Alignment: Overall Summary

The instructional materials reviewed for Center for Collaborative Classroom Grade 6 partially meet expectations of alignment. The Grade 6 instructional materials partially meet expectations for Gateway 1. Texts are worthy of students' time and attention. Materials partially support students building their ability to access texts with increasing text complexity across the year. Materials partially meet the criteria for texts having the appropriate level of complexity for the grade according to quantitative analysis, qualitative analysis, and relationship to their associated student task. Materials provide opportunities for rich and rigorous evidence-based discussions and writing about texts to build strong literacy skills. The instructional materials for Grade 6 partially meet the expectations of the Gateway 2. Materials partially meet the criteria that texts are organized to support students' building knowledge of different topics, and there is support for students to engage with and grow their academic vocabulary over the course of the school year. Materials meet the criteria that materials contain sets of coherently sequenced questions and tasks that require students to analyze the language, key ideas, details, craft, and structure of individual texts and partially meet the criteria that the questions and tasks support students’ ability to complete culminating tasks in which they demonstrate their knowledge of a topic through integrated skills. Materials meet the criteria that materials include a cohesive, year-long plan for students to interact with and build key academic vocabulary words in and across texts. Materials support students’ increasing writing skills over the course of the school year, building students’ writing ability to demonstrate proficiency at grade level at the end of the school year. Materials provide procedures and support for daily independent reading, primarily found in the Making Meaning component.

See Rating Scale
Understanding Gateways

Alignment

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Partially Meets Expectations

Gateway 1:

Text Quality

0
17
32
36
29
32-36
Meets Expectations
18-31
Partially Meets Expectations
0-17
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

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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

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Gateway One Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Center of Collaborative Classroom Grade 6 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
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-
Criterion Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Center of Collaborative Classroom Grade 6 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
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-
Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Center of Collaborative Classroom Grade 6 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 5 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:

  • Unit 1 contains a variety of well-crafted texts that represent multiple genres. Verna Aardema’s Why Mosquitoes Buzz in People’s Ears is a West African tale that contains an engaging cause and effect relationship. Merri Fox’s Feathers and Fools is an allegorical tale of war between swans and peacocks. Gary Soto’s Chato’s Kitchen includes English and Spanish and vibrant illustrations.
  • In Unit 2, Weeks 1 and 2, students focus on the text pieces Let’s Think About the Power of Advertising and “Extreme Sports, Plugged In . . . and Checked Out.” These texts engage students by drawing attention to possible topics of interest such as technology and sports. Academic vocabulary is highlighted. A variety of informational articles and books are used.
  • In Unit 4, Weeks 1-4, students focus on analyzing text structures in An Elephant in the Garden. This text is highly engaging to Grade 6 students as it is about an orphaned elephant.
  • In Unit 7 contains a mix of nonfiction articles about controversial topics this age group would be able to relate to as well as social studies topics that would help build students' knowledge. Article topics include child labor, genetically modified food, and global warming. Social studies topics are in the texts Rosie the Riveter: Women in the Time of War by Penny Colman, an ALA Best Book for Young Adults and an ALA Notable Book, and in an excerpt from Slacks and Calluses: Our Summer in a Bomber Factory by Constance Bowman Reid. Each of these texts builds content vocabulary and knowledge.
  • In Unit 6, texts center on topics that build knowledge. Paula Yoo’s Twenty-Two Cents: Muhammed Yunus and the Village Bank is a biography describing a Nobel Peace Prize winner. Elizabeth Rusch’s Volcano Rising is an informational text that explains some causes and some creative and destructive effects of volcanic eruptions. Grade 6 students will be highly engaged and interested in these topics.


Indicator 1b

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Center for Collaborative Classroom Grade 6 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 are 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 placing more weight on informational texts versus literacy.

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

  • Why Mosquitos Buzz in People’s Ears by Verna Aardema
  • An Elephant in the Garden by Michael Morpurgo
  • “As I Grow Older” by Langston Hughes
  • Chato’s Kitchen by Gary Soto
  • Encounter by Jane Yolen
  • “A Tea” by Angela Johnson

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

  • Whales by Seymour Simon
  • Let’s Think about the Power of Advertising by Elizabeth Raum
  • “Report Slams Child Labor in Tobacco Fields” by Mariano Castillo
  • Twenty-Two Cents: Muhammad Yunus and the Village Bank by Paula Yoo
  • Nelson Mandela by Kadir Nelson
  • “Excerpt from Long Walk to Freedom” by Nelson Mandela


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
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-
Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Center for Collaborative Classroom Grade 6 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.

Examples of texts at the appropriate Grade 6 complexity include the following:

  • In Unit 1, Week 1, students hear Fools and Feathers over two days. The Lexile level is 960. The conventionality and sentence structure are moderate. The vocabulary is complex with unfamiliar words such as contemplating, dismay, and strutted. The meaning is moderately complex with a clear theme that is conveyed with subtlety.
  • In Unit 6, students hear Twenty-two Cents: Muhammad Yunus and the Village Bank over one week. The text has a Lexile of 1010. The conventionality and sentence structure are moderate. The vocabulary is complex with unfamiliar words such as words in the Indian language. The meaning is slightly complex with a clear theme. The knowledge demands are very complex since the life experiences portrayed are uncommon to most Grade 6 readers.

There are many texts in Making Meaning that would not be considered complex for Grade 6 students. The reader and task requirements typically contain considerable scaffolding or partner work, when students could complete tasks independently since many texts are below the Grade 6 complexity band. Examples include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • In Unit 1, Week 1, the teacher reads aloud Why Mosquitoes Buzz in People’s Ears, which as a Lexile of 770. The text organization is sequential and the vocabulary is slightly complex with mostly contemporary vocabulary. The meaning is moderately complex with a theme revealed throughout the text and at the end. For reader and task with this less complex text, the teacher reads the text aloud. On Day 1, after the read aloud, the teacher stops to ask comprehension questions to facilitate a class discussion.On Day 2, the teacher rereads the text and has students discuss the theme as a whole class
  • In Unit 1, Week 2, the teacher reads aloud Chato’s Kitchen, and the text is measured at a 740 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 Spanish words. For reader and task with this less complex text, the teacher reads the text aloud. During the read aloud, students discuss comprehension questions with a partner. On Day 2, students watch a video of Cheech Marin read Chato’s Kitchen. Students discuss the video as a class.
  • In Unit 5, Week 1, students hear Encounter, which has a Lexile of 620. The text has chronological sequence. The use of illustrations extends the meaning of the text. The conventionality is complex since there is figurative language. The theme is moderately complex because the theme is clear, but conveyed with subtlety. The knowledge demands are very complex since the point-of-view is unfamiliar for students. For reader and task with this less complex text, the teacher reads the text aloud. During the read aloud on Day 1, the teacher asks the class comprehension questions. The teacher facilitates a class discussion about the text. On Day 2, the teacher reviews the text and facilitates a class discussion about narrator’s point of view. The teacher facilitates a class discussion about firsthand and secondhand accounts of Columbus’s landing in America.
  • In Unit 8, Week 3, students hear Voices from the Field: Children of Migrant Farmworkers Tell Their Stories, which measures at a 850L. The text is slightly complex with some knowledge complexity with the unfamiliar time period.


