Alignment: Overall Summary

The instructional materials reviewed for Center for Collaborative Classroom Grade 3 partially meet expectations of alignment. The Grade 3 instructional materials partially meet expectations for Gateway 1. Texts are worthy of students' time and attention. Materials partially support students building their ability to access texts with increasing text complexity across the year. Materials partially 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. Materials provide opportunities for rich and rigorous evidence-based discussions and writing about texts to build strong literacy skills. The instructional materials for Grade 3 partially meet the expectations of the Gateway 2. Materials partially meet the criteria that texts are organized to support students' building knowledge of different topics, and there is support for students to engage with and grow their academic vocabulary over the course of the school year. Materials 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 and partially meet the criteria that the questions and tasks support students’ ability to complete culminating tasks in which they demonstrate their knowledge of a topic through integrated skills. Materials 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. Materials support students’ increasing writing skills over the course of the school year, building students’ writing ability to demonstrate proficiency at grade level at the end of the school year. Materials provide procedures and support for daily independent reading, primarily found in the Making Meaning component.

See Rating Scale
Understanding Gateways

Alignment

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Partially Meets Expectations

Gateway 1:

Text Quality

0
20
37
42
33
37-42
Meets Expectations
21-36
Partially Meets Expectations
0-20
Does Not Meet Expectations

Gateway 2:

Building Knowledge

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

Usability

|

Not Rated

Not Rated

Gateway 3:

Usability

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

Gateway One

Text Quality & Complexity and Alignment to Standards Components

Partially Meets Expectations

+
-
Gateway One Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Center of Collaborative Classroom Grade 3 meet the expectations for text quality and alignment to the standards. The instructional materials partially meet expectations that texts that are appropriately complex and worthy of students' time and attention, providing many opportunities for rich and rigorous evidence-based discussions and writing about texts to build strong literacy skills. Materials address foundational skills to build comprehension and provide questions and tasks that guide students to read with purpose and understanding, making connections between acquisition of foundational skills and making meaning during reading.

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.
15/20
+
-
Criterion Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Center of Collaborative Classroom Grade 3 meet the criteria for anchor texts being of publishable quality, worthy of especially careful reading, consider a range of student interests, and meet the criteria for materials reflecting the distribution of text types and genres required by the standards at each grade level. Materials partially 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. Materials partially meet the criteria for materials supporting students’ increasing literacy skills over the course of the school year. Materials partially meet the criteria that anchor texts and series of texts connected to them are accompanied by a text-complexity analysis and rationale for purpose and placement in the grade level. Materials 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. Materials provide numerous opportunities for students to engage with a range and volume of texts (through listening and reading) in order to achieve grade-level reading proficiency. In both the Making Meaning and Being a Writer, students are introduced to new texts and a variety of disciplines and genres.

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 Center of Collaborative Classroom Grade 3 meet the criteria for anchor texts being of publishable quality, worthy of especially careful reading, and consider a range of student interests.

Texts are of publishable quality and address numerous topics of interest to Grade 3 students. Text types include survival stories, personal narratives, science, and social studies texts. There are award-winning texts worthy of careful reading. Texts include multicultural themes, rich language and characterization, and well-crafted prose.

The Making Meaning component contains the read alouds for students to hear and analyze. Many are written by renowned authors. Some of these texts include the following:

  • In Unit 2, students refer to Aunt Flossie’s Hat (and Crabcakes Later) by Elizabeth Fitzgerald Howard and focus on visualizing with poetry and fiction. This text is of high interest to students.
  • In Unit 3, students engage with Amazing Grace by Mary Hoffman, which contains multicultural themes and is well-crafted. This relatable text connects with Grade 3 students since the text is about determination and perseverance.
  • In Unit 4, students read William Steig’s, Brave Irene. The text contains a well-crafted heroine that students can relate to and whom will be of interest to them.
  • In Unit 5, there is a combination of multicultural literary and informational texts. Students are exposed to texts about strong females with significant accomplishments. Marissa Moss’s Brave Harriet is a fictional narrative about the first woman to fly solo across the English Channel. Jonah Winter’s Wilma Unlimited: How Wilma Rudolph Became the World’s Fastest is a biography of an African American woman who overcame polio and won an Olympic medal. This text earned a Caldecott Medal. Jonah Winter’s Sonia Sotomayor: A Judge Grows in the Bronx highlights the first Latina to be nominated for the US Supreme Court. This text contains English and Spanish text.
  • In Unit 6, Maryellen Gregorie’s Morning Meals Around the World is an informational text which describes the different foods people eat for breakfast in various parts of the world. This text provides students with rich content knowledge and vocabulary.


Indicator 1b

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Center of Collaborative Classroom Grade 3 meet the criteria for materials reflecting the distribution of text types and genres required by the standards at each grade level.

In each unit, text selections for read-aloud texts, reflect an appropriate balance of literary and informational texts. The distribution of text types and genres is diverse. Furthermore, a range of genres is covered throughout the entire school year. There is evidence of an assortment of genres in various units. Informational texts include a collection ranging from functional text to social studies and science. In the literary texts, there is a greater emphasis on personal narratives with a limited assortment of poetry, drama, and mythology. There is evidence of a balance between literary and informational texts and selections. In Units 1-4, majority of texts are literary. In Units 5-8 the majority of the texts are informational.

Literary text examples representing the balance of text types and genres include the following:

  • Miss Nelson Is Missing by Harry Allard
  • “Seal” by William Jay Smith
  • Aunt Flossie’s Hats by Elizabeth Fitzgerald Howard
  • “Possums Tail,” from Pushing Up the Sky: Seven Native American Plays for Children by Joseph Buchac
  • Two Bobbies: A True Story of Hurricane Katrina, Friendship, & Survival by Kirby Larson and Mary Nethery
  • Fables by Arnold Lobel

Informational text examples representing the balance of text types and genres include the following:

  • Brave Harriet by Marissa Moss
  • Wilma Unlimited: How Wilma Rudolph Became the Fastest Woman by Kathleen Krull
  • Homes by Chris Oxlade
  • “You Can Make Breakfast Quesadillas” from Morning Meals Around the World by Maryellen Gregoire
  • “Polar Bears in Peril” by Elizabeth Winchester
  • Lifetimes by David L. Rice


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.
2/4
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Center for Collaborative Classroom Grade 3 partially 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.

Anchor texts in Making Meaning are consistently read aloud to Grade 3 students. This limits the opportunities for students to read Grade 3 complex texts without the scaffold of teacher read-aloud. The majority of the read-aloud texts are within the Grade 3 complexity stretch band; however, students lack opportunities to read texts independently without considerable scaffolding. Examples of texts at the appropriate level of complexity include:

  • In Unit 3, Week 1, students listen to The Paper Bag Princess. It is a read aloud and is quantitatively measured at a Lexile of AD550L. The organization of the text is occasionally difficult to predict. The vocabulary is moderately complex with words such as fiery, knocker, and tangly.
  • Unit 5, Week 2, students listen to Wilma Unlimited: How Wilma Rudolph Became the World’s Fastest Woman. This is an informational text with a quantitative measure of AD580L.
  • In Unit 6, Week 2, students listen to the expository text, Homes which has a Lexile of IG730L, is an illustrative guide with examples of functional writing. For the qualitative measure, this text depicts the science of work in homes, which requires students to know some information about homes. The text structure contains diagrams and photographs.
  • In Unit 8, Week 5, students listen to Keepers, which has a Lexile of AD660L. The qualitative features encompass a work of fiction with themes and various dialects used in dialogue

Some texts in the Making Meaning component are not at the appropriate level of complexity for Grade 3 students. The reader and task requirements typically contain considerable scaffolding or partner work, in instances when students could complete tasks independently since texts are below the Grade 3 complexity band. Examples include:

  • In Unit 1, students listen to a text below the Grade 3 complexity band. The text, Miss Nelson is Missing, has a Lexile of 340L. The text is moderately complex in knowledge demands as most students have experience with a substitute teacher. The sentence structure is moderately complex with simple and compound sentences. The text organization in moderately complex with a chronological storyline that is potentially difficult to predict. The reader and task demands are diminished because the teacher reads the book aloud. On Day 2, students listen to the text for a second time and discuss the ending as a class and with a partner. For Writing about Reading, students discuss as a class: “Do you think Viola Swamp is a good teacher? Why?” Then students  write an opinion of Miss Viola Swamp. Students independently write after considerable teacher scaffolding and class discussion.

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
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-
Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Center for Collaborative Classroom Grade 3 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.)

Comprehension strategies, discussion questions, and tasks increase in complexity as students engage in the texts over the course of several days, and across weeks of study within a unit. However, the organization/placement of texts in general do not promote students encountering opportunities for building grade-level skills as outlined by the standards themselves. Texts are organized thematically without a focus on building knowledge, there is a focus on a progressions of stand-alone skills. , for example, may be asked to apply a strategy taught through an anchor text to their independent reading book. However, the level of scaffolding is consistently the same with the teacher reading aloud anchor and supplementary texts. Students typically engage in class discussion or partner discussion before engaging independently with a task.Texts are not always organized in a way that increases students' comprehension skills

At the beginning of the year, students are required to read and practice the comprehension strategies discussed in class. By the end of the year, students are provided opportunities to read independently for longer periods of time. However, there is not a focus on students reaching grade-level proficiency. In addition, students confer with the teacher to discuss the use of their reading strategies. While IDR (Individualized Daily Reading) conferences support students in comprehension of the text, they do not provide assurance for the teacher that students are being adequately supported in growing their comprehension and analysis skills as the year progresses. Students read texts at their independent reading level during Individualized Daily Reading (IDR). An accountability element is built into this component as students are required to share their understanding of what they are reading with their partners, their class, or their teacher.

For example, in Unit 2, students listen to the text, Aunt Flossie’s Hats (and Crab Cakes Later).

  • On Day 1, the teacher reads the story aloud and asks questions throughout. There is a class discussion about the text based on the teacher’s scaffolding questions.
  • On Day 2, the students talk with a partner about the text. The teacher rereads a section of the text and has students talk to a partner about visualizing. After talking, students draw and write about mental images. The teacher is reminded to reread parts of pages 20-27 to help individual students.
  • On Day 3, students could participate in the Writing About Reading task (it is optional), which is to write and draw text-to-self connections. To do the task, students discuss whole class the text, first based on the teacher’s scaffolding questions, and then students write about their favorite hat stories.

In Making Meaning, some strategies are repeated to provide students opportunity to practice application in different settings, however, the level of support from the teacher remains the same which does not fully provide assurance that students will demonstrate independence by the end of Grade 3. Some representative examples include:

  • In Unit 1, students make text-to-text connections, use an illustration to make inferences, discuss the lesson of a story, and make text-to-self connections in fiction and narrative nonfiction. Students often use “Turn to Your Partner” and “Think-Pair-Share” often before completing a task.
  • In Unit 2, students use their schema, visualize a character from the text, draw a mental image of the character, discuss characters’ feeling, and distinguish their points of view from the characters’ in poetry and fiction.
  • In Unit 3, students make inferences to understand characters, explore narrative text structure through discussions of characters and the problems they face, explore character change, compare and contrast books by the same author about the same character, and discuss the lesson of a story in fiction.
  • In Unit 4, students use wondering/questioning to understand a text, think about whether their questions are answered in the text, refer to the text to support their thinking, make predictions, make inferences about characters, and visualize parts of the text in fiction.
  • In Unit 5, students identify what they learn from narrative nonfiction, use wondering/questioning to make sense of text in narrative nonfiction (biography).
  • In Unit 6, students use text features to better understand what they learn in the text, identify what they learn, and make text-to-self connections in expository and functional texts.
  • In Unit 7, students use wondering/questioning to make sense of a text, use schema to articulate what they know about an expository text prior to reading, identify what they learn, and compare and contrast two texts on the same topic in expository nonfiction.
  • In Unit 8, students determine important ideas based on listening to and discussing text, compare and contrast two opinion articles on the same topic, distinguish their own opinions from authors’ opinions of two opinion articles, make inferences to understand text, and make text-to-self connections in expository nonfiction text; explore the differences between drama and prose, use wondering/questioning to make sense of a play, think about elements of narrative text in a play, including character, setting and theme, make inferences to understand characters and plot, and determine important ideas and themes in a story.
  • In Unit 9, students reflect on their use of comprehension strategies and their growth as a reader, and and share book recommendations and plans for summer reading.

