the nest. The learning guides points out that the start of the sentence begins with a capital, as well as the first letter of the character's name. The student then looks through the book to find other characters' name that begin with uppercase letters.
  • In Unit 1, Lesson: Ideas to Compare Animals, Part 1, students learn about the purpose of a question mark. Students are prompted that questions usually begin with why, how, who, what, where, and when. Students also look through the text to find questions in the story.
  • In Unit 2, Lesson: Reading a Fine, Fine School, Part 2, the Learning Guide is prompted to point out that the author uses commas to separate out a list of items. The student is also prompted to see that they use an exclamation point that shows Mr. Keene is excited about what they learned.

Students have opportunities to identify text structures (e.g. main idea and details, sequence of events, problem and solution, compare and contrast, cause and effect). Examples include:

  • In Unit 1, Lesson: Let’s Meet Stellaluna!, Part 1, students talk about with their Learning Guide what happened at the beginning, middle, and end of the story. Then students draw a picture of their favorite part of the story. Once the students write their part of the scene, they talk about it with their Learning Guide. They further tell why they think the characters feel a certain way.
  • In Unit 1, Lesson: Time to Sleep, Part 2, students use a Venn Diagram in order to compare and contrast facts from the story, pages 7 and 8 by identifying how it is different to use pictures versus words to identify details in a text.
  • In Unit 3, Lesson: Message, Part 1, students are introduced to the sequence of events, using words such as: first, next, then, yesterday, tomorrow.
  • In Unit 3, Lesson: Buy and Sell, Part 3, there is instruction on main idea and key details in informational writing. Students a Main Ideas chart to write sentences about the details.
  • In Unit 3, Lesson: Supermarket, Part 3, provides instruction on comparing details in informational writing. Students fill out a Venn diagram comparing consumers and producers. They continue this comparison in parts 4 and 5 of the same section.
  • In Unit 3, Part 3, Finding the Central Message of The Winners Choice, students start to learn about central message. “Now you will learn about another important part of a story: the central message. This is the lesson that the author wants the reader to learn. It is often found at the end of a story.”
  • In Unit 4, Lesson: Arbor Day, Part 1, there is instruction on sequencing (beginning, middle, end) by watching a video. Students use a retelling chart to put events into sequence. Students also draw a picture based on the details in a story about a character. This is repeated in part 2 (Info) with a sequence chart, adding sequence words to earlier sentences.
  • In Unit 4, Lesson: Tell It Again, Part 4, there is instruction on sequencing by playing a sequence game and use a retelling chart.
  • In Unit 5, Lesson: Learning About the Sun, Part 1, students identify and record the main idea and details of the text, The Sun.
  • In Unit 5, Lesson: Finding the Central Message of King Kafu and the Moon, Part 1, while students read the text King Kafu and the Moon, they are provided with instructions to, “As you read these pages, think about these questions: What happens first in this part of the story? What details help tell about events in this part of the story?”
  • In Unit 5, Lesson: Finding the Central Message of King Kafu and the Moon, Part 3, students are instructed to identify the problem/solution in the story, “What problem does the king have on p. 22? How do the characters solve this problem?”
  • In Unit 6, Lesson: Reading One Classroom, Many Cultures, Part 1, students fill out a compare and contrast chart about the characters from the text One Classroom, Many Cultures.

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

  • In Unit 1, Lesson: What do you Do with a Tail like This?, Part 3, as students read, they look at the pictures and answer the questions, such as, "How do animals use their feet? What do animals do when they eat?"
  • In Unit 2, Lesson: Reading About Going to School All Over the World, Part 1, students learn about the difference between informational texts and stories. The learning guide talks to them about how the informational texts have maps, headings, and captions to support learning.
  • In Unit 3, Lesson: Buy and Sell, Part 2, there is instruction on text features. Students fill out a Text Features chart.
  • In Unit 4, Lesson: Seeds Grow, Part 2, there is instruction on headings. In Parts 3 and 4, students look at various text features to see how the features provide meaning.
  • In Unit 5, Lesson: Comparing Texts About the Moon, Part 2, before reading the text, the Learning Guide has the student point out different text features, “Before your student begins to read, invite your student to point out features in each text, such as illustrations, chapter headings, photographs, diagrams, and labels. Your student may already recognize that certain kinds of features are more common in each type of text.”
  • In Unit 5, Lesson: Reading to Learn About Visiting the Moon, Part 3, the student and Learning Guide discuss the diagrams in the text, “Your student will consider how the visuals in the informational text relate to the words. Before your student begins to read, show the diagrams on pp. 18–19 and 22–23 of Let's Visit the Moon. Ask your student what he or she thinks the diagrams show. As your student reads, point out how the diagrams show information about the size of the sun, moon, and Earth.”
  • In Unit 5, Lesson: Comparing Texts About the Moon, Part 3, the Learning Guide points out text features found on the cover of a book to the student, “Help your student see that a published book has a cover that includes the title, the author, the illustrator, and an illustration that helps readers understand what the story will be about.”
  • In Unit 5, Lesson: Reading to Learn About Planets, Part 3, there is a link to a PBS game students can play to learn more about newspaper text features. Also in this lesson, students create a chart where they write down diagrams, headings, and text boxes that they come across while reading Our World in Space: Planets.

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.
2/4
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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 1 partially 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.

Calvert Grade 1 Materials provide students the opportunity to read high-frequency words out of context with the Learning Guide. While there are opportunities to help students read grade level texts and re-read information, opportunities for explicit instruction in irregularly spelled words is limited. The most specific instruction on fluency was a lesson on phrasing in Unit 4. The Learning Guide models fluent reading to the student and is instructed to listen for fluency when the student reads. Reading strategies instruction are not explicit and cohesive. There are times when instruction is very explicit in terms of how to help a student decode an unknown word and other times where the Learning Guide is provided vague instructions such as, “When your student points out an unfamiliar word, read it out loud for him or her and ask him or her to repeat it. Help your student through the rest of the process.”

Limited opportunities are provided over the course of the year in core materials for students to purposefully read on-level text. Examples include:

  • In Unit 3, Lesson: Reading the Winners Choice, Part 1, the materials state, “Have your student read the story aloud with another student or with you, either in unison or by reading alternate sections. Have your student read the story independently.”
  • In Unit 2, Lesson: Discovering the Words of The Recess Queen, Part 2, the student rereads the Recess Queen a few times focusing on the context clues from the story to help the student understand the text.
  • In Unit 2, Lesson: Reading Far From Home, Part 5, students reread the story a few times with the Learning Guide to work on reading grade level text. During the reading, students focus on the central message of the story using key details to explain their understanding of the text.
  • In Unit 3, Lesson: Supermarket, Part 5, the instructions to the Learning Guide are, “Give your student feedback on fluency as he or she reads. Explain that reading with expression means to change one's voice while reading to show emotion and to make the text more interesting for a listener. Model reading with expression if your student struggles.”
  • In Unit 5, Lesson: Reading King Kafu and the Moon, Part 2, students read the decodable text, Tay on the Trail. Students look for details that tell where the story takes place.

