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
20
37
42
32
37-42
Meets Expectations
21-36
Partially Meets Expectations
0-20
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 5 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. The instructional materials partially meet the criteria for materials, questions, and tasks address grade-level CCSS for foundational skills by providing explicit instruction and assessment in phonics and word recognition that demonstrate a research-based progression.

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 5 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, but are not limited to, the following:

  • In Unit 1, students read Night of the Spadefoot Toads by Bill Harley. Night of the Spadefoot Toads is a realistic fiction story by an award-winning author. This engaging story includes a credible and well-developed child character.
  • In Unit 1, students read Rainforest Food Chains by Heidi Moore. Rainforest Food Chains is a strongly written informational text that is supported with powerful photography. The text helps answer students’ questions through their analysis of details and examples provided in the text. The text includes rich, domain-specific vocabulary that helps build students’ knowledge.
  • In Unit 2, students read Real-Life Superheroes by Alison Hawes. Real-Life Superheroes is an informational nonfiction text designed as multiple short biographies about real people who create significant difference for others or a cause. The text includes multiple text features (e.g., statistics, timelines, and photographs). The knowledge demands include historical knowledge about the Civil Rights Movement and the Holocaust.
  • In Unit 2, students read The Road to Freedom by Lesa Cline Ransome. The Road to Freedom is a historical fiction text about a girl and her mother escaping slavery through the underground railroad and helping others to do the same. The text uses sensory details, flashbacks, integration of historical figures into a fictional text, and an epilogue. The text requires knowledge about the history of slavery and the Underground Railroad.
  • In Unit 3, students read George’s Secret Key to the Universe by Lucy Hawking and Stephen Hawking. George’s Secret Key to the Universe is a science fiction narrative that contains scientific facts about the Solar System and space. The text contains dialogue, a chronological structure, and illustrations and text features that support comprehension. Students are exposed to domain-specific and academic vocabulary as well as scientific facts and theories, and astronomical concepts and phenomena.
  • In Unit 3, students read Jess and Layla’s Astronomical Assignment by Laura Langstrom. This science fiction narrative about time travel and astronomy. The text contains scientific and historical facts about astronomers and theories. Students are exposed to domain-specific and academic vocabulary and gain an understanding of basic astronomy facts and changing theories about Earth and the solar system.
  • In Unit 4, students read Explorers: Triumphs and Troubles by Paul Mason. This informational text contains descriptions of various explorers throughout the continents. Students learn about the challenges that they faced along their journeys along with accounts of their exploration of lands that they had previously not seen.
  • In Unit 4, students read Pedro’s Journal by Pam Conrad. This story is based on research about Christopher Columbus, and it is recounted through journal entries created by the main character, Pedro. This text contains engaging illustrations and strong academic vocabulary.

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 5 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 module. Additional supplementary texts are included, resulting in a wide distribution of genres and text types as required by the standards, including biography, folktale, historical fiction, informational text, science fiction, tall tale, realistic fiction, and narrative nonfiction.

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

  • Unit 1, Lesson: Can Ben Find a Home in His New Home?: Night of the Spadefoot Toads by Bill Harley
  • Unit 1, Lesson: Living in Shells: Shells by Cynthia Rylant
  • Unit 1, Lesson: Comparing Stories of Kids Facing Problems: Hatchet by Gary Paulsen
  • Unit 1, Lesson: Comparing Stories of Kids Facing Problems: The Best Community Project Ever by Joan Nichols
  • Unit 1, Lesson: Washed Up!: Washed Up by Payal Kapadia
  • Unit 2, Lesson: The Road to Freedom: The Road to Freedom by Lesa Cline-Ransome
  • Unit 2, Lesson: Comparing Texts about Heroes: “Harriet Tubman” by Eloise Greenfield
  • Unit 2, Lesson: Comparing Texts about Heroes: Operation Clean Sweep by Darlene Bailey Beard
  • Unit 3, Lesson: Jess and Layla’s Astronomical Assignment : Jess and Layla’s Astronomical Assignment by Lucy Courtenay
  • Unit 3, Lesson: George’s Secret Key to the Universe: George’s Secret Key to the Universe by Lucy and Stephen Hawking
  • Unit 3, Lesson: The Man Who Went to the Far Side of the Moon: The Man Who Went to the Far Side of the Moon by Janet Schulman
  • Unit 4, Lesson: Sail to the Americas: Pedro’s Journal by Pam Conrad
  • Unit 4, Lesson: Looking Beyond the Horizon: Beyond the Horizon by Paul Mason

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

  • Unit 1, Lesson: Rain Forest Food Chains: Rain Forest Food Chains by Heidi Moore
  • Unit 1, Lesson: Living Wild Among Skyscrapers: Pale Male by Janet Schulman
  • Unit 2, Lesson: Real-Life Super Heroes: Real-Life Super-Heroes by Alison Hawes
  • Unit 2, Lesson: The Great Migration: Angel Island by Alice K. Flanagan
  • Unit 2, Lesson: Comparing Texts about Heroes: Cesar Chavez: Champion of Workers by Tyler Schumacher
  • Unit 3, Lesson: Our Mysterious Universe: Our Mysterious Universe by Laura Langston
  • Unit 4, Lesson: Let’s Explore Explorers!: Explorers: Triumphs and Troubles by Paul Mason

Indicator 1c

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 5 meet the criteria for texts having the appropriate level of complexity for the grade according to quantitative analysis, qualitative analysis, and relationship to their associated student task.

Most anchor and supporting texts fall between the text complexity range for second and third grade. Examples of texts that support appropriate complexity include, but are not limited to, the following:

Unit 1

  • Night of the Spadefoot Toads by Bill Harley, 610L: Realistic fiction text that includes information about ecology and environmental science (adaptation and habitat preservation); straightforward chronological structure; chapters divided into sections; Informal language in dialogue between characters; includes idioms and scientific/technical vocabulary. While this Lexile falls below the grade level recommendation, the text is of value and is of value at this grade level.
  • Washed Up! by Payal Kapadia, 910L: Fictional elements in a story of survival/wilderness; internal vs. external conflict; character actions and reactions revealing characterization; chronological structure; dialogue moves plot forward in episodes; parallel storylines; chapters divided into sections; plot set in context of a television show;some domain-specific vocabulary; lengthy sentence structure; family dynamics;
  • “Shells” by Cynthia Rylant, 640L: Students analyze internal conflict arising from familial issues with mature themes. While this Lexile falls below the grade level recommendation, the text is of value and is of value at this grade level.
  • Hatchet by Gary Paulsen, 980L: Realistic fiction in which the young protagonist faces both internal and external conflict. Students must contextualize the excerpt within a broader narrative that is indicated through summary blurb.

Unit 2

  • The Road to Freedom by Lesa Cline Ransome, 780L: Narrative realistic fiction, in which students read about a young girl and her mother as they embark on their journey to escape slavery. Students are able to utilize strong sensory details along with academic vocabulary within the text.
  • Real-Life SuperHeroes by Alison Hawes, 1030L: Informative text, in which students learn about real people as they courageously stand up for their beliefs and advocate for themselves and those around them. Students are able to delve deeply into the text to analyze the details and main idea, and students are able to utilize both academic and domain-specific vocabulary within the text.

Unit 3

  • George’s Secret Key to the Universe by Lucy Hawking and Stephen Hawking, 850L: Students distinguish fact from fiction in this science fiction narrative. Text contains scientific facts and theories through the theme of scientific discovery and character change. Students are exposed to domain specific and academic vocabulary about the solar system and space.
  • Jess and Layla’s Astronomical Assignment by Laura Langston, 910L: Students build on distinguishing fact from fiction in this science fiction narrative. Text contains domain specific and academic vocabulary utilizing the theme of scientific discovery. Students are exposed to scientific and historical facts about astronomers and theories about Earth and the solar system.

Unit 4

  • Explorers: Triumphs and Troubles by Paul Mason, 1000L: Informative text, in which students learn about various explorers throughout the world. Students are tasked with analyzing details to understand the text more deeply.
  • Beyond the Horizon by Paul Mason, 890L: Narrative realistic fiction, in which students utilize their knowledge from the non-fiction text that they have read about explorers to support their understanding of the text and its main character, as she experiences a chance to embrace new challenges when she becomes lost and cannot find her way home. The text provides a challenging theme and vivid details.

Indicator 1d

Materials support students' increasing literacy skills over the course of the school year. (Series of texts should be at a variety of complexity levels appropriate for the grade band.)
2/4
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 5 partially meet the criteria for materials supporting students’ increasing literacy skills over the course of the school year. (Series of texts should be at a variety of complexity levels appropriate for the grade band.)

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. Rigor and complexity of texts often depends on the genre. 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 are supported to access and comprehend grade-level texts at the end of the year. Additionally, as the year progresses, opportunities are missed for questions and tasks to increase student’s ability to independently access more complex texts.

Examples include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • In Unit 1, Lesson: Can Ben Find a Home in His New Home?, Part 5, students respond to the key idea and details questions. Students complete a story sequence chart that asks them to list events from pages 96-99 with the headings “first, next, then, last” and the motivation of why the action occurred. Students apply this learning to their own writing piece.
  • In Unit 2, Lesson: Real-Life Superheroes, students find cause-effect relationships in the section of text regarding Rosa Parks. In Lesson, The Great Migration, students read the first 2 sections of Angel Island ("The History of Angel Island" and "Why the Chinese Came"), and compare/contrast the structure of this text with “The Great Migration.” In Lesson: The Road to Freedom, students return to Chapter 1 of Night of the Spadefoot Toads and discuss the author’s word choice that helps readers understand the characters. In Lesson: Finding a Theme in the Road to Freedom, students think of a second theme in Road to Freedom and support this secondary theme with details from the text. In Lesson: Comparing Texts about Heroes, students write an opinion speech paying special attention to word choice and grouping/linking ideas well.
  • In Unit 3, Lesson: Our Mysterious Universe, Part 1, students read “Our Mysterious Universe,” and respond to the following questions: “How was Ptolemy’s description of the universe different from Copernicus’? How are the bulleted questions on page 4 related to the information in the text box on page 5? Explain the next step in the scientific process. Identify a sentence in the text that summarizes Ptolemy’s ideas about the movement of celestial bodies. Summarize the theory that Copernicus suggested.”
  • In Unit 4, Lesson: Sail to the Americas with Pedro—and Christopher Columbus!, Part 5, students learn about figurative language such as simile and metaphor. Students read the text, “Pedro’s Journal,”2 and answer questions about figurative language.

Indicator 1e

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 5 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 document 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. The instructional notes include a recommendation for how students should read the text (e.g., 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 fifth grade students in mind, as well as intentional variability in genre, readability, and interest.

In Unit 1, Depending on Each Other, students read the realistic text Night of the Spadefoot Toads, by Bill Harley. During the unit, students utilize this text, among others, to write a narrative. The publisher includes the quantitative measure of Lexile 610L and the following qualitative features:

  • Levels of Meaning: Realistic fiction; relationships and friendship; new experiences; changes
  • Structure: Straightforward chronological structure; foreshadowing and building suspense; chapters divided into sections; change in text font to represent thought and spoken dialogue
  • Language Conventionality and Clarity: Informal language in dialogue between characters; idioms; scientific and technical vocabulary
  • Knowledge Demands: Ecology and environmental science; adaptation; habitat preservation

In Unit 2, Speak Your Mind!, students read The Road to Freedom, a historical fiction text written by Lesa Cline Ransome. Students utilize this text to research and write an opinion editorial. The publisher includes the quantitative measure of Lexile 780L and the following qualitative features:

  • Levels of Meaning: Narrative realistic fiction about a girl and her mother escaping slavery through the Underground Railroad; theme of taking risks to help others.
  • Structure: Chronological text structure; some use of flashback; epilogue; integration of a historical figure into a fictional text.
  • Language Conventionality and Clarity: Sensory detail; tone; some challenging academic vocabulary.
  • Knowledge Demands: Understanding about the history of slavery in the United States; Underground Railroad.