These samples do show how the program provides practice with reading strategies over the year, but the teacher will have to provide extra support to ensure students can actually demonstrate reading comprehension of appropriately rigorous and complex texts by the end of Grade 3.

Indicator 1e

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

The materials reviewed for Center for Collaborative Classroom Grade 3 partially meet the criteria that anchor texts and series of texts connected to them are accompanied by a text-complexity analysis and rationale for purpose and placement in the grade level. Materials do not include a complete text-complexity analysis for the texts that accompany the lessons in Making Meaning or Being a Writer. There is a general rationale explaining the purpose of whole-class shared reads and small-group texts. There is also a short rationale of genres and text summaries included for the Making Meaning module provided by the publisher.

In the Making Meaning section, no rationale or text complexity analysis is provided. A list of the books is provided, and a synopsis of each text is provided.

  • In Unit 1, Week 2, the synopsis provided for Two Bobbies: A True Story of Hurricane Katrina, Friendship, and Survival is as follows: “Based on a real-life story of friendship and survival, this nonfiction narrative tells the story of a dog named Bobbi and a cat named Bob Cat, both lost in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. The two Bobbies formed a loyal friendship and survived the ordeal—a feat made all the more remarkable because Bob Cat is blind."
  • In Unit 2, Week 1, the teacher reads aloud the poems “Seal” by William Jay Smith and the book Cherries and Cherry Pits by Vera B. Williams. The publisher provides the following synopsis of the poem: “The poet describes a seal in motion.” The publisher also provides the following synopsis of the book: “Bidemmi loves to draw. She creates interesting characters and stories through her artwork.”
  • In Unit 3, Week 4, the teacher reads aloud The Raft by Jim LaMarche. The publisher provides the following synopsis of the book: "Nicky is unhappy about spending the summer in the woods with his grandma, a self-proclaimed ‘river rat.’ Soon after he arrives, he discovers an old river raft that ferries him on a journey of discovery into nature and himself.”
  • In Unit 5, the text, Sonia Sotomayor: A Judge Grows in the Bronx, is used because the unit focus is narrative nonfiction (biography). “During this unit, the students apply the strategy of wondering/questioning to narrative nonfiction. They practice identifying what they learn from nonfiction texts and explore how learning new things can lead to new questions.”
  • In Unit 6, Week 1, the teacher reads aloud Morning Meals Around the World by Maryellen Gregoire. This text is also utilized in Week 4 of instruction in the same unit. The publisher provides the following synopsis of the book: “This informational text describes the variety of foods people from all over the world have for their morning meals. Recipes, fun facts, and a table of contents overlaid on a world map enrich the text.”
  • In Unit 7, Week 3, the teacher reads aloud Polar Bears by Mark Newman and a short article “Polar Bears in Peril” by Elizabeth Winchester. The publisher provides the following synopsis of the book: “Polar bears—the largest of all bears—are patient, fast, hungry, tough, and endangered. This nonfiction text gives readers an up-close and personal look at these impressive creatures.” The publisher also provides the following synopsis for the short article: “Polar bears face problems as a result of climate change, but zoos and individuals can help.”
  • In Unit 8, Week 4, the synopsis provided for "Possum’s Tail" from Pushing Up the Sky: Seven Native American Plays for Children is as follows: “This play is based on a tale from the Cherokee people that explains how the possum got its unusual tail.”

In the Being a Writer section, a rationale or text complexity analysis is not provided. There is a writing and social development focus for each text which can be used as a rationale and/or a part of the reader and task of the text complexity triad.

  • In Unit 1, Week 2, the teacher reads aloud an excerpt from The Big Book of Picture-Book Authors & Illustrators titled “About Eloise Greenfield,” Silver Seeds by Paul Paolilli and Dan Brewer, Things Will Never Be the Same by Tomie dePaola, and Oceans and Seas by Nicole Davies. The publisher provides the following synopsis of “About Eloise Greenfield”: “Eloise Greenfield talks about growing up and writing for children.” The publisher provides the following synopsis of Silver Seeds: “Acrostic poems describe the natural world.” The publisher provides the following synopsis of Things Will Never Be the Same: “Author Tomie dePaola narrates his life in a diary.” Lastly, the publisher provides the following synopsis for Oceans and Seas: “Photographs, text, and other features give information about the ocean.”
  • In Genre, Personal Narrative, Week 2, the teacher reads aloud Childtimes: A Three-Generation Memoir by Eloise Greenfield and Lessie Jones Little. The publisher provides the following synopsis of the book: “Three generations of women remember their ‘childtimes.’”
  • In Genre, Fiction, Week 4, the teacher reads aloud an excerpt titled, “About Kevin Henkes” by Kevin Henkes The publisher provides a synopsis of the excerpt, “Kevin Henkes shares about his life as an author."
  • In Genre, Expository Fiction, the texts are intended to immerse students in nonfiction texts about animals as they “... learn research skills such as taking notes, categorizing information about subtopic, and conducting effective Internet searches. They learn about features of expository texts, such as illustrations, captions, and tables of contents.” For social development focus, students share resources fairly, make collaborative decisions, and take responsibility for doing their own work.
  • In Genre, Functional Writing, Week 2, the teacher reads aloud an excerpt titled “Puzzle Sticks” from Fun-To-Make Crafts for Every Day edited by Tom Daning. The publisher provides the following synopsis of the book: “These directions explain how to make a simple puzzle with craft sticks.”
  • In Genre, Opinion Writing, Week 2, the teacher reads aloud an essay “Computers in Our Classrooms” by unknown. The publisher provides a synopsis of the book, In this writer’s opinion, it is very important for students to have enough computers in their classrooms.
  • In Unit 9, Week 1, the teacher reads aloud “Writing Habits of Professional Authors” by unknown. The publisher provides the following synopsis of the excerpt: “Professional authors discuss habits that help them write.”

An additional resource, Lexile Overview: Read-aloud Texts and Small-group Reading Texts, is available from the publisher. This resource includes a Lexile overview as information on genres, format, Lexile levels, and Fountas and Pinnell levels.

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

The Grade 3 materials provide numerous opportunities for students to engage with a range and volume of texts (through listening and reading) in order to achieve grade-level reading proficiency. In both the Making Meaning and Being a Writer, students are introduced to new texts and a variety of disciplines and genres.

In Making Meaning, students hear the teacher read a text daily. Students engage in whole-class and partner discussions. On subsequent days, students make use of the same text. Teachers utilize the text to teach students a comprehension strategy. Throughout the nine units, students are exposed to a variety of genres and topics. In each unit, there is a variety of text topics read aloud. Read-alouds comprise a mix of fiction and nonfiction (i.e., poetry, fables, personal narratives, and expository text). Students hear about and explore topics, such as polar bears, homework, and banning tag. For example, in Unit 5, Week 1, students hear the biography, Brave Harriet. While in Unit 6, Week 1, students hear the expository nonfiction, Morning Meals Around the World.

In Being a Writer, students listen to various read alouds for ideas and as models for writing. For example, in the Personal Narrative unit, Week 2, Day 1, students hear the personal narrative “John and the Snake” and have a discussion about this personal narrative before writing their own.

Students engage in daily independent reading beginning in Unit 1, Week 1, Day 4 of instruction. On this day, the students learn the procedure for independent reading, read for 15 minutes, and then reflect on the process. In Making Meaning Teacher’s Manual, there is an overview of the plan for student independent reading, which is Individualized Daily Reading (IDR). It is recommended for students to spend approximately 30 minutes per day reading books independently and at their appropriate reading level. Students select books from the classroom library. Recommendations are included for setting up the classroom library. According to the publisher, "A classroom library requires an extensive range of fiction and nonfiction texts at various levels. It is recommended for 300 to 400 titles to be twenty-five percent below grade level (by one to two grades), and twenty-five percent should be above grade level (by one to two grades). Teachers have the option of purchasing a daily reading library by grade level and readability from the publisher."

Criterion 1g - 1n

Materials provide opportunities for rich and rigorous evidence-based discussions and writing about texts to build strong literacy skills.
14/16
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-
Criterion Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Center of Collaborative Classroom Grade 3 meet the criteria that most questions, tasks, and assignments are text-dependent/specific, requiring students to engage with the text directly. There are some sequences of high-quality, text-dependent/specific questions, activities, and tasks that scaffold students’ understanding of a text that build to a culminating task. Throughout the school year and each lesson, the application of speaking and listening instruction is frequently applied in each program component. Students engage in Turn and Talks, Think-Pair-Shares, and whole-group discussions. Materials 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. Throughout the course of the school year, students engage with multiple genres and modes of writing in both Making Meaning and Being a Writer. Materials partially 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. Students are continuously asked to support analyses and claims with clear information and evidence during discussion. However, there are few opportunities for students to produce evidence-based writing. Materials 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.

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
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-
Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Center of Collaborative Classroom Grade 3 meet the criteria that most questions, tasks, and assignments are text-dependent/specific, requiring students to engage with the text directly (drawing on textual evidence to support both what is explicit as well as valid inferences from the text).

The Grade 3 instructional materials meet expectations for alignment to the standards with tasks and questions grounded in evidence. There are sequences of high-quality, text-dependent questions, activities, and tasks that build scaffolding of student understanding of text and provide opportunities to synthesize key information. Throughout independent reading practice, students apply their knowledge of reading and responding to text-dependent questions, making inferences, and synthesizing information on a day-to-day basis.

Throughout each unit, daily questions and tasks require students to extend strategies acquired during the learning process and apply them to similar texts. Question types are a combination of text-dependent and explicit, requiring students to cite evidence. Text-dependent questions appear before, during, and after reading instruction. Students explore questions in whole group, small group, and independent practice.

Examples of questions, tasks, and assignments that require students to engage with the text directly include:

  • In Unit 1, Week 1, students are asked the following question: “What happens to the students in Room 207 when Miss Swamp is their teacher? Why do you think this happened?”
  • In Unit 2, Week 1, students focus on poetry. Students are taught steps for visualizing events in the poem. The teacher facilitates a class discussion and asks the following question: “What do you notice about the shape of this poem? Why do you think the poet decided to write it this way? What does the seal do in the first part of poem? What does it do in second part?”
  • In Unit 3, Week 2, students read Julius, the Baby of the World and make inferences about the characters. The teacher asks the following question: “What is Lilly’s problem in the story? What do you know about Lilly? What clues helped you know that?” In their student response journals, student teams of two respond to Lilly’s character in the beginning and end of the story. Then the entire class discusses how Lilly changes.
  • In Unit 3, Week 3, students read Boundless Grace. After reading the story, the students create a character web on Grace. Then, the students have a class discussion with text-dependent questions and respond to the following question: “How does Grace’s feeling about her family change between the beginning of the story and the end?”
  • In Unit 8, Week 1, students focus on expository text. They determine the essential ideas in expository nonfiction texts. Text-dependent questions are included with each text. For example, students read “Banning Tag,” and examples include the following questions: “What have you learned about different types of tag? What are some of the reasons people give for why tag should be banned?”


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
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Center for Collaborative Classroom Grade 3 partially meet the expectations for having sets of high-quality sequences of text-dependent/specific questions and tasks that build to a culminating task that integrates skills (may be writing, speaking, or a combination).

There are some sequences of high-quality text dependent/specific questions, activities, and tasks that scaffold students’ understanding of a text that build to a culminating task. Some instructional opportunities exist for students to synthesize key information from text; however, the majority of these opportunities are identified as optional extension activities or optional writing about reading activities, and therefore are not assured in the core instruction over the course of the year.