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

  • In Unit 1, Lesson: Let’s Meet Stellaluna!, Part 3, students are prompted to read the story a third time. The Learning Guide is prompted to have the student read it after them or to choral read with a partner in order to increase accuracy if the student is struggling to read each line. The Learning Guide is further prompted to read the story with expression and rate.
  • In Unit 1, Lesson: Reading to Find Out How Animals Sleep, Part 1, the Learning Guide is prompted if the student is reading with fluency to encourage reading with accuracy. The Learning Guide models reading with accuracy by reading page 14, from the Time to Sleep. The Learning Guide reads several words wrong that the learner will recognize and then the reader reads the words that were read incorrectly and then rereads the story out loud.
  • In Unit 3, Lesson: Finding the Central Message of The Winners’ Choice, Part 4, the materials state,“Read A Plan for Trash with your student, a decodable book. Have your student reread several times to develop skills in decoding words. Provide corrective feedback regarding the fluency and decoding.”
  • In Unit 4, Lesson: Arbor Day, Part 1, the Learning Guide reads from the core text without pausing so students can hear how it sounds. The Learning Guide emphasizes phrasing as part of fluency.
  • In Unit 5, Lesson: Reading King Kafu and the Moon, Part 1, students work on fluency when reading the text King Kafu and the Moon. The materials state, “While your student is reading, assess his or her fluency. Explain that reading at an appropriate rate means not reading too fast or too slow. Have your student follow along as you model reading aloud p. 4 of King Kafu and the Moon at an appropriate rate. Review why a reader would not want to read too slowly or too quickly. If your student struggles to read at an appropriate rate, have him or her listen to a recorded book as a model, then practice reading along with the recording.”
  • In Unit 5, Lesson: Learn About Visiting The Moon, Part 1, the Learning Guide models fluency and accuracy for the student. The materials state, “While your student is reading, assess his or her fluency. Explain that reading with accuracy means pronouncing each word correctly and not skipping or adding words. Have your student follow along as you read aloud p. 8 of Let's Visit the Moon, mispronouncing or skipping several words that your student will recognize. Ask your student to point to places in the text where you did not read with accuracy. Model reading the page again, this time with accuracy. Then, have your student read aloud a portion of a grade-level text, focusing on pronunciation and on not skipping or adding words.”
  • In Unit 5, Lesson: Read to Learn About Visiting the Moon, Part 2, students practice building fluency with the decodable reader "Bill Tried." The materials state, “Have your student read the story, and listen to him or her read. Have your student reread the story several times to develop automaticity and fluency decoding words with endings.”

Some materials support reading of texts with attention to reading strategies such as rereading, self-correction, and the use of context clues. Examples include:

  • In Unit 1, Lesson: Let’s Meet Stellaluna!, Part 2, students listen to the story on audio. Students have the story read aloud to them and they follow along. Students read the story with someone else or chorally read the story, and then they are prompted to read the story independently. The Learning Guide is prompted to have the student reread the story to improve reading skills.
  • In Unit 2, Lesson: Reading About Going to School All Over the Year, Part 2, the student rereads pages 6 through 9 and focuses on key information from another part of the book.
  • In Unit 5, Lesson: Reading to Learn About Planets, Part 1, students practice using context clues to figure out the meaning of the word hotter, “Read the sentence where the word appears. Look at its parts: hot and -er Can you find any clues to its meaning? The text says the sun is 350 times hotter than Earth, and that Earth gets heat from the sun. Do these clues help you know what hotter means? Now, use hotter in a sentence. Think of another word or words with the same meaning.”
  • In Unit 5, Lesson: Reading to Learn About Visiting the Moon, Part 2, “Read the selections aloud to your student while he or she follows along.Play an audio recording of the two selections (if applicable) while your student follows in the text. Have your student read the selections aloud with someone else or with you, either chorally or by reading alternate sections. Have your student read the selections independently.”
  • In Unit 5, Lesson: Finding the Central Message of King Kafu and the Moon, Part 5, the teacher is instructed to, “When your student points out an unfamiliar word, read it out loud for him or her and ask him or her to repeat it. Help your student through the rest of the process.” In the lesson, the materials do not provide guidance to the Learning Guide as to how to help the student decode unknown words.
  • In Unit 6, Lesson: Reading One Classroom, Many Cultures, Part 3, with the help of the Learning Guide, students create a word web that uses context clues to figure out the meaning of the phrase, “takes part in a fiesta.”
  • In Unit 6, Lesson: Reading a Picnic in October, Part 4, this lesson contains explicit instruction for helping a student figure out unknown words. “The first step when you see a word you do not know is to look for clues in the sentence. Do you know the other words? Do any of the words you know give clues about the meaning of the word you do not know? Next, see if you can break the word into parts. Is there a suffix on the word? Is it a compound word? Do you know the meaning of any of the word parts? You can always look in a dictionary if you cannot figure out the meaning of a word. The dictionary might give more than one definition. You have to find the definition that makes the most sense in the sentence where you found the word. Sometimes, you might have to use more than one step to find the meaning of a word.” The Learning Guide then goes on to model and help the student with this process.

Students have limited opportunities to practice and read irregularly spelled words. Examples include:

  • In Unit 1, Lesson: Understanding the Central Message of Stellaluna, Part 2, students read several high-frequency words including: you, see, the, and ask. The student is presented with word cards and they spell the word and then say it.
  • In Unit 5, Lesson: Reading King Kafu and the Moon, Part 2, students practice reading some irregularly spelled high-frequency words, “Display High-Frequency Word Cards said, the, they, could, a, was, old, oh, what, you're, to, and you'll. Say the words on the cards and ask your student to identify their beginning sounds. Then, write and read aloud the sentence: They could see the old cat. Point to each word as you read it. Have your student say each word with you. Have your student write the sentence.”
  • In Unit 6, Lesson: Reading Whose is This, Part 2, students practice reading the following list of high frequency words: a, the, across, into they, have, everything, again, and are.
  • In Unit 6, Lesson: Reading a Picnic in October, Part 3, students review the following high frequency words :the, never, one, others, looks, people, a, behind, ears, and into.

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.
2/4
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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 1 partially 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.

Calvert Grade 1 materials do provide some practice with with segmenting syllables, some short vowel sounds, digraphs, and decoding one-syllable words in connected texts and tasks. However, the level of practice and application is not frequent or adequate. Although some word analysis skills are found in the units and parts, the materials do not provide enough opportunities for the students to practice or apply the skills that they are learning.

Some of the materials support students’ development learn grade-level word recognition and analysis skills (e.g. spelling-sound correspondences of digraphs, decode one-syllable words, syllable and vowel relationship, decode two-syllable words, read words with inflectional endings) in connected text and tasks. Examples include:

  • In Unit 1, Lesson: SuperMarket Goods and Services, Part 3, students read the decodable reader, June and Pete. It has words with long vowels and the opportunity for students to decode single syllable words as they read the text.
  • In Unit 2, Lesson: Comparing Going to School and Far From Home, Part 2, students practice decoding short u sounds from the decodable readers: Decodable Practice Reader 6A and Decodable Practice Reader 6B.
  • In Unit 2, Lesson: Reading A Fine, Fine School Day, Part 3, students identify and decode short a sounds when reading the Decodable Practice Reader 1A, "Hats."
  • In Unit 2, Lesson: Far From Home, Part 3, students learn about the inflectional ending -ing. Students say each sound of the words kicking and patting, and then the Learning Guide comes up with other -ing words that the students clap out the syllables.
  • In Unit 3, Lesson: What’s in the Hunter’s Money Jar, Part 2, students identify words with the inflectional ings of -ed, -s, and -ing. Students practice this skill by looking at a set of sentences that have different root words that they identify and meanings attached to the words.
  • In Unit 3, Lesson: Finding the Central Message of The Winners’ Choice, Part 3, the student is told, “You have learned about words that are spelled with sh and th. Now, look at words using those sounds that also have the sound of the word ball.” The Learning Guide is told, “Use Sound-Spelling Cards 47, 50, and 51 to review consonant digraphs sh and sound-spellings. Help your student identify the sound at the beginning or end of the words and the vowel sound.”
  • In Unit 4, Lesson: Arbor Day, Part 2, the student is told, “You have read words in Arbor Day Square in which y spells the long e or the long i sound, such as windy and by. Review the relevant sound-spellings for the words on p.145 with the alternate pronunciations of the letter y.” The student is to decode the words in the lists.
  • In Unit 4, Lesson: Tell It Again, Part 2, students are told, “Look at Decodable Practice Reader 14A. In this story, you will read many words with ng and nk. First, let’s look at those words. The Learning Guide is told, “Have your student decode the words in the lists on p. 169. Note any difficulties he or she may have and review the relevant sound-spellings. Make sure your student can read the high-frequency words.”