In Unit 3, A Space Odyssey, students read the literary story Jess and Layla’s Astronomical Assignment, by Lucy Courtenay. The publisher includes the quantitative measure of Lexile 910L and the following qualitative features:

  • Levels of Meaning: Science Fiction about two girls who have to work on a project together about space and end up going back in time (they think).
  • Structure: Divided into chapters, chronologically written, changing settings, historical details
  • Language Conventionality and Clarity: use of academic vocabulary, suspense
  • Knowledge Demands: understanding about space travel, time travel, and homework

In Unit 4, The Drive to Explore, students will read the nonfiction text Explorers: Triumphs and Troubles by Paul Mason. The publisher includes the quantitative measure of Lexile level 1000L.

  • Levels of Meaning: nonfiction book about explorers, viewpoints, quotes
  • Structure: text features, organized by country explored, points out positives and negatives of exploring
  • Language Conventionality and Clarity: high use of domain specific vocabulary
  • Knowledge Demands: understand using multiple sources when locating an answer or solving a problem to evaluate the validity of information, knowledge of countries, maps

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 5 meet the criteria that anchor and supporting texts provide opportunities for students to engage in a broad range of text types and disciplines as well as a volume of reading to achieve grade level reading proficiency.

Students interact with several texts in each unit within the PLUS framework of Project, Learn, Use, and Show. Stories 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. Students are provided opportunities to read paired texts in Sleuth that provide information on a range of topics. Materials also include leveled readers.

Students also read independently selected texts outside of the course materials. Students keep a Reading Log during the course. They are asked to read at least two to three books per week in addition to the books in the ELA course. Students are asked to keep their Reading Log up to date all year long and it is also referred to in some of the lessons. To find books, students can refer to a document called Independent Reading Resources, or visit their local library.

Examples include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • In Unit 1, Depending on Each Other, students read a fictional novel, novel excerpts, stories, and informational texts from the text collection including Night of the Spadefoot Toads, “Shells,” Night of the Spadefoot Toads, Hatchet, Best Community Service Project Ever, Dogs on the Job, Birds of a Feather, Pale Male, Washed Up!, and Rain Forest Food Chains.
  • In Unit 2, Speak Your Mind!, students read a variety of fiction and nonfiction text types about real-life superheroes from the text collection including informational, poetry, and historical fiction.
  • In Unit 4, The Drive to Explore, students read a variety of text types about explorers from the text collection including Explorers: Triumphs and Troubles, “Pedro’s Journal,” Christopher Columbus, “Beyond the Horizon,” and “Land of Plenty.”

Criterion 1g - 1n

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 3 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-dependent, requiring students to engage with the text directly (drawing on textual evidence to support both what is explicit as well as valid inferences from the text).
2/2
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 5 meet the expectations that most questions, tasks, and assignments are text dependent/specific, requiring students to engage with the text directly (drawing on textual evidence to support both what is explicit as well as valid inferences from the text).

The materials include question series that are connected to each text selection. Materials for lessons and lesson parts include guiding questions, journal topics, and graphic organizers that require students to engage in or refer back to the text. Students engage with each text directly by writing in an English Language Arts Journal and using textual evidence to support answers. While questions and tasks are mainly text-dependent, many are surface level and do not ask students to analyze the text.

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

  • In Unit 1, Lesson: Finding the Theme of Night of the Spadefoot Toads, Part 6, students read The Best Community Service Project Ever and respond to the following questions in the ELA journal: "What are some topics of the story? What is the central conflict to the story and how is it resolved? How do the characters respond to the conflict? What statements in dialogue or in the narration suggest the theme? What can you infer about the theme based on the topics you identified?”
  • In Unit 2, Lesson: The Great Migration, Parts 1-6, students answer questions over several daily sessions from The Great Migration, including the following questions: “Look at pages 2 and 3 in The Great Migration. What is the main idea in these pages? What key details support this idea? As you read pages 4–23 of The Great Migration, think about this question: How does the author use descriptive details? If you had lived at the time the author describes, would talking about the Great Migration have made you want to go north? What descriptive details would make you decide to leave or to stay? As you read pages 24–47 of The Great Migration, think about this question: Compare the text and the pictures. How are the different views of the same event presented? Now, read the poem ‘Migration’ by Walter Dean Myers. What are the similarities between what Myers and Jacob Lawrence say about the Great Migration? What are the differences?”
  • In Unit 4, Lesson: Sail to the Americas, Parts 1-7, students answer questions over several daily sessions related to the texts “Pedro’s Journal” and “Explorers: Triumphs and Troubles,” including the following questions: “What is your impression of Columbus so far in the story? How does Pedro see the voyage they are taking? What do you think of Pedro? What is the crew feeling in this section of the text? What details help you understand the crew's feelings? How does Pedro’s view of Columbus change in this section of the story? Why does it change? Which characters' attitudes and perspectives are changing? What language does the author use to create a picture in your mind as you read? Why does Columbus want to go to the island where only women live? Given that, why doesn’t he go? What does Columbus talk to Pedro about on the January night when the two are alone? How does Pedro react? What are some things both authors admire about explorers? What are some things about explorers that both authors find fault with? How does the first-person point of view in Pedro’s Journal allow history to be presented differently than it is in Explorers? How do the two authors organize their texts differently, and what difference does that make to their viewpoint?”

Indicator 1h

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 5 partially meet the criteria for having sets of high-quality sequences of text-dependent/specific questions and tasks build to a culminating task that integrates skills (may be writing, speaking, or a combination).

Materials contain sets of text-dependent questions and activities which Learning Guides can utilize to support students with culminating tasks. While text-dependent questions are included, many text-dependent questions are surface level and do not build towards completion of the culminating task. Some units include a culminating unit task called a project that requires students to gather details or information to write a specific genre of writing at the end of the unit while other units include a writing task.

Evidence includes, but is not limited to, the following:

  • In Unit 2, students write an opinion-editorial, or op-ed. Students educate an audience on an issue, and then explain the students’ own opinion. The op-ed closes with a call to action for the audience. Students choose from the following topics: "Do animals such as your pets and those in zoos have rights? Should everyone in your community be required to recycle? Should you be able to choose if you want to go to school?" In the reading assignments, students study word choice, analyze graphics, and how authors organize ideas. In Unit 2, Lesson: Real Life Superheroes, Parts 1-9, students read Real Life Superheroes and find cause-effect relationships in the section of text regarding Rosa Parks. In part 4, students apply the learning by finding cause-effect relationships in the section on Thomas Barnardo and writing a two to three paragraph essay. Students consider the following questions while reading: “Why do you think the author chose the heading 'A New Venture' for the second paragraph on page 15? What are some hardships Thomas Barnardo experienced? Which part of the text tells you this?” In Unit 2, Lesson: The Road to Freedom, Parts 1-8, students are prepared to write the opinion section of their op-ed. While reading the text in Part 1, students consider the following questions: “Why do you think the writer chose a conversational tone for this text? Who is the narrator for this story? How does Emma being the narrator enhance the telling of her story? What event disrupts Emma’s parents’ plans to go north, and what inference can you make from Emma’s description of this event?
  • In Unit 3, the project requires students to apply the knowledge they have gained from reading texts about space and the universe to write a science-fiction story with space/universe as the setting. The story must also include the student as the main character. Throughout the unit, students read narratives about the solar system and recent discoveries in space. Students answer text-dependent questions throughout the unit such as: "What do you think the main characters are like so far? What can you infer from these opening pages about the setting? How does the author help readers understand unfamiliar words? What is the purpose of the boldface terms like universe on p. 5? How do the illustrations help you understand the text?" For this project, students do not necessarily need to use texts from the unit to complete their science fiction story.

Indicator 1i

Materials provide frequent opportunities and protocols for evidencebased discussions that encourage the modeling and use of academic vocabulary and syntax. (May be small group and all-class.)
0/2
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 5 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/lesson part refers students to “discuss with their Learning Guide,” there is limited instruction to support students’ mastering of listening and speaking skills. Discussions focus on students’ experience with a topic or reading skill, but use of academic vocabulary and syntax is implied, not specified. Students frequently discuss their learning with the Learning Guide individually. Teachers are only provided direction on the answers to the questions; protocols for these discussions are not included. Frequently, there are no directions for the Learning Guide to assist in prompting students to support statements with evidence or use academic vocabulary or syntax during their discussions. Examples of included speaking and listening opportunities and protocols include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • 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, the following:

  • "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, the following:

  • "I agree/disagree with you when you said…
  • This evidence from the text made me think…"
  • The Scope and Sequence states that opportunities for collaboration might include:
    • Students suggesting the lessons they learned and the event that helped them learn it to other students in order to get feedback or confirmation.
    • Students contributing to a “life lessons” page that contains important life lessons from multiple contributors. Students can draw from this page for ideas.

Indicator 1j

Materials support students' listening and speaking about what they are reading and researching (including presentation opportunities) with relevant follow-up questions and supports.
1/2
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-
Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 5 partially meet the criteria for materials supporting students’ listening and speaking about what they are reading and researching (including presentation opportunities) with relevant follow-up questions and supports.

Students have opportunities in each lesson to share with the Learning Guide answers to questions, graphic organizers, and written pieces. A speaking and listening guide is available that provides the criteria for speaking and listening and suggestions for the Learning Guide. However, these suggestions are not directly linked, referenced, or modeled during lessons/lesson parts.

The materials contain some activities for students to engage in speaking and listening activities but do not provide many opportunities for follow-up questions, supports, or appropriate feedback from the Learning Guide. Questioning opportunities are provided between the student and Learning Guide, but do not provide opportunities for students to engage in peer conversations to develop answers unless there is more than one student together during the lesson. Additionally, there are few opportunities for students to build presentation skills.

  • In Unit 1, Lesson: Finding the Theme in Night of the Spadefoot Toad, Part 3, students reflect on the topic in the story of new surroundings. They review a conversation between Frankie and Ben about new surroundings where Frankie reveals he’s moving in the summer. Students are asked to write answers to the following questions in their ELA Journal: “How does the conversation between Ben and his dad on page 179 relate to the topic of new surroundings? Why is this topic so important in the story? On page 188, why is Mrs. Kutcher surprised that Ben hasn’t finished his report about the desert? What does Ben say in response? How is Ben’s response connected to what happens on the bus? How do these conversations and events combine to reveal one of the book’s themes?” After completing the questions, students are asked to share them with their Learning Guide.
  • In Unit 2, Lesson: The Road to Freedom, Part 1, students read chapter 1 of the text, The Road to Freedom. After reading, students are asked to respond in the ELA Journal to the questions: “How does Emma being the narrator enhance the telling of her story? What event disrupts Emma’s parents’ plans to go north, and what inference can you make from Emma’s description of this event?" After students respond, they are directed to “discuss the answers with the Learning Guide.” The teaching notes provide the Learning Guide with details from the text that support the answers to the questions. No protocols, strategies, or follow-up questions are provided to support the discussion.
  • In Unit 4, Lesson: Explore, Explore, Explorers, Part 4, students read pages 16-19 of the text, Explorers: Triumphs and Troubles. Students respond in the ELA Journal to the questions: “How were Pizarro and Orellana expeditions similar to and different from the journey of Cortes? Who was El Dorado, and why were the conquistadors looking for him? Why did Pizzaro split his group and send Orellana and others down the river? What did Orellana do after leaving Pizarro?" After students respond they are directed to “discuss them (questions) with your Learning Guide.” The teaching notes provided to the Learning Guide provide the details from the text that students should have referenced or included in their responses. No protocols, strategies, or follow-up questions are provided to support the discussion.