At the end of each week’s lessons, there are opportunities for students in Making Meaning to write about the text that they read. These Writing about Reading activities are optional. Some of these opportunities ask students to synthesize their learning. In addition, comprehension skills and strategies are taught throughout a unit. However, there is no culmination of the skill at the end, so teachers may need to provide additional support to assure students have comprehensive opportunities to demonstrate what they have learned. Some examples include:

  • In Unit 2, Week 1, the theme of visualization is referenced throughout the unit with questions, such as "What words or phrases helped you visualize how the seal moves?" and "What words or phrases from the story helped you draw your picture?" However, a culminating task for visualization is not provided.
  • In Unit 4, Week 3 of Making Meaning, students read Mailing May and create questions that they want to be answered in the text. On Day 3, students draw and write sentence(s), with explanations, about their illustrations.
  • In Unit 4, Week 1 of Making Meaning, students ponder and ask questions using the text The Girl Who Loved Wild Horses. Students are asked questions, such as "What is this story about? What happens in this story that is magical? Was it hard or easy to think of questions as you listened to the story?' However, these questions do not lead to a culminating task.
  • In Unit 6, Week 3 of Making Meaning, students focus on Using Text Features with Expository Text. The teacher reads aloud various texts and centers class discussion on pointing out text features. Then, students apply what they know about text features in their independent reading by writing in their journal. At the end of each day, students discuss which text feature was evident and one thing that they learned from it. As a culminating activity, students write about two articles that they read aloud: “Hop To It: Fancy Footwork” and “Jump Rope: Then and Now.” Students respond to the following question: "In what ways are the articles alike? In what ways are they different?"
  • In Unit 8, Week 1 of Making Meaning, students determine important ideas in expository nonfiction, fiction, and drama. Students practice the skill in an array of texts and apply their findings to independent reading. One task requires students to compare and contrast two opinion articles on the same topic. As a class, students discuss which article is more persuasive. However, there is a lack of a culminating activity that requires students to apply skills to new texts.
  • In some lessons, there are culminating tasks that students engage after series of reading, writing, and questions. For example, in Unit 6, Week 4, Day 4 of Making Meaning, students review the types of nonfiction texts they have been reading. They discuss the types of nonfiction they enjoy or find most interesting. Then they are asked to write an opinion paragraphs about nonfiction they enjoy, including reasons for their opinion. This may be shared with other students in the class.
  • The materials do include some Extension options that could be culminating tasks; however, these are also optional. Not all students in the classroom will participate in the Extension tasks.
  • In Unit 2, Week 4 of Making Meaning, teachers are provided with an extension opportunity to assign to students. In the Make a Class Book extension, students work in pairs to illustrate portions of a non-illustrated book read aloud. Afterwards, the class discusses the words in the text that helped them to formulate illustrations. Though connected to the texts from the unit, this is evidence of a lesson extension and not an end-of-unit culminating activity.
  • In Unit 6, Week 2 of Making Meaning, an Extension option is available for students to locate and discuss text features in their science and social studies books. Students are encouraged to discuss how various text features help the reader understand the content of the text. This could be considered a task to culminate the study of text features, but it is optional.

In Being a Writer, rubrics are included for the teacher to evaluate students’ published and unpublished writing. In the Opinion Writing unit in Being a Writer, Week 3, Day 3, an option is provided for students to write an opinion paragraph about a persuasive essay. Students review a previously read the persuasive essay, “Don’t Change Our Start Time.” They determine whether they find it personally persuasive, and whether it contains characteristics of a well-written persuasive essay. This activity follows students’ work on their own persuasive essays on that day. In this instance, the task is writing about reading an article within the genre being studied.

Indicator 1i

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Center for Collaborative Classroom Grade 3 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 daily opportunities and protocols for students to engage in evidence-based discussion in a variety of contexts (i.e., small group, partner, and whole class). Evidence-based discussions promote mastery of grade-level speaking and listening standards. There are opportunities available to assess all students’ speaking and listening abilities. Throughout the program, there is are social development objectives. Weekly objectives encompass listening respectfully to thought processes of peers. Every lesson comprises questions that students can discuss through speaking and listening opportunities.

During class discussions in Making Meaning (including the Vocabulary Teaching Guide), modeling and practice with academic vocabulary is provided. Resources include, but are not limited to, Making Meaning Teacher Manuals, Making Meaning Vocabulary Teaching Guide, and Making Meaning Student Response Book. Cooperative Discussion Structures included the following: Turn to Your Partner, Think-Pair-Share, Think-Pair-Write, and Heads Together (located in the introduction of understanding the program section of the Making Meaning Teacher’s Manual). In the Vocabulary Teaching Guides, vocabulary lessons are present for four days with continuous reviews on the fifth day of instruction. Each lesson makes use of vocabulary from weekly anchor texts and offer fifteen to twenty minutes of instruction.

  • On a daily basis, students discuss with a partner what they have read during individualized daily reading (IDR). At the start of the year, students talk about their independent reading in broad terms. As the year progresses, the program includes suggestions for sharing their reading using the daily lesson’s strategy.
  • Each text provides questions for the teacher to facilitate class discussion. Question variations include Turn and Talk, Think-Pair-Share, and whole class discussion.
  • Students often engage in a listening practice activity. Students are paired up and taught the “Turn to Your Partner” strategy. The teacher’s guide explains, “Working with partners gives them a chance to talk about what they are thinking and learning before sharing ideas with the class.” The teacher models the strategy and has students practice it. Facilitation tips are included such as “prompt students to turn and look at the person who is about to speak.” During Making Meaning, Unit 1, Week 2, students are introduced to the Think-Pair-Share strategy.
  • In Unit 2, Week 1, after listening to a poem and producing visual representations, students respond to the following: “What does the seal do in the first part of the poem?” The students turn to their neighbors and discuss the question.
  • In Unit 3, Week 4, the teacher and students review the text, “The Raft.” The teacher and students review how characters gradually changed in previous texts selections. The teacher introduces the double-entry journal. The students use these books to make inferences of how the character, Nicky, feels in each part of the story. In the Making Meaning Teacher’s Manual, there are teacher prompting questions. When students have completed the task, the teacher facilitates a class discussion describing the changes in Nicky’s character. The teacher records student responses (shared with the whole group) on a class double-entry display. Sample student responses are provided to assist the teacher in anticipating responses.
  • In Unit 5, Week 1, students engage in independent reading practice of various texts. They discuss broad questions with partners (i.e., What is your text about? What did you learn from your reading today? Did anything surprise you?).
  • In Unit 6, Week 3, the students are discussing information they have learned from studying the text features of three texts. The students make use of Think-Pair-Share to discuss newfound information acquired from a text feature. As the lesson progresses, students share their rationale, in regards to the text features, aloud with their peers.
  • In Unit 7, Week 1, students listen to an expository text. On two occasions, the teacher is requested to discontinue reading and provide the following, “Based on what you just heard, what are you wondering? Turn to your neighbor.” At the end of the passage, the teacher facilitates a class discussion and asks, “What did you learn today about rain forest frogs?”

The Grade 3 vocabulary program consists of 30 weeks of lessons as well as ongoing review activities. Students work with the words from the text.

  • In Making Meaning Vocabulary Teaching Guide, Week 1, Day 1, the teacher reads aloud Miss Nelson is Missing! and emphasizes the word rapped. The teacher asks, “Why might you rap on a someone’s door? Turn to your partner.”
  • In Making Meaning Vocabulary Teaching Guide, Week 17, Day 1, the teacher reads aloud Sonia Sotomayor, and the teacher displays word card 99 with industrious from the text. The teacher states: “Olive is learning to play the tuba. She practices for an hour after school each day. Is Olive industrious? Why? Turn to your partner.”
  • In Making Meaning Vocabulary Teaching Guide, Week 29, Day 1, the teacher reads aloud Keepers and states, “Based on what you just heard, what do you think the word clenched might mean? Turn to your partner.”


Indicator 1j

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Center for Collaborative Classroom Grade 3 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.

Throughout the school year and each lesson, the application of speaking and listening instruction is frequently applied in each program component. Students engage in Turn and Talks, Think-Pair-Shares, and whole-group discussions. In the Teacher’s Manual, there are details on the various cooperative structures in the program. In Grade 3 specifically, “turn to your partner" and “Think-Pair-Share” are the most common structures. Students work on elaborating on their understanding of the text. Across the year’s scope of academic materials, teachers receive guidance on leading students in evidence-based discussions.

In the Making Meaning component, there are frequent opportunities to practice speaking and listening skills about what students are reading and researching. Examples include:

  • In Unit 2, Week 3, the teacher reads aloud Aunt Flossie’s Hats (and Crab Cakes Later). With partners, they answer questions such as “What did you see in your mind as you listened to this part?” After the read aloud, students have a whole-class discussion using two question prompts and then use Think-Pair-Share to discuss which hat story they like best. The teacher can invite some students to share their answers.
  • In Unit 3, Week 3, while reading Amazing Grace the teacher is directed to pause and ask questions including, “How do you think Grace feels?” Each time, students turn and talk with their neighbor. The teacher is directed to have one or two students share responses. After the story is read, the students engage in a discussion, and the teacher is given facilitation questions such as “Do you agree with what Sofia just said? Why?” to help students’ responses.
  • In Unit 4, Week 2, Day 2, during individual reading practice, students meet with a partner after reading to share a question they had while reading and what they found out about that question while reading.
  • In Unit 9, students write a book recommendation and then share that with the class. After a student shares his/her book recommendation, there are discussion questions for the teacher to ask the student(s) such as: “What questions do you want to ask the speaker about the book she shared?” and “Do you have enough information to decide whether you want to add this book to your summer reading list?"

In the Being a Writer component, there are additional opportunities to practice speaking and listening skills about what students are reading and researching. Examples include:

  • In Unit 2, Week 2, students work on peer revision conferences. Students engage in a lesson on how to ask someone to confer with them, how to agree to confer with someone, how to be responsible while conferring, and questions to ask a partner when conferring.
  • In the Fiction Genre Writing Unit, Week 4, Day 2, students revisit stories that they heard, written by Kevin Henkes, Students have a whole-group discussion about what they learned about Kevin Henkes and how being an artist helped him in his writing.
  • In the Functional Writing Unit, Week 1, Day 1, students learn what functional writing is and engage in a Think-Pair-Share to brainstorm things they know how to take care of that they could write about, which is modeled off of the read aloud, Kittens.
  • Students have whole-class discussions that require them to work on their speaking and listening in this component, including in the Poetry Genre Unit, Week 1, Day 1. Students hear the poem “Two Voices in a Tent at Night.” Volunteers share their thinking with the class including what the characters in the poem are feeling and what is funny in the poem.


Indicator 1k

Materials include a mix of on-demand and process writing (e.g. multiple drafts, revisions over time) and short, focused projects, incorporating digital resources where appropriate.
2/2
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Center for Collaborative Classroom Grade 3 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.

The materials include daily, on-demand writing tasks and opportunities for completing multiple drafts and revisions based on writing mini-lessons. Teachers gain support from digital resources and additional commentary describes its use for lessons. Throughout the units, there are project-aligned extension activities. Each day, students write independently. Throughout the course of the school year time spent writing increases. Students write from 10 to 15 minutes in Unit 1 and increase to 30 minutes through the year. As students engage in independent writing activities, they respond to prompts that link prior learning from the previous lesson. Students repeatedly engage in the cycle of prewriting, drafting, revising, proofreading, and publishing as they participate in the genre units of Being a Writer. The genre units focus on personal narrative, fictional narrative, expository (or informative) nonfiction, functional (or explanatory) nonfiction, opinion writing, and poetry. Students hear, read, and discuss good examples of each genre. They learn about elements of a genre as they brainstorm ideas, quick write, and write multiple drafts. Students then select a draft to develop and revise for publication in the class library.

Examples include:

  • In Unit 1, Week 3, after reading aloud Hello Ocean, students describe a place they really like to be, with sensory details, in their writing notebooks in a quick write opportunity.
  • In Unit 2, Week 1, students review all of their written drafts from Unit 1 and select one to develop into a book. For this unit, lessons include interesting words after revising. The teacher models techniques of revising uninteresting words. Additionally, sample drafts are included. The process comprises peer conferences, teacher conferences, and revisions based on mini-lessons such as opening sentences, effective titles, and proofreading. Afterwards, students publish their final drafts and present in the “Author’s Chair.” Following, students complete a self-assessment.
  • In Unit 3, Week 1, during Writing About Meaning, Making Meaning, students complete a quick write. They share their opinions about Elizabeth’s decision in “The Paper Princess” to try to rescue the prince. They are instructed to give reasons to support their opinions. Prior to writing, the teacher thinks aloud and models writing.
  • In Unit 3, Weeks 1-4, there is a central focus on personal narratives. Students are exposed to several examples of narratives read aloud and discussed as a class. While practicing a skill, students complete daily quick writes (independently developing their own narrative). This culminating activity allows students to write a personal narrative from one of the quick writes and add sensory details, temporal words and phrases, strong openings and endings, revise and proofread, and publish and assess their work.
  • In Unit 4, Week 1 and throughout the unit, the teacher creates a class blog. Students reflect on their writing attitudes by responding to reflection questions posted by the teacher.
  • In Unit 6, Week 2, students complete daily, on-demand writing by engaging in a Think-Pair-Share on what they will write about and completing a journal entry about the book that was read independently. The teacher uses a “Journal Entry” chart to model expectations for completing class journal entries. Subsequently, students are instructed to include a title and author, events of the story, new learning acquired from the reading selection, and newfound knowledge of text features used.
  • In Unit 7, Week 2, students write opinions and use reasons to support them. Also, they edit writing and add transitional words. Students write clear, direct openings and conclusions for a persuasive essay. In Week 3, students confer with a partner and revise their essays. They correct sentence fragments and proofread and publish their essays.
  • In Unit 8, Week 2, after reading and discussing various types of poetry, students write original poems.
  • Opportunities to use technology are also embedded in the curriculum. Students are given opportunities for digital storytelling. It is suggested that the stories be shared online, emailed to parents, or stored for others to view on the computer, tablet, or other device.