Materials provide some opportunities to read irregularly spelled words in connected text and tasks. Examples include:

  • In Unit 1, Lesson: Reading to Find Out How Animals Sleep, Part 3, students read, spell and write the irregularly spelled high-frequency word was.
  • In Unit 2, Lesson: Discovering the Words of the Recess Queen, Part 1, students practice spelling, reading and writing the high-frequency words they and the. Students also read these words in the decodable reader "Did They Win?"
  • In Unit 4, Lesson: Meet the Characters of Arbor Day Square, Part 3, students practice writing irregular past tense verbs. Students write a story using past tense irregular spelled words to complete their ELA Journal.
  • In Unit 4, Lesson: Meet the Characters of Arbor Day Square, Part 4, students practice saying and spelling the irregularly spelled high-frequency words said, want, and of.

Lessons and activities provide students some opportunities to learn grade-level word recognition and analysis skills while encoding (writing) in context and decoding words (reading) in connected text and tasks. There are more opportunities to decode compared to encoding grade-level words in context. Examples include:

  • In Unit 1, Lesson: Let’s Meet Frog and Toad!, Part 1, students practice spelling words phonetically, using what they know about sound-spelling relationships. The materials state, “Explain that the sounds in a word can give us hints about how a word is spelled. Then read the sentence, Toad stayed in bed.
  • In Unit 1, Lesson: Let's Meet Frog and Toad!, Part 1, students write words phonetically as dictated by the Learning Guide.
  • In Unit 1, Lesson: Understanding the Central Message of Stellaluna, Part 2, students read Decodable Practice Reader R1B, which has words with words f, b and g in it. On page 33, students are prompted to read all of the words and talk about with their Learning Guide any words they do not know.
  • In Unit 2, Lesson: Discovering the Words of the Recess Queen, Part 1, students practice spelling, reading, and writing the high frequency-words they and the. Students also read these words in the decodable reader "Did They Win?"
  • In Unit 3, Lesson: Reading the Winners' Choice, Part 2, students read the decodable practice reader "Fishing with Tad.:

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.
2/4
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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 1 partially 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.

Calvert Grade 1 materials provide some assessment opportunities for foundational skills. These opportunities are found in the end of the Unit quizzes. There are some quick check assessments that are used throughout the program, but these mainly focus on comprehension and text structure. There are missed opportunities for guidance on how to determine if a student needs additional support on mastery of skills based on assessment results. Protocols and guidance are minimal for how to support a student if the student is not understanding a skill and then how to re-assess the student.

Some 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:

  • There are Unit 1 and 2 quizzes which allow the Learning Guide to determine where the student is at in some foundational skills such as letter-sound identification. There are 20 questions on the Unit 1 assessment that combines comprehension and foundational skills questions.
  • In Unit 3, Lesson: The Winners Choice, Parts 1-4, there is one area of assessment within the 4 parts about assessing fluency, particularly expression, which occurs in Part 1. The Learning Guide is told, “While your student is reading, assess his or her fluency. Explain that reading with expression means changing voice while reading to show feelings or to emphasize important words. Read the first sentence on p. 8 in The Winners Choice. Explain that you will emphasize (or stress) the italicized word as you read. Point to sentences that end with a question mark or an exclamation mark. Have your student practice reading aloud with expression.” There is no recording mechanism such as an information sheet. There are no guidelines for what is proper speed, accuracy, and expression.
  • In the Unit 5 assessment the following foundational skill question is:
    • Question 14: “Which of the following words has the same vowel sound found in the word fire? Pick TWO that are correct. “
  • In the Unit 6 assessment the following foundational skill questions:
    • Question 20: “Find the word that is divided into syllables correctly.” Students are provided with the following options, “ret–urn, retur–n, r–eturn, re–turn”
    • Question 22: “Choose ALL of the words with the long /e/ sound.” Students are provided with the following choice, “me, red, eat, bed, seat, key.”

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

  • At the end of each lesson, students self-assess their understanding by answering the following question, “How well do you feel you understand the concepts from this lesson part?” The student then selects from the following choices, “I feel that I understand the concepts very well. I feel comfortable with the concepts. I feel that I need more practice with the concepts.” The teacher however isn’t provided with any further instruction for reteaching or enrichment based on the students’ answer.
  • Unit 5, Lesson: Learning About the Sun, Part 1, instructions for the Learning Guide to assess fluency are vague. The Learning Guide is instructed: “While your student is reading, assess his or her fluency.” The Learning Guide is not provided any further instructions regarding assessment such as words per minute benchmarks or how to score miscues.

Some of the materials support teachers with instructional adjustments to help students make progress toward mastery in foundational skills. Examples include:

  • In Unit 1, Lesson: Let’s Meet Stellaluna!, Part 2, the Learning Guide is prompted to read the story to the student, have them listen to an audio recording, or choral read if the student is struggling to read the story.
  • In Unit 1, Lesson: Let’s Meet Stellaluna!, Part 3, the Learning Guide is prompted that if they have been reading the story, because this is the third time the student has been exposed to the story, the Learning Guide should have them read it by reading sentence by sentence to the student or choral read to help the student in reading with feeling and fluency.
  • In Unit 1, Lesson: Let’s Meet Toad and Frog!, Part 3, students read the decodable reader "At a Mat." The Learning Guide is prompted to read the words on page 9 and note any words that caused the student problems when reading and have students do a sound-spelling protocol.
  • In Unit 2, Lesson: Comparing Going to School and Home, Part 2, students read the decodable reader "Duck Has Fun." The Learning Guide is prompted to help the student decode words they are struggling to read.

Indicator 1t

Materials, questions, and tasks provide high-quality lessons and activities that allow for differentiation of foundational skills.
2/4
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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 1 partially 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.

At times, Calvert materials provide high-quality lessons and activities to reach mastery of foundational skills for Grade 1 learners. However, multiple opportunities to learn each foundational skill are lacking. The foundational skills are often taught in one lesson. Sometimes the materials review foundational skills taught and learned. Materials do not routinely provide the guidance to the Learning Guide in areas where students may need more practice and in areas where student could use enrichment.