Indicator 1d

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Center for Collaborative Classroom Grade 6 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.) Anchor texts in Making Meaning are usually read aloud to Grade 6 students, therefore students do not have consistent opportunity to read complex texts without the scaffold of a teacher read aloud.

While the the comprehension strategies, discussion questions, and tasks increase in complexity as students engage in the texts over the course of several days as well as throughout the year, the level of scaffolding is consistently the same with the teacher doing a read aloud of the anchor texts. Although scaffolding is present within each lesson, a gradual release does not grow towards independence over the course of the year. Additionally, students typically engage in class discussion or partner discussion (Think-Pair-Share) before engaging with a task. Students do not have opportunities to increase their literacy skills with an appropriate level of independence when complex texts are read aloud everyday. When students participate in independent reading for Individualized Daily Reading, those texts are at students’ independent levels and are not necessarily complex texts. 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.

In the Making Meaning component, the comprehension strategies presented in the units progress in complexity over the course of the year. In Unit 1, students explore themes and compare a text read aloud to video of the text. Students use “Turn to Your Partner” and “Think-Pair-Share” often before completing a task. In Unit 2, students learn to use text features to locate and understand information from the text. Questioning is the focus of Unit 3. Students learn to stop and ask questions while reading. In Unit 4 students analyze text structure by discussing character, plot, conflict, and setting. In Units 5, students learn to make inferences to understand prose and plays. In Unit 6, students continue to learn how to make inferences. In Unit 7, students analyze text structure. In Unit 8, students determine important ideas based on hearing and discussing the text. Students also learn to summarize. In Unit 9, students learn to synthesize information in fiction, narrative, nonfiction, and expository nonfiction text. In Unit 10, students prepare for summer reading.

Opportunities for students to read the Grade 6 complex text are missed as well as opportunities to independently complete comprehension tasks. In the Making Meaning component, students engage with the same text over the course of several days as the teacher reads aloud the text. For example, in Unit 2, Week 1, students hear the text, The Power of Advertising. On Day 1, the teacher reads the text aloud and asks questions throughout. There is a class discussion about the text features based on the teacher’s scaffolding questions. This text empowers students to develop critical thinking and debating skills. It examines the topic of advertising in a lively and accessible way (with information presented to help readers deliberate, debate, and make decisions). In reference to reader and tasks, students use text features to locate and more accurately understand information and classify newfound learning. On Day 2, the students discuss as a class: “What did you learn about advertising from this part of the book?” The teacher reads aloud the text and asks scaffolding questions. Students discuss with a partner questions posed by the teacher about text features. On Day 3, students discuss with a partner: “What did you learn about how people, businesses, and organizations use advertising?” The teacher reads aloud the text and asks scaffolding questions. After the read aloud, students discuss two questions about text features and then students write about text features. On Day 4, students could participate in the Writing About Reading task (it is optional), which is to write opinions about advertising. To complete the task, students discuss whole class the text based on the teacher’s scaffolding questions, and then students discuss with a partner how advertising can be helpful or harmful. Students write their own opinion paragraphs about whether advertising is helpful or harmful.

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 6.

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
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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Center for Collaborative Classroom Grade 6 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. There is no breakdown of quantitative analysis, qualitative analysis, and reader and task of texts.

In the Making Meaning section, a rationale or text analysis is not provided. A list of the books is provided, and a synopsis of the texts is provided.

  • In Unit 1, Week 2, the synopsis provided for Why Mosquitoes Buzz in People’s Ears is: “In this folktale, a mosquito sets off a series of reactions that result in Mother Owl’s refusal to wake up the sun.”
  • In Unit 5, the text, “Mother to Son,” is used because the unit focus is fiction, poetry, and drama. “During this unit, the students visualize and make inferences to make sense of narrative text, poetry, and drama, and they continue to ask questions and analyze narrative text structure.” The social development focus is confirming that they understand what another person is thinking by repeating what they heard.
  • In Unit 7, Week 4, the synopsis provided for Rosie the Riveter: Women in a Time of War is: “The iconic symbol of Rosie the Riveter signifies the dramatic changes women experienced in the United States during World War II.”

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

  • In Genre, Fiction, the texts are intended to help students explore fiction writing so they can draft their own fiction writing. “They also explore building suspense, writing, dialogue, and using transitional words and phrases.” For the social development focus, the students continue to contribute to the classroom writing community.
  • In Genre, Argumentative Writing, the texts are intended to help students read and write argumentative essays. “The students learn to identify an audience and purpose for writing their essays.” For the social development focus, students express their opinions as they learn to respect and consider the opinions of others.

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. The document states that qualitative measures were used in choosing texts, but does not provide qualitative analysis nor information about specific text placement.

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 6 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 long and short texts and a variety of disciplines and genres. The texts are shared with students and used for several days to an entire unit.

For each unit in Making Meaning, the teacher reads aloud a text followed by students engaging in class discussion and demonstrating their ability to comprehend the text. 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, there is a variety of genres and topics, including a mix of fiction and nonfiction (i.e., poetry, fables, personal narratives, and expository text). Students explore topics such as whales, migrant farmers, the Bermuda Triangle, and controversial topics such as electronic games. For example, in Unit 2, Week 1, students engage with Let’s Think About the Power of Advertising, which is a nonfiction text about the different types of advertising. in Unit 6, Week 1, students interact with Twenty-two Cents: Muhammad Yunus and the Village Bank, which is a biography about Nobel Peace Prize winner Muhammad Yunus.

Students also hear books in the Being a Writer component, and these texts are used as mentor texts. For example, in the Genre Personal Narrative, students hear an excerpt from I am Malala: How One Girl Stood Up for Education and Changed the World, Rattlesnake Mesa: Stories from a Native American Childhood, and “No Place I’d Rather Be.” In the genre argumentative writing, students hear “Do Not Raise the Driving Age to 18,” "Losing is Good for You,” and “Sleep Deprivation and Teens: ‘Walking Zombies.’”