Indicator 1k

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 5 meet the criteria for materials including a mix of on-demand and process writing (e.g. multiple drafts, revisions over time) and short, focused projects, incorporating digital resources where appropriate.

Students have frequent opportunities for on-demand and process writing, as well as short, focused projects completed through a variety of instructional tasks. Students write drafts for process pieces over several days, with time and guidance in revising and editing their writing. Students publish their work for various audiences using digital resources and technology. The teacher guide provides explicit instruction and modeling throughout the writing process. Students analyze examples of high quality writing from the texts they read. Writing lessons embedded in each unit are based on the texts students are reading. On-demand writing occurs as students respond to reading in various formats. Materials include both short and longer writing tasks and projects, which are aligned to the grade-level standards being reviewed. Writing tasks include longer projects, short constructed response, writing in English Language Arts journals, and completing graphic organizers.

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

  • In Unit 1, Lesson: Finding the Theme of Night of the Spadefoot Toads, Part 3, students respond to questions about the text in their English Language Arts journal. They are asked to determine the theme by considering the following questions: “What is the author saying about the topic? What lesson about life does the reader learn?” One topic in this story is new surroundings. One conversation between Frankie and Ben is about new surroundings. Frankie reveals he’s moving in the summer, so his surroundings will change. Questions for student response include: “How does the conversation between Ben and his dad on page 179 relate to the topic of new surroundings? Why is this topic so important in the story? On page 188, why is Mrs. Kutcher surprised that Ben hasn’t finished his report about the desert? What does Ben say in response? How is Ben’s response connected to what happens on the bus? How do these conversations and events combine to reveal one of the book’s themes?”
  • In Unit 2, Lesson: The Great Migration, Part 2, after reading pages 4-23 of the text The Great Migration, students respond in their journal to the following questions: “If you had lived at the time the author describes, would talking about the Great Migration have made you want to go North? What descriptive details would make you decide to leave or to stay?”
  • In Unit 4, Lesson: Let’s Explore, Explorers!, Part 1: Students read the text, Explorers: Triumphs and Troubles and examine the writer’s viewpoint on the idea of exploring. Students are directed to respond to the questions “In the writer’s view, what are the four main reasons that people explored new lands? What does the writer see as the positive effects of Marco Polo’s trip to China? What does he suggest was a negative effect?” Students respond in their English Language Arts journal and must use direct quotations as part of the evidence and explanation.

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

  • In Unit 1, Lesson: Living in Shells, Part 1, students plan and develop a narrative story over several sessions. One focus is to ensure that events connect to a central conflict. Students are also to include the following narrative elements: introduction of narrator, characters, and the situation; an internal or external conflict that one or more character faces; a plot that includes rising action; a climax; dialogue and descriptions to reveal what characters say and do, which shows what they think and feel; a clear sequence of events with pacing to keep reader’s interest and words and phrases that link events; vivid words and phrases and sensory details to make the prose rich and lively; and a conclusion that follows from the events and resolves the conflict.
  • In Unit 1, Lesson: Comparing Stories of Kids Facing Problems, Part 4, students use research from the last writing activity and then write an original short story. Students are tasked with making sure the story has a main character who is influenced in some way by the setting, a setting that includes findings from research, a clear conflict, a sequence of events, and a resolution to the conflict in the story.
  • In Unit 2, Project: Speak Your Mind, students write an opinion editorial on one of the following topics: “Do animals such as your pets and those in zoos have rights? Should everyone in your community be required to recycle? Should you be able to choose if you want to go to school?” The goal is to take a stance on a topic that they are passionate about and use facts to support their opinion-editorial. Students must include an introduction that directly states the topic and the writer’s opinion, research that supports the position, an explanation of their opinion, and a call to action for the reader/audience.
  • In Unit 3, Project: A Space Odyssey, students read several texts about space and then write a science fiction story set in our universe in which they are the main character. Their narrative will Include: a theme; characteristics of science fiction, such as space or time travel and research-based science facts; unique characters developed through what they say and how they react; interesting and scientifically accurate settings and natural experiences that affect the characters and plot; a well-planned plot that has a sequence of events readers can follow; sensory descriptions; figurative language, domain-specific words, and precise language; and illustrations that help tell the story and make it interesting for readers.
  • In Unit 3, Lesson: The Far Side of the Moon, Part 1, students work on revising and preparing a scientific narrative for the project. Students are tasked with considering the following questions as revisions are made: "Are the main characters unique and have their own personalities? Do characters’ actions lead logically to the events of the story? Do characters respond to events in ways that are consistent with their personalities? Does dialogue demonstrates what the characters are like?"
  • Unit 4, Lesson: Sail to America, Part 2, students begin to work on an opinion piece about Christopher Columbus. Students gather information using online references and resources. Students must not only conduct research on Christopher Columbus, but they also must evaluate the sources of the information. Students conduct research, remembering to paraphrase, summarize, and use direct quotations. In Part 3, students add information to their opinion writing on Columbus by including information that answers the questions: “Do you think Columbus was a heroic figure or someone who hurt others? Was Columbus driven by the desire to explore the world or to gain wealth and power? How much responsibility does Columbus have for the destruction of native peoples in the Americas that followed him? Does Columbus deserve credit for reaching the Americas when his achievement was a mistake?"

Indicator 1l

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 5 meet the expectations for providing opportunities for students to address different text types of writing that reflect the distribution required by the standards.

Students have frequent opportunities to write in multiple modes and genres of writing over the course of the school year. Writing projects, prompts, and short constructed response tasks are balanced among narrative, informative, and opinion writing. Each unit includes a writing type which connects to the texts students are reading. Texts from various genres serve as models that students are asked to emulate in their writing. Each lesson part includes support in building specific skills within the focused writing genre. Modeling and guiding questions have students apply craft elements in their writing.

Examples of writing prompts that address the different text types of writing and reflect the distribution required by the standards include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • In Unit 1, Lesson: Can Ben Find a Home in His New Home?, Part 2, Narrative, students pick a two paragraph passage from Chapter 2 or 3 that uses at least one of these tools. Students analyze this section in two or three paragraphs. Students are asked to consider how the author creates effects and conveys meaning. The materials state, “Think about the author’s words, the use of sensory details and vivid descriptions, and sentence length. Describe how these elements give meaning to the story, create a mood, and keep your attention as a reader. Students will write your paragraphs in your ELA journal.”
  • In Unit 1, Lesson: Living in Shells, Part 1, Narrative, students will plan and build another original story over several sessions. Students are reminded that “Good writers carefully plan before drafting a story so they can make sure all the events are connected and relate to a central conflict.”
  • In Unit 2, Lesson: The Road to Freedom, Part 2, Opinion, students write three opinion paragraphs about the images from the text The Road to Freedom that they feel contribute most to the reader’s understanding of the text. Each paragraph in their opinion writing is focused on one illustration. Students must be able to explain: “How the illustrations contribute to the reader’s interest in the story? How the illustrations help the reader understand the story better? Which lines from the text connect to the visual? How the text relate to the visual?” Students must cite specific details from the visuals and from the text that serve as evidence for their opinion about how visuals contribute to the reader’s interest and understanding of the text.
  • In the Unit 3 project: A Space Odyssey, Narrative, students write a science fiction story in which the student is the main character. Throughout the unit, students will use the ELA journal to record analysis of texts, responses to questions, graphic organizers and notes that will be used to complete the project. In Lesson: Jess and Layla’s Astronomical Assignment, Part 4, students write the opening of a science article. In Lesson: Finding the Theme in the Astronomical Assignment, Part 1, students pay special attention to the words the writer used in the story. Students then worked on using more domain-specific words and transition words and phrases to their own writing. In Lesson: Understanding All the Elements of a Narrative, Part 5, students revise the narrative to make sure that all the elements work together effectively and to make the presentation of ideas clearer and more effective.
  • In Unit 4, Lesson: Looking Beyond the Horizon, Part 1, Informative/Explanatory, students write an editorial that gives background information and states an opinion on the topic the Age of Exploration during the 1400s and 1500s. Students write the editorial from the perspective of someone living during that time. The point of view of the person they are writing from, must have experience with explorers or exploring. Students can write the editorial about the hardships and dangers that took place during this time period. Students gather evidence to use in their editorial from the sources they have read including, Explorers: Triumphs and Troubles and Pedro’s Journey.

Indicator 1m

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

The materials reviewed for Grade 5 meet the criteria for materials including frequent opportunities for evidence-based writing to support careful analyses, well-defended claims, and clear information appropriate for the grade level.