Some materials provide high-quality learning lessons and activities for every student to reach mastery of foundational skills. However, multiple opportunities to learn each foundational skill is lacking. Examples include:

  • In Unit 1, Lesson: Let’s Meet Stellaluna!, Part 3, students are shown the word cards with letter a. The Learning Guide is prompted to repeat the exercise with other sound cards. Then the Learning Guide says more words one at a time and the student identifies which words have a short a sound. Then students write and say the a sound word man. Students write and segment the word.
  • In Unit 1, Lesson: Understanding the Central Message of Stellaluna, Part 1, students read the story and the Learning Guide listens for accuracy. The Learning Guide prompts the student that accuracy is important in order to determine how well the student is reading.
  • In Unit 2, Lesson: Message of Recess Queen, Part 1, students reread, The Recess Queen, and the Learning Guide tracks for fluency and students reading with expression. The Learning Guide models reading a paragraph with emphasized expression pertaining to words in all capital letters and exclamation points.
  • In Unit 2, Lesson: Reading About Going to School All Over the World, Part 1, students work with the Learning Guide to determine which words have a short vowel e in them and then write them in their ELA journal. Students are prompted to spell the sounds of the words bed and elbow.
  • In Unit 5, Lesson: Finding the Central Message of King Kafu and the Moon, Part 1, the student practices reading the following sentence from King Kafu that contains high-frequency words, “Don’t worry,” the boy said, 'We will find the moon and bring it to you.’" The Learning Guide has the student practice saying and spelling the following high-frequency words: many, do, are, of, have, from, you, a, our, the, to, and, worry, about, now, two, again and come. The student then looks for high-frequency words in the decodable reader “My Family’s Pets.”
  • In Unit 5, Lesson: Finding the Central Message of King Kafu and the Moon, Part 4, the Learning Guide displays picture cards and discusses the sound differences between the ea spelling that produces long e and short e. The student and Learning Guide then practice spelling and sorting the following words: teach, health, reach, head, wealth, meat, head, jeans, feast, and leaf.

Materials provide minimal guidance to teachers for scaffolding and adapting lessons and activities to support each student’s needs in foundational skills. Examples include:

  • In Unit 1, Lesson: Let’s Meet Stellaluna!, Part 1, students read the story, "Batty." The Learning Guide is prompted to read the story, have the student listen to it on audio or using choral reading depending on the student’s reading skills.
  • In Unit 4, Lesson: Seeds Grow, offers the following help to the Learning Guide, “Note any difficulties your student has and review the relevant sound-spellings. Make sure your student can read the high-frequency words on the page.”
  • In Unit 5, Lesson: Reading King Kafu and the Moon, Part 1, when working on fluency, the Learning Guide is provided with the following suggestion if the student is struggling: “If your student struggles to read at an appropriate rate, have him or her listen to a recorded book as a model, then practice reading along with the recording.”

Students have minimal practice opportunities with each grade level foundational skill component in order to reach mastery. Examples include:

  • In Units 3 and 4, there are occasionally interactive games available to be played, which give students additional practice with each foundational skill.
  • In Unit 5, Lesson: Learning about the Sun, Part 2, students have opportunities within the lesson to practice the ue, ew and ui spelling patterns. The Learning Guide shows the student picture cards and words with the ue, ew and ui spelling patterns. The student practices filling in sentences that are missing words with those spelling patterns. For example "The bird____ up high. (flew)" The student reads the decodable reader “Clues for Sue” that contains more words with the ue, ew and ui spelling patterns.
  • In Unit 6, Lesson: Compare Characters, Part 1, students review syllable patterns again by reading the decodable text "Begin to Dance."
  • In Unit 6, Lesson: A Picnic in October, Part 2, the students learns about VC/V and V/CV syllable patterns. The student practices reading a word list that contains these two syllable patterns and then practices writing down the words and showing where the syllable break occurs.
  • In Unit 6, Lesson: Compare Characters, Part 2, the Learning Guide leads the student in breaking words into syllables. Words used include: visit, pilot, limit, dinner, paper and lazy. Students also practice using these words to complete a series of sentences.
  • In Unit 6, Lesson: Reading Whose is This?, Part 3, students learn about the suffixes -er and -or. Students practice breaking words such as visitor and singer into their word parts. In Unit 6, Part 5, Reading Whose is This?, students read the decodable text “Teacher, Actor or Sailor” that uses the same suffixes that were previously taught.

Gateway Two

Building Knowledge with Texts, Vocabulary, and Tasks

Partially Meets Expectations

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Gateway Two Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 1 partially meet the expectations for building students' knowledge and vocabulary to support and help grow students’ ability to comprehend complex texts independently and proficiently. Materials partially meet the criteria for texts are organized around a topic/topics to build students' ability to read and comprehend complex texts independently and proficiently. Materials partially meet the criteria for 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 and do not meet expectations that questions and tasks support students' ability to complete culminating tasks in which they demonstrate their knowledge of a topic. Materials support students' increasing writing skills over the course of the school year and include full support for students’ independent reading.

Criterion 2a - 2h

20/32

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 Grade 1 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.

Grade 1 materials consist of 6 units. Some units are built around a topic and the texts that students read build knowledge and vocabulary towards learning of that topic. Other units are based on a theme and texts that students read are related to that theme. The Unit topics/themes are sometimes lacking depth and as a result the texts used in the Lesson Parts are not always strongly related to the topic/theme. The lessons do sometimes provide structured instructional tasks leading to students’ ability to complete a PROJECT that is aligned to the Unit topic/theme.

The texts within a unit are typically organized around a topic, but in some situations the texts do not relate to the given topic. For example, in Unit 2 students are learning about the topic “My Favorite Sweet!” but the texts do not relate to this topic. Some of the topics are vague, such as Unit 6, which focuses on “Our Community Celebrates!” Units that do not have a unit project do not have a guiding question or culminating task to help determine if the students are building knowledge on the given topic. The texts provided are not ample to help the students build knowledge and work towards reading complex text.

Examples include, but are not limited to:

  • In Unit 1, the focus is “Story Writing.” Throughout Unit 1, students study the elements of a story (characters, setting, and plot). Some examples of these instructional tasks focused on building understanding of story elements:
    • In Unit 1, Best Day Ever!, Project, students will read and analyze the author’s craft in these stories Stellaluna by Janell Cannon, “Dragons and Giants” from Frog and Toad Together by Arnold Lobel, Time to Sleep by Denise Fleming, What Do You Do with a Tail Like This? by Steve Jenkins and Robin Page.
    • In Unit 1, Lesson: Let’s Meet Stellaluna!, Part 2, students watch the BrainPop Jr. movie: Character and think about how you would describe Stellaluna.
    • Unit 1, Lesson: Use Questions as a Reader and Writer, Part 2, students read the Poem “The Elephant” and think about how text and pictures work together by answering the following questions: “How would you describe elephants? How are they different from other animals? What details in the picture support these facts?”
  • In Unit 2, the focus is “My Favorite Sweet!” In this unit students focus on word choice and vocabulary, with a culminating project of creating a poster of his or her favorite dessert or treat. Throughout this unit students read:
    • A Fine, Fine School by Sharon Creech, The Recess Queen by Alexis O’Neill, Far From Home by Sue Pickford, and Going to School by Margaret Clyne, Rachel Griffiths, and Cynthia Benjamin.
    • These texts do not build knowledge on the unit topic.
  • In Unit 3, the focus is “Making Choices.” Throughout Unit 3, students are reading texts, engaging in discussion with their Learning Guide and writing about making choices. Some examples of these instructional tasks focused on building understanding of this topic are:
    • In Unit 3, Lesson: The Winners Choice, Part 3, after reading The Winners Choice, students answer question in their ELA Journal: "What ideas do the teammates have about how to spend the money?"
    • In Unit 3, Lesson: Things We Buy and Sell, Part 1, students fill out a Main Idea and Key Details Web after reading Goods and Services.
    • In Unit 3, Lesson: Supermarket and Goods, Part 2, after reading Both Goods and Services and Supermarket, students tell about how producers (the people who supply goods) and consumers (people who buy goods) are alike by using a Comparison Chart.
  • In Unit 4, the unit focus is “Planting for the Future.”
    • In Unit 4, Lesson: Meet the Characters of Arbor Day Square, Part 1, students read Arbor Day Square and practice retelling the story.
    • In Unit 4, Lesson: Meet the Characters of Arbor Day Square, Part 4, students read the poem “Garden Tip” by George Shannon. The students use this poem to determine “What words or phrases in the poem appeal to the senses?”
    • In Unit 4, Lesson: Comparing Information Between Texts, Part 4, students read How a Seed Grows. They use the text to practice asking questions about seeds and finding the answers in the text.
  • In Unit 5, the focus is the “Natural World.” Throughout Unit 5, students are reading texts, engaging in discussion with their Learning Guide and writing about the natural world. Some examples of these instructional tasks focused on building understanding of this topic are:
    • In Unit 5, Lesson: Message of King Kafu, Part 1, after reading King Kafu and the Moon, students will write a fairy tale about the moon.
    • In Unit 5, Lesson: Learn About Visiting the Moon, Part 1, the vocabulary for this lesson includes: glows, closer, valleys, smaller, orbit, possible, crescent, and astronauts.
    • In Unit 5, Lesson: Learning About the Sun, Part 5, to review some of the planets in the solar system that have many moons, students watch the video Exploring Our Solar System: Planets and Space for Kids.

