Alignment: Overall Summary

The instructional materials reviewed for Center for Collaborative Classroom Grade 4 partially meet expectations of alignment. The Grade 4 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 materials partially support students' literacy development with foundational skills. The instructional materials for Grade 4 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

|

Partially Meets Expectations

Gateway 1:

Text Quality

0
20
37
42
32
37-42
Meets Expectations
21-36
Partially Meets Expectations
0-20
Does Not Meet Expectations

Gateway 2:

Building Knowledge

0
15
28
32
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 4 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 4 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 4 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 4 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. Some of these texts include the following:

  • In Unit 2, a mix of science and social studies texts are used to build student interest. Louise and Richard Spilsbury’s Shattering Earthquakes is an informational text about earthquakes. “Tying the Score: Men, Women and Basketball” is an article that compares and contrasts the NBA to the WNBA using text features such as photos and a stats chart. “Food For Thought” is an article that discusses healthy eating and school cafeterias. The article contains eye-catching graphics and various text features such as notebook paper and bullet points. John Bliss’s Nineteenth-Century Migration to America traces the history of migration in the US. These texts are rich in content knowledge and vocabulary.
  • In Unit 3, Pamela Hickman’s Animal Senses: How Animals See, Hear, Taste, Smell and Feel and Dorothy Hinshaw Patent’s Slinky Scaly Slithery Snakes focus on science topics related to animals. These texts include content vocabulary and are of high interest to students.
  • In Unit 6, Week 2, students center their attention on making inferences with fiction, narrative nonfiction, and expository texts. Students make use of Peppe the Lamplighter by Elisa Bartone to explore a historical fiction story. This text is highly engaging to Grade 4 students since students learn about the lighting of street lamps in New York City.
  • In Unit 8, students determine key ideas and summarize narrative fiction. They utilize In My Own Backyard by Judi Kurjian. Students will relate and be engaged with this text as the students hear and learn about the geologic timeline of their backyard.


Indicator 1b

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Center of Collaborative Classroom Grade 4 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. Throughout the year, students are presented with a combination of genres.

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

  • A Bad Case of Stripes by David Shannon
  • Thunder Cake by Patricia Polacco
  • “My Man Blue” by Nikki Grimes
  • “Demeter & Persephone” by Center for the Collaborative Classroom
  • Amelia’s Road by Linda Jacobs Altman
  • Peppe the Lamplighter by Elisa Bartone

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

  • Shattering Earthquakes by Louise and Richard Spilsbury
  • “Tying the Score: Men, Women, & Basketball” by Center for the Collaborative Classroom
  • “School Uniforms: No Way!” by Center for the Collaborative Classroom
  • Coming to America by Betsy Maestro
  • A Picture Book of Harriet Tubman by David A. Adler
  • Excerpt from Rosa Parks: My Rosa Parks Story by Rosa Parks


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 for Collaborative 4 partially meet the criteria for texts having the appropriate level of complexity for the grade according to quantitative analysis, qualitative analysis, and to their associated student task.

Anchor texts in Making Meaning are consistently read aloud to Grade 4 students. This limits the opportunities for students to read Grade 4 complex texts without the scaffold of teacher read-aloud. The majority of the read-aloud texts are within the Grade 4 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 1, Week 2, students listen to Song and Dance Man. The text is measured at a 580L Lexile level. The text organization is slightly complex with a clear and chronological sequence. The vocabulary is contemporary with a few unfamiliar words such as vaudeville. For and task with this less complex text, the teacher reads the text aloud. During the reading, students turn and talk to about a partner about what is happening. After the text is read aloud, students discuss comprehension questions as a class. On Day 2, the teacher rereads the texts and involves the students in a class discussion about character’s feelings.
  • In Unit 4, Week 3, students listen to The Bat Boy & His Violin over two days. The Lexile level is AD780L. The conventionality and vocabulary are moderately complex. The meaning is moderately complex with a clear theme. Knowledge demands are moderately complex since the text is about a topic less familiar to Grade 4 students.
  • In Unit 8, Week 2, students listen to A Picture Book of Amelia Earhart over three days. The text has a Lexile of AD880L and has mainly simple and compound sentence structure with moderately complex conventionality. The theme is clear, and the knowledge demands are experiences that may be new to students since the text is about a historical figure.

Some texts in the Making Meaning component are not at the appropriate level of complexity for Grade 4 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 4 complexity band. Examples include:

  • In Unit 1, Week 2, the teacher reads aloud Song and Dance Man, and the text is measured at a Lexile of 580L. The text organization is slightly complex with a clear and chronological sequence. The vocabulary is contemporary with a few unfamiliar words such as vaudeville. For and task with this less complex text, the teacher reads the text aloud. During the reading, students turn and talk to about a partner about what is happening. After the text is read aloud, students discuss comprehension questions as a class. On Day 2, the teacher rereads the texts and involves the students in a class discussion about character’s feelings.
  • In Unit 4, Week 1, students listen to Thunder Cake, which has a Lexile of 630L. The organization of the text is slightly complex with a clear chronological sequence, and the illustrations support the text. The language features are moderately complex with mostly contemporary vocabulary. The knowledge demands are moderately complex since the students may not have life experience similar to the character in the text. For and task with this less complex text, the teacher reads the text aloud. During the read aloud, the teacher asks the class comprehension questions. The teacher facilitates a class discussion about story elements. On Day 2, the teacher rereads the text and facilitates a class discussion about the setting.

Indicator 1d

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Center for Collaborative Classroom Grade 4 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. Students, 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. 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

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 opportunity to read independently for longer periods of time. Texts are not always organized in a way that increases students' comprehension skills. 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. However, there is not a focus on students reaching grade-level proficiency.

For example, in Unit 2, students hear the article, “Tying the Score.”

  • On Day 1, the teacher reads the article aloud and asks questions throughout. There is a class discussion and partner talk about the text based on the teacher’s scaffolding questions.
  • On Day 2, the students talk with a partner about the text before the teacher rereads the text aloud and asks scaffolding comprehension questions. With the class, the teachers helps students examine a chart in the text. An opportunity to complete independent tasks associated with the anchor text is missed.

In Making Meaning, the comprehension strategies presented in the units do not progress in complexity over the course of the year. Though some strategies are repeated, the level of support remains the same. Examples include:

  • In Unit 1, students listen to and discuss stories, explore the themes of stories, discuss a visual presentation of a story, and discuss a character’s feelings and thoughts in fiction text.
  • In Unit 2, students use text features to locate key information and better understand expository nonfiction text.
  • In Unit 3, students use wondering/questioning and “Stop and Ask Question” to help them make sense of the text, use schema to articulate all they think they know about a topic before they read expository nonfiction.
  • In Unit 4, students read fiction stories, a myth and a play and use questioning and think about whether their questions were answered explicitly or implicitly, use schema to articulate all they think they know about a topic before they read, explore elements of narrative text structure, including character, setting, plot and conflict, and discuss the use of first- and third-person points of view, and discuss theme.
  • In Unit 5, students make inferences to understand characters and use text structure to make sense in fiction story, make inferences and visualize to make sense of poems, continue to use questioning and text structure, and learn to use a double-entry journal to record their thinking.
  • In Unit 6, students use scheme a to articulate all they think they know about a topic before they read, make inferences to understand characters in fiction story and expository nonfiction as well as to understand causes of events in an expository nonfiction text, continue to use text structure to explore a fiction story.
  • In Unit 7, students use schema to articulate all they think they know about a topic before they read, analyze how information in explanatory nonfiction articles is organized, explore how articles can inform by highlighting pros and cons and by investigating one side of an issue, explore an author’s opinion, analyze how a functional and expository text is organized, identify what they learn from functional texts, explain how functional texts inform readers, listen to and discuss an expository text, identify what they learn and use text structure from expository text, and explore the text structures and sequence and compare/contrast in an expository text.
  • In Unit 8, students use schema to articulate all they think they know about a topic before they read, make inferences to understand a narrative nonfiction story, think about important ideas and supporting details in a narrative nonfiction story to build summaries, explore elements of narrative text structure, and include point of view and plot in a narrative nonfiction 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 4.

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 4 partially meet the criteria that anchor texts and series of texts connected to them are accompanied by a text-complexity analysis and rationale for purpose and placement in the grade level. 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, a rationale and text complexity analysis is provided. A list of the books is provided, and a synopsis of the texts is provided.

  • In Unit 1, Week 2, the teacher reads aloud Song and Dance Man by Karen Ackerman. The publisher provides the following synopsis of the book: “Three children learn that their grandfather can still sing and dance the way he did years before on the Vaudeville stage. He takes readers back to ‘a time before people watched TV.’” Students are tasked with hearing and discussing a story and discussing the character’s feelings and thoughts.
  • In Unit 2, Week 3, the synopsis provided for Nineteenth-Century Migration to America is as follows: “Readers trace the history of migration to the United States and explore the lives of immigrants from Scotland, China, Ireland, and Italy.”
  • In Unit 3, Week 2, the teacher reads aloud the book Animal Senses: How Animals See, Hear, Taste, Smell and Feel by Vera B. Williams. The publisher also provides the following synopsis of the book: “Fun activities help explain the ways other animals perceive the world. Topics include how skunks see at night, how bats catch moths in the dark, how insects’ eyes work, and how sweet things taste to butterflies and cats.” In Unit 4, Week 4, the teacher reads aloud the myths “Demeter and Persephone” by unknown and “Co-chin and the Spirits” by unknown. The publisher provides the following synopsis of the “Demeter and Persephone”: “This story is based on a Greek myth that tells how the seasons came to be.” The publisher also provides the following synopsis of “Co-chin and the Spirits”: “This story is based on a Native American legend that tells how the seasons came to be.”
  • In Unit 6, the text, “How to make Oobleck,” is used because the unit focus is expository nonfiction. “During this unit, the students analyze how articles can inform by highlighting pros and cons and by investigating one side of an issue. They examine how functional texts such as maps and directions, are organized to inform readers.”
  • In Unit 7, Week 1, the teacher reads aloud the articles titled “Virtual Worlds: Community in a Computer,” “School Uniforms: No Way!,” and “School Uniforms: The Way to Go.” The publisher provides the following synopsis of “Virtual Worlds: Community in a Computer”: “This article explores the pros and cons of playing video games.” The publisher also provides the following synopsis of “School Uniforms: No Way!”: “This article discusses the cons of students wearing school uniforms.” Lastly, the publisher provides the following synopsis of “School Uniforms: The Way to Go”: “This article discusses the pros of students wearing school uniforms.”
  • In Unit 8, Week 4, the synopsis provided for A Picture Book of Rosa Parks is as follows: “Rosa Parks’s role in the Montgomery bus boycott is the focus of this informational text, which also describes segregation laws and the civil rights movement in the United States.”