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 Center of Collaborative Classroom Grade 3 meet the criteria for materials providing opportunities for students to address different text types of writing that reflect the distribution required by the standards.

Writing prompts include opinion, narrative, and informative/explanatory writing throughout the program. Additionally, students write poetry. Throughout the course of the school year, students engage with multiple genres and modes of writing in both Making Meaning and Being a Writer. In Being a Writer, every writing sample stems from a study of mentor texts as exemplars of the genre studied. Genres include personal, narrative, fiction, expository nonfiction, functional, opinion, and poetry. Performance tasks are included for narrative, argumentative, and informative/explanatory writing. In the Assessment Sourcebook, teachers and students can access scoring rubrics and record sheets. Examples include:

Narrative

  • In Unit 1, Week 2 of Being a Writer, students engage in personal narrative quick writes and write about topics such as: "What is your earliest memory?" and "When were you really surprised?"
  • In the Personal Narrative Genre Unit, students learn about personal narratives, and on Week 2, Day 3, students write about a time they persevered in the face of a challenge.
  • In the Fiction Genre Unit, students write their own fiction story. For example, in Week 2, Day 1, students work on visualizing a character before beginning a new fiction piece or continuing with an old one.

Opinion

  • In Unit 3, Week 1, Day 3 of Making Meaning, students write their opinions about Elizabeth’s decision to try to rescue the prince in the story The Paper Princess. The teacher models thinking aloud and writing. The teacher reminds students to give reasons to support their opinions.
  • In Unit 8, Week 1, Day 4 of Making Meaning, students write an opinion piece about homework after reading two articles on the reasons behind homework.

Informational

  • In the Expository Nonfiction Writing unit, students read informational texts about animals and write about interesting things they learned about an animal and what they are still curious about.
  • In Unit 5, Week 1, Day 4 of Making Meaning, students write a newspaper article after hearing the story Brave Harriet.
  • In Unit 8, Week 3 , Day 2 of Making Meaning, students hear many fables and discuss themes. On this day, students reread the fable, “The Young Rooster,” discuss the theme or lesson of the fable with a partner, and then record their thinking in their Student Response Book.


Indicator 1m

Materials include frequent opportunities for evidence-based writing to support careful analyses, well-defended claims, and clear information.
1/2
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Center for Collaborative Classroom Grade 3 partially 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. Students are regularly encouraged to support analyses and claims with clear information and evidence during discussions. However, there are few opportunities for students to produce evidence-based writing.

Writing about Reading in both the Making Meaning and Being a Writer components provide students with opportunities to write opinions about and make connections to texts they listen to and discuss, but since these activities are optional, students are not regularly required to produce evidence-based writing. Protocols are outlined in the Teacher Editions, which states: "Writing About Reading. These activities provide the students with opportunities to write opinions about and make connections to texts they hear and discuss in the Being a Writer program. Although the activities are optional, they provide a valuable opportunity for your students to practice writing opinions in response to texts, and we encourage you to do them. These activities can be done at the end of a lesson or at another time. The Writing About Reading activities build in complexity across grades. In grades K–2, the students write personal opinions in response to texts. Starting in grade 1, students are expected to provide reasons to support their opinions. In grade 3, in addition to writing about personal opinions, the students begin to more closely analyze the texts, backing up inferences with textual references. In grades 4–5, the latter is the primary focus of the Writing About Reading activities. Students write and include textual references to support their inferences."

Potential opportunities for students to respond to texts include lessons and practice such as the following representative examples. Although these examples are both evidence-based prompts, the Writing about Reading sections are optional, so all students may not get these opportunities. Additionally, time is not built into lessons to complete these writing tasks, so the teacher may have to redesign and provide extra planning to assure students have access to this work. Although students often discuss and reflect on genre writing, students do not consistently use texts to pull information or evidence to support their published writings.

  • In Unit 1, Week 2, students read Silver Seeds and write a short paragraph about a favorite poem. The teacher models the process and reminds students to include reasons that supports their opinions.
  • In Unit 3, Week 5, Day 2 of Making Meaning, students review two fiction stories that they have listened to and engaged with previously: The Raft, and Alexander, Who’s Not (Do you hear me? I mean it!) Going to Move. Students discuss and then write about ways the two stories are alike and different, using examples from the texts to illustrate their points.
  • In Unit 4 of Being a Writer, students listen to “Excerpt from Boundless Grace” and write an opinion paragraph about what kind of person Nana is, based on the things she says in the passage.
  • In Unit 5, students use questioning after hearing the excerpts from the texts, Wilma Unlimited: How Wilma Rudolph Became the World’s Fastest Woman, and Sonia Sotomayor: A Judge Grows in the Bronx. Students are asked to answer general questions about what they learn, and generate questions about what they wonder in a Double Journal Entry, but are not asked questions that require text-dependent analysis nor close reading and re-reading.
  • In Unit 7, Week 3, day 4 students discuss the following: In what ways are the texts “Polar Bears” and “Polar Bears in Peril” alike? In what ways are they different? Students use this information to compare and contrast the texts.
  • In Unit 7, Week 1, students are tasked with thinking about and listing opinions for a persuasive essay about topics of their choosing. The following essays are read aloud and discussed in class, “School Should Start Later in the Morning”, “Rats are the Coolest Pets”, “Don’t Change Our Start Time”, and “Why You Should Get a Dog”. Next they write about their opinions and additional information of their choice. On Days 1 and 2 of this week the students may practice opinion writing or write about anything else they choose. On Day 3 after exposure to these examples of opinion writing, all students begin to write in this genre.
  • In Unit 8, Week 2, the goal is for students to identify newfound knowledge. In this lesson, students are requested to talk to a neighbor about acquired learning. Afterwards, students write about the most important aspects of their learning.

Three Guided Writing Performance Tasks are provided. There is one narrative, one informative, and one opinion task. These include teacher directions, student directions, source materials, graphic organizers, research questions, and scoring rubrics for the research questions. Each one-week unit consists of five days of lessons. Students work as a class, in pairs, and independently to complete each step of the performance task. Students are first introduced to and then practice using strategies to complete the tasks. The Guided Practice Performance Task includes extensive support and is in collaboration with partners. The Writing Performance Task Preparation Guide states, “However, if you feel that your students are ready to complete a performance task independently after completing two of the units, the final Guided Practice Performance Task in this guide can be administered as a practice test. Simply administer the final performance task without the instructional support.” Even if a teacher chooses to complete one Guided Performance Task independently, students would not have adequate practice to demonstrate independent mastery of producing evidence-based writing that supports careful analyses, well-defended claims, and clear information.

The Reading Assessment Practice Guide unit of instruction provides does provide students with opportunities to read and write evidence-based answers. However, the unit is taught at the end of the year in preparation for the guided-performance tasks rather than being incorporated throughout the school year.

Indicator 1n

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

The materials reviewed for Center for the Collaborative Classroom Grade 3 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.

Over the course of the year, students have opportunities to learn grammar and convention standards both in and out of context. Grammar and conventions are primarily taught during the Skill Practice portion of Being a Writer, which is out of context from the writing and anchor texts. Students have some opportunities to apply grammar and convention skills to their writing during Being a Writer lessons. The materials also include a Skill Practice Note in the writing lessons that guides teachers to the Skill Practice lesson for grammar and convention practice. While grammar and conventions standards are addressed in the materials, opportunities are missed to vary application styles for learners and to apply skills more frequently to their writing drafts.

Materials include instruction of all grammar and conventions standards for the grade level. Examples of each language standard include:

  • L.3.1a:
    • In Unit 2, Week 1, Day 2, Being a Writer, the teacher has students brainstorm more interesting adjectives to use in place of the word good. Students also brainstorm words to use in place of big and small. This task is repeated with verbs. “Point out that in addition to adjectives (or descriptive words) like good,big,and small, many verbs (or action words) can be used too often, such as run, walk, sit, and said. Explain that these words can also be replaced with more interesting words.” Students then read through drafts of their own work to find overused adjectives they can replace with something more interesting.
  • L.3.1b:
    • In Lesson 6, Skill Practice, students learn about singular and plural nouns and irregular plural nouns. “Repeat the process for the remaining sentences, explaining the following rules for forming plural nouns: Sentence pair 1: Add the letter -s to form the plural of most nouns. Sentence pair 2: Add -es to a noun that ends with s, x, sh, or ch. Sentence pair 3: Some nouns form the plural by changing their spelling (goose/geese). These are called irregular nouns.”
  • L.3.1c:
    • In Unit 5, Week 1, Day 2, Being a Writer, in the extension portion of the lesson the teacher explains the definition of an abstract noun to students, “Write the word curiosity where everyone can see it. Tell the students that curiosity belongs to a group of nouns called abstract nouns. Explain that abstract nouns describe things that cannot be seen, touched, tasted, smelled, or heard. Provide examples of other abstract nouns, such as truth, freedom, education, responsibility, information, cooperation, and knowledge, and write them next to curiosity. Point out that none of these nouns is a thing that you can experience with your five senses.” The class then practices coming up with sentences using abstract nouns.
  • L.3.1d:
    • In Unit 4, Week 5, Day 3, Being a Writing, students find and discuss verbs used in the story, Julius, the Baby of the World. Follow-up teacher questions are also provided, “What do you imagine when you hear the verb [stroked/exclaimed]?” “What do the verbs [twitched and quivered] tell us about [how Lilly might be feeling]?” A teacher note in the margins is also provided for additional practice, “You might point out that the author writes, “Lilly’s fur stood on end” and not, “Lilly’s fur standed on end,” as well as, “But if Lilly did the exact same thing, they said . . .” and not “they sayed.”
    • In Lesson 16, Skill Practice, students learn about regular and irregular past-tense verbs. Students first participate in an introductory lesson where they learn how to form and use past tense verbs. Students then participate in guided practice where they work together to choose the correct past tense verb to complete each sentence. Students work in pairs to write a short paragraph using three past-tense verbs.
  • L.3.1e:
    • In Lesson 15, Skill Practice, students learn about forming simple verb tenses. “Explain to the students that they will practice recognizing and using verb tenses. Explain that a verb tense tells when the action in a sentence takes place. Display the “Simple Verb Tenses” activity (WA10). Read aloud the words present, past, and future. Explain that the present tense tells about something that is happening now, the past tense tells about something that has already happened, and the future tense tells about something that will happen.”
  • L.3.1f:
    • In Lesson 17, Skill Practice, students learn about subject-verb agreement. Students first participate in an introductory lesson where they learn how to make the subject of the sentence match the verb. Students then participate in a guided practice where they work together to choose the correct verb to complete a sentence in a passage. Students work in pairs to write at least three sentences, using correct subject-verb agreement with singular and plural subjects.
  • L.3.1g:
    • In Unit Genre Fiction, Week 5, Lesson 4, the teacher explains the differences between verbs and adverbs to students, “Explain that while verbs describe actions, adverbs are words that describe how the actions are done. Explain that adverbs often end in -ly and give more information about the verbs. For example, 'quietly and politely' describe how the penguins 'greeted' each other.” Students also discuss how adverbs add to the story Tacky the Penguin. Students then have the opportunity to look at their own writing to see if there were any places they used or could use adverbs.
    • In Lesson 20, Skill Practice, students learn about comparative and superlative adjectives where they learn to add -er and -est to words to complete sentences. Students participate in guided practice where they circle the correct comparative or superlative adjective to complete a sentence. Students work in pairs to write three sentences, using adjectives that compare. One sentence should include a form of the word good.”
  • L.3.1h:
    • In Lesson 4, Skill Practice, students learn how to use subordinating conjunctions to join two parts of a complex sentence. “Point to the words in the word box: after, because, before, until. Explain that these words are conjunctions, or connecting words, that join the two parts of a complex sentence. Circle the word because in the complex sentence you wrote.”
    • In Unit Genre Functional Writing, Week 3, Day 2, the teacher explains the purpose of the coordinating conjunctions and, but, and or to students, ”Explain that authors of directions often use joining words to make writing clearer and easier to understand.” Students then look for and discuss those conjunctions on the Putting on Your Shoes chart. Students then review their own writing to look for coordinating conjunctions or places where they could add these in.”
  • L.3.1i:
    • In Lesson 3, Skill Practice, students learn how to connect simple sentences using conjunctions and, or, and but to create compound sentences. “Explain that, when we use a conjunction like and to connect simple sentences, we form what is called a compound sentence. Point to the comma in the sentence and explain that we put a comma before the conjunction in a compound sentence.”
  • L.3.2a:
    • In Unit Fiction Genre, Week 6, Day 3, when discussing interesting titles, the teacher is advised to review title capitalization rules with students, “After the students have discussed the titles, you might point out that most, if not all, of the words in each of these titles are capitalized. Explain that this is generally true of book titles. If the students need more practice with this skill, see Lesson 26 in the Skill Practice Teaching Guide.”
    • In Lesson 26, Skill Practice, students learn about capitalizing titles and apply their learning to an “Writing Book Titles” activity during guided practice where they capitalize titles within a passage.
  • L.3.2b:
    • In Lesson 28, Skill Practice, students learn how to add commas to addresses and complete a “Commas in Addresses” activity during guided practice where they add commas to an addressed envelope. Students work in pairs to write a letter and address an envelope to practice using commas correctly.
  • L.3.2c:
    • In Lesson 29, Skill Practice, students learn how to add quotation marks and commas for dialogue to their writing. Students participate in a “Commas and Quotation Marks in Dialogue” activity during guided practice where they identify where quotation marks and commas for dialogue are placed in a passage. Students then work in pairs to write dialogue and include quotation marks and commas.
  • L.3.2d:
    • In Lesson 8, Skill Practice, students learn about possessive nouns. Students participate in guided practice where they circle the correct form of possessive nouns in a passage. Students work in pairs to write a paragraph that includes singular and plural possessive nouns. “Explain that nouns such as boy’s, girls’, and men’s that tell what someone owns are called possessive nouns.”
    • In Lesson 10, Skill Practice, students practice using possessive pronouns in a variety of activities. Students read a series of sentences and a passage and must circle the possessive pronouns in each. Students also complete the following writing activity: “Write a short passage about a real or make-believe animal that comes out at night. Use at least three possessive pronouns.” Students also practice choosing the correct possessive pronoun to complete sentences such as, “1. Jonah and Clare went to a pond near ______ school to look for frogs.” (Students choose between his, its, their, her and mine to complete the sentence).
  • L.3.2e:
    • In Unit 6, Week 3, Day 3, Being a Writer, in a lesson on proofreading, the teacher is instructed to have students “[c]ircle words in their drafts that they are unsure how to spell and look them up in the word bank. Add any words that are not already in the word bank after looking up the correct spelling in a dictionary or other source.” At the end of the lesson the teacher discusses the following questions with students, “What words did you find in your word bank today? How did you check on words that were not in the word bank? What corrections did you make in your draft after reviewing your proofreading notes?”
  • L.3.2f:
    • In Lesson 16, Being a Writer, students form and use regular and irregular verbs. Display the last “Regular and Irregular Past-tense Verbs” activity (WA16). Explain to the students that you will work together to read each sentence and choose the correct past-tense form of the verb to complete the sentence. Read aloud the first sentence and the answer choices in the word box. “What is the correct way to form the past tense of start? (add -ed) So, which word belongs in the sentence? Invite a volunteer to drag and drop started into the blank. Repeat the process for the rest of the sentences, discussing how the past tense is formed in each case. If necessary, for number 2, remind the students that run is an irregular verb and, therefore, does not end with ed.Have the students work in pairs to write a short paragraph using three past-tense verbs."
  • L.3.2g:
    • In Unit 3, Week 4, Day 3, Being a Writer, students work on proofreading their drafts for spelling. They consult their word banks within their Student Writing Handbook and discuss other methods of looking for spellings, such as consulting an online dictionary, if the words are not found in their word banks.


Criterion 1o - 1q

Materials in reading, writing, speaking, listening, and language targeted to support foundational reading development are aligned to the standards.
4/6
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Criterion Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Center for the Collaborative Classroom Grade 3 partially meet the criteria for materials, questions, and tasks addressing grade-level CCSS for foundational skills to build comprehension by providing instruction in phonics, word recognition, and reading fluency in a research-based and transparent progression. Opportunities for students to learn Grade 3 phonics and decoding skills and strategies are limited. Over the course of the year, students receive limited instruction in foundational skills to build comprehension through the application of word analysis skills during IDR, and during additional resources found within Appendix A, D, and IDR mini-lessons. Materials partially meet the criteria for materials, questions, and tasks guiding students to read with purpose and understanding and to make frequent connections between acquisition of foundation skills and making meaning from reading. Over the course of the year, materials provide students with limited opportunities to demonstrate mastery of the application of word analysis skills to grade level text. Materials partially meet the criteria for instructional opportunities being 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. Few 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 during IDR.

Indicator 1o

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Center for the Collaborative Classroom Grade 3 meet the criteria for materials, questions, and tasks addressing grade-level CCSS for foundational skills to build comprehension by providing instruction in phonics, word recognition, and reading fluency in a research-based and transparent progression. Opportunities for students to learn Grade 3 phonics and decoding skills and strategies are limited. With SIPPS, there is the potential for students to receive explicit and systematic instruction in Grade 3 foundational skills, but because SIPPS is leveled, a Grade 3 student may not receive instruction in Grade 3 foundational skills (which are in SIPPS Challenge) if the student only receives instruction in SIPPS Beginning and SIPPS Extension.

Over the course of the year, students receive instruction in foundational skills to build comprehension through the application of word analysis skills during Individualized Daily Reading (IDR), and during additional resources found within Appendix A, D, and IDR minilessons. The following Word-analysis Strategies Chart is created with students in Making Meaning Vocabulary Teacher’s Manual Mini Lesson 6. Look carefully at the word. Ask yourself:

  • Do I recognize any parts of the word?
  • Look for a prefix or suffix you know.
  • Look at the part of the word to which the prefix or suffix is added. Ask yourself: Is this part a word I recognize? Do I know its meaning?
  • Ask yourself: Is it a compound word? Look for two or more words you know inside the unfamiliar word.
  • Use what you know about the parts of the word to figure out its meaning.
  • After you have figured out the meaning of the word, reread the sentence(s). Ask yourself: Does the meaning make sense?”

Students also have the opportunity to read a passage with a partner and apply the word analysis strategies they have just learned about. “Tell the students that now partners will read the last four paragraphs of the passage together using their copies of A New Robot. Remind the students that if they come across an unfamiliar word, they can use the ideas on the “Word-analysis Strategies” chart to figure out its meaning.” This lesson is the main lesson on word analysis for Grade 3 students. At the end of the mini-lesson, the teacher is to tell students to refer to the Word-analysis Strategies chart when they read during IDR or any time they are reading. Multiple explicit opportunities as to how to decode words (with common Latin suffixes and multisyllabic words) are not in the materials.

An instructional resource provided is SIPPS (Systematic Instruction in Phonological Awareness, Phonics, and Sight Words) Challenge. This resource is intended as a developmental reading program for students in Grades 2-3.

  • In SIPPS Challenge, Lesson 2, the teacher reviews open and closed syllables. Students help analyze open and closed syllables based on the placement of the vowels in the syllable list.
  • In SIPPS Challenge, Lesson 13, during Reading Entire Words, students are guided in figuring out how to decode words by following these steps:
    • Look at the end
    • Ask “How many between?”
    • Read each syllable
    • Read the word
  • In SIPPS Challenge, Lesson 21, during Sight Syllables, students learn different suffixes such as -ible, -able, -eer. In Lesson 22, students learn transforming sequences to read different words such as produce, producing, producible, production.
  • In SIPPS Challenge, Lesson 41, students practice reading words that have morphemic transformations such as meter, centimeter, thermometer.

Vocabulary lists include multisyllabic words as well as words with prefixes and suffixes although not all words are connected to the anchor texts. Opportunities are missed for students to learn decoding skills for multisyllabic words and prefixes/suffixes. There are many instances for the teacher to model and share the meaning of the word and how it changes when affixes are attached; however, there are limited opportunities for students to apply their knowledge and independently transfer skill to determine meaning of a word within text.

Instruction word work includes common prefixes and derivational suffixes, multisyllable words, and grade-appropriate irregularly spelled words. For example:

  • In Week 1, Day 3, Vocabulary Teaching Guide, students learn the first of four word parts they will explore this year: the prefix un-, meaning “not.” In subsequent lessons, they will learn the prefix re- (again) and the suffixes -ful (full of) and -est (most). The teacher explains the meaning of the prefix un-and how it relates to the meaning of the word unlikely. Examples are used from the text that is being read: a prefix is a “letter or group of letters that is added to the beginning of a word to make a new word.” Explain that the prefix un- means “not” and that when un- is added to the word likely, it makes the ord unlikely, which means “not likely.” Explain that when something is unlikely, it probably will not happen or is probably not true. Remind the students that it is unlikely that Miss Nelson was eaten by sharks, went to Mars, or was carried off by butterflies. Students then go on to discuss with a partner what they are likely and unlikely to do after school. Additional work is done throughout the year with the vocabulary words that include the prefix un- :
    • In Vocabulary Teaching Guide Week 6, Day 1 unfortunate
    • In Vocabulary Teaching Guide Week 17, Day 3 unexpected
    • In Vocabulary Teaching Guide Week 18, Day 1 unappetizing
    • In Vocabulary Teaching Guide Week 26, Day 3 unaggressive
  • In Week 18, Day 3, Vocabulary Teaching Guide, students review the prefix re- and discuss the word reenergize. th the Prefix re-.” Students answer the following question, “Based on what you know about the prefix re- and the word energize, what do you think the word reenergize means? If something reenergizes you, what does it do?”

In Week 28, the teacher leads a class discussion on the meaning of the word disorganized. “If well-organized means “planned or arranged in a neat or orderly way,” and well-organized and disorganized are antonyms, what do you think disorganized means?” The teacher then reads students different scenarios and the students must decide whether they illustrate something being well-organized or disorganized, for example, “In Rhoda’s closet, the clothing is arranged by color. Shirts and pants hang neatly on hangers. Shoes sit in neat rows on shelves, and hats are stacked above the clothes.”

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 Center for the Collaborative Classroom Grade 3 partially meet the criteria for materials, questions, and tasks guiding students to read with purpose and understanding and to make frequent connections between acquisition of foundation skills and making meaning from reading.

Over the course of the year, materials provide students with limited opportunities to demonstrate mastery of the application of word analysis skills to grade level text. Word analysis skills are primarily taught during the Vocabulary portion of Making Meaning. Appendix C in the Making Meaning Vocabulary Teacher’s manual, provides teachers with a helpful chart to determine when various lessons on prefixes, suffixes, synonyms and antonyms would be addressed. These lessons are primarily teacher led and miss the opportunity to provide student practice and application of skills. Lessons center around a sentence from the anchor text containing the focus word. The teacher models defining the focus word using word cards and providing the meaning of the prefix or suffix being taught. Students then discuss prompts containing the focus word with partners. Materials also contain a review of focus words during the lessons in the following week. Students receive vocabulary instruction that provides lessons for vocabulary words identified from the books read in class, including those with suffixes and prefixes. Students do not apply word analysis skills to text to help determine the meaning of unfamiliar words and learning is primarily isolated. Opportunities are missed to provide direct instruction for those students that require support in decoding multi-syllable and irregularly spelled words to read the text independently. There are also missed opportunities for students to engage with words in more meaningful ways. With SIPPS, there is the potential for students to make connections between foundational skills and making meaning from the text. An instructional resource provided is SIPPS (Systematic Instruction in Phonological Awareness, Phonics, and Sight Words). This resource is intended as a developmental reading program for students in Grades K-3. When students are taught polysyllabic/morphemic skills in SIPPS Plus and Challenge, there are opportunities for students to hear words in the context of sentences. When the teacher provides a correction to reading a word, the teacher uses the word in sentence.