In Unit 6, the unit focuses on “Our Community Celebrates!” Students read One Classroom, Many Cultures, A Picnic in October, Whose Is This?, and L is for Liberty.

    • In Unit 6, Lesson: Reading One Classroom, Many Cultures, Part 4, students read One Classroom, Many Cultures and answer questions about how students are similar and different from one another.
    • In Unit 6, Lesson: Understanding the Details of Whose Is This?, Part 2, students read Whose Is This? and start filling out a character web about two characters in the text. This text discusses different cultures and customs.

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 Grade 1 meet the criteria that materials contain sets of coherently sequenced questions and tasks that require students to analyze the language, key ideas, details, craft, and structure of individual texts.

The materials are coherently sequenced, with lesson parts connecting with previous learning. There is clear articulation of how work with previous texts, tasks and skills relates to new learning. The materials include questions and tasks with most texts requiring students to analyze language, key details, craft, and structure. Most lesson parts allow for in-depth analysis for some aspects of language, key details, craft, and structure. Most lessons include question types that help students build understanding, and integrate ideas and knowledge across several days. During each part, students had the opportunity to engage in orally discussing what they had read or writing a response in their English Language Arts Journal. Questions are sequenced from basic to more text-based and varied in type. Many of these skills are developed through the instructional tasks included in the PLUS format (Project, Learn, Use, Show) for each Unit. Each unit and/or part requires a different analysis of the language, structure, story elements, and craft, yet ample amount of practice is built into the program and cyclical planning ensures that concepts are introduced, taught, and then practiced at a higher level later in the unit or in another unit.

The following series of daily tasks and question sets exemplifies a coherent and connected sequence:

  • Every lesson part begins with a reminder of the previous work and lesson understanding and a connection to the new learning that is upcoming in the lesson. For example, in the Unit 6 Project: Our Community Celebrates, the end of unit task for learners states, “In this unit, you are going to learn something about a culture that is different from yours. You will interview people who are part of another culture. Then, you will write an opinion about why something from their culture is positive for your community.” In Unit 1, students read Whose Is This, a story about two girls who enjoy a special event in their town. Students write an opinion on which cultural fair activity in the story they would enjoy the most. Questions and tasks in this unit lead students to completing the final project. In Unit 6, Whose Is This, Part 2, students reread Chapter 1 of the story Whose Is This, then retell to the Learning Guide including key details, characters, and setting. When they finish the retell, they complete the Retelling Chart. In Unit 6, Whose Is This, Part 3, students read Chapter 2 of the story Whose Is This and complete a Word Connections Chart. The directions state, “Next, find the word colorful on p. 10 of Whose Is This? The author uses the word to tell about the objects in the box. Write the word colorful in the first column. What does colorful mean? Write its meaning in the second column. Now, think of something in real life that is colorful. Write your example in the Connections column. Find three more words in the text, and write them in the first column. Then, fill in the rest of the chart.” In Unit 6, Reading Whose Is This, Part 4, students reread Whose Is This and begin collecting evidence for their opinion piece. The directions state, “Last time, you started planning your opinion piece about which activity at the cultural fair in Whose Is This? you would enjoy most. Take out the Main Idea Chart you worked on. Look at the topic and opinion you wrote about in the Main Idea box. Go back to the book Whose Is This? Look for details in the story that support your opinion.”

Evidence of the analysis of language, key ideas and details, craft, and structure include, but are not limited to:

  • In Unit 2, Lesson: Discovering the Words of the Recess Queen, Parts 1 and 2; In Part 1, students read Recess Queen and learned about how the author used vocabulary and text to reach out to the reader’s five senses. In Part 2, students are rereading Recess Queen with vocabulary understanding and are learning about the context clues to find meaning of unknown words. As students read, they are asked to use the following questions to frame their thinking while keeping the concept of context clues in mind: “What clues does the author give about how the kids feel?” “How do these clues help me understand new words?” The curriculum guides the student to turn back to page 35 to use the illustration to gain meaning from the text. This requires students to have a firm understanding of the story structure. The questions continue, “What does Jean do to the other kids? What does the picture say about the silly words the author uses?” Later in the lesson, students are encouraged to back to their writing piece and add a reason to their opinion utilizing at least one sensory word from the story, which mimics the author’s craft and supports the text’s vocabulary and structure. Students are encouraged to use what they have learned from Recess Queen (context clues, meaning from illustrations, story structure) to revise their work.
  • In Unit 2, Lesson: Reading A Fine, Fine School, Part 2, students work on how to describe characters. After reading A Fine, Fine School students are asked, “Look at each picture. Think about how the picture connects to words on the page. What do the pictures show you about the characters?” Throughout the lesson the Learning Guide discusses with the students what the words and illustrations tell you about the characters. Students then fill out a character web about a character from the story. The prompt states, “Fill in your Character Web about Beans by putting his name in the circle in the middle of the web. Add a detail about Beans in each of the other circles on the web. Use words to describe what Beans looks like and what Beans does.”
  • In Unit 3, Lesson: The Winners Choice, Part 2, students reread the story The Winners Choice and have a discussion with their Learning Guide on using illustrations and details to describe a major event(s) from the story. Students then complete a task, with the goal that readers can use details in the story to describe or tell about the literary elements (e.g., character, setting). Students are to respond to the questions below in their English Language Arts Journal and then discuss them with their Learning Guide: “Which sentence on page 3 helps you figure out why the team has a trophy? What idea does Juan have on p. 10 about how the team can spend the prize money? Which page has an illustration of what happened to the soccer field at Los Leones School?”
  • In Unit 4, Lesson: Meet the Characters of Arbor Day Square, Part 1, the students focus on the characters and setting in a story. After reading Arbor Day Square and discussing the events in the story, the students look at the words and illustrations used to describe the characters. After discussing the details with the Learning Guide, students are asked to “Use the details to draw a picture of Papa in your English Language Arts Journal. Then, write a sentence underneath describing what Papa looks like. Include details in your sentence. Then, write another sentence explaining what Papa is doing in your picture.”
  • In Unit 5, Lesson: Learning About the Sun, Part 3, students have previously worked on informational text structure, adding their own text feature to their project, and are now going to explore using descriptive words to finish their books. Students reread The Sun and take notes using a word web. Students write the conclusion for their book with two to threw sentences and are encouraged to think about the following as they finish up: “What is the main idea of your book? How can you retell the main idea to help conclude your book? Would it be better to end your book with a question or a sentence? Why? How do you want readers to remember your book? Do you want them to continue to think about ideas you presented in your book?”
  • In Unit 5, Lesson: Reading King Kafu and the Moon, Part 1 students focus on the characters as they read through King Kafu and the Moon. After reading through the text, the students answer the following questions in their English Language Arts Journal: “How do the villagers feel about King Kafu? How do you know? What are some words that tell you how King Kafu acts and feels?” The students then create a Character Web about King Kafu. The directions state “Write Character Web at the top of the page. Then, write King Kafu in the circle. Write the words and phrases you find on pages 4 and 5 that describe King Kafu on the lines.”