Each day students carefully analyze and synthesize texts, write to sources, use texts as a source, and defend claims as part of writing instruction. They respond to text-dependent questions to understand texts more deeply, and use texts as a source of information and to support their opinions. Student responses to English Language Arts Journal questions provide students with frequent opportunities to gather and use evidence from the text to support their responses. There are many provided writing opportunities that are focused around students’ analyses and claims developed from reading closely and working with texts and sources to provide supporting evidence. The materials provide opportunities that build students' writing skills over the course of the school year. Examples include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • In Unit 1, Lesson: Washed Up!, Part 4, students read a segment of Washed Up!, which describes how the weather conditions changed for the Lius. A quote in the text makes this clear: “The temperature had dropped noticeably, and the wind whistled like a banshee.” Students find evidence to support the following questions: “What evidence shows that Mr. Liu is having a difficult time in the cold? What evidence shows that Mrs. Liu is having a difficult time in the cold? What evidence supports the idea that Mrs. Liu is very conscious of the family’s image on TV?”
  • In Unit 1, Lesson: Living Wild Among Skyscrapers, Part 7, students will return to the story Birds of a Feather to compare and contrast Adriana, her mother, and Mrs. Helen Vasylenko. The materials state, “What are the similarities and differences between them? Students will use text details to support your ideas. Students write several paragraphs explaining how the three characters are alike and different by discussing the interactions between them thinking about what these interactions and what characters say to each other shows about what they think and feel being sure to cite example from the text.”
  • In Unit 2, Lesson: The Road to Freedom, Part 2, students analyze how visuals or illustrations help a reader to understand the text. To practice, students read the text "The Price of Freedom.” After reading, they select one visual element from the text and examine how the visual element relate help the reader understand the text. Students respond in their English Language Arts Journal, to the following question: “How does this illustration help you understand the text?” to explain their thinking.
  • In Unit 2, Lesson: The Road to Freedom, Part 6, in this lesson part, students use both the text, The Road to Freedom and Chapter 1, from Night of the Spadefoot Toads to analyze how an author uses words to describe the characters. Students are guided by the question, “What are some words that help you get to know the characters?” Students write one to two paragraphs discussing how the author’s word choice helps the reader understand the characters in the story.
  • In Unit 3, Lesson: Our Mysterious Universe, Part 2, students read a segment of the text, and respond to the following questions: “What evidence does the text give to support the idea that stars have a life cycle? On page 19, what main idea does the detail 'astronomers can see a star moving along an orbit but can’t see the object it is orbiting’ support?”
  • In Unit 3, Lesson: The Man Who Went to the Far Side of the Moon, Part 2, students read a segment of the text, then respond to the following questions: “Why did Collins decide never to travel again? Why are the astronauts 'bored as can be' in the quarantine facility? What does this boredom lead to? Does Michael prefer Earth or the moon? Use text evidence to support your answer.”
  • In Unit 3, Lesson: Understanding All the Elements of a Narrative, Part 7, students read the e-text Moon Kids, Earth Kids. In two to three paragraphs, students compare and contrast the settings of the Earth classroom and the moon. Students find at least three pieces of evidence from the text and at least two from illustrations about each setting to support answers as well as to include any examples of figurative language found that describe each place. Finally, students explain what mood each setting establishes.
  • In Unit 4, Lesson: Text Structure/Relationships, Part 1, students identify point of view by completing a T-Chart graphic organizer for the text Triumphs and Troubles. Students create one column with the title “Viewpoint” and a second column with the title “Reasons and Evidence.” Students identify the two viewpoints the author has for each explorer. Then students reread the text to find reasons and facts to support each viewpoint. Students also include supporting details from the visuals in the text.
  • In Unit 4, Lesson: Looking Beyond the Horizon, Part 1, students analyze how authors reveal the traits of a character. Students analyze character traits by looking at how the author uses description, dialogue, and action. Students compare Sarah and her father from the text, Beyond the Horizon, by using a Venn Diagram.
  • In Unit 4, Lesson: Looking Beyond the Horizon, students focus on one of the main story contrasts: the difference between how Sarah and her father view the expectations of India. The character Sarah thinks India will be wondrous and her father thinks India will be barbarous. Students reread the text, Beyond the Horizon and look for context clues that might help a reader understanding the meaning of the words wondrous and barbarous.

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 5 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 include instruction of most grammar and conventions standards for the grade level. Although students learn about the function of conjunctions, prepositions, and interjections, opportunities are missed for students to explain the function of each of these. Opportunities are missed for students to use verb tense to convey states and conditions and to recognize and correct inappropriate shifts in verb tense. In addition, opportunities are missed for students to use underlining, quotation marks or italics to indicate titles of works, to expand, combine, and reduce sentences for meaning, reader/listener interest, and style or to compare and contrast the varieties of English used in stories, dramas, or poems.

Materials include limited instruction of grammar and conventions standards for the grade level. For example:

  • Students have opportunities to explain the function of conjunctions, prepositions, and interjections in general and their function in particular sentences. Examples include, but are not limited to, the following:
    • In Unit 2, Lesson: The Road to Freedom, Part 4, students learn about the function of prepositions and are provided a list of common prepositions. Students are given an explanation of prepositional phrases. Students are asked to use two prepositions in the above list to write sentences about Chapter 4 of The Road to Freedom and underline the prepositional phrases that were used.
    • In Unit 2, Lesson: The Road to Freedom, Part 4, students learn about the use and function of interjections. Students are given examples of common interjections: Hurray!, Wow!, Oh!, Oh no!, Hey!, Yum!, Yuck!, Uh-oh!, Ouch!, Aha!, and Psst! Students are also given examples of how an interjection can be followed by or follow another sentence that explains the context: "Hurray! We finally reached Canada!"
    • In Unit 4, Lesson: Sail to the Americas, Part 2, students learn about the use and function of correlative conjunctions, examples are given in sample sentences. Students look at pages 74–75 of the text and write two sentences about the disagreements between Columbus and his crew. Students are asked to make sure each sentence should use one pair of correlative conjunctions and to read the sentences aloud to their Learning Guide.
  • Students have opportunities to form and use the perfect verb tenses (e.g., I had walked, I have walked, I will have walked). For example:
    • In Unit 1, Lesson: Washed Up!, Part 4, students learn about the use and function of the perfect tenses and examples. Students write sentences that use all three perfect tenses and underline the verbs that make up the perfect tense in each sentence.
  • Students have opportunities to use verb tense to convey various times and sequences. Opportunities are missed for students to use verb tenses to convey various states, and conditions. For example:
    • In Unit 1, Lesson: Rain Forest Food Chains, Part 2, students learn about the use and function of verb tense in showing the time an action happened and that there should sentences should contain verb agreement.
  • Students have opportunities to recognize and correct inappropriate shifts in verb tense. For example:
    • In Unit 3, Lesson: Jess and Layla’s Astronomical Assignment, Part 3, the materials state, “Verb tenses relate to the time an action in a sentence occurs. Unless you are talking about a sequence of events, your verbs should have the same, or consistent, tense throughout a piece of writing. Here the verb tense in both sentences is consistent. Both sentences are written in future tense. Astronomers will continue to study Neptune and Uranus. They will learn more and more about these planets from the data they collect. Here is another example of consistent verb tense. Both of the following sentences are written in past tense. Scientists once classified Pluto as a planet. Later, astronomers placed Pluto in a new category, dwarf planets. In your ELA Journal, write two sentences using consistent verb tense. Underline the verb and identify the verb tense you used."
  • Students have opportunities to use correlative conjunctions (e.g., either/or, neither/nor). For example:
    • In Unit 2, Lesson: The Road to Freedom, Part 5, students learn about the use and function of correlative conjunctions and are given some common correlative conjunction pairs.
  • Students have opportunities to use punctuation to separate items in a series. For example:
    • In Unit 2, Lesson: Real-Life Superheroes, Part 7, students learn about the use and function of commas in a series. Students are given an example from the text: "The police arrested, fingerprinted, and jailed Rosa Parks." Students are also given an example that includes three adjectives: "Rosa Parks believed that the practice of segregation was not reasonable, necessary, or fair." Students then write two sentences answering these questions with a list of three things: "What are the most interesting items you see in your room? What are your favorite weekend activities?" Students are reminded to use commas after each item and before the conjunction that precedes the last item.
  • Students have opportunities to use a comma to set off the words yes and no, to set off a tag question from the rest of the sentence, and to indicate direct address. For example:
    • In Unit 2, Lesson: The Great Migration, Part 2, students learn about the use and function of commas when they are used at the beginning of a sentence that begins with an introductory words, phrases, or clauses.
  • Students have opportunities to spell grade-appropriate words correctly, consulting references as needed. For example:
    • In Unit 2, Lesson: The Great Migration, Part 1, students notice words that end in the suffix -ous while they read. Students write the words outrage, fury, prestige, mystery, and nerve and add the suffix -ous to each. Students check the spelling and meaning of each word in a dictionary. Students then write a sentence using each new word.

Materials include opportunities for students to demonstrate application of skills both in- and out-of-context. For example:

  • In Unit 4, Lesson: Exploring Text Structure and Relationships of Ideas, Part 4, students learn about the function and use of prepositional phrases and compound objects. Students identify the prepositional phrases and compound objects in given sentences. Students are then asked to write two sentences about the journeys of two explorers from the text that include a prepositional phrase with a compound object.

Criterion 1o - 1q

Materials in reading, writing, speaking, listening, and language targeted to support foundational reading development are aligned to the standards.
3/6
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Criterion Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 5 partially meet the criteria for materials, questions, and tasks address grade-level CCSS for foundational skills by providing explicit instruction and assessment in phonics and word recognition that demonstrate a research-based progression. Materials partially meet the criteria for materials, lessons, and questions provide instruction in and practice of word analysis skills in a research-based progression in connected text and tasks.  Materials partially meet the criteria for instructional opportunities are frequently built into the materials for students to practice and achieve reading fluency in oral and silent reading, that is, to read on-level prose and poetry with accuracy, rate appropriate to the text, and expression.

Indicator 1o

Materials, questions, and tasks address grade-level CCSS for foundational skills by providing explicit instruction and assessment in phonics and word recognition that demonstrate a research-based progression.
1/2
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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 5 partially meet the criteria for materials, questions, and tasks address grade-level CCSS for foundational skills by providing explicit instruction and assessment in phonics and word recognition that demonstrate a research-based progression.

Materials provide instruction of irregularly spelled words, syllabication patterns, and word recognition consistently over the course of the year and instruction of word solving approaches (e.g., graphophonic and syntactic) to decode unfamiliar words. However, there are missed opportunities for explicit instruction in word analysis skills and word solving approaches (e.g., graphophonic and syntactic) to decode unfamiliar words. Also, students are provided limited opportunity to apply skills in guided practice or to demonstrate proficient use of the skill. There are no direct assessments of word analysis skills.

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

  • In Unit 1, Lesson: Can Ben Find a Home in His New Home?, Part 2, includes a “more to explore” card on using the suffix -ly. Materials state, “The root word for slowly is the adjective slow. You can add -ly to many adjectives to make an adverb. Adverbs modify verbs, adjectives, or other adverbs. Slowly is an adverb that tells you how Ben pronounced the word 'Sonoran.’” Students are instructed to fill in sentence frames by changing the given adverb into an adjective, identifying the word the adverb describes, and telling what the new adverb means. There is not an indication of if this is to be done orally or in writing. Teacher notes provide answers.
  • In Unit 1, Lesson: Finding the Theme of Night of the Spadefoot Toads, Part 2, students are instructed, “Look at the word central on p. 164 of Night of the Spadefoot Toads. Write central in your ELA Journal and underline cent. Cent is a Latin root meaning 'center.' How does the meaning of cent help you figure out what central means? Look at other words with Latin roots: terrarium on p. 21, library on p. 109 and incredible on p. 139. What are the Latin roots? What is the meaning of each? Look the words up in a dictionary. Write your answers in your ELA Journal. Then, use each of the four words in a sentence of your own.” Teacher notes explain the meaning of the roots that the student is covering and instruct Learning Guides to check sentences the student has written for accuracy.
  • In Unit 2, Lesson: The Great Migration, Part 1, students learn about the suffix -ous. The word courageous is used to explain that words with the suffix -ous normally describe qualities that someone or something has. Then students write the words outrage, fury, prestige, mystery, and nerve, add the suffix -ous to each, and check the spelling and meaning of each word in a dictionary. Students write a sentence using each new word.
  • In Unit 3, Lesson: George’s Secret Key to the Universe, Part 5, students learn about the endings -s, -ed, -ing. The materials explain that adding endings can alter a base verb’s spelling. Spotted and wriggling are used as examples. Students are directed to notice the change in the base word: “When the endings were added, the t of spot was doubled and the e in wiggle was omitted.” Students write the words moved, moving, shaking, and believed and explain how the base word’s spelling changed in each word.
  • In Unit 4, Lesson: Let’s Explore Explorers!, Part 2, materials state, “A morpheme can be a root word, a prefix, or a suffix. For example, in the word foreigner, both the root foreign and the suffix -er are morphemes. Foreign means 'born in or belonging to another place,' and -er mean 'one that is.' Together, foreigner means ‘one who is born in or belongs to another place.’ When you add a suffix to a root word, you are combining morphemes. Sometimes you can just add the suffix to the end of the root word. That’s what happens with foreigner. Other times, you may have to drop a final letter or two from the root word before adding the suffix. You might even have to change one letter to another.” Students are instructed to find four words that consist of a root word morpheme and a suffix morpheme and “write (1) the word, (2) the morphemes in the word, (3) the meaning of each morpheme, (4) the meaning of the word made from the morphemes, and (5) any spelling rule or change that had to be followed to add the suffix to the base word.” Teacher notes provide sample answers.