Opportunities are limited over the course of the year in core materials for students to demonstrate mastery of the application of word analysis skills to grade level text. The word analysis lessons are teacher centered. For example:

  • In Week 1, Day 3, Making Meaning, Vocabulary Lessons, the teacher refers to Miss Nelson is Missing and Words Cards 5-6 to define the meaning of the word “likely.” Students are then introduced to the prefix -un and learn how it alters the word likely creating a new meaning. Students then work in partners to discuss the prompts: “What are you likely to do after school? What are you unlikely to do after school?”
  • In Week 6, Day 3,Making Meaning, Vocabulary Lessons, the teacher shows page 12-13 of The Paper Bag Princess, and reminds students that in this part of the story Elizabeth finds the dragon. The sentence is read aloud emphasizing the word fiercest. The word is displayed and the teacher explains the meaning if the word fierce and the suffix -est. In partners, students answer the question: “What animal do you think is fierce? Why?” The class discusses what animal they think is the fiercest animal in the world and why.
  • In Lesson 7, Day 1, the Vocabulary Teacher’s Guide, on page 143, the teacher reads page12 Julius, the Baby of the World emphasizing the word doubtful. After providing the definition and examples from the text, the teacher displays the word doubtful and has students say the words. The teacher points to the suffix -ful in doubtful and explains that -ful is a suffix and that -ful means “full of” and doubtful means full of doubt.
  • In Week 10, Day 3, Making Meaning, Vocabulary Lessons, the teacher models the meaning of the word reconsider and reviews the meaning of the prefix re- using a sentence from the anchor text, Alexander, Who’s Not (Do you hear me? I mean it!) Going to Move. Students then discuss times they have reconsidered decisions. “Explain that when re- is added to the word consider, which means “think about a decision,” it changes the word to reconsider, which means “think again about a decision.”
  • In Week 11, Day 3, Making Meaning, Vocabulary Lessons, students learn about the suffix -ful and apply their learning to determine the meaning of the word joyful. The teacher models using a sentence from the text The Girl Who Loved Wild Horses and word cards 65-66. “Based on what you know about the suffix -ful, what do you think the word joyful might mean?”
  • In Week 15, Day 1, when reading the text, Brave Harriet the teacher discusses the suffix -est as it relates to the word flimsiest. “Write the word flimsiest where everyone can see it and pronounce the word. Point to the suffix -est in flimsiest and review that -est is a suffix that means “most.” Explain that when you add -est to flimsy you make the word flimsiest, which means “most flimsy, or weakest.”’
  • In Appendix C, in Making Meaning, Vocabulary, contains a helpful, “Independent Word Learning Strategies” chart that listed a given skill, the week the skill was taught and the word that was used to teach the skill. For example, teachers can easily see that in Week 3 students will learn about recognizing synonyms using the word speedy.

Materials include supports for students to demonstrate they have made meaning of the grade-level text. For example:

  • In Unit 3, Week 3, Day 1, when reading the story Boundless Grace, the teacher provides many opportunities for students to discuss the story with a partner. Questions partners discuss include, “What have you found out about Grace and her family? Turn to your partner.” “What is Grace thinking about her family at this point in the story? Turn to your partner.” At the end of the story, the teacher facilitates a whole class discussion, using questions such as, “What problem does Grace have in this story? How is her problem solved?” “What is the setting of this story, or where does this story take place? Why is that important?”
  • In Unit 8, Week 1, Day 1, when reading the text, Banning Tag,” the teacher again uses questioning to facilitate comprehension. “What have you learned about why some people think tag should be banned? Turn to your partner.” “If someone asked you what this article is about, what would you tell him or her?” “Do you think banning tag is a good idea? Why or why not?”


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 Center for the Collaborative Classroom Grade 3 partially meet the criteria for instructional opportunities being 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.

Fluency is addressed during Individualized Daily Reading of the Making Meaning portion of the materials. Students practice silent reading daily during IDR (Individualized Daily Reading) for up to 25 minutes a day. During that time, the teacher confers with individual students and completes an IDR Conference Note page, noting each student's rate and accuracy. There is a checklist available to teachers to use during the IDR conferences on what fluency should look like at different levels. The teacher uses the anchor text as a read aloud to students; however, opportunities are missed for the students to practice oral reading fluency with rate, accuracy, and expression using the core text. The materials offer many teacher directed opportunities with read alouds, however, there are few student opportunities to work independently with fluency. While prose and poetry are addressed over the course of the year in the core reading materials, further opportunities are missed for students to practice orally reading additional prose and poetry to practice rate, accuracy, and expression. Students learn about self-monitoring and fix-up strategies in the Reading Assessment Preparation Guide, as well as Appendix A (IDR Mini-lessons) found within the Making Meaning core materials. The Mini-Lessons are the same since Grade 1.

Few opportunities are provided over the course of the year in core materials and SIPPS for students to demonstrate accuracy and fluency in oral and silent reading during IDR. Some that are included follow:  

  • In Unit 2, Week 3, Day 1, Making Meaning, students practice IDR (Individualized Daily Reading) daily for up to 25 minutes a day. Students read silently and the teacher confers with students about their reading. “Have the students get their books and read silently for 15–20 minutes. After the students have settled into their reading, confer with individual students.” During IDR, the teacher confers with individual students and completes an IDR Conference Note sheet. During that time, the teacher listens to the student read aloud and takes notes on the student’s reading fluency and accuracy.
  • In Appendix A, IDR Mini-lessons, Mini-lesson 5, students learn how to read texts in meaningful phrases. The models chunking an excerpt from Two Bobbies and the students then practice chunking/phrasing with a partner. Students then practice chunking/phrasing using their IDR books with a partner. “Have partners take turns reading their pages aloud to each other, chunking the text as they read.”
  • In Unit 8, Week 4, Day 4, Making Meaning Teacher’s Manual, students practice the play Possum’s Tail, the teacher reminds the students to read their lines with expression, “Before you begin reading the play as a class, encourage the students to read their lines with expression in order to make the play more fun and enjoyable to hear.”
  • In Making Meaning, Independent Reading Lesson #4, Reading with Expression, the teacher models and explains how to read excerpts from the story Miss Nelson is Missing! with expression, “Direct the students’ attention to the “Excerpt from Miss Nelson Is Missing!” chart. Point to the sentences “‘Wow!’ yelled the kids. ‘Now we can really act up!’ ” and “ ‘Today let’s be just terrible!’ they said.” Explain that in the beginning of the excerpt, the students feel excited and are planning to misbehave, so you read that part in an excited voice.” The teacher also explains to importance of reading fluently to students, “Explain that reading with expression helps you read fluently. When you read fluently, you read in a way that makes a story interesting and easy for listeners to understand. Tell the students that fluent readers use their voices to show the personality of a character, or what the character is like, and how he or she is feeling.” Students then work with a partner to practice reading different excerpts from the story with expression.
  • In SIPPS Challenge, fluency practice and IDR consist of reading practice for a minimum of 30 minutes each day. Once a week, the teacher is to check accuracy, rate, and comprehension.
    • “Fluency practice. Students with accuracy levels at or above 95 percent but whose rates are below 60 correct words per minute read quietly aloud to themselves. The purpose is to achieve automaticity, which involves reading most single-syllable words quickly and effortlessly.”
    • The fluency materials include a Fluency Record sheet and reading log sheet. CCC recommends trade books. Grade 3 students may read books written specifically for their grades. “One source of books for reading practice is Center for the Collaborative Classroom’s Fluency Practice Libraries.
    • Determining accuracy and rate are explained in SIPPS.

Materials support students’ fluency development of reading skills (e.g., self-correction of word recognition and/or for understanding, focus on rereading) over the course of the year (to get to the end of the grade-level band). For example:

  • In Unit 1, Week 2, Day 3, the teacher introduces the strategy of Self-Monitoring, “Have the students bring their books and gather, facing you. Remind the students that reading books that are at the right levels helps them become stronger readers. Explain that one way good readers know if they are reading books that are at the right levels is by pausing while they are reading to think about what they are reading and, more importantly, how well they understand what they have just read.” The teacher uses the Thinking About My Reading chart to model this. The teacher models reading a story using some of these questions, “.....Next, I’ll ask myself the second question: ‘Do I understand what I am reading?’ Yes, I do understand what I am reading. I know how the characters are feeling and why they feel that way. Next, I’ll ask myself the third question: ‘Do I know what most of the words mean?’ Yes, so far I know what all of the words mean…”
  • In Unit 3, Week 1, Day 1, the teacher introduces the “Fix-Up” strategy to students. “Tell the students that one thing a student can do when he does not understand something he has read is to reread that part slowly and carefully. Explain that slowing down and carefully rereading a sentence or paragraph that is unclear may “fix” the problem. If it does not, another strategy the student can try is reading ahead and looking for more information. Explain that by reading ahead, the student may come upon facts, descriptions, details, or other information that clears up what was confusing him.” Students then practice using fix-up strategies during independent reading time.
  • In Reading Assessment Preparation Guide, Day 3, students read the passage, Which Pet to Choose: A Cat or a Dog? to independently practice using fix-up strategies and mark the place in the text where they had to use a strategy. “Tell them that, as they read, you want them to stop occasionally and ask themselves if they understand what they are reading. If they do not understand something they have read, they are to put a checkmark next to that part of the passage and use a “fix-up” strategy to try to fix the problem.”
  • In Appendix A, Making Meaning Teacher’s Manual, IDR Mini-Lesson 2, on page 582, students learn how to self-monitor and use ‘fix-up’ strategies to help them read independently. The teacher reviews the Thinking About My Reading Chart. It is explained that one strategy that can be used when a reader realizes they do not understand what they read is to reread and read ahead. The teacher models these strategies. Students share what they noticed the teacher doing as a reader. The following are added to the strategies chart and used as a reminder as students read independently. “Go back and reread slowly and carefully. Look for clues in the text.” and “Read ahead to look for more clues or information.”


Gateway Two

Building Knowledge with Texts, Vocabulary, and Tasks

Partially Meets Expectations

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Gateway Two Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Center for Collaborative Classroom Grade 3 partially meet the expectations of the Gateway 2. Materials do not meet the criteria that texts are organized to support students' building knowledge of different topics, and there is support for students to engage with and grow their academic vocabulary over the course of the school year. Materials 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 and 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. Materials 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. Materials support students’ increasing writing skills over the course of the school year, building students’ writing ability to demonstrate proficiency at grade level at the end of the school year. Materials provide procedures and support for daily independent reading, primarily found in the Making Meaning component.

Criterion 2a - 2h

24/32

Indicator 2a

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Center for Collaborative Classroom Grade 3 partially meet the criteria that texts are organized around a topic/topics to build students’ ability to read and comprehend complex texts independently and proficiently.

Within the units of Making Meaning the instructional materials are organized around literary and informational texts and the teaching of reading comprehension strategies. Texts are not consistently organized by topic and students have limited opportunities to build knowledge and vocabulary about topics consistently. Examples include but are not limited to:

The Expository Nonfiction unit in Being a Writer focuses on various animals. There are seven nonfiction texts in the unit about animals: Are You a Dragonfly?, A Pack of Wolves and Other Canine Groups, Reptiles, The ABCs of Endangered Animals, Into the Sea, Panda Kindergarten, and Where Butterflies Grow. While students learn some information about the animals in the texts, there is not a consistent topic or connection that builds knowledge and vocabulary beyond these single texts. There are some opportunities for students to make connections about commonalities among different animals using these texts, although the teacher will have to provide those explicit connections.