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 6 meet the criteria that most questions, tasks, and assignments are text-dependent/specific, requiring students to engage with the text directly. There are some sequences of high-quality, text-dependent/specific questions, activities, and tasks that scaffold students’ understanding of a text that build to a culminating task. Throughout the school year and each lesson, the application of speaking and listening instruction is frequently applied in each program component. Students engage in Turn and Talks, Think-Pair-Shares, and whole-group discussions. Materials meet the criteria for materials including a mix of on-demand and process writing (e.g., multiple drafts, revisions over time) and short, focused projects, incorporating digital resources where appropriate. Throughout the course of the school year, students engage with multiple genres and modes of writing in both Making Meaning and Being a Writer. Materials partially meet the criteria for materials including frequent opportunities for evidence-based writing to support careful analyses, well-defended claims, and clear information appropriate for the grade level. Students are continuously asked to support analyses and claims with clear information and evidence during discussion. However, there are few opportunities for students to produce evidence-based writing. Materials meet the criteria for materials including explicit instruction of the grammar and conventions standards for grade level as applied in increasingly sophisticated contexts, with opportunities for application both in and out of context.

Indicator 1g

Most questions, tasks, and assignments are text-dependent, requiring students to engage with the text directly (drawing on textual evidence to support both what is explicit as well as valid inferences from the text).
2/2
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Center of Collaborative Classroom Grade 6 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 6 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 3, Week 1, Day 2, students discuss the text Whales by Seymour Simon and answer: “What did you learn about whales and their young?” In Day 3, students answer, “In what ways are toothed whales different than baleen whales? The author tells us that right whales were once very common in the North Atlantic Ocean but are now quite rare. What is the reason for this?”
  • In Unit 4, Week 1, students are asked the following based on the text An Elephant in the Garden: “What happens in the part you just heard?” Students turn to their partners and share. The teacher facilitates a class discussion and asks the following question: “What happens in the plot for this chapter? How does Lizzie feel about Marlene at the end of this chapter? What happens to make her feel this way? A response may include that Lizzie grows to like Marlene. She feels as though Marlene understands her.”
  • In Unit 5, Week 1, students are asked text-dependent questions about poetry. For example, students read “As I Grew Older” by Langston Hughes, and respond to questions, such as “What kind of dream do you think the speaker in the poem is describing? What happened to the dream? What in the poem makes you think so?” Another example asks students what specific lines mean and to explain their thinking
  • In Unit 7, Week 2, students are introduced to “Wolves: The Effects of Reintroduction on Ranchers.” Students are asked questions on what they remembered from the previous text. They use the Student Response Book, pages 52-53, to follow along and skim the article for the title, headings, and subtitles. As a class, they discuss the article. On Day 2, students complete a double-entry journal about “Wolves: The Effects of Reintroduction on Ranchers” in their Student Response Book, on page 55. They use the left-hand column to write the author’s purpose and the right-hand column to locate evidence from the article. Afterwards, they discuss their rationale with the class. Also, students write about their interpretation of the text after watching the teacher model a persuasive piece.


Indicator 1h

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Center for Collaborative Classroom Grade 6partially meet the expectations for having sets of high-quality sequences of text-dependent/specific questions and tasks that build to a culminating task that integrates skills (may be writing, speaking, or a combination).

There are some sequences of high-quality text dependent/specific questions, activities, and tasks that scaffold students’ understanding of a text that build to a culminating task. Opportunities exist for students to synthesize key information from text at times. However, the majority of these are identified as optional extension activities or optional writing about reading activities.

In the Making Meaning component of the materials, after interacting with a text for several days, students often participate in a Writing about Reading activity. However, this is identified as an optional activity. In some of the activities, students do integrate some things they have learned and practiced during the week. Some examples include:

  • In Unit 1, Week 1, students hear Why Mosquitoes Buzz in People’s Ears and Feathers and Fools. During the week, students answer questions, such as “What happens at the end of the story? What are the themes of this fable?” For the Writing About Reading task, students discuss with a partner the following question: “In what ways are the two stories alike? In what ways are the two stories different?” Students write about what is similar and what is different in the two stories. If time permits, students can share their writing with the class.
  • In Unit 3, Week 1, students listen to Whales. During the week, students answer and discuss some of the following questions: “What did you find out about the physical characteristics of whales? How are whales different from fish?” For the Writing About Reading task, students participate in a class discussion about the following questions: “What do you remember learning about whales from this book? What information did you learn about sperm whales in this passage?” Students write about what other ways sperm whales and right whales are alike and different. If time permits, students can share their writing with the class.
  • In Unit 8, Week 2, students hear about Julisa Velarde and Manuel Araiza in Voices from the Fields. During the week, students discuss the following questions: “What did you learn about Julisa and her family in the part you just heard? What do your remember about Julisa’s story?” For the Writing About Reading task, students discuss with a partner: “What’s most important to understand or remember about the part you just heard? How are Julisa’s and Manuel’s stories similar? How are their stories different?” Students write paragraphs comparing the two stories. If time permits, students can share their writing with the class.

Extension activities are provided in Making Meaning that could be considered a culminating task; however, these are optional, and not all students get to demonstrate their understanding of the new learning from the unit. For example, at the end of Unit 2, Week 2, there are two extension tasks. The first task requires students to read a newspaper article using investigative questions. Afterwards, students are asked to use who, what, when, where, why, and how questions to identify and recall an article’s key information.

In the Being a Writer section, students are read mentor texts as models for their own writing. Students are asked text-dependent questions prior to writing to help them focus on a specific skill. For example, in the Expository Nonfiction Genre Unit, students evaluate the credibility of a source during Writing about Reading. Students write a paragraph about one of the sources from the week that the student found during independent research. Students are expected to describe the source, explain if the source is reliable, current, and accurate. If time permits, students can share their writing with the class.

In addition, after learning a skill through shared reading, students apply their learning to their independent reading books. While this is a daily culminating task, it does not require students to synthesize and apply what they learned.

Indicator 1i

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Center for Collaborative Classroom Grade 6 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 1, Week 1, the teacher briefly discusses with the class the following: “Why did the peacocks and swans become enemies? What are the themes of this fable? What lessons can we learn from the fable?” Afterwards, student partners engage in discussion, and a few volunteers share their thoughts with the whole class.
  • In Unit 1, students are taught the “Turn to Your Partner” strategy. The teacher models the strategy, and students practice with partners. The teacher explains that this strategy will be used to share thoughts of books (read aloud or independently).
  • In Unit 1, Week 2, students practice a Think-Pair-Share. The teacher’s manual includes facilitation tips (i.e., Continue to remind students to turn and look at the person who is about to speak.).
  • In Unit 2, Week 2, the teacher re-reads aloud “Extreme Sports” from the previous day’s lesson. Following, students Think-Pair-Write” about text features in the article. Students respond to the following, “What expository text features did you notice? Share your thinking with your partner. Then, list the features you noticed in your Making Meaning Student Response Book.”
  • In Unit 3, the following discussion prompt chart is displayed to students.
    I agree with __________ because,
    I disagree with __________ because,
    In addition to what __________ said, I think
    The teacher’s manual (page 102) recommends that teachers model and include examples of the aforementioned. "I agree with Natalia that the question, 'How long do baby whales stay with their mothers?' is answered because the book says that baby whales stop nursing at seven months.”
  • In Unit 5, student pairs and the whole class discuss Encounter. Using a prompt, the teacher models another individual’s thinking and students practice. At the end of lesson, the teacher facilitates a brief discussion of students’ progress and observations.
  • In Unit 5, Week 2, students discuss a poem using Think-Pair-Share. They respond to the following, “What do you know about the speaker (the girl) in this poem? What clues helped you figure that out?” The teacher has a few volunteers share their partner’s thinking.
  • In Unit 9, Week 2, as a whole class, students discuss opinions. They respond to the following, “What is your opinion of “The Bermuda Triangle? What did you underline in the story that supports your opinion? Did your opinion of the story change when you re-read it? Why or why not?” Then, students reflect on whether or not they discussed their opinions respectfully.