Limited assessment opportunities are provided over the course of the year to inform instructional adjustments of phonics and word recognition to help students make progress toward mastery. For example,

  • In Unit 3, Lesson: Our Mysterious Universe, Part 4, the materials contain a link to a game “Pack up the Skills” with instructions to practice Greek and Latin roots in Module B, Zone 3 of the game. The link however connects with Module A that has three games available or “zones.” Zone 1 is focuses on prefixes and has students sort words based on the meaning of the prefix in the word. They have a time limit to sort their words into the column that matches the prefix definition and click submit with immediate feedback on accuracy provided. Zone 2 is the same game but with suffixes.

Materials lack explicit instruction of word solving strategies (e.g., graphophonic and syntactic) to decode unfamiliar words. Examples include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • In Unit 1, Lesson: Can Ben Find a Home in His New Home?, Part 4, the materials state, “Good readers stop to figure out the meanings of words they have not seen before. What can you do when you read a new word? Here are some things to try: Look closely at the word. Can you break in into parts? Look for clues on the page. A detail might help you figure out the word’s meaning. Look in a dictionary.” Students are instructed to find the word deflated in their text, break it into syllables, and look for clues as to what the word means. They then look up the meaning in the dictionary, write the definition, and write two sentences with the word. Teacher notes state to check sentences for accuracy.
  • In Unit 3, Lesson: Jess and Layla’s Astronomical Assignment, Part 5, the students explore how synonyms help them understand unfamiliar words. Materials state, “As you read narrative text, you may read words that you have not seen or heard before. One strategy for understanding a new word it to look for its synonym in a thesaurus. A synonym is a word that means the same thing. Look up each of the vocabulary words below in a thesaurus. Compare the word to its synonyms. How is each word similar or different from its synonyms?”
  • In Unit 4, Lesson: Let’s Explore Explorers!, Part 2, students learn about morphemes and spelling patterns. The materials explain that “the smallest unit of language that has meaning is called a morpheme. A morpheme can be a root word, a prefix, or a suffix. For example, in the word foreigner, both the root foreign and the suffix -er are morphemes. Foreign means 'born in or belonging to another place,' and -er mean 'one that is.' Together, foreigner means 'one who is born in or belongs to another place.'" Students are asked to "write (1) the word, (2) the morphemes in the word, (3) the meaning of each morpheme, (4) the meaning of the word made from the morphemes, and (5) any spelling rule or change that had to be followed to add the suffix to the base word."
  • In Unit 4, Lesson: Looking Beyond the Horizon, Part 5, the students learn about spelling words that include ti, ci and -ous correctly. The materials explain how these combinations sound in words: Making the /sh/ sound in impatient, condition, facial, and vicious; making the / ǝs / sound in wondrous and barbarous.
    Students are directed to pronounce each of the words. They then scan the text to find at least three other words with the ti, ci, and -ous spelling patterns that make these sounds. Students write them in their ELA Journal, circling the letters that make the /sh/ or /ǝs/ sound and then read them to the Learning Guide. For more practice with these spelling patterns students can play the Packing Up Skills Game.

Indicator 1p

Materials, lessons, and questions provide instruction in and practice of word analysis skills in a research-based progression in connected text and tasks.
1/2
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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 5 partially meet the criteria for materials, lessons, and questions provide instruction in and practice of word analysis skills in a research-based progression in connected text and tasks.

Materials provide opportunities for the students to learn, practice, and apply word analysis skills in connected texts and tasks. However, opportunities are missed for students to receive explicit instruction in word analysis skills. Additionally, materials contain no evidence of students being assessed in their ability to apply word analysis skills.

Limited and varied opportunities are provided over the course of the year in core materials for students to learn, practice, and apply word analysis skills in connected texts and tasks. For example:

  • In Unit 1, Lesson: Finding the Theme of Night of the Spadefoot Toads, Part 2, students learn about how Greek and Latin roots help to figure out the meaning of a word. Students are directed to the text to identify Latin roots in four words, determine the meaning of the word, and then look the word up in the dictionary. Students are to use each of the four words in a sentence of their own.
  • In Unit 1, Lesson: Living Wild Among Skyscrapers, Part 2, students learn about and use the suffixes -tion and -ion. The materials explain that -tion and -ion make verbs into nouns. Students are directed to look at the base word and suffix to determine the meaning of the word. Students then look for words in the text with the suffix -tion or -ion, write them in their ELA Journal, determine a meaning, and discuss this with their Learning Guide. Students then are given the following words: construction, location, and protection. They are expected to pronounce and define the words, then correctly determine the suffix for each word in your ELA Journal and discuss the answers with their Learning Guide.
  • In Unit 2, Lesson: Comparing Texts about Heroes, Part 6, the materials state, “In the book ‘Operation Clean Sweep’, the words yanked and pulling were used in sentences on p. 68. The words yank and pull have shades of meaning, or similar meanings. Using a dictionary and context clues, decide how the meanings of the words are similar and different. Write sentences in your ELA Journal that show the differences in the meanings of yank and pull. Now, use a dictionary to identify the shades of meaning in these word pairs: small/tiny, dirty/filthy, and great/astounding. Write sentences that show the shades of meaning.”

Materials do not include word analysis assessment to monitor student learning of word analysis skills.

Indicator 1q

Instructional opportunities are frequently built into the materials for students to practice and achieve reading fluency in oral and silent reading, that is, to read on-level prose and poetry with accuracy, rate appropriate to the text, and expression.
1/2
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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 5 partially meet the criteria for instructional opportunities are frequently built into the materials for students to practice and achieve reading fluency in oral and silent reading, that is, to read on-level prose and poetry with accuracy, rate appropriate to the text, and expression.

Materials include opportunities in each unit and each sub-unit for students to read grade-level text for purpose and understanding. However, opportunities are missed for students to use context to confirm a word or self-correct through rereading. Additionally, opportunities are limited to assess students ability to read accurately, with appropriate rate, or with appropriate expression.

Limited opportunities are provided over the course of the year in core materials for students to demonstrate sufficient accuracy and fluency in oral and silent reading.

  • Students have limited opportunities to read grade-level text with purpose and understanding. Examples include, but are not limited to, the following:
    • In Unit 1, Lesson: Living Wild Among Skyscrapers, Part 1, students read grade-level nonfiction narrative to determine the main idea and supporting key details.
    • In Unit 2, Lesson: The Road to Freedom, Part 1, students read The Road to Freedom to determine the theme.
    • In Unit 3, Lesson: Jess and Layla’s Astronomical Assignment, Part 1, students read Jess and Layla’s Astronomical Assignment and answer the following questions: "What do you think the main characters are like so far? What can you infer from these opening pages about the setting?"
  • In Unit 4, Lesson: Let’s Explore Explorers!, Part 2, students read Explorers: Triumphs and Troubles to analyze cause and effect relationships.

Materials lack support in reading of prose and poetry with attention to rate, accuracy, and expression, as well as direction for students to apply reading skills when productive struggle is necessary.

  • Students have limited opportunities to read grade-level prose and poetry orally with accuracy, appropriate rate, and expression on successive readings. For example:
    • In Unit 2, Lesson: Comparing Texts about Heroes, Part 1, students are instructed to read a poem called “Harriet Tubman.” Materials state, “As you read ‘Harriet Tubman,’ think about these questions: How does the poet use structure and form in the poem? How does the form help express the theme? How is the structure of the language different from standard English? How does the poem’s use of repetition emphasize the theme? Now, read 'Harriet Tubman,' in the Text Collection, Unit 2, Poems. When you are done, write the answers to the questions. Then, discuss them with your Learning Guide.” Teacher notes state, “The poem is written in five four-line stanzas, with a one-line stanza as the final line. The main stanzas follow an ABCB rhyme scheme. Lines like ‘Harriet Tubman didn’t take no stuff’ show Tubman’s strength, and the strong rhythm helps emphasize that strength, the theme of the poem. The language used in the poem is very casual and sometimes sounds like the dialect of the American South. The repetition emphasizes Tubman’s fierce personality and her lack of fear.”

Materials no not include support for students’ fluency development of reading skills (e.g., self-correction of word recognition and/or for understanding, focus on rereading) over the course of the year (to get to the end of the grade-level band).

Assessment materials provide teachers and students with limited information of students’ current fluency skills and provide teachers with instructional adjustments to help students make progress toward mastery of fluency.

  • In Unit 1, Lesson: Can Ben Find a Home in His New Home?, Part 1, the teacher notes state, “While your student is reading, assess his or her fluency. Reading at an appropriate rate is reading not too fast, not too slow. It keeps listeners interested. Have your student follow along as you read the first one to two pages of Night of the Spadefoot Toad aloud at an appropriate rate from. Then, have your student read the next two pages aloud at an appropriate rate.”
  • In Unit 3, Lesson: Jess and Layla’s Astronomical Assignment, Part 1, the teacher notes instruct, “While your student is reading, assess his or her fluency. Explain that reading accurately means pronouncing all the words correctly and also reading without adding, changing, or leaving out words. Reading accurately helps a listener follow a story. Have your student follow along as you model reading aloud accurately from p. 7 of Jess and Layla’s Astronomical Assignment. Then, have your student read, focusing on accuracy as they read aloud another portion of the text.”
  • In Unit 3, Lesson: Finding Theme in the Astronomical Assignment, Part 1, the teacher notes instruct, “While your student is reading, assess his or her fluency. Explain that reading with expression means using your voice to express the feeling and meaning of the words. It helps a listener stay interested in a story and understand how characters feel."

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 5 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

Materials build knowledge through integrated reading, writing, speaking, listening, and language.
20/32

Indicator 2a

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 5 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.

The Grade 5 Language Arts curriculum materials are organized around a topic/topics or themes; Grade 5 materials consist of four units. The materials do not explicitly state how and why texts are organized within a unit, and what central idea or topic the texts are intended to support. For each unit, there are texts present that relate to the project or title of the unit; however, clear topics are not always present and there is not a clear indication of deep knowledge building that occurs throughout each unit. While there are areas where students are building knowledge of a specific topic, the teacher would have to supplement with additional texts or tasks in order to grow the student’s knowledge. While information from the texts help students successfully complete the unit projects, the way the text sets are organized may not always help students’ grow in their ability to independently and proficiently comprehend complex texts.