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 materials reviewed for Grade 1 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.

The questions posed throughout each unit require students to return to text selections in order to recall details, analyze various aspects of the text, and evaluate characters’ actions and motivations. Question sets are sequenced coherently within each lesson to support students in understanding the story elements, structure as well as author’s purpose, perspective, and craft. However, the focus of the questions do not consistently support students' building knowledge of a topic.

Some examples illustrating the sequences of questions and tasks include the following:

  • In Unit 1, students read Stellaluna by Janell Cannon and discuss the characters, setting, and plot. After several reads they retell the story to their Learning Guide. This activity will help prepare students for writing their own narrative, but does not promote building knowledge.
  • In Unit 1, Lesson: Reading to Find Out How How Animals Sleep, Part 1, students read Time to Sleep, focusing on text features and answer the following questions: “What information do the pictures and headings tell you? How do the pictures and headings help you understand the text?” In Part 2, students reread Time to Sleep and answer the following questions: “How do the text features help you find information quickly? What kind of information do you find?” In Part 3, students reread Time to Sleep and answer the following questions: “What kinds of details are in the book? What do they all have in common?” These questions are coherently sequenced, but focus on reading strategies instead of on topical content development.
  • In Unit 4, Lesson: Characters of Arbor Day, Part 3, LEARN Card, students talk about the follwing questions with the Learning Guide and use examples from the story to support their answers: “Look at the last sentence on page 9. How is the heavy basket related to Mr. Klein placing an order? How did you figure this out? Point to the details in the text that helped you. Look at the first sentence on page 13. What comes on the train? How did you figure this out?” The focus of these questions are again on reading strategies instead of on knowledge building.

Some sequences of questions and tasks provide some exposure to building knowledge, although the teacher may need to supplement to assure that focus is held for students. Some examples include: 

  • In Unit 4, Lesson: Information Between Texts, Part 4, LEARN Card, students write the answer to the following question in their ELA Journal: “What does a seed need to grow?” Students look in both The Life Cycle of an Apple Tree and How a Seed Grows for information. In this example, students are directed to not only comprehend the text,  but also to understand the larger topic. 
  • In Unit 5, Lesson: Texts About the Moon, Part 2, students reread portions of both King Kafu and the Moon and Let’s Visit the Moon and answer the following questions: “How can I tell which one is a story? How can I tell which one is an informational text? How are the story and the informational texts alike? Think about what you learned in Let’s Visit the Moon. Read page 7 of King Kafu and the Moon. What can you figure out about why the moon looks big and bright and round? What details did the authors of King Kafu and the Moon and Let’s Visit the Moon give about what the moon can look like?” In this example, the texts read and some questions include support of building knowledge, but the teacher may need to supplement to assure that consistency.

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).
0/4
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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 1 do not 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).

The Grade 1 curriculum contains six units, of which only units 1, 2, and 6 contain culminating projects. As students move through the unit, they are working on specific activities integrating reading and writing that will help them complete the project. As the student engages in the learning provided in each unit, they are guided through limited activities that help to complete the overall project.

Rather than demonstrating comprehension and knowledge of a topic, projects focus mainly on writing skills and writing process elements. Students utilize Information from some of the texts read during the units. Some units do not include culminating tasks in the form of projects. They include short and extended writing tasks connected to texts and skills taught during the unit. Students demonstrate skills developed during the unit during these tasks.

Examples include, but are not limited to:

  • In Unit 1, Project: The Best Day Ever!, students are introduced to the end of unit project. The prompt states, “This unit will help you get ready to tell your own story. First, you will read some stories. They will help you understand what makes a good story. Then you will create a story. You will tell about the best day you ever had!” The rubric assesses the students on five criteria: situation, characters, setting, plot and time words, and word choice. There is also a collaboration section. It states, “What is your very favorite story? Share it with your group. Later, you can come back to this page and read what stories other kids like best.” This culminating task covers multiple standards.
  • In the Unit 2, My Favorite Sweets!, Project, students will study word choice, learn new vocabulary, and discover the power of description using words and illustrations. The student will create and publish a poster about his or her favorite sweet or dessert! By reading a series of stories that use descriptive language and vivid illustrations, the student will begin to understand how authors use words and images to help readers understand their point of view. The student will read and analyze the author’s use of descriptive language and illustrations in: A Fine, Fine School by Sharon Creech, The Recess Queen by Alexis O’Neill, Far from Home by Sue Pickford, and Going to School by Margaret Clyne, Rachel Griffiths, and Cynthia Benjamin. In creating a poster, the student will tell about his or her favorite sweet. To begin, they will list four or five words describing the dessert. The student may also wish to relate an experience with that dessert, such as a tradition associated with the dessert. The student should come to an opinion about the dessert and express it on the poster, supporting the opinion with interesting facts and illustrations that connect to his or her ideas. They may create the poster online using Canva or use a variety of magazine images, online images, and other craft materials to create a hard copy of the poster.
  • In the Unit 6, Our Community Celebrates!, Project, students will interview two people, preferably two first-grade students, who are different in some way culturally. The student will ask these people about one custom in their family, then he or she will write an opinion about why this custom is a positive thing for the community. The custom could be a holiday celebration, a special family celebration, or a community activity. The student will begin his or her project by reading three narratives that include details about other cultures in the United States. These narratives include: One Classroom, Many Cultures, A Picnic in October, Whose Is This?, and L Is for Liberty. In this unit, the student will read three narratives and a nonfiction text about the various cultures in America and communities and places that are important to the American identity. The project will help the student extend his or her understanding of cultural practices that differ from his or her own. Over three units, your student has been learning to write opinion pieces. This project will represent the highlight of opinion writing for Grade 1.

Indicator 2e

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 1 partially 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.

The Grade 1 Language Arts curriculum materials offer some opportunities for students to interact with and build academic vocabulary words in and across texts. Vocabulary is introduced at the start of almost every lesson in some units, but rarely referred back to during the instruction across the Lesson Parts. Word-learning strategies are the focus of the Benchmark Vocabulary lessons throughout some units to increase student independence when coming to unknown words in text. The Calvert Grade 1 instructional materials do not provide guidance for the Learning Guide that outlines a cohesive year-long vocabulary development component and there are limited opportunities for students to learn, practice, apply, and transfer words into familiar and new contexts. Examples of vocabulary outlined include:

  • Vocabulary Lists:
  • In Unit 1, Lesson: Reading to Find Out How Animals Sleep, Part 1 students are given a list of vocabulary words found in the text. The students and the Learning Guide are not given any instructions about these vocabulary words at this point in the lesson. In Unit 1, Reading to Find Out How Animals Sleep, Part 3 students choose from the words sleep, animals, and sort. They are then asked, “Draw a picture of it in your ELA Journal or textbook. Then write a sentence using the word.” These are three of the four words listed in Part 1 of this lesson.
  • Unit 2, Lesson: Finding the Central Message Of A Fine, Fine School, Part 1 Vocabulary List: office, worried, younger, enormous, and cheer.
  • Unit 4, Lesson: Meet the Characters of Arbor Day Square, Part 1 Vocabulary List: logs, lumber, neighbors, parade, prairie, sapling, shade, skips, soil, town, and unload.
  • In Unit 5, Lesson: Read to Learn About Visiting the Moon, Part 3 students are given a list of vocabulary words for the text, but there are not instructions given regarding those words in that part of the lesson. Then, in Unit 5, Read to Learn About Visiting the Moon, Part 4 students are given questions to discuss with their Learning Guide and write in their ELA notebook. The Teaching Notes provide sample answers. The sample answers contain two vocabulary words, closer and orbit, and are placed in bold within the Teaching Notes. Other than bolding the words, there are no directions for the Learning Guide on how or if they should instruct students to use vocabulary words in their responses.
  • High Frequency Words:
    • Unit 6, Reading One Classroom, Many Cultures, Part 2 High Frequency Words: Student instructions state, “You can use what you know about sounds and letters to read some words. Some words you have to read by remembering the letters in them. Look at the words on the cards your Learning Guide shows you. Work with your Learning Guide to read the words on the cards”.
  • Unit 6, Lesson: A Picnic in October, Part 3 High Frequency Words: Student instructions state, “You can use what you know about sounds and letters to sound and spell out some words. You must learn to spell some words by remembering the letters in them.Look at these words: the, never, one, others, looks, people, a, behind, ears, and into.Go over how to say these words with your Learning Guide. When you are finished, choose one of the words and write a sentence using it in your ELA Journal.
  • Benchmark Vocabulary:
    • Unit 2, Lesson: Discovering the Words of The Recess Queen, Part 2: Students are provided the following instructions when they come across a word they don’t know, “The words around a word you don’t know can give you clues. They help you figure out the meaning of the word you don’t yet know. There are also clues in the illustrations. Complete the Context Clues Chart. Look at page 33 in the story. The author uses the word swung. What does swung mean? You can find out by looking at the other words around the word swung. Write the word swung in the chart under Unknown Word. Then, write words you see nearby that help you figure out the meaning”.
    • Unit 4, Lesson: Reading to Learn How Seeds Grow, Part 1: Students are instructed to do the following when they encounter an unknown word, “When you read, sometimes you find words that you don’t know. You can use the pictures and clues in the text to help you figure out the meanings of these words. Let’s use a Word Meaning Chart to figure out the meaning of the word seed on page 44. Look at page 44. The text says, “You can find apple seeds inside apples.” You know what an apple is. You know what inside means. Look at the picture on p. 45. You can see the inside of an apple. The little brown things inside the apple must be seeds.
  • Unit 4, Lesson: Meet the Characters of Arbor Day Square, Part 1 Benchmark Vocabulary: Student instructions state, “Unit 4, Meet the Characters of Arbor Day Square, Part 1 Vocabulary List: logs, lumber, neighbors, parade, prairie, sapling, shade, skips, soil, town, and unload”.
  • Unit 6, Lesson: Reading One Classroom, Many Cultures, Part 5 Benchmark Vocabulary: Student instructions state, “When you read, you will find words you do not know. Let’s look at some ways you can find the meaning of words you do not know. The first step when you see a word you do not know is to look for clues in the sentence. Do you know the other words? Do any of the words you know give clues about the meaning of the word you do not know? Next, see if you can break the word into parts. Is there a suffix on the word? Is it a compound word? Do you know the meaning of any of the word parts? You can always look in a dictionary if you cannot figure out the meaning of a word. The dictionary might give more than one definition. You have to find the definition that makes the most sense in the sentence where you found the word. Sometimes, you might have to use more than one step to find the meaning of a word. Let’s look at a word from One Classroom, Many Cultures. Read these sentences from page 3: Peek inside a store. Take a look at a park. Look at the word peek. Say the word with your Learning Guide. Are there clues in the sentence that can tell us what peek means? This word is a verb, which means it tells an action. Are there any other clues about the word’s meaning? Find the words prepare and design on page 8. Do you know the meanings of these words? If not, follow the steps above to find their meanings. If you know these words, find one word you do not know in the story. Find its meaning, and write a sentence using the word. Show your sentence to your Learning Guide”.
  • Application of Vocabulary Activities:
    • Unit 4, Lesson: Learn How Seeds Grow, Part 1 – Learn Card: Students use a Word Meanings Chart to figure out the meaning of the word seed on page 44.
    • Unit 6, Lesson: Reading One Classroom, Many Cultures, Part 3: Students are instructed to do the following when they encounter unknown words, “Readers can figure out the meaning of words and phrases in a text by looking for clues in the words and pictures. They can then use the words and phrases to tell about what they have learned. With your Learning Guide, you will learn to find the meaning of a phrase that you do not know. Now, complete the Word Web with your Learning Guide. Look at the phrase “takes part in a fiesta” on page 12. Put this phrase in the middle of your Word Web. Look for clues in the words and pictures that tell you the meaning of the phrase. Write the clues in the bubbles on your Word Web”.

Indicator 2f

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 1 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.

At the beginning of each unit, background knowledge for content and writing skill areas is embedded into the first lessons. As the unit continues, selected texts, writing tasks, writing stamina, and any projects increase in length and complexity. The learning guide gradually releases responsibility to students; from modeling and full support to independent completion with scaffolded support. Students demonstrate this understanding through a variety of instructional tasks within the PLUS structure (Project, Show, Use, Learn).

Throughout the units, students have multiple opportunities to respond using text-based evidence to support their answers. Students respond in their English Language Arts Journals, through discussion with their learning guide, show their learning via interactive online tasks, and complete culminating projects that encompass a unit’s worth of knowledge. Students participate in shorter writing tasks and have opportunities to go back to the writing tasks to revise by adding content or incorporating the skill they are learning (ie: description) In multiple units throughout, the smaller writing tasks are pieces of the culminating project. Each unit has an assessment or culminating task that at some point would have required interaction from all four literacy domains (reading, writing, listening, and speaking).

According to the Calvert Support Services document, “Instead of providing ancillary materials for Learning Guides, Calvert provides customers access to highly-trained, certified professional educators for any questions or needs that arise from the curriculum! Education Counselors have considerable experience in the classroom and are extensively trained on the curriculum. The Advisory Teaching Service (ATS) is an optional service that may be purchased from Calvert that enhances the services offered by education counselors.”

  • In Unit 1, Lesson: Reading to Find Out How Animals Sleep, Part 4, students write informational text. The prompt states, “Read A Very Big Animal . Choose one picture. Write a heading for the picture. Next, find at least two facts about elephants in the text.” This prompt comes at the end of a lesson where students have worked to find details in the text.
  • In Unit 2, Lesson: Going to School All Over, Part 3, the LEARN Card directions state “Look at pages 20–21 in Sleuth. Read the text, "Pizza, Pizza Everywhere!" Then, write a detail you learned about Australia. Write a detail you learned about Australia in Going to School.
  • In Unit 3, Lesson: Reading About the Things We Buy and Sell, Part 4, students write an opinion piece. Earlier in the lesson students wrote an opinion about government service. In this lesson, students are responding to the prompt, “In this assignment, you will do the same thing, but you will think about producers. A producer sells goods and services.” Students are given steps to help them create a web and then asked to list five producers, five opinions, and five reasons.
  • In Unit 4, Lesson: Information Between Texts, Part 4, the LEARN Card directions state “You read How a Seed Grows. You asked questions about seeds. You found answers in the book. Great writers ask questions to find information. They look for answers in books. They look in other places, like websites, too. Today, you will find the answer to a question. You will look in two books. Careful writers look for information in more than one place. Let’s look for the answer to a question: “How long do oak trees grow?”
  • In Unit 5, Lesson: Comparing Texts About the Moon, Part 1, students work on revising a narrative they have written during the unit. The directions state, “Read your narrative aloud to your Learning Guide. Talk about ways to revise it. Write a list of ways make your story better.”
  • In Unit 6, Lesson: Reading L is for Liberty, Part 1, the LEARN Card PROJECT directions state, “Listen to your Learning Guide read L is for Liberty. Answer this question in your English Language Arts Journal: What facts did you learn about the Statue of Liberty?”