The Grade 6 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 4, Day 3, the teacher reviews the word access and models using the word in a sentence. The teacher asks: “What other materials or equipment do you have access to in class? Turn to your partner. Prompt 1: We have access to…”
  • In Making Meaning Vocabulary Teaching Guide, Week 8, Day 3, the teacher provides a definition of ravenous and provides examples. The teacher asks: “When have you felt ravenous, or when might you feel ravenous? Turn to your partner. Prompt 1: I felt ravenous when I… If you completed an arduous task, do you think you would feel ravenous? Why or why not? Turn to your partner. Prompt 2: If I completed an arduous task, I think I [would/would not] feel ravenous because…”


Indicator 1j

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Center for Collaborative Classroom Grade 6 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, 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. Students work on elaborating on their understanding of the text throughout Making Meaning. Across the year’s scope of academic materials, teachers receive guidance on leading students in evidence-based discussions. Examples from Making Meaning include:

  • In Unit 2, there is an extension activity in which students explore helpful and harmful advertisements. Then, students offer explanations on whether the advertisements are help or harmful and present their ideas.
  • In Unit 3, the lesson emphasizes showing respect for differing opinions. Students are prompted to consider the following: “How can you show respect for your variances in your partner’s thinking?” Examples are provided for what partners might say.
  • In Unit 3, students research whales and decide on methods for reporting information learned. Examples include creating an online presentation or blog post, write a paragraph, or give an oral presentation.
  • In Unit 8, Week 3, students write about the themes in “Twenty-Two Cents” and “Nelson Mandela.” The teacher facilitates a discussion on the following: "What can we learn from the story that we can apply to our own lives?" The teacher models and thinks aloud methods for writing similar themes in biographies. If time permits, students share out their responses.
  • In Unit 9, Week 3, students discuss expressing opinions by responding to the following: "How have we been doing discussing our opinions in a respectful way? What can we do to make our class a safe place for everyone to discuss their true opinions?" Students are encouraged to focus on being open to one another’s thinking and give reasons for their opinions. Following, students are asked to read the headings, title, and subtitle of “Finding the Balance with After-school Activities.” They answer three questions related to the text. Student volunteers share their thinking. Afterwards, the teacher reads aloud the text. Student partners answer three questions. Then, the class discusses the article and answers three questions. On the second day, the teacher rereads the article. Following, students discuss their opinions and evidence with partners and the whole class (responding to three additional questions). Afterwards, they briefly reflect on expressing opinions truthfully and respectfully. On the third day, the teacher reads aloud, “Children and Electronic Games: Good or Bad.” Student partners answer two questions. With the whole class, the teacher facilitates a discussion of the article. On the fourth day, the teacher re-reads the article. The students discuss their opinions and evidence with partners. Then, they discuss the opinions as a class.

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 3, Day 5, students discuss the following read-aloud texts: “The Elves on the Shelves,” “Milk,” “Journey,” and “Mosquito.” During “Think-Pair-Share,” students discuss: “Which book or story did you enjoy the most? What did you like about it?”
  • In the Fiction Genre, Week 1, Day 4, students discuss with a partner the following questions based on “The Sneeze”: “What is happening so far in this story? What is happening in the story?”
  • In the Expository Nonfiction Genre, Week 1, Day 2, students discuss the following question about The Technology Behind Everyday Appliances using “Think-Pair-Share”: “How does the author organize the information in this book?”
  • In the Argumentative Genre, Week 1, Day 5, students browse argumentative and nonfiction texts about topics they have strong opinions about. The students discuss with a partner: “What did you find out from your reading, and what do you have strong opinions about?”
  • In the Poetry Genre, Week 1, Day 4, students discuss “Bull snake rattle” after the teacher reads aloud the poem. "What words in the poem sound like what they are describing? Turn to your partner.”


Indicator 1k

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Center for Collaborative Classroom Grade 6 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 2, students learn about intriguing first lines from authors and students their own age. They are encouraged to write intriguing first lines, capture their favorite one, and develop it into a 20 to 25 minute story.
  • In Unit 1, Week 3, after listening to Lizards read aloud, students engage in quick writes and in their writing notebooks. Students write about additional animal topics that interest them.
  • In Unit 2, Weeks 1 and 2, students review every draft they had written from Unit 1 and select one to develop into a book. These lessons include revising for repetitive sentence patterns, discovering strategies to vary sentences, and providing alternatives for overused words. The teacher models revising for uninteresting words, and sample drafts are included. The process encompasses peer and teacher conferences, revisions based on mini-lessons (i.e., opening sentences), and effective titles and proofreading. Afterwards, students publish their final drafts and present in the “Author’s Chair.” Following, students complete a self-assessment.
  • In Unit 4, Week 1, after listening to “Rattlesnake and Mesa,” students respond to the following, “What are some events in which you learned or changed, that you could write about?”
  • In Unit 5, Week 3, the teacher creates a class blog. Students reflect on their writing attitudes by responding to reflection questions posted by the teacher.
  • In Being a Writer, Personal Narrative Genre, Weeks 1-4, students listen to “Rattlesnake and Mesa" and discuss personal narratives. They have opportunities to quickly write about early memories and events that lead to change. Prior to the drafting, editing, revising, and sharing a personal narrative, this unit allows students to freely write a list of things that interest them, informally explore personal narratives, and gather and add notes. They share their writing with classmates and offer and receive feedback. This process takes approximately 5 days. During Week 1, students explore, draft, and discuss their writing. For Week 2, students continue drafting and conferring. Throughout Week 3, students revise, draft, develop, proofread, and publish their writing sample. The focus of week four includes proofreading, spelling, grammar, and punctuation.
  • 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.
2/2
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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 6 meets the criteria for materials providing opportunities for students to address different text types of writing that reflect the distribution required by the standards.