The texts within a unit are typically organized around a topic, but in some situations the texts do not relate to the given topic. 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, the following:

  • In Unit 1, students immediately begin by reading the novel, Night of the Spadefoot Toad. There is no explicitly stated purpose for reading, or how reading this text will connect with other texts in the unit. Later in the unit, students read Shells by Cynthia Rylant, excerpts from Hatchet by Gary Paulsen, The Best Community Project Ever by Joan Nichols, and Washed Up! by Payal Kapadia. All of these texts are realistic fiction. Students read a couple of informational texts, Pale Male by Janet Schulman, and Rain Forest Food Chains by Heidi Moore. Common overarching topics in the texts are: the importance of animal habitats and endangered species, how kids serve in the community to help solve problems, and survival in the wild. Though lessons in the unit support students in developing specific reading skills, it is difficult to discern an intentional organizational plan that leads to building knowledge about a specific topic.
  • In Unit 2, Lesson: Real-life Superheroes, students are reading and interacting with the text Real-Life Superheroes. The text revolves around the topic of people who made a difference or changed the world. Students will write an essay that about a real-life superhero explaining who the real-life superhero is, what he or she did to change the world, and how he or she did this. Included in the introduction is an explanation is a brief description of the person and why he or she was important. Students first read about Richard Martin, a person who loved animals and fought for animals. Students answer questions such as: “Who inspired Richard Martin’s work with animals? What is Martin’s Act, and why is it called this? What did people think of Richard Martin’s actions?” Students then learn about Jim Jarvis and Thomas Barnardo answering the questions: “Why was Thomas Barnardo’s work dangerous? What are some hardships Thomas Barnardo experienced?” Students continue to read about different people who took a stand for something they believed in and worked to make changes in the world. Students apply what they learned and the people they learned about to writing their essay about a real-life superhero.
  • In Unit 3, all of the texts that students read relate to the topic of astronomy and the universe in order to assist students in writing a science fiction essay. In Unit 3, Lesson: Jess and Layla’s Astronomical Assignment, Parts 1-6, students choose a topic. to research and develop. In Part 5, students analyze the text by answering the following questions: “What are the main events in this part of the story? In this section, Jess and Layla meet Galileo. What earlier scene prepared readers for this meeting?” In Unit 3, Lesson: Our Mysterious Universe, Parts 1-5, students analyze the text by answering the following questions: “What details from p. 27 support the main idea 'the universe began more than 13 billion years ago?' What is one piece of evidence from the text that support the particular point that scientists are looking for other planets that might have life on them?” Students are reading several complex texts throughout the unit, however, students are not given ample opportunities with a variety of genres. The texts in this unit are primarily fictional or informational. Students are given limited opportunities to work with additional genres.
  • In Unit 4, Lesson: “Let’s Explore, Explorers,” Part 1, students are focused on the question: “What does it mean to be an explorer?” They will read text, answer questions, respond in journals, and complete graphic organizers in order to answer this question. Students start by addressing the viewpoint or opinion the writer is presenting about exploration and why people explored. Students evaluate the negative and positive effects of exploration on areas and groups of people by reading about specific explorers, such as, Francis Younghusband and his exploration effects on the people of Tibet. In journals they answer questions such as, “According to the text, what was the official purpose of Younghusband’s expedition? What was the unofficial purpose? What evidence does the writer use to back up the viewpoint expressed in the 'Triumph' box on page 11?” In Unit 4, Lesson: Sail to the Americas with Pedro—and Christopher Columbus!, Parts 1-6, students work on an opinion piece about Christopher Columbus. Students gather information using online references and resources. Students are required to conduct research on Christopher Columbus, and to evaluate the sources the information is coming from. Students answer questions such as: “Do you think Columbus was a heroic figure or someone who hurt others? Was Columbus driven by the desire to explore the world or to gain wealth and power? How much responsibility does Columbus have for the destruction of native peoples in the Americas that followed him? Does Columbus deserve credit for reaching the Americas when his achievement was a mistake?" Ultimately, students are trying to convey ideas related to the following questions: “How is Columbus portrayed in Pedro’s Journal? What is your opinion about whether Columbus is portrayed fairly in Pedro’s Journal?"

Indicator 2b

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 5 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. Students utilize graphic organizers and an English Language Arts journal to analyze the text. 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.

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. Examples include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • In Unit 2, Lesson: Real-Life Superheroes, Part 2, the materials state, “In the last part you began reading Real-life Superheroes and learned about main idea and key details. This time you will look at how events in a text are related.”
  • In Unit 2, Lesson: Real-Life Superheroes, Part 5, the materials state, “In the last part, you learned more about Thomas Barnardo, and you found key details that support main points about his life. In this part, you will read further in Real-Life Superheroes, and you will learn about determining point of view.”
  • In Unit 3, Lesson: Our Mysterious Universe, Part 4, the materials state, “So far in this unit you have read the story Jess and Layla’s Astronomical Assignment and the informational text Our Mysterious Universe. Now, you will compare and contrast these two texts.”

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

  • In Unit 1, Lesson: Can Ben Find a Home in His New Home?, Part 2, students go back to the text to look at pages 28-29 and analyze the author’s use of words and how word choice helps a reader comprehend the story and characters by answering the question: “What describing words does the author use to help paint a picture in your mind of what is happening in the text?” During the writing portion of the lesson part, students select a two paragraph passage from Chapter 2 or 3 of The Night of the Spadefoot Toads and analyze the text for how the author creates effects and conveys meaning. Students are directed to think about the author’s words, the use of sensory details, descriptions, and sentence length.
  • In Unit 2, Lesson: Real-Life Superheroes, Part 4, students read pages 15-17 of the text Real Life Superheroes and answer the following questions: “What is the main idea of this section? How do you know? Why do you think the author chose the heading 'A New Venture' for the second paragraph on p. 15? What are some hardships Thomas Barnardo experienced? Which part of the text tells you this?”
  • In Unit 3, Lesson: Our Mysterious Universe, Part 1, students look at the relationship and interactions among various text elements in order to connect the key ideas being made by the author. The materials state, “In the last two lessons, you read and analyzed a science fiction story. Now, you will read an informational text about some of the same ideas you read about in the narrative. As you read the first part of Our Mysterious Universe, think about these questions: What is the purpose of the boldface terms like universe on page 5? How do the illustrations help you understand the text? How was Ptolemy’s description of the universe different from Copernicus’s? How are the bulleted questions on page 4 related to the information in the text box on page 5? Explain the next step in the scientific process. Identify a sentence in the text that summarizes Ptolemy’s ideas about the movement of celestial bodies. Summarize the theory that Copernicus suggested."
  • In Unit 3, Lesson: Our Mysterious Universe, Part 1, students receive explicit instruction in how details support key ideas. The materials state, “Last time, you looked for connections between ideas in the text. This time you will find evidence that supports an idea in a text. Good readers evaluate an author’s evidence to see if it provides strong support for the ideas the author states. They use that information to determine if the author is reliable. You’ll also use this skill in your own writing. After all, you’ll need to provide that kind of support for every informational text that you write. As you read on in this text, think about this question: How does the illustration on the bottom of page 14 support an idea?”
  • In Unit 4, Lesson: Let’s Explore Explorers!, Part 4, students analyze how the details connect to the main idea in the text Explorers: Triumphs and Troubles. The writer presents two main ideas in this section. One is in the “Triumph” box—that Orellana was a “brilliant explorer.” The other is in the “Trouble” box, the he was a “ruthless adventurer.” Students use a T-Chart to track the details that support each idea. Students are asked, “Write “Brilliant Explorer” and “Ruthless Adventurer” as the headings for the two columns of the chart. Fill each one in with details that support the main idea. Focus on details from Orellana’s journey.”
  • In Unit 4, Lesson: Sail to the Americas with Pedro—and Christopher Columbus!, Part 5, students learn about figurative language such as simile and metaphor. Using the text Pedro’s Journal, students answer and analyze the following questions: “Now, take an even closer look at some of the figurative language used on the last pages of Pedro’s Journal. Answer these questions in your ELA Journal and discuss them with your Learning Guide: Which of the five senses do you imagine when you read 'winds that grow cooler and cooler with each passing day' on page 89? What effect does this sensory detail have on you as a reader? On page 90, Pedro mentions the 'gentle winds' that are pushing the ships back home. How does it compare to the winds they had in October? What can you infer about the wind? On page 90, Pedro describes the wind as 'too cold' and the moon as 'too bright.' What does this language tell you about Pedro’s feelings about a second voyage? On page 90, what type of figurative language is used in the description of the sound of seaweed on the hull: 'like a mother’s hand soothing a baby’s head?' How does this comparison help you understand what Pedro is experiencing? What kind of figurative language is it?”

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 5 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, evaluate characters’ actions and motivations. Question sets are sequenced coherently within each lesson to support students in building knowledge about the story elements, structure as well as author’s purpose, perspective and craft. Students may also integrate their knowledge across texts, and are asked to compare and contrast texts, as well as replicate what they are learning in their own writing. However, the focus of the questions and tasks are often on the surface or mechanics of the process, rather than on developing deeper understanding of a topic.

While most questions and tasks are coherently sequenced, many are literal and do not require more than a basic demonstration of comprehension of a detail within the text. For example:

  • Unit 1 examples include: In Night of the Spadefoot Toad, a science fiction text, students return to the text to respond to the following series of text-dependent questions, “What do you learn about Mrs. Tibbets?”, “How do the students describe Mrs. Tibbets before she appears in the book?”, “How does Ben see Mrs. Tibbets?”, “What do the differences tell you about these characters?”, “What passage or passages stood out to you as being vividly or memorably described? What words make those parts vivid or memorable?”, “Why are some passages in italics? What do they show?”, “How does the author’s inclusion of Ben’s thoughts and feelings help us get to know Ben?”, “How do Ben’s responses on pp. 41 and 42 help you get to know him better as a character?”, “What motivates Ben? What causes him to do the things he does?”, “How do Ben’s classmates react to his decision to not go to the party?”, “Why does Ben call Toby?”

While these questions do provide some support to assure students are comprehending the text, they do not provide access to knowledge building within the concepts the text may examine. Additionally, there is much focus on text features.

In Unit 2, Lesson The Road to Freedom, Part 2: Students analyze how visuals or illustrations help a reader to understand the text. To practice, students read the text “The Price of Freedom.” After reading, they select one visual element from the text and examine how the visual element relate help the reader understand the text. Students respond in their ELA journal,  to the question, “How does this illustration help you understand the text?” to explain their thinking. In Part 6, students use both the text, The Road to Freedom and Chapter 1, from Night of the Spadefoot Toads to analyze how an author uses words to describe the characters. Students are guided by the question, “What are some words that help you get to know the characters?” Students write one to two paragraphs discussing how the author’s word choice helps the reader understand the characters in the story. In this example, the questions don’t build knowledge on a topic, although they do provide support for students’ understanding of the text.

Some sequences of questions and tasks provide some opportunity to build knowledge of a topic, but the teacher may need to supplement or revise the lesson to assure the focus of these are on the topic rather than on the mechanics of the text features. In the following example there are literal and surface level questions that may engage students in some understanding, but are not consistently applied:

  • Unit 3 examples include: In Our Mysterious Universe, an informational text, students return to the text to analyze the way the author of this text organizes and presents information. They begin by looking at the relationships and interactions between different text elements. Students analyze how ideas connect so they can determine the points the author is making, and respond to the following series of text-dependent questions, “How was Ptolemy’s description of the universe different from Copernicus’s?”, “How are the bulleted questions on page 4 related to the information in the text box on page 5? Explain the next step in the scientific process.”, “Identify a sentence in the text that summarizes Ptolemy’s ideas about the movement of celestial bodies.”, “Summarize the theory that Copernicus suggested.”

In the next segment, students find evidence that supports an idea in the text, evaluate the author’s evidence to see if it provides strong support for the author’s ideas, and use that information to determine whether the author is reliable. Students respond to the following series of text-dependent questions, “What evidence does the text give to support the idea that stars have a life cycle?”, “On page 19, what main idea does the detail ‘astronomers can see a star moving along an orbit but can’t see the object it is orbiting’ support?”, “How do scientists use what they observe as evidence for their ideas?”, "What details from page 27 support the main idea ‘the universe began more than 13 billion years ago’?”, “What is one piece of evidence from the text that support the particular point that scientists are looking for other planets that might have life on them?”