Other text sets in Grade 3 Making Meaning are not organized by topic; rather, they are organized around the literacy skills practiced. Examples include:

  • In Unit 2, the title of the unit is Visualizing: Poetry and Fiction. Students listen to the texts “Seal” by William Jay Smith, Cherries and Cherry Pits by Vera B. Williams, The Spooky Tail of Prewitt Peacock by Bill Peet, and Aunt Flossie’s Hats (and Crab Cakes Later) by Elizabeth Fitzgerald Howard. Students focus on the skills of visualizing to make sense of text, informally using schema to make inferences as they visualize, informally consider a character’s point of view and distinguish it from their own, and discuss characters’ feelings. While these skills are practiced, connections to build knowledge of topics is not provided with these disparate texts.
  • In Unit 4, the title of the unit is Wondering/Questioning: Fiction. Students listen to the texts The Girl Who Loved Wild Horses by Paul Goble, The Emperor and the Kite by Jane Yolen, A Day’s Work by Eve Bunting, Mailing May by Michael O. Tunnell, and Brave Irene by William Steig. What links these texts together in this unit is the practice of strategies and skills; students focus on the skills of using wondering/questioning to understand a story, think about whether their questions are answered in the story, refer to the text to support their thinking, make predictions about a story, make inferences about a character in a story, discuss the lesson in a story, and visualize parts of a story. To provide connections in supporting students building knowledge with Unit 4, the teacher will have to create and supplement with other materials.
  • In Unit 5, the title of the unit is Wondering/Questioning: Narrative Nonfiction (Biography). Students listen to the texts Brave Harriet by Melissa Moss, Wilma Unlimited: How Wilma Rudolph Became the World’s Fastest Woman by Kathleen Krull, and Sonia Sotomayor: A Judge Grows in the Bronx by Jonah Winter. Students focus on the skills of identifying what they learn from a narrative nonfiction book and use wondering/questioning to make sense of nonfiction. In this text set, students consider both the structures of the texts while learning about the women's experiences. However, the texts are not tied together around a topic that will yield expanding students’ knowledge and vocabulary other than understanding the features of nonfiction biographies.
  • In Unit 7, the title of the unit is Wondering/Questioning: Expository Nonfiction. Students listen to the texts Flashy Fantastic: Rain Forest Frogs by Dorothy Hinshaw Patent, Explore the Desert by Kay Jackson, Polar Bears by Mark Newman, and “Polar Bears in Peril” by Elizabeth Winchester. Students focus on the skills of using wondering/questioning to make sense of an expository text, use schema to articulate what they think they know about the topic of an expository text prior to reading, identify what they learn from an expository text, and compare and contrast two expository texts on the same topic. However, there is a lack of opportunity for students to grow their knowledge of a topic in using these texts. To provide this opportunity, the teacher will have to supplement and provide other literacy supports.


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.
2/4
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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Center for Collaborative Classroom 3 partially 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.

In Making Meaning students are asked questions about the read alouds that require students to think about the process of reading and discussing text with classmates, however, most of the questions are focused on this process and not on deeply analyzing the language, key ideas, details, craft, and structure of individual texts.

In Unit 3, Week 3, the teacher reads the books Boundless Grace and Amazing Grace to the students. They make inferences to understand characters and their changes. Additionally, students compare and contrast the same character from the two books. Students answer the following questions: "What have you found out about Grace and her family? How do you think Grace feels? What is Grace thinking about her family at this point? What is this story about?"

The Teacher Guide states, "Remind the students that the main character in a story usually has a problem that gets solved by the end of the story. Ask: What is the problem in the story and how is it solved?" The Teacher Guide also directs the teacher to tell students, "We call the place where a story takes place the setting of the story. Explain that the setting of a story often plays an important part in the story. Ask: What is the setting of the story, or where does the story take place? Why is that important?" Later, the teacher again is to ask, "What is the setting of this story? How would you describe the setting? Is it a place you would like to visit? Why or why not?" On Day 3, students create a character web for the main character Grace. Questions to support the activity include, "What do you know about Grace? What does she say, do, or think that helped you figure that out?" Students turn to a partner and share their ideas. Then, the teacher models how to construct the character web by adding an inference and identifying clues that can be added to the character web for Grace. Students are to add two more inferences and the text clues that support those inferences. The class then discusses the students' inferences and if they agree with the inferences of others, along with why or why not. Finally, on Day 4, students are asked to determine how Grace feels over the course of the story (beginning, middle, and end), how her feelings change, and what causes her feelings to change." The reading of Amazing Grace (which occurs earlier than the setting of Boundless Grace) is limited to comparing and contrasting elements in the two texts.

In Unit 5, students read Brave Harriet. Though the unit comes mid-year, the questions and analysis tasks remain roughly the same in difficulty and have the same level of scaffolding as was present 2 units earlier. For example, "What did you learn about how Harriet became a pilot? What did you learn about Gustav and Harriet in this part of the story? Based on what you know so far about Harriet Quimby, what do you wonder about her?" Students then create a double-entry journal to respond to the "wonder" questions about the subject of the biography. The wrap up questions for the text focus primarily on summary (What information might you include in a newspaper article about Harriet Quimby and her flight across the English Channel? What might you title an article about Harriet's flight?) and basic information (What new things did you learn about Harriet Quimby? Were any of the things you wondered about explained? If so, what did you find out about them?)

In Being a Writer students are also asked questions about the read alouds that require students to analyze the language, key ideas, details, craft, and structure of individual texts.

  • In Unit 4, Week 3, Day 1, the Teacher Edition states, “Tell the students that you will reread passages that describe the character of Elizabeth. Ask them to close their eyes and imagine what Elizabeth is like as they listen. Reread page 8 aloud, beginning at the top of the page. Stop after: p. 8 'So she put on the paper bag and followed the dragon.' Ask: 'What might you guess about Elizabeth from this description? What makes you think so?'”
  • In Unit 8, Week 1, Day 3, the Teacher Edition states, “Ask the students to open to Student Writing Handbook page 28, where the 'The Polliwogs' is reproduced, and have them reread the poem to themselves. After a moment, ask: 'What words in this poem helped you imagine the polliwogs? How did the poet have fun with words?'”

While some units approach the depth of text analysis for a Grade 3 student, the overall focus of most questions and tasks is on comprehending the text, summarizing it, and responding to basic questions about the text's content, events, or characters without routinely extending into a deep analysis of the texts.

Indicator 2c

Materials contain a coherently sequenced set of text-dependent questions and tasks that require students to analyze the integration of knowledge and ideas across both individual and multiple texts.
2/4
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Center for Collaborative Classroom 3 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 materials in Grade 3 contain some coherently sequenced sets of text-dependent questions and tasks. Making Meaning and Being a Writer, the questions provided frequently ask students to refer to an individual text, and some help build students’ understanding. Questions provided don’t always lead students to analyze or integrate knowledge. Opportunities to integrate knowledge and ideas across multiple texts are typically offered only as extension tasks.

In Making Meaning and Being a Writer, students use a text over the course of several days. Each day, to a limited extent, questions and tasks require students to integrate knowledge about the text. Examples include:

  • In Unit 2, Week 2 Making Meaning, the teacher reads sections from The Spooky Tail of Prewitt Peacock, and stops periodically to ask questions, such as “What happens to Prewitt in the story?” “How do Phineas and the other peacocks feel about Prewitt at the beginning of the story? … How do Phineas and the other peacocks feel about Prewitt at the end of the story?” Visualizing is a strategy during this week’s As the week progresses, the teacher models visualizing, then asks students to use visualizing as they listen to segments of the story. Questions are posed, such as “What did you see in your mind as you listened to this part?” “How do you imagine Prewitt feels in this part of the story? How would you feel if you were him?” Then the class is to reflect on visualizing, and respond to this question: “How did visualizing parts of The Spooky Tail of Prewitt Peacock help you understand and enjoy the story?” Students are encouraged to transfer the skill of visualizing as they read their independently selected books. This is the extent of the question sets that build knowledge across individual texts and across texts for this week of instruction.
  • In Unit 3, Week 1, in Making Meaning, the teacher reads The Paper Bag Princess on day one and asks, “What happens in the story? What problems does Elizabeth face? How does she solve the problem?” On the following day, students listen to the same story read aloud again and are asked, “How would you describe the character Princess Elizabeth?” They refer back to the previous day's work to grow their understanding and consider the text's knowledge.
  • In Unit 3, Week 2, in Making Meaning, students hear Julius, the Baby of the World, make inferences about the characters, and explore their changes. The teacher asks, “What is Lilly’s problem in the story? What do you know about Lilly? What clues know that? In their student response books, teams of two students write in response to the questions about Lilly at the beginning and end of the story. Afterwards, the entire class discusses Lilly’s changes.
  • In Unit 4, in Making Meaning, students various fiction texts such as A Day’s Work, which is about a young Mexican American boy who helps his grandfather find work. Students are asked what the story is about on Day 1. By Day 3, students are asked what the main character learned.
  • In Unit 5, Week 1, in Making Meaning, students read the text Brave Harriet. On the first day, students answer questions, such as "What did you learn about Harriet Quimby?" By Day 3, students questions, such as "Why This builds knowledge across one text about Harriet Quimby.
  • Being a Writer, Genre Personal Narrative, Week 1, Day 1, students Grandma’s Records. The teacher asks, “In this story, Eric writes about special things he did with someone he loved. What special things does he write?” The next question students respond to is “If you wanted to write about special things you’ve done with someone you love, what would you write about?”
  • Being a Writer, Genre Functional Writing, Week 1, Day 3, students hear 1-2-3 Draw Ocean Life. The teacher asks, “What does this author do to help us learn how to draw a dolphin? What do you notice about how the author writes direction? In what ways are the illustrations helpful? What do you know about how to do that you could write about?” These questions are linked to the original texts, but don't build upon one another to grow students' knowledge beyond the texts themselves.

Most address literal aspects of the story, only occasionally requiring inference. Most inferential questions are based on explicit information in the text. Therefore, many of the questions and tasks are not sufficient in leading students to analyze ideas within and across texts. Consistent opportunities are not provided throughout the year-long materials to meet the criteria of this indicator. Few opportunities are included in the materials for students to independently integrate knowledge and ideas across multiple texts. Examples include:

  • In Unit 2, Week 3 of Making Meaning, students are introduced to “Aunt Flossie’s Hats (and Crab Cakes Later)" and learn about the story's setting and characters. On Day 1, the teacher asks: “What are some stories Aunt Flossie tells about her hats?" On Day 2, the teacher rereads the text and students are directed to visualize the text and draw a picture of something that they visualized clearly. On Day 3, students read their independent reading text and use the words in the books to create their own mental images of what is being On Day 4, students utilize their Student Response Books to share the passages that they chose to visualize, read the passages aloud to their partners, and then describe what they visualized.
  • In Unit 4, Week 2 of Making Meaning, students hear a fictional story about a boy and his grandfather, A Day's Work. Students can integrate knowledge and ideas in the Writing about Reading task: “Explain that the students will now write their own paragraphs about the kind of person Abuelo is, using the inferences they made from clues in the story.” However, the there are only two questions leading up to the task which include, "What happens in this story? What kind of a person is What in the story makes you think so?" These questions do not require students to analyze knowledge or ideas.
  • In Unit 5, Week 3 of Making Meaning, students are asked "Were any of the things you wondered about explained in today’s reading? What did you learn about them?"Students are asked to volunteer to share their thinking with the class. However, there is not a coherent sequenced set of questions requiring students to analyze the text that was read. Students are only asked questions regarding plot details that they wanted to learn more about as opposed to an in-depth analysis conducted about the text being discussed. For example, students are asked, "Based on what you have learned, what else do you wonder about Sonia Sotomayor?" as a follow-up question. This question relates to basic comprehension skills, but does not delve into analytical skills.
  • In Unit 7, Week 2 of Making Meaning, students listen to "A Dry Land," which is the first chapter of the text Explore the Desert. Teachers are asked to pause at specific points and ask, "What question can you ask right now?" Students can turn to their partner and individually record their questions. Students are also encouraged to share their questions with the class. The whole-group questions are then recorded by the teacher. Though students are asked to consistently dive deeper into the text through asking questions, there is no scaffolding provided to move away from text comprehension and move into an in-depth textual analysis.
  • In Unit 8, Week 4 of Making Meaning, students hear Possum’s Tail. Students themselves questions as they read. Students are asked, "What questions did you have as you listened to the play? Were your questions answered? How?" These questions address student comprehension of the text, but do not provide targeted areas for analysis of the ideas presented within the text.
  • In the Being a Writer section, students read various nonfiction texts in the Expository Nonfiction Unit about animals, such as Are You a Dragonfly?, Reptiles, A Pack of Wolves and Other Canine Groups, and The ABCs of Endangered Animals. Text-dependent questions are asked after each text, such as “What is something you found out about dragonflies?” In Week 4, Day 1, students to research animals to help write their own nonfiction report about their animal, which supports students in integrating ideas across multiple texts.