As required by Grade 6 writing standards, there is evidence of various prompts that include opinion, argument, narrative, and informative/explanatory writing. Additionally, students have the opportunity to 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 for narrative, argumentative, and informative/explanatory writing. In the Assessment Sourcebook, teachers and students can access scoring rubrics and record sheets. Examples include:

Narrative

  • In Unit 3, Week 1 of Being a Writer students draft a personal narrative about a memorable experience from their life, using the, “Notes About Personal Narratives”, as a guide.
  • In Genre Fiction, during Writing Time, students compose fiction stories. In Week 2, Day 3, students are given the option to: “work on a story you started earlier, start a new story, or think about the conflict your main character faces and how that conflict will be resolved.
  • In Genre Poetry, during Writing Time, students draft a poem in the Students’ Notebooks after hearing six different poems.

Informational/Expository

  • In Unit 3, Week 1, Day 3 of Making Meaning, students listen to the text Whales. During Writing about Reading, students compare and contrast sperm whales and right whales.
  • In Unit 5, Week 1 of Being a Writer, students read nonfiction texts and select a topic to research. After an in-depth research of the topic, students write a research report.
  • In Unit 6 of Being a Writer students draft how-to directions, after learning/reading/exploring/and thinking about functional texts.

Opinion

  • In Unit 2, Week 1, Day 4 of Making Meaning, students write an opinion about advertising in Writing about Reading. Students write opinion paragraphs about where advertising is more harmful or more helpful.
  • In Unit 6, Week 2 of Being a Writer students write a persuasive piece explaining the following, “Why is it useful to know how to write directions?”
  • In Unit 9, Week 1, Day 4 of Making Meaning, students write opinion paragraphs after learning how to form an opinion. Students start their paragraphs with the following phrase: “I recommend this text because…” or “I do not recommend this text because…”



Indicator 1m

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Center for Collaborative Classroom Grade 6 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. Additionally, there are few opportunities for students to complete process writing.

While Writing about Reading in both the Making Meaning and Being a Writer components provides the students with opportunities to write opinions about and make connections to texts they hear and discuss, these activities are optional. The Teacher Editions 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, the 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."Students write and include textual references to support their inferences. For example in Making Meaning, Unit 4, Week 4, Day 4, students write to answer the following question: “What might Lizzie be referring to when she says that Marlene changed and saved all their lives?” Students write their own paragraphs about ways Marlene helps Lizzie and her family. The teacher is to remind students to use examples from the book to support their ideas. In Unit 8, Week 2, Day 4, students write paragraphs comparing the texts about Julisa Velarde and Manuel Araiza. Prior to writing, students do a Think-Pair-Share on the following questions: “How are Julisa’s and Manuel’s stories similar?" and "How are their stories different?” Although these are both evidence-based prompts from Making Meaning, the Writing about Reading sections with reference to the anchor read-aloud text opportunities are infrequently provided during the course of the year, and the Writing about Reading in Being a Writer contains few opportunities for students to write about the anchor writing, read-aloud text. Time is not built into lessons to complete these writing tasks.

Although students often discuss and reflect on genre writing, students are not using those texts to pull information or evidence for their published writings. For example, in Genre Poetry of Being a Writer, Week 1, Day 1, students participate in independent writing for 20-30 minutes based on the following prompts: “Add to the list you started in the quick write (ideas about winter). Write words and images for a different season. Write about anything you choose.” In Genre Fiction of Being a Writer, Week 1, Day 5 during Writing Time, students write silently for 20-30 minutes and respond to the following prompts: “Continue the fiction story you started in the quick-write." "Continue a fiction story you started earlier." "Start any new fiction story."

Three Guided Writing Performance Tasks are provided. There is one narrative, one informative, and one argument task. These include teacher directions, student directions, source materials, graphic organizers, research questions, and scoring rubrics for the research questions. Each one-week unit consists of five days of lessons. Students work as a class, in pairs, and independently to complete each step of the performance task. Students are first introduced to and then practice using strategies to complete the tasks. The Guided Practice Performance Task includes extensive support and is in collaboration with partners. Students are not provided with opportunities to demonstrate independent evidence-based writing. 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 choses to complete one Guided Performance Task independently, students would not have adequate practice to demonstrate independent mastery of producing evidence-based writing that supports careful analyses, well-defended claims, and clear information.

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

Indicator 1n

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

The materials reviewed for Center for the Collaborative Classroom Grade 6 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. The Grade 6 program has opportunities for whole class instruction aligned to the Grade 6 language standards. Many of the lessons in the Skills Practice Teaching Guide are review lessons from prior grade levels such as Lesson 15: Shifts in Verb Tenses (Grade 5), Lesson 5: Sentence Fragments and Run-on Sentences (Grade 4), and Lesson 27: Punctuating Dialogue (Grade 3).

Lessons for language standards are mainly found in the Skills Practice Teaching Guide, which devotes one lesson to each Grade 6 language standard. The typical lesson plan includes teacher modeling, students helping the teacher to use the language standard correctly, and students working with a partner to practice the language standard. Opportunities for students to practice the language standard independently are limited. 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.6.1a:
    • In the Skills Practice Teaching Guide, Lesson 8, students learn subject and object pronouns. The teacher displays sentences, and students identify the subject in the sentences, so students can substitute in subject pronouns. With another set of sentences, students identify the object of the verb so students can substitute object pronouns.
  • L.6.1b:
    • In the Skills Practice Teaching Guide, Lesson 9, students learn possessive and intensive pronouns. The teacher displays “Possessive and Intensive Pronouns” activity and reads aloud “Nathan’s aunt has been to the Everglades many times, but Nathan himself has never gone. To whom does himself refer?” The teacher informs students that the intensive pronoun usually follows the noun or pronoun. During Guided Reading students practice using possessive and intensive pronouns in a paragraph.
  • L.6.1c:
    • In the Skills Practice Teaching Guide, Lesson 8, the teacher note includes information about the pronoun of I as talking about yourself as the subject, and you can be used a both a subject and an object. During Guided Practice students, practice different pronouns such as I, he, you, we, they, me, him, it, us, them. Explicit instruction in recognizing and correcting inappropriate shifts in pronoun number and person are not contained in the Skills Practice Teaching Guide.
  • L.6.1d:
    • In the Skills Practice Teaching Guide, Lesson 10, students learn more about making sure the pronoun agrees with the noun. During Guided Practice, students read sentences containing incorrect or unclear pronouns.
  • L.6.1e:
    • In the Skills Practice Teaching Guide, Lesson 22, students learn about formal and informal English. The teacher displays “Formal and Informal English” activity and asks students to identify which sentences are formal and which are informal. The teacher points out that people take you more seriously if you use formal language. During Guided Practice, students edit an informal paragraph to make it more consistent. Students work together to write two versions of the informational paragraph using formal English in one and informal English in the other.
    • In Being a Writer, Genre Expository Nonfiction, Week 5, Day 2, students learn how to use informal and formal writing style in their writing. Students analyze a mentor text called Ouch! And the teacher asks: “What do you notice about the way this author writes? Tell us one thing you noticed.” During Writing Time, students draft their report and decide on how to make the language in the draft more formal.
  • L.6.2a:
    • In the Skills Practice Teaching Guide, Lesson 26, students learn to use commas, parentheses, and dashes to set off extra information. The teacher displays an activity to model commas, parentheses, and dashes. With six different sentences, the teacher shows students how to add those specific conventions. The teacher explains that dashes are lines that are longer than a hyphen, and dashes are used to provide extra emphasis or show interruption of thought. During Guided Practice, students help place punctuation marks in six sentences.
  • L.6.2b:
    • In Being a Writer, Unit 2, Week 2, Day 2, students learn to proofread their drafts for spelling, punctuation, and capitalization errors. Students learn to use their Student Writing Handbook for spelling words. If the word is not in the Handbook, students learn strategies for figuring out the spelling of words such as: ask a peer, ask the teacher, look for the word in a familiar book, and/or look for the word in a dictionary. As part of the Technology Enhancement, students learn to use an online dictionary.
  • L.6.3a:
    • In Being a Writer, Unit 2, Week 1, Day 4, students learn to generate interesting words in order to vary starting words in their writing. In Day 5, students learn to write strong opening sentences based on Mentor texts.
  • L.6.3b:
    • In the Skills Practice Teaching Guide Lesson 23, the teacher models from “Consistency in Style and Tone,” which contains different types of writing for students to identify tone and style. During Guided Practice, students practice revising a piece of writing to make the style and tone more appropriate and consistent throughout.