In the Being a Writer section, a rationale or text complexity analysis for texts used 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 3, the teacher reads aloud Desert Voices by Byrd Baylor and Peter Parnall. The teacher also reads aloud Everything Reptile by Cherie Winner. The publisher provides the following synopsis of Desert Voices: “Desert creatures convey what life is like in lyrical verses.” The publisher also provides the following synopsis of Everything Reptile: “Questions about reptiles are answered.”
  • In Genre, Personal Narrative, the texts are intended to help students explore the genre of personal narrative. “They explore the characteristics of a good personal narrative, including sensory details, transitional words and phrases, engaging openings, and effective endings.”
  • In Genre, Fiction, Week 2, the teacher reads aloud Owl Moon by Jane Yolen and Roxaboxen by Alice McLerran. The publisher provides the following synopsis of Owl Moon: “A father and child go owling late one winter night.” The publisher also provides the following synopsis for Roxaboxen: “Children create a special place in the desert using found objects and their imaginations.”
  • In Genre, Expository Nonfiction, Week 2, the teacher reads aloud The Ultimate Fact Book by Andrew Wojtanik and A Visit to Japan by Peter and Connie Roop. The publisher provides the following synopsis of The Ultimate Fact Book: “Written by an eighth-grader, this book gives facts about all the countries of the world.” The publisher also provides the following synopsis for A Visit to Japan: “Japan’s language, history, people, and culture are explored.”
  • In Genre, Functional Writing, the texts are intended for students to explore functional writing. “They read and discuss recipes and directions, explore craft elements of functional writing, and write directions for others to follow.”
  • In Genre, Opinion Writing, Week 2, the teacher reads aloud an essay titled Bike Helmets by unknown. The publisher provides the following synopsis of the text: “People should always wear helmets when riding bikes.”

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

The instructional materials 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 Making Meaning and Being a Writer, students are introduced to new texts and a variety of disciplines and genres. Students are provided opportunities to listen to and read a range and volume of texts to promote grade-level proficiency as well as reread previously-read texts for different purposes.

For each unit, the instructional materials encompass read alouds followed by students engaging in class discussion and demonstrating their ability to comprehend texts. On subsequent days, students make use of the same text. Teachers utilize the text to teach students a comprehension strategy. Throughout the nine units in Making Meaning, the texts provide a variety of genres and topics. There is a mix of fiction and nonfiction (i.e., poetry, fables, personal narratives, myths, and expository text). Students explore topics, such as snakes, earthquakes, hurricanes, immigration, school uniforms, and technology. For example, in Unit 4, Week 4, students hear the myths “Demeter and Persephone” and “Co-chin and the Spirits.” The following week, the students hear and read the play “Gluskabe and the Old Man Winter” from Pushing Up the Sky: Seven Native American Plays for Children.

In the Being a Writer component, students hear stories that serve as models for their own writing. For example, in Week 1 of the Fiction writing unit, the texts, Tar Beach, Miss Rumphius, and Night of the Gargoyles, are used as mentor texts. In the Poetry writing unit, students listen to the following poems: “Feeling Ill.” “Lullaby,” “Lawnmower,” “Windy Nights,” “Up and Down,” “Egg,” and “Crickets.”

In addition, students engage in daily independent reading. It is introduced on the third day of instruction, and students begin by reading for 15 minutes. After independent reading, students have a discussion about the experience. In the 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 classroom library. According to the publisher, a classroom library requires an extensive range of fiction and nonfiction texts at various levels. It is recommended to have 300 to 400 titles in the classroom library. Twenty-five percent of the books should below grade level (by one to two grades), and twenty-five percent should be above grade level (by one to two grades).

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 4 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
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

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

The Grade 4 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 2, students are asked the following: “How do you think grandpa feels when he starts to sing and dance? What in the story makes you think that?”
  • In Unit 2, Week 2, there is an extension activity that requires students to read a newspaper article, identify key information, and respond to the following: “Who? What? When? Where? Why? How?”
  • In Unit 2, Week 2, students focus on expository text and analyze text features. Students answer the following question: “What information does this feature give you? How does that help you understand the body (or main part) of the text?” Students read “Tying the Score,” and the teacher asks text-dependent questions, such as the following: 'Why might players in the WNBA make less money than those in the NBA? What in the article makes you think that?' Students are directed to notice the text features and answer the following question: 'How might these text features help readers understand the topic of the article?'”
  • In Unit 3, Week 1 and 2, after listening to the teacher read aloud Animal Senses, the students write “I wonder” statements. The class discusses the following: “What does it mean to say animals feel with sound? Which of your wonder statements were explained in the reading? The teacher guides students in an extension activity that includes the following: 'What did we learn about the Animal Senses chart?'”
  • In Unit 6, Week 1, the teacher reads aloud Amelia’s Road. Afterwards, students respond to the following: “What is the plot of the story? Is the setting an important part of the story? Why or why not? What can you infer about how Amelia is feeling from this passage?” Next, students compare firsthand and secondhand accounts of an immigrant’s experience on Ellis Island.
  • In Unit 7, Week 3, students make inferences about information provided in the headings of Farm Workers Unite: The Great Grape Boycott. Students participate in “Heads Together” to answer text-dependent questions, such as the following: “Why was it difficult for farm workers to improve their living and working conditions?” Throughout the week, the teacher reads chapters from this text to the students, asking text-dependent questions. Students explore expository text features in Farm Workers Unite: The Great Grape Boycott.


Indicator 1h

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

The instructional materials reviewed for for Collaborative 4 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. While some opportunities exist for students to synthesize key information from text, the majority of these are listed as optional extension activities or optional writing about reading activities, and therefore they are not assured in the core instruction over the course of the year.

At the end of each week’s , 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. In Making Meaning, there are Extension activities that give some students and some classrooms the opportunity to engage in a culminating task; however, because it is optional, not all students will be participating. Some examples include:

  • In Unit 2, Week 1 of Making Meaning, students complete a culminating activity that requires them to write about how they can prepare for earthquakes, using what they have learned from Shattering Earthquakes.
  • In Unit 3, Weeks 1 and 2 of Making Meaning, students receive guidance in creating a “What We Learned About Animal Senses” chart. The teacher asks, "What have you learned about how animals see? How are people’s senses like animals’ senses? How are they different? How do animals use their senses to find food / protect themselves?" Then, students complete the “Hear What You’re Missing” activity. Students work in pairs to complete the activity, reading and following the steps. Students are also taught how to use “I Wonder” statements (focusing on their independent expository text). The teacher asks: "Which of your 'I wonder' statements most helpful in thinking about your reading today? How was it helpful?"
  • In Unit 2, Week 3, a Technology Extension activity asks students to explore a website to learn more about migration to the United States. A connection is made to the nonfiction have been reading. Students are directed to specific sites, gather information, then discuss their findings.
  • An Extension activity at the end of Unit 4 involves a discussion about the following: How “Demeter and Persephone” and “Co-chin and the Spirits” similar and different from Gluskabe and Old Man Winter?
  • In Unit 6, Week 1, a Technology Extension activity asks students to create virtual treasure boxes and make inferences. During Unit 6, students read about a character, Amelia, who had a treasure box. For their virtual treasure box, students make videos and post them to a class blog.

Indicator 1i

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

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

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.

  • In Unit 2, Week 2, the teacher facilitates a class discussion about “Tying the Score.” The entire class is involved in responding with a summary of the following, “What was this article about?” Next, students engage in a Think-Pair-Share to answer the following, “Why might players in the WNBA make less money than those in the NBA (inference)? What in the article makes you think that (text evidence)?” As the lesson progresses, students discuss which text features are observed and how they help build understanding of the topic.
  • In Unit 3, Week 1, students apply the questioning and wondering strategy to animal life expository informational texts. The question and wondering strategy is utilized across multiple grade levels to build subject matter knowledge. The teacher and students review expository informational, and animal senses are introduced. In the Making Meaning Teacher’s Guide, the teacher is provided supporting question ideas to introduce Animal Senses. The teacher serves as a facilitator and records students’ thinking to create a “What We Wonder about How Animals See” chart. Throughout the lesson, the “I wonder…” sentence starter is introduced and used by students. While reading aloud, the teacher incorporates recommended vocabulary and periodically pauses to ask probing questions on what students have learned and still wonder. Student partners discuss their learning. As a whole class, students share out.
  • In Unit 5, Week 1, the whole class is discussing making inferences from Hurricane. The teacher is directed to have a few students share their response about the following, “What did you infer about the story, using clues from the text?”
  • In Unit 6, Week 1, Day 1, students hear the read aloud, Amelia’s Road. Students participate in “Heads Together” to answer the following questions: “What is the plot of the story? What happens to the characters in this story? Heads together. Is the setting (time and place) an important part of this story? Why do you think so? Heads together.”
  • In Unit 8, students engage in a discussion about “A Picture Book of Amelia Earhart.” They respond to the following, “What are some of the ways that Amelia Earhart challenged how people thought women should behave and why? Why do you think she did this? Students are encouraged to use the following prompt: 'The reason I think this is . . .'”