Next, students compare two texts they have read: the story Jess and Layla’s Astronomical Assignment and the informational text Our Mysterious Universe. Students compare and contrast and see if the author explains common concepts the same or different way. Students also see if one author uses an example or detail that helps clarify a statement in the other text. Students respond to the following series of text-dependent questions, “What do these texts have in common? How are they different?”, “How are the main topics of the two books similar, and how are they different?”, “In Jess and Layla’s Astronomical Assignment, drawings show what happens in the story.” Our Mysterious Universe has both drawings and photographs. “What is an advantage of each type of visual?”

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 5 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 5 curriculum contains 4 units, of which only Units 1, 2, and 3 include a project connected to texts and skills taught during the unit. 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. However, speaking and listening are not required.
Students complete sections of the unit project throughout the unit. 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. Units 4-6 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, although the focus is on the skills and not on demonstrating understanding of the topics at hand. Opportunities are missed for oral presentation in all of the projects and writing tasks.
The culminating tasks present in the materials provide a focus on the skills being built, but the support of building knowledge about the content read is not consistent nor targeted. Examples include, but are not limited to the following.

  • In Unit 1, Tell the World Your Story: Project Your Story, students read a series of stories (“Location, Location, Location” from Lemonade Wars; The Frog Princess, A Tlingit Legend from Alaska; The Case of the Gasping Garbage; and Thunder Cake) to understand the fundamentals of storytelling (structure, character development, and description.) Students apply their understanding of story elements to design, craft, revise, and publish their own narrative. Students are required to use the narrative story elements, revise the writing to ensure that events occur naturally, edit for conventions, and publish the narrative as either a paper or digital copy. While students do have practice with writing in this task, there is not a central topic students have more knowledge of at the end.
  • In the Unit 2 Project: Welcome to Earth, students create a brochure for aliens that come to Earth that tells them about some special places on Earth (natural and human-made).  The brochure explains why Earth is a great place to live.  Students read about natural things on Earth and thought about things that make Earth special.  Students are tasked with thinking about natural features of Earth that stand out for you. What can you say about forests or oceans? What places do you think are worth seeing? What do you think aliens should see when they come to Earth?  The final brochure has to include specific features, which are outlined and provided in list form. The focus on the type of writing being created overshadows any information on content being studied here.
  • In Unit 2, The Road to Freedom, Parts 1-8, in the first two lessons, students practiced writing explanatory paragraphs. The purpose of these paragraphs was to introduce the readers of the Op-Ed to the subject and let them know relevant information. Students are prepared  to write the opinion section of the Op-Ed. These are the foundational exercises to writing opinions at a fifth-grade level. Students return to Chapter 1 of Night of the Spadefoot Toads and discuss the author’s word choice that helps readers understand the characters. Students will write 2-3 opinion paragraphs that clearly state and support a point of view around the chosen topics for the Op-Ed.

Some tasks have some knowledge building focus within them, although students do not have practice with speaking and listening as well. To assure that students are truly comprehending the content, the teacher will have to create or revise the lesson to keep the content topic-- and therefore knowledge building-- as the center focus.

In Unit 2, The Great Migration, Parts 1-8, students compare and contrast text structure write a compare/contrast essay.  In Part 3, students compare and contrast texts using a Comparison Chart. Students title the chart Multiple Accounts. Label the left box Alikeand the right box Different. Students read the poem “Migration” by Walter Dean Myers and complete the chart, answering What are the similarities between what Myers and Jacob Lawrence say about the Great Migration? What are the differences? Students learned how to compare and contrast events.  This skill will be applied as students begin narrowing the topic for the Op-Ed. Students write 2-3 informative paragraphs about the issue. I

  • In Unit 3, Lesson Life in the Grand Canyon, Parts 1-4, students read about two different ways of living: city life and the Havasupai people who live on the floor of the Grand Canyon. In this project, students are making an advertisement about an extreme place. Students are trying to convince people to live in the extreme place. In their writing, students compare living in the big city with the life of the Havasupai. Students will describe which place they would prefer to live and provide two to three supporting details for their opinion.

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 5 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 5 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. Explicit vocabulary instruction is limited on variations for applying meaning and use of the words. Student application is limited to asking students to use the words in a sentence.

Within each lesson, there may only be one lesson part that includes explicit vocabulary instruction and the explicit vocabulary instruction may or may not include practice with all the words listed at the start of the reading. Explicit vocabulary instruction is inconsistent. Implicit vocabulary instruction is limited and may consist of a note to students that states, “If you see words you do not know, write them in your ELA Journal.”

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. 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, but are not limited to, the following:

  • In Unit 1, Lesson: Can Ben Find a Home in His New Home?, Parts 1-7, students read the text Night of the Spadefoot Toad. In Part 4, students are introduced to the concept that good readers stop to figure out the meanings of unfamiliar words. These same strategies have been taught in the third and fourth grade units, therefore this will be review for students that have previously used the curriculum; however for those that are new to the curriculum, students are given explicit instruction in this protocol. The materials state:
    • "Look closely at the word. Can you break in into parts?
    • Look for clues on the page. A detail might help you figure out the word’s meaning.
    • Look in a dictionary."

Students are tasked with thinking about some words in Night of the Spadefoot Toads focusing on the word deflated (page 66). Students write down this word, break it into syllables, say it out loud, and read the sentences before the word. Students then look in a dictionary and read the meaning of the word and then read the word on page 66 again. The text states, “A great way to learn words is to use them. Try writing two sentences with deflated.” Students use the word in a conversation with the Learning Guide or another person. Students then practice these strategies independently with these words in Night of the Spadefoot Toads: marvel (page 68) and vernal (page 68).

  • In Unit 1, Lesson: Living in Shells, Parts 1-3, students read the text titled, Shells and use the same protocols used in Part 4 of Night of the Spadefoot Toads to understand the meanings of the words assured (page 8), craned (page 9) and stupor (page 10). Students use each word in two sentences written in the ELA journal.
  • In Unit 1, Lesson: Comparing Stories of Kids Facing Problems, Parts 1-5, students read text from the book Hatchet and are introduced to shades of meaning in Part 2. Students are explicitly taught this skill using the following example: "The words pain and ache have similar meanings. They do not mean exactly the same thing, however. There are shades of meaning, or small differences that make each word distinct. Use a dictionary and the context of these sentences to define the words. How are the meanings similar? How are they different? Write sentences that show the differences in the meanings of pain and ache." Students are tasked with independently practicing this skill with the paired words conversation/chat and dirty/filthy.
  • In Unit 2, Lesson Big Ideas, Part 1, students continue to read the text, The Road to Freedom. Vocabulary identified from Chapter 6 include: tumbled, whinnied, stuttered, drifted, lantern, scattered, hunched, capturing, blisters, carriage, surrounded, pillars, and territory. Throughout Lesson: Big Ideas, there is no explicit vocabulary instruction that has students interacting with the identified vocabulary words. There is also no implicit vocabulary instruction within the Lesson: Big Ideas.
  • In Unit 2, Lesson: Comparing Texts about Heroes, Part 6, students prepare to write an opinion essay about a courageous leader and have previously compared and contrasted three texts. Students analyze words that are close in meaning. Students go back to the text, Operation Clean Sweep and look at page 68 at the words yanked and pulling. Students use a dictionary and context clues to determine how the words yank and pull are similar and different in their shade of meaning. Students are directed to write sentences in their ELA Journal that show the difference in the meanings of yank and pull. Students then use a dictionary to identify the shades of meaning in the word pairs: small/tiny, dirty/filthy, and great/astounding. Students write sentences that show the shades of meaning.
  • In Unit 3, Lesson: Jess and Layla’s Astronomical Assignment, Parts 1-6, students read the text Jess and Layla’s Astronomical Assignment an are introduced to synonyms in Part 5. As students read narrative text, the student may read unfamiliar words. The materials state, "One strategy for understanding a new word it to look for its synonym in a thesaurus. A synonym is a word that means the same thing. Look up each of the vocabulary words below in a thesaurus. Compare the word to its synonyms. How is each word similar or different from its synonyms?" Students complete this activity for the words embarrass, stern, obvious, theory and disbelief.
  • In Unit 3, Lesson: Our Mysterious Universe, Parts 1-5, students read the text Our Mysterious Universe. In Part 4, students are exposed to Greek and Latin roots using the following example: "Many words in English are based on Latin and Greek root words. Consider the word telescope. This word originates from the Greek tele ('far') and skopos ('watcher'). How does combining the two Greek words create an appropriate name for the tool astronomers use today? This strategy helps students with unfamiliar words. When context clues don’t help, the reader needs to look more closely at a new word’s parts. The parts might have Greek or Latin roots, or might include a familiar prefix." Students are tasked to look at the following words from Our Mysterious Universe and, using words parts including Greek or Latin roots and known prefixes, figure out the meaning. Students then check the meanings in a dictionary for the words unpredictable, hypothesis, and recognized.
  • In Unit 3, Lesson: Understanding All the Elements of a Narrative, Parts 1-9, students read the text George’s Secret Key to the Universe and in Part 6, students are tasked with following the same protocol as Part 5 of Lesson: Jess and Layla’s Astronomical Assignment. As students read narrative text, and come across unfamiliar words, students will read the text around these unfamiliar words may help understand them. Students are tasked with looking in a dictionary to find the definition of the word or in a thesaurus to find similar words using the words exploiting, agitated, vigorous, and commotion. Students discuss the vocabulary words with the Learning Guide.
  • In Unit 4, Lesson: Sail to the Americas with Pedro—and Christopher Columbus!, Part 2, explicit vocabulary instruction provides students with strategies to use when trying to determine meaning of new words. Strategies include: look for clues, break down the word into parts, and use a dictionary to find out the meaning. Students practice the strategy using the word betrayal from page 74 of the text. Students are guided that when using a dictionary, they might come across more than one definition for the word and they should think about the context of how the word is used in the text to determine which definition would “make the most sense in the story.” Students repeat practicing the strategies with the words assent and dispersed.
  • In Unit 4, Lesson: Closer Look Beyond the Horizon, Part 6, explicit vocabulary instruction reminds students that they have explored many new words and some words such as: sustenance, provision, bullock, and peasants refer to physical things. Whereas, other new words, such as fate refer to abstract concepts. Students are directed back to page 65 of Beyond the Horizon to the sentence: “Sarah thanked fate for giving her a chance to repay the debt- Priya’s home was safe for the time being.” Students are asked to answer the following questions: “What does the story context tell you fate might mean? Why do you think the author chose the word fate to describe the outcome of Sarah’s adventure? Why not call it chance?” Students are directed to use fate in a discussion with the Learning Guide. Teaching notes tell the Learning Guide to “discuss how fate implies there’s design that is out of a character’s control.”

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 materials reviewed for Grade 5 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 select 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 ELA 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 (e.g., 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 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.”