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 6 partially meet the expectations of the Gateway 2. Materials do not meet the criteria that texts are organized to support students' building knowledge of different topics, and there is support for students to engage with and grow their academic vocabulary over the course of the school year. Materials meet the criteria that materials contain sets of coherently sequenced questions and tasks that require students to analyze the language, key ideas, details, craft, and structure of individual texts and do not meet the criteria that the questions and tasks support students’ ability to complete culminating tasks in which they demonstrate their knowledge of a topic through integrated skills. Materials meet the criteria that materials include a cohesive, year-long plan for students to interact with and build key academic vocabulary words in and across texts. Materials support students’ increasing writing skills over the course of the school year, building students’ writing ability to demonstrate proficiency at grade level at the end of the school year. Materials provide procedures and support for daily independent reading, primarily found in the Making Meaning component.

Criterion 2a - 2h

24/32

Indicator 2a

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

The instructional materials reviewed for Center for Collaborative Classroom Grade 6 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 Genre Argumentative Writing of Being a Writer, students hear texts about the teen driving age. After listening to “Do Not Raise the Driving Age to 18” and “The Minimum Driving Age Should be Raised,” students compare and contrast argumentative structure.

Other text sets in Grade 6 Making Meaning are not organized by topic; rather, they are organized around the literacy skills practiced. Examples include:

  • In Unit 1, Week 1 of Making Meaning, students hear two fables: Why Mosquitoes Buzz in People’s Ears and Feathers and Fools. Students compare and contrast the texts and discuss lessons learned from fables.
  • In Unit 8 of Making Meaning, students hear two texts about Nelson Mandela. The first text is Nelson Mandela by Kadir Nelson, and it introduces students to the former South African president. The second text is “Excerpt from Long Walk to Freedom,” which is an excerpt from Nelson Mandela’s autobiography.
  • In Unit 5 of Making Meaning, students learn how to make inferences in fiction, poetry, and drama. The texts provided are not about the same topics. For example in Week 1, students hear Encounter, which is about Christopher Columbus’ landing in San Salvador. In Week 2, students hear three poems: “As I Grew Older,” which is about keeping the dream alive during racial discrimination; “Mother to Son,” which is about the importance of perseverance; and “A Tea,” which is about an invitation a girl receives to attend a mother-daughter dance.
  • In the Genre unit of Fiction Writing in Being a Writer, students hear a variety of fiction texts that are used as mentor texts; however, they are not centered around a topic. For example, in Week 1, Day 1, students hear The Secret Shortcut, which is about two boys being late for school and their adventure to get to school. In Day 2, students hear “They’re Made Out of Meat,” which is a science fiction text. In Day 4, students hear “The Sneeze,” which is about space aliens.


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 6 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 inconsistently require students to analyze the language, key ideas, details, craft, and structure of individual texts. To fully meet the expectations of this indicator, the teacher will have to supplement to assure students have practice in these areas. Examples include but are not limited to the following:

  • In Unit 3, Week 1, Making Meaning, students compare two kinds of whales. The teacher reads aloud a passage. Additionally, the teacher asks, “What information did you learn about sperm whales in this passage? What information did you learn about right whales in this passage? Then the teacher is directed to facilitate a discussion about the following: How are sperm whales and right whales alike and different? The students are focused on the key ideas and on identifying details, but for a deeper understanding fo the structures of the texts the teacher will have to supplement. 
  • In Unit 5, Week 2, students compare and contrast two poems and discuss common themes in Harlem and “Mother to Son.” Students answer the following questions: "What difficulties do the characters in the novel and the speaker in the poem have to overcome?" "How do both Mutti in the novel and the mother in the poem encourage perseverance?" "What do the novel and the poem teach us about perseverance that we might be able to apply to our own lives?" These questions are representative of how the program supports students working across texts to identify themes and commonalities, but does not fully support a deep understanding of craft and structure while building knowledge. 
  • In Unit 7, Week 1, the teacher shows the “Ways Articles Inform” chart and asks the students, “What do you remember about how the author used quotations in the article?” The teacher then introduces and skims “Genetically Modified Food”. She asks the class, “After reading the title, headings, and subheadings, what kind of information do you think might be included in this article?” The student engagement here is not fully supportive of growing an understanding of the text structure. 

In Being a Writer, students are asked questions about the read-alouds that require students to analyze the language, key ideas, details, craft, and structure of individual texts. While focusing on the text, the questions are inconsistent, sometimes surface-level rather than delving into the depth required by this indicator.  Examples include but are not limited to the following:

  • In Unit 1, Week 1, Day 5, students hear Probuditi! and answer the following two questions: “What does Calvin find out at the end of this story? What did the contraption that Calvin and Rodney made do?” These questions do focus on key detail, but is centered on recall only. 
  • In Genre Personal Narrative, Week 1, Day 2, students hear “Rattlesnake Mesa” and answer the following questions: “Why do you think EdNah might have chosen to tell this story? What does EdNah learn or how does she change as a result of what happens with Biggi?” The first question is not entirely text dependent, and the second question requires some inference. 
  • In Genre Functional Writing, Week 1, Day 3, students hear “A Paper Clip Trick” and answer the question: “Which words or phrases in these directions help make the steps clear and easy to understand? What makes you think that?” These questions are partially supportive of the indicator.
  • In Genre Poetry, Week 1, Day 2, students hear “Ode to Pablo’s Tennis Shoes,” and students answer questions about details and words: “What sensory details in the poem help you imagine Pablo’s tennis shoes? What words does the poet use to write about the shoes as if they were alive?” These questions show more focus on unpacking author's craft. 