The Grade 4 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 5, the teacher reads aloud the poem from the Statue of Liberty, “Give me your tired, your poor Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.” The teacher displays word card 27 with yearn. “Use ‘Think-Pair-Share’ to discuss: 'What is something you yearn for? Why? Turn to your partner. Prompt 1: I yearn to [go skiing with my dad] because…’”
  • In Making Meaning Vocabulary Teaching Guide, Week 19, Day 1, the teacher reads aloud Coming to America: The Story of Immigration. The teacher explains that rove means to wander about and provides an example. Student participate in “Think-Pair-Share” to discuss: “When have you roved by foot, bike, or car? What did you see or do when you roved? Turn to your partner. Prompt 1: I roved by...and when I roved, I…”


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.
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Indicator Rating Details

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

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, page xxv, there are details on the various cooperative structures in the program. In third grade 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 they are reading and researching. Examples include:

  • In Unit 2, Week 2, students review text features, and the teacher introduces the text, “Tying the Score.” Student partners respond to the following: "After hearing the title, what do you think this article might be about?" One or two volunteers can share their partner’s thinking. Then, the teacher reads a portion of the text aloud. Student partners discuss the article, answering questions such as why players in the WNBA might make less money than those in the NBA. On the second day, the teacher requests for students to recall the text. Volunteers can share out. Then, the teacher rereads the article, and student partners discuss text features that aided in understanding the article’s topic. This leads to a whole-class discussion. Afterwards, students examine “The League Stats” chart and engage in a Think-Pair-Share with partners to discuss what statements they can make about the WNBA and NBA. Student volunteers can respond for the whole class. The teacher facilitates a class discussion on student explanations.
  • In Unit 5, Week 1, Day 1, students hear the story Hurricane and come up with questions they can ask about the story; then, they meet with partners and ask each other the questions. It is stressed that the students confirm their partners’ thinking by repeating back what they heard.
  • In Unit 8, Week 3, students review A Picture Book of Amelia Earhart and discuss what they recall of the events of the text. The teacher reads a summary of the book aloud, and students engage in a whole-class discussion about what the summary of the book does, what kind of information is in the summary, and why might a person want to read a summary of a book.
  • In Unit 9, Week 1, using a guide to organize recommendations, student partners and the whole class, share book recommendations for summer reading. In the first day, there is a whole-class discussion about working with partners. Questions include, "What did your partner do that was helpful, and how did you and your partner give each other feedback in a caring way?"

In addition to having opportunities for speaking and listening in Making Meaning, there are additional opportunities in Being a Writer. Examples include:

  • In Unit 1, Week 2, Day 1, the Think-Pair-Share structure is explicitly taught. Then, after hearing the story The Bicycle Man, students engage in a Think-Pair-Share to answer the question: "What has happened in your own life that you may be able to write about?" In this lesson, there is also a facilitation tip that reminds the teacher to support students’ speaking and listening skills by helping them to turn and look at the speaker and that the speaker should wait until they have the attention of the class before speaking.
  • In the Personal Narrative Unit, Week 3, Day 3, students have the opportunity to share their writing, both the original and revised passages. Then there is a discussion with the class about the student's revision.
  • In the Expository Nonfiction Unit, Week 3, students write about a country. After their pre-research writing, students meet with a partner to share their research. Then, there is a whole-class discussion on things one partner wrote about that the other partner did not write, and things the pair of students are curious to know about their country.
  • In the Opinion writing Unit, Week 1, Day 1, students hear the essay “Bugs are Creepy” and then have a whole-group discussion about the author’s opinion about bugs as well as who agrees and disagrees with the author.
  • In the final unit of the program, students share their thinking with a partner about the pieces of writing over the year of which they are the most proud.


Indicator 1k

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Center for Collaborative Classroom Grade 4 meets 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 by Unit 8. 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.

  • In Unit 1, Week 3, students engage in quick writes and respond to the following, “After listening to Desert Voices read aloud, write ‘I’ sentences, from an animal’s point of view, in your writing notebooks.”
  • 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 4, Weeks 1-6, there is a correlation with the layout of Unit 3. Read alouds exemplify fiction writing. Students listen and discuss fiction, explore the elements of the genre, and generate quick write ideas. Afterwards, they complete one quick write and submit a final, published piece. Grade 4 mini-lessons center on developing plot.
  • In Unit 5, Week 2, in their writing notebooks students respond to the following, “If you found out that you were taking a trip to another country, someplace you have never been, what would you want to know about that country?”
  • In Unit 6, Weeks 1-3, students read examples of functional writing and select from the following, “Write directions for a recipe. Draw a cartoon. Play a game.” Students then revise and edit for sequence, completeness, and accuracy.
  • In Unit 7, Week 2, students write in the reading journal section of their Student Response Books. The teacher displays a “Journal Entry” chart, sets expectations, and gives examples for completion. For this entry, students state the kind of text read (i.e., functional or expository), explain story events or provide its purpose, and describe their observations about organization and text features (to help readers learn information).
  • In Unit 7, Week 1, students write an opinion piece based on a strong topic of interest. In Week 2, students select a topic, state opinions, and use reasons to support them. They explore transitional words and phrases, and strong openings and conclusions. In Week 3, students revise and correct run-on sentences and proofread their essays for accuracy and correctness. They indent paragraphs and publish their essays for the class.
  • Opportunities to use technology is 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.
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Center for Collaborative Classroom Grade 4 meets 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

  • Personal Narratives are introduced through quick writes beginning in Unit 1, Week 2, Day 2 in Being a Writer. Students have the option of responding to one of these quick write prompts: "What is your earliest memory?" "When did something strange happen to you?" "When did you feel happy, sad, or afraid?" and "When were you really, really surprised?"
  • In the Personal Narrative Genre Unit, in Week 2, Day 1, students write a personal narrative about a single interesting event in their life.
  • In the Fiction Genre Unit, in Week 1, Day 2, students write a fiction piece about inanimate objects coming to life.

Informational/Expository

  • In Unit 1, Week 1 of Being a Writer, students hear various fiction texts such as Sylvester and the Magic Pebble and Wizzil and articles “About William Steig,” “I’m Sorry,” and “The Fly Is In.” Each day students write 10-15 minutes in response to prompts generated from the texts. For example, on Day 2 students write connections between their life and Wizzil.
  • In Unit 5, Week 1 of Being a Writer, students read nonfiction texts about countries; then, they write about interesting things learned about the countries. Students record the findings about the following, “What am I still curious about?”
  • In Unit 2, Week 1, Day 3 of Making Meaning, students hear the story Shattering Earthquakes and then write what they learned about preparing for earthquakes.

Opinion

  • In Unit 7, the Opinion Genre Writing Unit, students learn and explore about author’s opinion before writing a persuasive essay on a topic of their choosing.
  • In Unit 4, Week 3, Day 4, after hearing the story Teammates about Jackie Robinson, students share their own opinions about which account (firsthand or secondhand) they think is more interesting and why.
  • In Unit 7, Week 1, Day 4 of Making Meaning, students hear two articles about school uniforms and then write their own opinion about whether or not school uniforms should exist.


Indicator 1m

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Center for Collaborative Classroom Grade 4 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 Making Meaning, Unit 3, Week 3, students make inferences about characters and events in the story Boundless Grace.Students discuss the characters, setting, problem and events in the story, and create a character web to match changes in the character over the course of the story. While students do use the text to complete these activities, they are not expected to respond in writing to questions that require text-dependent analysis.
  • In Making Meaning, Unit 5, Week 1, Days 1-2 students use questioning to engage in the narrative nonfiction text, Brave Harriet, which they listen to as a read-aloud. Students record ideas in a Double Entry Journal about what they learned and wondered during discussions. On Day 3, in the Writing About Reading section, students have an opportunity to write a newspaper article with facts learned about Harriet. If there is time, students are invited to share their writing with the class. This example shows how there is some practice when students do use what they’ve read to practice writing.
  • In Making Meaning, Unit 6, Week 3, Day 3 students write to answer the prompt, “How is the information in the firsthand accounts the same as the information in the secondhand account? How is it different? What in the text makes you think that?” after being read two accounts of the same event. In this example, students will necessarily need to return to the text to support their writing.
  • In Being a Writer, Unit 3, Week 1, Day 4 the Teacher Edition states, “Explain that the students will each write a paragraph about how they think Betsy Byars feels about writing. Tell the students that readers often have different opinions about what is written in a story, and that is fine. What is important is that they understand the author’s opinion and explain it accurately. Ask the students to watch as you think aloud and model writing a paragraph about how you think Betsy Byars feels about writing.” Although these are both evidence-based prompts, the Writing about Reading sections are optional, so students may not get these opportunities. Time is not built into lessons to complete these writing tasks.
  • In Unit 3 of Being a Writer, students are guided through the process of writing a personal narrative. Students complete prompts such as remembering the first day of school, perseverance through challenges, and writing about home. Students read and discuss multiple narrative texts to prepare for their published writing. Students are to describe an event and how it changed them. In this example, the text is used as a prompt for the writing but is not critical to the writing; students can complete the practice without using the text at all.
  • In Unit 6 of Being a Writer, students are guided through the process of developing functional writings. Students write about how to take care of something, write directions to draw an animal, and write directions for an activity students know how to do. Students read and discuss multiple functional texts to prepare for their published writing. Students are asked to think of something they know how to do well and write to teach someone else how to do it.

Three Guided Writing Performance Tasks are provided. There is one narrative, one informative, and one opinion task. In these tasks, students are not provided opportunities to demonstrate independent evidence-based writing. 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.
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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Center for the Collaborative Classroom Grade Grade 4 meet the criteria for materials including explicit instruction of the grammar and conventions standards for grade level as applied in increasingly sophisticated contexts, with opportunities for application both in and out of context.