Examples include, but are not limited to:

  • In Unit 1, students read multiple and write a narrative that analyzes story elements and compares and contrasts two characters from the text. Examples include, but are not limited to:
    • In Lesson: Can Ben Find a Home in His New Home?, Part 5, students write two to three paragraphs that develop the main character in a narrative discussing his or traits, feelings, or thoughts. Students focus is on how the main character responds to the situation and conflict set up in the previous session. Students are tasked with using sensory details, figurative language, and precise words to make your description come alive.
    • In Lesson: Finding the Theme of Night of the Spadefoot Toads, Part 5, students have worked on identifying the theme of a story and will start writing a scene for a new narrative. Students are tasked with creating one conflict or problem and including the following: "Where does the scene take place? Who are the most important characters? What conflict is established? Will the narration be first person or third person?"
    • In Lesson: Comparing Stories of Kids Facing Problems, Part 5, students have been working on writing a narrative. Previously, students proofread the story so it would be free of errors. Students are tasked with addressing the following: "Where does the pacing of the action change? What emotions do characters express in dialogue? Where does the narration create suspense or tension?"
    • In Lesson: Washed Up!, Part 1, students brainstorm a list of topics related to island environments and write one paragraph that introduces a topic. Later, students will use this paragraph as the beginning of an essay. Student are tasked with including the following elements in the introduction: an attention-grabbing statement, such as an interesting fact or observation about the environment; a statement of the main idea about the environment; and text that generates interest to encourage the reader to read further.
    • In Lesson: Living Wild Among Skyscrapers, Part 3, students have been writing an informational brochure on an ecosystem in danger. Last time, students proofread the brochure to find and fix errors. This time, students begin to make the final clean copy of the brochure. The materials state, "Good writers make their presentations look as good as possible to make a positive impression on their readers." Students are tasked with using captions for any photos and labels for maps, diagrams, or charts.
  • In Unit 2, Lesson: Real-Life Superheroes, Parts 1-9, students write an explanatory piece about a real-life superhero of their choosing. The essay will explain who the real-life superhero is, what he or she did to change the world, and how he or she did this. Included in the introduction is an explanation is a brief description of the person and why he or she was important. Students must choose a text structure to use to write the essay and decide which events are most important to describe in the essay. Students must include domain specific vocabulary to that readers believe the validity of the information. The structure of the essay should help students to organize their writing and present facts and details that are interesting to the reader and also make sense for the overall reason why this person is considered a real-life superhero. Throughout Real-Life Superheroes, students are reading texts about people who made an impact on the world and caused change. They are using these texts as a model of how to research information; how to present, structure, and organize the information; and how to use word choice, visuals, and text features that are precise and impactful to the reader.
  • In Unit 3, students write a science fiction story in which the student is the main character. The project includes: "Characteristics of science fiction, such as space or time travel and research-based science facts. Unique characters developed through what they say and how they react. Interesting and scientifically accurate settings and natural experiences that affect the characters and plot. Well-planned plot that has a sequence of events readers can follow. The narrative will have a theme. Use sensory descriptions, figurative language, domain-specific words, and precise language. Illustrations that help tell the story and make it interesting for readers."
    • In Lesson: Finding Themes in the Astronomical Assignment, Part 7, students generate a list of six to eight facts or ideas learned during research and reading that might be useful to include in the narrative.
    • In Lesson: Our Mysterious Universe, Part 2, students use the notes taken in the previous lesson for an informational text. Students organize the information found and plan the structure of an article.
    • In Lesson: George’s Secret Key to the Universe, Part 9, students use the planning from the previous lesson to begin writing the narrative including the following tasks: "Decide on the settings of your narrative. Include at least three interesting, usable science ideas or facts from your reading to your previous notes. Create a character sketch for each of your main characters and, if you have one, the main villain. Create a sequence of events for your story that follows a traditional plot structure."
    • In Lesson: Understanding All the Elements of a Narrative, Part 8, students use the planning of the story elements of the narrative, including: the setting, characters, and plot. Students also figured out what science ideas and facts could work in the narrative. Students will start drafting the story.
    • Lesson: The Man Who Went to the Far Side of the Moon, Part 1, students will revise the draft and prepare it for publication. Students are tasked with making characters, settings, and events clearly and effectively portrayed. Students also make sure word choices are vivid and rich and entertain the reader and generate the kind of desired emotional response.
  • In Unit 4, Lesson: Sail to the Americas with Pedro—and Christopher Columbus!, Part 4, students previously wrote an opinion essay about Columbus. They are now tasked to write an opinion essay answering this question: “Based on what you know and have read about Christopher Columbus, do you think he is presented fairly in Pedro’s Journal?” Students are reminded, “You’ll probably read other stories that are historical fiction, like this one. This opinion piece will be good practice for you in thinking about how accurately a writer presents a historical character. Now, you’ll start by planning your essay’s ideas and organization. Follow these steps:
    • Gather information. Review how Columbus is shown in Pedro’s Journal. How would you describe him, based on his actions and words? Look at two outside sources for more information on Columbus. These might be reference sources you used in your research earlier in the lesson, or they might be new. Review the information about finding and evaluating sources from earlier in the lesson.
    • State an opinion. Based on your information, do you think the way the way he is shown is fair or not?
    • Determine your purpose and audience. Your purpose is to present and support your opinion. Assume that your audience is a group of students your age.
    • Organize your information. Identify the main reasons that back up your opinion. Put them in the order you think makes the most sense for your purpose and audience. Use the OREO Worksheet if you wish. If not, you can just write an outline in your ELA Journal. Your plan should cover these points: How is Columbus portrayed in Pedro’s Journal? What is your opinion about whether Columbus is portrayed fairly in Pedro’s Journal? What evidence do you have to support your claim?
    • Write the introduction to your essay. This will be where you present your opinion.

When you are done writing your opinion statement, read it aloud to your Learning Guide.”

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 5 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 the Unit 2 Project Speak Your Mind, students write an opinion editorial (op-ed) on one of the following topics: “Do animals such as your pets and those in zoos have rights? Should everyone in your community be required to recycle? Should you be able to choose if you want to go to school?” The goal is to take a stance on a topic that students are passionate about and use facts to support their opinion-editorial. The work for the op-ed piece begins in Lesson: The Great Migration, Part 3. Students read the text, The Great Migration, about African-Americans that left their homes and farms in the South around the time of World War 1 and traveled to cities in the North in search of better lives. Students use a KWL chart to help them decide what questions they want to research. Students use a Research note-taking template to collect research notes. They are directed to “Great Research Websites for Kids” and primary resources from the Library of Congress.

In Unit 4, Lesson: Sail to America, Parts 1-6, students work on an opinion piece about Christopher Columbus. Students gather information using the texts, Explorers: Triumphs and Troubles, the text, Pedro’s Journal, and online references/resources. Students conduct research, remembering to paraphrase, summarize, and use direct quotations. In Part 3, students add information to their opinion writing on Columbus by including information that answers the questions: “Do you think Columbus was a heroic figure or someone who hurt others?” In Parts 4 and 5, students plan their opinion essay and determine their purpose and audience.

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 materials for Grade 5 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 two to three 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 the 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. The materials suggest 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 as noted in the “Before You Begin” section. It is suggested that students read on average two to three books per week above and beyond curriculum expected materials and texts. A link is provided for the Learning Guide to assist in helping students find independent reading books at their level. The resource that is provided includes Lexile bands that are appropriate for each grade level and a listing of retail stores and online platforms to find books. No specific mention of titles is provided, only a list of suggested guidelines to support the Learning Guide.

In the “Before You Begin” materials there is a section dedicated to “Reading Log.” Within this section there is a hyperlink to a document titled, “Independent Reading Resource.” This document is intended for the Learning Guide. It provides directives about text selection, a table with Lexile bands, and links to websites for book lists. Students are directed at different times during the units to apply a standard/skill they have learned during instruction to their independent reading. Students then complete self-selected reading and record their progress in their reading log. The Learning Guide has flexibility to have students read texts independently. Therefore, it would be up to the discretion of the Learning Guide, not the design of the curriculum. Teachers are provided limited instruction on how to support reader independence. Directives for both student and Learning Guide are repetitive. There is no pattern or routine to when students are given directives towards independent reading and the reading log. Examples include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • In the Getting Started Section of each unit students can access the protocols in the Independent Reading Resources Link under the Reading Log section. Criteria for independent reading selections is provided as well as the quantitative complexity measures for each grade level. This section also contains several resources containing reading lists and a Lexile website where Learning Guides can obtain quantitative complexity of a text. The materials state:
    • "Texts are comprehended by your student while reading independently (or comprehended when read aloud to emergent readers)
    • Encompass a wide breadth of topics, genres, formats, and challenges
    • Include both fiction and nonfiction texts
    • Be of interest to your student and allow him or her to explore new areas of interest
    • Strive to meet quantitative complexity requirements for your student’s grade band"

Students are tasked with reading at least two to three books per week in addition to the books in the ELA course. Students create the Reading Log, make a table that contains the book’s title, author, number of pages, and the dates. Students are tasked with keeping the Reading Log up to date all year long, since it will be referred to it in some of lessons.

  • In Unit 1, Lesson: Can Ben Find a Home in His New Home?, Part 6, students are tasked with thinking about favorite characters from the texts read independently and write the names of one or two of the student’s favorite characters and a few details about them in the Reading Log and discuss with the Learning Guide.
  • In Unit 1, Lesson: Living in Shells, Part 3, students independently read and write the title of the story and the theme in the Reading Log as well as some details from the story that told about the theme.
  • In Unit 1, Lesson: Washed Up!, Part 5, students have read a story about families who had a big adventure titled Washed Up! Students are tasked with thinking about a favorite book read about adventures. Students write the title in the reading log and compare and contrast two of the characters in the book.
  • In Unit 2, Lesson: Comparing Texts about Heroes, Part 7: In the section titled, “Reading Log,” students are reminded that they have been working on comparing texts. As students read they should think about some other books they have read on the same topic. Students are asked, “How are they similar? How are they different?” The teaching notes tell the Learning Guide to have students share the books that students are reading independently and to encourage them to talk about how the books compare. The Learning Guide should ask students to create a graphic organizer that compares and contrasts two of the books.
  • In Unit 3, Lesson: Jess and Layla’s Astronomical Assignment, Part 4, students are tasked with reading fiction and nonfiction texts. Students choose a favorite and record the reasons in the Reading Log.
  • In Unit 3, Lesson: Understanding All the Elements of a Narrative, Part 4, students have been learning about how authors use visuals to help tell a story. Students record titles of books independently read that contain visuals in the Reading Log, thinking about the style and purpose of the illustrations and how these compare to the visuals in George’s Secret Key to the Universe.
  • In Unit 4, Lesson: Let’s Explore Explorers!, Part 5: In the section titled “Reading Log,” students are reminded that while reading for fun in their independent reading, they should think about the way writers express their ideas. “Why do they choose one particular word and not a synonym that has a slightly different meaning? What effect do these choices have on you as the reader?” The teaching notes direct the Learning Guide to have student share the books they are reading independently and to encourage them to talk about the writer’s style. The teaching notes state, “Ask your student which writer’s style they think is particularly effective. Ask for examples of the style choices that he or she thinks works well.”

Gateway Three

Usability

Not Rated

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

Criterion 3a - 3e

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

Indicator 3a

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

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
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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 3-8 Rubric and Evidence Guides

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

For ELA, our rubrics evaluate materials based on:

  • Text Quality and Complexity, and Alignment to Standards with Tasks Grounded in Evidence

  • Building Knowledge with Texts, Vocabulary, and Tasks

  • Instructional Supports and Usability

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

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