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 Grade 6 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 6 contain coherently sequenced sets of text-dependent questions and tasks. In Making Meaning and Being a Writer, questions posed by the teacher often require students to refer to an individual text. In Making Meaning and Being a Writer, students use a text over the course of several days. Each day, the questions and tasks become more involved and require students to integrate knowledge about the text. Examples include:

  • In Unit 2, Week 1, throughout the week, students listen to "Let’s Think About the Power of Advertising" and answer the following questions: “How does this photograph and caption help you better understand the information in the text? What did you learn in the part of the book you just heard? According to the text, what different views do people have about advertising? What did you learn about how advertising works?" Students apply their new learning to the shared print ad or commercial. The teacher facilitates a discussion and asks, “Considering what you know about how advertising works, do you think this is an effective ad? Why or why not?” Afterwards, students independently read expository texts and write a journal entry about that expository text. They identify which text feature helped them locate information or better understand the topic. At the end of the week, students write an opinion about whether advertising is more helpful or harmful.
  • In Unit 4, Weeks 1-4, the teacher reads aloud An Elephant in the Garden, and students discuss story elements and make connections between story elements. Each day, the teacher reads aloud a chapter and asks questions about occurrences in the story i.e. "How does Lizzie feel at this point in the story? Why does she feel this way? How is the setting affecting the plot? The characters? How are the characters dealing with the conflicts or problems we discussed earlier? What new conflicts or problems are they facing?"
  • In Unit 6, Week 1, the teacher and students discuss Twenty-two Cents: Muhammad Yunus and the Village Bank. Students respond to the following: “Why do you think Muhammad became active in charity as a boy?” By Day 4, students discuss the following questions: “What clues did you underline in the excerpt that help to answer the question ‘Why did Muhammad Yunus start the Grameen Bank?’ How do those clues help to explain why Muhammad started the bank?”
  • In Genre Personal Narrative, Week 1, students hear “Rattlesnake Mesa.” During the reading, students are asked: “What kind of place is EdHan describing here? What is EdNah telling us about her childhood? What happens in the last part of this story from EdNah’s childhood?” After the reading, the students answer: “Why do you think EdNah might have chosen to tell this story? What does EdNah learn or how does she change as a result of what happens in Biggi?” This prepares students for the quick-write task to write about events the lead to learning or change. “Think about your own life. What are some events in which you learned or changed that you could write about?”
  • In Genre Expository Nonfiction, Week 1, students hear If the World were a Village. During the read aloud, the teacher asks: “What is the author asking us to imagine in this book? Why do you think the author is doing this? What have you found out so far about the world and its people?” These questions help students participate in a discussion that will help students generate nonfiction topics. The first question asked in the discussion is: “What did you find out about the world and its people from the reading?”

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 1, Week 1 of Making Meaning, the teacher reads aloud the texts, Why Mosquitoes Buzz in People’s Ears and Feathers and Fools. Students write about the similarities and differences of the stories. Students “turn and talk” with classmates and recall information from the stories. Though students are asked to pull information from two texts, students are not analyzing ideas. Students recall information and describe how the two texts are alike and different.
  • In Unit 8 of Making Meaning, students look for important ideas and supporting details in texts and use important ideas to write summaries. Students hear the texts “Always Moving: Julisa Velarde”, “Abdul, Age 17, Afghan”, and from Long Walk to Freedom. Students then read summaries of the same texts. Finally, students read the text, “Thank You, M’am” and write a summary. Though questions across the unit ask students to find details and discuss important ideas in order to write summaries, students are not asked to anazlye knowledge or ideas across the texts.
  • In Genre Expository Nonfiction, students work with a partner to research a topic in which both students are interested. Students read and integrate information in order to write an informational report.
  • In Genre Argumentative Writing, students work with a partner to research a topic in which both students are interested. Students then integrate information into a persuasive essay.


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 6 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).

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 Genre Expository Nonfiction of Being a Writer, students hear expository nonfiction texts, immersing themselves in nonfiction texts about topics of interest to them and their partners. Students chose one topic to research together in some depth. Each pair of students write, revise, and publish an informational report about that topic. At the end of the unit, students present their reports by reading them aloud from the author’s chair.
  • In Genre Argumentative Writing, Being a Writer, students read and write argumentative essays supporting particular claims with reasons and relevant evidence. With partners, students research their chosen topic. Each student generates a claim about the topic, and write an essay arguing in favor of claim. Students read aloud their final drafts from the author’s chair.
  • In Unit 1, Week 1, Day 4 of Making Meaning, students can participate in the optional Writing about Reading task to write about how Why Mosquitoes Buzz in People’s Ears and Feathers and Fools are alike and different. Students discuss with partners answers to the teacher’s guiding questions. If time is available, students can share with the class.
  • In Unit 2, Week 2, Day 3 of Making Meaning, students can participate in the optional Writing about Reading task to write about making connections between two texts. Students discuss answers to the teacher’s guiding questions. If time is available, students can share with the class.
  • In Unit 8, Week 5 of Making Meaning, students determine and summarize important ideas. With partners, students write brief summaries. Students also complete a task that entails writing a summary of a text read independently.


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
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Center for Collaborative Classroom Grade 6 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 1, Day 1, the Teacher Manual contains the following directions for the Read Aloud: “Read the story aloud slowly and clearly, showing the illustrations as you read. Clarify vocabulary when you encounter it in the text by reading the word, briefly defining it, rereading it in context, and continuing (for example, “‘The iguana did not answer but lumbered on’--lumbered means ‘moved in a slow, awkward way’-- ‘The iguana did not answer but lumbered on’”).

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 28, using the article from Making Meaning, “Finding Balance with After-School Activities: Helping Kids Choose Extracurriculars That Work For Them, Without the Stress” the following words are taught: consensus, competent, incompetent, appropriate, monitor, excessive. The following words are reviewed: abruptly, enigma, erroneously, just, precede. Word-learning strategies are recognizing antonyms, analyzing word relationships to better understand words, and recognizing shades of meaning. The week begins with the teacher reading aloud from paragraph two of the article and then explaining what a consensus is. Teacher then facilitates a discussion asking: "When have we reached a consensus as a class about something?” The next words, competent and incompetent are introduced in same manner. Discussion is around, "What is something you are competent at doing?" Antonyms are reviewed. The class plays, “Is Cecil competent or Incompetent?” The teacher describes something their make believe friend Cecil does, and then students discuss with a partner if Cecil is competent or incompetent. Then students work on an activity that explores word relationships through analogies.