Over the course of the year, students have opportunities to learn grammar and convention standards both in and out of context. All grammar and conventions standards were taught over the course of the school year. These standards were addressed through the use of the Student Skill Practice Book and the Being a Writer Teacher’s Manual. The Skill Practice Book provides students with the opportunity to work on skills out of context, while writing lessons allowed students the opportunity to apply skills they were working on in the context of a piece of writing. 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.4.1a:
    • In Lesson 10, Skill Practice, students learn about relative pronouns. The teacher first models through a “Relative Pronoun” model circling relative pronouns in a set of sentences. Students then participate in guided practice. selecting relative pronouns that correctly complete sentences. Students work in pairs to write a paragraph, using at least three relative pronouns. “Remind the students that they have learned that a pronoun is a word that takes the place of a noun. Explain that today they will learn more about pronouns. Display the “Relative Pronouns” activity (WA16). Point to the words in the word box and explain that these words are a type of pronoun called relative pronouns. Read the relative pronouns aloud. Point to sentence 1 and explain that, as you read the sentence aloud, you want the students to look and listen for the relative pronoun. Then read sentence 1 aloud. What relative pronoun is used in the sentence? (who)”
    • In Unit 8, Week 2, Lesson 15, Process Writing, students learn to use relative adverbs. The teacher displays the Relative Adverb Chart and models how to analyze sentences to identify relative adverbs. In Peer Practice, students analyze two sentences to identify relative adverbs. During Quick Write, students do the following assignment: “Write a three- or four-sentence paragraph describing a typical day in school. Use at least one relative adverb in each sentence.”
  • L.4.1b:
    • In Unit 3, Week 1, Day 4, Being a Writer, the teacher explains the past progressive tense to students as it relates to the text, The Missing Moon. “Write the sentence, 'The sounds I had heard were coming from the cat where everyone can see it,' and underline the words were coming. Explain that the words are the past progressive tense of the verb come. Explain that writers use the past progressive tense to show that action was continuing over a period of time.” The teacher goes on to share more examples of the past progressive tense with students.
    • In Unit 5, Week 2, Lesson 15, students learn how to form and use the future progressive verb tense. The teacher displays Modeling Text and reads aloud sentences to discuss. The teacher underlines the verb and identifies two parts that show progressive tense. With a partner, students underline verbs in sentences. Students identify which progressive tense is used.
    • In Lesson 16, Skill Practice, students learn about progressive verb tenses. “Point out that each sentence has two verbs—a main verb ending with -ing and a helping verb that is a form of the verb be. Explain that the main and helping verbs in these sentences are called progressive verbs because they show action that continues. Then explain that: The present progressive form consists of the helping verbs, am, are, or is plus a main verb ending with -ing. (am packing). The past progressive form consists of the helping verb was or were plus a main verb that ends with -ing (was helping). The future progressive form consists of the helping verbs will be plus a main verb ending with -ing. (will be going).”
  • L.4.1c:
    • In Unit 6, Week 3, Day 2, Being a Writer, the teacher introduces the use of the words can, may and must to students, using the text The Book of Cards for Kids as an example. “Explain that authors of functional writing often use the words can, may, and must to make their directions clearer and easier for readers to understand. Show the cover of The Book of Cards for Kids and remind the students that they used directions from this book to play the game Authors. Tell them that you will read a brief passage from those directions aloud. Ask the students to listen for the word must and to think about why the author might have used it.” Students also have the opportunity to look over a set of directions they have written to see if there is anywhere they can add can, may or must.
    • In Unit 8, Week 1, Lesson 15, Process Writing, students learn modal auxiliaries to express possibility. The teacher displays the following sentence: "I can run around the block." The teacher underlines the two verbs and explains: “The main verb in this sentence is run. It describes an action. The other verb in this sentence is can. Can is a modal auxiliary verb used to express the possibility of me running around the block.” Students practice identifying modal auxiliaries in sentences.
    • In Lesson 18, Skill Practice, students learn about modal auxiliary verbs. Students participate in an introduction and guided practice by selecting helping verbs to complete a sentence. Students work in pairs to write a paragraph, using at least four modal auxiliary verbs. "Tell the students that in this lesson they will learn about a special kind of helping verb. Display the “Modal Auxiliary Verbs” activity (WA18). Read aloud the words and their definitions. Tell the students that these helping verbs are called modal auxiliary verbs. Explain that they express conditions, or how likely or unlikely something is. Read the first sentence aloud and ask, "Which of the verbs above could be used to replace the words, 'am allowed to'?”
  • L.4.1d:
    • In Lesson 22, Skill Practice, students learn how to order adjectives in sentences. Students participate in an introductory activity sorting adjectives by amount, opinion, size, shape, and color. Students then complete a guided practice activity selecting the adjectives in the right order to complete sentences. Students work in pairs to write a paragraph using different types of adjectives.” Explain that when writers use several adjectives to describe something, the adjectives are used in a certain order. Point out the headings for each column in the chart. Explain that the categories are in the order in which adjectives should be used. Display the “Adjectives and Order of Adjectives in Sentences” activity (WA2). Read the two sentences above the chart aloud. "Which sentence sounds more natural? Why?”
    • In Lesson 26, Skill Practice, students learn about the correct order of adjectives in sentences. “Read each sentence. Put the adjectives in the correct order: amount, opinion, size, shape, and color. Write the new sentences.” An example of one of the sentences students reorder is, “Then she piles on thin square many slices of meats.” Students are also instructed to, “Write a brief description of how you make one of your favorite sandwiches. Include adjectives and adverbs.”
  • L.4.1e:
    • In Unit 6, Week 1, Lesson 15, Writing to Sources, students learn how to form and use prepositional phrases. The teacher displays the Modeling Text and models thinking about prepositional phrases. With a partner, students annotate sentences by underlining prepositional phrases. In Quick Write, students complete the following assignment: “Write three original sentences about the story Rabbit and Coyote. Identify a verb, adverb, or adjective in each and add a prepositional phrase to describe it.”
    • In Lesson 25, Skill Practice, students practice identifying prepositional phrases in a passage. Students also add in the correct preposition to complete sentences such as, “Trapdoor spiders are one of the subjects we are studying.” Students are also instructed to: “Write a paragraph about a fascinating insect or other animal. Use at least four prepositional phrases. Circle the preposition in each phrase.”
  • L.4.1f:
    • In Lesson 4, Skill Practice, students learn about sentence fragments. “Tell the students that in this lesson they will learn how to correct sentence fragments, or incomplete sentences. The fragments are missing a subject, a predicate, or both. Explain that knowing how to make sentences complete will help the students express their ideas clearly.”
    • In Lesson 5, Skills Practice, students are provided with sentence fragments such as, "Roberto’s favorite weekend day." "and are instructed to." “Read the sentence fragments. Then correct each one by adding a subject, a predicate, or both. Write the new sentence on the line.” Students are also provided with a passage to read and instructed to underline any run-on sentences they find. They are instructed to, “Write a paragraph about a time when you helped take care of a younger child. Make sure all of your sentences are written correctly.”
  • L.4.1g:
    • In Unit 7, Week 3, Lesson 12, Word Study & Vocabulary, students learn about homophones. During Guided Practice, students circle words in Oregon Trail Diary that have a homophone. Students note in the margin the homophone.
    • In Lesson 12, Skill Practice, students learn about commonly misused words: to, too, two, its, it’s, their, they’re there, your, you’re, and how to choose the correct one in a sentence. After completing the guided practice, students work in pairs to write a paragraph using at least one example from each of the four sets of commonly misused words. “Have the students work in pairs to write the three spellings of to/too/two; the three spellings of their/there/they’re; the two spellings of its/it’s; and the two spellings of your/you’re. Confirm responses as pairs of volunteers spell aloud each set of words. Remind the students that these words not only are spelled differently, they also have different meanings. Display the “Commonly Misused Words” activity (WA26). Explain to the students that next they will practice using these words in sentences. Read the first sentence aloud. Then point to the word choices after the sentence and ask, "Which word correctly completes this sentence? Why?”
  • L.4.2a:
    • In Unit 5, Week 6, Day 1, Being a Writer, when proofreading their work, the teacher reminds students to check for correct capitalization, “Point out that, in addition to checking for the rules already listed in their proofreading notes, such as capital letters at the beginnings of sentences and proper nouns (nouns that name a specific person, place, or thing), the students should also check for run-on sentences.” As students are proofreading and working on their final drafts the teacher also displays the following “Writing Time” chart: “Proofread your draft for spelling and punctuation. Check for run-on sentences. If you finish proofreading, begin copying your final version on loose, lined paper.”
    • In Unit 8, Week 3, Lesson 15, Process Writing, students learn the rules for capitalization of titles. The teacher displays the Capitalization Rules for Titles Chart.
    • In Lesson 27, Skill Practice, students learn about capitalizing proper nouns, adjectives, and titles of address. “Remind the students that a noun can name a person, a place, an animal, a thing, or an idea and that an adjective describes a noun or a pronoun. Tell the students that next they will learn how to capitalize nouns and adjectives that refer to particular people, places, and things. Display the “Proper Nouns, Proper Adjectives, and Titles of Address” activity (WA1). Read the first sentence of the passage aloud. Ask, pausing after each question for a volunteer to answer, "Which words tell the name of a specific person? (Ms. Markova) Which word tells the name of a specific country? (Russia)”
  • L.4.2b:
    • In Unit 2, Week 1, Lesson 15, Process Writing, students learn about correct comma usage. The teacher explains that a comma is used to mark words that are spoken, such as dialogue. The teacher displays Modeling Text and models how to place a comma in dialogue. With a partner, students identify and explain comma usage in sentences and dialogue. During Quick Write, students write 3-4 sentences explaining comma usage rules.
    • In Lesson 29, Skill Practice, students learn about Commas and Quotation Marks in Dialogue and Direct Quotations.
    • In Lesson 30, Skill Practice, students read the passage “Where to Go?”, adding in missing quotation marks and commas to the dialogue in the text as they read. Students are also instructed to, “Write a dialogue between two friends. Have them talk about where they would go if they could travel anywhere.”
  • L.4.2c:
    • In Unit 7, Week 1 Lesson 15, Process Writing, students learn about run-on sentences. The teacher displays the Modeling Text and shows students how sentences can be combined in different ways.
    • In Lesson 2, Skill Practice, students complete a variety of activities with coordinating conjunctions. Students practice adding in coordinating conjunctions and commas to sentences such as, “Frogs have a strong sense of taste, _______ they often spit out nasty-tasting bugs.” Students are also provided with two columns of sentences and instructed to, “Draw a line from each sentence on the left to a sentence on the right. Write the new compound sentences on the lines, adding commas and conjunctions where they belong.”
  • L.4.2d:
    • In Unit 8, Week 2, Day 4, Being a Writer, when proofreading their work the teacher is instructed to have students, “Circle words in their drafts that they are unsure how to spell, and look the words up in their word banks. They will add to their word banks any words that are not already there after looking up the correct spellings in a dictionary or other source.”
    • In Unit 10, Week 1, Lesson 12, Word Study & Vocabulary, the teacher models adding endings with spelling changes. Students practice dropping the silent e, changing the y to i, and adding a consonant with the Unit 10 Week, 1 Spelling Practice.
  • L.4.3a:
    • In Unit 2, Week 1, Lesson 4, Being a Writer, students learn how to revise their drafts to include words that are more interesting. Students revise their drafts to add more interesting and specific adjectives and verbs. “Point out that in addition to adjectives (or descriptive words) like good, there are many overused verbs (or action words), such as run, look, sit, and said, that can be replaced with more interesting words. Use “Think-Pair-Share” to discuss: "What interesting words can you think of to replace the word said? [pause] Turn to your partner. Have partners discuss for a few moments; then signal for the students’ attention and have volunteers report their ideas as you record them on the chart. Alternatives for said include asked, shouted, replied, exclaimed, mumbled, whined, and cried.
    • In Unit 2, Week 1, Day 5, Being a Writer, when revising their work the teacher explains the importance of having a strong opening sentence. “Tell the students that today they will focus on the opening sentences (the first few sentences) of their pieces. Explain that authors pay especially close attention to these sentences because good opening sentences get readers interested and make them want to keep reading. Explain that the students will listen to opening sentences from several read-aloud books from earlier in the year. They will think about how each author tries to grab our attention at the very beginning of the book.” The teacher then reads aloud some examples of strong opening sentences to students. Students then have the opportunity to reflect on and revise their own opening sentences in their drafts.
    • In Unit 2, Week 2, Lesson 7, using Description to Develop Characters and Story Events students use description to develop characters and story events. The teacher displays a modeling text and thinks aloud to model how to use descriptions to develop characters and story events. Partners discuss what type of descriptions they may want to include in their own stories to develop their characters and story events.
  • L.4.3b:
    • In Unit 4, Week 6, Day 3, Being a Writer, the teacher reads students different examples of writing where punctuation is used for effect. The teacher is also instructed to explain the following, “Point out that authors use punctuation marks to affect the way we read and react to stories. Punctuation guides us to read stories loudly or softly, or to pause in our reading to create suspense. Explain that authors choose punctuation for effect carefully; for example, if every sentence in a story ended in an exclamation point, the punctuation mark would lose its power to signal excitement or loudness.” Students then review their own drafts for places where they could use punctuation for effect.
  • L.4.3c:
    • In Lesson 20, Skills Practice, students have the opportunity to differentiate before formal and informal English. In one activity students read a passage and identify groups of words as either formal or informal. Students also must identify which sentence would be appropriate given the type of writing being completed. For example: "Type of writing: a research report. The Statue of Liberty is approximately 305 feet tall. / The Statue of Liberty is like around 305 ft. tall."