Indicator 2d

The questions and tasks support students' ability to complete culminating tasks in which they demonstrate their knowledge of a topic (or, for grades 6-8, a theme) through integrated skills (e.g. combination of reading, writing, speaking, listening).
2/4
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Center for Collaborative Classroom Grade 3 partially meet the criteria that the questions and tasks support students’ ability to complete culminating tasks in which they demonstrate their knowledge of a topic (or, for grades 6-8, a theme) through integrated skills (e.g., combination of reading, writing, speaking, listening).

In the Grade 3 materials, the opportunity to use integrated skills in culminating projects is inconsistent. There are some opportunities in the Writing about Reading activities, journal entries, and writing pieces for students to demonstrate knowledge of a topic or skill. In most lessons or tasks, students’ oral and written responses provide the teacher with information about students’ readiness to move forward in the materials. Some of these tasks provide students with an opportunity to demonstrate comprehension and knowledge of a topic or topics, but are not necessarily culminating tasks. Many fall under the Extension or Technology Extension sections, which may be perceived as optional. According to the publisher, “In both Making Meaning and Being a Writer, Writing about Reading activities provide multiple opportunities to analyze a single text in response to a sequence of questions presented by the teacher, and then write a response to the literature using text evidence to support opinions or conclusions.”

During the six-week expository nonfiction unit of Being a Writer, students immerse themselves in nonfiction texts about animals. Partners select an animal to research. For the culminating task, students write an informational report.

In Unit 2 of Making Meaning, students discuss text features. Students hear the text, Aunt Flossie’s Hats (and Crab Cakes Later); however, the optional Writing about Reading task does not require students to use the reading of the text. The students are asked to write about their favorite hats. If there is time available, a few volunteers can share their writing with the class.

In Unit 3, Week 1, Making Meaning, the culminating task focuses on The Paper Bag Princess. On Day 4 in an optional Writing about Reading task, students write opinion pieces about the main character’s decision. During Week 4, the teacher reads aloud The Raft. In Week 5, students hear Alexander, Who’s Not (Do you hear me? I mean it!) Going to Move. For the optional Writing about Reading task, students write about how the two texts are alike and different. If time is available, students share their writing with the class.

In Genre Fiction of Being a Writer, students write fiction stories after hearing various fictional studies such as Tacky the Penguin. In Week 6, students present their fictional story in the author’s chair.

In Unit 7, Week 3, students hear Polar Bear and “Polar Bears in Peril.” On the fourth day of this week, students compare and contrast the two texts in the optional Writing about Reading Section. If there is time available, students present their writing.

In Genre Functional Writing of Being a Writer, students explore functional text writing. Students write directions for an activity they know how to do. In Week 3, Day 5, students share in author’s chair.

Indicator 2e

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Center for Collaborative Classroom Grade 3 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. Tier 2 vocabulary words and concept words are highlighted for each Read Aloud lesson. Students are provided with explicit vocabulary instruction. Words are first introduced in context. Then students are provided student-friendly definition of the word and examples of the way it is used. Students engage actively with the word in meaningful ways when they first encounter it, such as by applying it to their own experiences. Students practice using the word through engaging activities. Students are provide multiple exposures to the word over an extended period of time.Teachers teach strategies that students can use to learn words independently, such as recognizing synonyms, antonyms, and words with multiple meanings, and using context to determine word meanings. There is also an ongoing review of vocabulary words as the weeks progress.

Students practice using the words they are learning in both partner and whole-class conversations. Questions require the students to make real-life connections between the words and their own experiences. In lessons and review activities, the students explore the nuances of word meanings and relationships among words, including synonyms, antonyms, and shades of meaning. Students are formally taught grade-appropriate strategies they can use to figure out word meanings when reading independently. These include using context, identifying multiple meanings, recognizing idioms, and using prefixes, suffixes, and roots.

In the Making Meaning component, suggested vocabulary is included for teachers to review while reading aloud. For example in Unit 1, students are introduced to the word whiz from Miss Nelson is Missing. The teacher reads aloud the excerpt from the book that includes the word whiz. The teacher then tells students what the word whiz means. The teacher leads students in playing “Whizzing or Not Whizzing” and practicing using the prompts. The teacher describes something or someone that is either whizzing or not whizzing. Students discuss with partners if the thing or person described is whizzing or not whizzing and explain why they think so. The next word is squirm, and for this word the teachers asks a student to act it out. She or he then facilitates a discussion of when students may have squirmed. There is an extension activity included to explore onomatopoeia. The teacher connects the term to the word whiz.

In the Vocabulary Teaching Guide, students learn new words that were introduced in the suggested vocabulary words from the read aloud in Making Meaning and review previously taught words. The Teacher’s Manual suggests that vocabulary lessons come the week after the Making Meaning Read Aloud.

Concept words are also introduced. These words do not appear in the read-aloud texts in Making Meaning reading lessons. The Teacher’s Manual states, “We teach a concept word because it enables us to introduce or review an important independent word-learning strategy, such as recognizing antonyms or using a prefix to determine a word’s meaning.”

Teacher guidance and support includes both print and digital components, assessment forms, reproducible word cards, family letters and other reproducibles, and professional development media.

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 3 meet the criteria that materials support students’ increasing writing skills over the course of the school year, building students’ writing ability to demonstrate proficiency at grade level at the end of the school year.

There is evidence of materials incorporating writing instruction aligned to the grade-level standards. These materials span across the course of the school year. Throughout each lesson, students respond to prompts and practice writing skills. During independent writing, the teacher makes use of conferences with guiding questions. There is evidence of a Skill Practice Book that addresses writing conventions (i.e., mini-lessons on sentences, parts of speech, capitalization, and punctuation). Teachers are given protocols for teaching the lessons, and students are given models through guided writing and shared writing. Student writing is assessed through observations (conferencing) and student writing samples.

Within the program are nine units of study. Units one and two establish the writing community, and three through eight are genre studies that focus on narrative, expository nonfiction, functional nonfiction, opinion writing, and poetry. Towards the year's end, students are introduced to expository nonfiction and opinion writing units. All units start with an immersion period, and students practice listening to and reading several example writings of the genres. During the midpoint, students selects one draft to develop, revise, proofread, and publish for the classroom library. Unit nine provides students with opportunities to reflect on their growth as writers and members of the classroom writing community. Examples include but are not limited to the following:

  • In Being a Writer, Fiction Genre, Weeks 1-6, students use the Notes About Fiction, Writing Time, and Proofreading Note charts to complete the process of writing a fictional piece.
  • In Being a Writer, Unit 3, Week 1, students write opinions about Elizabeth’s decision of attempting to rescue the prince. In the story, The Paper Princess, the teacher models a think aloud and writing sample. The teacher reminds students about giving reasons to support their opinions.
  • In Being a Writer, Unit 3, Week 2, the teacher reads First Day of School aloud. Together, students write and answer the following: "What do you remember about your first day of school?" On Day 3, the teacher reads aloud another text. Students write about a time they persevered.
  • In Being a Writer, Unit 5, Week 3, students are conducting pre-research about a familiar animal for a writing prompt. On the next day, students develop research questions. On Day 4, students use note cards for note taking and answering research questions.


Indicator 2g

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

The materials reviewed for Grade 3 meet the criteria that materials include a progression of focused research projects to encourage students to develop knowledge in a given area by confronting and analyzing different aspects of a topic using multiple texts and source materials.

Students have opportunities to learn and practice the skill of research through various projects, including one unit devoted to research.

  • In the Expository Nonfiction Writing unit, there is a research project. Throughout the student’s writing time, they focus on working through the research process. Students engage in a research project on animals. They make use of the following sequence.
    • Make a list of interesting animals.
    • Narrow the list.
    • Browse nonfiction materials found in the school library and
    • questions and research a certain animal.
    • Turn questions into search queries.
    • Research and take notes on a specific animal.
    • Draft and revise.
    • Proofread and complete a final copy.
    • Publish and permit volunteers an opportunity to share out.
  • Being a Writer, Unit 5, Week 3, students are conducting pre-research about a familiar animal for a writing prompt. On the next day, students develop research questions. On Day 4, students use note cards for note taking and answering research questions.
  • In Unit 7, Week 3 of Making Meaning, students the book that is most interesting. They provide a rationale for their opinion. On Day 3, students write in their Double Entry Journal about based on the title. On Day 4, during discussion and writing about reading time, students compare and contrast about polar bears. As an extension activity, students may wish to further research causes and effects of global warming and addressing the problem.

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 reviewed for Grade 3 meet the criteria that materials provide a design, including accountability, for how students will regularly engage in a volume of independent reading either in or outside of class.

Materials provide procedures and support for daily independent reading, primarily found in the Making Meaning component. Independent Daily Reading (IDR) is included in all lessons and gives the students opportunities to practice the reading skills they have learned, build stamina, and foster a love of reading. It is recommended for students to spend up to thirty minutes per day independently reading. They may select texts from the classroom library. The program provides recommendations for setting up the classroom library. For example, the classroom library “needs a wide range of fiction and nonfiction texts at various levels.” This would include three hundred to four hundred titles (where twenty-five percent are below grade level by one to two grades and twenty-five percent are above grade level by one to two grades).

Guidance with reading conferences is included and helps hold the students accountable for their reading, as well as gives the teacher an opportunity to assess each student’s reading progress. A Family Letter is included at the end of each unit to highlight the skills that have been taught and to give information to parents as to how they can support their child's reading life at home. Also included is a proposed schedule for independent reading and a tracking system, which may include a student component.

During conferences, students and teachers monitor reading progress. There is a resource sheet that outlines the process. The teacher may use the document to confer with individual students and offer suggestions to improve reading growth. Throughout each unit, the program recommends for teachers to conference with each student once. Formative and summative assessment tools are included in the Assessment Resource Book. There are a multitude of opportunities for students to reflect on reading. Examples include but are not limited to the following:

  • In the Reading Assessment Preparation Guide, there is a log for students to write down the date, title, author, and comment on their independent reading (one log per page). There is also a Student Assessment Record Sheet to use with the teacher-selected assessment. This is only available in Unit 1. Also, there is a teacher video that recommends organizing your classroom library with baskets and the letter levels printed on the front, using Fountas and Pinnell’s levels.
  • In Unit 3, Week 5, students read independently for twenty minutes. As they read, the teacher explains the following: "In the story, think about the problem the main characters are facing. Look for clues that help with learning about the problem." The teacher states that these clues may be things the character says, does, or thinks at different points in the story. The teacher explains that students can mark the clues found with self-stick notes. Probing questions are provided.
  • In Unit 6, Week 3, students read silently for twenty-five minutes. Teachers are provided with prompting questions. Teachers encourage students to use text features. As students read independently they think about newfound learning. After the individual daily reading, students share newfound learning gleaned from texts or text features.
  • In Unit 7, Week 4, the teacher instructs students to read independently and think about
    information and text structures in a social studies text. Students participate with their Independent Reading Time. The teacher confers with each student in thirty minutes. He or she uses the “Resource Sheet for Independent Reading Time Conferences."


Gateway Three

Usability

Not Rated

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

Criterion 3a - 3e

Indicator 3a

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

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: 05/15/2019

Report Edition: 2016

Title ISBN Edition Publisher Year
SIPPS Challenge Level Teacher?s Manual 978--1-61003-203-2 Center for the Collaborative Classroom 2017
CCC Collaborative Literacy Being a Writer Second Edition Student Writing Handbook 978-1-61003-255-1 Center for the Collaborative Classroom 2014
CCC Collaborative Literacy Being a Writer Second Edition Skills Practice Book 978-1-61003-265-0 Center for the Collaborative Classroom 2014
CCC Collaborative Literacy Being a Writer Second Edition Digital Teacher's Manual Set 978-1-61003-400-5 Center for the Collaborative Classroom 2014
CCC Collaborative Literacy Making Meaning Third Edition Student Response Book 978-1-61003-709-9 Center for the Collaborative Classroom 2015
CCC Collaborative Literacy Making Meaning Digital Teacher's Manual Set 978-1-61003-775-4 Center for the Collaborative Classroom 2015

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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