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
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 6 meet the criteria that materials support students’ increasing writing skills over the course of the school year, building students’ writing ability to demonstrate proficiency at grade level at the end of the school year.

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

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

  • In Unit 3, Week 2, students continue to draft their personal narratives. They have the option to continue working on their piece or about another challenge that helped them learn, change, or grow in some way.
  • In Unit 4, Week 4, the teacher and students review An Elephant in the Garden. Students think-pair-share and respond to the following: "What might Lizzie be referring to when she says that Marlene changed and saved all their lives?" After the teacher models a think aloud and writing sample, students write a paragraph about ways Marlene helped Lizzie and her family. He or she instructs students to use examples from the book to support their thinking.
  • In Unit 5, Week 3, Making Meaning, Teacher’s Manual, students choose a character from the play, “The Bad Room,” and describe, provide examples, and offer rationales for the character’s changes. The teacher models thinking and writing about the character’s changes. Students are reminded to use examples in their paragraphs from the play to support their thinking.
  • In Unit 7, Week 3, students write an argument on a topic of their choice. They review their claims and notes. Students find sources that have information to support their claims. Students evaluate their sources and record important information on their source sheet. They research and take notes, in their own words, about new evidence that supports their claims.


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
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 6 partially meet the criteria that materials include a progression of focused research projects to encourage students to develop knowledge in a given area by confronting and analyzing different aspects of a topic using multiple texts and source materials.

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 evidence of a research project. Throughout the student’s writing time, they focus on working through the research process. Students engage in a topic of their choice. They make use of the following sequence.
    • Make a list of interesting topics.
    • Narrow the list.
    • Browse nonfiction materials found in the school library and .
    • Write questions and research a specific topic.
    • Turn questions into search queries.
    • Research and take notes on an explicit topic.
    • Draft and revise.
    • Proofread and complete a final copy.
    • Publish and permit volunteers an opportunity to share out.
  • In Unit 3, Week 2, there is a “Technology Extension” opportunity to research and construct a report on whales.
  • In Unit 7, Week 3, students write an argument on a topic of their choice. They review their claims and notes. Students find sources that have information to support their claims. Students evaluate their sources and record important information on their source sheet. They research and take notes in their own words about new evidence that supports their claims.

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
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 6 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 1, the teacher asks students to read for twenty to twenty-five minutes. They think about text features and observations in their texts. Students further notice how the features helped them locate information or better understand the topics. For class discussion, the teacher is provided with prompting questions. The teacher adds new text features and rationales for they assisted with students location information for a topic.
  • In Unit 3, Week 1, prior to reading, students think about questions for text topics. Following, they notice whether their questions are discussed in the reading. At the end of Independent Reading Time, students write about questions generated from their reading journals. They read for twenty to twenty-five minutes, and write an entry in their reading journals about text selection.
  • In Unit 4, Week 2, with their novels, during Independent Reading Time, students independently read for up to thirty minutes using “Stop and Ask Questions.” The teacher uses the “Resource Sheet for IDR Conferences.”
  • In Unit 6, Week 1, during Independent Reading Time, students read narrative nonfiction or expository nonfiction. The teacher reviews questions from the “Thinking About My Reading” chart, and reminds students to pause, think about their reading selection, and use the questions from the chart, to monitor comprehension. Students read for up to thirty minutes. They pause every ten minutes to monitor comprehension.
  • In Unit 7, Week 4, students read social studies texts and think about facts learned. They read for up to thirty minutes. The teacher holds conferences with students using the “Resource Sheet for Independent Reading Conferences.”


Gateway Three

Usability

Not Rated

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

Criterion 3a - 3e

Indicator 3a

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

Indicator 3b

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

Indicator 3c

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

Indicator 3d

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

Indicator 3e

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

Criterion 3f - 3j

Materials support teacher learning and understanding of the Standards.

Indicator 3f

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

Indicator 3g

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

Indicator 3h

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

Indicator 3i

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

Indicator 3j

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

Criterion 3k - 3n

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

Indicator 3k

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

Indicator 3l

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

Indicator 3l.i

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

Indicator 3l.ii

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

Indicator 3m

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

Indicator 3n

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

Criterion 3o - 3r

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

Indicator 3o

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

Indicator 3p

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

Indicator 3q

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

Indicator 3r

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

Criterion 3s - 3v

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

Indicator 3s

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

Indicator 3t

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

Indicator 3u

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

Indicator 3u.i

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

Indicator 3u.ii

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

Indicator 3v

Materials include or reference technology that provides opportunities for teachers and/or students to collaborate with each other (e.g. websites, discussion groups, webinars, etc.).
N/A
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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 Skill Practice Teaching Guide 978-1-68246-271-3 Center for the Collaborative Classroom 2016
CCC Collaborative Literacy Being a Writer Second Edition Skills Practice Book 978-1-68246-272-0 Center for the Collaborative Classroom 2016
CCC Collaborative Literacy Making Meaning Third Edition Teacher's Manual Volume 1 978-1-68246-276-8 Center for the Collaborative Classroom 2016
CCC Collaborative Literacy Making Meaning Third Edition Teacher's Manual Volume 2 978-1-68246-277-5 Center for the Collaborative Classroom 2016
CCC Collaborative Literacy Making Meaning Third Edition Vocabulary Teaching Guide Volume 1 978-1-68246-278-2 Center for the Collaborative Classroom 2016
CCC Collaborative Literacy Making Meaning Third Edition Vocabulary Teaching Guide Volume 2 978-1-68246-279-9 Center for the Collaborative Classroom 2016
CCC Collaborative Literacy Making Meaning Third Edition Assessment Resource Book 978-1-68246-280-5 Center for the Collaborative Classroom 2016
CCC Colllaborative Literacy Making Meaning Third Edition Reading Assessment Preparation Guide 978-1-68246-281-2 Center for the Collaborative Classroom 2016
CCC Collaborative Literacy Making Meaning Third Edition Student Response Book 978-1-68246-282-9 Center for the Collaborative Classroom 2016
CCC Collaborative Literacy Being a Writer Second Edition Teacher's Manual Volume 1 978-1-68246-289-8 Center for the Collaborative Classroom 2016
CCC Collaborative Literacy Being a Writer Second Edition Teacher's Manual Volume 2 978-1-68246-290-4 Center for the Collaborative Classroom 2016
CCC Collaborative Literacy Being a Writer Second Edition Assessment Resource Book 978-1-68246-291-1 Center for the Collaborative Classroom 2016
CCC Collaborative Literacy Being a Writer Second Edition Writing Performance Task Preparation Guide 978-1-68246-292-8 Center for the Collaborative Classroom 2016
CCC Collaborative Literacy Being a Writer Second Edition Student Writing Handbook 978-1-68246-293-5 Center for the Collaborative Classroom 2016

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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