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

  • In the Skill Practice portion of Being a Writer, students first learn new grammar and convention standards through teacher model and guided practice. Students then apply their knowledge in context through either writing a set of sentences or writing a paragraph that contains the new focus skill.
  • In Lesson 10, Skill Practice, students use relative pronouns (who, whose, whom, which, that) and relative adverbs (where, when, why). “Explain that the students will now practice using the correct relative pronoun to complete some sentences. Display the 'Relative Pronouns' activity (WA17). Read the first sentence aloud. Then ask, 'Which relative pronoun would you use to join the two parts of this sentence? Why would you use this pronoun?' Give the students time to think. Then invite a few volunteers to respond. Point out that the pronoun that is used because it introduces a group of words that gives necessary information. It tells about the kind of things Bunyan and Babe did. Invite a volunteer to the whiteboard. Have her drag and drop that into the sentence and then read the sentence aloud. Continue guiding the students through the paragraph, reading the sentences aloud and having volunteers select the relative pronouns and explain their choices. After all the pronouns have been placed, invite a volunteer to read the paragraph aloud. Have the students work in pairs to write a paragraph, using at least three relative pronouns."
  • In Lesson 24, Skill Practice, “Tell the students that next they will practice using the relative adverbs when, where, and why to link groups of words to the nouns they tell more about. Display the 'Relative Adverbs' activity (WA12). Read sentence 1 aloud. Then ask the students, 'Which relative adverb would you use to join, "I went to my new school for the first time to the rest of the sentence? Why?" Invite a few volunteers to respond. As needed, point out that the adverb when is used because it introduces a group of words that tells about a time. Invite a volunteer to drag and drop when into the blank. Read the sentence aloud. Continue guiding the students through the paragraph, reading the sentences aloud and having volunteers select the relative adverbs and explain their choices. After all the adverbs have been placed, read the paragraph aloud. Have the students work in pairs to write a paragraph using all three relative adverbs.
  • In Lesson 16, Skill Practice, students form and use the progressive (e.g., I was walking; I am walking; I will be walking) verb tenses. “Display the 'Progressive Verb Tenses' activity (WA10). Tell the students that next they will read a story that contains several present and past progressive verbs. Explain that the helping verbs are missing, and that you will work together to choose the correct form of be to complete each sentence.Read the first sentence aloud. Have a volunteer identify the subject of the sentence. (my twin brothers) Then ask, 'Which form of be should we use?' (were) 'Why?' (The action is happening in the past and the subject is plural.) Students might say, 'We should use were because the action is happening in the past.' 'I agree with Kai. We also should use were because the subject is plural—there are two brothers.' Allow one or two volunteers to respond. Then invite another volunteer to drag and drop were into the blank and read the completed sentence aloud. Continue working through the story. Tell the students that they are going to use each helping verb twice. Read the sentences aloud and invite volunteers to the whiteboard to drag and drop the correct form of be into each blank. After all of the helping verbs have been placed correctly, read the completed story aloud. Have the students work in pairs to write a paragraph, using at least two present progressive and two past progressive verbs."
  • In Lesson 18, Skill Practice, students use modal auxiliaries (e.g., can, may, must) to convey various conditions. "Display the 'Modal Auxiliary Verbs' activity (WA19). Explain to the students that they will choose a helping verb from the word box to complete each sentence, using the meaning in parentheses as a clue. Read sentence 1 aloud, using the words in parentheses to fill the blank. Then direct the students’ attention to the words in the word box. 'Which of these helping verbs belongs in the blank? Why?' If necessary, point out that may belongs in the blank because it expresses permission. May means “are allowed to.” Invite a volunteer to the whiteboard. Have him drag and drop may into the sentence and read the completed sentence aloud. Repeat the process for the remaining sentences. Have the students work in pairs to write a paragraph, using at least four modal auxiliary verbs."

Materials provide opportunities for students to grow their fluency language standards through practice and application. For example:

  • Skill Practice comprises of 30 mini-lessons that also includes five review lessons throughout the course of the year. Student also have opportunities to practice application of language standards during Being a Writer lessons over the course of the year.
  • In Lesson 4, Skill Practice, students produce complete sentences, recognizing and correcting inappropriate fragments and run-ons. “Tell the students that next they will practice correcting some sentence fragments. Display the 'Sentence Fragments' activity (WA14). Read the first fragment aloud. Ask, 'What is missing—the subject, the predicate, or both?' (the subject) Read the two options below the fragment aloud and ask, 'Which answer choice is a complete sentence?' Click the first answer choice. Guide the students to see that the subject The bird was added to form a complete sentence. Ask the students to explain why the other option is incorrect. (It is still missing a subject.) Continue guiding the students through the sentence fragments, reading them aloud and helping the students determine what is missing and which answer choice forms a complete sentence. Then ask, pausing after each question for a few volunteers to respond: 'How does the exclamation point in item 1 add to the story? 'Would you change the end punctuation in any of these sentences? Why or why not?' Students might say: 'The exclamation point makes me suddenly start to worry about the turtle.' 'I agree with Miguel. I also wouldn’t add any other exclamation points.' 'I disagree with Darla. I would add an exclamation point to the third sentence to show that the writer was really happy the turtle escaped.' Have the students work in pairs to write a paragraph using complete sentences. Ask the partners to check each other’s work to ensure that there are no sentence fragments."
  • In Lesson 5, Skill Practice, “tell the students that together you will read a passage that contains some run-on sentences and determine how to correct them. Display the 'Run-on Sentences' activity (WA18). Read the passage aloud and ask, 'What do you notice about this passage?' (The ideas are hard to follow. It has run-on sentences.) 'What is the first run-on sentence? What is one way we can fix it?' Give the students a few moments to think. Invite a volunteer to the whiteboard. Have her use the pen to correct the sentence. (Accept either of the following: The student might add a period after flute and capitalize sometimes to divide the run-on into two simple sentences, or add a comma and the conjunction and after flute to create a compound sentence.) Continue reading the remaining sentences aloud and helping volunteers correct them. Suggest that the students use each conjunction in the word box at least once. After the run-ons have all been corrected, reread the passage aloud. Ask, 'How is the writing different now that the run-ons have been corrected?' (The meaning is clearer.) Have the students work in pairs to write a paragraph. Ask them to check their work to ensure that all the sentences are written correctly."
  • In Lesson 12, Skill Practice, students correctly use frequently confused words (e.g., to, too, two; there, their). “Have the students work in pairs to write the three spellings of to/too/two; the three spellings of their/there/they’re; the two spellings of its/it’s; and the two spellings of your/you’re. Confirm responses as pairs of volunteers spell aloud each set of words. Remind the students that these words not only are spelled differently, they also have different meanings. Display the 'Commonly Misused Words' activity (WA26). Explain to the students that next they will practice using these words in sentences. Read the first sentence aloud. Then point to the word choices after the sentence and ask, 'Which word correctly completes this sentence? Why?' Drag and drop the word two into the blank. Have a volunteer read the complete sentence aloud. Repeat the process for the remaining sentences. Have the students work in pairs to write a paragraph using at least one example from each of the four sets of commonly misused words. If the students have difficulty thinking of a topic to write about, suggest that they write about a business they would like to start. (My dog-walking business is just two weeks old.)"
  • In Lesson 27, Skill Practice, students use correct capitalization. “Explain that next you will identify more proper nouns and proper adjectives. Display the 'Proper Nouns, Proper Adjectives, and Titles of Address' activity(WA2). Read the first sentence aloud and ask, 'Which words in this sentence name a specific person?' (Dr. Ana Morales) Click to highlight Dr. Ana Morales. Point out that her title, Dr., is capitalized and ends with a period. Then ask, 'Which words in the same sentence name a specific school?' (Kennedy Elementary School) Click Kennedy Elementary School, and explain that it is a proper noun because it names a specific school. Point out that each word is capitalized in the name of the school. Read the second sentence aloud, and invite one or two volunteers to identify the proper nouns, including the title, and the proper adjective. (proper nouns: Dr. Morales and Chile; proper adjective: Chilean) Have volunteers take turns reading the sentences aloud and identifying and clicking the proper nouns and proper adjectives. After the students have found the proper nouns and proper adjectives, go back and talk about how the nouns and adjectives are the same and how they are different. Help the students understand that the proper nouns can stand on their own and the proper adjectives describe nouns"