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.
2/4
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 1 partially meet the criteria that materials include a progression of focused research projects to encourage students to develop knowledge in a given area by confronting and analyzing different aspects of a topic using multiple texts and source materials.

Units include some projects that incorporate research skills. Texts read throughout the given unit are at times, used to complete projects. Students complete projects that encourage them to utilize skills learned and develop knowledge of some texts and some sources. While opportunities for students to develop research skills are present, students do not necessarily need to analyze a topic in order to complete the project. There are opportunities for students to engage with print and digital materials through the LEARN Cards to increase their skills in order to pursue answers to questions related to the content.

  • In Unit 1, Lesson: Use Questions as a Reader and Writer, Part 4, students complete work for their unit long project. In order to complete their narrative on the best day ever, students determine main events and details. The prompt states, “Now, you will choose the events that you are going to write about. You will only write about two or three events. The events you choose should be the most important ones. Then, you will think about the smaller details that will tell about these events.”
  • In the Unit 2 Project, My Favorite Sweets, students create a poster of their favorite dessert or candy. This poster is created independently. While it is opinion based, students will need to research their candy to answer the following questions: "What is its history? How is it made? Why is it famous?" Students can complete this project without using information from the unit.
  • In Unit 3, Lesson: Comparing Supermarket and Goods and Services, Part 5, students complete a short research project. The prompt states, “You will make connections about the people who get things ready to sell and the people who save money to buy things. You will find connections between producers and consumers. Think about the following questions as you read: What do the details of this text tell about producers? What do the details of this text tell about consumers?”

Indicator 2h

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 1 meet the expectations for materials providing a design, including accountability, for how students will regularly engage in a volume of independent reading either in or outside of class.

The materials provide some ideas for independent reading. The Before You Begin section states there is a reading log. The lessons provide scaffolding opportunities to help foster independent reading. Guidance is provided through the Teaching Notes.The Before You Begin section says that the students will be reading 2-3 books per week outside their class texts.

The LEARN Card activities as students are encouraged and reminded to read books independently, while noting the titles of the books read in their Reading Log. In the Getting Started portion of Calvert’s platform, the following information is provided for students:

“You should be working to read at least 2–3 books per week in addition to the books in your ELA course. Your Reading Log is a great way to see how much you have read and the kinds of books you enjoy reading. To create your Reading Log, make a table that contains the book’s title, author, number of pages, and the dates you were reading the book. Remember to keep your Reading Log up to date all year long, since you will refer to it in some of your lessons. To find texts to read outside of your classwork, you can use independent reading resources, or visit your local library and ask your librarian”.

Information about Independent Reading expectations is found in the “Before You Begin” portion at the beginning of the school year. Calvert suggests 30 minutes of independent reading per day of instruction. The Learning Guide is at liberty to decide when students actively engage in Independent Reading throughout the day.

Students are asked to keep a Reading Log for their ELA course. They are expected to read at least read at least 2–3 books per week in addition to the books in their ELA course. Their Reading Log is meant to serve as a measure of how much they have read and the kinds of books they enjoy reading. Students create their own Reading Log by making a table that contains the book’s title, author, number of pages, and the dates they read. Some unit lessons refer to the Reading Log. A link to Independent Reading Resources is provided for the Learning Guide. It contains the independent reading Lexile levels for each grade band and resource links with suggested reading lists.

When reading texts during a Lesson, the Learning Guide is offered suggestions for how to read with students that includes read the text aloud to the student, play an audio recording of the text (if applicable) while the student follows in the text or have the student repeat after you, whisper-read with you, or read along with you.

  • In the Before You Begin section, there is a “Reading Log” section. In this section, it states, “You will be asked to keep a Reading Log for your ELA course. You should be working to read at least 2–3 books per week in addition to the books in your ELA course.” This section also includes a link titled “independent reading resources,” which helps the students find texts outside the classwork to read. The Before You Begin section also has a “Text Selection” section that states, “As you select texts to read independently, find books that have similar challenges to what you are reading, as well as finding books of different genres and topics. Use your Reading Log to create a balanced reading life!”
  • In the Independent Reading Text Selection link provided in the Before You Begin section a quantitative lexile level chart is provided. Under the grade band listed as “K-1” it says, “N/A (Learning Guides should read aloud to students).” There is no further explanation on how the Learning Guide should assist kindergartners grow their independent reading on this document.
  • In Unit 1, Lesson: Let’s Meet Frog and Toad!, Part 2, students reread the poem “Dragons and Giants” from Frog and Toad Together. The Teaching Note states, “In each part of this lesson, your student will reread the entire poem “Dragons and Giants.” Rereading is an excellent strategy to support young readers in learning fundamental skills. Ensure that your student rereads the entire story each time. Select the appropriate option for your student: Read the story aloud to your student while he or she follows in the text. Play an audio recording of the story (if applicable) while your student follows in the text. Have your student read the story aloud with someone else or with you, either chorally or by reading alternate sections. Have your student read the story independently.” This provides some instruction for the Learning Guide on independent reading.
  • In Unit 3, Lesson: Find Out What’s in Hunter’s Money Jar, Part 2, students are provided with the Decodable Practice Reader 8A. After the students decode the words on the list, they are suppose to read the story. The Teaching Notes state, “Then, have your student read the story if he or she is able. Listen as your student reads and provide corrective feedback about his or her decoding and fluency. If your student is unable to read independently, read the story and have your student follow along as you decode words.” This provides some instruction for the Learning Guide on listening to independent reading, but it does not provide the Learning Guide with a form to help track the students.
  • In Unit 5, Lesson: Finding the Central Message of King Kafu and the Moon, Part 4, students reference their Reading Log. The Teaching Notes state, “Ask your student to take out his or her Reading Log and share the books he or she has read this week. Encourage him or her to talk about favorite characters in the stories.” This instruction seems to stand alone and does not seem to relate to the rest of the lesson.
  • Unit 6, Lesson: Reading One Classroom, Part 5, from the Learn Card, students are reminded to read books for fun in their free time, record the books in their Reading Log and write a few details about each book.

Gateway Three

Usability

Not Rated

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

Criterion 3a - 3e

Indicator 3a

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

Indicator 3b

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

Indicator 3c

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

Indicator 3d

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

Indicator 3e

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

Criterion 3f - 3j

Materials support teacher learning and understanding of the Standards.

Indicator 3f

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

Indicator 3g

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

Indicator 3h

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

Indicator 3i

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

Indicator 3j

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

Criterion 3k - 3n

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

Indicator 3k

Materials regularly and systematically offer assessment opportunities that genuinely measure student progress.
N/A

Indicator 3l

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

Indicator 3l.i

Assessments clearly denote which standards are being emphasized.
N/A

Indicator 3l.ii

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

Indicator 3m

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

Indicator 3n

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

Criterion 3o - 3r

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

Indicator 3o

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

Indicator 3p

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

Indicator 3q

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

Indicator 3r

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

Criterion 3s - 3v

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

Indicator 3s

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

Indicator 3t

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

Indicator 3u

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

Indicator 3u.i

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

Indicator 3u.ii

Materials can be easily customized for local use.
N/A

Indicator 3v

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

Additional Publication Details

Report Published Date: 04/15/2019

Report Edition: 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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