Materials promote and build students’ ability to apply conventions and other aspects of language within their own writing. For example:

  • In Unit 4, Week 6, Day 3, Being a Writer, students apply newly learned skills to their drafts during the Writing Time portion of the lessons. “Ask the students to read their drafts and see whether there are any places where they use, or could use, exclamation points, ellipses, or parentheses. Have them compare their punctuated speech to the passages on Student Writing Handbook page 17 to make sure they are using one of the correct methods."
  • In Lesson 2, Skill Practice, students use a comma before a coordinating conjunction in a compound sentence. “Display the 'Compound Sentences' activity ( WA6). Explain that the students will now practice using the conjunctions and, but, and or to combine simple sentences into compound sentences. Review that and shows similarities between ideas, but shows a contrast or a difference, and or shows a choice. Read sentence pair 1 aloud. Then ask the students to discuss these questions in pairs, 'Which conjunction can you use to combine these simple sentences into a compound sentence? Why would you use this conjunction?' As a class, have the students discuss which conjunction they would use and why. Then invite a volunteer to the whiteboard. Have him write the conjunction on the line and place the comma where it belongs. Ask the student to read the compound sentence aloud. Repeat the process with the remaining sentence pairs. Have the students work in pairs to write a paragraph, using both simple and compound sentences."
  • In Lesson 29, Skill Practice students use commas and quotation marks to mark direct speech and quotations from a text. “Display the 'Commas and Quotation Marks in Dialogue and Direct Quotations' activity (WA11). Explain to the students that next they are going to practice identifying where double and single quotation marks and commas are placed in a passage that includes dialogue. Read the first paragraph aloud. Have a volunteer circle the double quotation marks, put a box around the single quotation marks, and draw a line under each comma. Ask, pausing after each question for one or two volunteers to respond, 'What do the double quotation marks set off?' 'How are the single quotation marks used?' 'What does the comma do in the sentence?' As necessary, remind the students that the double quotation marks set off the exact words of a speaker; the single quotation marks set off words the speaker is repeating that have been spoken before; and the comma separates the speaker’s exact words from the rest of the sentence. Read the second paragraph aloud. Invite a few volunteers to help you add the missing commas and quotation marks. Make sure that the students understand how the punctuation marks make it clear who is saying what in the passage. Have the students work in pairs to write a dialogue. Have them make sure that they have used double and single quotation marks that set off each speaker’s words or the words they are repeating that have been spoken before. Have them make sure to insert a comma when necessary."

Over the course of the year’s worth of materials, grammar and convention instruction is provided in increasingly sophisticated contexts. For example:

  • There are 29 lessons in the Skill Practice Teaching Guide that explicitly teach language, conventions and grammar skills that are connected to unit lessons in the Being a Writer component. These skills are to be used as a checklist when students proofread their own writing and are added to the checklist as they are learned.
  • Being a Writer materials include a Skill Practice portion that addresses language and convention standards in a systematic progression. The lessons progress throughout the year to ensure all standards are addressed through teacher model, guided practice, and application. Progression in the Skill Practice includes: Sentences, Nouns and Pronouns, Verbs, Adjectives and Order of Adjectives in Sentences, Proper Nouns, Proper Adjectives, and Titles of Addresses.


Criterion 1o - 1q

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Center for the Collaborative Classroom Grade 4 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 4 phonics and decoding skills and strategies are limited. Over the course of the year, students receive 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.
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Center for the Collaborative Classroom Grade 4 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, morphology, and reading fluency in a research-based and transparent progression.

A Vocabulary Teaching Guide, with weekly lessons that build students’ vocabularies by teaching words taken directly from Making Meaning read-alouds. There are many instances for the teacher to model and share the meaning of the word and how it changes when affixes are attached. There are limited opportunities for students to apply their knowledge and independently transfer the decoding and word analysis skills to determine meaning of a word within text.

Intervention materials for phonological awareness, phonics, and sight words in grades 1-12 are provided in SIPPS (Systematic Instruction in Phonological Awareness, Phonics, and Sight Words). SIPPS Plus is an intervention material for students who read at Grade 1 or Grade 2. SIPPS Challenge is suggested for intervention with students in grades 4-12. Students learn strategies to decode and spell multisyllabic words.

Limited opportunities are provided over the course of the school for students to apply phonics skills when reading unfamiliar multisyllabic new words in and out of context. While word cards are provided for vocabulary words, these words are introduced in the context of teacher read alouds and students are not provided with adequate opportunities to decode and read words with prefixes, suffixes, roots, in-context themselves. One lesson does provide practice in applying these word analysis skills in context is in Mini-Lesson #6 in the appendices of the Making Meaning Vocabulary Teacher’s Manual. In this lesson, the class created a chart with helpful strategies for decoding unknown words and students had the opportunity to apply those strategies when reading a text with a partner. “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?”

This lesson is the main lesson on word analysis for Grade 4 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 and use combined knowledge of letter-sound correspondences and syllabication patterns to read unfamiliar multisyllabic words are not in the materials.

Some materials (questions & tasks) support students’ use of combined knowledge of morphology, according to grade level. For example:

  • Using Appendix C as a reference, the only two prefixes that are taught (in- and mis-) and the only suffixes taught are: -er and -ly.
    • In Week 1, Day 1, ineffective
    • In week 2, ineffective
    • In Week 7, Day 1, inedible
    • In Week 7, Day 3, inconsistent
    • In Week 19, Day 1, inadequate
    • In Week 19, Day 3, ineligible
    • In Week 21, Day 3, informal
    • In Week 23, Day 1, inhumane
    • In Week 23, Day 3, inequitable
    • In Week 9, Day 3, mislead
    • In Week 10, Day 3, misjudge
    • In Week 20, Day 1, mistreat
    • In Week 28, Day 3, misfortune
    • In Week 4, Day 1, rowdier
    • In Week 9, humbler
  • Three word roots were taught over the course of the school year, “This week the students discuss the first of three Latin roots they will learn this year, the root circ, meaning “circle or ring.” In subsequent lessons, they will learn the roots man, mani, and manu (“hand”), and the roots vis and vid (“see”).”
    • In Making Meaning, Week 11, Day 3 - The teacher introduces the word Circulate, “Point to the letters circ in the word circulate. Tell the students that circ is an example of a root. Explain that a root is a “word or part of a word that is used to make other words.” Explain that many roots come to English from other languages, such as Latin and Greek. Tell the students that circ comes from Latin, the language that was spoken by the people of ancient Rome. Tell the students that in Latin, circ means “circle or ring.” Point to the word circulate, and review that circulate means “move or send from person to person or place to place.” Point out that if you circulate something, you might send or pass it around in a circle.” The teacher then leads a class discussion on the word, using questions such as, “What do we mean when we say that a rumor, or gossip about someone circulates?” “What do we mean when we say that a sign-up sheet for a class trip is circulating in our classroom? [Click 2 on WA7 to reveal the next prompt.] Turn to your partner.”


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.
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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Center for the Collaborative Classroom Grade 4 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.

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 1, Making Meaning, Vocabulary Lessons, students learn about the prefix in- and analyze the word ineffective. “Explain that the prefix in- means “not.” Point out that when in- is added to the word effective, it makes the word ineffective, which means “not effective.”
  • In Week 9, Day 3, Making Meaning, Vocabulary Lessons, students review the suffix -ly and analyze the meaning of the word humbly. “Based on what you know about the word humble and the suffix -ly, what do you think the word humbly means? What does it mean if we say someone spoke humbly?”
  • In Week 20, Day 1, students learn about the word “mistreat,” as it relates to the text, A Picture Book of Harriet Tubman, “Tell the students that the first word they will learn today is mistreat, and explain that mistreat means “treat badly, cruelly, or unfairly.” Explain that Miss Susan horribly mistreated Harriet when she chased after Harriet and whipped her for taking a lump of sugar from the bowl. Display word card 115 (WA1) and have the students say the word mistreat. Point to the prefix mis- in mistreat, and review that mis- is a prefix that means “wrong or wrongly, or bad or badly.” Explain that when the prefix mis- is added to the word treat, which means “act or behave toward someone in a particular way,” it makes the new word mistreat, which means “act or behave wrongly or badly toward someone, or treat someone badly.”
  • In Week 27, Day 1, Making Meaning, Vocabulary Lessons, students learn about the Latin roots vis and vid to analyze the word “envision” from the anchor text, My Own Backyard. “Tell the students that the roots vis and vid come from Latin, the language that was spoken by the people of ancient Rome. Explain that in Latin, vis and vid mean “see or appear.”
  • Appendix C in the vocabulary portion of the Making Meaning, provided teachers with independent word-learning strategies charts containing the skill, the week and the word that was taught. For example, teachers can easily see that in, Week 19, students will work on recognizing synonyms with the word rove.

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

  • In Unit 3, Week 2, Day 1, Making Meaning, students hear the teacher read aloud Animal Senses. The teacher asks: “What have you learned so far about animals’ sense of smell? Turn to your partner.” Next students view the “What We Wonder About Animals’ Sense of Smell chart and the teacher asks: “What ‘I wonder’ statements have been explained in the reading so far? What else do you wonder?”
  • In Unit 6, Week 3, Day 3, Making Meaning, students open their Student Response Book and read an excerpt of the class read aloud, Coming to America. Students read the excerpt to themselves while underlining sentences that answer the question: “Why were immigrants examined and questioned at Ellis Island?” Student then use Heads Together to discuss the sentences underlined and the inferences that were made.


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.
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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Center for the Collaborative Classroom Grade 4 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 30 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 supported 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 used in this grade are the same as those used since Grade 1.

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

  • In Appendix A, IDR Mini-lessons, Mini-lesson 4 Reading with Expression, the teacher, students listen to the teacher model reading with expression and without expression. Students read from the copy of “Excerpt from A Bad Case of Stripes. After reading, partners answer the following questions: “What did you notice about your reading when you read the excerpt with expression” “What did you notice about how your partner read?” Students get their IDR books and read their pages aloud to each other.
  • In Appendix A, IDR Mini-lessons, Mini-lesson 5, students learn how to read texts in meaningful phrases. The models chunking an excerpt from Shattering Earthquakes 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.”

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 4, Week 1, Day 1, Making Meaning Teacher’s Manual, students review and practice “Fix-Up Strategies.” The teacher reviews the Thinking About My Reading chart and reminds students that it is important for them to check their comprehension as they are reading and the ‘fix-up’ strategies that have been taught.
  • In Unit 5, Week 1, Day 1, Making Meaning, students practice using fix-up strategies, specifically pausing and asking themselves if they understood what they read, during IDR. Students use self-stick notes to mark any spots they had to use a fix-up strategy. “If a student does not understand what he is reading, he should mark the place in the text that he does not understand with a self-stick note and then try one or both of the “fix-up” strategies—rereading and reading ahead—to see if the strategies help him understand what he is reading.”
  • In Unit 6, Week 1, Day 1, the teacher introduces the story, Amelia’s Road and sets the purpose for reading, “Remind the students that they have been making inferences to better understand stories they hear and read. Explain that this week they will continue to explore making inferences and they will revisit story elements: character, setting, conflict or problem, plot, and theme.” After the teacher reads the story aloud, the class discusses some of the key story elements. “What is the plot of the story? What happens to the characters in this story? Heads together.” “Is the setting (time and place) an important part of this story? Why do you think so? Heads together.”
  • In Unit 8, Week 1, Day 1, Making Meaning Teacher’s Manual, the teacher reviews self-monitoring and fix-up strategies before students begin Independent Reading time. Afterwards, the teacher reflects with students on how using the strategy went, “Why is it important to stop as you are reading and ask yourself if you understand what you have just read?” “How do rereading and reading ahead help you make sense of the text?” “Which comprehension strategy do you find most helpful when you’re not understanding something you’re reading? Why?”
  • In the Reading Assessment Preparation Guide, students learn about fix-up strategies and use a “Thinking About My Reading Chart” to note which strategies they used while reading. The chart details and fix-up strategies are included in the “Teacher Note” sidebar in Day 1.
  • In Reading Assessment Preparation Guide, Day 3, students read the passage, Observations of Marine Iguanas, independently practice using fix-up strategies and mark the place in the text where they had to use a strategy.” If students 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 6, students are introduced to word-analysis strategies they might use to help them determine the meanings of unfamiliar words when reading independently. In Grade 4, the lesson focuses on using a known prefix or suffix and base word, using known Greek or Latin roots, and using context clues to verify that a meaning makes sense. The students use a Word Analysis Strategies poster while they are independently reading.


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 4 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 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

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

Indicator 2a

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Center for Collaborative Classroom Grade 4 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:

In Unit 3 of Making Meaning, the focus is questioning with expository nonfiction. In Animal Senses: How Animals See, Hear, Taste, Smell and Feel by Pamela Hickman, students learn about different animal senses. In Slinky Scaly Slithery Snakes by Dorothy Hinshaw Patent, students learn about survival techniques of snakes.

In Unit 6, of Making Meaning, students work on making inferences with fiction, expository nonfiction, and narrative nonfiction loosely centering around immigration and migration. In Week 1, students practice this skill with the text Amelia’s Road, which is about life as a child of a migrant worker. In Week 2, students hear Peppe the Lamplighter about a boy who gets a job to help his large family. In Week 3, students read the story Coming to America about the history of immigration.

Other text sets in Grade 4 Making Meaning are not organized by topic; rather, they are organized around the literacy skills practiced. Examples include:

  • In Unit 1, the title of the unit is The Reading Community: Fiction. Students listen to the texts A Bad Case of the Stripes by David Shannon, The Old Woman Who Named Things by Cynthia Rylant, “A Bad Case of the Stripes Read by Sean Astin,” and Song and Dance Man by Karen Ackerman. Students focus on the skills of hearing and discussing stories, exploring the themes of the stories, discuss a visual presentation of a story and discuss a character’s feelings and thoughts. Students also begin their Individual Daily Reading (IDR) block by reading independently.
  • In Unit 2, the title of the unit is Using Text Features: Expository Nonfiction. Students listen to the texts Shattering Earthquakes by Louise and Richard Spilsbury, “Tying the Score: Men, Women, and Basketball” (author unknown), “Food for Thought: Cafeteria Menus Shape Up” (author unknown), Nineteenth-Century Migration to America by John Bliss. In this unit, students focus on the skills of using text features to better understand expository nonfiction texts and use text features to locate key information, but they do not have an opportunity to grow knowledge on a topic as the texts examined are disparate. To provide connection to build knowledge and academic vocabulary, the teacher will have to supplement and differentiate the lesson in a different way than is presented.
  • In Unit 4, the title of the unit is Analyzing Text Structure: Fiction, Narrative Nonfiction and Drama. Students listen to the texts Thunder Cake by Patricia Polacco, The Princess and the Pizza by Mary Jane and Herm Auch, Chicken Sunday by Patricia Polacco, The Bat Boy and His Violin by Gavin Curtis, Teammates by Peter Golenbock, “Demeter and Persephone” (author unknown), “Co-chin and the Spirits” (author unknown), and Gluskabe and Old Man Winter from Pushing Up the Sky: Seven Native American Plays for Children by Joseph Bruchac. Students focus on elements of narrative text structure in fiction stories, including character, setting, plot, point of view, and conflict, discuss the use of first- and third-person points of view in stories, use questioning to help them make sense of the text, use schema to articulate all they think they know about a topic before they read, discuss theme in narrative text, use questioning to help them make sense of myths, think about whether their questions are answered explicitly or implicitly, explore elements of narrative text structure in myths, including character change and conflict, and compare themes and events in myths. While these texts are arranged in terms of genre, they do not offer further connections nor are they accompanied by instructional supports to grow knowledge on a topic or leverage what they have learned to expand their academic vocabulary.
  • In Unit 8, the title of the unit is Determining Important Ideas and Summarizing: Narrative Nonfiction. Students listen to the texts Flight by Robert Burleigh, A Picture Book of Amelia Earhart by David A. Adler, In My Own Backyard by Judi Kurjian, A Picture Book of Rosa Parks by David A. Adler. Students focus on the skills of making inferences to understand a narrative nonfiction story, think about important ideas and supporting details in a narrative nonfiction story, explore elements of narrative text structure, including point of view and plot, in a narrative nonfiction story, use important ideas to build summaries, use important ideas to summarize an excerpt from a narrative nonfiction story, and use schema to articulate all they think they know about a topic before they read. With this practice, students are not provided opportunity to grow knowledge and academic vocabulary as is; to link the texts together, the teacher will have to provide supplemental instructional planning and/or other texts to create knowledge about a topic.
  • In Unit 9, all reading done in the core classroom is student-chosen, so any opportunities for building knowledge about a topic and growing vocabulary are left to the student and are not assured by the instructional materials.


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 Grade 4 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. Some representative examples illustrating this include (but are not limited to) the following:

  • In Unit 4, Week 5, the teacher reads aloud Gluskabe and Old Man Winter. In their journals, students write a description of the story elements, main characters, and setting and analyze characters using evidence. This supporting students' identification of these elements provides some practice in the criteria of this indicator. 
  • In Unit 5, Week 2, Day 2, the students have just heard “When We First Met” and are using the double-entry journal to record their thinking as a class to explore the inferences they made about Damon’s feelings and clues that helped them make these inferences. The teacher may have to supplement here to support all students in the appropriate level of depth and rigor for this work. 
  • In Unit 7, Week 4, Day 1, the teacher is reading the chapter, “Competition for Work” and poses two questions to the group: “What did you learn about competition for work from this chapter? What did you notice about how the author organized information in this chapter?” These questions provide guidance back "in" to the text for students to focus not only on detail but also on structures within the text. 
  • In Unit 8, Week 3, the teacher models writing a summary for the entire class. He or she asks, “What comes next in the summary? Why do you think that?” These questions do focus on an understanding of text.

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

  • In Unit 3, Week 3, Day 5 students read from “Hot Rolls,” and are asked: "What does the author do to wrap up this piece? What words or phrases tell you that the story has reached an end?" These questions focus the reader back on the detail and craft within the text. 
  • In Unit 8, Week 1, Day 1, students are asked, “What sensory details does the poet include to help you see what’s happening? Hear? Feel? Smell or taste?” This guidance may provide an opportunity for students to do in depth study, although the teacher may need to support with examples and/or other guidance to assure students are drawing the connection between sensory details and the overall impact of the text. 


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 4 partially meet the criteria that materials contain a coherently sequenced set of text-dependent questions and tasks that require students to analyze the integration of knowledge and ideas across both individual and multiple texts.

The materials in Grade 4 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 synthesize knowledge from a single text. Examples include:

  • In Unit 3 in Making Meaning, students use the text Animal Senses: How Animals See, Hear, Taste, Smell and Feel throughout the unit. Questions help students integrate knowledge across this single text such as “What did you learn today about how animals hear? How
  • Unit 4, Week 3, Day 3 in Making Meaning, students the story Teammates Jackie Robinson and are asked questions, such as “What is this story about?” and “What kind of person was Jackie Robinson? While these questions probe students' understanding of the single text, students are not led to make connections with learning from other texts.
  • In Unit 7, Week 3,  Making Meaning, students make inferences about information provided in the headings of Farm Workers Unite: The Great Grape Boycott. Students participate in “heads together” to answer text-dependent questions, such as “Why was it difficult for farm workers to improve their living and working conditions?” Throughout the week, the teacher reads chapters from the book and asks text-dependent questions.
  • In Unit 8, Week 2, students write about the themes of the books, A Picture Book of Amelia Earhart, and A Picture, Book of Harriet Tubman. However, the questions that support the writing do not require students to integrate ideas from both texts to draw conclusions or demonstrate knowledge.
  • Being a Writer Week 1, the teacher reads Tar Beach. During the reading, students answer, “What happened so far in the story?” After the reading of the text, students answer, “What events in this story could happen in real life? What events could happen only in the imagination? What things could you write about that could happen only in the imagination?” While the texts touch on elements of the story, they fall short of eliciting information about knowledge that was gained from the of the text.
  • Being a Writer, Genre Expository Nonfiction, Week 1, the teacher reads Australia. After the read-aloud, students answer, “What are some things you learned about Australia from the parts I read? What other country would you like to read about, and why? What do you want to know about the country you picked?” However, the bulk of the questions move away from the text and draw students into making connections to themselves and the world at-large. 

Most questions and task 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. The materials do not consistently include a coherently sequenced set of questions requiring students to analyze the integration of knowledge and ideas across both individual and multiple texts. Consistent opportunities are not provided throughout the year-long materials to meet the criteria of this indicator. Examples include:

  • In Unit 2, Week 1 of Making Meaning, students are asked "How is the information in the first hand account the same as the information in the second hand account? How is it different? What in the text makes you think that?" Students are asked to read an excerpt from a second hand account and the teacher explains what a second hand account is. However, there is not a coherent sequenced set of questions requiring students to analyze the second hand account. Students are only asked, "What information did you learn from the second hand account?"
  • In Unit 3, Week 3 of Making Meaning, students hear two texts about animals, Animal Senses and Slinky Scaly Slithery Snakes. Students can integrate knowledge and ideas across those two texts in the Writing about Reading task: “Have the students write about the sense of sight using facts from both books.” However, the there are only two questions leading up to the task which include, "What did you learn about how animals use the sense of sight?"and "What else did you learn about how animals use the sense of sight?" These questions do not require students to analyze knowledge or ideas.
  • In Unit 4, Week 4 of Making Meaning, students are asked, "Remind the students that they heard myths from two different cultures that have a similar theme: they explain how the seasons came to be.
  • In Unit 7, Week 1 of Making Meaning, students two articles on school uniforms called “School Uniforms: The Way to Go” and “School Uniforms: No Way!” On the Day 4 of instruction, students write their own opinion about school uniforms, integrating their knowledge from the two articles.
  • Being a Writer, students learn about various countries in the Expository Nonfiction Writing unit. Students hear several books about countries such as Kenya, Mexico, Italy, and Japan. Questions are asked such as “What did you learn about Japan that you were curious about?" Then, students take their knowledge of countries to engage in a research project. Students choose a country they are curious about and research it using sources with a partner.


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

In the Grade 4 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.”

In Unit 3 of Making Meaning, Questioning Expository Nonfiction, there are extension and journaling activities throughout the unit that focus on questioning with a combination of speaking and writing. At the end of the unit, the students write about how animals use the sense of sight from evidence from the books, Animal Senses and Scaly Slithery Snakes in the optional Writing about Reading activity.

In Unit 4, Week 3, of Making Meaning, the students hear several fictional texts such as The Boy and his Violin and Teammates, between which the students have to make connection. The optional extension activity includes a class discussion about point of view. Students determine whether it is more interesting to read a story from first person or third person point of view. There is another extension activity in which students compare the themes of these stories. Students write their opinions about firsthand and secondhand accounts of Jackie Robinson’s experiences in the Writing about Reading section. If time is available, students can share their writing with the class.

In Genre Expository Nonfiction of Being a Writer, students immerse themselves in non-fiction texts about countries. Partners select a country to research. For the writing task, students write an informational report based on their research.

In Unit 8 of Making Meaning, students write and speak in small and large groups. They compare firsthand and secondhand accounts of Charles Lindbergh’s Flight, along with discussing the similarities and differences between the two. There are several extension and writing activities throughout the unit. Through reading and conversations, students distinguish between fact and opinion. The culminating activities are Writing about Reading prompts. Students write about the themes in A Picture Book of Amelia Earhart and Picture Book of Harriet Tubman.

In Genre Opinion of Being a Writer, students hear opinion texts and then draft persuasive essays. Students select a topic to write a persuasive essay about after discussing the following question with a peer: “What opinion do you feel strongly enough about to publish a persuasive essay about it?” After writing the essay, students share in the 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 4 meet the criteria that materials include a cohesive, year-long plan for students to interact with and build key academic vocabulary words in and across texts. 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, Week 2, Day 1, the Teacher’s Manual states, “Read the story aloud slowly and clearly, showing the illustrations and stopping as described on the next page. Clarify vocabulary when you encounter it in the story by reading the word, briefly defining it, rereading it in context, and continuing (for example, “'Then he turns on the light to the attic, and we follow him up the steep, wooden stairs’— steep means ‘rising at a sharp angle or slant’—‘and we follow him up the steep, wooden stairs’ ”).”

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. For example, in Week 11, the six words listed are inspire, rickety, jittery, launch, intimidate, circulate, and the words reviewed are consistent, humble, keen, lusciou, survey. These words are from Making Meaning texts The Bat Boy and His Violin and Teammates. The word-learning strategies are recognizing synonyms and antonyms, a Latin word, roots and adages, and proverbs. The week begins with the teacher introducing the word inspire and reading an excerpt from The Bat Boy and His Violin that contains the word. The teacher explains what inspired means and facilitates a class discussion, "When have you experienced something that inspired you?" Then the next word, rickety, is introduced, a passage from the text read, and then the teacher leads them in game of “Rickety or Not Rickety”. The teacher reads a description, and students decide if it describes something rickety or not. On Day two students create a sentence with a partner using the words introduced the prior day. During this week’s instruction students also explore proverbs.

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

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.

  • In Being a Writer, Poetry Genre, Long-range Writing, students learn the elements of poetry, explore poetry (imagery and form), acquire knowledge of different types of poetry, generate and write about ideas for poems, independently write on a topic of choice, and draft, conference, reflect, revise, proofread, and publish their own poetry.
  • In Unit 3, Week 2, students write about their own experiences (things they have heard or learned from family members).
  • In Unit 4, Week 4, students review the texts, Demeter and Persephone and Co-Chin and the Spirits, and write a compare and contrast paragraph (making text-to-text connections). With the teacher’s assistance, students compare the two myths with modeling and thinking aloud prior to working independently.
  • In Unit 6, students explore functional writing (technical texts).
  • In Unit 7, Week 1, students have the option of developing opinions for a persuasive essay or selecting another writing option.


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 4 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 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 topic on countries. They make use of the following sequence.
    • Make a list of interesting countries.
    • Narrow the list.
    • Browse nonfiction materials found in the school library and
    • Research and take notes on a specific country.
    • Draft and revise.
    • Proofread and complete a final copy.
    • Publish and permit volunteers an opportunity to share out.
  • In Unit 2, Week 1 of Making Meaning, there is a technology extension where students pose questions about new knowledge that they would like to gain about earthquakes. Afterwards, the teacher guides the class in researching one of their questions. They conduct an online search for reputable websites with relevant information. They browse websites to find information and images that answer the question. If time permits, students research other questions about earthquakes.

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

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 give 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 Unit 2, Week 2, as students are reading and thinking about text features, the teacher inquires about new learning gleaned. The teacher adds the students’ observations to the class “Text Feature” chart. Afterwards, the teacher discusses new features and information that helped the students learn.
  • In Unit 3, Week 3, the teacher has the students read silently for twenty to twenty-five minutes. Before reading aloud, students think about questions for the selected texts. At the end of the IDR, the teacher asks students to share their questions with partners. As the teacher confers with students, they are referring to “Resource Sheet for Independent Reading Time Conferences.” The teacher listens to the student read and asks a few questions related to newfound learning on the topic. Also, students respond with which text features are observed.
  • In Unit 4, Week 4, as students read along, students discover answers to questions. Afterwards, they share answers to questions with the entire class. This occurs at the end of Independent Reading Time sessions.
  • In Unit 5, Week 3, during the independent reading time, the teacher reminds students about focusing on reading narrative texts and poetry. The students practice making inferences, reading and rereading for fifteen minutes. As students proceed, the teacher requests for them to pause and place a self-stick note at a stopping point. Together, they use the “Making Inferences Chart.” As a class, the teacher and students discuss inferences. If they are having difficulty with this, the teacher asks, “What is happening in the part of the text that you read today? How do you know? Are those things stated directly or did you infer them from clues? What clues?”
  • In Unit 8, Week 1, the teacher directs the student’s attention to the “Reading Comprehension Strategies” chart. He or she reminds the students to use strategies to help them understand and enjoy reading. The teacher distributes self-stick notes and has the students use the notes to mark comprehension strategies used for reading. Students read for approximately thirty minutes. Following, they answer questions related to the strategy used.


Gateway Three

Usability

Not Rated

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

Criterion 3a - 3e

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

Indicator 3a

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

Indicator 3b

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

Indicator 3c

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

Indicator 3d

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

Indicator 3e

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

Criterion 3f - 3j

Materials support teacher learning and understanding of the Standards.

Indicator 3f

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

Indicator 3g

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

Indicator 3h

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

Indicator 3i

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

Indicator 3j

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

Criterion 3k - 3n

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

Indicator 3k

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

Indicator 3l

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

Indicator 3l.i

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

Indicator 3l.ii

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

Indicator 3m

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

Indicator 3n

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

Criterion 3o - 3r

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

Indicator 3o

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

Indicator 3p

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

Indicator 3q

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

Indicator 3r

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

Criterion 3s - 3v

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

Indicator 3s

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

Indicator 3t

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

Indicator 3u

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

Indicator 3u.i

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

Indicator 3u.ii

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

Indicator 3v

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

Report Published Date: 05/15/2019

Report Edition: 2016

Title ISBN Edition Publisher Year
SIPPS Plus Teacher?s Manual 978-1-61003-209-4 Center for the Collaborative Classroom 2017
SIPPS Plus: Dreams on Wheels and other selection 978-1-61003-213-1 Center for the Collaborative Classroom 2017
CCC Collaborative Literacy Being a Writer Second Edition Student Writing Handbook 978-1-61003-256-8 Center for the Collaborative Classroom 2014
CCC Collaborative Literacy Being a Writer Second Edition Skills Practice Book 978-1-61003-266-7 Center for the Collaborative Classroom 2014
CCC Collaborative Literacy Being a Writer Second Edition Digital Teacher's Manual Set 978-1-61003-401-2 Center for the Collaborative Classroom 2014
CCC Collaborative Literacy Making Meaning Third Edition Student Response Book 978-1-61003-710-5 Center for the Collaborative Classroom 2015
CCC Collaborative Literacy Making Meaning Digital Teacher's Manual Set 978-1-61003-776-1 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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